Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


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The Dream of My Life

 

English: New York City skyline - seen from the...

English: New York City skyline – seen from the Staten Island Ferry Deutsch: New York City Skyline – von der Staten Island Fähre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There is something I have always wanted to do, ever since I was small. I can remember laying in bed at night in the 60s day dreaming about clothes. Pink and black were my theme then. Jackie Kennedy was the first lady and her fashion sense was amazing to an 11-year-old. I wanted to look good in clothes.

 

I read Glamour magazine and Seventeen in the late 60s. There was a school in New York City that advertised in both magazines. The Patricia Stevens School – for what? I can’t remember but I know they trained models and fashion designers. I wanted to go to that school. I wanted to live in New York City.

 

I hadn’t – at that point – been anywhere other than Champaign, Illinois, a hunting camp in the UP of Michigan and a swampy nasty place in Arkansas. We went to Florida when I was 3 – California when I was 6, but I don’t remember much about those trips. I had also been in Chicago – which involved a long trip, lots of traffic, my dad not minding traffic rules, the car breaking down and not finding a hotel room ————- nightmare.

 

I still had a picture of New York City as exciting, exhilarating and magnetic. I saw myself living in a garden apartment decorated in yellow floral fabrics with a small garden off the back. It had lots of windows. My dream did not happen, but it is still there.

 

I am 61 now. I am the primary caregiver for a spouse who will have to live in a nursing home as soon as we can get him into one. I have been taking care of him at home for 3 years. This past weekend my son and I crossed a line where we knew that we cannot do this anymore. It is a 24/7 job and there are aspects of it that aren’t possible for us. My son is hanging by a thread and would do almost anything to get out of this situation. He is a great help but he is ready to leave just to have a break. I am ready to leave. 

 

In the midst of all of this I dream. I sew and make most of my clothes. I received a serger as a gift from my son for Mother’s Day – to this point I had used my Bernina Aurora 440QE and took double steps to sew and overlock seams. My Bernina is perfect.

 

I have started creating my own patterns, adjusting patterns to fit and draping. I received a dress form from same son for Christmas of 2009 and I have been set free since then. It is the best tool in any sewing room.

 

I just purchased a book on fashion illustration. I got it two days ago and I have already sat down with my pencils (and eraser) and sketched elements of faces. I have glanced through the whole book. I am enthralled.

 

I am back to my dream of being a fashion designer. I will be happy even if the fashions I design are only for me. But I would be happier if they were for everyone. 

 

I have set a goal. Next year I will apply to be on Project Runway – how scary is that? I will make it – and if I don’t – well I will have tried.

 

I like the flow of the top

I like the flow of the top

 

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Today Might Be Thursday ………

Michelle Lesniak Franklin's Awesome Design

Michelle Lesniak Franklin’s
Awesome Design

Hello! Today may be Thursday to the rest of you but for me ………IT’S THE PROJECT RUNWAY FINALE!

I will admit that I am a little bit of a LUNATIC about this show. I haven’t watched it for a couple of years …….. never turned it on. I think because 1) I was working full time and in bed before 8:30 pm and 2) I was in a bad damn mood because I was working full time.

Needing my time to create – I get pissed when I don’t have that time. Two days off isn’t enough time to do all the chores, rest the brain and create at the same time. I managed during those two years to cut something out one day and then sew it up over a couple of weekends. But it wasn’t enough down time for me.

I started watching this season when Samantha was knocked off. I thought she had some great ideas and her last outfit probably wasn’t that awesome. And then Richard – I think Richard is out there. He’s not bad as a designer at all. I think he has to work in his comfort zone – not doing weird stuff. I sympathize with him, being a person who sews knits A LOT too. I love knits. I like solid knits, printed knits and I’m nuts about the new digitally printed knits too. You can find some great ones at Tesutti Fabrics online. Google it because it’s a site in Australia – free shipping over $150. Even to us.

You all probably know that I am enthralled with Michelle Lesniak Franklin’s work. The shapes, cut, meticulous finishing and style of her clothing speaks of Eileen Fisher to me. Well maybe Eileen on drugs – but classic, edgy, clean and wearable.

You all also know that I don’t get why Patricia Michaels is still there. I haven’t liked any of her designs, I use that term loosely. The designs don’t work as clothing. Fabric and paint manipulation is one thing. Fashion is another. What is she thinking? A jacket with a black dickey over it is not style. She went to Paris? And Michelle stayed home?

And Stanley – I love Stanley – I would want him to win if I didn’t want Michelle to win. His clothing is classic and forward leaning all at the same time. He can construct better than anyone. He does complain too much about his helpers though. He needs to calm that down.

Tonight we’ll see who wins ……………………. I’ll bet Swatch from Mood Designer Fabrics gets to stay up late to watch the show!


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Project Runway – Yes, I Do Watch This

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum (Photo credit: fervent-adepte-de-la-mode)

Given all the SH*T that’s happened over the last week here in America – the bombings in Boston, the explosion in West, TX and the manhunt, I thought I’d change the tone a bit. Write some FLUFF – give us a break from Sturm and Drang. Make us feel better, if we can. So let’s leave fear and loathing on the table and talk about Project Runway. Well we’ll leave fear anyway. Loathing I am not so sure. . . .

I was really looking forward to Thursday’s episode. I knew Michelle would create a fantabulous bunch of clothes. I thought Stanley would too and I was sort of surprised that the judges didn’t like them. Daniel was a shoo in I thought. I thought that FINALLY they would bounce Patricia. Oh woe is me – they did not.

I honestly DO NOT UNDERSTAND the fascination with Patricia. The Big Bird Blue Mop was disgusting. Who would wear that? The collection she showed does not coordinate. It does not look like it belongs together. I would not wear horse hair. I would not wear a ruffled shift with huge sequins that must weigh a ton.

Here we have Stanley hand beading his designs. We have Michelle creating a whole story out of the theme of being isolated – and then we have this stuff from Patricia. And they let Daniel go because all of his clothes were black? WHA? Are they nuts?

If Patricia wins this challenge, which I fear she might since she’s stayed on through bad design after bad design – I will never watch the show again. I will not buy L’Oreal products nor read Marie Claire. I will shun Heidi Klum at her next party and I will never Tweet Nina Garcia again. I will be pissed.

There should be an outcry of disgust that someone with so little fashion sense is on this program. How in God’s name did she ever get in? If I send a video of me making ugly pieces of fabric and then making potato sacks out of them – will I get in? What do you think?

I say probably not. I say something is fishy here. I haven’t even seen Patricia WEAR anything I would put on my body. I just don’t get it.

On the other hand – look at the simplicity and meticulous construction of Michelle and Stanley’s designs. They are interesting, wearable, classical and yet forward-looking. They have style. Daniel’s designs were well thought out and were beautiful. I agree that solid black in all of his three designs was a mistake – but not as bad a mistake as that blue mop thing. I am so sorry he’s out. He is such a wonderful designer and his ability to create wearable clothing is immense. This old-fashioned thing I don’t get – ah maybe because I am old. I don’t wear frumpy clothes – and I think Patricia’s things are either frumpy or weird. No cohesion – no sense of style. She took white leather and painted it to make it look like a gingham shirt? Who wears gingham shirts? Did you see the leather shorts? The crotch was bagging. The legs were smaller than the hips. They looked odd on a dress form. Can you imagine wearing leather bagging at your crotch and the legs on the shorts cutting into your legs? What are the judges thinking?

Sigh. I was glad to see Layana and the rest of the sewing helpers. I don’t think Layana can drag Patricia through Fashion Week. But I am afraid the FIX is in and she will win because the judges are so determined she shall win. And as I said – that will be it for Project Runway – do not give the win to someone who is not a fashion designer. Please.

Deutsch: Die Beetrose "Heidi-Klum-Rose&qu...

Deutsch: Die Beetrose “Heidi-Klum-Rose” (Tantau 2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)