Project Runway Season 6 winner Irina Shabayeva was in town recently scouting for boutiques on South Beach – as always, being quite the busy bee. Since her big win, the 29-year-old New York resident showcased her fall collection at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week, launched a line at Macy’s and has had such celebs as Lady Gaga donning her creations. We got to chat up the designer, who was born in the Republic of Georgia, about her expansion into making home goods, showcasing at Fashion Week and what the future holds.What are you working on these days? I’m launching a home line. Right now it’s throws and pillows. It’s going to have graphic and wing print motifs. I was getting a lot of requests from interior designers to make it. It has a lot of the same looks from my last fall collection. I’m currently working on finishing production for my spring 2011 and bridal line. Then I’ll focus on spring 2012. Tell us about your Luxe by Irina line with HSN. The second collection comes out in September. I first started with outerwear, but now it’s going to include ready-to-wear, handbags and accessories. What was Fashion Week like? I’ve shown before during New York Fashion week, but it was my first time at Lincoln Center. Fashion Week is always stressful and exhausting. There are deadlines and sometimes things that need to get done last minute, but it only happens twice a year. What inspired your Macy’s INC collection? I was more of a painter and into drawing when I was young, and I felt like dance was something I wanted to explore. Designing this collection was my chance to see what dance would be like without having to start over. That’s why I have color blocking, embellished pieces like the silk baby doll dress and shoes that tie up like ballet slippers. Explain why you say: “Fashion isn’t about clothing. It’s a lifestyle.” Fashion can be a fantasy. For me it’s about connecting with the customer. When she is getting married or going on vacation. You know what she needs. ANNIE VASQUEZ
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