Project Runway’s Patricia Michaels

Patricia Michaels became a household name across America when she appeared (and was the runner up) on Project Runway’s Emmy Award Winning Season II.

Not one to rest on her laurels – this stone has gathered no moss – Pat, as we know her here in Taos, has been working overtime on a new collection and various other projects, including making a new gown for the Virgin Mary to wear during the Christmas Eve Celebrations at Taos Pueblo.


On November 12th of this year, during Native American Heritage Month, Patricia was presented with an Award for Arts and Design by The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in New York. When we visited her studio last week, it was sitting on top of her cutting table, fittingly surrounded by remnants of fabric and haberdashery.


Although so much has changed in Patricia’s life since Project Runway threw her into the National spotlight, garnering her acclaim and multiple Awards, she works in the same studio, follows her traditional ways and has kept her sense of humor and humility intact.


Bill Curry who took all the photographs here, surprised Pat last year by bringing the Internationally acclaimed designer Esteban Cortazar over to her studio. Bill laughs as he recalls their meeting. “I had met Esteban at the airport to drive him up to Taos and along the way I had also picked up some of Pat’s clothes in Santa Fe which I had arranged to drop  off with her.”

“I hadn’t told Estaban where we were going and asked if he’d mind carrying a few of them in but when we went inside neither of them missed a beat!”

“Estaban recognized Pat from Project Runway and she him, it was really a wonderful moment.”


That moment, captured by Bill’s lens is at the top of this post.

There is so much to tell about Patricia, it would take a book not a blog, but we’ll have another post about her here on taoStyle very soon.

In the meantime feast your eyes on Pat’s stunning designs worn by iconic model Joan Severance, and visit her site linked below. Her beautiful scarves make perfect Christmas gifts!

Photographs of Patricia Michaels, Estaban Cortazar and Joan Severance by Bill Curry