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Project Runway Season 6: Meet Althea Harper

Goodness, Kittens! We're falling behind on our pre-judging!

That dress she's wearing is pretty cute. One of her designs?

Althea Harper
Age: 24
Birthplace: Dayton, OH
Current Home: Brooklyn, NY
Favorite Designers: Rodarte, Vivienne Westwood, Zac Posen, Yohji Yamamoto, Versace, Preen
Style Icon: Victoria Beckham
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Christian Siriano, Season 4

Althea has always loved to draw, but it was at the young age of ten when she found her niche for fashion. She recently graduated from The University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. Althea also received additional training at Central St. Martin in London. She’s interned at Anna Sui, Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Victoria’s Secret and Garden Inc. Her fashion designs are inspired by Bridgette Bardot, 30’s glamour and architecture.

Why she’ll win?
Althea believes she is an extremely talented designer, with the drive and determination that is essential for succeeding in the world of fashion. Her strengths as a designer include her creativity, taste and draping ability.

Tim Gunn: "Everyone [thinks] she's only on the show because she's a tall blonde beauty, but she's extremely talented. She's going to blow people away."

Let's go to the tape, shall we?




Very cute, but what about the clothes?













Well, she's got a point of view, we'll give her that. Most of it is not to our taste, but you can see where she's coming from and, more importantly, that she's got a little something that makes us curious to see more. We're not too keen on the dresses that look like draped trashbags, but she's got some interesting details in her work.

As always, head on over to myLifetime.com to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about Althea. Don't hate because she's pretty!


Tim Gunn's Quotes: Meet Project Runway's Newest Designers! [People]

[Photos: Andrew Anderson/middletownjournal.com/myLifetime.com - Videos: myLifetime.com]


72 comments:

Not impressed by Althea or her designs.

TampaBay


Definitely not to my taste and the collection has a lot of examples of just a few looks.

I wonder if she can adapt to other looks or if she's a one-note?

That said, if Tim says she's extremely talented, I'm interested to see what she can do.


Those first three dresses remind me of S2's Diana's "Goddess" inspired lingeire.


A little to nakie for my taste. But who knows?


well, if there is a trash bag challenge, she should do well. Maybe she could teach Stella a thing or two.....


I think her designs are interesting and I like that the materials mimic other materials (the coated wool that looks like leather). I think it's hard to judge whether she's one-note or not because that's clearly one (very cohesive) collection.


I want what she's wearing.


Nina is going to get tired of voicing concerns about "taste level" this season.

I just finished browsing the pre-PR photos for each contestant. Fug, fug, and more fug.

Taste level indeed. One contestant, whose "exotically" spelled name foreshadows the taste level to come, even has a dress version of a mullet. Yep. A dress mullet. Check it out. Shiny knit polyester long sundress front, bikini back.


Right now she's winning me over with the way she didn't back down from the "S&M" theme comment about her clothes but just rolled with it. She seems to have a sense of humor about her work that might bode well for a competition like PR.


I like the dress she's wearing, but that's pretty much it so far. I'll wait to see what she does.


This does not bode well:

"Style Icon: Victoria Beckham
"Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Christian Siriano
"


CanIGetYouAnything?

"Lilithcat said...
This does not bode well:

"Style Icon: Victoria Beckham
"Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Christian Siriano"


- Victoria Beckham is a style icon whether you like it or not, plus designers would do anything to dress her.

- Christian Siriano is one of the most talented and successful designers on the show. Why not him?


Not seeing anything I like except what she's wearing. I'm assuming she made that. If Tim says she's talented...


Interesting. That's all.


LifeTimeForHomos

Tulle is a no-no unless you're designing a costume for a ballet dancer. She's pretty and kind of fabulous. They all look so young.


I'm intrigued, but you're right, I'm not terribly into her designs. It will be interesting to see how she evolves on the show. And if Tim says she's good, who am I to disagree? She could go pretty far, I think.


She's a "real happy girl."

Wow, "real" women, "real" happy girl...who started this "real" thing?


Heidi will be jealous of her, just like she was jealous of Alison Kelly. Mark my words.


It's a little Fredericks of Hollywood meets the Audubon Society.

But hmmm... so the other designers, from the past haven't really taken advantage of the opportunity? I'm thinking that when the reality of reality show fame hits her in the face, that remark may come back to bite her in the ass.

--GothamTomato


I'm assuming they've got proof on these age claims, but 24? She might want to rethink the SPF. I'd have said 32 at least.

Judging by Tim's remarks, she must last a while, but the portfolio here isn't wowing me.

Me also thinks this is a contestant who comes armed with FWK (Friends With Keyboards).


As long as we're pre-judging, right?

She is really harsh looking - and with the tight, shiny & naked?

Right now she strikes me more as a Rock of Love girl.


Her designs are kind of rock and roll tacky, but I have a thing that stuff. Not that I'd wear it.

I love what she's wearing in the casting video. And I kind of like her too.

A dress with feathers?!? She's obviously ripping off Reco. ;)


agnes gooch said:
I'm assuming they've got proof on these age claims, but 24? She might want to rethink the SPF. I'd have said 32 at least.


I was thinking the exact same thing!!

thanks SO much for posting these TLO - i'm getting SO excited for the new season to start!! Just these little bits are washing the bad taste from that other show out of my mouth - glad I lost Bravo when i moved, my poor husband was tired of saying "If you hate this show so much why do you keep watching it?" lol!


She seems sweet, but I cannot stand the cockiness. How about you show the judges, not tell them, how great you all are??

And Victoria Beckham - I agree with the poster who says that does not bode well for this girl's clothes.


She has a pretty impressive resume. Sometimes the designers' own collections look nothing like what they do on PR. I look forward to seeing what she produces.


Althea has to be pretty young - only someone 24 can have that much conceit. ;)

I liked her Raven collection and it's interesting how she worked a wool fabric into looking like leather. I have three categories in my pre-judging; Cannon Fodder, Contenders and Cuts Above. I've put her on my Contender list.


I like what she was wearing in the interview clip and the second to last (the kind of pauvre-Dior-putain-Parisienne look).

The rest looks like from her graduate collection so I expect it to be out there.

I'm hoping she can pull off interesting things within the confines of the show.

But, hmmm, yeah, Victoria Beckham. She seems an awfully convenient Go To for 'style icon'. I really get the feeling for some of the people she's simply seen as a Fashion Panacea to a question on par with "I love to walk on the beach, sunny days and good friends".

That's the biggest clunker for her. We shall seeeeee.


agnes gooch said:
I'm assuming they've got proof on these age claims, but 24? She might want to rethink the SPF. I'd have said 32 at least.

Maybe her icon really is Kim from RHOA.....look at the eyeliner....


Re: Heidi

Heidi Klum does not have a problem with other blonde women. Anyone who has seen Germany's Next Top Model (where she is also host) will known this. Alison Kelley claimed she did, and it always struck me as a particularly narcissistic and egrarious form of "sour grapes". Not to mention very damaging for her career. Alison simply didn't have the chops to take it to the next level on the show.


agnes gooch said..."Me also thinks this is a contestant who comes armed with FWK (Friends With Keyboards)."

I don't get it...


She seems sweet, but I cannot stand the cockiness. How about you show the judges, not tell them, how great you all are??

And Victoria Beckham - I agree with the poster who says that does not bode well for this girl's clothes.


Eh. I don't think she comes across as cocky. It would be pretty weird if she said "My work sucks, but I think you should put me on the show."

But... yeah. Victoria Beckham? I honestly didn't think anyone gave a damn about her anymore, if they ever did to begin with. To me, she's up there with Chloe Sevigne as someone not to emulate.


Arghhh....if she pulled her hair back one more time during that audition tape, I was going to honestly lose it....
And if she is 24, I am 19.
Not impressed with her or her designs, or her fashion "icon".
NEXT!!!!.....


Yeah she's a little hard in the face for 24, but that's common these days.
I don't like any of the clothes in her collection.


Sorry, those clothes look cheap and low class.


Some people look older than their actual age. Toni Collette comes to mind.


Re: -g-

I think by Friends With Keyboards, they mean friends who will come here and post anonymously to sing her praises and attack anyone who doesn't think she is the most amazing designer ever.


too many cats

23 at the time of the audition...she just so does not look that young.

She should have been auffed for the slit in the back of her dress- the one she was wearing for the audition- there are slits for ease of walking and there are slits to take away all doubts that the dress is hoochie mama attire. She removed any doubt that might have had a glimmer of hope after the beaded bra.

And, yes, I saw the first dresses in the photos and thought that Stella did better with real trashbags.

Posh ....Christian...stop now, please.


From schizophrenic0: I think by Friends With Keyboards, they mean friends who will come here and post anonymously to sing her praises and attack anyone who doesn't think she is the most amazing designer ever.

Precisely and well explained. I think all of us loyal TLo minions have seen these "suddenly out of nowhere" new minions come and go, and it's just obvious. They really do their designer friends or family members no favors, even if those designers do turn out to be incredibly talented and lovely people.


Ms P said "Yeah she's a little hard in the face for 24, but that's common these days."

For which I am grateful. This is why folks can't believe I'm almost 40.

As for the looks she's put out there, I'm pretty much in agreement with everyone else. Like what she's wearing in the picture, but not too keen on her portfolio.


"Althea has to be pretty young - only someone 24 can have that much conceit. ;) "

Love it. Made me wonder -- has it really been so long that we don't remember Christian's cockiness!


I love her name! Althea Harper.

It's very soap opera sounding.

BrianB


So many of these designers use shiny fabric...I'm worried


She reminds me of Sandra Lee, the Food Network "Semi-Homemade" host. I keep expecting her to tell me how to transform my ordinary meatloaf with simple store-bought condiments. Then fix me a nifty cocktail.


So many of these designers use shiny fabric...I'm worried

Agreed... maybe cotton can be the official fabric of project runway again? :\

I recently watched PRUS S1 and S2 (which I hadn't seen before) and now I kind of feel like S5 actually had quite a strong field. I feel like only Jay and Kara Saun came across as strong in S1 (I loved some of the other designers' creations but no one else did well consistently), and I didn't think anyone came off as particularly strong in S2 (Kara Janx was very weak throughout the season, however amazing her decoy collection was). I haven't seen S3 yet, but I don't remember liking anyone consistently in S4, not even the final 3. Whereas I thought the final 3 in S5 all deserved to be there, even if tugboat girl was lucky Jerell lived up to his flakiness and had really retro-girly sensibilities.


I was genuinely interested in this one, until I'd seen half of those portfolio pics. Granted, they are obviously from the same collection, but after a few I started wondering if there was going to be something that is NOT "fabric draped over a vinyl bikini top", or clearly influenced by/begun life as one.

I hope she won't be one of those who get told after three episodes that they never seem to do anything new (who was that guy again, who always semi-obsessively wanted fringes on everything possible?).


fashionablylate

Say what you want about Posh, but the bitch can wear a dress, & nobody works the killer heels like she does. And Christian Siriano is hands down the MOST successful PR designer, period. Any designer who names him as their favorite goes up a notch in my eyes - Jeffrey, on the other hand, well...eww.


Her internship roster is beyond the beyond. Geez o rama, isn't that enough? Why would one stray from almost any of those for continued employment? Sounds like chorus girl syndrome. No, I son't see a 24 year old, but it could be the extra 10 years she has crammed into her life in try-outs. Portfolio - awful. Really awful. Show me something new, not retreads of everything already out there. Tim digs blonds - loved Alison, and so did I. (I still remember Alison's rolled up-tube paper skirt that bit the dust and then she hastily concocted the "plus-size" yellow dress that I think got her auf'd.) This girl has a personality, doesn't mean she has talent. We will just have to wait and see. She reminded me of Kirstin Dunst, just larger.


" BrianB said...

I love her name! Althea Harper.

It's very soap opera sounding.

BrianB"


LOL. It is. I just can't see her making to the finals.


Her dresses aren't really dresses. Most of them are bathing suits with fabric wrapped around them.


She doesn't look 24 to me. There's something about her hair and makeup that age her a lot. I'm not a fan of her collection, but I do see stuff there that makes me wonder what she'll do when she gets to be as old as she looks to me now (which is to say, in 10 years or so).


GIRRRRL, stop the tape and go get a hair clip!


GothamTomato on 7/19/09 at 2:03 PM siadd "It's a little Fredericks of Hollywood meets the Audubon Society.

But hmmm... so the other designers, from the past haven't really taken advantage of the opportunity? I'm thinking that when the reality of reality show fame hits her in the face, that remark may come back to bite her in the ass."

--GothamTomato

@ GothamTomato-I am waiting on some designer to do the Nan Kemper meets Duchess of Windsor collection. The kind of clothes you have to take out a third moetgage on your house even at the RTW level but that you can wear forever. Wait...wait a minute that's what the Duchess does...my bad.

TampaBay


I am feeling kind of warm towards her collection. Granted, it does look incomplete and very self-conscious, but I get the feeling that she's working towards something. there's thought behind those designs. the trashbag looking gown seems to be the most successful in articulating that thought into wearable clothing. In that respect, she kind of reminds me of Leanne. PR was so great for her because it forced her to bring her concepts back down into orbit. If Althea is able to grow in the same way, she could do very well.

And I think her name is beautiful too.


kali on 7/19/09 at 9:46 PM said.....
"I haven't seen S3 yet"

kali-two words for you: Laura & Uli! I felt season three was the best overall talent wise and shopping wise.

TampaBay


"fashionablylate said: Say what you want about Posh, but the bitch can wear a dress"



Yes, because she's essentially a hanger with implants.

--GothamTomato


She'll be fun to trash. And hopefully Tim is right and we'll be surprised.


This group reminds me a lot of the PRS1 designers. Too bad they can't go out and get drunk like they did in the first season.


" schizophrenic0 said...

Those first three dresses remind me of S2's Diana's "Goddess" inspired lingeire."


I can see that, but these are well-made versions of them.


"Gelft said...
I wonder if she can adapt to other looks or if she's a one-note?"


I hope so, that's the only way to win this competition, and then you do whatever you want at Bryant Park.


LOVE the dress she's wearing. I would seriously buy it.


BarbH said...

Her internship roster is beyond the beyond. Geez o rama, isn't that enough? Why would one stray from almost any of those for continued employment
?

Internships don't necessarily lead to jobs, especially in fashion where being able to take inventories and iron shit doesn't mean anybody cares about your design ability. And I am guessing, since she's 24, just out of design school in Ohio, and has a laundry list of 18 "internships" with some of the biggest names in the business that she worked tangentially with something for each name so she put it on the resume. Wouldn't be the first time in history. Internships are much easier to misrepresent than jobs.

GothamTomato said...

"fashionablylate said: Say what you want about Posh, but the bitch can wear a dress"



Yes, because she's essentially a hanger with implants
.

She had them removed. Hardy har har.


I'm totally NOT getting a Bardot or '30s vibe as a design inspiration.


I thought that was Kirsten Dunst.

Enhhh, I'll reserve judgment for the show.


Not to be mean, but doesn't her clothes look like they are made predominately out of black garbage bags?


I guess you can call me a 'friend with keyboard'.
I grew up with Althea and have known her since grade school.
She is indeed 24 years old.
She was quite the athlete in high school. Being a very good, and very aggressive field hockey player, as well as very good at track. She is a competitor.

I don't know about 18 internships, but I do know that at Zac Posen, and McQueen she was very involved to the design process. I understand she did prep work for McQueen's Paris show as well.


Thank you both - Anonymous 11:40 & friend w/ keyboard. Thanks for "splainin." Good input. Should I get to see/meet Galiano w/ my own 2 eyes I know I will have passed into another realm -- a very GOOD place to be as a lady. And I am thinking Althea here has had many same wishes experienced to be so exuberant. So, bring it on! Just do more than that portfolio previewed, quite anemic.


Why don't we all just watch the show and see how she does? Stop spreading the haterade and see what happens. She may have "range" she may not, but she seems very sweet and doesn't deserve all the negative comments. I can understand the comments about her designs but, comments about her age and looks. This just makes you sound jealous. Can we all grow up a little. This show is judged on talent and design so let's see what she's got!


BarbH-You sound like some middle age cougar going through a mid life crisis. lol


Goodness. The girl has money, honey. You don't come outta Dayton and into internships with so many (re: any) designers without the sound of ka-CHING! Laser cuts and fabrics from Italy. Dayton's unemployment has been above 13% for 20 years. Somebody's daddy done good.


Goodness. The girl has money, honey. You don't come outta Dayton and into internships with so many (re: any) designers without the sound of ka-CHING! Laser cuts and fabrics from Italy. Dayton's unemployment has been above 13% for 20 years. Somebody's daddy done good.


Goodness. The girl has money, honey. You don't come outta Dayton and into internships with so many (re: any) designers without the sound of ka-CHING! Laser cuts and fabrics from Italy. Dayton's unemployment has been above 13% for 20 years. Somebody's daddy done good.


bozofish - You are wrong about Althea's upbringing. Her father's a car salesman, and her mother's a social worker. She worked throughout college. Anna Sui's receptionist probably has her name etched in her brain, for the number of times she called to get an internship. Through networking she got contacts in London to work with McQueen, and Westwood. She was sponsored by the Italian fabric company, to my knowledge the only time this company sponsored a college student.

Althea's a hard worker, and a good networker, don't belittle her achievement by saying her parents paid for everything. She got there on her own.





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