Last season on Project Runway, the nice girl finished first, and Leanne Marshall is still producing, now in a collection with Bluefly.com that becomes available July 8th. The line is Leanne Marshall for Bluefly (she used to design under the name Leanimal, but has now made the permanent switch to her full name) and contains seven pieces total. The look is definitely similar to what she showed at the Bryant Park finale--whimsical and pretty with layering and scalloped details. One of the first differences I noticed though: more color! Two pink day dresses (both under $300) and a tunic that comes in either blue or pink, for $98. She attributed the color infusion to her floral inspiration, opposed to her water-inspired Project Runway collection.
Leanne said that for this collection she was focusing on accessibility, keeping the details more subdued. But she is still going to be designing for the runway, and is already working on a Spring 2010 collection. The clothing was definitely wearable, affordable, and felt amazing to touch (she used eco-friendly material for over half her collection). While winning a nationally watched reality show has changed the designer's life and given her incredible exposure, she wants to always be in charge of her designs and keep the clothing personal and meaningful. "Expectations are high, and that's nerve-racking, but if at the end of the day everybody hates it...as long as I love it, that's all that matters." The Portland native plans to stay in New York for the time being. She mentioned that her mind is always moving, ideas changing every day, so it should be interesting to see what comes next from a designer so inspired by nature, now that she's grounded in a place with a little more concrete than grass. "I got here and it's like, 'Nature? What?'" She joked. Her Fall 09 collection was inspired by the city skyline, though, featuring darker colors and harder edges. We'll be watching to see which road she continues down, urban or natural? Either way, we think we'll enjoy it. --AMANDA JEAN BOYLE