Friday, September 25, 2009

Blogging Project Runway: Girls on Film

So in this next challenge, the designers had to tackle movie costuming from several genres.
Yet again, the challenge was bit vague and disjointed. I mean there are so many crossovers!You can do period action adventure (as in The Time Machine), contemporary Science Fiction (how about "Outbreak"?), futuristic Science Fiction film noir ( BladeRunner, anyone?)... The sky is the limit really...
I would have preferred if the producers/judges would have taken the path of my sketching teacher in fashion school and made them pick a movie as inspiration and create a garment. We had to create a mini collection with at least 6 looks for our assignment.
Fashion history was my favorite subject in fashion school and I LOVE taking period costuming and modernizing it. Specially Victorian and Edwardian being that I am, well, a Goth freak.
As far as the people who picked Period Piece, only Gordana's was accurate to period. I was AMAZED they were so harsh and critical. Christopher's although a beautiful interpretation, was terribly anachronistic as Tim Gunn mentioned during his critique. His costume was Victorian-ish. But NO Victorian garment, not even a Victorian prostitute's, would have been sleeveless.He might as well have put her in platforms and a 'fro. Plus he used panniers in a Victorian garment????Those are 18th century babe...pick a period, ok? And an Obi sash in manner of a pseudo-corset... Really in a way his look was kind of Baz Lurhman-ish because he does anachronism too.
I mean I really find unacceptable that designers, even self-taught ones, act like it's ok not to know fashion history. It's NOT ok. It's something that is critical as a designer to know and it enriches your knowledge and craft as much as I guess pattern making or whatever.
I mean right now I am in the middle of projects with clients that want Egyptian-inspired garments, 1920's stuff, a myriad of things.
Althea's was great and well constructed but it was a very wearable, contemporary look. I did not see the essence of Film Noir though. It was not dark or smoldering. I just happened to be black. Not the same thing.
Carol Hannah's and Logan's were appropriately "Matrix-ish/Tomb Raider-ish". I bit too shiny though... I would have loved a little more leather and maybe some distressed elements.
I loved Epperson's. Although less costume-ish than the rest, his look had a lot of interest and soul. For a 1 day turnaround the amount of detail was incredible. All that gathering for ruffles in 1 day????
As I said, I thought Gordana's was the most true-to-period, and the one that looked most expensive actually.
I was not fond of Irina's. I did not understand the reason for the organza wrap and the lace insets were a bit sleepwear, a bit vulgar. Yet again, just because something is black, it does not necessarily feel "dark". You can make a garment in white or even baby pink and it can be tremendously dark and twisted.
I thought for sure this was going to be Louise's challenge and she was going to hit it out of the park.
But her design was not on track because of 1) design issues and more importantly fit issues and fabric choice. I have seen her stuff and she could have totally nailed this challenge. What happened? It's like she did not really try...
I thought the winning look, Nicholas', deserved the win. But I think he owed 55% of his win to Collier Strong and the bang up job they did on hair and make-up. As far as "dark" his look was darker than those who picked Film Noir even though it was white.It's about the feel and spirit, the soul of the garment, as much as about the color.
I feel so bad about Ra'mon. He is lovely and very talented. It is always bad to double guess yourself. He should have carried on with his initial jumpsuit design, I think. I feel that in this case the choice of colors was what hurt him most . Had he chosen a metallic or earth tone ( more python than frog) palette he could have pulled off that unitard look.
I designed lizard/reptilian inspired costumes when I choreographed a piece called "Reptilium" in college. I had three dancers in unitards with peeling reptilian skin at different spots but my palette was silver and gold.
I actually kind of loved Shirin's "Saloon girl" look. Although it was the most costumish of the bunch, the color choices were excellent and it looked more sophisticated and yet again darker than the "Film Noir" entried. It was kind of interesting how the designers who got a genre they did not really want actually did better with their designs that the ones who got their choices and actually stuff that would have been ideal for them. Maybe you need adversity in order to truly fuel creativity...
This was a great challenge, but as a I said in the beginning of the blog, I think more focus on direction would have led to much more interesting garments on the runway.
By the way, this is one of the pannels from the class project I did with the Victorian "Sweeney Todd" inspiration... As you can see, although the elements are very true to period, the fact that I used a lot of menswear silhouette's made it a lot more contemporary. And the general feeling of the sketches in unapologetically dark and goth.

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