An eternity ago, or so it seems I planned to be a fashion designer. From the age of 9 or 10, I remember dreaming of it, praying for it and knowing that one day I would be famous. I still have my sketch books from back then and all the garments I designed when I was in college. I was offered a job right out of school and took it. I was on my way. Or so I thought.
You know how things just don’t go the way you hoped? Being a bit of a stubborn ass and not having learned the art of delayed gratification, one thing led to another and contrary to what I believed would happen, I did not become the next Donna Karan. I did become a fairly successful banker but what the hell does banking have to do with dress design?
Fast forward a few decades and despite my dreams, I am not a designer. Or shall we say I could probably still be a good one but a little thing called life has gotten in the way. So, until I get my ass back to the drawing board and sewing machine, I have something that fills my need. The show that someday I dream of being a contestant on. Of someday finally going for what I feel I was born to do.
Project Runway. Since the show began in 2004, I have not missed an episode. As it has gone from season to season there have been some changes, including the network. However, the bottom line is that watching every hopeful designer create their work inspires me, amazes me and somehow completes me. I imagine that I am vicariously living my dream through those of the contestants.
Through every challenge I am able to mentally create something that I would have done. I know I should just get to the drawing board but I don’t have an HP Touchsmart. It would be great if I had a mentor such as Tim Gunn to tell me if what I am designing is working. So, each week I watch and dream.
This Thursday the show is returning for it’s ninth season. I will immediately look for the oldest contestant and say that could be me; if only I would get my butt moving. Last season we had Peach, a fifty something woman from Lake Forest that competed. I kept thinking if she can do it, so can I. It gives aspiring designers the feeling that there could be hope for one of us someday.
So somehow while I am watching this year I am hoping to find just the right amount of inspiration to get me going once and for all. Whether it be a challenge that has the designers creating garments from recycled junk or candy wrappers, I will be watching for it. I’ll also be mentally and thoughtfully accessorizing my designs from the Piperlime accessory wall. I’ll be thinking of how I’d want my models to look after they visit the Loreal Paris make-up room.
I’ll be personally judging and critiquing the challenges and cracking up at Michael Kors brutally honest statements. I’ll be imitating Heidi Klum’s opening “Hello” and her closing “Auf Weidersehen” to the losers. I’ll be sad when Tim tells the loser to go clean up their workspace. I’ll be pissed off when the designers I think aren’t worthy keep getting put through (I mean you Gretchen Jones). But most of all, I’ll be hanging on every second and have that same empty feeling when the season ends.
And who knows. Maybe I’ll be a contestant on season 10. At least in my head I will be.
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