Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-06-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Kate Pankoke: Chicagoan works the 'Runway'
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2013-02-06

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Lifetime's Project Runway begins season 11 with teams this time out and 16 new designers. One of them, named Kate Pankoke, makes wedding dresses in Chicago with a southern Florida style. The judges include Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and newbie Zac Posen added into the mix.

Let's find out how Kate makes it work in The Big Apple and the Windy City.

Windy City Times: Hi. I can't believe we haven't met before. Are you one of those designers that works all the time indoors?

Katelyn Pankoke: I never get out. Have you seen how pale I look in those pictures? [Laughs]

WCT: I saw you wearing the side pony with your hair.

Katelyn Pankoke: It is more pronounced in the promo pictures but I occasionally do rock the side pony.

WCT: You are a ginger?

Katelyn Pankoke: Not naturally. I wish. I don't understand why people that have naturally red hair dye it. To me red hair is beautiful so I will continue to be repping the fake gingers!

WCT: You have to represent Chicago, too. We have had a tough time with our designers on Project Runway in the past.

Katelyn Pankoke: I definitely do that. Even though I wasn't born here I believe in fate and destiny. I wouldn't be where I am without this city.

WCT: You are not from Chicago?

Katelyn Pankoke: No, I was born in Eau Claire, Wis. I don't even know where that is on the map. I lived there for two years and then my dad was transferred to the south Florida office. So I grew up in a tiny suburb called Parkland. It is basically between Boca and Fort Lauderdale. It was beachy and nice but I am really glad that I ended up moving to Chicago. I'm definitely more of a Chicago girl. The move has been fabulous for me and the company.

WCT: Did you study fashion in Florida?

Katelyn Pankoke: Yes, I studied fashion at Florida State University. Their fashion department they had to cancel due to budget cuts while I was still in the program. It was pretty dramatic. Luckily, I was a junior. If they were freshmen then they had to take a crash course and a test to be bumped up to senior status. It was sad but worked for me since I wound up tutoring some of them. Hey, I paid a fabric bill!

WCT: What is your specialty?

Katelyn Pankoke: My specialty is bridal. I have a bridal line based out of Chicago and I have all the gowns made right here. I started it really when I moved to Chicago. Before that I did custom and ready-to-wear evening wear. My fiancé got a job up here and I had never even been to Chicago before. We just picked up and moved. Basically, I was losing my entire client base. It was a make it or break it time for me. I had always wanted to start my own line so it was the right time and place. It has just taken off from there.

WCT: Where did the name of the line come from?

Katelyn Pankoke: The name of the line is Elaya Vaughn Bridal. It is taken from two of my family names. My God given name I don't really like so much because it doesn't have the flow that a bridal line needs. I had a great aunt Elaya, which I thought was a beautiful name. My grandfather's mother's maiden name is Vaughn. It didn't just come out of thin air.

WCT: Is bridal clothing seasonal?

Katelyn Pankoke: It is less seasonal than many other fashion lines. Fashion took a hit from the economy, and people have less money to spring for evening wear or even an $80 T-shirt these days. With bridal people are always getting married no matter what the economy is like. Girls will splurge on their gown so that really helps me because they will invest in nice fabrics and in quality construction. What can be more fun that designing a wedding gown?

WCT: Hopefully, we will have same-sex marriage soon in Illinois and I can wear one of your designs.

Katelyn Pankoke: Yes—I am all for that. You know where to come! I can whip something up for you.

WCT: I'm sure there are a few gay designers this season on Project Runway. It's sometimes challenging to find a straight one.

Katelyn Pankoke: It really is. Honestly, we don't really get into it. There were several openly gay contestants but I didn't ask everyone. I don't know if there were any straight ones. I guess you guys will have to watch and find out. It might be a confessional camera type of situation.

WCT: How was meeting Tim Gunn?

Katelyn Pankoke: I have been watching the show my whole life. I'm the youngest contestant on our season. Tim and Heidi are idols for me. When Tim walked into that workroom, I just about dropped dead! I felt like I was watching TV in 3D. There he was, talking to me. I was scared because I didn't know what to expect. Would he be stern? Would he just pop in and out? I was pleasantly surprised. He knew all of our names on the first episode. He genuinely cared about each and every one of us and wanted us to succeed. To know he was that invested in each designer was really eye opening. I respect him and his opinions so much. It would have broken my heart if he was not nice. To have him be as amazing as he was literally was a dream come true.

WCT: How was the new guy Zac as a judge?

Katelyn Pankoke: Oh my God, Zac Posen. When I saw him on the judging panel I thought, "Thank the Lord!" I love Zac and his designs. I feel we have very similar esthetics so I was happy to see him there for that reason alone and thought he would respond to my designs. I love Michael Kors but I was worried about being on the other side of some of his metaphors. I'm sure he would have had some choice remarks about some of my pieces.

WCT: It must have been challenging to go from wedding dresses to designing on the show.

Katelyn Pankoke: It really is. For wedding gowns I don't just design for one person. With ready-to-wear it is one specific person. It was such a fun experience for me because I never get to design for myself. I used Project Runway to find myself as a person as opposed to finding out about myself as a designer. Turns out I can accomplish a lot more than I gave myself credit for.

WCT: It is teams this time on the show.

Katelyn Pankoke: Lord have mercy, it is! We already talked about how I don't get out much. For me to work with other people when I just work by myself is not fun. When Tim and Heidi walk out on the runway and announce it would be teams, my heart dropped.

I was scared enough being in a competition where you make things in a day but on top of that I had to fight with other personalities that are just as strong as my own. I've already seen a commercial where I call someone a bitch so this is going to be something to see!

Watch her make it work on Project Runway every Thursday on the Lifetime Channel.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

TELEVISION Jason Matheson: Aiming to make it big 2017-06-21 - If Jason Matheson gets his wish, all eyes of the nation will be on him. Matheson is the openly gay host of The ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Alexandra Billings talks 'Transparent,' tunes and Caitlyn 2017-06-14 - Alexandra Billings grew up performing in Chicago and recently returned to make an appearance at the Steppenwolf gala. Theater credits in Illinois include ...


Gay News

'Pickers' in Illinois throughout June 2017-06-13 - The show American Pickers—a documentary series that explores the world of antique "picking"—will be filming throughout Illinois in June. The History Channel show ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Harry Shum Jr. talks motivation, 'Shadowhunters' 2017-06-13 - On the Freeform ( formerly ABC Family ) show Shadowhunters—loosely based on Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments—the title beings protect regular humans from ...


Gay News

'America in Transition' breaks convention, crosses boundaries 2017-06-07 - In his groundbreaking award-winning series of documentary films America in Transition, director André Pérez takes viewers on a visceral journey through the heart ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Andy Cohen dishes on 'Love Connection' 2017-06-07 - Talk-show host Andy Cohen is expanding his empire. After beginning his career as an intern at CBS News, he became vice president ...


Gay News

Entertainment: Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, 'Supergirl,' Wendy Williams 2017-06-06 - Nick Jonas talked with Extra about the Met Gala and the possibility of a Camp Rock sequel. Regarding the latter, he joked, "Obviously, ...


Gay News

Entertainment news: LA gay chorus, 'Wonder Woman,' Scruff event, 'Arrow' star 2017-05-31 - The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles ( GMCLA ) hosted the 6th Annual Voice Awards celebration May 20 at the J.W. Marriott ...


Gay News

National roundup: Stephen Colbert, '30 Days of HIV,' drag-queen death 2017-05-30 - Visiting Stephen Colbert's The Late Show, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was asked if President Donald Trump's overseas trip was an opportunity to calm things ...


Gay News

Feminist Frequency sets its sights on Trump in new show 2017-05-18 - San Francisco, CA—Today, Feminist Frequency premieres the second episode of their brand new series, The FREQ Show! In "The Unmanning of Trump," host ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.