Shoes are a Girl's Best Friend

Shoes are a Girl's Best Friend

Lidia hangs by a thread.

Our big challenge was a total unexpected surprise. When we walked down 5th Ave., I thought we might go to Central Park and have a marathon run challenge. My second guess was Apple Mac store; I was thinking maybe it’s a new innovation technology computer chip making a dress challenge. And then it turns out that our challenge is Bergdorf Goodman. I was excited because it’s one of my favorite stores in NYC. There, the best part of it all was when we went to the 2nd floor. This is way too exciting because I love, love, love shoes. Shoes are a girl’s best friend. Also, in my opinion Bergdorf Goodman’s shoe department has one of the best selections of any department store in NYC.

Just about a couple of weeks ago I visited this store. I tried on so many pairs of shoes just for fun. Issac and Kelly announced our big challenge and it was fun and exciting. The only thing is that we had to run around and chase down a specific selection of shoes, pairs that said “fashion shows.” I didn’t have a chance to really look around and I just picked the pair that I noticed first, very fabulous and delicious YSLs. Now we have to design a look based on the style of the shoes. I chose a color palette to go with the theme of the shoes and the silhouette is based on the straps that go around.

The shoes spoke luxury to me. After all, it’s a $700 pair. Therefore I choose all luxurious fabrics. For the accent I wanted to go with a leather fine novelty ribbon that would go around the body to accentuate the figure conture. Right before fabric shopping we were assigned to models. It turned out that models shoe sizes is 37 and the shoes that I picked are a size 39. It made me a little worried that they are definitely too big. I only hoped that the shoes could be exchanged to a proper size or change of a model to fit the shoes.

After fabric shopping I started draping. The following day we went to a notion store to shop zippers, threads, ribbons, etc. It turned out that this store didn’t offer any novelty ribbons at all. These two points were the start of things not going according to plan. My concept was based on a Parisian cocktail party event, inspired by luxury of the shoes’ silky texture. My intention wasn’t to copy the shoe shape but well enough to capture the essence of it. So I chose the color story based on this particular pair and the lines of the dress captured the silhouette of the back heel.

My draping was great. I was happy with the outcome. I was making sure to handle the actual fabric carefully because of the off-white satin and fragile texture of a tulle. I cut the fabric, lined all the pieced, based stitched the patterns together and I was ready for a very late schedule meeting. My model arrived and the first thing that I did, I tried the shoes on her, and of course my fear came true, that the shoe did not fit at all. I was worried that the model is going to be very uncomfortable wearing big shoes on and that would totally distract the audience and it might look that she is very uncomfortable wearing my outfit. The clock was ticking. I wanted to deliver quality work. Then I realized that I’m running out of time. That made me nervous. Then it turned out to be that I also ran out of tulle fabric which I planned to have as one layer of smooth sheet for the front panel that would go just on top of the rushed piece to keep it down and it’s more flattering on the figure.

The next thing was that for the front piece I didn’t have enough time to apply the hang finished invisible stitching to tack in the rushing and make sure it’s not bulging out. Therefore my piece was unfit, rushed and the next failure point was that the bronze metallic leather ribbon was really missing, all the details just showed poor construction. My approach to work is coming up with concept first, analyzing and brainstorming ideas as a designer on a regular basis. Therefore I don’t have the speed on making something time consuming in 14 hours as the rules of the challenge. I pushed the envelope too far and I don’t just play safe. Therefore I wasn’t able to deliver what I intended to do within a 14-hour time frame.

It’s Fashion Show time. I knew that the model is not capable to sell my garment on a runway. Also it happened that just before going to the runway she fell down the stairs and partly ripped the hand stitching on the dress. Now it’s judging time for judges to deliberate. The winning garment really stood out. I was happy for Reco. He definitely deserved to be at the top. His garment was outstanding in details and his sewing experience really gave him a points as he sews everyday for his living.

My garment ended up in the bottom two. Yes, I agree that it lacked the finishing look and the construction really played a role. But I tried my best in delivering something extraordinary by making a bold decision on pushing the envelope too far instead of playing it safe. The judgment felt very harsh as our guest judge, George from Manolo B. really put me down and I totally don’t think my garment was that bad. It was extremely uncomfortable to stand on the stage and my heart dropped to my stomach. But I took the critical judgment as a positive thing that made me learn from it. I also feel very thankful for the sincerity and I do respect our judges honesty and opinions which makes me grow and strengthen my weakness to make sure that I deliver the best out of me.

Then I heard a final word with my name coming out as I’m safe. It felt like a big stone had fallen off my shoulders. I’m thankful to the judges for a chance to continue to compete in this competition and my goal remains the same: to do my best and to have a great chance on winning, because I feel very passionate and inspired to do what I really love to do in my life. And I even quit my full-time job to be here just because I really look forward in achieving my dreams.

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