MUSICEYES & EDGE

Michelle Franklin premieres on 'Project Runway'

MUSICEYES & EDGE
Michelle Franklin premieres on 'Project Runway'
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[vimeo 58145491 w=500 h=375]The Video Diaries: Michelle Lesniak Franklin from Dominique Fong on Vimeo.Michelle Lesniak Franklin and 100 of her closest friends will be eagerly awaiting her debut on tonight's premiere of "Project Runway" Season 11.Franklin, a 34-year-old fashion designer born and raised in Portland, is, for all of last summer's filming in New York City, quite camera shy. Tonight will be nerve-wracking, she said."I will definitely have a few drinks in me," Franklin said. "I probably will want to make a joke of it, just to ease my tension, so I might ring a bell every time I cry, or do a shot every time Heidi [Klum] wears something tight. We’ll see what happens."Franklin noted on website blog for her line, Au clothing, that last year was a "Rocky Mountain" kind of a year. She was working out of her home before she moved into a studio in a drafty warehouse of Southeast Portland. She made the chilly space more like home, with comfy armchairs, a wall full of drawings by local artists and two dress forms she's named "Greta" and "Lucinda."Since she showed on "Project Runway" -- a show that has often featured designers from Portland, such as Seth Aaron Henderson and Leanne Marshall -- sales have risen and inquiries about custom designs have rolled in. She can't keep up with the orders, she said.Franklin put her tailoring skills and "geek chic" aesthetic to the test during the show, the first season to have every challenge be a team challenge. Combined with high emotions, the high-stakes $100,000 grand prize to start a fashion line, hardly any sleep and a row of critical judges, back-handed comments and tension are on full display each season."It was an incredible experience, and incredibly difficult," Franklin said. "It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done."Written and produced by: Dominique Fong//