Interview: Gary Graham brings a new story to Making the Cut season 2 premiere

Making the Cut. Image courtesy Amazon Prime Video
Making the Cut. Image courtesy Amazon Prime Video /

After a successful first season, the Making the Cut season 2 premiere had many fashion lovers on the edge of their runaway seats. As the first look to appear in the chandelier-lit fashion show, Gary Graham made a huge statement and had everyone taking notice of his brand. In this interview with Culturess, that story of redemption is only part of his intriguing tale.

The Making the Cut season 2 premiere on Amazon Prime introduced 10 new designers to the fashion competition. Joining Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn this season were two new judges, Winnie Harlow and Jeremy Scott.

While the new group of designers might have learned a few tips from Jonny Cota winning season 1, the reality is that this season tells a new story. More importantly, that first look and introduction to a designer’s brand statement can set the tone for future success.

For Gary Graham, the Making the Cut season 2 premiere put his fellow designers and the judges on notice. As the creative force behind GaryGraham422, Gary is not just a designer, he is an artist. While he has had a robust career in the fashion world, the reality is that the stories and inspirations behind his creations are as important as the statement prints that walk the runway.

In the first episode, Gary’s two pieces drew inspiration from the past, but there is more than just that piece of history. As he describes that “free-flowing story” as a “sci-fi girl” wrapped into the “Prometheus myth” that stunning print was more than a visual transformation of his imaginative story. In many ways, there is part of his tale woven into that print.

Making the Cut Season 2 premiere, Gary Graham winning look
Making the Cut Season 2 premiere, Gary Graham winning look, photo provided by Amazon Video /

That element of redemption is part of Gary’s fashion story. He said it’s “my experience with fashion. The experience within my company and building a company over the years and what that entails and my relationship with it and my personal growth.” For Gary, those multi-faceted layers are part of the reason why his looks are so intriguing, draw people in and have them longing for more.

While Gary’s two looks start the Making the Cut season 2 premiere fashion show, Gary admitted that he wasn’t necessarily “looking to make a winning look.” But, he admitted that “I wanted to go big like I would in a fashion show.”

With his two looks, Gary succeeded in going big. It was clear from the first model’s first step that those two bold prints were going to be top looks and eventually won.

Although the judges loved the bold prints, some people can shy away from those statement pieces. But, Gary shared that he feels people should try to incorporate some prints into their wardrobe.

Gary also shared that it is about finding that comfort level. While he might offer designs both in print and non-print versions, he suggested layering those prints into a look. The idea of balancing a minimal element in one area can help gain confidence to embrace more prints.

In a very interesting analogy, Gary said “I really see some of these prints as like new versions of camouflage. You know, like a lot of people wear camouflage and don’t even realize they’re wearing prints because they’re just part of their world.”

That concept seems to be what Gary does well in his storytelling. He opens people’s eyes to seeing differently. Like an artist who captures the vista in a whole new light, Gary looks to peel back the layers of what fashion and its story can be.

For Gary, that history and research are always part of his process. Whether it is diving deep into the past for a reference to a particular print or “the minutiae of where that jacquard came from, how it developed like, who designs that print,” all of those elements come together in a memorable look. It is that moment when fashion becomes art.

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Gary Graham won the first challenge on the Making the Cut season 2 premiere and his accessible look was available on the Amazon Making the Cut store.

Be sure to watch Making the Cut season 2 on Amazon Prime and see how Gary and the other designers progress during the season.

What did you think of the Making the Cut season 2 premiere? Did Gary’s looks blow you away?