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:


Anonymous said...

How I love the colors in your high-end design--and that you got to use those boots! A boldly feminine look.

Your derivative design is sassy! Hope you get to use the chiffon in some upcoming creation--it's such a gorgeous fabric.

Don't you love working with tulle? It's perfect on this scale.

Anonymous said...

Also, if any of your readers would like to see the look that you derived your second design from, the photo is here:


Michelle Gardner said...

Thanks! I finally discovered that it's easier to sew by hand rather than use the machine ... for most fabrics.

Nancy said...

These two designs have been my favorite so far. I love your choice of color palette, as well as the hand-sewn beading. With haute-couture, hand sewing is a must. Any your second design is fantastic. The tulle gives it that extra kick! Well done! Really do love the colors...so vibrant!