Elisa: Gretel Is Pretty Macabre
Sugar as a delicious and accepted drug.
What did you think when Tim brought you into the Hershey store in Times Sq.?
When Tim brought us to the Hershey's store I was delighted. Times Square has been my daughter's and my neighborhood for 10yrs and going to the Hershey's store is a huge treat for us. I was truly infused with childlike anticipation.
Have you ever worked with such "fabric" before?
I have worked with an incredibly wide range of materials in all my disciplines and fashion has been no exception. In 2000, for Holly Solomon Gallery and Fashion Week, I did an entirely sugar-lace encrusted Sugar Plum Fairy couture outfit including poured sugar wings performed by a virtuoso dancer. I have placed edible clothing on myself and other performers akin to a variety of other artists which explore the boundaries of body and sensuality.
What brought about your "macabre" concept?
Well, you know, I did start out to do the expected, but I have done soooo many fanciful-fairies, alchemical-manifestations, and mythical creatures that I thought I would do a sugar related fairytale character: Gretel.
However, perception is key to interpretation. Everyone assumes candy and sugar related things are childlike, joyful, and delightful. I see sugar as a drug. A delicious, very accepted drug. Doing Gretel with Aviva, which means "life", was my inside play with those who know me. Gretel warned Hans, but he did not heed. He fell due to his addiction -- hunger, and greedy folly. She did not.
What did you think of the other designers' work?
Everyone of my colleagues has consistently done exceptional work under the circumstances and regardless of the judges' critiques. This challenge in particular seems to be inspiring people's sense of play. We needed it!
What were your thoughts on having Zac Posen as guest judge?
I was pleased to see Zac Posen as a judge and I was glad that our peership was made evident immediately. I have a great deal of respect for his work and that of his talented sister. We have been contemporaries in our careers though we are markedly different in our choices.
What did you think of the judges' criticism -- that your design lacked "joy?"
Again, perception is key to interpretation -- I had extreme joy in deconstructing the objects that I had acquired with Calliope in mind and creating a bevy of raw materials to use or provide. I enjoyed Aviva's enthusiasm and support in being the character of Gretel. I had joy and that is the most important, in truth.
Standing in the final two with Sweet P, what was going through your mind? Did you think you'd be sent home?
Standing on the runway with Sweet P, I hoped that I would be the one sent home because I knew how much being in the show meant her. I was thinking that if I went home it was okay, because I had realized and learned the important life and work lessons I had come to learn. I had already won.
Did you think you deserved to be sent home?
"Deserve" is such a touchy word. Someone has to be sent home each challenge. I had walked the runway and been part of the discourse for many a time, what better time to go than on the" fantasy challenge!" I mean, for real, for all those who already know the plethora of fashion, performance, drawing, and writing work that I have done...fantasy is my forte...the irony was a sheer delight to me.
I had an amazing experience and that is what I was sent back to my life with...I only received more, not less.
Finally, of course, what's your favorite Hershey's candy?
My favorite is Good N' Plenty, but I don't really eat refined sugar anymore. My daughter emphasizes that she loves Reeses Pieces.
Thank you for the opportunity to express myself about these various topics and have a wonderful everyday...ingraceandgoodness Elisa