'Project Runway' Q&A: Michael Drummond

 In Style

Seven Project Runway stars will gather in St. Louis for Saint Louis Fashion Week on September 28. Meet Michael Drummond who will show his collection in the show at Fox Theater.

Michael Drummond
Season 8

Age: 34
Current Location: St. Louis
Website: Under construction


Your “Project Runway” experience in 75 words or less. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Where has your career gone since “Project Runway?” I have been fortunate enough to continue to design for my line The Exquisite Corpse, for the stage and for print/film commercials. This past spring I was honored with the task of curating “Dressed” for the Regional Arts Commission. My line has dressed the likes of Heidi Klum and Tika Sumpter. Currently, I am in negotiations to design with a top-tier shoe developer based in Hong Kong.

Describe your design aesthetic. Staple pieces with inspiration stemming from the dark arts. I want to make something you can pull from your closet for years to come.

What makes your style stand out from the rest? I would hope to say I make beautiful, artful clothing that has its roots in eco-consciousness. My clothing is mostly comprised of end-run and organic materials, but doesn’t look like something that you would wear with Tevas.

What/who inspires you? So many things, but mostly music and sounds. I also love the idea of magic or a good storyline; something I can inject my clothing into. Is she a witch? Is she running from a witch?

What are you working on currently? Recycling has been showing up a lot lately. I am really interested in only using what is available around me. I want to not buy anything and use what I have remnants of. I actually have been making fringe out of some x-rays and sequins out of old soda bottles. There are a few garments that have been sitting around for years that I made. I am thinking about ripping them up and giving them a new life.

Because I am making everything myself, I decided to do a winter collection instead of spring; that way, I could turn around and sell it shortly after I show the work. The Japanese dance of Butoh and the image of a city shaman are major inspirations for the line at the moment.

Where is your line headed next? I am in the process of deciding if I want to keep designing for my line or if I want to design for the private sector.

When you hit a creative block, what do you do to get the juices flowing? I love to go for a walk with my headphones. Also, my creative blocks mostly come from a need to edit, so I mostly just need to start the work. Once I am in the second week, I have a good idea of where the creation is headed and what needs to be removed.

Your favorite look for going out. It depends, lately something black and loose on top and black and tight on the bottom.

Your favorite look for staying in. I made a pair of short, black running shorts; they are so comfortable. I wear those shorts and some sort of t-shirt. Netflix attire.

Fashion trend you’re sick of. I try not to pay attention to trends or look at fashion as a “right now” type of thing. I enjoy people in clothing. I suppose people wearing their athletic clothing all over the place can be a little dull. However, for the most part, I try not to judge people or their fashion choices. That behavior is boring and closes oneself off to the creative spirit. I never know where inspiration could spring from. I try to look at everything like I’ve never seen it before.

Whose fall lines do you find most exciting? Is it totally lame to say that I don’t really pay attention to the fashion scene? I will look at people like Iris Van Herpun, or I tend to Google things like “scary black dress.”

The one accessory every woman needs right now. A pair of shoes. The streets are dirty.

The one accessory every man needs right now. See above.

Give us your trend forecast for 2014. Hopefully people will use their imagination and intuition to harness their personal fashion voice. And wear lots of fake gold.

What do you do when you’re not designing? I spend time with my lovely boyfriend and family. I love music, so that is always playing in the background. I enjoy low impact exercises like walking and yoga, if I can force myself to do it. I just got over a small addiction to “Game of Thrones.”

Something people would be surprised to know about you. I can hang drywall and change a tire. I am an awful speller. I think about what to have for dinner more than is probably healthy.

What’s in your fridge right now? Sparkling water, carrots, mayo, peppers, eggs, tomatoes, avocado, garlic, butter, vitamins, Volpi salami, cantaloupe and spring mix. I love this question, by the way.

What books are on your nightstand? I have a pack of Tarot cards and “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz—which I had to blow the dust off of. Thank you for the reminder.

Your favorite piece in your closet right now. May I pick four? My Phillip Lim t-shirt or my Paul and Joe funnel neck, which is like 12 years old. My All Saints tux jacket, and my black satin Maison Martin Margiela ankle boots. All of these items have saved me when in a pinch. Also, my turn-of-the-century men’s day frock coat and a Jutta Neumann leather bag I will take to the grave. That is way more than four.

What do you love most about living/working in St. Louis? Is it awful to say the rent? Being from St. Louis and moving away and then coming back multiple times, I have watched its evolution. St. Louis has grown so much, and I am so proud to call it home. I love the alliances that nurture the city’s fashion scene. We have very passionate and savvy people creating great art and events that have been getting worldwide attention. I also love the tilapia in coconut curry dish at Pho Grand.

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