How Blake Smith Makes It Work

Blake Smith, Designer

Blake Smith, Designer

    Blake Smith may have been the designer who showed the most range on Project Runway’s Under The Gunn.  We especially loved watching Blake demonstrate his amazing signature skill of draping and cutting chiffon to create shape and texture in his garments.  Our favorite garment of Blake’s was from the Red Carpet Challenge in Episode 3, when he created a stunning multi-colored gown in soft pastels.  We are confident that any young starlet would love to wear this piece on The Carpet.  The dress was sold in the Under The Gunn auctions, and some lucky person purchased it for a steal!  We’re sad we missed our chance to own it!  We had the pleasure of catching up with Blake recently, to hear about what’s new and exciting for him since Under The Gunn.


1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in?

Blake Smith, Project Runway:Under the Gunn (Season 1)


2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

My design aesthetic focuses on combining modern, minimalistic and graphic elements with ethereal, heavenly details to create beautifully intricate pieces of wearable art for women who enjoy self-expression through clothing.
Blake Smith Dress Design

Blake Smith Dress Design

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Under The Gunn experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

That’s a toughie… I would say that my personal hardship on Under The Gunn was actually trying to stay true to my design identity each week. I went into each challenge knowing my design capabilities and then figured out how to adapt to the challenge; but it’s a difficult task to be 100 percent true to your own vision whilst trying to please a mentor, Mr. Gunn, and a judging panel.  I found myself proving to be a diverse designer, when the judges wanted to see a severely edited point of view.
Dress Detail from a Blake Smith Design on Under The Gunn

Dress Detail from a Blake Smith Design on Under The Gunn

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Under The Gunn experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

The whole experience opened up amazing networking possibilities with myself and the other designers/mentors. I try to keep up with the majority of my fellow designers, but I have made a long-term friendship with Michelle Uberreste! We have a very similar take on fashion and I would love to collaborate with her to create a beautiful, apocalyptic collection someday!


5.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

I am working full-time designing for the LC Lauren Conrad brand for Kohl’s NYC Design Office, while steadily trying to work on a small capsule collection of my own that I hope to launch later this year.  I also have been working on some garments for private clientele.
LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's

LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s


6.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

I LOVE my super tiny black/white embroidery scissors that were given to me as a gift from Project Runway Season 7 finalist, Mila Hermanovski. They are such a great pair of “snips” to have when you are in a pinch and are very compact and easy to store!


7.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

Keep your eyes open for newness coming your way later this year!  And, you can always follow me on Instagram @royboy8888 or Twitter @royblakesmith for goofy pictures and sassy sayings!
Blake Smith Gown in Progress

Blake Smith Gown in Progress

Special thanks to Blake for taking the time to chat with us.  Blake, we wish you all the best with all your upcoming projects! -C. Scott

All interview text and photo content provided by Blake Smith, unless watermarked, linked, or specified.