NC State’s Justin LeBlanc survived another round of Project Runway last night, advancing with an hourglass-shaped sleeveless dress with insets that appeared to be designed to mimic the night’s theme of bow ties.
But LeBlanc made a fashion statement of a different kind with a bow tie he chose to wear to the runway show along with his trademark gray cardigan — a handmade green-and-yellow tie embroidered by his friend and fellow NC State professor Katherine Diuguid.
Diuguid and LeBlanc were co-faculty advisors for the College of Design’s Art2Wear show this year, and Diuguid says she made the bow tie for LeBlanc as a thank-you gift. Her creation incorporated the theme of the Art2Wear show, which focused on natural materials.
“I digitally printed photos of moss and lichen and then embroidered on top of the print with cotton and metal threads,” says Diuguid, who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Design. During the show, LeBlanc tweeted, “Make sure you check out my bow tie that I am wearing! Made by Katherine Diuguid! Amazing designer!”
For this week’s Project Runway challenge, the reality-show contestants were given a roomful of bow ties and asked by create a look that used at least one of them in a non-traditional way.
LeBlanc’s design didn’t win the challenge, but he wasn’t in the lowest-scoring group either. As his model walked the runway, LeBlanc didn’t seem entirely happy: “It doesn’t have the impact I am hoping for.” (But after the show was over, three of the remaining 12 contestants voted LeBlanc’s dress the top look of the show.)
In the end, requisite drama was supplied by a surly Russian contestant who stalked off the show and out of the building, making obscene gestures at the camera, after complaining he didn’t get enough feedback from the judges. Whew! Everyone else was safe.
Next week, the remaining contestants will face off again. We’ll be there.
–Sylvia Adcock ’81