MF: I Said Showstopper

Posted on November 09, 2011

This show continues to be nearly impossible to recap simply because it’s the Hundred Acre Wood of reality television. Pooh and his friends are fun to visit, but you don’t always have a lot to talk about afterwards.

 

We always feel like our Mad Fashion posts are more like children’s picture books. Without much in the way of conflict, it’s just happy, magical people making pretty things for a half hour, so the posts tend to have lots of pictures and little in the way of words. Maybe we should start making them rhyme.

 

We’ll let Bravo do it’s own recapping on this one:

“Chris March and his design team accept the challenge to create a look for the Queen of NY Nightlife, Susanne Bartsch. Known for her fashion flair, Susanne will be emceeing the Patricia Field Valentine’s Ball, the premiere event for NYC Fashion Week. Susanne always pushes the boundaries of fashion, and she knows what she wants, so Chris will need to create a look that will both impress the NYC fashion elite and please one of his toughest clients.”

As per usual she was hardly what anyone would call difficult and the entire thing went off without a hitch.

Once again, poor Izzy’s hard work didn’t get recognized. We have to say, we kind of agreed with the decision. The hair was, as Susanne said, “too camp,” which seems to be a running theme with this team. They all have a tendency to go the campy route and sometimes clients need to set them straight.

Anyway, she looked great and even managed to come up with even more outrageous suggestions, like the panties.

But we have to admit, we died a little inside when Chris cut up that gorgeously preserved vintage coat. All for the name of fabulous, we guess, but it felt almost disrespectful. Still, another fun episode of fun people making crazy shit.

[Photo Credit: bravotv.com]

  • Anonymous

    But what’s with that purse???

  • Anonymous

    This is the series I look forward to watching. I like the dynamics of the crew and love Chris March.  
    Although I think I heard the vintage coat screaming for help and I wanted to run in and save it.
    I hope this show gets picked up again next year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523566011 Dawn Grimes Stough

    is it just me, or does that g-string make her hips look big?  haha, just kidding…. !!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

    Nice to see creativity in motion. Hopefully someone will appreciate the wigs down the road. Bravo – you can have smart people, doing creative things and nobody has to flip a table!

  • MilaXX

    Please don’t stop recapping. There’s more than enough drama on every other reality show, we need a little niceness on the airwaves. Izzie is smart and funny but the wigs she’s made on this show have all been crap. I’ve seen better weaves made by non professionals in their kitchens. Maybe it’s the camp factor, but if this show is designed to help expand the biz, they are going to have to learn to reign in the camp factor.

  • Anonymous

    Much cringing over the beautiful Victorian coat.  The sacrifice hurt me.

    The final look (minus that grandmotherly handbag) was fabulous–but was it worth it?  The Victorian coat, I mean?  Dunno.

    Jesus.  Patricia Field. Is it meth or crack, hon?…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIQJKUWFMABQ4O7A7J5TLMN6OU Ella B.

      I vote for it’s meth + crack.

  • Anonymous

    All I could think of with that wig was ‘Willy Wonka’.  Especially when paired with that cheetah top hat.

  • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

    Poor Izzy…it’s not fair that her fabulosity gets left on the workroom floor again. But I love this show and it’s so fun to watch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

    I work in a museum and part of me died when he cut up that coat…and started gluing those feathers to it. He really does have some taste and editing issues.

    • http://www.facebook.com/WendyLKaufman Wendy Kaufman

      The shape he ended up with was so simple that it really seems odd that he’d cut up a wonderful coat. Why not just stitch it up new and keep the coat for when you need THAT coat. Yeah, I am a fellow costume conservator. Did an internship in our college collection.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

        Especially when he cut it at the waist and initially started to use the skirt- the least constructed part- as a cape.

  • Anonymous

    When you think about it, how many clients who come to someone for an expensive (albeit eccentric) design want to wear a crazy wig?  Hair is such a big part of styling.  If you have an eye-popping design, who wants Bride of Frankenstein on top of that?  It makes sense that it’s an integral part of drag — where someone wants anything BUT their own hair — but doesn’t seem to really fit into most high-end design, even on the kooky fringe.

    Still, was a fun half hour.

    • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986 Judy S

      The thing is, SB’s own hair (or whatever that is she has on top of her head) is already more outrageous than Izzy’s confection. I was wondering, and still wonder, how much she was able to take off in order to put the new wig on.
      I did think the wig was inappropriate with the jacket because of the giant shoulders–too much of a split down the middle. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

    I wanted to smack him for cutting the coat up.  The moment the his hand went for the scissors, he needed a good Cher Slap to snap out of whatever destructive reverie he was in.  Buy vintage fabrics, buy expensive new ones, but don’t destroy the coat!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

      Like many creative people I think he rationalizes the destruction as “Honoring” the item by transforming it into something fabulous.

      • Anonymous

        There was no honor in what happened to that coat. Ha!
         

  • Anonymous

    this. is. horrible.

    the panties make her look like a drag queen whose tuck tape popped at a very inopportune moment. chris’ work is impeccable as always, but she clearly didn’t bring anything delicious to the table. a tall, stinky glass of ICK.

    • Anonymous

      But that’s what she wanted.  And the customer is always right. Well, not always, but Chris gave her what she wanted.  

       I just love this show.  Such a nice happy half hour.  Too bad about the coat tho.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve recorded all these but only caught a glimpse here and there so far, and caught this one live, so it’s like my first episode.  It seemed they would be a match, but I felt badly for Chris because it seemed he felt so hog-tied by her personal style and strong opinions.  Not so impressed with the result either.  I was really impressed with the bit of the Jennifer Coolidge episode I saw.  What a welcome change after this past season of you-know-what.

  • Anonymous

    I have never heard of this woman, but judging from her neck, she’s too old to be dressing like this.

    • Anonymous

      Long time ago when she first came to this country, she had a boutique that sold clothing by and coming British designers. Then she became a fixture on the club scene. I remember she married some body builder at the Limelight on stage. I think he was completely naked, and she was wearing a cage. Pretty entertaining stuff.

      • Anonymous

        Personal side note:  I rented her old store on Thompson Street after she moved out. ( 84? 85? )  The walls were turquoise and the ceiling was black.  I was re-painting for DAYS!
        Yeah, she later married David Barton.  And speaking of Limelight, I cruised through that shopping mall the other day for the first time, and as the sweet sales girl tried to sell me a poncho ( !!! ) I kept thinking that the last time I was in that building I was soooooo fucked up.  Ah, New York nostalgia. 

        • Anonymous

          The motto for his gym is “look better naked.”  I think they got divorced a few years ago.  Can’t remember if they had a kid or not.  Definitely an odd couple at first glance….but together a long time.

          • Anonymous

            They had a little baby  that was in  the wedding. 

          • Anonymous

            They have a son… he’s friends with the son of friends of mine. She does seem very cozy and nice and a good mother, as a poster above says.

            I also had a friend back in the 80s who designed and handmade clothes for Susanne Bartsch AND I went to David Barton’s gym in the 90s! Such a small world.

          • Anonymous

            Same on this side.  I found out that Mila is the cousin-in-law of my doorman….

            I never went to a DB gym, but I am pretty certain that in the 90’s I looked better naked.

        • Anonymous

          I went to the Limelight a lot, but don’t remember where it was. Also, does anyone remember where The Underground was? I went there after Junior Prom in high school. Ah, how times have changed!!

          • Anonymous

            Limelight is on sixth around 20th – I passed it on my way to New York Cake and Baking, talk about times changing!  Underground I think north side of Union Square?

            Just looked it up – 17th and Broadway – now a Petco.  Wow, reading the list of all the clubs from “in the day”  –  New York has changed a lot, or just me?  Sure was fun though….

          • Anonymous

            Thanks!! Where did you find that list?? I went to another place after The Underground Jr. Prom night, and I cannot remember where it was. Limelight was after that, I used to go there after I graduated from college. 

          • Anonymous

            http://www.disco-disco.com/clubs/other-clubs.shtml

            Scroll down, it’s the last one. You’re welcome!

          • Anonymous

            And now the Limelight is just a trendy multi-use (read mall) space.  It was featured on the A-List for a fashion show….one of Ryan’s “top designer friends” seemed to have space upstairs.

        • Anonymous

          No kidding. I actually met her in her store, which was called Susanne Bartsch long time ago. I think 1984.

          • Anonymous

            1984 is about right.  And when I had that store it was called “Victoria DiNardo” – obviously the place fostered creative thinking.  Or attracted self-promoting egotists!

          • Anonymous

            Wait a minute are you Victoria Di Nardo -Fine Millinary? Saint Catherine preserve us! You’re right in there with Lola and Patricia Underwood.

          • Anonymous

            Hey Sewing Siren, thanks!  ( my mac sent this to my junk folder and I just found it this morning ).  Yep, that’s me.  I moved down to Miami after I closed the shop, where no one wants to wear anything, but we’ve just moved back up north to up-state NY.  I just opened a little pop-up holiday shop in Hudson.  Seems about the right time for another millinery revival – although hats have been revived so many time by now they should be on permanent life support!
            Thanks for remembering – and in fine company!

      • Anonymous

        Personal side note:  I rented her old store on Thompson Street after she moved out. ( 84? 85? )  The walls were turquoise and the ceiling was black.  I was re-painting for DAYS!
        Yeah, she later married David Barton.  And speaking of Limelight, I cruised through that shopping mall the other day for the first time, and as the sweet sales girl tried to sell me a poncho ( !!! ) I kept thinking that the last time I was in that building I was soooooo fucked up.  Ah, New York nostalgia. 

    • Anonymous

      Really? I think she is kinda fabulously out there and hope she keeps rocking it out as long as she likes.

    • Anonymous

      There is a picture from her wedding to body builder David Barton on the 2nd page of this story http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/fashion/28barton.html?pagewanted=2
      A lot of people often compare Lady Gaga to Madonna, but Gaga has really gleaned a lot more from the likes of Susanne Barsch!

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for cluing me in!  She really is ahead of her time, no?

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Thanks so much for that link. Living in L.A., I had no idea of who these people were. We have our own breed of outre creative types, but nobody matches New York fabulosity. 

        If we’re taking a poll, I vote for the coat. 

        PS I’d like to see Chris design something that doesn’t start with very long things shooting out of shoulders. It’s getting old.

  • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

    Add me to the list of people who died inside when the beautiful Victorian coat was cut up.  Sigh.  It was hard to watch.

  • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

    Did anyone else think of what Nina and Michael would say if they saw this outfit?  Oh, the joy of imagination . . .

  • Anonymous

    pooh & friends!  LOVE IT

  • Anonymous

    OmG!  Who knew Ruth Gordon dropped by?!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/WendyLKaufman Wendy Kaufman

    Think I prefer the camp hair. How can you call the hair camp, but the outfit not camp? Needs more on the head. Her hair looks like an afterthought. Craptasic make-up too.

  • http://stitchingincircles.etsy.com Tina

    I am going to be a vote for less recap, more analysis of the clothes created  (as usual…..). If there’s nothing to analyze, then just the pics, I suppose. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

      I can’t see this show lasting more than one season, unless he starts traveling the country in a van doing makeovers…oh wait, that was Austin & Santino.

      • Anonymous

        Bite your tongue!

        I am hoping that a small but rabid audience will allow it to continue for at least another season or two.

  • Anonymous

    “Tlo said: Maybe we should start making them rhyme.”

    Would you? Could you? Make them rhyme?
    I would like that all the time.
    I would like rhymes in a boat.
    I would like rhymes with a goat.
    I would like Mad Fashion rhymes.
    I would like them all the time.

    –GothamTomato

  • Anonymous

    Pretty funny that she thought that wig was too campy. When Susanne Bartch thinks you’re too campy, well, I don’t know what to say. (Didn’t she used to be married to David Barton?)

    Unfortunately for her though, the wig she chose instead made her look like a molting Cindy Adams.

    –GothamTomato

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      The one she chose reminded me of Anya.

  • Anonymous

    I gasped when he began to cut that coat apart. (And then I shut my eyes. Just couldn’t watch.) That was the most beautiful, unique thing on the show last night. (I think even he was regretting it as he did it.) I wanted to reach through the TV screen and pull it out of Pooh Bear’s hands.

    I thought the eventual outfit was fun and great for her, but as someone else pointed out, couldn’t they have created a new jacket and cape, rather than cutting that vintage masterpiece apart?

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzie.vazquez Suzie Vazquez

    It IS disrespectful and I near vomited. While he says “ooh look at how beautiful this 100 year old garment is!” ” I think we’ll just hack it in two pieces.”  Gross. He’s a designer. Make something inspired by it. Don’t demolish something that cannot be put back together for one night. You can’t just go to the store and get an Victorian jacket. Do you know how hard they are to find? I sell vintage for a living. I’m just so saddened by him doing that jacket such injustice!!!

  • Anonymous

    I loved the coat, but love Chris more, so I will forgive him.  I think the show is great and of course so are the recaps.  This show is just so easy to watch and enjoy after suffering through this past season of PR.

  • Anonymous

    I was good friends with Susanne (and her husband, David Barton) when I lived in NYC centuries ago and while I thought the show strained to make her seem demanding and diva-ish, IRL she is anything but. She’s incredibly motherly (one reason she’s so good at her promoting and large fanbase) and funny. I loved seeing her on the show. 

    And here’s a pic of her and I together! 

    http://themapofwhen.com/post/12539948026/me-and-my-friend-susanne-bartsch-we-were-at-a#notes

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for that. You’re handsome!

  • Anonymous

    Wait, the hair was too camp, but the outfit…? And I dont’ know what children’s picture books you’ve been reading, but the ones I see have plenty of conflict. Otherwise they wouldn’t get published.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dchockeyguy Trevor Burroughs

    I understand what you’re saying about your recaps, but isn’t nice to watch a show and actually ENJOY it? :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you Chris for another little half hour of happy. 

    Random thoughts; how do you go too camp around Betsy Johnson? Is it even possible? 

    That said, Izzy’s wig was full on cray-cray.

    The final outfit seemed a bit unbalanced – the mauve lace just looked meh to me.

    I know  TLo don’t take requests, but it would be fabulous if they opened the lounge for this show each week (hint, hint…)

    And I’m looking forward to next week after the preview shot of Chris cackling like a maniac.

  • Anonymous

    I also cried a few vintage tears when he cut up the coat.  “it’s just happy, magical people making pretty things for a half hour,”…and I LOVE it!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I love this show.  The creative process is great to watch and the crew is a good blend of skill, talent and kookiness.

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely LOVE Chris March, though just started watching this show last week. Is it wrong that I’m worried about his health?

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  He seems to be at his heaviest.  When he works in his chair he reminds me of chef Paul Prudhomme before he lost weight.  Chef Prudhomme would always sit when he cooked.

    • http://tigergray.blogspot.com/ Tiger Gray

      I thought that too. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIQJKUWFMABQ4O7A7J5TLMN6OU Ella B.

      I have a friend who didn’t watch Project Runway and didn’t know about Chris, but happened upon the show and loves it.  She commented that she watches him and keeps thinking “I really like you, but you aren’t going to live for very long.”   

      • Anonymous

        Horrible, rude, and inappropriate comment.

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely LOVE Chris March, though just started watching this show last week. Is it wrong that I’m worried about his health?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Bravo can have them working on two clients at once….or something a bit more madcap. 

  • Laura Lee Washburn

    Rhyme.  RHYME RHYME RYHME … please

  • Anonymous

    Don’t go disrespecting a perfectly divine vintage coat like that! Noooooo.That was pain-inducing. And the purse. Really? The wig was horrible, but it would look perfect if you’re going as a Tim Burton character on Halloween so they had that right. Still, a fun show where no one is trying to out-bitch everybody else.

    …”it’s the Hundred Acre Wood of reality television”…bless.

  • Damien Washington

    Why is it Chris & Co’s failing if their designs are a bit camp? It’s who Chris is, and it’s not like it’s a secret. The designer is not automatically at fault — clients coming to Chris March should know that camp is part of the package. If they don’t want that, they should have someone else design their costume. Hello, costume?

  • Now I am The Bee

    I love watching this show.  It’s so refreshing to see the actual creative process and a team of people with individual talents all working towards the same goal, odd though it may be.  I also cringed when he cut up that coat…but it went to a good (?) cause and certainly inspired Chris t make an interesting outfit for an interesting woman. 
    I was annoyed at the younger woman (the seamstress–I’ve forgotten her name) who was whining about the deer antlers and having the touch them.  She said she was sad that a deer had to die for these antlers.  Duh–they were shed antlers.  Deer drop them and you can go into the woods and just pick them up!  If you’re gonna have some principles about something like animal rights–at least do a little research. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SX7LMAF3VCGIUF6QYHQ2BU3PUY Caz

      I said the same thing to my husband when she was whining – how does she not know that?
      I love this show, it is a gem in the midst of the banality that is on tv nowadays.

      • Anonymous

        I was annoyed with her too and didn’t like any of her comments or ideas.  It was the one bit of the show that felt like a character placed for friction.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIQJKUWFMABQ4O7A7J5TLMN6OU Ella B.

    I love Chris, but the vintage coat destruction make me hurt.  I’m a vintage book collector and if I knew someone was going to cut up a book to frame the illustrations, I’d do whatever it took to buy it out from under them just to keep it from being hacked apart.

  • Anonymous

    Hello Everyone–again, I feel the need to clear up a couple of things about this episode…okay, mostly about the coat (!) I found that coat at the flea market. It was so destroyed, no one could ever possibly use it in the condition I found it. After a lot of consideration, I decided to bring it to the workshop and use it for this project. Yes, I cut it in half, but I also did a major amount of restoring so that this piece might have a second life. I worked for years for Thierry Mugler, who, when he felt the time was right, would take the most amazing pieces from his archives in France and cut them up, re-configure them, and then reintroduce them to the public with a “new life”. I agree with this in certain cases, and the Victorian coat was headed for the landfill. I do respect and appreciate such pieces (you should see my collection!) but sometimes a new lease on life is in order. Don’t worry, I also used the bottom of the coat in it’s form, preserving all the trim and Victorian ornament. I wouldn’t cut it up if I couldn’t re-purpose it. As a designer, you have to be inventive and have no fear. The coat is now living a fabulous new life on the New York nightlife scene. 

    About our lack of drama–we tried to make a show that would not depend on backstabbing and unpleasant interactions to get ratings. I know we are going against the tide on this one, but I really didn’t want this to be “The Real Housewives of Chris Marchville”. I guess if you want bitchy queens, watch “The A-List”. I appreciate ALL the comments, but remember that a lot of the final content is out of my hands–that’s the nature of “reality” television.

    Thanks, Chris March

    • Anonymous

      I was wondering why so many posters assumed that the coat was perfectly preserved.I agree that sometimes it is time to let things go or let them live a new life in another form . Thanks for the explanation anyway. Hopefully one of your clients will be willing to wear a dangburn wig before the season is out.
      And I would love to see your collection!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for being you, you’re such a joy to watch!

      I do watch A-List Dallas, and despise every person on it!

    • Anonymous

      Blessings on you & your show, Mr. March!  I enjoy it immensely.

      All I could think of re: the coat was learning to weed library & archive collections & to make realistic judgements of what can be maintained & housed, what can find another home, and what has to just be let go to make room for other items. We can’t always maintain everything forever, painful though that may be.

      Very pleased, though, to hear that the coat started out in poor condition. Kind of you to let us hear your perspective.

    • Anonymous

      I respect the creative process you demonstrate during each show. I’m in total awe of the costumes, your team execute and the sheer labor and creative process that it involves.  Thank you, for not making your show about “back-stabbing” or “personal drama”, but keeping it about the creative journey. That is why I tune in to “Mad Fashion”. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KQSWLY2RUE3HAOERJI7HHORJJQ Debby Barbero

    I keep on missing this show.  I promise it’s going on my dvr today though, because after the horrible PR season, this show looks like pure luxury to me

  • Anonymous

    Susanne Bartsch wearing pheasant feathers and lavender lace cat suit was worried the hair was too camp. Really.