The designers on the reality show were each paired with one of the show’s fans, each of whom won a competition to appear on the show The fans got a makeover and a custom-made look, and the designers each got a chance to work with a so-called “real woman” (Let’s just say no one was a size 2.).
LeBlanc, an assistant professor at the College of Design, first asked his “client” to sign her autograph on a piece of paper. He then used machine-stitched embroidery to “autograph” a dark gray knee-length dress.
The fan who was assigned to LeBlanc is a Mormon and asked that her dress be modest, so he went with a simple scoop neck and three-quarter length sleeves. And the signature embroidery wrapped diagonally around the dress made it a design that was truly hers alone.
“I want it to be one of a kind, conceptual and modern,” LeBlanc said.
The judges were wowed, and LeBlanc ended up in one of the top three positions. (The winner was a dark blue strapless evening gown.) The original 16 contestants have been pared down to seven. In past seasons, the finale has featured the top three designers left.
LeBlanc made a brief appearance at the Park Alumni Center this morning to help give a presentation on Art2Wear to NC State’s Board of Trustees. In a brief interview, he wouldn’t give up any spoilers about what’s going to happen next.
But when asked about last night’s episode, he said it was “definitely my favorite.”
— Sylvia Adcock ’81