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LJ Runway Monday: The Finale, Part 2 (PR 7:14)

April 26th, 2010 (01:33 am)

current mood: finished!

On the most recent episode of Lifetime's Project Runway, the remaining three designers showed their final collections at Bryant Park, and the winner was chosen by the judges. Tonight's the night I promised to share my final collection for this season, but...I'm not presenting a runway collection.

To explain, I have to go back a few months and share a letter I received from my model muse, Summer. You know, the strawberry blonde who's vexed me by being too busy to model any of my designs this season.

Dear Becks [Summer writes],

Almost two years ago, I was invited to a fun party at the Manhattan apartment of another Mattel Top Model, Figaro. You may not remember her. She modeled for Mark G. Harris. I'm kidding! No one forgets Figaro.

Figaro can be a little sketchy when she introduces people, so I wasn't surprised when she shoved me toward a stranger and gave me only his first name--Walt. What did surprise me was the way Walt and I clicked from the start. I definitely wasn't looking for a relationship. While trying to fit in or finish college classes among all the bookings I was getting, I didn't have a lot of time for a boyfriend. But after we talked and flirted all night at Figaro's party, I gave Walt my phone number, and every time I was in the city, we managed to get together.

Figaro knows the most diverse set of people, from princes to paupers, and I got the idea that since Walt is a freelance wildlife photographer, not a fashion photographer, that he didn't make a lot of money. It didn't matter to me. I thought he was funny, interesting, handsome, and sexy. I deliberately chose places to meet that would be casual (and cheap!), and I hoped that Figaro or one of their mutual friends wouldn't tell him the kind of money a top model pulls in.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that "Walt" is Mason Walters Cabot IV. Even if a IV behind three last names isn't daunting enough, who hasn't heard of the New England tycoon Mason Walters Cabot III? Figaro actually knows Walt because Barbie--who's also modeled for you--frequently dates Walt's father (Walt's mother died several years ago). Although Walt's an only child, over time, I've met his extended family and his father, and they're all more likely to be found in shorts and Topsiders on the deck of a boat--okay, a yacht--than flaunting an affluent lifestyle. They're what my dad calls "just plain folk." I adore them all and enjoyed being welcomed into their family.

Still, I'm glad Walt knows I fell in love with him when I thought he was an impoverished photographer. In fact, I'm so in love with him, when he asked me to marry him, I really wanted to say yes. But I explained to him that several of my fellow models and I made a promise about not getting married. We work with so many gay people in the industry, and have many gay and lesbian friends, and it seems wrong to get married when our friends and colleagues don't have the right to make that same civil commitment and get the same legal protections.

Walt was disappointed, but he understood why this mattered to me. He not only respected my decision, he agreed with me. I graduated, and we started looking for a place to live together. This didn't exactly thrill my parents, and believe it or not, they were the ones who came up with a solution. Why not get married in Iowa, a state that extends the right to marry without regard to the gender of the two adults involved?

It made perfect sense! We found out we didn't have to be residents of Iowa to marry there. As anyone knows, weddings are costly--especially weddings between super models and sons of tycoons with family and friends who come from all over the country. We could thank Iowa for being fair and forward thinking by contributing our wedding dollars to the state's economy!

So the wedding is on, and that means I need you! I know you have a friend in Iowa who can help us find the perfect spot for our wedding, which we want to have outside. And during the next Runway Monday season, you can help me feed misinformation about my whereabouts and social life to the press, so we don't end up with a bunch of tabloids and paparazzi turning our wedding into a circus. And finally, there's no one who I'd rather design my wedding dress and the dresses of my bridal party than you--since Runway Monday-winning designers Timothy J. Lambert and Mark G. Harris seem to have retired. Kidding again!

I promise not to turn into a bridezilla on you, but I do have some requests. No pastels, especially pink or peach. I like more autumnal colors. I'd prefer silks and maybe taffeta. I guess tulle is acceptable, but no lace. And no matchy-matchy dresses on my attendants. Here are a few specifics of what I want.

Barbie will be Mr. Cabot's date at the wedding. Please dress her in something crisp and elegant. I know you sometimes like to go a little retro chic with your designs. It's a look Barbie can pull off, no problem.

Barbie in dark green silk.

Beads are part of bodice.

My mother will be more comfortable in a conservative suit. She says she wants to look like the mother of the bride as well as two other daughters, not like someone pretending to be thirty-five or trying to outshine the bride.

Mother of the bride in a Dupioni silk suit of light mint green.

Scarf by Mattel.

My flower girls, Kianna and Courtney, are in the six/seven age range. I want their dresses to be simple and cool, since the ceremony will be outdoors.

Kianna in light blue Dupioni silk with pale pink ribbon halter. Slip-on sandals made by me.

Courtney in light green Dupioni silk with pale pink ribbon halter. Slip on sandals made by me.

Our ringbearer, Tommy, is three. A little suit with short pants would be ideal for him.

Tommy in light gray Dupioni silk suit with black ribbon collar and shoes made by me.

I'm very excited that Nikki's available to be a bridesmaid. She's so gorgeous that if you have what might be a "difficult" color or style on anyone else, put it on her. She can rock any look.

Nikki in sand embroidered taffeta.

Pleated bodice with woven tulle ribbon tying behind Nikki's neck.

Sash of sand tulle.

Sapphire-and-crystal-beaded bracelet made by me.

I also used the sand tulle for her stockings. Her shoes are from Mattel.

Our friend Bella is also a bridesmaid. Bella's a little curvier than the rest of my attendants, and she's also only eighteen. She'd be very uncomfortable in anything too sophisticated or attention-grabbing; she's shy, so low-key is best for her.

Bella in olive embroidered taffeta. The shirred, long waist and shorter skirt make the most of Bella's curves.

I made the beaded necklace. I wanted it and the olive fabric to bring out her eyes.

Figaro, of course, is like Nikki. Be as bold as you want to be with her; she'll make any look elegant.

Figaro in purple embroidered taffeta with a black tulle ruffle at the hemline.

Purple earrings and black, purple, and iridescent beaded necklace made by me.

Stockings and shoes by Mattel.

Like Bella, my little sister Cassidy is only eighteen. She was afraid she'd end up in a hideous bridesmaid dress that would make her look like an old hag. I promised her you'll make her cute--and she trusts you, because who else would have put her in shelf lining from the hardware store for a runway challenge and made her look adorable?

Cassidy in rust embroidered taffeta with a Regency-influenced design.

I designed a youthfully clunky bracelet of copper, turquoise, and ivory beads.

The band cinching the bodice is of crushed rust taffeta.

I used the same crushed rust taffeta for the ruffle at the hemline.

My older sister Lacy is my matron of honor. No matter how you dress her, she'll look like a more sophisticated version of me, but I'm used to it. Remember, though, no peach! Something bolder would be good for Lacy.

Lacy in coral embroidered silk.

I gave her emerald earrings and an emerald-and-coral-beaded necklace to match her eyes and dress.

This long-waisted bodice and full skirt is one of my favorite silhouettes on the top models.

Shoes by Mattel.

As for me, the simpler, the better. No trains or big veils. No layers of lace! Other than that, I leave myself in your hands.

Summer in white Dupioni silk.

The under skirt is white embroidered taffeta.

The silk over skirt is caught up with pearls and citrine beads.

A strand of white pearls connects the back of Summer's bodice.

Other than the bit of lace I slipped into Summer's bridal hat, I also made lace stockings. Her shoes are from Mattel.

I enhanced the bodice with marabou feathers, pearls, milky white and citrine beads, and a large iridescent bead that reminds me of a crystal ball. I see a very happy future for Summer!

I know you'll want to share your designs with Runway Monday's followers. That's fine, and everyone in the wedding party has agreed that you can share photos of all of us, men included. Just no pictures taken during the actual ceremony, please.

If all this is okay with you, thank you so much! You'll be an important part of the wedding that Walt and I dream of celebrating with the friends and family we cherish.


From Summer's wedding day in Iowa. Enjoy!

Walt's father, Mason, with Barbie.

Summer's parents, Drew and Elsbeth.

Lacy and her husband, Colin.

Cassidy and Beau.

James and Figaro.

Bella and Edward.

Jacob and Nikki.

Mason and Walt Cabot.

Summer with her attendants.

Walt and his groomsmen.

Summer with her parents.

Summer's family.

Summer with her new husband and father-in-law.

The wedding party.

The wedding party and parents.

Just married.

Riding off to their honeymoon.

And they lived happily ever after. With lace. ;)

Bed gift of Christine and John. Bella and Edward dolls gift of Rhonda and Lindsey. Jacob doll gift of Tom. "Iowa" location shoot provided by Amy and Richard.


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