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 ....it 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!