Tuesday, February 02, 2010

PR Week 3 - The Hi's and Lows of Fashion

Week 3 of Project Runway brought us The Hi’s and Low’s of Fashion. This week, the designers had to design a haute couture gown. They were taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and shown ten garments from the Costume Institute – dresses made by fashion icons such as Christian Dior, Balenciaga, and Yves St. Laurent. Using these iconic dresses and designers for inspiration, the group were paired into teams, given $500, and challenged to design a haute couture outfit.

Then, Tim Gunn added a twist: The designers also had to create an inexpensive, ready-to-wear outfit based on one of their competitor’s high-fashion designs from that week. For $50.

I found haute couture inspiration from the 1960s, specifically Sophie Gimbel and Fernando Sarmi.

I dressed Merisel in a sheer but lovely chiffon in shades that combined both the Gimbel and Sarmi colors.
From Gimbel, I took the one-shouldered, draping effect with an emphasis on the edge in the bodice. From Sarmi, I applied the draped and slightly racy hem and the tri-color theme. The go-go boots go with the 1960s inspiration.

Because the inspirational Gimbel gown looked matronly, I definitely needed to bring it into a modern style. Hence, the more interesting bodice and shoulder draping. At the same time, Sarmi’s racy hemlines are no longer so daring, so the skirt hides a very, very mini skirt…a skirt that only a woman’s date should see.

In true haute couture style, I hand-sewed the beads to the bodice, shoulder and hip.

Competitor Becky inspired my ready-to-wear look, worn by last week’s model Annette.

I used the opening outfit from Becky’s final collection last season. I loved the color combination – probably because it’s similar to my haute couture ensemble.

However, instead of using purple silk chiffon, I created a less expensive bodice in purple knit a la a t-shirt but draped like a peasant blouse. The black leather seemed more appropriate for the A-line skirt, to which I added a sprig of Becky’s turquoise tulle. I had some left over leather and tulle, so I added the belt and matching clutch.

After the runway and judging, the models were paired backstage. Apparently, they didn’t speak to one another.

My previous PR attempts:
Week 1
Week 2

My PR competition:

Friday, January 29, 2010

PR Week 2 - The Fashion Farm

[yes, posting late again]

Week 2 on Project Runway brought us The Fashion Farm. Under the premise that “she would look good, even in a potato sack,” the designers were challenged to use a potato sack to design an outfit. One little caveat: Their models got to choose the designers and would be the client!

Apparently, less than 10 minutes into the Project Runway episode, the following phone conversation occurred:
[Paulie Neutz] Hey Merisel, it’s your manager.
[Merisel] Sshh sshh, girls! It’s Paulie. Tweets, manager guy.
[Paulie] Uh, yeah. So, babe, this thing with the potato sacks. Not exactly your thing, is it?
[Merisel] Um, is it?
[Paulie] Yeah, so, you have nice, youthful skin. Remember we talked about getting a L’Oreal skin care gig—
[Merisel] I got a commercial?
[Paulie] Focus, babe. Let’s talk about the potato sacks. Don’t want to be roughed up by burlap, right?
[Merisel] Um, I guess. But what does that have to do with the potato sacks?
[Paulie] No, yeah. Babe, a potato sack is made of burlap.
[Merisel] Burlap. And…?
[Paulie] So, babe, it’s rough. It’s—
[Merisel] Sshh sshhh. What? What!? The girls are saying burlap feels worse than wearing fishnets wrapped in cheap wool! Is that true?
[Paulie] Pretty much, babe, not that I’ve ever—
[Merisel] Cheap wool, Paulie! Like I’d be some vampire’s victim in that Bonton place on HBO!
[Paulie] Yeah, babe. So, how do you feel about—
[Merisel] Sshh sshhh. What? What!? The girls are saying I have to wear the outfit to an industry party! I have to go out in public in cheap wool, Paulie! To an industry party with endlessly cool people!
[Paulie] Yeah, babe. So, you probably should—
[Merisel] OMG, I can’t be a Bonton victim at a party with cool people, Paulie! Edwards and Jacobs are supposed to fight over me and seduce me. Edwards and Jacobs, Paulie!
[Paulie] Yeah, babe. So, you’re saying—
[Merisel] I am not doing this challenge!
[Paulie] Right, babe. Good chatting with you.
[Merisel] Tweeter, Paulie.
[Merisel] Burlap! Edwards and Jacobs. No, can't. Cheap wool! OMG, like a rough Bonton victim. NO!
[PR Producers] Right, so, we'll find another model.

The producers found a highly experienced – if a tad more curvy and less tall – model named Annette. A model who actually likes to wear burlap. Or, possibly, who wants to restart her flailing career and go to the industry party.

Meesh couldn’t find any burlap (or possibly didn’t feel like spending $$ on a yard of it). Instead, she used cheesecloth…an infinitely more evil form of fabric. A fabric that unravels if you breathe upon it, that refuses to maintain a sewn seam, and that resembles sterile bandages just a little too well. Annette actually liked it – must’ve been the reference to bandages.

In any case, Annette as the client wanted a sporty look, one that showed off her curvy figure and toned abs. She wanted the outfit to incorporate her favorite color, orange. Oh, and she kinda liked the fishnets-and-burlap idea one of the models sniggered about while they waited for the designers to show up.

So, Meesh designed a bandeau-type top in cheesecloth overlaid with mesh formerly used to contain a bunch of cherry tomatoes. The pencil skirt starts at Annette’s hips to expose her toned belly.
Instead of placing the usual sporty vertical stripes on the outside of the skirt, Meesh applied a vertical mesh panel in the front. In the back, she angled the panel to emphasize Annette’s sexily curved hips.

Annette's carrying a drawstring purse made of mesh-covered cheesecloth. The strings are beaded with orange beads, of course.

The night of the party, the following occurred:
[Merisel] Sshh sshhh. What? What!? I’m not wearing burlap so I can’t go to a party with cool people! But Edwards and Jacobs, Paulie!
[Paulie] Yeah, so, I gotta go. Tweets, babe.

In the models' suite before the party, an enterprising photograph caught an interesting vignette.

My previous PR attempts:
Week 1

My PR competition:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Go Take a Leap!

This morning, Shadowfax finally did what I've been worried he would do...he fell a good 15-18 feet. And, of course, it wasn't intentional.

My bedroom is a loft, with a 5-inch-wide ledge atop a waist-high wall separating me from plunging to the first floor. About 2 to 2.5 feet separate the bed from the wall. Shadow has been fascinated by the ledge, cautiously stepping onto it from my bedside table. Once on the ledge, he'd wander down its length to the dresser and then leap to the bedroom floor. If I responded fast enough, he'd immediately jump off the ledge and curl up on the bed while I scolded him.

Well, he finally found out why I yelled at him. He took a flying jump from the bed onto the ledge, but his momentum carried him right over the edge! I heard a tremendous crash from below.

I took off down the stairs, expecting to see him impaled on a dragon or sprawled broken on the brick hearth -- which both rest immediately below his jumping point. He wasn't there. I couldn't tell where he'd landed, although the dragon's pewter horns had been scattered. Angel looked flabbergasted but provided no clues. I called Shadow's name several times before he darted out from beneath a chair to scurry up the stairs.

I say scurry because he kept low to the ground and the bell on his collar didn't make a sound. (Now that I think about it, perhaps the bell got damaged?) Back upstairs, I found him cowering near the bed...with his tail tucked under and his ears flat.

I checked him for injuries, but he never made a sound or twitched in pain. So I hope he simply was scared. He stayed in the same spot for a half-hour. Eventually, while I put on my make up, he jumped onto the bathroom counter like he usually does. But when I stepped away, he looked uncertain about getting down again. So I put him on the ground.

I hope Shadow learned his lesson. But I fear he'll forget and try this again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project Runway - Week 1 Challenge

Introduction / Explanation
Last Thursday, we witnessed the beginning of a new Project Runway season. Well, at least I witnessed it! Anyway, I decided to join the design challenge...I will design a dress as part of the current week's training. I have a competitor (Becky Cochrane), who has participated in multiple Project Runway seasons, so don't be surprised if her weekly results are better with mine!

A final comment...yeah, I'm several days late in producing a dress for last week's runway. In future, I plan to post my results on Monday.

Feel free to comment / vote on each week's challenge.

Let's Get Started!
For Week 1, the designers had five minutes to grab a set of fabrics. Then they had to choose just five fabrics, and produce a dress that represented who they are as a designer. I had to shop for fabric, but tried to head to the remnants sections so I could pick from what was available, thus being the spirit of the game. The dress should represent the designer's personality and design style.

Model: Merisel*

I love evening wear, so I chose to create something a woman can wear out to the opera or a formal event. Since I'm not fond of dresses (off-the-rack dresses never seem to fit right), I designed a top and skirt, with a coordinating cape.

I love fluttery, floaty, girlie, skirts because they feel so romantic - hence the satiny skirt. The deep, rich mulberry shade is close to a formal black without being predictable or traditional.

Despite my penchant for romance, I do enjoy sexy clothing. So, I created a fitted top with a plunging back. I used a lovely brocade material with a gold, brown, and pink pattern.

The cape conveniently keeps that bare back warm and allows her partner's hand to wander discreetly (in case her boyfriend is watching). The velvet cape coordinates with the skirt, and provides a feeling of elegance and affluence.

*Merisel's new to modeling, so play nicely, little kitties!