Through my sweeties Tom and Lorenzo of Project Rungay fame, I have discovered the glory that is Project Runway Canada.
My heart is afflutter with joy and hope and creativity!
It has the freshness and intellectual challenge that regular Project Runway had on the first and second seasons, and then a few things more that have made me fall as head over heels as the first time I saw a 20 year old Johnny Depp in a leather jacket, pouting and brooding on "21 Jump Street". Damn, I used to write " Mrs Milla Depp " on my college notebooks. It was THAT bad.
It all starts with the supermodel host. Project Runway Canada stroke a coup de grace when instead of getting someone fluffy and predictable, they cast the perfect, immaculate, intelligent, articulate and all around paragon of womanhood that is Iman. Next to Iman, Heidi looks like a cream-filled Berliner. Seriously.
Iman, like Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn just radiates regally. She is truly INTELLIGENT and caring and can wear an potato sack and make it look like it was made of sheer spun gold.
I envy that woman. Not because she is thin and a model. No. Because she is such a Queen with a capital Q, that she managed to steal the heart of my dream man, the amazing David Bowie. If I had to swap lives with any woman in the world, I would swap with Iman, circa 1984. Second, would be the horse-faced bitch called Trudy Styler that gets to have tantric sex with the God that is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner. I would gladly give up 50 IQ points for one of those sessions. But I digress. 3 years of celibacy will make you do that. And yes, I think I would have a chance with those guys. Once you go fat, you never go back. Why have a snack when you can have a feast? The bone is for the dog, the meat is for the man, and so on assorted, yet true cliches.
Project Runway Canada in its 1st season, is also presenting the designers with challenges that push the boundries of talent and creativity. And being that is is in Canada, which I can say without doubt is much more open, fair, affirming, democratic, feminist and progressive country the challenges reflect that whole frame of mind. I love Canada. With my whole heart.
They have had challenges focus on saving the environment, raising AIDS awareness and yes. a POSITIVE outlook on PLUS SIZE FASHION AND SIZE EQUALITY. HELL YEAH!!!!
Everyone knows that size equality and helping and raising awareness for the global issue of HIV/AIDS are two things that are an intrinsic part of who I am.
I went into medicine BECAUSE of the AIDS crisis. Because so many of my friends,colleagues and people I worshipped like Michael Bennett and Halston and Jean-Michel Basquiat were taken much too soon by this puzzling and devastating virus. I hate that motherfucker. And I think the science and medical world ought to be ashamed of themselves for not exponentially redoubling their efforts and finding a CURE in almost 30 years, when they have squandered ressources finding treatments for erectyle disfunction and shitty weight loss and more "me too" drugs. If they were really trying, HIV would have gone the way of smallpox. And it COULD and SHOULD have already been done. That is why I think the medical and science world needs to check itself because it is wrecking itself. But I digress again.. Ahh, my issues...
This year in the US edition of Project Runway the challenges have been well, unimaginative and in contrast to the Canadian edition and past seasons, they seem, well difficult from a technical perspective, but really, from a conceptual standpoint, easy.
The "Tim Gunn" mentor figure on the show is Brian Bailey. If you cover your eyes, his voice and intonation are a carbon copy of Sir Tim. But THE WORDS that come out of his mouth are so much more wise, compassionate and well, intelligent. Here is his bio:
Brian Bailey is in the master class of Canadian fashion designers. Celebrated for his sophisticated, urban sportswear collections and all-out glamorous evening wear, he has also earned accolades as an innovator and motivator in his commitment to, and promotion of, Canadian fashion and talent. An industry leader and style maker, Brian's legion of fans run the gamut of fashion editors, international celebrities, and Canadian women from coast to coast. Brian's love of fashion began in retail menswear in his native Alberta and quickly progressed via promotion to buyer for the chain's 33 stores. A stint as a visual merchandiser for The Hudson's Bay Company came next. But it was his move to Toronto to attend Ryerson Polytechnic University Fashion Design Program that sealed his future and was the launch pad for his career. In 1983, Brian was hired by the well-established manufacturer Bernard Cowan. His flair for design soon revitalized the company and, in 1988, he began designing his own label under a licensing agreement with the House of Cowan.
Since launching his eponymous women's sportswear collection in 1992, Brian has continued to strive to create contemporary designs for the wardrobe needs of today's women. Impeccable tailoring and his use of fabrications that flatter the female form are hallmarks of his style. Not shy to cater to the needs of all women, Brian was the first Canadian designer to create collections in both regular and plus sizes. His collections have sold in specialty boutiques and fine department stores including Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and The Bay, and Harrods and Selfridges in the United Kingdom. In early 2000, the doors opened on two Brian Bailey Boutiques in Toronto, Canada. These award-winning signature stores showcase his seasonal ready-to-wear collections and spotlight Bailey's remarkable red carpet-worthy gowns and special occasion evening wear.
Not content to rest on his laurels, in April 2007 Brian combined his signature style and understanding of the fashion business to create a very wearable, affordable designer collection that could reach women across the country. A true showman, Bailey stepped in front of the cameras and premiered this made-in-Canada capsule collection designed exclusively for The Shopping Channel. In less than 24 hours, the collection was a sell-out and Brian Bailey had the highest rated designer launch in The Shopping Channel history. With over 20 years in the fashion industry, the name Brian Bailey is synonymous with outstanding quality, exceptional design, and fabulous style.
On the third season, Tim really pissed me off by calling a size 6 model "zaftig" and "plus-size". He also is one of those misguided fashion people that think women any bigger than than a two month old cadaver ought to be put in a black muumuu because they have "figure-flaws" that need camouflaging. No. We don't. What we have is actual bodies and figures. And designing for a straight, long body with no curves, is just sheer laziness hiding behind the upturned nose of elitism, fat-phobia and culture-wide anorexic ideation. We don't need camouflaging. We need clothes that highlight and accent the fact that our bodies are in fact, more beautiful. There I said it. We are WAY hotter than skinny chicks. Sorry skinny chicks, but it needed saying. We have boobs and asses and hips and waists and we look amazing. The reason why the skinny women try so hard to assert their looks-superiority, is because they know deep inside their heart of hearts, that when they are next to a woman that looks like a woman and she is also confident and fierce ( pardon the Tyra-ism), a prissy, chocolate-deprived and frigid skinny chick just simply dissapears. Don't take it personnal. Some of my best friends are thin.There are also awesome skinny women. They just are smart enough to have substance. And damn, they try so hard to be us, they go out and PAY for what we have, like big breasts and cushy tushes and smoother skin.
So, without further due, here are the amazing videos and photos from the 1st season on Project Runway Canada episodes 7 and 8.
On episode 8, the designers were shown iconic looks from periods in fashion history, from the 18th century "robe a panniers" of the Louis the 16th court, to Vivienne Westwood punk. They had to re-interpret the elements of these trends into swimwear. For both skinny chicks and plus sizes.
These are Bidell's. He got Asian:
These are Marie Genevieve's... You have NO IDEA how much I LOVED her second suit and her model. She got punk:
These are Kendra's.. She should have gone Sophia Coppola on these and gone full-tilt "I want Candy" pink and sky-blue and lace and eyelet on these. The hair on the plus model was misguided too:
These are Lucian's. I am so in LOVE with that boy. A theatrical designer from Transylvania? Geezus, I swooned... He got gipsy/hippy:
These are Shernett's. She got flapper. I did not get flapper at all from either suit but , whatever...
These are Stephen's. He got Grecian Goddess. I am thinking he should have gone in a different direction with the plus ( less drapey white material) and should have been a little less literal: