MF: Double Design Trouble

Posted on October 26, 2011

Okay, so here’s the skinny, Vanessa and Angela Simmons, the daughters of Rev Run of Run DMC, have their own shoe line (of course) and tap the Chris March team to come up with some Barbie-inspired looks for their launch party. This seems to be a running theme: shoe launch parties. Apparently, shoe designers (or “designers”) all have Chris on speed dial for their shoe launch party dresses.

Once again, the episode is refreshingly drama-free, as the team basically says “Alrighty, then” and gets to work.

There is some question as to whether the girls are going to be difficult and even though this is a question asked every episode with virtually no payoffs, we did kind of fear that they were going in the wrong direction with these designs.


It seems to us that most women do not really want to look like a drag version of a Barbie doll, even when they say “I want to look like Drag Barbie!”


When faced with the reality of Barbie clothes – namely, that they’re pretty tacky – most ladies would run screaming in the other direction. Especially when they’re faced with such faithful reproductions of the Barbie aesthetic. These aren’t “like” Barbie clothes; they’re exactly Barbie clothes, scaled up to human proportions.


We thought feather Barbie (don’t expect us to remember which one is which) had the better dress, both because she claimed to be a wild dresser herself and it really did have some rock and roll sassiness to it; Barbie by way of Cyndi Lauper.


But that highly flammable neon pink animal print could have gone either way. Either you accept it as the Barbie-true fabric it is, or you better just get off the train.


But the skirt really did look amazing and the whole look came together – as Barbie looks so often do – when the jewelry came out.


It was the sparkly black Barbie dress that had us concerned. First off, she didn’t seem to love it when she first saw it.


The pink Barbie look was fun, but this look had some serious drag qualities going on. Especially once the wigs came out. Poor Izzy. No one wants wigs anymore. Although we couldn’t blame the girls. Izzy did great work, but they both looked better with their hair down.


And if you give a girl a crown, she’ll happily go out in a drag dress for the chance to wear it. Still, that bodice is awfully big, no? We suspect that – and the gloves, since she was fidgeting with them a lot – is what she liked the least.


To be honest, we thought the shoe bags looked pretty goofy. Masterfully made, but the girls didn’t look like they couldn’t wait to show them off. They look more like something you’d pack for a slumber party.


But Team March pulled it out again. It’s rare to see someone get the Barbie aesthetic exactly right, but they nailed it. Then again, why wouldn’t they? Barbie might as well be the Mad Fashion team’s patron saint.

[Photo Credit:]

    Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

    • Joyce Martin

      Hey guys, I think there’s a mix-up in the image file names. The majority of the pictures are from last week’s episode. Not that I’m not happy to see the utterly fabulous Jennifer Coolidge again! 

    • Anonymous

      Are these the wrong pictures for the episode? I am definitely experiencing deja vu…

    • Anonymous

      (Pssst – TLo.  You forgot to swap out the photos from last week’s post.)

    • Shannon Stewart

      Personally, I could get behind the “drag” part far faster than the “Barbie” part, but that’s me — I love a good drag look! 😀

      And if I ever had a shoe launch party, Chris would TOTALLY be the guy I tapped for it.  In fact, if I had anything that I could justify wearing a Chris March crazy dress for, I would. 

      • accidental housewife

        There can be such a fine line between Barbie and drag, don’t you think? But I’m with you. I’d rather see drag. After the age of 12, I stopped caring about Barbie. I was shocked when I realized so many grown women are still obsessed with her.

        Also with you on having a Chris March original, given the money and the opportunity. How awesome would that be?

        • Shannon Stewart

          Yeah — I will admit to more than a few pangs of want when they have released really cool Barbies (oh, the architecture series Barbies were so cool! — I have a 5 year old girl, so I have an excuse for hanging out in the Barbie section long enough to spot them:) but I don’t really understand the obsession with items that aren’t useful.  You give me a beautiful stemware set and I’m a happy girl, but my husband’s Star Wars toy collection boggles me. (How many clones does one really need?)

          And I’d want a Chris dress just so I could hang out with him!  That alone would be so worth it!  Besides, you have to admire a man that knows how to go that far over the top.

    • accidental housewife

      I’m enjoying the photos from the Jennifer Coolidge episode while I can. Those Simmons girls annoyed the hell out of me.

      • Anonymous

        I’m with you. 

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I wasn’t feeling the outfits until the final shot of them walking out – at that moment it all came together. Both looked fab and I want to be Chris March’s friend.

    • Anonymous

      For anyone interested, Chris March puts up his inspiration boards on Pinterest for each episode. You don’t need to subscribe to Pinterest to see them. You can just go here:

      It is fun to see the other designs and ideas he references in designing these looks.

      I still need to get this show on my radar. It would have been a welcome no-drama tonic for this week.

    • Anonymous

      And of course, you know that there really is a Cyndi Lauper Barbie.

    • Judy_J

      It’s in the last line of the of the original “Barbie” jingle…. “Barbie, beautiful Barbie, I’ll make believe that I am you.” 

    • Terence Ng

      This looks like so much fun.

    • Anonymous

      I wasn’t feeling the black dress either. I am never a fan of tops and stand away from your body like a board. And despite the nice job on the wigs, both girls had beautiful hair and I couldn’t see either one covering it up. LOVED the crown, and the gloves although I thought they would have looked better in a different fabric than the dress, altho matchy is so Barbie. And I HATED the purses.

    • Theresa

      I might start designing shoes just so I can have a launch party and a Chris March dress. 

    • Anonymous

      I have to represent for the Sisters Simmons here. Angela and Vanessa were told when they came up with the shoe company idea that they couldn’t just expect money to be thrown at it because they are rich kids. They made a legitimate pitch to both Aunt Kimora over at Baby Phat and their Uncle Russell at Phat Farm (who was skeptical to say the least). They secured the funding and actually designed the shoes. They both work for their company. If drag queens wore sneakers, they would be from the Pastry line. Angela was not kidding when she said she was a wild dresser.

      • Shannon Stewart

        That’s cool.  I don’t know anything about the girls, but I always feel a little bad for people in their position.  Yes, a lot of them are just handed money and do things because they want to play.  But some of them really do work, and work hard, to try to build something that’s theirs because they want to be more than a spoiled rich kid with someone else’s name, and people STILL just assume that they’ve only had success because mommy and daddy threw money at them.

      • Anonymous

         I really admire their work ethic and how independent they are. Sure they have connections, but they’ve been working since high school to make their own success.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve always liked those Simmons’ girls. They’re kind of adorable, fun and fairly harmless. And just for the record, “feather Barbie” is Angela (the youngest) and Vanessa (in black strapless) is the oldest. Another cute episode. I’m actually enjoying this series and hope it returns for another season.

      • Anonymous

        Do they do Heels or just athletic style shoes?

        • Anonymous

          Initially, their line included mostly athletic shoes, but I believe they’ve expanded to include heels, boot’s etc. I’m pretty certain they even showed a pair of plaid stilettos in an opening shot.

      • Isabel

        The fabrics go well with their complexions. A pale person would have looked faded in the pinkish dress.

    • Mich

      i forget the seamstress’s name, but she’s the girl in the pink face dress. i LOOOVE that dress. does anyone know anything about it or where i could possibly get one?

      • Izzy D

        Christine has a FB fan page… Christine Brown (Mad Fashion)

    • Anonymous

      this show should really be called ‘project costume’ or ‘mad stagewear’. there’s nothing really fashion about it.

      • Anonymous

        True. It’s just fun, over the top costumes. But it’s frivolous fun.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed that the bodice of the black dress was too large – odd shape. 
      I thought the pink/multicolor one was more “fun” but wish the top fabric had been nicer

    • Anonymous

      The black dress seemed to be echoing that classic black sparkly 50s Barbie dress, but I don’t get why I didn’t have a fitted bodice.  It looked surprisingly good despite that, but I think the lack of a fitted bodice was a mistake.  The crown made that thing.

      Looks like Izzie will get her moment next week.  

      Barbies taken in aggregate are pretty trippy.  My daughter was given one that lights up in various ways–its thighs pulsate red.

    • Anonymous

      I’m so glad they insisted upon wearing their “own” hair instead of some kind of hairpiece.  (Someone please mop up the irony dripping on the floor)

    • marlie

      I’ve actually seen a few episodes of “Run’s House,” and in terms of celebrity offspring/reality show personalities, these girls (and the family as a whole) aren’t too bad. They’re a couple of cute girls trying to capitalize on Daddy’s success in order to get their feet in the door, but at least they’re actually doing the work and are not a couple of binge-drinking party girls bringing shame to their parents.

      • accidental housewife

        Points taken, especially re: not embarrassing their parents. It’s a damn shame when it’s such an uncommon occurrence that it has to be noted. I just wish they hadn’t played “rich princess sisters competing with each other” quite as hard as they did.

    • Anonymous

      This show is great!  It reminds me most of “Ace of Cakes”  where a team of creative characters works well together, admires each other and pulls out fabulous work by the end of the show.  More like this!

    • Anonymous

      I loved the pink fluffy dress. Barbies have never been my theme, but I’d have killed for that dress, with its fun, fun, fun crinolines at just about any age between 19 and 30.  And have worn it many places for which it was too costumey and inappropriate.

      • Anonymous

        It definitely would have worked in the early 80s during the Cyndi Lauper moment.  The feather petticoat was great.

    • Jen R

      Drag or Barbie, I think the black dress would have looked better with the crown if she’d done a similar updo with her hair in lieu of the wig.

    • MilaXX

      I just watch this show ans smile. There’s always a last minute deadline, there’s always “the client may not like it”moment and then it’s all for naught. I’m perfectly okay with that.

      • Eric Scheirer Stott

        It’s a nice show- for about a season. If it lasts longer they’ll probably be sending him on the road to invade proms.

        • Anonymous

          Sounds like fun to me 😉

    • Anonymous

      I NEED that neon animal print in my show! I thought I’d picked out the perfect tacky-stravaganza but now everything that goes on stage will pale in comparison to the glory of that barbie print. Damn you, Chris March for killing my dreams!

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know WHERE she found them, but my grandmother had a wide array of just such fabrics that she made scrunchies out of and sold at craft fairs, years ago, right around the time everyone stopped wearing scrunchies.  They were shocking.  I think somehow people still bought them!  And some sort of scarf, too.  Memories.

    • { edi } ilovetrash

      i never comment on this cos i really love chris march & i want to actually see it before i say anything.
      i’ve been feeling really rotten for about a week & i havent watched anything, not even the star trek marathons i usually put myself through when doing hours of mindless photoshop.
      then again, i am getting better so hours of mindless photoshop are returning toot sweet to the menu. i think i will add this one as well, via amazon. i dont want it to go away in a season although w/o more conflict it probably will. i hope he makes good money from it til it is forced along that road.

      edited to add:
      apologies, this shouldve been a reply further down. i really am not feeling too good.

    • Anonymous

      Sigh.  He is so talented.  I just looked at the “Fashion” section of his website, which has photographs of his PR finale work.  Those clothes were absolutely divine and he should have won that year.  

    • Brenna McClellan

      Ohmygod I need BarbieDrag to be everything I wear forever.

    • Anonymous

      Watched this epi this morning over fancy coffee drinks.  These girls are so cute.  So glad they didn’t do the wigs as it really did push the look right into drag queen, and these girls are too young and cute for that look.  Love the tiara with the shiny black dress…totally BARBIE.