Aug 11, 2009

Designer DNA: Brandon Dwyer

By: Nancy Won

Author: Elle Canada

Aug 11, 2009

Designer DNA: Brandon Dwyer

By: Nancy Won
After making a splash on season 2 of Project Runway Canada as the flamboyant designer with a habit of sticking his foot in his mouth (defining moment: not knowing who Yves Saint Laurent was), Brandon Dwyer is starting to get noticed for his designs in the real world. He may be a new face in the fashion industry but the truth is Brandon has been designing all his life. “When I was 10 I started drawing girls in different outfits — it was something I did all through high school,” he says. “I didn’t realize I was designing clothes at the time, I just thought I was drawing beautiful women.”

He’s since graduated from childhood doodles to producing full collections, not just for Iman and the PRC gang, but for real women and proving he has the chops at Toronto Fashion Week. For his fall collection, Brandon took inspiration from his BFF, model Andi Muise (of Victoria Secret fame). “I design for women who are confident but not like oh-my-god-I’m-so-hot confident,” he says. “I love women who have a silent confidence about them — my goal is to bring that out.”

If you’re a Project Runway Canada fan, you may think you know all there is know about Brandon but he recently took time out to tackle our infamous Designer DNA questionnaire and you may just be surprised by his answers. Read on to learn about his fashion must-haves, his tattoo collection and the lessons he’s learned this year.

If you could choose an occupation other than your own what would it be?

Definitely a plastic surgeon. If I can’t make girls look good with clothes then I’ll alter their bodies so they look good!

Who are the designers you’re loving right now?

I always love Versace but right this second I’m in-in-IN love with Dsquared2’s style — it’s not my personal style but I LOVE what they do. And I do appreciate YSL.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Obvi” as in “obvious”
What is your most treasured possession?
My family. They’ve always been behind me, supporting me in everything I do. I wouldn’t know what to do without them.

What do you consider your worst trait?

I’m very flighty. Very flighty. So that gets me in trouble sometimes.

More of Brandon's favourites on the next page ...

What’s your usual?

Pineapple and tequila.

Name one accessory every man should own?
A murse.

Name one accessory every woman should own?
Stiletto heels, because flats? Boring! Always wear heels.

iPhone or Blackberry?
iPhone, obviously.

Any tattoos?
I have 4 tattoos: 2 on my hands that are angel wings; a maple leaf to show my Canadian side; and I also have my label tattooed on me — as self-centred as that sounds — but when I first broke into the industry I did it to remind me that I can do this and to keep pushing.

Fashion trend you wish would disappear?
I actually love most of the trends that are happening right now but I definitely think nobody — and I’ve been seeing this A LOT lately — nobody, no matter how thin you are, should ever wear a belly top. It’s really trashy.

Who was your favourite judge on PRC?
None of them really liked me but I really love Shawn Hewson, he’s such a great guy!
…Dammit!! I should have said Rita!!

What is your signature look?
I usually wear a plaid shirt and fur of some form with a beanie hat. And sunglasses, obviously.

What is your greatest extravagance?
New York. Honestly any chance I get, I go to New York City. I try to go every month but it’s really more like 8 times a year.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being able to do this for a living! I never thought in a million years I could do this full-time.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned this year so far?
When you don’t know something, don’t admit it.

Describe your perfect Sunday afternoon?
Sitting with my boyfriend, sipping a coffee at a nice café bar. Unfortunately that’s never happened but that’s definitely something I would enjoy doing.

Brandon's dos and don'ts on the next page ...


What is your Twitter policy?

Don’t get too over personal.

Recent tweet: Got attacked at the grocery store.... Awkward!!

What will you do when you retire?
Travel…even though I do that now. But I really would love to just relax and travel the world at my own leisure. And actually see sights when I go places! Like, I’ve been to New York how many times and I haven’t even seen the Eiffel Tower!
I mean, the Statue of Liberty!!

Fill in the blanks:
“People think I’m bitchy but I’m really kind-hearted.” …I’m not a bitch. I just say bitchy things.

Read more
We play 20 questions with Marika Brose
Designer profile: Andy Thê-Anh
Designer profile: Tara Jarmon

Share X

Designer DNA: Brandon Dwyer