Patricia Michaels from “Project Runway” on Parenting, Her Heritage and Style!
Want to know about Patricia Michaels from this season’s “Project Runway”? We had a chance to interview the unique designer! Find out what she has to say about raising kids, style tips for moms and her Native American heritage. And don’t forget to watch all-new episodes Thursdays at 9/8c!
LTM: What inspires you when you design?
PM: My heritage is a huge influence on my design. Being a contemporary Native American is a big part of who I am. I am also inspired by travel. When I was younger, I noticed that many different people came to visit Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, and that made me want to know more about where they came from. When I visit other countries, I like to learn about the heritage of that place, and I like to visit museums to see what their interpretation of modern art is.
LTM: How were you able to pass down your enthusiasm about your heritage to your kids? Do they appreciate it as much as you do?
PM: When my kids were younger, I wouldn’t let them watch television. I felt that the stories they heard from our aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters had more value than the stories they saw on TV. Ours is an oral history, and if we don’t pass it along from generation to generation, it will be lost forever. When our relatives told stories to us, it taught my kids the importance of sharing, and they learned the importance of family and family participation. This is how my culture has survived for as long as it has.
LTM: How did your kids react when you told them you were going to be on “Project Runway”?
PM: They were very happy about it! My son told me that he was my biggest fan already and that no matter what happened, I had won in his heart. My daughter was excited, but she’s 15, so she was worried about me embarrassing her! She told me that even though she normally doesn’t pray, she had prayed for me about this.
LTM: Was your individuality ever an issue for your kids when they were growing up?
PM: I brought my kids up with diversity – plus, we traveled a lot, so my kids were their own free spirits at a very early age. I always encourage them to find their own voices and to never second-guess themselves. Plus, my son was dyslexic, so he stood out from his classmates from the start. Sometimes it was hard, but I would sit them down and tell them that it would get easier as they got older.
LTM: Any style advice for busy moms out there?
PM: Yes, wear patterns that make you feel strong and confident. Your kids will pick up on this confidence! Also, if you want to wear a little black dress, make sure it has an embellishment or an accent on the hemline or neckline to make things more fun.
LTM: What’s the one thing you splurge on?
PM: It used to be shoes, but now it is hair products. I have very long hair and I want it to look good for ceremonies in our village, so I don’t mind spending money on good shampoo.