Wednesday evenings have been nail-biters for Kayne Gillaspie fans. Most couldn't breathe normally until they heard host Heidi Klum say, "Kayne, you're in." Last Wednesday, fans learned he was out. Gillaspie, a Norman pageant gown designer and co-owner of Southern Charm boutique, was a contestant on "Project Runway," a reality series that pits budding fashion designers against one another as they compete in weekly design challenges. Since mid-July, when the third season of "Project Runway" started airing, he showed the country what a pageant designer can do â€” some weeks with better success than others. Week after week, he managed to stay in the competition, and his fans hoped if he couldn't win, maybe he would make it to the final three. Last Friday, the final four contestants showed mini collections to a standing-room-only crowd during Fashion Week. I caught up with Kayne just before he flew to New York and before learning of his fate. All the contestants returned to New York during Fashion Week to tape the reunion show. Q:ï¿½You introduced your new eveningwear collection, called Johnathan Kayne, at the Atlanta apparel mart in late August. How was it received? A:ï¿½Oh my gosh, so good. We're starting accounts in every state east of Oklahoma (and also) New Mexico and Texas. So, we just did super great. It was fantastic. Q:ï¿½Are calls still coming in from across the country? How about locally? A:ï¿½Absolutely. It's been fantastic, especially since we started taking orders. We have at least 100 accounts to produce by the end of the year, and we're still doing custom in the store. And I just met with the Christian group Point of Grace to do their Christmas tour costumes again. Q:ï¿½The judges never questioned your sewing abilities, but how did you feel about their comments on your couture gown and your "taste level"? A:ï¿½I thought for this show they wanted to see as many design details while still making a statement. My gold gown was beautiful. My customer would wear that 10 times faster than they would think about putting that yellow plaid thing in their closet. My style is indicative or inspired by Roberto Cavalli, Versace or Dolce & Gabbana, which I think is impeccable style. It's very hot and trendy and cutting edge, of course. No, it's not Burberrry or other types of designers featured in Elle. ... At first, it bothered me a little bit, and I wondered do I really need to be in the fashion world if that's what fashion designer Michael Kors and magazine fashion director Nina Garcia think of me. Then I realized I've been making a successful living, took a line of clothing to market and did five times better than I hoped, and there is a place for my designs and clothing. I'm happy with what I've done so far, and my career is just getting started.
Locks of LoveFantastic Sams is working with Seventeen magazine to raise awareness for Locks of Love, a national, nonprofit organization that helps financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. Monday through Sept. 24, participating Fantastic Sams salons will offer free haircuts to men, women and children who donate ponytails measuring at least 10 inches in length. Last year, Fantastic Sams donated more than $135,000 and 10,000 ponytails â€” the largest single contribution to the organization. For more information, go online to www.fantastic sams.com.