I've recently become obsessed with the TV show Project Runway. In fact, I just purchased Tim Gunn's book about fashion and style. While I appreciate his charming wit and onscreen "make it work" pep talks, I have cause to wonder what makes a person qualified to ascertain what is and is not fashionable. Fashion is art--there is no right or wrong answer to the question...only the guts to claim it, wear it and work it, girl! An outfit deemed stylish by one person can make others do a double take (and NOT in a good way) as the wearer passes by causing onlookers to wonder if that person in fact, owns mirrors in his/her home. I believe I have seen some of said outfits on the show's models.
Now I think of myself as a somewhat fashionable individual--at least, I try to be. I am fascinated by all things related to fashion, cosmetics, and of course--SHOES! I've been employed in the fashion industry for a good part of my post-college career, and I've learned a great deal of fashion industry-related terms that the "lay-woman" probably has never even heard of. Even though my degree is not in fashion merchandising, it's very interesting to me. As a result, my style has definitely changed over the years. I can honestly say I am a recent convert to skinny jeans (much to my sister-in-law's horror). I used to think the only person they belonged on was Audrey Hepburn; however, as my shoe collection grew, so did my desire to show off my fancy, new stilettos. Thus, the skinny-jean-wearing began. I also have stacks upon stacks of wedge sandals piled up in my closet. I used to HATE them and then one day I decided I was wrong--they are absolutely adorable! It really is amazing to look at old photos and see how fashion has transformed over the decades. Some things are still classic while others came and went...but not soon enough (hello, 1980's--arguably the WORST fashion era known to mankind). In any case, fashion constantly is evolving and even sometimes is recyclable. Only now, it's "vintage"--and more expensive!
In order to (as Steel Magnolias' Truvy would say), "stay abreast of the latest styles," I spend hours parked in front of the TV each week to watch Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum spout off their blunt opinions of the garments the wannabe designers of today have crafted and sent down the runway on tall, gorgeous, (and emaciated) models. Sometimes I agree with their candid remarks, but oftentimes, I'm stunned at the near verbal abuse of what comes out of their mouths. I have to say this...Michael Kors, you make great clothes, but my God, your Lifetime Achievement Award does NOT make you the end-all of the fashion world! (Sorry, had to get that off my chest). I never know what the judges are going to say. Even Tim Gunn, who has amazing foresight into what the judges like and dislike, is not always on the same page as Michael, Nina and Heidi.
The beauty of this show is the subjectivity. While many times, I would never wear what clothing the designers made, other times, I think to myself, "I have got to learn how to sew!" It would be awesome if I could design my own wardrobe out of scraps of fabric. The truth of the matter is, I cannot sew...not even a little bit. I can't even sew a button on a shirt. There are a few select pieces in my wardrobe that I have "repaired" over the years with a needle and thread, but to see the stitch work would only solidify my point that I am NOT a fashion designer.
Since I crave the stylish pieces that my nonexistent sewing machine could never produce, I must turn to shopping. I. LOVE. TO. SHOP!!!! So the result of my Project Runway viewing has become Project Decrease My Bank Account. Some may find my obsession to be a mere display of profligacy (Jeremy), but to me, it's all worth it. I may not have a practical time and place to wear those fabulous dresses and ridiculously tall, uncomfortable (but killer!) shoes, but I WILL look stylish if and when I do! Because Truvy also said, "There's no such thing as natural beauty."
If someone out there reading this is well versed in sewing, I'd love to try and learn a new skill, but until then, I'm off to the mall......