Project Runway designer Marquise Foster redefines menswear

PROJECT RUNWAY -- Season:18 -- Pictured: Marquise Foster -- (Photo by: Joe Pugliese/Bravo)
PROJECT RUNWAY -- Season:18 -- Pictured: Marquise Foster -- (Photo by: Joe Pugliese/Bravo) /

Given an unforeseen opportunity, Project Runway fashion designer Marquise Foster had a second chance in season 18, and he made the most of it.

Midway through Project Runway season 18, Marquise Foster was eliminated. But, the Project Runway fashion designer received an unexpected second chance when Dayong left the competition. With this unlikely twist, Foster rose to the occasion.

On his first challenge back from elimination, the judges applauded his comeback. It wasn’t that Foster stumbled terribly during his first elimination; it was that he just wasn’t ready. That same concept arose during his final elimination before New York Fashion Week.

Having Foster back as a Project Runway fashion designer was good for season 18. Where several fashion designers looked to embrace volume and statement pieces, he made his statement in bold lines and structured silhouettes. Although a self-taught fashion designer, his menswear-inspired looks often earned him high praise. From the impeccable tuxedo jacket to those chain-mail pants, the masculine inspired looks set him apart.

Given that Foster is still early in his career, the judges agreed that he needs to appreciate editing. With so many ideas in his designs, he needs to take a step back and simplify. All those ideas are inspiring, but they cannot be combined into a single look.

In the avant-garde challenge, Foster struggled with editing. While the judges appreciated some of his innovative, the look needed a touch more refinement and a keen eye. With time, Marquise will have find that vision.

After his final elimination from Project Runway season 18, Foster answered some new questions for Culturess about the avant-garde challenge and his experience as a Project Runway fashion designer.

Culturess: While fashion designers find inspiration from many sources, have you ever been inspired by a piece of architecture?

Marquise Foster: Yes, I have been inspired by a piece of architecture. Coming to New York when I was 20 was an eye-opener for me. Seeing all the different buildings around New York is truly inspiring — especially seeing the new World Trade Center being built was magical for me to have to walk past every day.

Culturess: The venue/runway for this challenge, The Vessel, had a big impact on how the avant-garde looked. Did you take the venue into consideration for your design?

Foster: The Vessel was my main inspiration. To me, when you walked inside the Vessel, it reminded me of something from Star Trek. I wanted my look to feel like it belongs in space with a fashion vibe to it.

Culturess: The avant-garde challenge is often the most exciting one for the designers. Did you feel that this challenge was a good representation of your design aesthetic?

Foster: Being a part of the ballroom scene has made me try all types of fashion, and for me, this is something that I love doing. I wanted to add some ballroom into this look, and I feel I did just that and was able to show who I am as a designer.

Culturess: Being both a double elimination and the final elimination before New York Fashion Week, did the pressure inhibit your design process?

Foster: It was a lot of pressure. I felt I had a lot to prove to the judges from being sent home, and I wanted to prove my worth in the competition. My time wasn’t up just yet, and I feel I displayed that well once I got a second chance.

Culturess: Do you feel that Project Runway and this season’s challenges pushed you outside of your comfort zone? Did that make you a better designer?

Foster: I do feel I was pushed outside of my comfort zone. Being self-taught, there are a few things that I don’t know how to do, but I am a fast learner, and you can just show me once and I’ll catch on fast. For the show, I had to learn some things fast, which pushed my designs to be better than before.

Culturess: What was your favorite challenge of this season?

Foster: My favorite challenge was the tuxedo challenge. I love menswear, and that is what I am truly great at.

Culturess: What is next for you and/or your brand?

Foster: My next goals are to create a collection for Fashion Week and to become a union member for wardrobe, so that I can design costumes for movies and shows. I want to win an Emmy for best costume design one day.

Project Runway season 18 airs on Bravo, Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET.

Marquise Foster has his own namesake fashion line.

dark. Next. Brittany Allen proved second chances can be rewarding

What was your favorite Project Runway design from Marquise? Do you think that he deserved a spot in New York Fashion Week?