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Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

I’m sorry for anything bad I’ve ever said about Project Runway. I’m sorry for doubting Bravo and this season’s designers. But most of all, I’m sorry that so many horrific menswear outfits were created on tonight’s episode. Carmen, you and your unfinished pile of fabric, peace out! The third challenge was by far the most difficult, intriguing, panicky…my heart was racing the entire time. Overall, I agreed with the judges…though I really thought Kit should’ve won – I mean a fleece blazer, who would’ve thought? Brilliant. Christian’s was pretty “fierce” as well. I thought Jack’s was rather bland even though he won the challenge. Still, PR, you have my heart always and forever.

Oh, here’s my sketch for Tiki – a heather grey sweater vest, dusky blue collared shirt, navy seersuckers and a navy tie with maybe lime green stripes. The color palette too. I think it would look spectacular…I’m surprised no one else made a sweater vest..it would’ve been a load easier than the attempt at three piece suits everyone tried to sew.

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How could someone with a page on revolutionary fashion not write about Sofia Coppola‘s vibrant and grandiose vision of Marie Antoinette? It’s no wonder that an ex-intern at Chanel would imbibe the film with such exquisite taste. Coppola worked with costume designer Milena Canonero to recreate the modern version of the teen queen’s extravagant wardrobe – Milena then went on to win the Academy Award in 2006. Despite the centuries of controversy surrounding the French Revolution and the events leading up to it, Sofia envisioned Marie Antoinette and her compatriots simply as normal teenagers (this sentiment is evident by the placement of powder blue converse in a pile of period shoes). Unaware of the goings-on around them and selfishly foolish, but not purposely so…just typical of kids their age. Completely understandable since Antonia was only 14 when she married into French royalty. Perhaps because of my unwavering passion for shoes and accessories, I really focused on them as the center of the film’s whirlwind of stylized fashions. Beautiful, candy-colored, and delicately adorned, the shoes of Coppola’s Marie Antoinette forever dance in my head. Manolo Blahnik could not have designed a more striking collection…if only he would make ready-to-wear versions. And oh the jewelry! Most of the pieces are authentic 18th century and (naturally) glittering with age-old diamonds and stones. Since the real focus of the film (besides the actual plot) is the seemingly endless variation of opulent gowns, I suppose I should really move on. Although Canonero adorned most of the royals in silks, taffeta, and satin, she reserved gorgeously preserved 18th century lace for Marie Antoinette’s gowns. The gowns, although not precisely held to the fashion guidelines of the 1700s, were designed after the original shapes and mostly sewn in ateliers in Rome’s Cincecitta studios. Despite the fact that all of the costumes could hang in museums, there were a few that struck me breathless. The black masquerade costume made of what looks like French silk tulle, the famously innocent rosebud dress, and this yellow and pink gown are my favorites if I had to choose. The palette is creamy…butter yellow, cloudy blue, pistachio green, and rose pink. Sugary sweet. Although the Queen is depicted as wearing decadently decorated gowns for most of the film, she really preferred much simpler dresses. This taste for bland fashion revolutionized the trends of the time and brought about a different style of dress during the Revolution. This film’s breathtaking, indie beauty and the intricacy of the edible costumes make me pistachio with envy. I would die a thousand deaths at the guillotine for a chance to own Mme. Antoinette’s fur Blahniks.

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Okay, so I was going to wait until after the end of the second episode to post this, and I’m hoping that I’m proven wrong, but is Project Runway going the way of every other reality show? When it first aired on Bravo on December 1st, 2004, it revolutionized the current reality show trend. PR actually relied on its premise rather than drama…gasp! Yes, there were a few catty scenes with Wendy Pepper and “Morganza” as the catalysts, but all-in-all it was the talent that was the showcase. How could anyone forget Jay McCarroll‘s showing at Fashion Week? It was the antithesis of anything that was currently being done. It blurred the lines between quilting and fashion. It was technobohemian and it was absolutely brilliant. Season 2 brought us the explicit Santino whose style left little to be added, but whose craft was impeccable. And despite the show’s trailers for high drama, the season 2 contestants really just seemed like one big happy family (with some holiday arguments to keep it entertaining). Then came season 3, adding some mom drama with Jeffrey and Mrs. Angela and just a tinge of Laura’s wrath. But all in all, PR has continued to rely on the talent of its designers rather than the drama that has ensued. And maybe my expectations were just really high for the first episode because of the precedent that has been set, but I was entirely too disappointed by the fourth season’s first delivery. Not only did I find the designers’ fruits of labor to be incredibly boring and reproduced, but I found that the trailers for the show have shifted their focus to the drama rather than the challenges. Sure they showed the designers running across Bryant Park for the 50k motherload of fabric from Mood (some more slowly than others), but I want to see dresses made from corn husks and lawn chairs! Hey, how about for your first challenge (this is obviously me speaking in the voice of the producers), you get to work with beautiful designer fabric, make whatever the hell you want for whoever the hell you want, and all we’re going to do is make you run 50 feet for it. It’ll be crazy! So lame. And as it turned out, the designer’s “signature styles” left us bored to tears. In previous seasons, we hardly knew anything about the designers and now, we’re seeing their secrets revealed for the purpose of good television. ***SPOILER*** The trailers don’t elude to any of the future challenges, but they sure play up Jack’s HIV status and make a huge production out of his big reveal (he later gets a serious staph infection and has to go home). ***END SPOILER*** And while they really played up Christian’s arrogant, boy wonder attitude, I found that he seems like a perfectly normal, nice (albeit a little catty) guy. Don’t get me wrong, Project Runway is and will always be the show that shares my commitment to NBC’s The Office, but as a huge fan with great expectations, I am let down by the first episode. Bravo’s revolutionary status is slowly slipping and it’s pulling Project Runway with it. Please let me be wrong. Please tell me that everything I wrote is unfounded and heinous. And please tell me that the second episode brings joyous tears to my eyes. I want to see brilliance and I want to see it tomorrow night at 10 p.m. eastern time.

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