'Project Runway' Q&A: April Johnston

 In Style

Seven “Project Runway” stars will gather in St. Louis for Saint Louis Fashion Week on September 28. Meet April Johnston, who will show her collection in the show at Fox Theater.

April Johnston
Season 8 & “Project Runway All Stars” Season 1

Age: 24
Current Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Website: mangledcourtesan.com


Your “Project Runway” experience in 75 words or less. The best and worst adventure of my life. “Project Runway” and I have a love/hate relationship. It is an extremely difficult competition but one of the most rewarding challenges I have faced thus far in my career. It has helped me tremendously but it took a lot of hard work and sleepless nights on the show.

Where has your career gone since “Project Runway?” “Project Runway” has really catapulted my career but it has not done everything. A lot of hard work and dedication to my brand has helped me stay afloat. I have had a fabric line at Jo Ann stores nationwide and have been on “Project Runway All Stars.”

Describe your design aesthetic. Sophisticated, gothic romanticism.

What makes your style stand out from the rest? My style is extremely feminine, while still keeping a dark and curious edge.

What/who inspires you? I enjoy exploring all things that cannot be explained. I love to look at curiosities of mine and bringing them into the inspiration behind a collection.

What are you working on currently? I am currently working on my spring/summer 2014 Purgatoire Collection.

Where is your line headed next? I am ready to start moving into red carpet, bigger stores and hopefully some costume design.

When you hit a creative block, what do you do to get the juices flowing? I usually watch Tim Burton movies. They always have great costume design—”Sweeney Todd,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Your favorite look for going out. I love black, high-waisted skinny jeans and some tough ankle boots paired with a tied-at-the-waist button-down silk shirt. And to top it all off, a black wool bowler hat.

Your favorite look for staying in. Cut-off jean shorts and an oversized t-shirt with an old hoodie.

Fashion trend you’re sick of. I can’t stand the camisole underneath the deep v-neck t-shirts. I cannot believe this horror is still lurking around.

Whose fall lines do you find most exciting? I don’t really follow other designers’ fashion much, but I can say Alexander Wang has my attention.

The one accessory every woman needs right now. Cuffs, cuffs and more cuffs!

The one accessory every man needs right now. A briefcase or bag that has some punch to it, whether it has spikes or buckles. Anything to add that oomph!

Give us your trend forecast for 2014. I feel like 2014 will hold a lot of ethereal color schemes and fabric choices. This is a perfect time to bring whimsical fantasy back to life.

What do you do when you’re not designing? Either out hunting with my family, riding four-wheelers at our cabin, beaching it up with friends or out to see a good movie.

Something people would be surprised to know about you. That I am so gritty and down-to-earth. I spent a lot of time hunting, fishing and camping as a kid, and I still am like that to this day.

What’s in your fridge right now? Milk, spicy sausage, biscuits, cheeses of sorts, fresh veggies, barbecue sauce and pickled okra.

What books are on your nightstand? I am actually currently reading a book one of my ancestors put together about our family history.

Your favorite piece in your closet right now. My black linen jump suit!

What are you looking forward to most about your time in St. Louis? I can’t wait to see the city and to see what the other designers will be showing!stl


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