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!


Sarah and Jack said...

I thought that as a "Dress" Rami's was interesting. But not for prom. But, eh, there was nothing really thrilling there.

However, I loved that christian met his match with his teenage girl!

Heidi said...

I belong to another message board and the mom of the girl Rami designed for is a member as well. She was finally able to talk about the whole experience after the show aired last week. She said that Rami was really sweet and her daughter really like him. The daughter LOVED the dress and her mom said that it was exactly what she wanted. None of the girls actually got to keep the dresses to wear to prom, though! The mom is going to try to bid on her daughter's dress when they go up for sale at some point.

I thought Sweet P's dress was lovely, but I didn't like how you could see the girl's ribs underneath when she breathed! I thought that was weird. I thought Chris' dress was really pretty and totally wearable. Christian's dress was a hot mess, but that teenage girl was a pain! Christian is completely obnoxious but I think he has real talent so I'm glad he didn't get auf'd.

Stephanie said...

You are do funny! you Texas prom queen you...

I didn't go to prom...I was too renagade and wild, but I'd LOVE to go to one Betsey....

Stephanie said...

of course that should have been soooo funny....eeks, proof proof proof...

Mosaic*Queen said...

I'm not much of a Fashionista, but I can and will say that I ADORE EVERYTHING Betsey Johnson! I LOVED her NYC apartment and I Love her Mexico getaway, Betseyville, and I adore her clothes and her jewelry. Two years ago, my daughters purchased a BJ pink heart necklace for me and every time I wear it, I get a ton of compliments. This last Christmas, they purchased a BJ bracelet for me and it is Fabulous!!!

miss vintage love said...

Ohmigosh! One of the best movies ever made! Pretty in Pink! Love the pictures!
Happy New Years babe! said...

Oh me oh my!! We should have a show on T.V. all about you and your dresses and gowns and outings!!! Can you imagine? That would be sublime!!! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Texas prom queen, I love it! especially the dress you wore the second time around. I agree with you that this particular eppy of PR was awful but I think its the kids as well, they all want these sexy oscar-ish grown up gowns instead of fun over the top prom dresses! I made my prom dress, lots of white lace and roses, I think I knew subliminally I may not get married so I went for something weddingish early on, ha.

rochambeau said...

Hey Jungle,
You have Great taste! And you'll always be The Beauty Queen in my book!
You know that first barbie dress at the top? My friend Leslie had it. She got it from Santa. I still remember it being one of the most jealous I've ever felt over anything in my life. ;~)
Keep on Thriftin'
Did you get your house?
Your Sister in Erte!

Angelina said...

I'm so happy to have never attended a prom in my life. I love your gold brocade number. I did, however, go to my ninth grade dance with my good friend Jenny as her androgynous date in an antique mourning frock coat, vest, and tie.

woof nanny said...

If you don't already read it, you might enjoy the awesome blog, Blogging Project Runway

Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club said...

Isn't that a weird thing about prom attire. I too wore something that was nothing like what I wore day in and day out. Part of the fantasy I guess.

Love the Betsy Johnson dresses! My sister's prom dress in 1998 looked EXACTLY like the one Sweet Pea made. I thought Sweet Pea had gone to the mall and hit Contempo or Judy's and picked it up.

Gina said...

Awww, it's really not that bad. And you know honestly, we should never judge the outfits we wore many years ago in todays timeline, I'm sure most people have the same probem when they do. And beyond that, you are indeed a timeless beauty my dear!

amanda button said...

I wanted to BE "Iona" form Pretty in Pink when i grew up, well before she went all yuppie on us in the end....i confess, the prom dres was my least favorite from the whole movie....but all of the otehrs had a HUGE influence on my "Style, even to this day! My hub was commenting the other day on how "80s" my denim jacket was looking with all the vintage brooches and crap i have on it. :) And Ducky was SOOOO much cuter and COOLER than the rich cat. Molly had crap taste in boys! LOL!

AS for prom...i was FAR too "goth" to bother with such things back then....was totally disinterested in it...if i had i time machine, i would go, and you better believe i'd have the coolest gown in the joint! I can't believe i passed an opportunity to lay up some shock value! What was i thinking???? :)

i hope you are well and wonderful...thinking of you all the time!


AnastasiaC said...

can you believe we have yet to air the latest PR here in Australia - Im not happy!!
i should just do the naughty naughty and download it ha!
gosh I loved Molly Ringwald!


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