Project Barbie 03 - The "Kenswear" Challenge

>> Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Meet Steven! This past week on Project Runway, the contestants had to design a menswear look for Giants running back and Today Show correspondent Tiki Barber. That meant that to continue taking part in the Project Runway challenges with Jo's Barbies this week we would have to add a rooster to the hen house! Off Alan went to Target, and back he came . . . not with Ken, (who looked positively vapid,) but with his man-friend Steven! Steven's our stand-in for Tiki this week in our "Kenswear" challenge. (Get it?) And like last week's menswear episode of Project Runway, this would prove to be our toughest Project Barbie challenge yet!

Dressing Steven was totally unlike dressing Giada or Summer. First, we had to learn how to make a pair of men's pants. Here's a shot of Alan's pants in progress:

These are the pants you wear if you go to hell! The shirt was even harder, but Wendi worked out a pattern and was kind enough to share. Now let's head to the runway!

Here's Wendi to talk about her design:

The challenge was to make something that Tiki would wear on the Today Show, so it couldn't be TOO fashion forward. He seemed more willing to take chances with color than cut (though he had issues with Kevin's purple shirt) so that's where I cut loose.

Here we have a pretty basic pair of pants and shirt. But the pants are a very dark purple - almost black. The shirt is crisp white cotton.

I added a second bit of color with the tweedy green fabric - a definite menswear texture but in a less common color. I love scarves on men - I saw a lot of that when I lived in Europe. It's a great way to bring in a bit of color, but more casual than a tie.

And here's the last shot - you can see the detail of the shirt front, the mandarin-ish collar, and the texture in the scarf. Very stylish!

And now here's Alan to talk about his design:

First, I should stress that creating my designs after Wendi has already struggled through the pattern-making and calculations is a bit like following Tiger Woods on the fairway. All I have to do is sit and watch what she does and do my best to follow her. It should also be said that pretty much everything I create is a team project with Wendi. She's like my in-house Tim Gunn, always over my shoulder telling me how to accomplish what I dream up. I do all the work, but there's no way I could make any of this without Tim, er, Wendi, by my side.

Okay, all that said, my design this week totally kicks Wendi's ass.

Here's Steven, wearing faux-suede black pants with a satiny silver shirt and matching tie.

I really struggled with my conflicting desires to bring color into this outfit and yet still keep it squarely in the realm of acceptable menswear. I debated a blue, a green, a purple--everything was too over the top. I finally settled for the silver. I've also seen a similar look on athletes-turned-broadcasters, with color on same color, and I loved the sheen. At the risk of Michael Kors telling me it's too "matchy-matchy," I went for it. And let me tell you, making a doll-sized collar and tie was a serious pain in the molded plastic ass!

Work it, Steven!

I had planned to do a matching black jacket, but like the contestants on Project Runway, I scrapped it due to time constraints. We don't exactly time ourselves on these outfits, because usually there's no chance we'll take as much time as the real designers. This time, because the shirt and tie were so complicated, I actually did run into time issues! After a day and a half I had to call it quits and hope that Nina would consider the tie a third piece. And yes, that tie is really tied on like a real tie!

So there you have it. Our Kenswear challenge is in the books. Now it's up to you to vote! Which designer will be in, and which one will be auf'd? Check out the poll pinned to the top of the blog and let us know what you think!


Sara Z. December 7, 2007 at 6:29 PM  

I like both the outfits, but I have to say that there's something about the fit of the crotch on Wendi's pants that disturbs me. I'm not sure I want to know that much about Steven.

I do like the look of monochromatic tie/shirt.

Can't wait to see what you do with this week's challenge!

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