FORMER Project Runway star Kellyanne Russell is helping Gladstone locals look great.

While the designer is not interested in glamour herself, Ms Russell gets a thrill seeing her creations loved by locals.

She participated in the second season of Project Runway in 2009, making it through to episode five before being eliminated.

Ms Russell yesterday was in a flurry finishing creations for clients heading down to the Melbourne Cup.

"I'm a sewing geek," she said.

"I just love making really beautiful dresses, as long as I don't have to wear them."

Ms Russell made a spectacular wedding dress for her good friend Tammy Walz-Ledingham, which took more than 700 hours of work to complete, with each bead hand-sewn.

The designer came back to Gladstone four-and-a-half years ago after working in Sydney and Brisbane.

"I came home for a break and loved it," she said.

"Gladstone is fantastic in the fact that it's such a socially driven town.

"There's always opportunities to get dressed up and I think that's what is really cool, is that everyone does make an effort."

Ms Walz-Ledingham described her wedding dress as "out of this world".

"It was more than what I expected," she said.

For Ms Walz-Ledingham, getting friend Ms Russell to create her dress was a no-brainer.

"I've always had things made from her whether it be a simple basic dress to anything formal," she said.

"For her to do this for me was not only an honour for me for her to make it, but it was actually an honour for her to make it."

The pair met many years ago when they both worked at the Grand Hotel, and later Ms Walz-Ledingham was Ms Russell's first ever Gladstone client.

Ms Walz-Ledingham said Gladstone was lucky to have the talented designer.

"I think over the years people are becoming quite conscious and fashion savvy - to know we've got her at our doorstep, we're very, very lucky," she said.

"Kel's competed against Australian designers, she's in the top five of certain designers."



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