Victorian Punk'd

Episode 6:'s Assistant Editor thinks he may have Susanne Bartsch's style pinned down.

This week's client, Susanne Bartsch, was definitely a challenge since, well, she already rocks some pretty Mad Fashion herself. She's like a mix of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elvira, and a harajuku girl all rolled up into one. How much did you wish you could just have free reign to play with all the crazy items in her apartment? In this exclusive clip, Susanne shows off some of her favorite kooky creations to Chris (almost as good as getting to play at her Victorian punk lair in person). mad-fashion-season-1-gallery-episode-106

The first round of designs for Susanne skewed a little more Liberace showstopper than queen of New York nightlife showstopper, forcing Chris to shake things up and use the top of the coat he cut up. You've got to wonder though, what became of that be-feathered cape? Is it lying around in a box waiting to be repurprosed? There must be a future use for a Red Riding Hood cape lined with what looks like a muppet. mad-fashion-season-1-gallery-episode-106

Unfortunately yet another client declined to wear one of Izzy's spectacular wigs. I figured if anyone would be up for it, it would be Susanne, but alas she chose to go with her already outrageous mohawk. Izzy was definitely right to say the wig is "Tim Burton's wet dream," because I'm fairly certain Helena Bonham Carter has wore the exact same 'do in Sweeney Toddmad-fashion-season-1-gallery-episode-106

After a number of outfit overhauls, Susanne's finished look was feathery, fierce, fairly see-through, and a fully functional showstopper. I was a bit worried that every time she turned around she'd be hitting people in the face with all those feathers, but hey, a little tickling can only liven up a party, right? Next week Chris and the crew tackle a Marie Antoinette inspired gown. The catch? They only have three days to do it.

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Our Cups Runneth Over

Chris thinks all the bra cups ended up looking like pink Peeps.

For starters, there was a lot in this episode that you didn't see. For example, Jene's home where we initially met is in New Jersey, and it is literally the size of a train station ! I thought they would show more of it for sure. Second, this show was split in half by the Jennifer Coolidge Mardi Gras trip, so we are funny and fresh at the beginning, and literally back to the workshop after waking up for a plane at 2:30 in the morning by the time of the fitting, dead tired. Ugh. Also, Christine gave up on the spray painting of the bra cups (which was originally Matt's idea) after about two hours. And when she heard there was a bedazzling project to be had, she got Jake into that blue suit so fast your head would spin. I can't blame her though -- I hate spray painting. Jene was a fun, breezy client. I love that she was so game to wear a dress made from bras. Also, those bras were hard to find! This episode turned ChrisMarchDesign into a factory. We churned out 400 bra cups, with each one cut out, trimmed, painted, and rhinestoned. It looked like we were farming some sort of strange item that looked like over-grown pink Peeps. But after Matt and I built the hoop and started applying them, we knew it was going to be incredible. Now, what to do about the top? Izzy was fun to shop with for bras, and the owners at Bra Tenders liked her so much they ended up giving her a set of rhinestoned pasties as a gift. (You can see them quickly in one scene stuck to the outside of her blouse.) With boned bustier in hand, we went back to the "farm" to help out with the harvest. I thought she was going to end up looking completely naked, so on the way to the shop the morning of the fitting I stopped for some magenta fabric to make a quick stole. It came out so cute, with a zebra lining and bow. (Her favorite thing besides pink -- zebra!) She actually had a zebra clutch to match. Another thing you don't see -- her event was literally around the corner from my studio (how convenient!), so she got dressed and left directly from there with the camera crew.

This show contains my "gay MacGuyver of fashion" line, and now I remember why. We did use a lot of crazy stuff to make this one...including nylon webbing, backpack buckles, fishing line, office clips, electrical cable ties, hooping, a pricing gun, and a ton of spray paint. Not exactly couture, but we turned out a winner! I thought the end result was the perfect balance of flattering, whimsical, sexy, fun, and outrageous -- just like Jene. So it just goes to show you that all you need is a couple of hundred bras to make the perfect party dress.

See you soon,


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