Fashion Designer Angela Johnson is a sassy, savvy designer who makes gorgeous clothes, often from the most unexpected material. She has the greatest smile, and always rocks a perfect red lip. She was so gracious with her time and I’m so grateful she was willing to dish on her thoughts about fashion and beauty. She even let us see her makeup stash at home. You’ll see it on the last page. You can find her work at www.AngelaJohnsonDesigns.com, or Follow her on Twitter, @TshirtBallGown. I’ll include more ways to reach out to her at the end of our Q & A, and check out 3 of her runway shows!
Lip Gloss Addict: How did you get your start as a designer?
Angela Johnson: I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in L.A. and they also found me my first job in the industry working for X-Large Manufacturing, a collection owned by Mike D. of the Beastie Boys and X-Girl, owned by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. I got experience at that job and then started my own collection called Monkeywench with Christie Clark of Days of Our Lives. Today I own my own collection, Angela Johnson, where I make all of my garments out of recycled T-shirts back in my home town of Scottsdale, AZ.
LA: On Project Runway, Tim Gunn says you need a muse and to understand her style, and want to hang out with her. Who is your muse? What are her thoughts on style?
AJ: My muse is an imaginary gal named Dolly. She’s a local micro-celebrity who owns an art gallery specializing in pop-surrealism, cutting edge, contemporary, low brow art so she gets to dress up daily in fun, artistic clothing and also attends art shows and events that give her opportunities to wear more experimental event gowns. She gets inspiration from the 1940’s and 50’s rockabilly style but mixes it with a modern twist. She’s like Betty Paige with the shock value of Die Antwoord’s Yolandi Visser.
LA: What makeup like does your muse wear?
AJ: Similar to her clothing style, she likes to wear a mix of pin up style make up with modern/futuristic touches. For instance, she will rock a very red lip and high arch brow, but her lip will have an ombre effect or her brow will have unique details shaved into it.
LG: Her lip gloss favorite?
AJ: One day she will have bright red pin-up-inspired lips and the next she will have nude colored lips, but she always has a foundation of a moisturizing lip gloss underneath and a very glossy top coat.
LA: When you design, do you envision what makeup she’ll be wearing?
AJ: Yes, always!
LA: When you plan a runway show, how and when do you decide on the beauty looks?
AJ: Most of my runway shows are inspired by music. I’ll hear a song and picture it in a runway show. I especially love songs that aren’t typical of runway. I also keep a Pinterest board of inspiration for everything.
LA: What is your go-to makeup and gloss for runway?
AJ: I have always loved MAC because the colors are so rich and the make up texture is so smooth and easy to apply and blend. The artists are also very fashion forward and can understand my vision.
LA: What is the difference between style and fashion?
AJ: Fashion is more about the outside while style combines your outside and your inside with grace, a sense of humor and self-confidence.
LA: What style/fashion mistakes do you see women make most often? How can we correct that?
AJ: I enjoy how everyone has their own style, whether it’s similar to mine or not; so I don’t like to judge. But in a perfect world I think it would be amazing if everyone took more risks and had more fun with their style. It seems like the majority of the world is just trying to blend in and go unnoticed every day.
LA: What makes someone beautiful to you?
AJ: I think beauty is a combination of a lot of things both inside and out. Beautiful people are unique and different and celebrate that instead of trying to disguise it. They have a distinct feature, quirk or even something considered a flaw by society and they own it and celebrate it. Beautiful people also find the good in everyone and celebrate other people’s flaws and unique traits. They are forgiving, honest, humble, happy and sincere.
LA: When did you start wearing make up?
AJ: I think I was 14.
LA: What is your go-to beauty line?
LA: What is your favorite gloss?
AJ: I wear regular old generic Chapstick brand every night before I go to bed to keep my lips hydrated and prevent them from cracking in my sleep since it is so dry in Arizona. I also use it as a base under all of my lipstick. I like to wear L’Oreal Endless Lipstick in Saucy Sangria as a base that stays on all day with Almay One Coat Lip Color in Apple on top to make the perfect red. The extended wear lipsticks dry out your lips, but if you put a light coating of Chapstick under it and a glossier lipstick on top, it keeps it moisturized and won’t look so matte.
LA: What lip product/s are you wearing right now?
AJ: Today I’m wearing a nude lip that is a combo of Mabelline in the Warm Me Up color with a nude colored L’Oreal (Brilliant A Levres )gloss on top for shine.
LA: What is your favorite fashion trend?
AJ: Stretch wovens! When they started adding lycra to woven (non-stretch) fabrics in the 1990’s so that woven fabrics would have a slight amount of stretch, it totally changed my world! Garments that are traditionally made of woven fabrics like jeans and pencil skirts and traditionally uncomfortable but tailored garments, now have stretch so they are comfortable, forgiving and easier to wear for every body type.
LA: What fashion trend do you wish would go away?
AJ: Boot cut pants. I disliked them in the 1980’s and said I would never wear them and then I liked them in the 1990’s, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to still like them since then and I can’t believe they’ve been around this long.
LA: How do fashion trends influence beauty trends?
AJ: They are inseparable. Fashion includes a complete and total look and so beauty trends are tied directly to clothing trends.
Fans of Social Media can also find and follow Angela in the following spots: