Project Runway Season 8 winner Gretchen Jones recently asked Canadian silkscreen print designer Amie Cunningham to create the “eye see you” bra evil eye design for the Women’s March in Washington D.C. today. The designer and activist Jones wanted this exclusive look for the Good Support fashion flash mob who are attending the march. This provocative bra was created for a group of feminist, fashion forward protesters want to give the newly inaugurated Donald Trump the evil eye.
The Portland, Oregon native, Gretchen Jones, asked designer pal Amie Cunningham to create a protest bra, perhaps throwing a nod to the burning bras of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s. Jones sold two different bras that she designed as part of a “capsule collection” specifically created for the march, with much of the proceeds going to the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Women’s March on Washington.
Cunningham explained to CBC that the “eye see you” bra was to be specifically worn for a special occasion. What better designer to design an evil eye than a woman who designs beautiful fabrics of poisonous florals on a dark background. She is a designer with a meaning.
“She asked me to design a bra, specifically to be worn at the Women’s March on Washington.”
Meant to be worn over a turtleneck, the double-eyed bra is meant to show that the wearer is woman, she is strong, and not to be ignored!
“I’m looking at you and I’m important. And you’re looking at me. And you’re looking at my breasts. And you know that I’m a woman. And here I am. I’m marching, I’m important and strong.”
According to The Star, the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based designer Cunningham is part of the slow fashion movement, creating her own textiles at her home studio, where she lives with her husband and three young sons. She uses organic cotton, ecologically friendly dyes and is conscious to design garments using scraps of fabrics from other projects. In addition, everything is locally made in Halifax. The designer of women’s and children’s clothing, (Kourtney Kardashian’s daughter Penelope has even worn one of her designs) she is proud to be a feminist and dressing fierce women is her “jam.”
“This is so close to my heart. Dressing a strong independent woman — that’s my jam right there.”
— CBC Nova Scotia (@CBCNS) January 19, 2017
After years of silence, fans wondered what has happened to Gretchen Jones. Unlike some of the other show contestants, she has remained out of the spotlight. Her win was considered one of the most shocking moments in reality television. Longtime fans of Project Runway are still fuming that Gretchen Jones famously beat out fan favorite Mondo Guerra seven seasons ago in a hotly contested battle between the judges. Heidi Klum and Jessica Simpson who wanted Mondo and Michael Kors and Nina Garcia who favored Jones, and Klum revealed to WWD that once Simpson was convinced by Kors and Garcia that Jones should win, there was nothing Klum could do.
Since that time, Guerra won Project Runway All-Stars Season 1, then became a mentor on Under the Gunn, a Project Runway spinoff. Most of all, the fifth-generation Mexican-American fashion designer has been a fierce advocate for Aids. During the season 8 fabric design challenge, Mondo created a textile with the plus symbol, a hidden symbol that he was HIV positive. On the runway, his revelation that he had spent so many years HIV positive without ever telling anyone brought tears to the eyes of the judges and his fellow contestants. Most of all, this gave Mondo a sense of freedom that he finally let this secret out. Since his brave revelation, the fifth-generation Mexican-American designer has become a fierce and outspoken advocate for Aids research.
Although Jones came into the reality show competition as a sustainable designer, her activism was not as front and center in the show. Instead, the show’s producers chose to focus on some big drama and conflict that the designer had with a few other designers, most notably Michael Costello. She won the show with a collection of sexy earth-toned garments in an upscale boho style, using sustainable fabrics and accented with custom made jewelry. Perhaps not as showy as Mondo’s brightly colored garments, Jones created fashion any woman could wear.
Since the competition, very little has been heard of Jones, while Costello’s sizzling gowns have been on red carpets everywhere, worn by Kardashians to Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn.
Unlike designers like Costello and Christian Siriano who are going a more traditional route of designing collections or creating red carpet confections for starlets, Gretchen Jones is currently studying at the University of the Arts London and is an Executive MBA candidate. Her focus continues to be sustainable fashion in the industry, and she is furthering her influence in education and in being and advocate of ethical business practices.
Recently called “a woman to follow” by Garmentory, Gretchen Jones is a woman that they love. For the magazine, the designer shared her belief that social media can be a uniter during these difficult times and expressed her belief that being socially responsible and enjoying life are not separate occupations, but instead something that can be integrated into anyone’s life.
“I believe we can utilize social media for its potential to bring us together, not tear us apart. This is a critical time in our history, for ourselves and our families and our friends AND the next generation. Being responsible, activated/engaged and enjoying the ride of life (and our social platforms) doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. But that’s up to each of us individually. Are we ready to challenge ourselves to think beyond each post and back into reality? I sure hope so. We certainly need to be.”
What do you think of the “eye see you” bra? Do you think this is a fashion forward look right for a protest?
[Featured Image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images]