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Peach Carr was the first designer eliminated in the second season of Project Runway: All Stars, and she said she was “mortified” over it.
The first challenge called for the designers to split up into two teams and create a mini collection centered around a word: one team chose “bold,” while the other chose “confident.” Carr, a 52-year-old tenniswear designer from lake Forest, Ill., admitted she was out of her element, using fabrics she had never worked with before and creating a design that didn’t really fit with her aesthetic in order to fit with what the rest of her team was creating. While the judges criticized her design, they also faulted her for not defending it more.
After season two premiere aired, Carr talked to The Hollywood Reporter about her elimination, her regrets and what’s next.
The Hollywood Reporter: In the episode, after your elimination, you said you were “mortified” to be the first one out. How hard was it to handle that?
Carr: Think of of how hard it was, and then throw maybe some gasoline and some matches on it. I was mortified.
THR: Do you have any regrets about your design or what you told the judges?
Carr: Yes, of course. I am not making excuses. But here’s the timeline of how things went down that led to this design: When we first started sketching, we were running out of time. It was like herding squirrels out of the middle of the road. We spent so much time trying to find the word, that when we finally got there, we had five minutes to sketch. My design was mod, but I don’t do mod. I do a sports vibe. But it was five against one, and as for my choice of a design — do I spend the last five minutes arguing my points, or do I be a team player? I made the decision to acquiesce.
THR: Do you wish you’d spoken out?
Carr: Last season, I don’t remember whose hand was over the fire for not being team player. This time, I was a team player, and it didn’t work out. Was it a good decision at the time? Who knows? I don’t know. [You don’t know] which decision is riht or wrong until you’re standing on the runway, and it was the wrong one.
THR: Do you think there were worse designs that yours? [Andrae Gonzalo and Suede also were in the bottom three.]
Carr: Oh god yes, of course. The judges didn’t question my taste; they didn’t question my aesthetic. They questioned me defending my garment. I went home because I didn’t defend my garment. But is it better to not go home for defending a garment that wasn’t your aesthetic and vibe, or better to go home for making something that was terrible? Unforunately, I didn’t get to open the season with “This is who I am” in my own challenge since it was a team challenge.
THR: Every designer in every season seems to hate the team challenges. What’s your take?
Carr; In season eight, we won the team challenge, and we won because … we did what we wanted to do and April [Johnston] and Mondo [Guerra] went around, “Why don’t we change the belt to this and trim that?” and they walked around helping make sure everything was uniform and everyone was doing their own thing [while making a cohesive collection]. This was so different. This was not a good team challenge.
THR: How did you become part of Project Runway: All Stars, and why did you want to take part?
Carr: They approached me, and there were several “no’s” because my daughter was graduating from high school. She’s my only child. But she got her high school diploma, walked across the stage, and hours later I was on a plane to New York. I said no for a long time. But I’ve changed so much from season eight to now. I have my own aesthetic, my own vibe, my own business, and to me, all of the people who were so supportive and kind to me over the past two years, I wanted to say how much I appreciated their support, and [show] here’s more of what I’m doing.
THR: What are you workikng on now?
Carr: It’s not [just] tenniswear. There is tenniswear in my collection, but there is also sportswear, ready-to-wear, evening — all stretch and sequins and women-friendly. I do two collections a year; I put on a fashion show last night, and I have one in a couple of week. I’m making my own prints: I took a picture of a dirty window and made a cool grey and yellow print that debuts in two weeks. I’m busy.
THR: Are you glad you went back to take part in All Stars?
Carr: I love Project Runway; I love Lifetime. It didn’t work out for me, but I was honored to be asked, and I made amazing friends.
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