Sunday, August 30, 2009

Project Runway Walk 2 - Fashion for 3

This week the Project Runway designers were treated to a challenge of designing for a top supermodel/actress - the lovely Rebecca Romijn, who happens to be hugely pregnant with twins! Rebecca looked great, but I'm happy to see that some supermodels put on weight while pregnant, even in places other that their tummies. Her face was a little fuller, but just as beautiful. I think this was a great new challenge, and certainly an area of fashion that could use some designer attention.

I loved almost all of the looks - there were only a few that were kind of out there. I wish that I had access to so many cute little dresses (in modest versions) when I was pregnant. Christopher's fuchsia top with black leggings and Johnny's black dress with white trim and a beautiful flower were favorites of mine that didn't make the top 3. There are so many designers still, you really have to watch Project Runway yourself to get to know them, but let's talk about the top and bottom three. The judges were all women this week, with Monique Lhuillier filling in for Michael. And I loved when Heidi mentioned that all four of them have been pregnant and certainly appreciate good maternity design.

Ra'mon's purple, racing stripe cocktail dress was crazy. The bust was beautiful, but it fell apart after that. The silver side panels did nothing for a pregnant body and I was not impressed by the lack of versatility. That kind of dress would have to be very well fitted to a pregnant mom, and by the next week her belly would have outgrown it.

Mitchell had a great idea, shorts on pregnant models (as opposed to the rest of us) look great and can be very casual chic. It's too bad everything turned out so poorly. Yes, Mitchell, it's so sad that you didn't go to fashion school like everyone else, but if you can't make your designs fit your model, and you can't sew them well, you have no place on this show.

Malvin is a weird egg. And he created a weird egg top. He called it his mother hen look and originally planned for jodhpurs, to look like chicken legs. Thank you, Tim, for talking a little sense into him. He admitted some problems with his "sling" top, but it's so odd. The judges didn't even know what to say.

The judges loved Shirin's dress and coat, and so do I. The braided seam above the baby bump was beautiful and the neckline had a great look too. The whole thing draped and fell very well. And the coat was just an added bonus, well-made with a fun, printed lining.

Althea did a black dress, that could be worn for an evening event. The intricate stripey straps were really great, and she managed to pull off a long look, while keeping it form fitting. (She said she used jersey.) This was the fanciest dress, and she did it well. It was slimming, despite room for a tummy carrying twins.

Louise made a sexy little lingerie-style dress that Rebecca said she would wear on a date with her husband. The judges admitted that it's not a versatile look, but the details were amazing. The lace applique, pleating, layers, shoulder straps made this a special piece.

And, drum roll, the big winner is Shirin! No surprise here, the judges loved her design and told her she should be in maternity wear. I think they really liked Althea and Louise's dresses too, but the wearability and versatility of Shirin's design put her over the top.

As for the loser, we say Auf Wediershen to Malvin, our own little bizarre egg. I was already predicting this last week, this guy's designs just don't fit in. I'm singing the song, "One of these things is not like the others." Mitchell got very lucky, I don't think he can make it through another week of shoddy work.

Have I mentioned yet that I love that Lifetime has started a 30 minute Models of the Runway show that gives a little perspective from the models. It also shows the designers choosing their models for the next week. You can catch it on Lifetime after Project Runway, or watch full episodes online.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

San Francisco Treat

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in San Francisco last week with friends. I signed up for The Art Weekend, and convinced Jane to come along with me, and Jeanna to put both of us up and drive us around, despite her pregnant state. We had a fabulous time, thanks Jeanna & Jason!

We had one day of sightseeing, which didn't start until 11am because of our sleeping in. Hey, what is vacation away from your kids all about? We saw Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, Union Square, the SF MOMA gift shop, a little of Chinatown, and many, many bathrooms across San Francisco. (I was with 2 pregnant ladies, and my bladder was feeling their bad influence.) The MOMA bathrooms were the best, followed by the upstairs gift-shop bathroom at the Aquarium on Fisherman's Wharf. Just in case.

We walked. And walked. And walked. I didn't think Jeanna was going to make it. And then we took a few street cars and the cable car. We ate lunch at Boudin, the famous sourdough bread bakery, where we ordered the equally famous San Francisco clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. We walked for a couple miles trying to find somewhere for dinner, and finally stumbled upon a wonderful little Italian place - E Tutto Qua, which is housed in a two story, pie-shaped building and makes delicious house-made pasta. The panna cotta was fantastic too! (Can you tell that food is more important to me than sites?)

Saturday we headed to The Ferney Art Studio for classes. Jane took Photography from Nicole Gerulat and I really enjoyed my Illustrator: Making a Pattern lecture by Alma Loveland. Then while my friends visited Golden Gate Park, I took a screen printing class from Andy Kane. I had really been looking forward to it and the class was everything I imagined, except in fast forward. The normally four hour class was condenses to two hours, and pretty much all the hands-on portion was eliminated. Andy is a great teacher & I just wish I could have taken the long version of the class. I hope to get my screen printing stuff all set up in the next couple months and will post about it when I have projects going.

We managed to get in a late afternoon nap at Jeanna's apartment before a late dinner and soak in the hot tub. Sunday was a long day of driving, topped off by a kind of crappy stay on the Las Vegas strip, and more driving on Monday morning to get back to my much-missed family.

Next time: fly, not drive, take more classes, spend more time relaxing with friends, wander new areas of a very cool city. To sign up for some of these great classes, click the button below.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beautifully Organized

The start of school in the fall (or 100+ degree late summer) is always a good time for new resolutions, routines, schedules and projects. If you don't use an electronic calendar, try these beauties from Cameron at Cottage Industrialist. Get the downloads for all 12 months at this post.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway, Walk 1 - Red Carpet Runway

After waiting so long, I can't believe Project Runway is back. I spent a few days in San Francisco last week with friends and every few hours we ran into a huge sign announcing the premiere on Lifetime. I even looked up the new website and sent my friend a fun phone message from Tim Gunn himself. I was excited to stay up late and watch the first episode! That excitement has worn off now that I realize that the show will air so late, but Season 6 looks like it has some promising designers.

I loved that the show was exactly the same as on that other network - I had been worried about changes. But Heidi, Tim, Mood, the workroom, the runway, and the music reminded me of why I love this show. And a red carpet challenge was great for the premiere. There was a wide and interesting range of dresses, complete with some designer drama. I'm too tired to get into all the details, so I'm skipping straight to the results.

We say a quick Auf Weiderschen to Ari Fish. My only question is why she was chosen to be on the show. Her design portfolio is wacky at best and the silver soccer hoodie she made for the red carpet was a joke.

Christopher Straub's dress was a clear favorite and definitely deserved the win for innovative design while staying red carpet appropriate.

Check out Lifetime's new Project Runway website, which looks like it has some cool features. There's a great zoom option on each of the designs and there are multiple images of each: front, back, detail, etc. You can only get to all those images by rating each design one by one, but you'd want to anyway, right? There are lots of videos, games, downloads, and extras on the site too. Can't wait for next week, but for now I still have the All Star Challenge and Models of the Runway, both of which are saved on my TiVo right now. Did anyone watch them last night?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School Shopping

I've had many of my friends talk about taking their kids school shopping recently. And I'm finally in on it a bit. My almost-kindergartner received a letter stating that all he will need of his own is a backpack... but, if we would like to donate things for the classroom they can use crayons, markers, glue sticks, etc. And we happily purchased those things for our school shopping, while I tried to reinforce the idea of sharing and that these things would not be for his personal use only.

But when people talk about school shopping, they usually mean new clothes for their kids, most of whom are growing quickly. But even when done growing, new clothes for a new school year seems to be the thing to do. I remember getting a few new outfits through junior high and high school, and even during college I made sure I had some new things every year.

But now, as it turns out, I have a totally different shopping style. I had a very interesting shopping experience last week, for which I am working on a post. Check back - you'll love it. Let's just say that my shopping style is called: iwantneedtoshopasoftenaspossible-itis. It's a gift and a disease. Thankfully I'm all about the bargains, or my husband would have left me and the inevitable credit card statements years ago. I try to keep things under control. So shopping for my brand-new gradeschooler should be nirvana for me. But I've already been living off that high for the last several years, which is when I started buying him clothes in size 5. And now he has a more than adequate wardrobe for kindergarten, all carefully logged into a huge spreadsheet that lists every stitch of kids clothing we own from size 2T to 8. My oldest is 4. And his mom is a freak.

The awesome camo backpack with orange trim that I bought for $6 at Gap Kids held up extremely well through a year of preschool and will be debuting at the local elementary school too. That left the ubiquitous lunchbox as our sole personal school purchase this year. And there was no question about what my son would pick. Transformers, all the way.

If it was up to me (and money was no object), my firstborn would head off to school with this adorable set, indicative of the monkey he is.

And if I had a girl, which I never will, this cute bunny set would do.

Right now I'm just thankful he's happy with the $7 lunchbox and a not-new backpack. It's going to be a great year. Good luck to all the new students out there! And to the moms who do their school shopping.

Monday, August 10, 2009

to my love...

make your own sweet card catalogue at via beach bungalow 8.