Sunday, May 4, 2014

Alexander Pope Talks Project Runway, McQueen and How to Survive in NYC

Project Runway has brought a lot of colorful people to the world's biggest stage (television!) but some of them remain in the memory longer than others. Alexander Pope, Season 12's flame-haired avant-garde king, is one of those people.

I had the pleasure of chatting with him during a fun evening in New York City recently, at which time he reminded me that it was *my* fault that we hadn't already conducted this interview (oops). Alexander has a wicked sense of humor and an insider's view of Broadway and the more playful and extreme side of fashion.

Here now is that interview I've promised everyone for so long...

First of all, this is a longtime coming—my mistake! But here we are finally. We all know you showed some gorgeous and unusual pieces on Project Runway (Season 12) but not as many people know that you made a decoy collection for the show’s NYFW finale show. You’ve said the “glamping” challenge was your inspiration, but can you tell us more about how that came out in your collection?

Well it really came down to the fact that that challenge was my favorite of them all and I really wanted to continue with that theme. The silhouette of the trees really stuck with me throughout the whole season. So when I was chosen to do a decoy collection I just thought what a perfect chance to continue with it, and the thought of having more than 8 hours to design something really interested me.

Your hair is amazing and a memorable part of your public persona. When did you find this look and was it inspired by anything?

I've had interesting and vibrantly colored hair since I hit puberty in 1885, but this style has been my go to style for awhile now and I tend to go back and forth from red to blonde. I am a child of the 80's and New Romantic has been a lasting influence with me since then, so I think that's where it comes from.

1885? Well, next time we'll have to talk about your face cream, then, because it's certainly working! What are you working on now?

Broadway still beckons! I just wrapped up making some of the costumes for Aladdin, worked on some regional ballets, made some very cool costumes for the circus and am filling reorders for shows like Lion King, Pippin, Wicked etc... now I'm starting the new Marvel Universe show that will be touring this summer, including all the famous Marvel superheroes now owned by Disney.

Is there anyone from your season of Project Runway that you’d VOLUNTARILY collaborate with?

 I'd collaborate with the majority of them, the real question is would they collaborate with ME??

What’s your best advice for curvier fashionistas that want to look great?

I think the one mistake that curvier women make when dressing themselves is not buying clothes that fit properly. I constantly see people, men and women(!) wearing clothes too big or too small. I don't care what the trend is at that moment, ill-fitting clothing is never in style.

That's probably some of the best advice all of us could follow! As someone who lives in NYC and knows where to find a delicious lamb burger, among many other things, what’s your best survival tip for someone visiting the city for the first time?

I guess I was a little obsessed with the famous Breslin Lamb burger that night, but that's what several martinis do to me!

Don't go to Times Square. That place is a bloody zoo! Haahaa... I suggest making friends with a local and do what they do. This city is amazing and has a billion things to do besides the typical tourist traps. It is the best place in the country to have the BEST food. DON'T go to big chain restaurants while you're here.
There are thousands of delicious restaurants to eat from here.

Pick one....

Oh and also don't get mugged or murdered.

Don't get mugged or murdered- check! We recently talked a bit about your feelings about Alexander McQueen since Sarah Burton took over. Can you share some of your thoughts on the state of the house with us?

As far as my limited knowledge goes, I think the state of their house is doing well without the boss. I think Ms. Burton is doing a good job, all things considered with that devastatingly harsh blow, and I can tell why she was Heir McQueen's #1. But that said, no one will ever be him and the new collections have a more soft and subtle flair. I can tell a woman designs for them now.

What’s the best way for your fans to keep up with what you’re doing?

With my Facebook (AlexanderPope) and Twitter (@AlexanderAPope). I try to update those as often as I can. But remember, I can't always share what I'm working on at the moment...

What’s your current favorite…
Store or online store? 
I don't have one at the moment. I need to find someplace new to shop...
Song or album?
I'm feeling the as-of-yet unreleased Royksopp & Robyn collaboration “Do it Again”.
Item of clothing or accessory?
I love me some pointed shoes. They will always be in style in my eyes.

Thank you, Alexander!

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