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Tulips and Pansies and More Pansies

Chris' collaboation may have been his toughest challenge yet.

This week is about a very fun, outrageous, over the top charity event held annually in NYC -- Tulips and Pansies. It is a fusion of fashion, fun, flowers, and of course, large headpieces. Each fashion designer is assigned a floral designer, and ours was Golf Srithamrong, the self-proclaimed "Orchid King," who won in the "Most Beautiful" category for the last two years. I was excited, and thought this would be fun -- after all, how hard could it be?

Ugh. It was terribly hard. I am not used to working with other people, and sometimes collaborations just click, and sometimes they don't. Ours was somewhere in between. I have been around the circuit and back with my fair share of costume contests, not to mention certain reality television fashion competition shows. I know what judges like, and what they don't like. What they don't like is when you don't follow the rules. Namely, in this case, that everything on the headpiece besides the structure must be fresh flowers or living material.
We went through our share of design trouble with this one ourselves, which ended up with Matt chucking the first draft of our outfit literally out the window, almost crushing some poor NYC pedestrian. We were hoping for a beautiful, colorful mix and an avant garde arrangement of flowers (that we auditioned days before in our workshop), but Golf went home and changed his mind. He ended up changing the whole design the night before the event, adding hundreds of white feather butterflies to the headpiece instead of flowers. Eek. I was not happy when I showed up the day of the was too late to change it and we were stuck with something that really didn't go well with our outfit, and that contained a lot of non-floral decoration. What would the judges say?Well, as if you couldn't tell already, they didn't say what we wanted them to, and happy faces had to be pasted on. I don't know how I feel about the whole thing...I think it just goes to prove what I have been saying for years, that the best things in life -- art, theater, literature, film, fashion, whatever -- are best when they are the vision of one person. An auteur. Of course collaboration is always necessary, but I believe that the main driving creative force must be by one person of singular vision. Everyone will get their turn, but there is a time to be the leader and a time to be in the background. We should have just done everything ourselves, then we could really be angry that we lost.

See you soon, 


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