Nadine Ralliford of Stone Mountain on ‘Project Runway’ season 17 back on Bravo

Originally posted Thursday, March 21, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Atlanta has been well represented over the years on “Project Runway” including the late great Mychael Knight, “Runway All Stars” winner Anthony Williams, finalist Edmond Newton and season 15 fifth-place finisher Kenya Freeman

Now welcome Nadine Ralliford of  Stone Mountain to the fold. She joins a show in transition. After the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal blew up, the Weinstein Co. was forced to sell “Project Runway” to Lantern Entertainment. It also enabled Bravo to snatch the show back from Lifetime after 11 seasons and 10 years. 

Original host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn are out. Model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and former “Runway” winner Christian Siriano are in. 

The show debuted last Thursday on Bravo in a case of awkward timing because the Lifetime is still airing “Project Runway All Stars” at the same time. I honestly can’t recall a time when original episodes of an original show and its spin-off were airing at the same time on two different networks. 

Anyway, here is a quick sketch of Halliford:

Age: 47

Residence: Stone Mountain

Born and raised in: Jamaica, came to Atlanta in the late 1970s but spent summers in he home country for many years.

Currently has: her own brand Ralliford Hall Designs

Came to Atlanta for: school. She got degrees in design from the Art Institute of Atlanta

Her aesthetic: “I love to do statement pieces, pieces that have a sense of flair, flow, lots of fabric, lots of rhythm,” she said in the first episode. 

She loves to: create jackets and coats. 

Getting the call: “ ‘Project Runway’ kind of magically fell my way. They were doing casting. My name came up. They gave me a call. It was shocking. I went through the process and got on season 17.”

Not a fan per se: While she was naturally aware of the show and has worked with some past participants, she had to binge watch episodes once she was cast to better know what she was getting into.

Cooperative environment: “For the designers I ultimately got close to, we helped each other along the way, which was surprising. At first, you think everyone is going to be so much in their own way. But most everyone got along so well and we were willing to help each other achieve something. I learned a lot from several designers.”

Not exactly the norm: “I’m not a competitive type person. I like to make changes. I like to go back and forth to the fabric store. In this competition, you have to think on a whim. You get one trip to the fabric store. You have to work around things.”

Distractions galore: “I am used to working in my studio alone, not used to all the shared space. It was hard to focus. I was swimming blind. It was long hours. I feel like I’m at an age where I was thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’”

Her career: She said she has done design work for many major companies and taught at Bauder College and the Art Institute of Atlanta, where she got her BA in art and design. 

On Siriano as mentor: “He’s a really nice guy. He had great advice. He put some hmmm moments in my creative process.”

PROJECT RUNWAY -- Episode 1701 -- Pictured: Designed by Nadine Ralliford -- (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo)
Photo: Bravo/Barbara Nitke/Bravo

ON TV
“Project Runway,” 8 p.m. Thursdays, Bravo

Nadine Ralliford's past collection dress featured in the opening minutes of season 17 of "Project Runway."

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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