Catching up with season 14 ‘Project Runway’ runner up Edmond Newton

Posted on Friday, October 13, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Two years ago, Edmond Newton came closest among any Atlantan to date to win “Project Runway.”

While fellow Atlantan Kenya Freeman vies to become first local to grab the crown this season, Newton is hosting an event at Museum Bar Saturday night of I-85 downtown to update friends and fans about his latest work with a fashion show and runway presentation. (If you want assigned seating, you can purchase tickets here.)

“I want people to experience how my mind operates in the world of fashion,” Newton said recently over lunch at Folk Art resturant in Inman Park. “It’s also a way to catch up with friends and family and clients. I work so much, I wear so many hats, I don’t have a lot of time to hang out.”

The party will be a modern reinterpretation of a New York City Studio 54-type disco from the 1970s when designers were rock stars.

Newton said the past two years have been a flurry of activity. He has mostly been doing work for individual clients, some who were inspired by the show and others who came through word of mouth.

“Wedding gowns to custom pieces to dresses for black-tie affairs,” Newton said. “A lot of red carpet requests.”

As an individual, he can only do so many outfits at a time. “I have to turn away clients and recommend other people that can help them,” he said.

Two years after the show, he said, “I’m still sought after for press. Town magazine just did a huge article. ‘Project Runway’ is like Red Bull: it gives you wings but you have to fly with it.”

He is planning a collection he hopes can be turned into ready-to-wear mass production and is working to finalize investors.

His favorites are evening wear, gowns and dresses. “I love to do special occasion pieces,” he said, which was readily apparent on the show.

“Project Runway,” he said, “solidified the way I was working already to a degree as an artist. I think so far ahead. It take awhile for people to catch up with the way you’re doing things and your vision.” During the most recent Fashion Week, someone did a dress with a very similar silhouette as a dress he did two years earlier, a “cake topper” dress that the judges did not love at the time.

“I don’t like to do trends,” he said. “I feel trends become dated very quickly. As a designer, I like to create classic, timeless pieces, gowns that you can go in a closet and pull out and wear again five, eight years later. I am influenced by designers from back in the day, Halson, Versace, Lagerfeld.”

He is rooting for Kenya to win. They’ve known each other for years. She even attended his season finale party two years ago. “I like the fact she’s consistent in what she’s doing. She’s not all over the place. She has a point of view. I think in each of the challenges, she really incorporates her design aesthetic. She enjoys the process of it, you can tell. She designs for a particular woman, women with curves.”

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