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Project Runway Season 7: Meet Ping Wu

Cannot wait - CAN. NOT WAIT. Until you guys see this one.


Ping Wu
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

Favorite designer(s)?
Issey Miyake, Hussein Chalayan, Yohji Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons and BLESS.
Current occupation?
Physical therapist and fashion designer/business owner of Ping Wu Design Studio.
What is a fashion must?
Reflect the time!
What is your design training?
Eight months at Istituto Marangon ai in Milan, Italy. Internships at Luisa Beccaria and BLESS.
What are your strengths as a designer?
Expertise in body and movement science, multiculturalism and a colorful personality.
What's influenced your designs over the years?
My mom's simple elegance, my search for solutions to life's daily problems and Chinese Zen spirit.
What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?
For my collection I prefer organic natural fibers, but I'd love to work with high-tech materials too.
Do you prefer patterns or solids?
It depends on the look I want to achieve, and the materials I have.
What are your favorite colors?
They are all equally expressive and beautiful. Different colors give you different moods.
Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?
I think all the final winners deserve their titles.


"My name is 'Ping,' like a ping pong ball and 'Wu,' like ... woo." Kittens, we saw the first episode and believe it or not, that sentence sums her up perfectly. To rephrase something we said earlier this week, think of her like this: Imagine if Elisa Jimenez came from China. It's the same sort of complete obliviousness to the world around her and other people's opinions, coupled with a fierce individuality and sense of design.


We love Zoe's expressions here because that hat? Brilliant, and yet deceptively simple.

Let's check the portfolio:









Project Runway has had its share of Asian-born designers, but none whose designs have such a strong Asian influence. That's a good thing as far as we're concerned. Trust us when we say, even if her clothes are not your thing, she really brings something to the table. A fascinating, cerebral yet common-sense approach to design, a COMPLETELY unique personality, true multiculturalism, and a high entertainment value. Just watching Tim trying to navigate her brain is priceless.


More on Ping Wu at myLifetime.com.


[Photos: efu.com.cn/elw.com.cn/fashiontrendigest.com/myLifetime.com - Videos: myLifetime.com - Q&A: myLifetime.com]


Post a Comment
68 comments:

It's nice to see something besides tiny tight black dresses be the central theme of a design portfolio.


Just a glimpse of the fabulous Korto is not enough!

I love Ms Woos excitement about her designs.


Her designs are a bit like... Diana Eng meets Elisa imo. Hopefully she'll be able to make it work in the first few weeks!


J'ADORE Darlings! I hope Miss WOO! here stays for a while <3


I thought of Diana Eng as well, and not in the least because they're both of Asian background. I love her technical/architectural approach to her designs and I think she will make her time on the runway memorable!

I seriously hope that the Lifetime crew will not prune out the fringe-ier designers in the first two episodes this season. Even if their aesthetic won't sell at the Gap, they add a little texture that the mainstreamers don't bring.

And....Korto was there! MWAH!!


When I first saw her picture I instantly thought of VictorYA because of the look on her face, but if she's more of an Elisa at least we have wackyness guaranteed...


Ping Woo appears to be what Season 6's Malvin Vien claimed to be.

Remember....Malvin's influences were "Vagabonds, beatniks, travels in rural China, Japanese ghost stories and insect anatomy." And he said his style icon was "the farmers of rural China"?

Anyway, if Ping! could design anything for Michelle Obama, it would be a Snuggie.

How would you dress first lady Michelle Obama?

I would like to design a pajama-blanket for her to have some quality relaxing time at home.


First of all, she's gorgeous, and second, I WANT THAT HAT. NOW.


I like her portfolio. It seems like they have some variety this season, as Lisa says, not just tiny black dresses (or "pretty dresses"). Between Ms. Wu and Lynette, they have something fresh and different.

I think the comparisons to Diana Eng come because Ms. Woo is also a brainy designer and you can see her cerebral approach in her designs. I like that her designs appear to move well, too. (I am unable to view the videos, so I'm just going by the still photos.)

Oh, Pamela Ptak also has some different looks in her portfolio. At last, three (or more)designers who are not emulating the mainstream.


ooo, she's already my favorite!


I love her to pieces already! The hat is adorable and so is she. Love the clothes too. I hope she stays a good long time. Absolutely adorable, she is. Wu as in woo. How cute is that??


That hat is so much fun, I would love one! Her personality is adorable - she will be a riot to have in the work room!


Calling it now, she has got to be the ├╝ber-endearing one that La Nina spoke of in her interview.


Wow. I LOVE her! Can't wait to see what she can do... she's so different from everyone else. Hope she goes far. =) Woooooo.


A. I love that she is a knitter.

B. I love everything BUT the hat.


I thought she meant "ooh", not "woo". Not that it matter, she seems cool regardless.


Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love her more....

Who's your supermodel muse?
Martha Graham, the mother of American modern dance. I could only dream of her modeling my clothes.

One word: Awesome. I hope she wins.


I really hope she lasts for a while. I want to see her work with more luxe fabrics.


Am i the only one who just loves Chinese accents? One of my professors in college was from China and I just loved the way she spoke.


Things that are really and truly different. How refreshing! and many of these designs would look good on multiple body types.

I am usually drawn to the classics, but this has (in the words of our treasured Tim Gunn) me intrigued.

I like it! And that crazy hat will be ripped off in a thousand ways, mark my words!


LOVE HER!!! Shes so happy and excited, and you can imagine a dancer wearing her clothes and how they would flow with the body. Ping for the WIN!


I love her and totally agree with your thoughts on her. I see her being great to watch and it's obvious she thinks about what's she's doing, so I can imagine her bringing a lot to the challenges and really following through with the mandates in smart, creative ways. Hopefully when you guys talk about her obliviousness, that doesn't mean she doesn't take well to criticism or the challenges or anything, I hope she stays a long time. Also, yay for Korto!

@ Anonymous 7:22:
Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love her more....

Who's your supermodel muse?
Martha Graham, the mother of American modern dance. I could only dream of her modeling my clothes.

One word: Awesome. I hope she wins.


YES! That is fabulous and I'm excited she even referenced Graham.

I'm loving that Ping has so many varied skills and interests and I'm totally excited to see what she does, given the Martha Graham comment and training in physical therapy it'll be cool to see how she thinks about movement in her design.


"I thought of Diana Eng as well, and not in the least because they're both of Asian background. I love her technical/architectural approach to her designs and I think she will make her time on the runway memorable!"

Yeah, and also because she seems to want her garments to be able to "transform" through the use of design and so on.


I actually really like these clothes. Then again I love clothes with Asian influences by people who really know what they're doing.


She's a really interesting person and hopefully that will translate well into her designs. I want to see more than knots and fabrics flowing.


Bonus points for modeling her own designs in front of Tim and everybody. I'm rooting for her.


"Tlo said: Just watching Tim trying to navigate her brain is priceless."




I can see that already, just from the look on his face at the audition. (Though his funniest response so far has been to the crotch doily).

And that hat was fun. Will she be the Mad Hatter of this season (or will she be the Alice)?

--GothamTomato


I really like "Wu as in woo", which is what I'm going to call her from now on. Such a cool personality, and while her designs aren't really my thing, they're very interesting. I'd like to see her stick around for a while!


Many people on Ravelry (a fiber arts web group) are really excited about her.
I hope she posts a pattern for the hat.


She is a stand out contestant.
I hope she makes it to the end, I would love to see a Bryant Park collection from her.


Oh, I just adore Ping. What a bright and effervescent spirit. Her clothes are awesome --- fresh, functional and whimsical. Love the hat and look #2. I hope she get's to stay on for a while because I can see her lighting up both the workroom and runway with her vibrant personality and designs.

edina


Haha I thought I heard her say "Wu like...'wool'" though. Anyways, I'm excited! Very interesting designers, unlike season 6


kjt said: "Many people on Ravelry (a fiber arts web group) are really excited about her.
I hope she posts a pattern for the hat."

Even if she doesn't post the hat pattern on Ravelry, you just know there'll be a bunch of knitters who'll be watching that audition tape 47 times in a row trying to sort out the hat. I wouldn't be one of them, of course. :) (By the way, what's the group that's discussing her? A PR group, I assume?)

Anyway, love her! Her collection pieces are intriguing, I love the variety of fabrics/colors/prints she uses, and her personality seems truly unique. And the expression on Tim's face was just priceless during her entire hat presentation; it's hard to bewilder Tim quite that much for quite that long, but she certainly achieved it. I hope she stays around for a while; I'd love to see what she can produce.


I am really liking what I see from these designers so far. Very excited for the new season.


How would you dress first lady Michelle Obama?

I would like to design a pajama-blanket for her to have some quality relaxing time at home.
Sounds like Ping & TFS's James-Paul would get along.


PING! PING! PING!

With each new "Introducing" post, I have a new favorite. I can't watch videos, but I love Ping's clothes. I'm rooting for her!!!


AND I love that her models are barefoot. I have long wished for a PR designer who skipped shoes.


SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


I'm not sure how her tailoring skills are, but from her portfolio, there are enough points of interest in each look (without it being over-worked) to keep me curious about what she'll put out. The good thing is that she doesn't look like she's going to stick shitty frou frou on her clothes to cover up bad design.

Also am looking forward to seeing what she puts out for the unconventional-materials part of the competition...


RachaelHughes

MyFawny said...

How would you dress first lady Michelle Obama?

I would like to design a pajama-blanket for her to have some quality relaxing time at home. Sounds like Ping & TFS's James-Paul would get along.



LOL Ohmygod I forgot about James-Paul.


Looking at her work, I'd say she has a better idea of what asymmetry means than any of the folks on LML. She totally gets that asymmetrical design doesn't have to manifest itself as a Wilma bodice.


How could you forget James-Paul. His black origami "suit" was the ONLY winning design that sold out on www.ShopBravoTV.com

TampaBay


That hat is friggin awesome


LOVE her! What a fun personality - she seems to take a lot of joy in her work. I think she'll be fun to watch :-)


Finally got to watch vids. I want that hat!!! Also Tim's look as he watches her demonstrate the hat are priceless.


Woo hoo! Love her and her designs. It's so refreshing to see something besides little tight short pretty dresses and Wilmas. Rooting for Ping!


Maybe I'm odd, but I LOVE those clothes! Love them! Beautiful! Bright without being tacky. Not tight but not shapeless but not asexual. Love them.


Gotta say that I love anyone who names Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto among her favorite designers! And by looking at her portfolio, I completely can see why they're listed there.


Well she does seem likeable.
But some of her answers were so vague generic non-answers.

I DESPISE the missing crotch on her JP-MALVIN-like bottoms.


Go Ping!!!!!!!!!


She's lovely, isn't she?

Sometimes -- and I hate to say it -- I don't understand Tim's point of view at all.

I didn't think that wonderful sweater/tunic was too much with that pant, do you?

He did say in a recent interview that this season he receives a lot of pushback from the designers... (can't recall his exact wording for it, but one can imagine).

Can't wait!


Man, I wish I could see all this videos. It's times like these that it sucks to be in Canada.


She is gorgeous, and I am really diggin' her portfolio.


She's like that girl on "launch my line" that tries to make a skirt into a vest. but instead of using snaps, she uses her brain and a little innovation.


Interesting portfolio and engaging personality. I like how you put it: complete obliviousness to the world around her. A good way to describe a certain quirky imaginative type. Ari Fish had that for example. But in the case of Ping Wu, what's fascinating is that she seems to manage to be simultaneously whimsical and down to earth, which in design terms appears to translate into an attractive practical edge to otherwise conceptual creations (that hat…). One to watch. Hope she lasts.


She's very engaging. Her clothes seem to be made with a good understanding of bodies and movement and look better in motion than still.

Her work seems so different from what usually does well in the PR competition that I can't wait to see her at work.


!!!!WANT!!!! The sweater she was wearing... and the pant or skirt thing... I haven't lusted after wanting to actually own a garment on PR (and I've been a fan since the beginning of the series) since Kara Janx' wrap dress... Her clothes look artful, yet real - and as if women with ample curves could wear them as well as runway models.


Hmmm. The portfolio is much more...boring than I expected. I want to see more. I feel like this isn't her.


This may be picky, but I feel like what you meant to say is that "Project Runway has its share of American born Asian designers", I believe as far as I know that Ping Wu is actually the second Asian born designer on the show, second to of course Marlan, from Taiwan.


InF said...

This may be picky, but I feel like what you meant to say is that "Project Runway has its share of American born Asian designers",


You may feel like we meant to say something other than what we wrote, but in fact, we meant exactly what we wrote. Chloe Dao was born in Laos and Victorya Hong was born in Korea.

You're right about one thing, though: it was pretty picky.


Shania Sprain

Desertwind, I do personally think that top was too much with the pants, but that is the point of fashion - having different things out there to satisfy different tastes. Yes, in the Fashion industry you do have to meet a certain threshhold of taste, but beyond that it's really all about what people like and what they like enough to buy. There is no right or wrong.

I do agree that Tim has gotten a little ridiculous and heavy-handed these days. This is no doubt due to everyone calling him things like "Saint Tim," the greenlighting of his terrible show, all the hoopla over his catchphrases, etc. The fact is, he's just a man, with only his opinion. He is not the end-all, be-all of fashion and he is
definitely not always "right." I wish he would tone it down too - he seems so busy trying to create his own little soundbyte rules that he's now spouting crap about fashion needing to fit in taxis that just doesn't even make sense. There are many levels of design, and not everything needs to be marketable to Liz Claiborne. I'm not surprised more designers push back this season - he's gotten really stuffy and, dare I say it - intolerable.


LOVE her stuff.
The hat really is genius!
"It does tricks!"
LOL


The comparison to Elissa is way off base and wrong.

Ping seems to be a genuine genius, and she seems very charming and connected to those around her. She looks brilliant. A winner!


Pings clothes are crap! no sewing looks like rags, she should have gone home!


I LOVE her design in episode 1 of Project Runway. I think your design gives me a sense of Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garcons), but still has an unique aspect of her own creation!


I don't understand how she could have gotten away with making an outfit that showed her model's butt crack (in the burlap bag challenge). I've seen even more talented and meticulous designers than her leave the show...it's about time that she gets auf'd as well.


Long live Ping Wu!


ok- i have to comment about ping wu.... she is out there yet it translates as unique and special. Her design sense is not practical yet there is something interesting in the look of her clothing. It reminds me of art more than ready to wear and for that reason i think she has something. If her construction skills were to improve i can see her doing some fantastic futuristic clothing. I can also see her doing costume designs for futuristic films. I think she has had a bad rep because she is eccentric and unconventional, yet i see her doing great things!!!





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