'Project Runway' Q&A: Casanova

In Style

Seven “Project Runway” stars will gather in St. Louis for Saint Louis Fashion Week on September 28. Meet Casanova, who will show his collection in the show at Fox Theater.

Carlos Casanova Mendoza
Season 8 & “Project Runway All Stars” Season 2

Age: 36
Current Location: Midtown East Manhattan (Gramercy Park)

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Your “Project Runway” experience in 75 words or less. If I had to describe my experience while filming, it’s not something I would do again. You kind of regret it since you’re totally disconnected from the real world for a long time. For me, it was a nightmare. I can’t be one minute without my cellphone. Can you imagine two months?

On the other hand, I also thought it would be embarrassing for my country, since I wasn’t fluent in English, but at the end of the day I became a hero in Puerto Rico for being the very first Puerto Rican on an international reality show.

Where has your career gone since “Project Runway?” “Project Runway” was like enrolling myself in fashion school. I really learned how to define myself as a designer while filming the show. While I was in Puerto Rico, I had no idea what my aesthetic was, since I needed to cover many bases as a designer in a very small market. Right now I’m more focused on ready-to-wear and lots of bags!

Describe your design aesthetic. Risqué.

What makes your style stand out from the rest? The women who wear my clothes have a lot of self-confidence.

What/who inspires you? Pioneer women.

What are you working on currently? Spring/summer 2014 collection.

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Where is your line headed next? Right now my bags are selling in two stores in NYC, and I’m planning to start selling my clothing in two more stores in NYC and one store in Puerto Rico.

When you hit a creative block, what do you do to get the juices flowing? I take a break and go shopping. I strongly believe in the powers of shopping therapy.

Your favorite look for going out. I love to wear black and white, like Karl Lagerfeld, and also military accents.

Your favorite look for staying in. Comfy shorts and worn-down shirts with no underwear.

Fashion trend you’re sick of. I’m not really sick of any fashion trends at the moment, but I am not a fan of trends that cover up too much skin. It goes against my risqué aesthetic.

Whose fall lines do you find most exciting? Dsquared. The fall 2014 collection is breathtaking. I love the raspberry velvet blazer, the red trench coat and all the clutches.

The one accessory every woman needs right now. Taupe pumps.

The one accessory every man needs right now. A black basic suit and patent leather shoes.

Give us your trend forecast for 2014. Geometrics and stripes are coming back. Black and yellow are big.

What do you do when you’re not designing? Home improvements.

Something people would be surprised to know about you. I love, love to get my hands dirty and get all sweaty doing home improvements.

What’s in your fridge right now? Lots of random things, but I make sure I always have milk for my cappuccinos.

What books are on your nightstand? A drivers’ license manual.

Your favorite piece in your closet right now. My very pointy, patent leather shoes from St. Tropez.

What are you looking forward to most about your time in St. Louis? I want to eat at Rosalita’s every single day!

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