Sewing on TV

TLC just debuted their latest offering “I’ve Got Nothing To Wear”. The show is pitched much the same way as “What Not To Wear” and “I Was An Ugly Duckling Until A Fabulous Gay Man Taught Me How To Dress”. The premise of the show is this: a woman is offered a wardrobe makeover with a twist. The show’s stylist combs through her closet and picks out items to keep, and items to go to the “chop shop”. The chop shop is staffed by a crew of design students, who are required to cut up the reject garments and recycle them into something new.

The debut showing featured two shows back to back, with two separate women, and two distinct sets of designers. The designers are under the charge of George Simonton, a professor of fashion design at FIT, who unfortunately but perhaps unavoidably is bound to be compared to Tim Gunn — and nobody can ever be another Tim Gunn. The designers are given somewhat short shrift here — we only get to know them by first names, and because the designers switch in every show, there’s no real chance to associate any personality with them.

In the first two episodes, we see a variety of transformations: a pair of pinstriped pants is revamped into a bustier; a loose-fitting knit tunic becomes an off-the-shoulder asymmetrical dress.

An oversized sweater is turned around, and refashioned with waist darts and a plunging back neckline — I thought this one was a neat trick, and easy to do at home.

I would of course love to see more of the design process, especially for projects that would be easy for beginners, but that’s difficult to market (and encouraging people not to buy stuff is not exactly a show that makes it easy to sell ad space).

I’m also hoping to see a more diverse range of women on the show. Both of the women in the episodes I saw were young and slim, and I suspect recycling is a bigger challenge for women who are less inclined to wear micro-minis and/or who look for high quality and cut in the garments they buy.

The show did, however, have me running to my closet looking to see if there was anything interesting I could do with various things that persist in hanging around despite my never wearing them. I didn’t find anything that called out to be retooled. What I did find, however, was a pair of lollipops that had turned into some sort of liquid goo in the pocket of a leather jacket. Clearly snuck in there by vicious imps, since why the hell would I go around stashing lollipops in my pockets?

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One Response to “Sewing on TV”

  1. frog Says:

    I thought of you immediately when I saw the ads for this show!

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