Project Barbie 04 - Zoot Poodle

>> Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Episode 4 the Project Runway designers were given outdated fashions and broken into teams with the challenge to update their trends AND make them part of a cohesive collection. Our at-home approximation was for each of us to choose the trend we would have chosen and then work together as a team to create a collection. I chose poodle skirts and Alan chose the zoot suit. The teams were also asked to determine their own leaders, and we chose me (Wendi). Here's what we came up with.

Wendi's design:

I'm already a fan of circle skirts (see my entry for Project Barbie 01) so the choice of poodle skirt was an easy one. When Alan chose zoot suit I knew right away that I wanted to do a striped skirt. Since a poodle skirt is really a circle skirt I couldn't use a striped fabric. The stripes in the front and back would have been vertical, but they would have been horizontal on the sides which might have looked weird. Maybe not though - I might try that some day.

Anyway - since I couldn't use striped fabric I needed to create stripes radiating out from the center. I stitched narrow ribbon to the skirt to get that effect.

I was able to use a stripe for my sleeveless top (inspired by a zoot suit vest). I really like the narrow stripes in the top paired with the slightly wider stripes in the skirt. And I was very happy with the colors. We went through a LOT of piles of fabric before we chose colors and I was happy to come up with something that used two colors neither of us have used yet. Plus, these are the colors of my favorite handbag - the one people always want to buy when I carry it - so I hope the judges like it. :-)

Alan's design:

First, there was no way I was going to volunteer to be team leader. What am I, crazy!? Team leaders get auf'd. Unfortunately though, I made the mistake of teaming with Wendi. What a bossy cow!

Okay, now that I'm through channeling Victorya and Ricky, let's look at my design:

I was excited to be updating a zoot suit, since that's a look I like. Not a look I wear, mind you--it's definitely outmoded. But I love the stripes and long coats associated with zoot suits. I had a very specific stripe in mind for this challenge, but after raiding our Mood closet I knew we didn't have what I wanted. On a trip to Asheville I actually stopped at a fabric store and went on a search for what I was looking for, but that proved as fruitless as going to a used bookstore looking for a particular book. I didn't even have a color in mind--just a certain size stripe with a clean look. I found nada.

That hurt from the start. I had a distinctive stripe I wanted to work with, and without that I "lost my vision," to quote a previous Project Runway contestant. Since my bossy cow of a team leader chose blue and brown, I went for a print I've been wanting to use since week one for the vest. You can see it better in the close-up. It might have made a nice dress, but here it's the brown that coordinates (I hope) with Wendi's outfit.

To use the blue but still have that "zoot suit feel," I added a sewn pinstripe to the material. (Yes, I sewed all those pinstripes.)

I gave the jacket a bit of a wider flair at the bottom too, partially to imitate the poodle skirt. The best teams on Project Runway incorporated all their looks into each piece, and I think Wendi and I did a decent job of that here. Whether the two outfits look like they're from the same closet or not? I don't know. I would have liked to use the same material somewhere, but neither of us was crazy about what the other had picked. (At least for these outfits.)

All right, keyboard judges. Now it's your turn to vote. Head to the polls pinned to the top of the page and tell us if our collection has cohesiveness, and which design reigns supreme!


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