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Project Runway Canada: The contestants

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Fashion

Project Runway Canada: The contestants

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Brandon R. Dwyer, 22
"I have a unique, organic style. I think this will give me an edge."


Brandon R. Dwyer's first client was his mother. "When I was five, I designed her a summer dress," recalls the Barrie, Ont., native. After studying fashion at Fanshawe College in London, Ont., he launched his label, Brandon R. Dwyer. His signature style? "Showstopping!" Brandon loves fashion stars Oscar de la Renta and Donatella Versace, but Britney Spears is his secret crush. "I would love to design for her!" Is Brandon ready for the cutthroat fashion world?
Christie Clayton, 30
"Canadian fashion is pretty conservative. I plan on changing that."


Being labelled a little "out there" is old news for Christie Clayton; her fashion sense has always garnered mixed reviews. "I made a pair of red-and-white bell-bottomed pants in Grade 8, and everyone thought I was weird," recalls the designer from Nelson, B.C. The Vancouver Community College fashion design grad says that her fashion muses are women who take risks. Christie believes that her cheeky designs will stand out, but will they be too wacky for the judges?
Adejoké Taiwo, 24
"I am a new talent with fresh ideas."


Even as a child, Adejoké Taiwo had a flair for high style. "The first piece I designed was a fur-trimmed coat for my life-sized doll when I was seven," she recalls. Today, Adejoké is inspired by Rachel Roy's elegant and demure designs. Her dream client is Mary J. Blige, and she admires Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' business sense. The Calgary-based designer studied fashion at Ryerson University but returned home to launch her label, àlalá, which means "dreamer" in the Yorùbá language of Nigeria. Will her designs earn her the PRC crown, or is her head in the clouds?

Baylor Orlando, 37
"As long as you're truly passionate about everything you do, you can't lose."


Baylor Orlando was going to be a journalist until he attended a fashion show. "I fell in love with all that was happening on the stage that night," explains Baylor. "The next day, I registered at the School of Fashion in Caracas, Venezuela." After graduating, he opened a studio called Baylor&Toledo. When he moved to Montreal, he signed on as head designer with Ugo Sac Imports Ltd. He may have a flair for femininity, but will his designs seduce the judges?

 




Find exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, weekly exit interviews, extensive photo gallery and cast blogs on the Project Canada Runway website: www.globaltv.com/runway





Margarita Voultsos, 24
"I make truly unique pieces. I can get fit down really fast. I love this shit!"

Margarita Voultsos really liked being naked - until she discovered clothes. "I spent the first three months of my life in an incubator," she says, "and from the time I was taken home until I was sent to preschool, I preferred being naked. Once I had to wear clothes, I fell in love with them. I would only dress myself in elaborate layers and colours." As a teen, Margarita went to Toronto's Central Technical School, where she began studying fashion in Grade 10. Her hospital-style raver pants and appliquéd camouflage bra-and-panties set were early design hits. By 2006, she had launched her streetwear label, Proper Apparel, in Montreal. Her tag? "Because you can't always be naked...cover up, Proper!" Will Margarita's naked ambition impress the judges?
Jaclyn Murray, 26
"Designers set the trends - they don't follow them."


Jaclyn Murray hails from the Peg, but she headed to the Big Apple to pursue her fashion dreams. After graduating from Parsons The New School for Design, she returned to Canada to set up shop in Toronto. The freelance designer says that her signature style is effortless and unique. "I'm inspired by my experiences in life, art history and designers like Issey Miyake and Anna Sui," says Jaclyn. Her ideal celebrity client? "Jennifer Connelly." What sets her apart is her use of luxurious fabrics and the cultural references she incorporates into her designs. "The first outfit I ever created was an elaborate Japanese silk kimono." Will Jaclyn's worldly outlook impress the international judges?
Jessica Biffi, 25
"I'm young, but I definitely have the drive and the mad skills to match."


After seeing her first fashion show when she was a child, Jessica Biffi knew that she wanted to be a designer. She started by sewing clothes for her dolls but graduated to designing "super ghetto skirts" for her friends. After high school, she left her hometown of Guelph, Ont., to attend the fashion school at Toronto's Ryerson University. Her style is edgy and urban-inspired. "Canadian fashion flies under the radar," she says. "We need to put Canada's talent out there." Will Jessica's out-there designs appeal to a mainstream crowd?
Jeffrey MacKinnon, 41
"With me, it's one-stop shopping - I bring it all to the table."


As a young boy, Jeffrey MacKinnon fell under fashion's spell while watching his mother walk the runway. "I recall all the excitement backstage and seeing how clothes transformed people." At eight, he was sewing jackets for his dog, but by the time the Toronto designer graduated from Ryerson University's fashion school, he was designing cocktail dresses and bridal gowns under his own label, Jeffrey James. "Refined and elegant" is how he describes his style, and meeting Karl Lagerfeld and dressing Nicole Kidman are his fantasies. Does he have any fashion regrets? "There was this blue suit in the '80s-thinking about it still makes me cringe!" Will his impeccable tailoring wipe out the competition?



Find exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, weekly exit interviews, extensive photo gallery and cast blogs on the Project Canada Runway website: www.globaltv.com/runway







Sunny Fong, 32
"Canadian fashion is a secret, and my goal is to reveal it."


Toronto-born designer Sunny Fong skipped formal training altogether. "The first piece I ever designed was a dress for my friend in high school," he recalls. "It was an imitation of a piece from Versace's dominatrix period." Sunny had his own label, Vawk, for a few years and during that time earned fashion kudos for his "mean bias cuts" and "ultimately feminine" styles. "My goal has always been to create designs that are clean, detailed and sexy." Sunny says that he thrives on working on deadlines, but will he crack under the pressure?
Camille Prins, 28
"Fashion is my art. The best feeling is when someone tells you that they feel gorgeous in your work."


The path from Brooks, Alta., to Toronto's street fashion scene has been a wild ride for Camille Prins. After graduating from Toronto's George Brown College, she set up her Dutch Blonde studio in 2004 and, using her girlfriends as muses, started designing. "Kelly Ripa inspires me, but trees and nature are inspirations too," explains Camille. "I design clothing that is easy to slip into - even if the design is complicated, I want it to look simple. My goal is to create clothes that are cozy but also flirty and feminine." Comfort may be Camille's number one design philosophy, but will that pragmatic prairie sentiment be considered too ho-hum?
Danio Frangella, 33
"I bring years of experience to the table. I'm a seasoned designer."


Danio Frangella may have been raised in Windsor, Ont., but he fancies himself a global man of fashion mystery. He studied at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto before heading to Florence to study fashion at the Accademia Italiana. He then went to Milan's Instituto Marangoni to do a master's degree. He says that his Italian schooling is reflected in his "modern, chic and refined" approach. His design hero? "I would have loved to have drinks with the late Patrick Kelly. Any man who skateboards to work can do no wrong." He may have a Euro-sensibility, but will that give him the edge on this side of the Atlantic?
< Kim Cathers, 29
"Push every envelope, and don't get stuck in a box if you're not square."


Kim Cathers was born in Edmonton, but she's a Vancouverite now. She started her design career by restyling vintage clothes and using natural fibres when possible. After attending the fashion design program at the Blanche MacDonald Centre in Vancouver, Kim launched kdon, her clothing line. "I am innovative and creative, and I produce amazing clothes that are fresh and new," she says. Her designs may be "enchanting, progressive and innovative," but will she conform if it means she could win?



Find exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, weekly exit interviews, extensive photo gallery and cast blogs on the Project Canada Runway website: www.globaltv.com/runway



Jason Meyers, 31
"I'm hungry for victory. I want to show the nation what my brand is all about."


Steeltown boy Jason Meyers wants women to feel happy, comfortable and stylish in his designs. "I also try to be innovative yet timeless," adds the designer from Hamilton, Ont. After studying at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto, he launched his eponymous line in 2006. Jason believes his designs get better with age, but will this be his vintage year?
Genevieve Graham, 30
"My impeccable sense of style and meticulous craftsmanship make me stand out."


A fashion career was in the stars for Vancouverite Genevieve Graham. "I feel like I was meant to be a designer," she says. "It kind of chose me." She graduated from Vancouver's Helen Lefeaux Inc School of Fashion Design in 2000 and then launched her eponymous fashion line. Four years later, she accepted the post of head designer at Obakki. Genevieve says that she enjoys playing with contrasts. "The first piece I designed was a sleeveless top with a massive collar," she recalls. Genevieve may be a risk-taker, but will she play it safe to win?



Find exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, weekly exit interviews, extensive photo gallery and cast blogs on the Project Canada Runway website: www.globaltv.com/runway

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Project Runway Canada: The contestants