Thursday, December 29, 2016

Playing along with Project Runway

Long time readers of this blog know I'm a fan of Project Runway.  This year, I discovered that a number of my Facebook friends (some art teachers, and some who are not) are also fans of the show.  Some of us decided to design along with the contestants each week, trying to come up with our own solutions to the weekly challenges (but our solutions were done by drawing, rather than sewing). I was aided by the use of a little fashion design sketchpad (with pre-drawn models in it) kindly sent to me by one of these friends.  It will be easy to tell which of these drawings were done with that sketchpad, since my people-drawing skills aren't so good on my own.
The final challenge of the season was to create a collection of 10 runway looks.  My collection incorporated the contrast of black patterned fabric with vibrant colors, using a somewhat bohemian aesthetic, with lots of bead embellishments in black and metallics.  Many of the outfits incorporated ribbons of fabrics to create movement.   By the time I was done, I realized that I had way more than ten pieces in my collection!
The judges always ask "who is your girl?", as in, who are you designing for?  I think my girl is somewhat free-spirited, not afraid of wearing bright color, with fabrics that move.  But she is also practical.  She wants clothes that are comfortable to wear.  The collection is mostly casual and party clothes.  Not really office-wear, but I wasn't designing for an office-type person, I don't think.  In my heart, I think I was designing for a taller, skinnier me. 
 I'd be  happy to wear a look like the one below for a day of teaching art, if my legs were longer and my hips were skinnier!!  All in all, this is my 12-look collection. 

 While I'm at it, I'll share some of my ideas from the challenges earlier in the season.  For example, there was a bathing suit and cover-up challenge.  I never fully realized my cover-up ideas, but I'd definitely want to wear my bathing suit design. 
There was a 'real woman' challenge where the contestants designed for their mothers or friends. I chose to design a casual and comfy outfit for a certain pantsuit-wearing former presidential candidate.  Please excuse my amateurish drawing. 
And there were challenges using non-traditional materials, too.  The outfit below (two attempts to draw the same general idea) used rope, assorted bolts, leather horse harnesses, and such.
This crazy outfit on the left below was an avant-garde design using non-traditional materials.  There were some flexible metallic tube-things shown in the challenge, that I used in my design, along with some multicolored ropes.  And the wacky design on the right?  I wish I could remember what the specific challenge was that inspired me to come up with this outfit!  
 I don't recall what the weekly challenges were that inspired either of the two drawings below, either. Both incorporate metallics - a silky silvery dress on the left, and some coppery leather on the right. 
 There was a challenge that incorporated glow-in-the-dark products that would look totally different in daylight and in the dark.  It was hard to show do this in a drawing, but I came up with the two silly designs below.
There were a couple other weekly challenges that I don't have pictured in this post, but I'll close with the drawings from one week where the challenge involved creating two companion looks.  I can't remember the theme of the challenge, but here they are.
I never specifically desired to be a fashion designer, but I spent a lot of my childhood designing clothes for paper dolls and Barbie dolls, and I have been sewing my own personal inventions now and then for years.  So maybe I'll make myself one of the outfits on this post!


  1. Hi Phyl. Each episode of PR I design my entries in my head. Maybe next year I'll go the next step and put them on paper, too! Do you think your design above to the right of the avant garde look might have been the design inspired by New York City? The pant design reminds me of a skyscraper:) By the way, I'd definitely wear that hoodie

    1. Yes! That's what it was! A lot of the lines were reminiscent of bridge structures, and the yellow shapes also reminded me of taxicabs from the air. Thanks for jogging my memory!

  2. Phyl these are ultra awesome! You have many talents and I would definitely wear some of these! Beautifully designed and drawn. ❤

  3. I've enjoyed following you and the others in the group as you did your challenges. I do love your final collection- and would wear them all! I especially like the long colorful jacket with the black pants!