By RODNEY HO/ email@example.com, originally filed Friday, November, 6, 2015
Atlanta fashion designer Edmond Newton finished in third place on Lifetime's of "Project Runway" Thursday night, the best finish for a local person in the show's 14-season history.
He told a crowd of fans, friends and family at Aloft Atlanta downtown that he had no regrets, that he was happy with how things played out despite not winning. He spent time during and after the party taking pictures and receiving encouragement from people who admire his work. The party also displayed several of his dresses.
"This is not the end," he said to the crowd. "I'm not going to stop. I won in the sense that people watched this show. I won because this 10 year journey all along the way, I met some amazing people."
Newton, a former hair stylist, tried out for the show every year since it began in 2004. It took 11 years for him to finally make the cut - and almost win.
Ashley Tipton ultimately took home the $100,000 prize, eking out a win over runner-up bedazzled Kelly Dempsey, who said she "combined Studio 54 with new wave streetwear."(There was a noticeable gasp when Kelly was ousted at Edmond's party.) Ashley was the first designer in the show's history to display a plus-sized collection on the Fashion Week runway.
"My inspiration is Mexico City from the 1950s," Ashton said on the runway.
Nina Garcia: "You did something that was not expected. This was a courageous and brave move... I celebrate your conviction."
Kelly received strong accolades from the judges, who lauded her strong point of view - even the fanny pack. "Your brand is fun, a little flash, a little trashy," said Zac Posen of Kelly's collection. "This was a great show."
Judges generally liked Edmond's glamour collection but some found a couple of his riskier outfits too "costume-y."
"It's clear to me you have respect for women," Garcia said. "You have a way to make clothes very sexy in a refined way... When you get carried away is when it gets crazy. That's not your essence."
"When it's paired down and clean, it's stronger," Posen said. "When you go into the fantasy place, it becomes contrived and less sophisticated. It doesn't take me to that major red carpet moment."
He said he is talking with Hallmark about a project after winning the unconventional challenge using Hallmark products. He also said JustFab, which sold his sexy red dress from another challenge, is also interested in working with him. And he said he is getting plenty of requests for custom wedding dresses.
The episode itself was obnoxiously packed with ads, especially promotional time set aside for the new show "Project Runway Juniors."