Friday, 18 November 2011

Bah Humbug!

Forgive me my American friends and family but Thanksgiving isn't my thing. I appreciate the sentiment and I'm certainly thankful for a lot of things. But, as the cold winds set in, the days draw darker, it's Christmas that I'm looking forward to.

Oh yes, the snow in the air, the smell of cinnamon, hands cupped around a hot cup of peppermint cocoa, sparkly red and green garlands hanging in shop windows, Christmas trees twinkling in living rooms. Such a magical time. And of course, the myriad of productions of A Christmas Carol. Over the years I've seen practically all of these versions of this classic tale which is no doubt one of the most interpreted of Dickens' stories. My all time favorite version is with Patrick Stewart - a sumptuous production so brilliantly told. There have been a few that I'm not adverse to such as the musical portrayals (with Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge) and even the animated versions are not too bad; although I was dubious about Jim Carrey playing an English octogenarian, but he did a good job.

Despite seeing so many versions, I'm ashamed to admit, that I've never actually read the story. So this is the year that I sit down with a cup of cocoa and read A Christmas Carol. I'm sure that I will conjure up images of all the films I've seen, and I hope that the films have stayed true to the words. I find that books never translate to the screen very well. So, I popped along to the bookstore and purchased a copy at the bargain price of $10. And now that I have it, I'm sure it will become a tradition to read it in the days leading up to Christmas Day.

"I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it."

Charles Dickens, December 1843

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Fashion Faux Pas?

I taped the season finale of Project Runway (S9), finally got around to watching it and I am so disappointed with the judges final decision. Did Anya really deserve to win?

The young Trinidadian has a great sense of style; her choice and use of patterned material is exceptional almost effortless but unlike the other contestants, she lacked excellent sewing skills. And for that she shouldn't have won. I've read comments that Project Runway is about design and business capabilities not just sewing. Well, in that case I'm the next Stella McCartney or L'wren Scott because I've designed a ton of dresses but wouldn't necessarily be able to sew a garment properly!

Anya believes she captured the Caribbean style of women - really? I don't remember seeing tall, skinny women swanning around in flowing silk kaftan type dresses whilst in Guyana or Barbados. Oh hang on, I do remember my mom wearing them....but that was about 20 odd years ago! The judges decision process included comments like "you can see her bags, jewellery line.." Er, what about her clothes? That's why she entered the competition - to showcase her clothes!

Heidi Klum said that she fought for Anya (said on the Piers Morgan Tonight program) because she (Anya) showed that you didn't need to go to school to win a competition like PR and with enough hard work and determination you can make it. Hats off to Anya for getting so far, but during the entire show, she didn't show one piece of structured tailoring - a jacket, a straight-leg a designer, shouldn't you be able to make these items? I have the utmost respect for the judges, but I think they should see the 'behind the scenes' videos - I reckon it would make them re-think the final outcome.

In my mind, a designer is not just about styling or business know-how, you need to understand the fabric, the cut and flow of it - the right side of the material (in one episode, Anya cut the fabric on the wrong side). Well done to Anya for learning to sew in four months, but other contestants were consistently better than her, had far superior sewing skills and in my mind far more drive and ambition and were more deserving of the final prize.

I'm looking forward to seeing 'Anya' designs but I have a feeling I won't be buying anything from her collection any time soon!