Thursday, July 20, 2006

Aloha Malan

You know, I've never felt the "passion for the fashion," but I find BravoTV's reality show "Project Runway," to be strangely addictive, even though I've never been interested in fashion or even in dressmaking.

It's the personalities that suck you in and make you want one to succeed fabulously, and another to go down in badly-designed flames.

The second designer to be dismissed, or "auf'd" as the folks at Television Without Pity call it, was Malan Breton. DRAT! Although my initial impression of him was that he was much too precious and pretentious, there was a very endearing quality to him and after reading his blog I found him to be much more sympathetic and interesting than before. But he was gone after his evening gown for Miss USA's run for the Miss Universe title was deemed too "heavy" looking, with ruching that didn't really succeed, although what he was going for was a very interesting and potentially flattering look. It did look rich, but the ruching was lumpy and not well executed over the bust. It might have been more successful if the ruching were sharp, interlocking pleats. Still, all that action around the torso and hips kind of detracted from the stated purpose, which was to make a smaller woman look taller. But I did like the glamor of the slightly off-centered "bustle" part of the ruching.

Listen to me, I flunked the sewing module in Home Ec in junior high. "Ruching," indeed.

Anyway. There was something that Malan said last night about how his mother rejected his attempts to show her his drawings for fashion when he was young that was inexpressibly sad. She basically threw them on the floor and told him never to do that again. It sounded like a rejection of who he was in addition to what interested him. At the end of the show, he expressed sadness and shame for leaving so early. It seems he's never had a lot of friends, and he felt part of something larger (perhaps for the first time), and now it was over. This made me tear up a little. Yes, the plain-faced fat tomboy who lives in jeans and never wears makeup felt sad for the winsome fashion designer with the dubious accent and the exaggerated mannerisms. I really felt for him; what a crushing blow to have to endure on camera. He held his head high and left with grace and humility, something I never would have expected based on my erroneous first impression.

Based on his bio, I (as a former outsider living in Utah) have a little more insight into Malan and his personality.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Malan, 32, traveled the globe as a child, living in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, California, Hawaii, Utah, Georgia and elsewhere. Named as one of 12 new designers to watch for on the New York runway by Women’s Wear Daily in February 2005, Malan has been designing since the age of 11. Inspired by a friend, one of America's foremost couturiers, he decided to create his own line drawing on the vast influences and experiences of his life.

Oh, Malan, if you lived in Utah... well, it would be the absolutely worst possible place for a person like you, no matter how old you were when you lived there.

My normal blogspace Blogula Rasa was down earlier, or I would have posted there. For now, I'm sorry about this development, because I think the wrong designer was sent away, ANGELA. What were the judges thinking? At least Tim has a blog of his own (a Movable Type one, no less) where he dishes a little. Still, I don't understand why Malan wasn't given a pass and Angela wasn't booted right "auf."

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