What are your swimsuit needs? Either that, or what you really need is to appreciate swimming and swimsuit shopping. Thanks to the Australian version of Project Runway, the two things are now in one place! We caught up with contestant Laura Wallen of Wynand to find out how she survived a move to Oz and developed a fan base of her own (mostly thanks to her swimsuits).
Q: You’re based in Melbourne, Australia. Do you miss anything from New York and, if not, where do you stay if not there?
A: Honestly, I don’t miss New York! Nothing really dovetails to me now other than doing swimwear design, which I can’t even imagine living anywhere else but Australia.
Q: This season of Project Runway Australia was actually shot in Sydney. What are your thoughts on filming in Sydney?
A: Well, it’s a little crazy being in Sydney and not being able to walk all day — which most of New York does! I’ve grown very fond of the city, though, and I’m excited to see what else is out there. I’m constantly running around, so that’s not much of a crowd-pleaser.
Q: How did you come across designer Lisa Frank?
A: Oh man, nothing about Lisa Frank involved! I will forever lose myself in other worlds so this is just the most natural solution.
Q: You were one of the grand prize winners of Project Runway Australia. How did that feel?
A: Man, I could barely breathe. After having shot the final runway show, I was running around all night wearing suits and going to parties. For me, my win meant so much more — it means that all of these swimsuits I’ve designed are making people happy. I consider my win one of the best feelings of my life!
Q: If you could speak to one contestant on Project Runway who you want to meet, who would it be?
A: Definitely the jury. I think they should just watch. I think they’d be blown away by what is being done by Australia.
Q: What is your favorite part of being on Project Runway Australia?
A: Anything involving winners—be it the prize, or the parade around the stadium.
Q: Where is your favorite place to swim?
A: The ocean! But I’ve also found Sydney Harbour to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.