Nicole Schmidt
28, Hawke's Bay

Describing herself as naturally chaotic, Nicole isn’t having fun unless there’s drama in her life—or in Project Runway’s case, the workroom.

Nicole’s area of expertise is in lingerie and tailored jackets. She has a strong attention to detail, especially when working with lace and hard materials like metal and chains. Despite having a strong personality, Nicole isn’t sure how she will take criticism, especially if it’s particularly harsh. Here’s hoping her psychic ability will help her guess what the judges want to see on the runway each week, so she won’t need to face any!

What did you do to prepare for Project Runway?

Being a full-time mum, it was very difficult to get any work in! I did my best going through all my pattern-making books and having a play around with new fabrics.

How would you describe your personal style and your design aesthetic?

Dark whimsical with a punk rock twist. I like to mix fun playful styles with dark and sexy. Using lace and metal detailing such as charms, studs and spikes.

What kind of challenge are you looking forward to most?

Avant-garde! I’m more of an ‘out there’ designer, so I believe I will feel most comfortable creating in the extreme!

What does fashion mean to you?

It means the world to me. It’s such a great way to express our personality, feelings or even make a political statement. Something as simple as a summer dress can make me feel beautiful and free, or a leather-studded jacket makes me feel like I could take on the world. Fashion is self expression and self empowerment.

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

I can read tarot cards and enjoy reading people’s fortunes. I’ve been doing that for over 10 years and have some amazing stories to tell.