Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I Debate Project Runway and Madge’s Obscure Gem

I love Project Runway. Everyone knows that. They have pissed me off and continue to piss me off for reasons like accepting sponsorship from an oppressive cult like Weight Watchers ( no, it’s not a lifestyle change, it’s the fatphobic, calorie-counting version of the Church of Scientology) and Slim Fast.

But other than that, it’s a show I really like because it’s about fashion, some very creative things are shown, and the process is very entretaining.

But as far as the QUALITY of fashion that is shown on the show, well, I take that with a grain of salt.

Not that I am at the point where I can MAKE all the stuff they make on Project Runway, But I KNOW what I would like to BUY and WEAR. And I have been buying and studying couture since my teens. That is over 20 plus years of fashion, and my great grandma and grandma were both seamstresses, my mom was a model, and my dad was a very well-dressed guy. I have been designing my clothes and performance costumes since middle school, except I always had someone make them for me.

In middle school, I used to spend most of my recesses at the library reading about one of two things: dance or fashion. Or putting on the 12-year-old equivalent of drag shows at the school auditorium. By the time I was in High School, I was running the make-up, costumes and props of the barebones theatre department of my school. On my lab notebooks in grad school, along with my calculations and the formulas for the gels and solutions and concentrations, there were, yep, multiple sketches of pretty dresses...

The director of my lab once asked me what is it that I loved to do when I was not at the hospital, and I told him that what I loved more than anything in the whole world, was grabbing a copy of Elle or Vogue, choose my favourite editorial looks and reproduce them entirely at the thrift store. Not the answer he was looking for. Most "serious" science people think fashion is frivolous and beneath them. That is why they go around looking like Urkel or Jerry Garcia or any other fashion atrocity cliche. I washed glassware or presented cases or journal club in Marc Jacobs, or Chloe or Chanel. Because I created them for myself.

Why did I not pursue fashion from the get-go? Because I could not afford to take risks and I needed to do something where I would make good money and have some semblance of financial prosperity. God, was I mistaken!

But I know and understand fashion because I have been loving and obsessing about clothes since I was really little.

That is why I know the difference between looking at something cool, versus looking at something extraordinary. I have only seen extraordinary on Project Runway like 4 or 5 times and I can tell you exactly which ones...

Austin Scarlett’s corn husk dress

Jay McCarroll’s Chrysler Building Dress

Andrae Gonzalo’s Dirty Water Dress

Jeffrey Sebbelia’s Rock Star outfit

Chris and Christian’s Avant-Garde dress

And Chris’s blue dress from the finale

Other things have been nice and all, but extraordinary? Just those.

I go to look for my extraordinary, for my "serious" fashion elsewhere...

And my elsewhere is London. The East Side to be precise, the place that has given birth to the best designers of the last 20 years, McQueen, Westwood, Galliano, Pugh, Deacon, Holland... here are some good things coming out from London Fashion week. Of course this is my aesthetic and my picks...

Giles Deacon

Gareth Pugh

Vivienne Westwood

House of Holland (Henry Holland)

Burberry Prorsum (Christopher Bailey)

Pringle of Scottland (Clare Waight Keller)

Shoot, this is what the STUDENTS at the school where I want to go for my Master’s, Central St. Martins showed...

Anyways... that is where I get a lot of my inspiration and those were my favourite looks from London Fashion Week. Pringle’s and Burberry are from Milan, but they are British designers...

I also wanted to share a jewel of a Madonna video I found the other day. I don’’t think anyone hardly has seen it and it’s brilliant. Christopher Walken is in it and it’s amazing and for probaly my favourite Madonna song ever...

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