This weekend I treated myself to a trip to the local “real” art supply store in the city and (among other things) bought some Inktense pencils. I’d never been happy with the results with my craft-store watercolor pencils, and had been itching to try the Inktense for a while. Oh, boy — the color and the possibilities! My only disappointment was that I hadn’t acquired them sooner…
I didn’t have any immediate plans for this page beyond seeing what the pencils could do, but then serendipity struck in the form of Project Project Runway. This week’s Challenge was to Create a look that is street chic, something that can be worn everyday of the week, but is fashionable and progressive.
I reproduced my original art print in a reduced scale for the “canvas” short coat, worn over classic street-chic black knits: mock turtle tee, pencil skirt and leggings, and topped off with a cozy tomato red muffler in bulky mohair. Operetta’s sense of drama gave the look real presence on the runway!
The judges were all impressed by the original fabric. Zac praised my good sense to let it speak for itself with a simple design; Heidi loved the colors and could see it over other things, from jeans to maybe even a gown; Nina used the word “editorialNo winners this challenge, only “in” or “out” — I think this look would have put me on the IN side of the equation.
The title of this week’s challenge refers to the fact the the TV contestants bid against each other for the contents of storage lockers and then had to use the contents to create their designs. For PPR, our challenge was: “Create a look from found items around your home. You can use fabric that is in other things like old clothing, but do not use fabric from your fabric stash. Make sure to make fashion and not a costume.” I found an old damask napkin and a shower puff in shades of burgundy for this semi-bohemian two-piece dress and head wrap.
I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the most inspired design. There’s actually a bit more detail than shows up in the picture — the colors are reversed on the opposite side of the damask, and I used both sides — which the judges would have noticed in their up-close review. And that may have saved me.
The challenge this week on Project Project Runway, was to create an avant garde look that can stand up to rain.
I found a wonderful large scale abstract print vinyl — it was in my stash, actually, a plastic beach kite I bought but never used in PPR Season 12 Episode 3 . The design uses strategically cut sections of the print for a Pop-Art inspired gown with umbrella-shaped elements in the capelet and double overskirt — a very different interpretation from Kini’s winning umbrella-inspired look on the TV version of the Rainway, My model, Lagoona, who’s part mermaid (check out those darling fins on her forearms!) and practically grew up in the water, didn’t have any problem walking the runway in the drenching rain. She’s known for her signature barefoot runway walk, which was a definite plus on the Rainway. It also meant I didn’t have to fret over the Perfect Look shoe selection (or lack of it) — we kept her accessories to a jaw-dropping ring with a stone that looked like sunshine glinting through the rain.
Zac liked the use of fabric and construction but wished I’d taken the design a little further to the edge to be truly avant garde. Nina was crazy about the fabric, and could see a very editorial shot in the magazine with the overskirts channeling the water away from her feet. Heidi would have gotten rid of the capelet and wished the skirt was shorter. (Doesn’t she always?) I think I’d be safe again this week, in large part due to the way I used the awesome fabric.
Before I get another week behind, here’s my entries for the last 3 episodes:
Episode 4: In which Kat and Susi at Just Crafty Enough sent us suits made for Ken dolls to remake for our models. Here’s my before and after:
Episode 5: In which we designed a red carpet dress for Heidi Klum. I really liked the back of my dress, with twisted straps and draping that conceals a center back slit.
Episode 6: In which we design an alternative wedding gown (and something else for the reception, for bonus points.) My quick-change demure lace-skirted gown to flashy gold sheath dress was designed with my werewolf model in mind.
Coming up: Red carpet gowns designed to set off red carpet jewellery. I haven’t started yet. I could be in trouble if I don’t make some decisions and get moving on this one.
This week’s challenge: Use an inspiration from your past to create a look for the pages of Marie Claire Magazine in 2034. I think having lived through a few more decades of fashion may have given me an advantage over some of the younger contestants this week, and I decided to use it: My future fashion design took inspiration from more than one decade of the 20th century.
Nearly every one of those decades has given us some sort of super-slim pant, from the ski-pants of the 1960s to the leggings 1980’s (and most every decade ever since) to the current super-skinnies – and I think the 2030’s will as well. I interpreted them and the matching long sleeved top in a stretchy black textured knit, simulating an all-weather heating and cooling fabric of the future. I added a kicky red knit 1960s inspired mini-dress for comfort, fun, and color, and made matching slouch-topped booties – a nod to the slouch socks of the 1980’s. Operetta is a big science fiction fan and rocked the look on the runway!
Heidi loved the length of the dress (of course); Nina didn’t hate it, but couldn’t resist a snarky Star-Trek-Red-Shirt comment; Zac liked the fabrics of the future idea and thought the design was wearable – at the very least, I think I’m safe again this week
This week’s challenge was to use movie and movie experience items to create a movie inspired look, including things found in a concession stand plus those used by people who make movies in things like the lighting, costume, and props departments
Well, I’m telling you that there aren’t a whole lot of items in the last part of that sentence that translate very well into doll-sized designs except for things from the concession stand, and by that I mean candy wrappers in particular. At doll-scale, they’re pretty much a fabric-equivalent, which the PR judges aren’t fond of. And they’re never fond of designs that come off as costume-y. (except sometimes on avant-garde challenges, which this wasn’t.)
My sculptural dress, pieced from Kit-Kat and Red Vines wrappers, was inspired by trendy graphic print dresses. One my model of the week, Cleo DeNile, it does come off a little like Wonder Woman’s cocktail dress, but I’m hoping the fit and construction would impress the judges enough to keep me at least safe.
I’m joining the Project Project Runway challenge over at Just Crafty Enough for the second season in a row. I had a lot of fun last time — it was a great way to push my creativity (and, truth be told, a nice excuse to recapture a bit of childhood playing with dolls for a while.) For the first challenge of the season, designers were asked to create a spring look that they could include in their collection for Fashion Week if they won. There was no budget for this challenge — we could only use materials from our existing stash.
Here’s the look I put down the runway earlier today.
I’ve culled my stash down significantly recently, but still not in danger of having not enough to choose from for this challenge. I wanted to create a look that I would include in my Spring Fashion Week runway show, but I also wanted to make something that my model might actually wear. (Robecca Steam is not your run-of-the-mill muse…) I combined a deep pastel orchid midi skirt with a over-tunic in an edgy orchid and black on ivory print, and topped the whole look with an orchid hand-knit mini-capelet. (Robecca and I both hail from New England, where Spring doesn’t actually equal warm weather.) We made some accessory choices from the Aldo wall, but ended up using Robecca’s own booties in the photo shoot, because they looked just *so* good.