Chelsey Carter, Project Runway designer, epitomizes effortless cool

In the Project Runway sheer design challenge, Chelsey Carter was eliminated. Although she faltered that week, Chelsey made a definite impact this season.

Project Runway season 18 is pushing the fashion envelope. Chelsey Carter , from Chicago, proved that she is, and will continue to be, a force in the fashion world. While many people felt that her time was cut too short, fashionistas could borrow much inspiration from her designs and determination.

Although she was a little quiet in the first couple of challenges, Chelsey started to make a big impression in the Goodwill challenge and won the Heritage challenge. Those two moments seemed to capture the idea of effortless cool. That description is more than just a design aesthetic. In some ways, it is a lifestyle approach.

Looking at Chelsey’s brand, Alex Carter, there are some aspects that fans might not have seen on this Project Runway season. While many people loved her wide-legged, exaggerated pants, her outwear is fashion forward. From interesting shapes to playing with textures, her recent outwear pieces seem to set her apart.

While Chelsey struggled in the sheer design challenge, her final runway look was an improvement over the initial concept. Although her pivot was huge, that change wasn’t necessarily a bad choice. More importantly, she owned her look and its short-comings.

Even though the episode ended with Chelsey being sent to the workroom, many Project Runway fans are hoping that Christian uses his save to bring her back. Although no one knows for sure, the after show videos on Bravo seem to hint that a surprise could be around the corner.

After last week’s Project Runway episode, Chelsey graciously answered some questions about her experience. Here is what she said to Culturess.

Culturess: Did you think that the personal pressure impacted your ability to handle the Project Runway challenges?

Chelsey Carter: Absolutely not, the pressure stemmed from the impact of the conditions of the show itself. I had handled seven challenges at this point; it could be handled.

Culturess: For the non-fashion designer, why is designing with sheer fabrics so difficult?

Carter: Finishings are hard to do. Pending your fabric selection, it can be easy to disguise those finishings/manipulations or not. Given enough time, it is not difficult at all.

Culturess: What was your favorite your challenge of this season?

Carter: Heritage — learning more about who the designers are, both as a contestant and a viewer — helps to better understand their decision making.

Culturess: Was there a particular style, direction or theme that you wish that you had the opportunity to present on Project Runway?

Carter: Avant Garde.

Culturess: Do you think that Christian’s mentorship was helpful or too blunt?

Carter: It was helpful! It would have been nice to get more time to talk with Christian on and off camera.

Culturess: If given the opportunity, would you participate in Project Runway again?

Carter: Possibly. [You] never know what the future holds. I felt like I was sent home early and wanted to continue with the competition.

Culturess: What is next for you and/or your brand?

Carter: Loads!!!!! Stay tuned!!!!

Project Runway season 18 airs on Bravo, Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET.

Chelsey Carter is part of Alex Carter, a Chicago-based fashion brand.

Next: Tyler Neasloney, a fashion designer with a clear point of view
Do you think that Chelsey might be saved by Christian in the upcoming Project Runway episode? What was your favorite Chelsey look this season?
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