A quick pre-RunUp interview with Ra’mon Lawrence
You may have seen him most recently in New York. Maybe it was Paris. Perhaps it was in Minneapolis, his current hometown. Ra’mon Lawrence Coleman has been tearing up the circuitous world of fashion in recent years with his Spirograph-like designs, deep color wheel, and equal consideration of men’s and women’s fashion. You also may catch Ra’mon on re-runs of Project Runway on the Lifetime channel, where he was a contestant in Season Six.
Last Saturday, during the RunUp to the Runway at the Milwaukee Art Museum, he was the star attraction and a homecoming of sorts (he lived here for a few years). His pieces were intellectually stimulating, with a lot of thought put into using the palette and styles of great painters. We caught up with him hanging out with his beloved mother and friends on a special raised viewing area, sipping from champagne flutes and having a wonderful time in the early evening.
Lawrence: Oh, you saw that? [Ra’mon tweeted a picture POV-style earlier that day] It took a long time, actually. It took two hours. It was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever stayed in at a hotel.
TCD: What are we expecting to see here tonight? What were you thinking when putting together a collection for this show?
Lawrence: I think for me it’s about new trends, really sort of being about a really empowered, sexy, subversive woman — but also the counterpart, who is that guy she loves? But it’s also about color. I’ve always been a little frightened of color, so you’ll see a lot of teal and turq, but then also brown, black and white. And then the thing that will be really, kind of scandalous is transparency. You’re going to see a lot of the model, and maybe not so much of the clothing. Its really about construction and fluidity, in a way that’s very sexy.
Lawrence: I think that’s always the struggle, for the designer. Do you want to do something that’s going to be conceptually engaging on the runway, but also something that’s very saleable and understandable. For me, I think you’re going to see a bit of a mix. There’s a lot of separates, because you style something for the runway that is very avant-garde or over-the-top, but you look at the core of it — take that blouse but then pair it with some gray denim jacket — it still has that impact. So, as an independent designer I will always be cognizant of making sure of who my client is and what she’s framing. But still, something exciting and fresh.
TCD: What has your calendar looked like? What have you been doing and what’s next?
Lawrence: It looks like a vacation, that’s what it looks like. I just showed at New York Fashion Week in September, I’ve been traveling all around in Paris and London doing different things. It’s a mixed blessing. I can sleep when I’m dead. I’ve been working the retailers and the buyers, getting ready for another fashion week again, it’s non-stop but it’s a life that I enjoy. It’s the dream.