Project Barbie 06 - I Want Candy!

>> Friday, January 11, 2008

In Episode 6 of Project Runway, designers went on a field trip to the Hershey's Store in Times Square and made their dresses with whatever they could find in the gift shop. We went to the slightly less touristy Target and made our dresses with whatever we could find in the candy aisle. And since we (unlike the Runway designers) are on a budget, we did not grab everything we could stuff into our suspenders. Here's what we came up with. . .

Wendi's design

I didn't have anything in particular in mind when we went shopping for materials - except that I was pretty sure I wanted to use a brand of candy that was iconic - something that immediately said, "Yay! Candy! Yum!" I liked a lot of the shiny bags that the loose candy came in, but I thought that material might be a little hard to work with. Then I saw the Tootsie Pops. I love the round, recognizable logo and I thought the scale would be right for Barbie. Plus I thought that waxed paper wrapper would work well for slightly gathered shaping. My challenge now was to think like Uli - the master of working with bold patterns.

I pieced together the wrappers, matching up the logos as best I could. I laid out the underdress so that the row of circular logos would run right down Barbie's center, and then I cut the overskirt so that those logos would be cut in half.

I was especially happy with the placement of the logo centered on her bust - and the paper wrappers behaved exactly like I hoped they would in the gathering at the neckline. The colors and the logos and the shape of the dress conveyed exactly the tone of lighthearted fun I was shooting for. And the Tootsie Pops have been tasty!

Alan's Design

I too didn't have a clear vision of what I wanted to create before we went to the candy aisle--either in terms of design or in materials. I did know I wanted color. I was tired of doing drab outfits and wanted something that would really pop. Luckily, candy comes in many bright, poppy colors. I settled on Starburst, with their brilliant yellow and red color combination, choosing to use the larger plastic bag as my fabric source, and not the the individual Starburst wrappers.

Originally I wanted to make this a short-short skirt, but then when I put the whole dress on Giada I loved the look of it so much I just "hemmed" the bottom and left it as is. I worked very hard to get the center of the top part of the Starburst logo to run right down the middle of the dress, and had to really get tricky with my second bag to get the bottom of the logo to split well, because that's not a straight seam in there, especially up around the waist.

My real inspiration here was that belt--taken of course from the factory-sealed end of the bag you usually tear off or tear open to get at the candies. (I'll forgo any other parallels to the ripping off of candy wrappers to get at the candy to the removing of Giada's belt . . .) The candy wrapper/belt piece was much longer than it needed to be, and my original intention was to snip off all the excess--but then I really liked the look of the belt sticking out to one side. I felt it gave it a hint of a bow, or perhaps of a fancy candy wrapper, so I left it--giving the end a little diagonal snip for fun.

Overall I have to say I'm extremely happy with how this came out. The plastic bag wasn't the easiest thing to work with or to sew, but the look, I hope, is both elegant and playful. And Starburst are popular enough to be iconic, I think. If not, the color alone carries it. Oh, and just so you don't eat this up too much, I put the Nutrition Facts on the back!

Vote for the tastiest Eye Candy design in our poll at the top left of the blog, and bon apetit!


Erin January 11, 2008 at 2:41 PM  

I love them both!! Kudos!

Susy January 12, 2008 at 11:32 PM  

i am more partial to the starburst design. i love the way the classic line works with the vertical logo.

also, love the thick red belt!


Sara Z. January 21, 2008 at 2:20 PM  

wow, those are both fabulous. I really can't eat...I mean PICK just one!

Simone June 16, 2008 at 9:01 AM  

It's so hard to decide. They are both fabulous designs. For myself, I think I'd wear the tootsie pop design, although the starburst dress is very elegant. I'll have to forward this blog to my sister-in-law. The candy episode was her favorite one last season.

Rebecca W.,  September 25, 2008 at 10:18 PM  

clearly, I waited too long to weigh in but I have to say that while I've been digging Wendi's designs on a whole, I think that that Alan took the cake on this one. Or would that be the candy?

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