I love Etsy, the DIY craft shop where creators sell their own stuff. It's really neat. Although you know what I wish they had? A little flash badge or something that could let a seller display goods on her own site - "here are the latest items I'm selling!" That sort of thing.
ANYway, this post isn't about that, it's about the enduring popularity of Mario! If you just do a simple search on the site for Mario you get some awesome items...
Some of my favorites:
She calls herself the Pink Samurai, and this crossstitch is a masterwork. It includes references to Space Invaders and Tetris as well as to Super Mario Brothers - pretty cool! 8-bit art is such perfectly natural fit for crossstitching. When I have a little more free time I've got some ideas I want to try too...
Look how adorable the star power necklace is! It's the perfect size, too, not too small so you can't tell what it is, not too big to be out of proportion. With the matching coin earrings it'll be extra cute. <3 this one!
I'm always so impressed by people who make things out of love. I've had ideas of crafts for a long time, but although I really enjoy knitting and painting and so on, I find I'm actually not that good at it, and inspiration strikes me more rarely. Still, stuff like this makes me want to try my hand at it again.
Oh my god, Jason just posted this and I was fully enthralled for twenty minutes: the Flickr wardrobe_remix group. It's exactly what I was looking for - Fruits for the rest of us. Real people in real clothes. I've always loved street shots , because there's something so incredibly off-putting about the artificiality of high fashion photography - sometimes it can be effective and beautiful, but it almost never translates to an aspiration for me, because the models are far too distant, too plastic, too unreal. But this, this makes me not only say, "I want that!" but also say, "I can do that better!"
...which leads me to my gaming instinct, to my competitive side. Now I am actually mentally putting together outfits in my head that will "win". It's not like the group is a competition; there is no ranking, no voting. But the thing is, I will know when I've won, and that's the important thing.
I must admit I got into reluctantly, because I don't really care for those other reality show contests, like American Idol or Making the Band or America's Next Top Model. I don't mean to be a snob about it - I think they can be amusing. It's just that the formula is so obvious after a couple of episodes that it fails to hold my interest over an entire season.
But Bravo's Project Runway is different. It's different because the contestants have to actually produce something real, something that works; a tactile piece that gives three dimensional shape to all their high-falutin theory talk. And that's exciting.
Last season, I have to admit I was rooting for everyone's favorite nerd-turned-fashionista, Diana Eng. She combined a vigorous intellect with dreamy intellectualism and a dash of whimsey. The pieces she made for the show I thought were less successful than the ones she's produced in school, or on her own (check out her portfolio to see some cool wearable concept art). I love her mathematical knits for example! And I love the idea of uniting math and art, two strangers who ought to be lovers. But she got kicked off the show, and then I was rooting for Daniel Vosovic. First of all, how dreamy is he? Long and lanky and soft-spoken, with great hair - total dreamboat. And his taste is exquisite - always refined, always sophisticated, maybe a little too much so at times. Sometimes you want a young person like that to do a few shots and jump up on the table and dance to Foreigner. Daniel's clothes would never do that. But boy could that kid sew. His stuff was technically some of the most accomplished on the show - sleek and (except for the one infamous weird-boob collection) well-fitted, tidy seams, straight hems, flawless use of bias cut.
It's inspiring to watch the beauty that arising out of all the chaos of the studio. The contestants sketch, bitch, think, work like mad, and the final dress is so - it seems so effortless, so serene, mute to the anxiety and stress that produced it. Project Runway demonstrates that fashion, for all its useless luxury, is serious business, and people sweat and cry over it, and that work deserves to be celebrated.
Tonight I'm making champagne cocktails with friends to celebrate the return of Project Runway. I can do without goosestepping Heidi Klum, but Tim has endeared himself more and more to me. Long live the serious frivolity of fashion and those who worship it!
Saturday evening I went to a local fashion show that was put on by four Berkeley stores, combining vintage and new clothes, including my favorite, remix/recycled clothes - the art of taking old clothes and hacking them to make something modern and cute and different. A really bland GAP sweater in mint green got the next cut out and then a cute soft fuzzy white collar was knitted and affixed, for example. I wish I'd taken photos but alas, I forgot my camera.
But something occurred to me as we were sitting there watching the show - most fashion shows are so orchestrated, so designed. Hair and make-up are in place, the clothes have been picked, the models all walk a certain way. Well, not in this fashion show so much - the models, many of whom were amateurs, had a lot of fun on the catwalk, improvising moves and smiling and interacting with the audience. I thought it was charming, but I wanted it to go even further...what if you could have a spontaneous fashion show? What would that look like? Like a mix of Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance, maybe.
Project Runway is sort of the Iron Chef of apparel design: the contestants get a theme, or some kind of limitation, and they have a short time to produce an outfit. I'd make it a little looser - it would be more about styling, not designing. So you'd have a big rack of items to choose from, and your job would be to dress the model in, say, two minutes, give her a "motivation" or a story to act out, and send her out on the catwalk.
Better yet, pick out things for yourself and walk down the catwalk! If you are really crafty, you would whip up on-the-spot alterations to items. Spontaneous fashion! Could be fun.