Sometimes the stylists on Project Runway open a door to a conversation that needs to be engaged. With Prajje Oscar Jean-Baptiste, his designs were more than just a fashion moment. It was an invitation to explore history and culture further.
Although Prajje may have stumbled upon the avant-garde challenge, some people thought he could walk away with the fashion crown. Prajje has a unique ability to weave history, culture and modern looks that got people talking long after the show.
Recently, Prajje spoke with Culturess about her time on Project Runway, Haiti’s connection with fashion and the prospects for her brand. Even though there was a time when he referred to fashion as an escape, that sentiment seems to have evolved slightly.
Specifically, Prajje said, “for me it was the dive into this almost fairytale space where I could escape my problems. I think maybe fashion creates a safe place for some ”.
Even if there is a safe place, Prajje’s projects on Project Runway were far from safe. From her exquisite painting to her ability to tell a story, many looks have given people the fashion moment they crave.
When asked about fashion as an art, Prajje’s blunt answer was quite telling. She said, “I think over the years for some, the art of fashion is dead, it’s important to keep that reminder, that fashion is art. Once you bring out the art, for me it’s almost like just being. making a soulless cloth “.
Prajje Oscar Jean-Bapiste explains Haiti’s influence on fashion.
As seen in many of Prajje’s looks and in his comments on Project Runway, his Haitian background is intertwined in everything he does. In a way, Prajje believes there is a lot to do in Haiti. Whether it’s the country’s contribution to society or its influence on fashion.
Prajje said: “Chambray dresses, for example, with gathered sleeves, detailed embroidery, is a design dear to Haiti, it’s called Carabella. as well as things like straw bags to wrap your head around. Headdresses were worn as a celebration of culture through the use of unique designs, fabrics and colors. In slavery, women were forced to wear headdresses so as not to tempt their slave masters with their “exotic hair” ”.
Additionally, Prajje shared that Haiti was “once the fashion destination in the Caribbean”. And he explained that “Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston wrote after a trip to Haiti in the early 1900s, in his book The Negro in the New World (1910) on his observations on fashions in Haiti: (and shared this quote)
“As for the dress of the two hundred thousand educated, although less exotic than it was, it is still, as in Liberia, the cult of the hat and frock coat. In the streets of Port-au-Prince as well as of Monrovia at 95 degrees in the shade and something below the boiling point in Haitian statesmen can be seen hopping in black silk hats of portentous height and luster with frock coats up to the knees and wearing gloves of kid with lemon Peasants show a taste for originality and a real sense of appropriateness in their costume.People educated in their passionate admiration for France do not even dress like the highly sensitive French settlers of the French West Indies or Africa do, but they wear what I believe to be the latest fashion in Paris. “
That ability to appreciate the history of fashion gives Prajje the ability to educate but seduce. While others might draw inspiration from the runways, the ability to weave historical context and appreciation into the conversation is vital to moving the conversation forward.
Prajje Oscar Jean-Bapiste ignites a conversation with his color choice.
As fashion trends evolve, Prajje has found a way to bring her culture into the conversation. Often through his use of bright colors and curious combinations, that willingness to be bold sets him apart.
Frankly, Prajje said: “I think my ability to master color sets me apart, I’m bold and very adventurous when it comes to mixing colors and prints that probably wouldn’t work. I think more and more people are converting to colors, we are living in such a depressing time, I don’t see why someone shouldn’t surround themselves with colors… Colors bring joy, especially on dull days. I was having a horrible morning, the morning of the flower challenge, but once I walked into the workshop and saw all the flowers there, my mood changed instantly. “
These claims seem to be at the heart of what fashion can do for people. It is more than just a cover for necessity. It impacts not only the person wearing the clothes but also the people around them.
As people leave the sofa behind, many people try to find fashion choices that make a statement. For Prajje, he seems to believe there is a balance. From “people who want to wear in their closet everything they couldn’t wear all year round. We also have people who came from the pandemic who are now more aware of their spending and are more subtle with their fashion choices ”.
Looking back on his time on Project Runway, he said he was very proud of “my 1804 look, my gloves and avant-garde”. But he has a regret for the show.
Prajje said: “I would definitely like a makeover with my haunted house look. since we are talking about redemption … I would also like to have the opportunity to make Dariana, my latest model, a real dress with real fabric. Not having the opportunity to actually dress Dariana in real clothes is my biggest regret from the show … I know how to make clothes FOR ANYONE, and I didn’t fit in! This really bothered me. “
Having gained many fans since his appearance on Project Runway, the future looks bright for the talented designer. Before hitting the catwalk, he has a personal goal and shared “I’m going back to being a father to my little girl. I still have to master it.”
For 2022, Prajje said: “As for branding, I will use these 15 minutes of fame and build my brand. Taking the judges’ critiques and applying them where I see fit. Dress up as many celebrities as possible, new products, open my own atelier. (now open), works on a new collection for September. You really take control of my career in fashion, I guess you could call it a fashion industry takeover of Prince Prajje … this is the future of Prajje Oscar.
And, as it takes a village to reach the pinnacle of success, Prajje shared: “I would like to say thank you to my parents, mom and dad for being the best parents they could be to me, even at the court you guys were the my strength before and especially during this pandemic “.
For anyone who missed all Prajje Oscar Jean-Baptiste designs from Project Runway season 19, the episodes can be streamed on Peacock. New episodes air on Bravo Thursday night at 9:00 PM EST.