Monday, November 01, 2010

NOVA Fashion Week - Ra'mon-Lawrence

You may remember Ra'mon-Lawrence from the 6th season of "Project Runway" - to be honest I barely remembered anything he did. I guess you have to make it to top five or be a totally insane crazy person to stick in my mind at this point! Which is a shame, because looking back he was quite talented!So it was exciting to see what he's been up to at NOVA Fashion Week. Even though he was born in Chicago and is always in NYC, he considers DC to be his "third home." Perhaps because the Black Fashion Museum in DC named him Apparel Designer of the Year in 2002. And did you know he used to work for upcoming big deal Gary Graham???

Miss and Mrs Virgina were there, complete with crowns and sashes, and two women who looked like they had wandered off the set of the Real Housewives of New Jersey and wore almost matching white dresses and leopard print coats. Ummm, why would you do that??The collection was created specially for NOVA Fashion Week, and had a futuristic tribal inspiration, with an homage to Grace Jones. Lots of bright colors and fabulous styling! Though I don't know if I found his collection cohesive enough, particularly the womenswear. Some of the items seemed quite girly and some very crisp tomboy. What do you think?

I managed to snag him after the show for a brief interview:

In your words, what was your inspiration for this collection?
This based a narrative of the 80's / 70's time frame.... basically I thought of Grace Jones. So that whole super androgyny, empowered femininity. I wanted to take that and twist that into modern day, like Nicki Minaj. I wanted to take it to a whole other level with a futuristic twist. So, as you can see there's a lot of feminine details, flowy fabrics. But it's mixed with hard prints and masculine silhouettes. And for the men, it's a bit of a juxtaposition. It's all about really great tailoring, but in quirky ways. So like the light, feminine colors, like fuchsia, or a luxe fabrication like a Jacquard.

Great! You seem to have a lot of ideas, how would you describe your design process?
Crazy, ahaha. I kinda get an idea in the back of me head - and it can be from anything: a song, a color, a building - and it sticks there. And I wonder, how can I take that and expand it? So I take it and work on color palettes, I start sketching, I like to throw things together. For me, it's a bit of a chaotic journey, but that's part of the fun and the process.
I have to ask, how was being on "Project Runway." How did it impact your life and work?It was a great experience, it gave a platform to showcase my designs with a broader audience. But it's also about challenging yourself. Before I saw myself as a great designer, but it really taught me that I can push myself further and further if I just give myself the opportunity to do that. I also got to meet some great people, we have this little family of designers. Overall it was a fun, but stressful experience.
One last question, what do you think is next for you? What are your big goals for the future?I plan on taking the fashion world, mwahaha!! Well, I'm already working on fall 2011, so hopefully I'll be showcasing part of that back here in the area. And just moving forward - every day is a journey.

Check out all the pictures here: