Fashion For Show Tunes (My "All Stars" Recap)
In New York we have two kinds of people -- those who love Broadway shows, and those who would rather have a root canal. I fall into the root canal category, but I do love the idea of designing a Broadway show costume. The notion that the clothing will define the character is intriguing. When designing for a client my first question is always, “what message do you want to send?” and this challenge is all about answering just such a question.
The designers are given notes on the character. She is a rich woman, with money made off the backs of others, and she likes to show off her wealth. But this woman is a character in Godspell, the ultimate hippy musical, so her wealthy vibe needs to be tempered with a thrift store/ east village aesthetic. Some of the designers got the ostentatious wealth part, and some got the thrift store part, but the most successful design got both parts dead on.
The Wealth Part
Jerell, the only designer to be safe and sent off the stage without a critique, was successful with the wealth part, but didn’t get the thrift store vibe at all. As a matter of fact, I would say his character was the Broadway version of a lady who lunches. I have always thought that Jerell relies too heavily on trim as a design element. Embellishment should strengthen the design idea, not be the design idea. His suit this week was all about the trim, and while it wasn’t terrible, it didn’t meet the two fold design criteria.
Austin also got the wealth part with no real nod to the hippy side of things. The judges were pleased with Austin’s entry, but I have to disagree. I thought it was a costume for a Shakespeare play, not a sixties musical revival. The beret and the leggings and the straps, it was just too much. More than one of the judges used the word “modern,” but I didn’t see it. I saw “medieval. “
Michael Costello was also successful conveying the idea of richness, but nothing looked like it came from a thrift store. His color palette was to die for, and his silhouette was theatrical, but the separates were way to matched to believe they were found and assembled over time. And the tying of the shoes with the perfectly matching ribbon just emphasized the problem.
The Thrift Store Part
Kenley’s entry was all about the thrift store. Her outfit definitely had an assembled over time look, but her decision not to accessorize didn’t help, and a richness was missing. Her look wasn’t far off; I think jewelry and a more theatrical neckline to the jacket would have shifted her from the bottom to the top in a blink.
I am going to put Mila’s look in the thrift store category because it certainly wasn’t rich looking, but I can’t exactly say it was vintage looking either. I think it could best be described as Paris Hilton on a budget (missing only a tiara), and it’s just the kind of outfit I fear girls will put together in Forever 21. Just too many tacky statement pieces worn together at once.
May be I only shop in thrift stores for furs (to cut up and repurpose—sort of fashion recycling) but I also thought Kara’s look was more thrift than rich. Her little fur wrap did look like it was found on the expensive rack of a vintage store. I actually think the top half of her outfit fit the bill, but the bottom half fell short. The skirt wasn’t theatrical, vintage, or rich enough to meet the criteria of the character. It was pretty obvious from the beginning of the episode that Kara was getting some kind of special edit and would either be going home or winning the challenge, it’s always hard to tell which, but as soon as Mondo’s outfit came out on the runway, I knew Kara was in trouble.
Bam! Both Parts
Congratulation Mondo, and Mondo fans because his entry was perfection. It was colorful and textured and it screamed hippy but in a completely chic and rich way. The metallic details were just enough to convey a rich vibe, and the combination of fabrics, prints, feathers and trim gave his look that pulled together feel that every vintage shopper hopes for. The look was dramatic enough for stage, and chic enough for every woman in the audience to say, “I want that!”
You could win $2,000 and a fashion consult with "Project Runway" alum Laura Bennett! Plus a $250 prize each week and a copy of Laura's new book. Enter now >>