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Bradon McDonald from "Project Runway" is one of the contestants in Season 12 of the Lifetime reality fashion design competition series. He is a 38-year-old assistant designer who currently lives in Los Angeles, California, but is originally from Lowville, New York.

Here is an interview with Bradon McDonald:

Describe your family:

Large Irish-American family, I'm the youngest of 6.

Past jobs?

Patternmaker, modern dancer (14 years of touring).


Eddie, pound mutt.

Bradon McDonald in "Project Runway 12"
Bradon McDonald Project Runway 12
did you realize you had designer potential?

I arrived at fashion design from both the performing and fine-art perspectives. I started collecting fabrics from around the world while I was on tour as a dancer. My partner, Josh, bought me a sewing machine, and after teaching myself how to sew, I began making rugs, quilts, book covers and pillows; basically anything to show off the fabrics. Being a dancer in NYC, everyone I saw all day carried a bag, or two, or three. I began a business making bags that grew over 10 years. I would tour with the dance company with my sewing machine in tow and set up each hotel room as my atelier. I then began making costumes for a burlesque show in NYC; some garments were very, very small (as one attending a burlesque show hopes) and some costumes were so large that they doubled as set pieces before I (or I mean someone) wore them. From there, upon retiring from the stage, with just 12 hours between my last show and beginning my design training at FIDM in LA, it was all "Runway"-bound.

First garment you ever made?

Burlesque garment — the picture might not pass censor regulations! But I will tell you there were remote control LED lights in a very strategic place so that when the performer touched her toes %#$@*#$.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

TALA (Textile Association of Los Angeles) best use of textiles, 2012; FIDM Fashion Design Award 2012; FIDM Guess Inc. Scholarship 2012; HGA (Handweavers Guild of America) best of show 2011; Cotton Incorporated, Embellishment competition Finalist 2011.

Strengths as a designer?

Fabric manipulation, embellishment, uncommon hand-sewing techniques.

Weaknesses as a designer?

Speed, eek!

What are your influences?

Always fine art and artists' concepts, and the fabric itself. Now my customer is a large influence on my designs.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

I don't have one, but if I did, The Carter Family (founders of country music), baroque composer Purcell, and Animal Collective.

Item you're most proud of designing?

A wedding dress that was the finale for my runway show in March 2013.

Favorite designer(s)?

Charles James, Madame Gres, Valentino, Mugler.

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Where does Bradon McDonald live? Find out here.

Age: ∼39 years old
Hometown: Lowville, NY
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

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