A Peach of a Designer

Hold on to your dress forms ladies. One of our own is heading to Project Runway.


On Thursday, July 29 at 8 pm CT on Lifetime, Project Runway will debut its eighth season with 17 new designers (the most ever in the show’s history)—one of them being Sheila “Peach” Carr of Lake Forest.

“My daughter Molly downloaded the application and then stood over me until it was finished,” laughs Carr, who tried out twice for the Emmy Award-nominated program with her collection of dresses and separates that can take a woman from the tennis court to a cocktail party. The oldest contestant in this season’s crop of talented designers, Carr has no regrets about participating in the show. “It was even more stressful, crazy, and wonderful than I thought it would be. Much more intense and exciting than I could imagine.”

Dubbed as “country club chic,” Carr was worried how her aesthetic would translate in New York City, where the show is filmed. “When they tell you how to pack, they’re very clear in their instructions about wanting you to stay true to who you are,” explains Carr. “I’m preppy. I have the bermudas, the big monograms, the loafers—that’s who you see. When they were casting, they knew from the beginning who they were getting by choosing me.”

Project Runway’s beloved mentor, Tim Gunn, nearly fell off his chair during Carr’s audition when she described her clothing as “mullet-ware,” business in the front, party in the back. “A signature Peach Carr design has an element of surprise, a little something unexpected usually in the back of the dress. It might be a big button or a bow, but it will leave people talking.”

So are Gunn and the show’s host Heidi Klum really all that? Carr, who has to be careful about what she says so as not to give away any of the show’s secrets, wasn’t guarded at all in her answer.

“Everything you think about these two is 1000% more—in a good way,” explains Carr. “Heidi is even more beautiful and more sweet and more funny,” gushes Carr. “And Tim, who knows Lake Forest well, is the kindest, the gentlest, and outside of my husband—the finest man I’ve ever met.”

All designers are kept sequestered from one another until the filming begins. “When you see us showing up for our first challenge, that’s real TV. That’s the first time any of us had laid eyes on each other. Our reactions to one another are genuine.”

Carr would love to one day see Gywneth Paltrow wear one of her designs. “I have a dress in my portfolio that would be perfect on her,” says Carr, referring to a dress made out of pieces of string (you have to see it to believe it!).

And if all goes well this season on Project Runway, Paltrow will be calling Carr for a fitting. Stay tuned.

For more information on Carr’s Project Runway audition, visit www.mylifetime.com. And be sure to check back at MakeItBetter.net for Carr’s take on each week’s episode.

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