The Art of Fashion
It’s not a surprise that fashion designer Anthony Ryan Auld is trying something new, and this time he’s bringing some of his fellow “Project Runway” alums with him.
On Friday — a year ago to the day of Auld’s winning “Project Runway All Stars” — an exhibit featuring his designs and that of other designers from the fashion-based reality show will open with a preview party at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.
“I’m excited … really excited,” says Auld of the exhibit, “The Art of Fashion: Anthony Ryan.” “It’s a great way to celebrate the first anniversary of my win.
“This exhibit is great for fashion and LASM,” he continues. “The museum hasn’t ever done an exhibit quite like this. This will draw a different crowd, a younger crowd, to the museum and that’s what it’s all about.”
The museum is all about art and science, says curator Elizabeth Weinstein, and few careers marry the two disciplines quite as well as fashion.
The main first-floor gallery features 30 of Auld’s looks.
“There are some from my spring 2014 collection, some from the 2014 fall collection and about five to 10 older looks, including some done while I was in school at LSU,” he says.
On the second floor are some 20 looks from “Project Runway” alumni.
“There’s someone from every season of ‘Project Runway,’ from winners to fan favorites, including Jay McCarroll, winner of the first season,” says Auld. “It’s the first time in the history of the show that there’s been a collective showing.”
Along with McCarroll, featured designers include good friend Josh McKinley, Chloe Dao, Laura Kathleen, Chris March, Dom Streater, Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Kate Pankoke, Korto Momolu, Elena Slivnyak and New Orleans designer Matthew Arthur.
“Of course, Josh wants to come in and the rest depends on who has the time and resources,” says Auld of who will be in town for the party.
Auld describes his spring collection, which debuted at New Orleans Fashion Week, as “Native Reawakening.” It’s an homage to his Native American roots.
“It’s kind of like how would fashion look today if Christopher Columbus never sailed the ocean blue in 1492, but you won’t see any fringe or feathers,” says Auld with a laugh.
He’s also debuting his fall collection, “Life in Darkness,” which is primarily built on black and white.
The party also marks the debut of Auld’s new ready-to-wear knitwear line ANT.
“Pieces will be for sale and order,” says Auld. “It’s a lower price point, ranging from $50 to $150, and features maxi dresses and T-shirts.”
Auld describes the collection as “very casual but easy to dress up. All the prints are semi one of a kind.”
The fabrics, he explains, are designer runoffs — test fabrics — he purchased in New York. At most, only three to five items can make in each print.
And it looks like Auld is only getting started.
Also on the drawing board is ANT Hill, an interiors line featuring pillows, drapes and “things of that nature,” he says, and Little ANT, a children’s line.
While 2013 started off with the great bang of the “Project Runway All Stars” win for Auld, there have been some major hurdles.
For the second time in the 31-year-old’s life, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. To be on the safe side, he underwent two rounds of chemotherapy.
“I’m starting for find my energy again since all that cancer mess,” Auld says. “Emotionally and mentally, I’m getting back on track. All my ideas are slowing getting out.”
Aside from his upcoming collections, Auld is also set to launch the capsule collection for Nine West that was part of his “Project Runway All Stars” prize. He’s designing a handbag and, while he’s coming up with the shape and overall look, he’s leaving the decision on which prints to use to his social media followers.
“We’re going to have the fans vote on their favorites and that will be the handbag print,” says Auld. “There’s still a lot of momentum going (from his win), which I like. The column with Marie Claire ends in January, but I could still see me having a working relationship with them. And, I’ll continue to work with Brother until they get tired of me.”
Another of Auld’s prizes from the show was a top-of-the-line Brother sewing machine. The company has since created a limited edition Anthony Ryan sewing machine.
He may be returning to Lifetime TV in the near future, too. “Project Runway’s” Tim Gunn is launching his own show, “Under the Gunn,” and Auld was approached about being on the debut season.
Unfortunately, he was right in the middle of chemo treatments.
“The timing was just off for me,” he adds. “But there’s always talk of another show, especially with the success of ‘Duck Dynasty’ and all the southern-based shows. But I’m real excited about Tim’s show … I feel real good about where I am right now.”