Interview: Project Runway's Alicia Hardesty on "Original Tomboy" & Lesbian Fashion
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While she may not be appearing on the season finale of Project Runway this Thursday, Alicia Hardesty is "making it work": her clothing line, Original Tomboy, will see its first collection come to fruition this month, and she'll have her very own one-day Pop-Up Shop at L.A. Fashion Week today in WeHo (and today only!).
The collection, pieces of which you can see on her website, have a very west-meets-hipster, vintage tomboy feel. Sensible. Versatile. Wearable, regardless of your gender. Many pieces showcase the aesthetics that Hardesty tried so diligently to convey in her designs on Project Runway.
From OT's website
Alicia had a few minutes to spare while preparing for LA Fashion Week to talk with me about her PR experience, "lesbian" fashion and "lesiban chic," and whether or not Nina Garcia has tattoos:
Hey Alicia, how's it going?
Hey hey! I'm crazy busy right now, but that is a good thing; not complaining!How has your life changed since Project Runway?
It's changed in all kinds of ways. People know about me as a designer, they know exactly what type of work I do, which is something I've never experienced working for other companies. It's launched me as an independent designer which is obviously huge for my career.
On-air time for branding—for your brand "Original Tomboy" specifically—must've been great, although do you feel that you were able to design clothes with the OT aesthetic in mind?
Some, [but] not as much as I would have liked. I saw early on that I wouldn't be able to put the OT aesthetic out there as much as I wanted to. So I tried to go another way—brand myself in that same tomboy fashion with the signature pants I made, and with the style I wear and represent while one the show.
I actually wondered about this in a previous Vp piece: can "lesbian" fashion succeed on the runway? Is there such a thing as—a definable aesthetics of—"lesbian" fashion?
It depends on how lesbian fashion is marketed; if its not marketed as "lesbian" fashion then it's way more versatile and it will go a lot further in the fashion industry. As gender-bending and women wearing men's clothes becomes more popular and trendy, lesbian fashion will start to make more of a name for itself on its own and then in turn it will make its on mark on the industry. That's what Original Tomboy