Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Tim Gunn haunting

I had a Project Runway nightmare last night. I don't mean this metaphorically - I had an honest to goodness nightmare, set right in the middle of Project Runway - and it was terrifying.

I'd been thinking about the series as I went to sleep. You know those thoughts you have when you're dropping off - kind of all over the place, but somehow linked? I was thinking about my mum, and how I've gotten her addicted to the series, and about my credit card (which was compromised and then cancelled last week so now I'm without funds over here), and about Amazon, which says I can order series 8 before it's released in February, and about my sewing machine which is being packed up this weekend .... and then I drifted off to sleep. And into my dream.

I was sitting in the audience of a live taping of the show, and halfway through it, Heidi Klum announced that six contestants had been chosen from the audience for a special challenge. These contestants, she announced, had previously submitted audition pieces; garments they'd created that show their own "unique point of view". (We know how Project Runway likes designers with "a unique point of view"!)

She read out a list of names, and to my utter surprise - mainly because I knew I had never submitted an audition piece - I was among them. Dear god, totally, TOTALLY out of my depth. And desperately afraid of being found out. And our challenge?  It was one of those ones where you have to make a dress using unusual materials.

She sent us off to Lincraft (Lincraft! Oh, the irony!) to get our supplies. We had to take two taxis - this is where the dream started to resemble The Amazing Race a bit, clearly I watch too much reality tv, but I am unashamed of this - and our taxi took a shortcut but somehow we ended up blocks away from where we were meant to be.

But we bought all our supplies and I was raring to go, planning that I would make a dress out of black and white segments of stiff cardboard, like that famous dress years ago that was made out of gold American Express cards (there's the credit card reference, never mind that mine's a Visa!) held together with chain links - does anyone remember that dress?

I was thinking a cardboard version using a similar construction - but much more "mod" in style, like a Mondrian painting - would work on a skinny model, never on a real person of course with all her curves and bumps, but on those skinny Runway models it would be fine. A little strapless sheath, with contrasting handstitching in the seams as a design feature. Or covered in petals made from gorgeous Japanese wrapping papers, only Lincraft didn't have any in stock, and I was desperate for my wrapping paper box at home in Melbourne which has so many nice papers in it, but it was in Melbourne, and somehow this competition was taking place in Alexandria, in Egypt ....

The other two contestants with me wouldn't let me start on my piece, and decided we had to go to Lincraft where everyone else was. We got there somehow and I was stressing about how to create a pattern for my piece, when someone told me we'd been given a pattern block to work with. Everyone else was diving into the pile of patterns and opening them, cutting out the pieces, and as I ran over to get mine I saw that one young male contestant had already started piecing together his fabric - he was using striped French canvas, big pieces cut on the bias in green and white stripes and purple and white stripes. Another contestant was using yellow and white stripes and I realised I couldn't go with my original idea because it was too close to what they were doing, and they'd started first - if only I could have begun my piece when I wanted to, instead of letting my competitors hold me back! I was angry at myself for not trusting my instincts.

I started to get panicked. Time was slipping away, and I couldn't even open my pattern envelope and everyone else was getting so far ahead of me - well into the construction of the piece when  I hadn't even cut out my blocks. I was so worried, I knew it was useless to even try and start a piece because everybody else was so far advanced, and I couldn't get the envelope, and my hopes were fading and I knew it was useless.

Then my pattern envelope sank into a bookcase, the books actually ate it up and I was reaching inside trying to pull it out - and it flew out suddenly, and a huge gust of wind came up and blew all the tissue pieces everyone, and suddenly Lincraft was a paddock, with tufts of grass and a cold overcast sky, and I was scrambling over the rocks trying to collect all my different block pieces and then Tim Gunn was saying "de-SIGN-ers, talk to me".

I showed him a drawing of what I planned to make, and he narrowed his eyes and looked it up and down, and my heart beat faster in my chest and I started to catch my breath and it began to hurt in my lungs, and my ears started to ring and then I woke up.

I woke up, and my heart was pounding, and I was actually panicked. The sensation was so real that it startled me into a full awakening.

I checked the clock, and it was 555am - so I didn't even have the luxury of trying to go back to sleep and forget it. I had to get up right away, feeling unbalanced and worried and stressed. It took me half the morning to shake the feeling.

Wow, it gave a whole new meaning to the idea of waking up with Tim Gunn. Shudder.


Heather said...

WOW! What a nightmare. I'm impressed you remember the details, although less impressed that the details gave you such a panic. Hope you sleep better tonight with sweeter dreams.

Isabella Golightly said...

I laughed out loud at the irony of having to get your materials at Lincraft.... no wonder you couldn't achieve anything... shudder.

Jennie said...

Love it. Far more entertaining than the standard maths exam panic dream!