Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why You Won’t See Me on Project Accessory

I love Project Runway. I think I’ll enjoy Project Runway Allstars, too. But you won’t see me on them because I’m not a seamstress.

I like Project Accessory. The best thing about it is their workroom. I think most of us creatives watching lust after that work space, filled with all the tools and materials our little hearts desire, including a wall of Swarovski crystal components (ooo, sorry, I just drooled!).

Nina, with tools and The Wall behind her
Now, I know Project Runway throws crazy challenges at their designers, like using only things found in a pet shop to create a garment. But in the end, it all comes down to sewing. They may have to step out of their comfort zone to make a gown if their specialty is sportswear but the basic skill is still sewing.

On any given Project Accessory episode, the designers could be asked to make jewelry, purses, hats, belts, etc. Or shoes. Shoes?!? The first week they were asked to make a pair of shoes, it was painful to watch the models hobble down the runway. It takes a much different skill set to make a shoe than it does a necklace. And probably years to perfect your understanding of the physics and techniques required to create a beautiful, sturdy high heel. Watch the movie Kinky Boots if you don’t believe me. I don’t know that I would have trusted a 4” heel made by someone who had never made a shoe before, either.

The scariest shoes

Aside from issues of safety, watching designers trying to make things they’ve never attempted before is weird and uncomfortable. I mean, it’s enough of a challenge to see a jewelry artist try to design a necklace from bed springs but to see a jewelry artist trying to make a leather purse… I’d like to know what the application process was for this show.


Some of the designers are fairly well rounded in their skills and present interesting pieces for most challenges. But it seems to me that the majority of the designers specialize and consequently struggle with the pieces they have to create outside their forte which make for uninteresting runway looks. I’m hoping that next season, they’ll pick more all around handy folks who can work with varied techniques at higher skill levels.

Diego at work, designing a bag for his client

And that’s why you won’t see me on Project Accessory. Build a pair of shoes?! Sew a leather gusseted purse? Create a hat? Wouldn’t have the first clue where to start. But I really admire Brian Burkhardt and Diego Rocha, who seem to be able to not only meet each challenge with well designed and executed pieces but, Brian especially is able to weave his own modern Tribal style into all of his work. I’m officially predicting that Brian will be the last designer standing.

Brian's most recent challenge results.
So, are you Project Accessory contestant material? Could you create a head to toe look with so many varied skills and put your personality into each piece?

Do What You Love!


1 comment:

Chris said...

Mary~ You've mentioned so many points that I've pondered regarding Project Accessory~~SO many skills....Shoemaking? Bags? Really? I've been enjoying it, just can't imagine how one could be ready for each challenge. :-)