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Project Runway Season 7: Meet Maya Luz

Darlings, we're bloated and cranky, like everyone else post-holidays. Let's prejudge!

Maya Luz
Age: 22
Hometown: Santa Fe, NM

Favorite designer(s)?
Raf Simons for Jil Sander, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Vivienne Westwood or Malcolm McLaren in the '70s.
Who was your favorite past Project Runway designer?
Leanne Marshall
What is a fashion must?
Red lipstick, and safety pins.
What fashion faux pas drives you crazy?
Juicy Couture velour tracksuits, wearing tights with ballet flats, and most of all, UGG boots.
What is your design training?
Design training? BFA in Fashion Design from Massachusetts College of Art; interning in London with designer Hannah Marshall.
Have you won any awards related to design?
Gen Art, finalist in the Avant-Garde category for Styles 2009 competition.
What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
Leather, patent leather, wool, jersey and metal.
Do you prefer patterns or solids?
Both, depending on the design.
What are your favorite colors?
Black, white and red.
Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back for your season?
Designing for Lindsay Lohan.

Maybe it's the Kenley hair, but we were kind of hoping she'd be a bitch. She seems distressingly low-key, though. On the other hand, she comes across laser-focused.

Well, she's definitely got a point of view. We'll be bored if this proves to be it for her color palette. Love the purse. Everything else is slightly interesting, but needs to get away from that fashion student feel that so much of her stuff has.

More info on Maya Luz at

[Photos: Conor Doherty via - Videos: - Q&A:]

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Great purse! Although it might be a challenge to go through airport security with it...

We are faux pas friends! I would also like to add wearing active wear (yoga pants) for any other reason than being active.

I hope she learns to love other colours and she brings a bit of snark/sass to the runway!

I love that colour scheme and the passive aggressive deconstruction, though one piece reminded me horribly of a bathrobe. Still, of she branches out a bit she could last awhile.

Erm, I mean if she branches out a bit. Typo.

I hate black tights with white dresses. Really like her individual pieces. Cannot wait for the start of Season 7 PR.


Oh please, there's nothing wrong with tights and ballet flats.

My thoughts:

She has a great figure.

Those are my favorite colors too!

I hope she makes it to the avant-garde challenge. If she was a finalist in that category in a competition, she might a) have a better sense of what it means, and b) create something interesting.

What's wrong with wearing tights with ballet flats?

I need that purse! And I am guilty of the sins she mentions... I think this means we can't be friends.

Purse looks great - but based on the rest of her portfolio, I suspect that she will be a Kenley of S7, in one sense. That being: when Kenley was good, she pretty much just copied current trends for her design without really adding anything (else than fugly 80's looking prints). Maya seems to have a good grip of what's "in", but I have difficulty telling whether these looks represent her personal style. Which is the problem I have with Hannah Marshall as well - her clothes aren't bad, but they're boring as hell.

That having been said, Maya looks fabulous and hopefully she DOES have a point of view. And if she's a bitch, let's pray she's an entertaining one.


What the hell is on those models' eyes?

I give her props for the (I assume) carefully arranged color framing her on the bed at the end of the audition tape. Attention to detail pays.

Liked the short jacket she modeled in the casting session, and the white "deconstructed" dress that we saw only on the hanger in that segment. Though my preference for "clean" means I'd like it even more if it were philosophically not deconstructed and there were no dangling threads. Liked the purses, as well.

For someone right out of fashion school, I think she's good - and I much prefer her fashion school pretensions to some of the more intellectual ones we've heard on screen before. I will be very impressed if she makes it to the end - it doesn't seem as if she has the depth of experience to survive.

And ya know, if he weren't such a hard working soul, I'd find Mr. Siriano far more annoying than I do.

G-d, I LOVE that purse! That is insanely fabulous. One part biker, one part Wile E. Coyote: J'adore!

I also really like her portfolio. This one is one to watch.


The eyewear looks like old fashioned welders goggles trimmed with milliners net.

Bouche de Noel, Sewing Siren?

As for the matter at hand, she looks like one to watch.

I like her.

I like the textures of the clothes quite a bit, although like TLo, I hope that won't be the entirety of her color palette. I also hope she brings a bit of sass, although even if she just continues to be fabulous and super-focused, that's fine too.

That purse is fucking fabulous.

Is it just me or do all of her clothes look like Lady Gaga costumes?

What's wrong with wearing tights with ballet flats?

I suspect she might see tights with ballet flats as very twee. As for the rest on her fashion faux pas list, I totally agree! Can we start a campaign against UGG boots?

She shows promise as a designer and as a contestant, but I've responded more to other designers we've already met. However, I was completely wrong last season, so I'm just going to wait until after the first episode or so to make my judgments!

i think with the time constraints a lot of the young designers will have to drop the student work aesthetic, everything here looks really time consuming.

I'm kinda digging her and I ADORE that purse.

I love the clothes and want them all. Need to update my tetanus shots for the purses tho'.

I get the impression from the first video that she wants exposure to be the next porn star. She almost has sex with the camera.

I would love to have one season of PR where they CANNOT use black! Please!

I like her. I hope she does well, though I have a feeling she may go the way of Louise Black. Very defined style, but very intricate workmanship that won't translate to the time constraints. I actually like the 'glasses' on the eyes of the models. It's commonly used in online graphic design forums for ammeatures to make the person 'anonymous'. And I love the ball and chain bags.

Good collection. She will be interesting.

A comment and a question:

For those of you who hate UGG boots, may those of us in snow country please get a pass? We don't wear them for fashion but for (gasp!) neccessity. And they are really, really good at keeping our tootsies warm and dry in the snow drifts.

Since I know little about the fashion world other than my exposure to PRW and PRG, the white dress with the fabric "petals"is invocative of LeeAnn Marshall. So did LeeAnn actually invent them, or were they out there and she happened to be the one who got the national exposure? Just wondering if everyone is 'copying LeeAnn' or if it a fashion thing many people work with (like a wilma dress).

I immediately liked her and her designs. I agree that she does have that design student vibe going but this may be a great chance to grow if she listens and takes criticism well. Lots of love for the bags!!!!

The minute I saw her list of faux pas I placed her on my watch list. Why do people insist on wearing Raquel Welch circa One Million Years B.C. slipper boots to work and then scuffing along without picking up their feet???!!!... OK, I'm ranting... and rompers, god, I hate the word romper and the thought of a woman "cute" in her romper. Babies and toddlers wear f-ing rompers.

Ahem, anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do. Sometimes the ones I like turn out to be one big disappointment.

She's my favorite if only for the sheer awesomeness of that purse. If she does more stuff like that, she'd be one to watch out for, definitely!

She'll do great if there's a "design for The White Stripes" challenge! :D

Maybe someone here can answer a question I've had over several seasons:

What exactly does "fashion student feel" or "student work aesthetic" or "design student vibe" REALLY mean????

Brooklyn Bomber said...
Bouche de Noel, Sewing Siren?

Yes. It's the dreaded Log. Note the plastic salamander on the lower left corner which was the last minute addition by one of my sons. I don't know why the computer fliped the picture sideways, it looks more like a yule tree now.

I love the cape; I love the leather jacket. Yeah, she needs to get away from the red/black/white, but I think she has potential. And she's from Boston. MA College of Art reprezent!

PS - I'd love to know how she constructed those bags.


I absolutely fell in love with Maya's collection of purses. I'm also really liking several pieces in her portfolio. As others have posted, there is a certain fashion student vibe to her work. However, I also think that her aesthetic is quite strong and specific to her own personal tastes. If she is as good as we think then I could see her refining her work over time as she matures and attains more experience in the industry. Can't wait to see her attack those challenges.


" Gorgeous Things said: PS - I'd love to know how she constructed those bags."

Yes, I was thinking that I'd love to see what the inside of one looks like.


SS: "The dreaded Log"

Haha. I've never had one, but it might make a nice PR challenge: an outfit inspired by traditional holiday foods. A latke dress of mohair or shredded facbric? A colorful print fruitcake romber?

Is she going to be what Louise should have been? Can't wait, love her anti-Lohan stance!

I actually disagree with mostly all of the people that said that her clothing looks like fashion student clothing. I think it looks new, fresh and she has her own point of view. She's the one to watch in my opinion and it would be funny if she made it to the end. I have a feeling that when she said "The winner of project runway" on her audition tape that she meant it.

She has tricks under her sleeve.

There's a lot that I like here. I definitely see some Leanne in her style. I just wonder if she'll be able to keep up the details when she's working on a PR schedule. Sooo hoping that if they do an avant garde challenge this year, she'll be around for it (at least one contestant will know what avant garde means!).

Love the purse!

i think i'm going to like her!

@anon, in my experience UGGs suck for snow. while they may be warm they soak up water like nobody's business (and look atrocious once dry)and do not provide necessary traction. i wound up with very wet feet shoveling in the UGG boots my mom bought me. gave them to her after that and invested in something better.

Look! It's Uma Thurman on a Pulp Fiction poster.

Anyone who is anti-Hohan and UGG boots gets a thumbs-up in my book.

I want the purse with the spikes to swing like a bola to knock stupid milling tourists out of my way on the sidewalk.


Anonymous said...

"What exactly does "fashion student feel" or "student work aesthetic" or "design student vibe" REALLY mean????"

While I totally defer to the opinion of some of the posters here who studied in a fashion design program (especially those out long enough to have perspective and/or to have taught students themselves), for me that reaction kicks in when two or more of the following are present:

Clothes that seem constructed to show off the maximum number of techniques per square inch

Clothes that are flashily dramatic but not at all practical, especially multiple pieces in one collection that either are nearly clones of each other or are seemingly entirely unrelated

Clothes accompanied by an over-intellectual explanation, especially for what are fairly commonplace design elements

Clothes that include some dramatic technique or shape (an asymmetrical piece, a hugely draped piece) that looks grafted onto an entirely ordinary (or even shoddy) garment without giving a sense of the outfit being an organic whole

I guess for me it boils down to a collection that doesn't look quite like the designer has really incorporated their techniques into their own identifiable "look."

Also, thought this is maybe outside a student's control, the look of techniques being executed on the "wrong" (usually cheaper) fabric for achieving good results.


P.s. If all I'd seen of this designer were her portfolio, "student work" would not have leapt to my mind, I'd just have thought her work was attractive but over-elaborate and too embellished for my tastes


P.p.s. I'd delete the above p.s. if I could - I was thinking about Ms. King's portfolio with the over-embellishment comments. Sorry.

Zippy said...

I want the purse with the spikes to swing like a bola to knock stupid milling tourists out of my way on the sidewalk.

1/3/10 4:47 PM

So would I! But I've found that in a pinch, any framed bag can pack quite a punch.

Like her already.

Hope she dosen't get the bitch edit.

Come on guys, her clothing are simple. Have you guys even seen overly embellished clothing before? She simply knows her stuff. She knows how to mix the dramatic with the simple and it looks like a wearable yet fashionable thing that I believe women can wear.

It doesn't at all look like student work. Plus the ball chain bag and the glasses are an avantgarde must. This girl got skills. WATCH OUT! I'm telling you guys, she'll be in the end.

1/3/10 2:47 PM " Gorgeous Things said: PS - I'd love to know how she constructed those bags."

Yes, I was thinking that I'd love to see what the inside of one looks like.


I think the bag is put together like a baseball with similar shaped pattern pieces, cut into more pieces and whip stitched back together.

Oh those bags are just killer.

It's as if Tim Burton is her accessories muse.


adding one more yay for the bags.

YAY - those bags are brilliant!

why does she have to "get away from that fashion student feel"? fashion students - and to a lesser extent, students in general - are at an age and a period of different responsibilities and confidences where they can get away with wearing (and designing) the most awesome and bizarre outfits.

i say the rest of the world should be trying to get closer to that fashion student feel, and stepping away from the kmart sales rack.

to Spooki at 4:16 PM

your UGGs must not have been sprayed with water repellant... it is a must.
I have trudged through the snow, gone sledding, and shoveled all in the same day, and my feet stayed warm and dry.
They may not be lovely, but they do work. and you can buy new insoles every year to keep them warm and fuzzy.
But, admittedly, Tim Gunn would shudder at how unfashionable I look as I trudge through the snow in Uggs, a puffy coat, and crazy hat.

Dear Anonymous,

I feel your pain. Tim would likely shudder at the sacks I am forced to wear on a daily basis (asparagus green medical scrubs!) but, alas, there is more to life than fashion.

That being said, the bag is awesome, yet the glasses are definitely too Lady Gaga for me.

For those wondering how the bags were made, in her audition video, when Christian asks about the construction, I distinctly heard her say it was buckram. Buckram is often used in hat-making. It's cotton impregnated with a starch, which allows it to be softened in water, pulled over a hat block, and left to dry into a hard shape. Once she had the base shape in buckram, she could cover and line it however she wanted.

I'm just seeing a bit of one-notedness here, but I thought that about Christian, too, so what do I know? I used to wear a ton of red and black in the '80s. Those colors were big then. So was my hair.

Leanne did not invent "petals"--a type of pleat, I believe--and I think that I've seen them over the years in different collections. She wasn't the first to use them, but used them the MOST, I believe.

Maya Luz (great name) has a lot of potential and POV, but it will be interesting to see if she can fit her aesthetic into the challenges, or just keeps grinding out the same thing every time, like Christopher last season.

Aren't UGG boots suede? I never wear suede when it is wet out. I didn't know that there was a waterproofer that would protect it adequately. I live in the desert of Arizona, so it's never come up.

For me, Tim would be cringing at my (and everyone else's)summer attire: shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. When it is as hot as it gets here, you lose your will to "fashion."

My fave so far and one to watch :) Wish I could view the vids but I am overseas. From her answers and portfolio...I. Love. Her.

So far, I think I like her the most (though I haven't watched anyone's audition tapes). I'm ok with her portfolio being all red-white-back, since it looks like just the one collection, and she claims she's cool with prints; I hope she'll back up that claim in the competition!

I have been seeing the hard clutch+optional chain strap pop up now and again in stores; I've coveted one for a little while now, but it's difficult... maybe if this one had silver/gunmetal hardware?

Don't like her pants, but it's nice that she can do outerwear.

I don't see any safety pins? :p

I'm too distracted with trying to figure out what's wrong with tights and ballet flats to have an opinion on anything.

sorry, i live in minnesota, and i still don't think anyone gets a pass for wearing uggs. but haven't we been complaining about them since 2005? or earlier? but back to the point-i like her style, but i don't get the feeling she'll be versatile enough to make it to the end...what if she has to design for an ordinary person?

"Red lipstick", "safety pins", "Lindsay Lohan" -- UGH. Bo-ring!

Surfers have been wearing UGG boots for YEARS -- at least since the early 80's. Surfer guys and girls wore them in my hometown. They're very functional to keep feet warm after being in the cold ocean. Bettie Page bangs and red lipstick however, no function.

Love the purse but I wish she used more color. I am sick of this all black buisness that we went through last season.

Maya, Amy and Jonathan comprise my pre-season top three. At least so far - some of these designers have next to nothing up on the lifetime website. Looking forward to TLo digging up better intel.

I like her hyper-structured looks, and I'm hoping she'll be able to execute on some of these techniques in a time crunch. Her playful take on fashion slavery is definitely fun.

Just judging by the fact that she's styled her models to look exactly like she does, I think she'll be delightfully self-absorbed and pretentious.

Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back for your season? - Designing for Lindsay Lohan.

I wonder how Ms. Maya felt about designing for Nicole Ritchie?

Also trying to figure out what is wrong with the ballet flat tights combo. All I can think of is that she lives in New Mexico where 1) people do not walk and 2) its not cold. If I lived in a place where my longest walk was from the office to the parking lot I'd never wear ballet flats.

On the bag, while I cannot deny its orginality, I can't help but think "cartoon bomb" everytime I see it.

Also, at first glance I thought she was modelling her own collection. Creepy? No?

another laura

No pass on UGGs from this New Yorker. There are better-looking, less expensive, waterproof options that actually provide support for your arches.

P.S. I got a pair about 8 years ago from my sister as a gift. I do use them, but only to take the dog out for strictly "evacuation" walks. So they have had some use, as outdoor slippers.

Anonymous wrote:

"I'm too distracted with trying to figure out what's wrong with tights and ballet flats to have an opinion on anything."

Me too! I mentioned this earlier as well, but it's still bugging me! Someone said that perhaps she thinks it looks twee. But I don't see how it'd be twee unless it were, like, white tights with black flats... with bows, or flowers, or something else you'd see on a little kid. And in that case, it's really the shoes that are the problem, not the tights. Though I also object to white tights on anyone except children under ten and people in costume.

Black tights with black flats is a perfectly serviceable combo for those of us that have to walk a lot and can't manage heels on a daily basis. So Ms. Luz can suck on it (I'm kidding, I actually like her a lot so far).

As for the (entirely played-out) UGG debate: as far as I'm concerned, those footwear abominations have no place on anyone anywhere. If you live somewhere where it snows a lot and need to keep those footsies warm (I'm from Vermont, I get it), get a pair of Sorels or North Face boots for your money. Simple, functional, inoffensive. Although I guess if someone gave me UGGs as a gift (as a few people have mentioned), I might feel obliged to wear them around the house or something. Or regift them to my soon-to-be-13-year-old cousin.

This turned into way more of a treatise than was originally intended, and I am appropriately embarrassed. TLo, I am sending you all my love and a (belated) happy new year!

Am I the only one seeing Sara Ramirez from Grey's Anatomy when I look at her?

I looooooooove her

I'll root for her just because she went to MassArt, and I have a friend who goes there.

(But I, too, hope her inner bitch comes out and starts wrecking people. She looks like she has it in her.)


"Bettie Page bangs and red lipstick however, no function."

Anon. 3:59 a.m., are you unfamiliar with the concept of "fashion." Most of it has no function.

Jo, I agree that the UGG boot debate is entirely played out, or should be. They're like flip-flops; some people will always wear them, and some people will always hate them. They're comfy and (the knock-offs) cheap.

I like her. You can definitely see her liking Leanne in the noodleness, but she has a smart and classy point of view expressed in some interesting design elements.

Maya Luz is blowin' up in the dime! That purse is crazy like Chinese money!

I don't care that it isn't her real name I'm just call her Eartha Kitt from now until she gets auf'd.

Love her. Love love love. Can't wait to see what she's gonna do.

i loove this designer. As for the fashion school vibe cut her a break she just graduated a few weeks before the season was shot! I agree with her laser focus vibe she seems intense yet mellow at the same time.
Let's all remember this show is cast from many angles talent being only one of them.

Mimi Devereux

This is my kinda designer(as is Hannah Marshall). I'm a Londoner and you can practically smell the London influence (of the Shoreditch kind) in her design. I'd wear all of 'em in a heartbeat.

Sorry, Twinkle, but I do hate you for wearing fur. If you know it's bad (as per your intro video) why on earth do you do it? I hope your empathy catches up with your intellect.

woah. stop hating. you wish she would rework your own boring wardrobes, with scissors, her innovative mind and safety pins....maybe you need some red lipstick too. :) she's awesome, hard working and stealth...just watch, and eat your words.

as far as using black, white and's one collection. wait till u see the tricks up her sleeve.

I also really like her portfolio. This one is one to watch.

Black tights with black flats is a perfectly serviceable combo for those of us that have to walk a lot and can't manage heels on a daily basis. So Ms. Luz can suck on it (I'm kidding, I actually like her a lot so far).

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