I dreamed of Manderley last night. No, wait. That’s not right. Marc! I dreamed of Marc last night, and it was a dream I was loathe to wake from. Not Michael Urie, although I am sure he is a lovely fellow, but the curly-haired effete sycophant who is revealed each week to be smarter and fantasticker.
I mean, more fantastic. Sorry.
So my dream obviously comes right out of the YETI episode of Ugly Betty, probably because I am feeling deprived–there was no episode on Thanksgiving night. It was heavily influenced (my dream–not the YETI episode) by Project Runway, and I’m not sure why. It’s a show I followed but put out of my mind after its season finale. So Marc St. James and I were in this competition to design a line of clothing out of fabrics that were provided for us. It was a multiple-day competition, and it was bedlam. He’s already designed, sewn, and shown his designs by the time it was my turn, and perfectly in character I hadn’t started by the afternoon before I was supposed to go. He helped me. He did most of the work, frankly, and made most of the decisions–what do I know about clothes?–and it was for him a chance to make some dresses over, following ideas he had for his own clothes after it was too late for him to implement them. The dresses came out beautifully, although I did step in at one point to ask him what about these clothes signified that they were part of the same line. He didn’t think that the rules of the competition required people to make clothes from the same line, and we argued about it for a while. He probably got his way, but when these clothes showed, they all had trim. I supposed within the dream that the trim was the unifying element. At one point he and I talked about having the clothes coordinate with a ribbon that a show dog (some mixed shaggy breed) was wearing, or would wear after he was groomed, but that went nowhere.
The fabrics in the dream were noteworthy mostly for their textures. You know those mats you see people have at the beach? They are bamboo-ey and they roll up and they have that white edging?
We made a knee-length dress out of it, a tailored one, kinda preppy. I don’t have a clue how to describe it, except that it looked really cute and was clearly the showcase dress. It was sleeveless, but not strappy, and a vee neckline. It wrapped across the top, but the wrap part was sewn down. The skirt was A-line. Marc wanted to put a swath of pink paint on the back and I don’t remember noticing if he did or not. He said that would make the dress distinct. He’s right–it would.
There were some fringey shawls and some furry stuff, particularly a coat that mixed gold furry stuff with like a peacock swirly silk, but what I remember best next (after the dress) was a quilt. I’m not sure why a woman wrapped in a quilt was considered fashion, but the quilt was pretty cool. It wasn’t pieced (so I guess it’s just a blanket), but it had two very soft, very colorful fabrics that complemented each other as the front and the back. I don’t know where we got two pieces of fabric that big. Maybe it was bedsheets. It was only quilted enough to hold the two sides together, and it wasn’t in any kind of pattern at all. The binding was maybe two inches thick on each side, and it was red. What really made the quilt interesting to me was that attached to the binding were loops of embroidery thread that had been knotted in the middle so they made floppy figure eights. They were probably spaced about an inch apart. In the dream, I either didn’t have time or it didn’t occur to me in advance that something should be attached to the loops. I thought of little puffy balls but now that I’m awake I’m thinking an interesting metallic bead. Not that I could ever make a quilt like this myself; I am a very bad knotter of embroidery thread in the first place, and the cats and/or kids would rip the beads off. Embroidery thread is probably too flimsy anyway, but there is cable and stuff that I could use. I just don’t know how I would attach it to the binding. Probably what I would have to do is use two strips of fabric for the binding–one on each side–and tuck the ends under, and sew the cabling/thread right into it as I try to keep the binding edges tucked while I sew all the way around. I’m pretty sure this idea is a bad one. I am definitely sure that it exceeds my feeble sewing machine skills.
Mostly I got to hug Marc a lot, in the excitement of working on the project together and seeing the clothes displayed. If he hadn’t stepped in to help me, I would have had nothing to show for not making an effort.
I am worried right now that because the YETI episode was very Marc-heavy, in the sense that we learned a ton about his character, that he will be in very little of the next one. That will make me sad. He and Wilhelmina are why I watch the show. I like Betty, but not that much. Even Daniel is kind of boring. It’s everyone else that is so funny! But I guess that’s the Seinfeld Effect. Besides, you need two normal people (I consider Daniel very normal, with realistic concerns and personality, and whose character could easily fit in to another show, and Betty is normal, except for her idealism and fashion) to focus all the crazy on. Otherwise you have the Reno 911 Effect. Not that I’m slamming Reno 911, but Lieutenant Dangle hasn’t helped me out in any jams, somatic or otherwise.
So, Marc St. James, it was a pleasure seeing you as always, and I am grateful for your help and your imagination. I apologize for my execrable taste and for ever mixing you up in it.