Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lets play catch up!

Hi there . I am popping in to say hello. I closed my show Sunday night and after a 7 show week .... I am quite exhausted.This was such a special experience for me....sharing the stage with my child.As with any show, I always grow as an actor and a person. It was very special to see my daughter experience this same growth.Closing a show is also a bit of a sacred thing for me. You see, it(the show) simply vanishes into the mist when it closes it is gone.My hubs calls it Brigadoon. Have you heard of the magical town that only appears once every 100 years? Live theatre can possess that same ephemeral alchemy.
My daughter is suffering the Post Show Blues,and believe me, it can be quite painful.Maturing as an actor I have found I have less blues and more acceptance. I know there will always be another show and a new spell to cast.

Dear Project Runway Producers,
(and Heidi,Tim,and Powers That Be ,et al)
Your last 2 eppys have been wonderful! Yes I was sad to see Kit go,but I completely agreed with her auf'ing. Old blankies stitched together and draped over a hoop skirt are NOT avant garde.
The reason I am writing you is to compliment you. Your show is finding its way back to the more "fashion forward" challenges. Your judges are ALWAYS casually tossing this phrase about. To quote Nina,I am "drinking the koolaide",I totally buy into the "fashion forward" ideology ,so please create "fashion forward" challenges.
...and gosh golly gee,I hate to say it,but when the designers are ask to design garments that are NOT going on your models (ie : today show/mens wear,ladies who have gotten there fitness on,and teenage prom queens)the results as a whole are less than inspiring to watch. I want to see high fashion fantasy on the runway . Throw in a non catwalk model challenge once a season to keep the designers on there toes but ,I think when the designers are creating for an actual person and not a fantasy clientèle they are not letting rip with the wonderful. Even Christian who knows himself quite well for a young designer,managed to succeed with one client(newly fit gal) and fail with another(prom queen).
I don't want to see clothes I can pick up at a nondescript mall store.I want to see clothes I fantasize about in Vogue!
This coat was AMAZING!!!!!!Last nights eppy was wonderful,and so democratic,it reminded me of the cotton challenge of Season 1.Giving the designers Levis jeans and jackets to deconstuct created a even playing field where the sky was the limit! They could have made evening gowns or bathing suits out of the raw materials and anything in between.I'm not saying the designers took advantage of the limitless of this challenge but at least the possibility existed.So thank you dear Producers for getting back to a more high fashion runway experience.
sincerely ,JDP
P.S. Did you not give Christian the win last night because he is practically walking away with the competition at this point?

-----------Alrighty ,can you tell I have jumped on the Christian bandwagon? I believe he is the most consistently interesting designer. NO,I am not talking personality wise! Yes he is the resident en fent terrible (did I spell that right?)and he infuses all of his designs with this spirit! I can't wait to see his Bryant Park show! I still love Jillian and think she has amazing talent,but she is so very inconsistent.A week ago gorg coat last night fug coat.Watch ,though,I still predict her for the final 3. ....and of course Rami will be there too,his style is not my style but I think his work is consistently lovely. Even his avant garment was lovely. I'm talkin' the tunic,not the pants,it wasn't avant garde but it was interestingly pretty.
I am playing catch up this week,taking back control of my house,laundry,dinner,that sort of thing,so catchup in bloggy world is coming soon too. I will visit you all soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Of Human Promage

My en oui with the results of the latest Project Runway challenge put me in a bit of a philosophical mood. The challenge? The designers took on teenage clients to create for them(with the teenage girls guidance)a Prom dress.I'll get back to my thoughts on the offerings from the season 4 designers in a bit,but while watching what should have been one of the most creative episodes ever,it became clear to me that most young women are not necessarily dressing for who they are at this moment. They are playing an elaborate game of dress up.

I am sure in my minds eye I wished to wear something along the lines of this Hubert de Givenchy dress,made famous by Audrey in Sabrina.

This crazy pink pod-like design,from Molly's aspiring designer character,Andi, in one of my all time fave flix,Pretty in Pink,would have probably been up my alley too.
...but you see these 2 garments were too me....and thats not who I wanted to be on prom night. Which is quite interesting,because I have always been very much myself.

I probably already had something in my closet along the lines of the original garment that Andi used to deconstruct and reconstruct into this famous prom ensem.
...and be honest with me ,how many of you REALLY,REALLY wanted a pad like her wacky record store boss had? Was I the only one?

Of course I loved this lemon hand jiving number that Sandy wore in Grease.

Years later I ripped a similar pink version off the wall to wear as a Prom Queen in a murder mystery dinner theatre piece. Ah ,if I only had a nickel for every time I ripped something off the wall to wear(please forgive this terrible proof sheet scan of an amazing photo by my dear friend Stephen Mosher)).

Why couldn't I have just been happy being me like this amazing couple from the late 60's?
...alrighty heres the big reveal of my dress.

I would have wrote look in the above sentence,but I simply cannot bare to broadcast the TURQUOISE (you read it right, turquoise) eye shadow and false eye lashes I wore on that night. The dress very bizarrely and through an odd set of events ,came into my possession after a Miss Texas pageant contestant wore it and made it to the semi-finals in it.Oh ,yes I'm not makin' this up.... my Prom night muse was a Texas beauty queen! I have ABSOLUTELY nothing against beauty queens,both my sister and my mother in law won pageants.It's just that was sooo NOT me.Remember ,at this time I was already the owner of 2 Emilio Pucci Dresses.
A couple of years later I went back as a friends date and was more than comfortable in this gold brocade ,peplumed ,vintage frock picked up at Thrift Towne and accessorized with gold sparkley tights. You might note in lieu of a corsage I carried silver spray-painted Antheriums in my gold wrapped nose gay.Oh,and thankfully the Betty Page bangs were just a phase for me.

Why oh why could the designers not have taken some sort of inspiration from Betsy Johnson?
I could not help but wonder what my all time fave PR designerAustin Scarlet would have done with this challenge!

This was not a garment from the prom collection. It is an offering from the 1st "show me who you are as a designer " challenge from this weeks auf'ed designer Kevin. Why oh why could he not have put more of this into his design instead of this. You see I cannot bare to even down load any pictures from this challenge ,so ultimately disappointed was I.
I did NOT like Kevin's dress. In fact,I think his 1st garment was his best and certainly the design that made me curious of what else he could do.
....but remember how I worried about the trend of auf'ing the "mongrel garment". My worries came home to roost here. I'm not entirely sure if Kevin's design was truly the worst one,but he had a couple of 2nd place wins under his belt,and had NEVER been in the bottom 2 before this challenge. I do think at this point in the competition it is time for the judges to look at each designers body of work to date.
Which did I like the best? Well thats a tough call,but in the spirit of High School snark . I will share a flippant little mall game my girlfriends and I played. We called it "If I had to Which One Would I Pick, or Would I Get the Gun". The "gun" being a draconian and over blown metaphor for equating the wearing of the garment as a fate worse than death.
I have to say, so very UN exciting were each of these dresses ,I just might have had to get the gun. I actually loved the shape of Victoria's winning dress,but hated the color and ESPECIALLY the craft store blingy "beading".
Kit's had some interesting things going on
but again,hated the color,not sure about the strips of stripes ,but loved the nod to an evening kind of overall dress.
In the end to avoid "the gun",I would have chosen Sweet Pea's dress. If you squinted it had a little Jean Harlow in it and I could have ran with that old Hollywood look.
So was the general malaise in these garments the lack of clever from the designer or was it from the indecisiveness of the young ladys that don't actually yet know themselves? I'm pinning this one on the designers.
...but what do I know,at my prom I looked like I should be singing "Harper Valley PTA",in the talent portion of the Miss Texas Pageant!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year

Blogger Time Sucker Warning:Level Orange

Hello and Happy New Year out there in Bloglandia.....landia...landia...andia...(she listens to the ghostly echo in her cavernously empty and seemingly abandoned blog!)!
Can I just say that busy would be a bit of an understatement,with regards to the comings and goings here at the Pagoda! The holidays were a blur,coming into them my oldest babe and I had shows right up until X-mas eve,and we STILL decided it would be a great idea to have our annual X-mas Eve party!I am soooo glad we did. It is always fun with lots of adventures in alcohol (including Pumpkin-tinis and creme licquer shots out of candy cane shot glasses)and ending with a big round of Haiku death match!Much fun was had by all.Unfortunately the fun ended on Christmas day,when the Little Petal contracted a particularly nasty stomach bug and landed at the ER for dehydration.My oldest and I caught the bug shortly there after.Thankfully the Theatre was dark and we were all able to get well before our brush up rehearsal this past Wed.Today we are all catching our breath after a 6 show weekend (twice on Sat and twice on Sun). The play is pretty much the thing around here.I have been careful to try and do vocal rest during the day as the show is vocally demanding both in dialogue and singing(this particular theatre does not use mikes). Last night during the final duet lines of the show(sung in unison with my leading man),I heard my little voice cut out,and thought,yup ,thats all she wrote folks!Ah ,sweet rest until Thursday when I will no doubt be chomping at the bit to get back to it!

_______________________ A Buy Handmade Holiday Re-cap
While I did not take the buy handmade pledge,I decided to do what I could to support independent artists this holiday. Starting with this fabulously unique necklace(aptly named "Children of the Damned") by Doll Disaster Design.The perfect present for my VERY unique angel with the crooked halo!I have been dying to have a reason to own one of Tessa's amazing creations and hope Crooked Halo will let me borrow it!
Next up some Blythe hoodie bling from La Coque. A perfect stocking stuffer and a BEYOND stylish ,unique AND reasonable offering from Jody. If you have not visited her shoppe hurry there now!
An amazingly witty purse from The Moon Is My Mother. I ordered this rather late but the amazing Holly made sure it got there on time before X-mas,and C.H. LOVED it!!!! Check out her shop please!!!
Something I ordered early was this darling and whimsical pottery piece from A Fanciful Twist. This was to be for my Sister,after a crazy clean up on X-mas eve day,somehow this treasure from Vanessa was lost. I am still hoping to find it. I was downright depressed about it being lost,because my gift giving this year was not up to what it usually is,and I was so happy with this purchase.

______________________A New Chapter in Pagoda-ville?__________________
Remember way back here when I spoke some of some growing pains my family was experiencing with our house? We are currently in negotiations for a new house. This house.It has the same mid century feel of my beloved Cliff May home,but with an extra 1000 sq. feet to feel that way in!
Please keep your fingers crossed for us as we are not entirely convinced the seller wants to sell it. This house has soooo many possibilities and I am trying not to grow too attached.This home is like a grown up cousin of our current abode. Lets just say if our sweet little house ate all of its Wheaties it might look like this house.Please think positive thoughts for us!
So I usually ABSOLUTELY ADORE the "out of the box"(note quotes)or show me your innovation type challenges. I do however ,have to admit I was initially turned off by the Hershey's Candy Store challenge. Unlike the classic grocery store challenge and subsequent clothes off your back,flower shop,and recycling facility type challenges,this one had a sponsor attached to it.Thus the raw materials were all a bit similar.I did in the end love the Reece's Pieces out of it though. I still think there was a dearth of original raw materials and truly do not blame the designers for picking similar items,after all they had to focus on grabbing as much as they could find that was workable in a short period of time,and the playing field was absolutely even.
Kits dress was probably the only one I would actually consider wearing. Of course I would style it NOTHING like she did.For me to wear it I would cut the Rolo belt and layer a brown but feminine sweater 'neath it with brown lace tights and Peter Fox type brown granny boots.
However,I don't think the point was to make a necessarily wearable garment. Those judges wanted fantasy!
Rami won this one and I have to admit an audible delighted gasp escaped from me when I saw it walk down the runway.It has been his most playful and youthful design yet!
We lost Elisa,and while her dress was probably the least attractive of the bunch,I was superdy-duper sad because she was one of my faves.I am a bit worried about this trend of Auf'ing "the mongrel garment" each eppy. Yes it seems logical,but as the playing field narrows and the designers get tired theres bound to be a misstep from someone who usually delivers.
In this particular challenge I also loved Jillian's Twizzler ensem(though the bustier fit was whack!),Chris's Stephen Sprouse tribute and Christians Reece's Peanut Butter Cup ,cup dress,yes ,I know it brought to mind Michaels ,coffee filter dress,but come on now,it was wonderful,and whimsically chic!
Honestly I could elaborate on each and every dress so delighted with this challenge I became,but I have already taken up sooo much of your time. I will say I thought Victoria also gave her most playful piece to date,and felt she was perhaps unfairly taken to task. She did after al step out of her comfort zone(crazy model catwalk "ice princess walk" request aside!).
Happy New Year all!!!!!!


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