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Project Runway Season 7: Meet Anna Lynett

Oh, dear.

Anna Lynett
Whitefish Bay, WI

Favorite designer(s)?
Don't know if I have a favorite. My top few include Marc Jacobs, Lanvin and Band of Outsiders.
What is a fashion must?
Tights! Skinny jeans! A solid pair of leather boots.
What is your design training?
No formal training. Entirely self-taught as a fashion designer.
What are your strengths as a designer?
I'm good at editing. I have a sense of what I want to design and adhere to that vision.
What's influenced your designs over the years?
My travels, so I can analyze other cultures' answers to what is a dress or a sweater.
What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
Silk and wool.
Do you prefer patterns or solids?
Patterns! I design patterns and screen-print the fabric for many of my garments.
What are your favorite colors?
Dove gray, ivory and midnight blue.
Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?
Kara Saun.
Project Runway challenge you hope they bring back for your season?
I like the challenges where designers are asked to derive designs from photos or images.

Why do we say "Oh, dear?" Because she comes across so ridiculously sweet that we fear the cage match environment of Project Runway may just chew up PollyAnna here and spit her out. It's interesting to note that she listed Kara Saun as her favorite. Not that we have any problem with that - we loved Kara Saun's work - it's just that, for some reason, her name rarely seems to come up when contestants mention favorites.

Oh, dear. That was just about the shittiest audition video we've ever seen. Honey! They're using farm animals and special effects now! Step it up! You might be asking yourself, "Self, how did this sweet girl get on the show with such a crappy audition video? This is how:

She's been doing this for six months? We're as impressed as Nick, Tim and Zoe were. That's pretty amazing. Check her portfolio:

Simple, streamlined, feminine, and classic. It's not "set the world on fire" innovative, but if this is what she can do after 6 months of self-taught sewing, the girl definitely has a potential career ahead of her. It remains to be seen if someone with such limited experience can keep up the pace in the PR environment, but we're interested to see what she does. Just, honey? Examine other color choices besides gray. That's all we're saying.

More on Anna Lynett at

In other Project Runway news, T Lo favorite Alex Cox is selling his original PRG Toons on ebay. If you're hankering for a little bit of PRG fabulosity, now's your chance. We have a couple of originals framed in our TV room and they never fail to get happy comments. We added a few categories to the T Lo Awards for the Lifetime site and just today we saw Alex's illustrations for them. You're gonna love them.

[Photos: - Videos: - Q&A:]

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Is she Amish or something? Her clothes are very practical.

she is modeling her own clothes too?
Hope she can sew FAST. I am kind of surprised that she made it on the show with so little experience, but she was smart enough to say that although she is self-taught, she can self-edit. Do you suppose she saw christopher last season?

Interesting. I hope she can swim with the sharks. As for her clothes, though I can't see them close up, they seem rather Agnes B -- classic pieces with sweet, modernizing details.

She seems great, and I'm looking forward to seeing how she does.

One thing, though-- she says she favors prints over solids, but...I'm not seeing any prints! Where are they?

I think being so new and totally self taught, the fabric choices and colors in her portfolio are really determined by what she can afford. She loves prints and silks but in reality, these are probably the materials she can AFFORD to work with.

I like her stuff. Simple, clean and classic is my style. I think the biggest factor with her will be time management. Should be interesting!

It's cute but unremarkable. Her skills appear impressive, though, so it'll be fun to see what she can do.

Has Alex laid dibs on her yet?

Well I would say with the right attitude that a relatively high level of sewing skills can be obtained in 6 months. But how about patternmaking, fit correcting, and designing with non-traditional fabrics (or even difficult ones) under pressure?

I really love her designs, simple, classic, a bit retro and would love to see what she will do with prints and more colors. She's poised and adult for 23 years old. I really want to cheer her on!

She's cute and her designs are cute. I'm generally terrible at predicting how long contestants will last on PR, so I won't bother prognosticating here.

But that is so kewl about Alex' cartoons!!!

She says she likes prints. She says she designs prints. But I'm not seeing her sewing with any prints.

Color me Confused, it's between Gargoyle and Iron Gate on the Benjamin Moore fandeck.

I like her. I hope she isn't one of those who gets tripped up using the sewing machines because I'd like to see her grow over the season. She gives me a slight LeAnne vibe.

I too am interested in seeing what she can do with the more esoteric design challenges. I see lots of talent, and some style, but don't see a clear "vision" yet.

Good luck to her. Will have to check out the toons as well. Go Alex.

Since she is from my hometown (WFB is a northern suburb of Milwaukee), I must root for her! Her clothes are very impressive for being self taught. She has some innate talent! I hope, however, that her "midwest nice" can stand up to the huge egos that seem to be populating this season. I wish her luck!

she's the Alexandra Vidal or Carol Hannah of season 7. girly but safe clothing. however that school uniform style can very chic if done right.

I took at look at the 'toons on eBay. All the descriptions say Season 5 but they are all from the late unlamented Season 6. I still may put in a bid though! I love Alex!

The fact that she learned in such a short time means she's very focused and can dedicate herself totally to her task. A good skill set for this competition.

That and she must have some awesome spacial and visualization skills to work through things that well so quickly.

I worry though that because she's so new to dressmaking she'll be more liable to second guess herself. Of course, I'd probably say that for any 23 yo. 23 is still pretty new to life.

Anyway, to be a bad PR judge: I'd totally wear that.

She's adorable, like a tame puppy, and I love her portfolio. I bet she'll be the first one gone.

She reminds me of Alison a little bit.

She's cute and seems to have taught herself quite a lot in a short time. Hope she doesn't play it too safe and maybe gives color some love.

Initially, I wondered about prints vs solid - but if you look the pieces she presented, the shapes and details do tend to lend themselves more towards solids.

Unless you want the pleated skirts to got from just private school to Catholic school girl (plaid).

Not that there is anything wrong with that :o)


She's incredibly skilled and talented for someone whose been designing/sewing for only six months. Her clothes are sweet and well-made, but I'd have to see more before pre-judging --- a lot more. But, who knows? She could surprise us all.


Her stuff looks quite different from the others we've seen so far. That is great.

I fear that her lack of experience could hurt her in some of the odder challenges. I cannot imagine that she has the construction skills of the more experienced or trained designers, but maybe she is a prodigy. I'm wondering how she would do with a difficult material like, what was it one year? Some sort of silk or satin that gave all the designers problems.

It's great to see her in the mix, though. I look forward to her contributions--and wonder if she might be the exceptionally endearing personality Nina mentioned.

Do you think Alex might crush on this one? She is cute!

Love her, love the clothes, hope she does well.

These are the kinds of clothes I love, honestly. I can't wait to see what she can do.

In the immortal words of TLo, PR Season 1--


I like her designs and I know it's a worn out cliche, but I would wear them.


I hope she's on the show long enough to leverage some opportunities from it. I like the simplicity of her portfolio, though however impressive, she seems a little long on potential and lacking in depth of experience. It's as if Christian S. came on the show but without the years of work he'd put into learning the craft.

She made it through a visual arts degree; I don't know if it included the kind of criticism that fashion design programs dish out. Or, being self-taught, if she will pick up quickly enough on how to take advantage of the sometimes confusing critiques the contestants get. (which is a less articulate and specific way of saying what Sewing Siren already said)

You can't always tell from someone's demeanor or age how they'll stand up to pressure - and visual arts programs can be brutal - but I do wonder.

What first popped into my mind when comparing her portfolio to others is that she is a much better model than most of those "models" the other designers had!

Love the blouse she was wearing for her interview -- can we assume she made it? The detail at the neckline is beautiful.

I worry that she will be chewed up and spit out, but she seems very lovely. I hope she does well.

quigley (the cat)

Delighted to see someone with refined, classic clothing. I expect that her background in printmaking shoud prove interesting if she turns out to have staying power.

quigley (the cat)

oooof. damn computer. it doesn't like to type in the midde of the night.


She had me at "schoolgirl uniforms." Meow. Fingers crossed for this little sweetie...

Could this be the one Nina says is "endearing"?

I like her sensibility and her visual arts degree experience should help here. I hope she stays long enough (or longer) to create a little buzz for herself.

It's nothing short of amazing that she taught herself in as little as six months. But I'm more that a bit confused as to why they chose her--i like her work, but you can buy clothes just like them in malls all over the place. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I smell a new Alex! fixation.

Goodbye, Dr. Whitfield!

I agree, her design sensibility is great and she's done very well with such little sewing experience, but I'll also be surprised if she makes it very far. Wait until they have to sew some difficult material like spandex and she has to figure out how the overlock machine works. On the other hand, if I was her, from the moment I heard I was on the show, I would spend every minute I could practicing on different machines with different materials and techniques. Plus, read all the books she can on sewing and design. (And then leave them home, of course. hee hee) Actually, I don't understand why all the contestants don't do this. It seems like the obvious thing to do.

I hope she can keep up with the more experienced designers. The girl has gumption though - to be so "green" and be willing to jump into the pressure cooker. Is it possible that she's not that familiar with PR since her experience is more in visual arts? Does she know what she's getting into?

I hope she's got thick skin! At least it seems her ego is not overly invested in this career choice so she might be able to absorb criticism/comments into her learning curve and not take them as personal attacks.

It would be nice to see her really grow like Jay did in Season 1.

Polly Glot

she looks adorable and her style is very tailored, simple and structured. I think she's a filler though. She'll be auf'ed (sp) in no time.

Dorothy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

She's just adorable. However she does not seem incredibly articulate and I picture her doing the nervous giggle when she is asked to defend her design.

I see La Nina turning her into a puddle with one raised eyebrow,.

I was all set to dismiss her, but (to use the cliched judging standard) I would buy everything in her portfolio. It's chic, elegant, on trend, feminine with a slight edge. Love her fascination with school uniforms. I agree with Tim, that she has a great future in the industry, whether she wins PR or not.

And she's a RISD grad. She probably has more experience working with unusual materials than people who go through a fashion design program. In any case, her RISD background will serve her well. She's clearly got a good eye and very sophisticated taste. You go, sweetheart.

Anna is a tough one to predict how she'll do...she seems a bit meek...but I sense she has an inner strength and level head that will drive her through. Her style is very Barney' Nick mentioned...which is safe...perhaps too safe.

I hope she brings more of her graphic design experience into her the stitching she did on the tee...that could be very interesting...kind of like what Irena tried to do with her graphic tees for FW...but better.

I'll predict she'll fly under the radar for a bit because she's not "out there" and she has technical sewing skills...but she will get eliminated mid point because she's not "interesting" enough. I'm reminded of Louanne to an extent...she seemed meek at first too, and was invisible for awhile...that did her well...hmmm, maybe the same for Anna??? Anna's Barney's POV isn't all that new/fresh though...Louanne's was.

In hope she'll stick around, I'd love to see WI represent. I love her classic taste. I really believe that she had all the resources to get what she needed to learn more before the show started taping, and she certainly seems to be the type of person who works hard, so I have faith in little Pollyanna here.

I'm more concerned with her experience and skill level, considering how new she is to the field, than her personality. Carol Hannah was a sweet li'l thing, and she did all right.

Of course, maybe she has sewn for years and just started designing? I can't view the videos, so I don't have the full scoop on her.

Ellen M, she said she taught herself to sew in the year previous to PR 7's casting. It seems like her skills are fairly advanced. I find that impressive, if only because she's apparently not afraid to challenge herself, and try to move to the next level quickly.

Her clothes are simple, but really lovely. The "school uniform" influence scared me a little, having worn real uniforms for 8 years. :) But I like her interpretation.

Her shyness might be a problem during judging. But she could be tougher than she appears to be. I'm interested in seeing how she holds up.

A little too minimalistic for my taste, but she's very sweet.

Learning to sew isn't *that* hard, especially if you are a good visual learner (to follow pics with directions). The sewing involved in her portfolio doesn't look that complicated. It's the details she's added or slight changes she has made that show her creativity. It will be interesting to see what she can do with fitting bodies that aren't similar to hers.

She didn't just sew the clothes; she designed them. It's not as if it's easy to teach yourself how to sew and design well enough to get a spot on Project Runway, all in 6 months' time.

she does have a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. granted, it's in prints but geez, she has a solid design basis.

She's adorable and I don't care what her clothes look like.

Oh my God, how did this girl get on PR? I'm having flashbacks to last season.

Yeah, right. Tim Gunn, and Nick & Zoe, are BEYOND impressed with her feat, but what do they know? You on the other hand are so certain that you can teach yourself to saw and do it well enough to be chosen among hundreds of contestants to be in project runway that if you haven't done it yourselves is because it's easy to the point of boring. Good luck to you mega-talented people...

I am so conflicted! Should I root for RISD grad Anna or Mass art grad Maya Luz? (family connections to those schools all over the place.) Anna's basic training in 2D and 3D design probably made the difference.

Here's a link to the RISD fashion students recycling challenge. ( I hope this works) It's sort of a cross between the Gristede's and Waste management challenges of the past.

Guess that link won't work. Whoops. Still looking.

6 months? Bullshit. I have had a couple of kids on So You Think You Can Dance and so many of the contestants lie about how long they've been dancing so they'll appear to be some sort of prodigy.
I am not buying it for a second, but she IS one to watch I think.....

Suzanne--you obviously are not from Wisconsin. If she said 6 months--it was 6 months. She probably had some very basic sewing experience from middle school or such--but construction, tailoring, pattern making---REAL sewing not cloth butchering---that would and could fit in six months. She'll be fine--she is obviously very nice but she'll also be a tireless worker and won't sit around chit chatting with anyone as we have often seen. I guarantee, time management will not be a problem. Not with a mid-west kid.

Her designs are incredibly boring. There's nothing to them. At all.

It seems (from the EW article on Time Gunn, and some of the comments there) that she's taking heat for "pretentiously" describing herself as an artist. . . but when someone has a BFA in printmaking and is sidestepping into fashion design, "I'm an artist moving into fashion" sounds more like the literal truth than pretension.

I like her, and am utterly pleased when self-taught people can actually sew instead of whining on about how a fashion degree is just a piece of paper. I'm concerned, though, that she just doesn't have the experience -- for instance, her session with Tim from the first challenge highlighted that she was going for a specific effect, but just wasn't sure how to execute it technically. She's not going to have time to fiddle and make mistakes.

(And as for the learning curve. . . if you know how to learn, and have the time, and have access to the equipment and to a knowledge base (all plausible for a RISD grad), you can learn a ton in a short amount of time. But things like "how long will this really take" and "what can't I rush" and keeping stretch fabric from puckering and that sort of thing, those seem to be more things one just needs experience for.)

I just hope this is overall positive for her.

She seems great, and I'm looking forward to seeing how she does.

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