Who would have thought that sewing could be a competitive activity? When I was a teen and my mom gave me sewing lessons, all of that measuring and cutting business made me more sleepy than excited. Flash forward to today and I'm completely captivated by the designers on the fashion reality series "Project Runway". It's fascinating to watch their creativity in action as they each try to set themselves and their personal style apart from the others. Then there's the kind father figure Tim Gunn, alternately encouraging and chiding the designers as they work. Finally, we see the designs modeled on the runway for fashion's ice queen, Heidi Klum, to gleefully proclaim who's in and who's out. Drama just doesn't get much better than this.
That's why "Project Runway" is a natural theme for a party. Young and old enjoy watching the series and attempting to predict the winners and losers week to week, as well as foresee who will be the ultimate season winner. Any and all of the elements of this party theme can be used in your own "Project Runway" party, just pick and choose depending on the age and enthusiasm of your guests. You can host this event for a viewing party, a birthday party, or simply to have a little fun with fashion.
Setting the Stage
Send out invitations on paper dolls inviting guests to the dress-up, fashion event of the season.
Use fashion's favorite backdrop color, black as the canvas for your party. Black table cloths, napkins, and other decorations will bring the world of high fashion to your home.
Create visual drama with a floral centerpiece that has large, colorful flowers like poppies or peonies.
Ask guests to come dressed in their chic-est black attire, unless your friends usually buy high fashion clothing. Then they can dress for the event as they feel is appropriate.
Create a fashion accessory wall using a simple shelving unit, closet organizer, or stacked up shoe boxes that have been positioned with the open side facing out. Fill them with your best shoes, fashion jewelry, hats, handbags and other accessories.
Set up a table that represents Mood Fabrics, the store where contestants usually shop for their supplies. Fill it with fabric, trims, buttons, notions and other sewing supplies.
If your party will include a fashion competition set up an area of your home as a runway with a roll of white fabric running down two rows of facing chairs.
Give each guest a list of that week's contestants when the runway portion of the show begins. Have each person mark their picks for winners and losers. Give out prizes to the winners.
Organize a "Project Runway" competition. For any of these challenges you can be as specific as you'd like with giving a theme for the challenge such as Cocktail Party Couture, South Beach Soiree, Urban Chic, etc.:
For younger guests give them supplies such as colorful papers, glitter, fabric swatches, buttons, etc. to dress up a paper doll. Award prizes to the winner.
Challenge older kids to create their own fashions for basic Barbie dolls that you provide. Supply them with fabric, buttons, trim, notions, and have them either sew it together or use glue depending on their skill levels.
Divide your guests into teams and let each team come up with their very best newspaper couture. One member on each team will need to dress in the newspaper creation and model it on your catwalk.
Supply your guests with craft or party store supplies to use in the creation of a garment as they do each season. Or get even crazier by using items from a hardware store or garden center. You'll find out how creative your guests really are as they fashion a duct tape handbag.
I'm never very hungry when I watch "Project Runway". Food is rarely seen during the show and watching those waiflike models strut down the runway takes away the appetite! But, it's a party and you'll want to offer your guests refreshments. Therefore, in this case offer healthy, spa-like selections so that no one feels the need to apologize for eating them.
Hummus Served with Fresh Vegetables
Baba Ghanoush Served with Pita Wedges