equal4all

Project Runway Showcases Mr. Jesse LeNoir

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, NYC, television on February 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Jesse LeNoir, fashion designer and reality show star. Jesse is an Ohio native who has made it from the Midwest to season seven of Project Runway. As fashion week in New York comes to a close, he gives us an inside look at Project Runway and what it’s like being a fashion designer.

Equal4all: Why did you decide to audition for Project Runway?

Jesse LeNoir: I knew as a designer who hasn’t attended design school, it is really tough to have any credibility or ability to show people what you do; so, I figured that the platform that Project Runway provides was perfect for getting into the industry.

E4A: What do you think Project Runway will do for your career as a fashion designer? 

JL: It is something that I’m hoping will open doors for me to work in the industry under someone I admire, like Tom Ford, or Thom Browne.  And also give me some recognition when I start my own fashion line.

E4A: What is your favorite article of clothing to design and why? 

JL: I love jackets and coats.  I think there’s just so much to them and they really can be the statement piece for an entire look.  I love doing cute dresses, but I think it’s something that I’m good at but so are many other designers.

E4A: If there was something you could change about your performance on the show, what would it be and why? 

JL: My confidence – I think I didn’t sell my work to the judges the way I should have.  I’m finding more and more that I need to just be unapologetic about my work and stand by it and defend it wholeheartedly because I love it completely so nobody can take that away from me.

E4A: What was competing on the show like in comparison to what you thought it was going to be? 

JL: Pretty close to what I expected, except for the talent level I was competing against.  I think the talent in the room was something that was so much stronger than I expected … it was terrifying sometimes.

E4A: What fashion designers do you admire most? Why? 

JL: I love Tom Ford’s work from what he’s done with Gucci, his own line, and now even directing for film – I think he’s truly a visionary and I would love the opportunity to work alongside him and learn from him.

E4A: How do you describe your design style? 

JL: Clean, tailored, and sophisticated.

E4A: Besides you, who do you think was most deserving to win? 

JL: It’s so very hard to pick one person.  I think we all really won being there because we were mostly small designers needing the exposure … so winning the show overall is just icing on the cake.

E4A: Any gossip about the other contestants or the show that you can spill? 

JL: I can’t gossip about other people, that’s just rude … ha ha.  I think the most salacious material will appear on the show so don’t worry.

E4A: Detail what goes through your mind when you are about to be critiqued. 

JL: There’s a certain amount of terror and also just that sort of feeling of having too much to say and not enough time to say it.  I found that I wanted to explain every detail about the design process that I went through and couldn’t so I had to fight to arrange my thoughts to be the most clear and concise.   The adrenaline doesn’t help that thought process either!

E4A: Do you ever feel at a disadvantage because you’re a man and are less familiar with a woman’s shape? 

JL: I think that being a man doesn’t hinder me really.  I think that because when I design, there isn’t any self body image that I’m evaluating the clothes by, so I can really stay focused on the shape of who I’m dressing.  Also, being a straight man I think helps me because I know what I find appealing on a woman and I try to create that.

E4A: How do you feel about the stereotype that all male fashion designers are gay? 

JL: I think there’s definitely a lot of truth to it, but like every rule or stereotype, it’s never 100% accurate.  I think I’m surely a novelty in this industry but there are others and really it doesn’t matter either way.  It’s about the work; an engineer isn’t any better or worse because of his/her sexual orientation so why should this be any different?

E4A: How do you compare yourself to the past Project Runway winners? 

JL: Eh?  I’m doing my own thing for sure.  I think Jeffrey is someone that people would compare me to, but my style is totally different.

E4A: When it came time for you to choose a model, what were you looking for? 

JL: Something interesting in their face that inspired ideas in me.

E4A: What was the best compliment a judge gave you? 

JL:  “I love this look!”

E4A: Who was your favorite celebrity judge? Why? 

JL: Past seasons?  Natalie Portman.  She is someone I would love to dress.  My season?  Probably Georgina Chapman – she was stunning and I like her work.

E4A: Given what you know now, would you compete on Project Runway again? Why? 

JL: Probably; I would definitely be more efficient at it too!  There’s a learning curve for sure.  It’s been a surreal experience overall and something that is an amazing story and novelty in life.

For more information, please go to http://houseofkilroy.com/ or http://jesselenoir.com/

Lindsay Dahlstrom

*Project Runway images provided by of lifetimepress.com*

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

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