Thursday, July 9, 2009

Minnesota takes over "Project Runway"

[Image courtesy Lifetime]

It's a big day in local fashion news. Today Lifetime network announced the contestants of Season Six of Project Runway - and they not only feature one designer with local connections, but two. The long-rumored Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, and Christopher Straub, perhaps best-known for his Cricket underwear line. Read my blurb about it in today, which unfortunately omitted Straub. Granted, it was easier to call Ra'mon's involvement, via a not-very-mysterious photo of "a contestant" whose long braids and high-top kicks gave him away that appeared in Entertainment Weekly a month ago.

Project Runway site has helpfully compiled bios, portfolios, inspiration, and audition videos for all the contestants - but here I'll spotlight our hometown heroes.

Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman
[Image courtesy Lifetime]

Age: 31
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Current Home: Milwaukee, WI
Favorite Designer: Marc Jacobs
Style Icon: Diahann Carroll
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Daniel Vosovic, Season 2

Graduating high school and attending college at the young age of 15, Ra’mon’s (then a pre-med major) discovered his passion for fashion when he signed up for a performance art class and was tasked with creating costumes. Ra’mon went on to study at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at SAGA Industries in Denmark. Ra’mon’s body of work includes stints as a bridal designer for Linda Campisano, designer for PriceWalton Couture, assistant designer for Gary Graham and designer for International Fur Trade Federation. Ra’mon currently designs for Target’s Massimo Black line and is working on designs for his own label, ra’mon-lawrence.

Why he’ll win?
Ra’mon believes he’ll win because he has a distinct point of view that appeals to a wide market. ”I plan on bringing a modern aesthetic with a little bit of an avant-garde twist that will be fresh and exciting.”

Timm Gunn says: "He's someone who in my view thinks entirely too much. I was constantly surprised in the workroom – suddenly, there's a new design."

A sampling of some of Ra'mon's designs:

Downtown Journal shoot, December 2008

[Images by Robb Long / Styling by Eclecticoiffeur]

"Eluded Love" publicity shots, spring 2008

[Image by Vanessa Meade]

Walker Un-Prom, April 2007

[Images by Gene Pittman/]

Christopher Straub

[Image courtesy Lifetime]

Age: 30
Birthplace: St. Louis Park, MN
Current Home: Shakopee, MN
Favorite Designers: Valentino, Zac Posen
Style Icon: Victoria Beckham
Favorite Past Project Runway Designer: Christian Siriano, Season 4
Self-taught designer Christopher made his first garment when he was 14 – a pair of clown pants . Nowadays, he prefers simple designs and describes his style as “clean and fresh.” Christopher likes to incorporate volume into his designs, finds inspiration in fabrics that catch his eye and avoids anything too “matchy-matchy.” He is currently a visual merchandiser and freelance designer.

Why he’ll win?
Christopher says, “Personality + Talent = Success, and who could argue with that?”

Tim Gunn says: "Christopher is very sensitive, very emotional. He wears his emotions on his sleeve."

A sampling of some of Straub's recent designs:

[Images by Jerry Johanning / Styling by Sarah Remer]

Project Runway Season Six premieres August 20 on Lifetime.

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