10.22.2015

Embellishing the Runway Season 14

Over on Facebook I'm part of a group that finds inspiration in the current season of Project Runway. Sometimes this requires HUGE stretches of imagination. Sometimes we disagree with the judges and declare our own winner. As is only right.

This season I decided to just make bracelets. To find inspiration in each winning design to guide and inform some interesting designs.

Episode One: Mad Dash Mayhem
Winner: Ashley
I made a three-bangle set of bead crocheted ropes with a polka dot pattern, taking my inspiration from Ashley's skirt palette and the "dots" from the top.

Episode Two: It's All In The Cards
Winner: Edmond
I made the base for this embellished band as a basic peyote stitch, then covered it in different finishes of white seed bead leaves as a nod to the giant petals on Edmond's skirt. The pop of color was taken from his giant paper flower.  The leaves were my own interpretation of the Russian leaf pattern.

Episode Three: Shut Up & Dance
Winners: Ashley & Candace
This is a loomed wrap bracelet, taking the patterning from the motifs of the fabrics used in the outfit: tweed, diagonal stripe, and abstract floral.

Episode Four: Fashion Flip
Winner: Blake
I thought this was the silliest dress I'd ever seen, and I wanted some of whatever the judges were drinking that day. This was an embellished net band bracelet, taking my cue from the very limited palette. Not all that inspiring.

Episode Five: Gunn & Heid
Winner: Edmund
This was a team challenge, so there were a number of pieces that trotted out with this same fabric. The first thing that went through my mind when I saw them all side by side was, "Santorini camouflage!" Anyway, I made a strung bracelet using some really odd little clay beads as spacers between the glass crow beads and the beaded beads I made in that color palette.

Episode Six: Lace To The Finish
Winner: Merline
This is an embellished two-drop peyote cuff bracelet, with coated hematite stars scattered across the surface. This was another one I felt was difficult to be inspired by.

Episode Seven: Haute Tech Couture
Winner: Kelly (Ashley was robbed)
Corrugated aluminum. Well, the designer's brief was to repurpose a bunch of old bits of outdated tech.  I made beads out of plumber's tubing filled with aluminum foil, stiffened with headpins, strung together with tiger tail wire, and a toggle clasp (not pictured). I hated this one so much that as soon as I had photographed it for the challenge, I ripped it apart to reuse the structural bits and threw those awful beads away.

Episode Eight: Broadway Or Bust:
Winner: Candace
I really enjoyed myself with this one. I hadn't done a free form peyote bracelet in a very long time; I had forgotten how relaxing, yet challenging, creating a bracelet in this technique is for me. While I don't like working in red, there was enough brass and black to keep me balanced as I worked.

Episode Nine: Make It Sell
Winner: Ashley 
(Edmund was the official winner, but we disagreed)
We thought Edmund's design completely devoid of inspiration for us all, so we declared Ashley our winner. This was an interesting challenge for me - to get the look I wanted, I had to work the peyote stitch in small pieces, then join them together. The pattern I came up with had to be worked in the horizontal, rather than the traditional vertical. I embellished the triangles with vintage sequins and 24K gold seed beads.

Episode Ten: Crew's All In
Winner: Kelly
I took my cue from two facets of this design - leather, and gray ombre. I made a bead embroidered piece to fit into a window cut from a leather band, then lined it with the same leather. I managed to seriously mess up my fingers doing that embroidery. Someday I'll figure out how to use my leather thimble. Someday.

Episode Eleven: The Runway's In 3D
Winner: Kelly
I just didn't understand anything about this challenge. 3D printing is exciting, interesting, and insane to attempt to incorporate into a clothing design. Except as buttons or accessories, I just didn't get any of the treatments I saw. As far as this being the avante garde look - gack. We didn't think any of the designs were winners. Anyway, since Kelly took her inspiration from the brickwork on a bridge, I went with that as my concept, using tila beads interspersed with seed beads in a sort of brickish red/brown color, using a square stitch technique.

EDIT TO ADD UPDATE

Episode 12: Roll Out the Red Carpet
Winner: Kelly

Endless triangles. Kelly seems obsessed. So I went with endless triangles, in a bangle cuff. Lots of "cutouts" to show some skin (har har). Went with Toho beads and an adaptation of a Russian pattern.

So we've seen the final four in their home studios and had a look at what will be the gist of their final collections. The only thing I liked from everything in Episode Thirteen was Ashley Nell Tipton's inspiration - Mexico City in the 50's.  THAT I can use. The rest of it? Pfft.

I don't think I'm going to wait for the Finale. I have no hope for any of it. I'm going with Ashley's vision and slapping my own interpretation on it.

So that would mean there will be more, but later.


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