To know Project Runway is to love the show’s recurring unconventional materials challenge, in which designers have to “make it work” by creating garments out of anything and everything from leaves to lawn chairs. Thanks to the creative collaboration between Hallmark Signature and Project Runway, our very own Signature cards stylishly starred as the designers’ materials in this season’s unconventional episode. For those of you who tuned in to see Edmond Newton’s winning wedding dress march down the runway, you already know that his sculptural creation—complete with a coordinating bouquet—was created out of Signature cards, envelopes, and featured embellishments such as gems, feathers and the clever use of the Signature logo on the bodice of the dress. We had a chance to chat with Edmond to learn more about his creative process, what inspires him and even what’s on his playlist.
Where did you first learn about fashion?
Growing up, both my mom and dad were very fashionable people, and I saw this style focus daily. For them, getting ready for work or events was a process. I also grew up in my mom’s beauty salon in South Carolina and was always around beauty and fashion and the whole nine there.
How did you get your professional start in fashion?
I was a professional model for a time, and it was there I realized that I didn’t care for being in front of the camera as much as I liked to be behind it. I loved fashion, and was inspired by what I saw on the runways, but didn’t see the things I liked in malls or stores. I realized if I couldn’t buy it, I was going to have to make it. So in 2004, I started teaching myself to sew. I did some small shows in my hometown that same year. It was also the year I learned about this new show called Project Runway and decided to audition for the first time for it. I auditioned every year until I finally made the show in Season 14.
I find my inspiration through my life experiences—and always trying to get new ones.
What’s your work process? Do you sketch first?
I dive in, no sketch. The fabric tells you what it wants to do.
What’s your work space like?
I like to think of it as workable chaos.
Standing there, looking around, seeing so much shape, color, texture, 3D materials—I was just figuring out what would be my power statement. I took the energy of the Signature line into consideration, too. I kept thinking about what would be a really special, cool statement. Cards are something special these days. If someone takes the time to pick out a card, it has to reflect them. I wanted this to reflect me.
Did you run with your first design concept?
I did run with my first concept. A few of the cards spoke to me the same way fabric speaks to me. They are what jumped out, and they were my inspiration throughout.
Tell us about the cards you chose that inspired you to create your winning bridal look.
The cards brought back memories of my family and their stories as well as my own personal journey in the years leading up to Season 14. I channeled all of that energy into my look.
As an artist, my mind works differently than most people. I focus on one project, but never one thing. For the bouquet, I just pulled out my art class skills—art was always my favorite subject in school.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations from fashion and beyond?
- Gianni Versace
- Rick Owens
- Whitney Houston (I got to meet her on an airplane on the way to casting for one of the Project Runway seasons. I could barely get my words out, I was so starstruck.)
- Naomi Campbell
- Lenny Kravitz
- My mom, Rose, and my dad, Edmond
What are your three favorite songs on your playlist right now?
- “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears (my all-time favorite song)
- “It Was All a Dream” by Notorious B.I.G.
- “Anything” by Anita Baker
Halston. And maybe Rihanna?
Speaking of dinner, what’s your favorite meal?
Pizza. Papa John’s, pepperoni with extra sauce. I like to have that on Thursdays when I watch Project Runway.
To learn more about Edmond and to watch Hallmark Signature-inspired designers in Season 14’s unconventional materials challenge, “It’s All in the Cards,” go to www.mylifetime.com.