It’s time to clear out the Foxtel planner of everything old and make way for something fresh and new. Yes, Project Runway Australia is all set to blow your televisions apart as it enters its fourth fabulous season. And to make this season all that more exciting, the PRA team are more than happy to introduce some new faces… besides the contestants that is.
Among the new faces? Think Australian living fashion legend Peter Morrissey, a powerhouse who has been part of the industry for 30 years now and who is known for his label, Morrissey. He not only produces sophisticated garments but also keeps it real with a mainstream line that appears in Big W, providing a range of stylish basics at affordable prices.
Add to the fact that he is an openly gay designer who is a Catholic Buddhist and quickly realise why Morrissey has lasted so long in such a cut-throat industry. It’s invaluable experience that he brings to the show as one of this season’s new judges.
‘Most designers make clothes that are talking about them,’ Morrissey told OUTinPerth from his Sydney office. ‘I make clothes that will get people talking about the person who is wearing them. I think the goal of every person in life should be to make other people feel better about themselves, which is perhaps one of the reasons I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years. I’m very proud of what I do.
‘I’ve mentored kids for years and what I say to the kids on the show is that I believe criticism is based in your potential,’ Morrissey said when quizzed about his new role as PRA judge. ‘So when I criticise them it’s in order to help them better understand what fashion is about, which is designing for other people’s lives.’
Morrissey notes that yes, he’s a tough judge. But alongside other new judge Claudia Navone, Fashion Director of Harpers Bazaar Australia, this dynamic duo do display that fashion can have a heart – they are liable to do a 180 degree take on their decisions if the story they are told by a contestant has the detail their garments lack. After all, it’s all about accentuating the positives.
‘I believe people should get dressed to tell people about how they are feeling that day, but in a positive way. Most people dress to hide something about themselves. These kids have to understand that they need to accentuate the positives in a person, create something that flatters and energises.
‘And they have to understand that they can’t just design for celebrities or the like. They have to design for real people who live real lives and who can only afford realistically priced clothes. That’s one of the reasons I do my Big W line: people can’t afford the fashion that they could a while back. I’m not doing a mass market line because I’ve sold out. I’m doing a mass market line because I understand my clients, and I understand that we’ve been through some pretty tough times.’
Morrissey is quick to add though that until an outfit is worn, it hasn’t existed. So what’s the key then to make an outfit that people are going to want to wear?
‘I believe most people dress to impress. I make clothes so people can dress to express.’
Project Runway Australia starts Monday October 8 on Foxtel’s Arena and will feature Peter Morrissey, Megan Gale, Alex Perry, Claudia Navone and special guest appearances from Danni Minogue.