Thursday, September 07, 2006

Project Runway-Couture Gown

It's a good day when you learn something new. I learned that the French government controls the use of the word 'couture' to describe fashion just like they control the use of the word 'champagne' when describing sparkling wine. Hmm. There you go, day not wasted. Apparently, hand-sewing is a key factor in designating a dress 'couture'. I now realize that my entire childhood was spent wearing couture. My mother was a phenomenal seamstress and she sewed all the clothes my sisters and I wore. She was particularly skilled at buttonholes and making loop closures for buttons by hand. When she finally was able to buy a sewing machine that made the buttonholes for her, it was a happy, happy day. She apparently didn't realize the exclusivity of that hand-sewing or I'm sure she would have continued to do it for the sake of her children. (All my sisters are now laughing their rears off, btw, because my mother was all about speed. Get it done! Hey, she had SIX kids. Oy.)

Meanwhile, our designers are in Paris and get the word that the new challenge will involve creating a couture gown in two days. Oh no! Two days and hand-sewing--the challenges really are getting harder. They have a relatively big budget of $375.00. But first, everyone gets to go out to dinner with Tim. I think dinner with Tim would be worth all the loss of sleep associated with this show. Our designers work hard and voila! dresses are eventually complete.

Vincent wastes so much time that he ends up gluing ribbons and a flower on his dress, he also glues the hem. This is a problem what with hand-sewn hems being one of the hallmarks of couture. Michael decides to ruch his bodice--so what if he's never sewn anything by hand. Nothing? What about mending--doesn't everyone sew little mending jobs by hand? Maybe he's not counting that. Anyway, I'm not sure that this particular moment was a good time to learn to handsew--but hey--that could be just me. Laura elects to create a super simple gown with extravagant collar and cuffs. The collar is so extravagant that she takes a whole day to hand sew it. Unfortunately a day's worth of handsewing looks very similar to an hour's worth of machine sewing to me. Maybe you had to see it up close to fully appreciate it. Jeffrey, continuing to be obnoxious, is convinced that only he is capable of creating a "real" couture gown. Okaayy. Whatever. Kayne makes an elaborate boned corset for his bodice and hand cuts and adds beading and lace. Uli...well...see previous post.

Laura's collar doesn't survive the trip back from Paris with the same exuberance. It also barely survived the dreaded "looks like French maid's outfit" insult.
Kayne keeps getting knocked for having questionable taste. Hmm..I LOVE this gown and I thought it was gorgeous on the runway. What should I infer about my own taste?
Okay, Jeffrey can channel Vivienne Westwood. Yeah, it's audicous. Yeah, his model worked it like nobody's business on the runway. I still don't like the big jerk.
Luscious color, why ruch? And, oh yeah, those weird humps are better tucked under. Is it a good sign or a bad sign when the judges improve your design with a simple tuck? Michael still rocks though.

I've always wanted to wear curtain material as a skirt. And why does the top have to be cute? Is that like, a rule in couture? Poor deluded Vincent--still utterly convinced in Vincent-land that he should be in the finals.

So last nights show? Auf outcome: satisfactory. Winner: ugh. Who will make the final? I'm still predicting Laura, Michael, and hoping for Kayne. Come on...admit it...wouldn't you love love love to see what he might put out there in a collection? Viva Las Kayne? An Elvis/Las Vegas blend of exuberance and excess with beautiful construction. Next week: the Olsen twins if the preview is to be believed. Gosh, the designers should be able to go ape on material--after all--how much fabric is needed to cover an Olsen twin? Like a yard and a half? ;o)


JJLynn58 said...

I found the show to be quite aggravating partially because I think Jeffrey is a talented designer albeit an obnoxious, pompous, self-centered pig, and his behavior annoys me. I think the judges have decided to pander to Jeffrey's designs and they have decided that no matter what Kayne designs - it is tacky. I loved the gown that Kayne made. I thought it was beautiful. The bodice did not distract me on the runway. I noticed the skirt and was taken with the colors and how it moved and flowed. BRAVO Kayne!!! I believe I liked Santino more than I like Jeffrey and trust me.....I could not stand Santino or his designs! So I certainly hope that someone has Kayne make this dress for them to wear to some Hollywood event because it will be a smash hit!

Robin said...

Most of the comments that I've seen online have been positive about Kayne's dress--clearly the American public is afflicted with the same lack of taste as Kayne according to the judges. Fact is--the judges are snobs.

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kayne's dress is the only one I would personally buy! It was an absolutely fabulous design and cut and fitted the model perfectly. It was elegant and the laces just blew me away. he should have won that challenge.

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