by Kela Walker Photography by Frey + Martin Location Courtesy of Spandex World
Project Runway’s fan favorite, Chris March, is no stranger to the wild world of fashion – but after making his mark on TV four years ago, the NYC-based designer has now taken on his own show in full effect.
Without words, Chris March speaks volumes as the go-to costume designer of powerhouse celebrities (his roster includes Prince, Madonna, Beyonce and Meryl Streep, to name a few). They all call on the jovial artisan for creations that catch the eye. After all, Tim Gunn took note, propelling the designer almost to the end on Season 4 of Project Runway.
Now with his own series, Mad Fashion, Chris’ work is reaching new heights, bringing his unique fashion sense and quick wit humor to the masses. Stepping away from his zany studio in NYC, Chris talks with YRB about his louder-than-life designs and how he has no intention of quieting down anytime soon.
YRB: How did you originally break into fashion design?
Chris: I broke into fashion design by moving to New York and doing some things for Fashion Week and corporate clients, advertising and events. I went from costume to fashion and then, of course, Project Runway.
YRB: Which one do you identify with more: fashion designer or costume designer?
Chris: Honestly, it depends on the client that I’m talking to. The one that gets me the job is how I go about it.
YRB: What compelled you to do Project Runway?
Chris: It’s funny because I was in the middle of a project – a fashion show – and they hired Tim Gunn to be the MC of the show. He saw my stuff and was like, ‘Your creativity is so unique. That’s what we want. Come audition for Project Runway.’ I was mostly a costume designer and didn’t have a fashion portfolio or anything. He told me not to worry about it and to simply come to the audition. I did, and the rest is history.
YRB: What was the most valuable thing you learned from that experience?
Chris: I think one of the main things I learned is that it’s a game and you have to listen to what’s going on and pay attention and learn from the judges in that particular situation. Plus, I learned how to be on television. When you live with a microphone on and a camera in front of your face for more than 30 days in a row, you kind of become a natural at it.
YRB: From Project Runway to Mad Fashion, how did you get your own show?
Chris: Well, a producer had the idea and he called me up out of the blue. He never met me, never knew anything about me other than what he saw on Project Runway, and he and his wife were big fans. He said he had this idea that he just couldn’t get out of his head about a reality show focused on me and my workshop. It’s about what I already do anyway, so they came and pointed cameras at my everyday life and that’s what Mad Fashion is all about. Every week we have a different client and we make them an outfit from top to bottom. Some are celebrities, but it’s a mix of people and they all need an outfit for an event. Each episode concentrates on that one outfit, and at the end of the episode there is a big reveal. Hopefully, they have a lot of fun and they get what they want out of it and make the impression that they want to make at their event.