Project Runway Season 14 (5th Place)
Merline placed fifth on Season 14 of “Project Runway,” and has been working hard in the studio while teaching fashion design to inner-city kids, every day since. Proud of her heritage, she loves to combine Haitian-inspired bold colors and patterns with American-influenced structure into her garments.
Merline can be intense at times, which may rub fellow designers the wrong way, but she’s bound to bring fun and laughter into the workroom with her nonstop, vivacious energy. Her design aesthetic can best be described as futuristic and retro and being thrown back into the fast-paced, competitive nature of Runway might be just what she needs to bring her designs to the next level.
CATCH UP WITH MERLINE:
Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Since “Project Runway,” I got the opportunity to be part of the SCAD Alumni Atelier (an artist in residence) program that further enabled me to enhance my perspective as a conceptual artist. I later moved back to my hometown, Miami, FL, where I have been able to continue with my non-profit, Provoke Style Fashion Camp. I made a lot of changes to seek and find a deeper purpose as a designer and what I want to convey to the world. I now spend my time creating couture-architecture avant garde glamor pieces. In Spring 2016, I showcased my work during both New York and Los Angeles Fashion Week. I have traveled back to Savannah, GA on multiple occurrences to participate in speaking engagements. Most recently, I was invited to display a capsule collection form Bloomingdales in Orlando, FL. I have now begun designing one of a kind bridal pieces. I love this season that I am in. It helped me remember my true purpose as a designer. I have found my voice as conceptual artist who merge fashion and architecture with a signature of classic glamour.
What garment from your season of “Runway” do fans compliment you on the most to this day?
Fans always compliment me on my first look on “Project Runway” — the burnt orange suit. That garment was the top three for the first episode of “Project Runway” and it really set a tone for the type of designer I am.
What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I am best remembered as the hat-wearing designer who merger fashion and architecture into her design.
What are your strengths as a designer at this point in your career? Any weaknesses you’re still working on?
In this point of my career I am always balancing the business of fashion and the creative side of fashion. I love thinking outside the box and exploring ways to create new perspective in my design process. On the other hand, my ideas takes a while to developed and time is always ticking.
How has your design aesthetic changed since your time on the show, if at all?
My design aesthetic has gotten stronger and stronger, and I really credit the pressure of the show with forcing that to happen! When I was on Season 11 I was afraid to be a one trick pony — I thought every look had to be so different from the last. I finally realized that your individual voice as a designer is the most important thing you have!
Who is your favorite fellow “Project Runway” designer from any season, including yours, and why?
Jeffery Sebelia will always be my all time favorite designer on “Project Runway.” I fell in love with his final runway collection. Though I love my season, there was something Season 3 that I could not get over. There were amazing designers making it happen!
What makes you all-star material?
My dedication to work hard, appreciation for no sleep and witty personality.