Culture

This category is about things that you should see or should have seen, and people you should pay attention to.

The Pastie Project!

Pastie Project cover finished.jpg

This is where we’ve been for the last 18 months, in case you’re wondering WHAT HAPPENED TO PROJECT MAKE IT WORK?

Project Make It Work was an experiment in web page creation, social media networking, and a practice in interviewing.  It taught us so much, and we are so grateful to all of the Project Runway alum who contributed their stories to this site!

If you’d like to see what’s been happening since our last interview, check out the project Coleen has been working on under her stage name Rosey La Rouge.  The Pastie Project is a book about the history of the burlesque pastie.  After a VERY successful Kickstarter fundraiser, the book went to print, and is available for purchase HERE!

You can find out ALL about the project at thepastieproject.org, and you can check out our #pastiesoftheday on Instagram @thepastieproject!

Thank you again for supporting Project Make It Work, and welcome to The Pastie Project!

xo,

Coleen Scott, aka Rosey La Rouge

The Pastie Project is COMING!

thePastieproject

In the coming months, we will be sharing links to our research for a book on the history of pasties and the evolution of their construction over the years.  It will be a tribute to our love of the burlesque community and to the importance of burlesque as a part of theater history.  In the meantime, please visit the burlesque hall of fame‘s website, and donate to the expansion of the museum!

Elegantly Pastied – a brief history of striptease and the emergence of the nipple pastie!

This is a great piece on the history of Pasties-read it!

Lipstick, Powder and Paint

Here’s a little guest blog I wrote fro lingerie brand Playful Promises recently 🙂

mirandaPasties, and their whimsical cousin the nipple tassel, are the decorative body accessory du jour. Usually associated with burlesque performers, they’ve recently been spotted on the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rhianna and Nicki Minaj, marking an explosion in their popularity since they were originally brought back into mainstream consciousness by likes of the lovely Dita Von Teese in the 90’s. But don’t be fooled – they’ve been around a lot longer than that, and have a history intertwined with  art, censorship, moral outrage and cultural paradigm shifts…read on to discover more about the history of the humble pastie.

Most people with an interest in cabaret history will know that burlesque wasn’t always about the art of striptease – in fact its roots are more in a British music hall tradition of comedy, satire and song. …

View original post 1,141 more words

QUILTING CLASS at the Prospect Hill Senior Center- A Story about Volunteering

Our quilting class at the Prospect Hill Senior Center

Our quilting class at the Prospect Hill Senior Center

Since July, I have had the pleasure of volunteering with some of the wonderful senior citizens at The Prospect Hill Senior Center in Brooklyn, New York.  I have always been around senior citizens, from the time I was a young child.  My parents and grandparents were part of The Elks Lodge, and we went camping monthly with The Roving Elks, a motorhome group of mostly seniors.  I was always very close to all four of my grandparents, and after losing my last grandpa at the beginning of this year, I have really felt the gap in my life and my heart, where the seniors are missing.  Probably because of my close relationships with my grandparents, I love seniors, and have been searching for an opportunity to work with them for years.  After a guest storytelling opportunity given to me by my good friend, professional storyteller and actress, Cyndi Freeman, I was hooked, and began brainstorming ways to get more involved with the wonderful people I had met.  Cyndi felt the same way, and was excited to continue working with these seniors she had built relationships with.

In July, 2015, we (Cyndi and I) sat down with Crystal and Carla at Prospect Hill Senior Center, for a programming meeting, and decided that a quilting class would be a great way to go.  We had to emphasize that we were interested in volunteering, and we made a small budget, and began thinking of other ways to get supplies we needed.

Now, I am a costume designer by trade, and a costume instructor at a private school in Brooklyn, so teaching sewing comes very easily, but quilting is a skill that I learned from my mother.  My mom Gayle Scott, is an avid quilter and artist.  She has been making quilts of all kinds for over 15 years now, and participates actively in the Quilting Guild in her city, Redding, California.

Over the years, I have learned many different techniques and tricks about quilting from my mom.  I’ve taken workshops with her, learned through practice while sewing on visits home to Redding, California, and I’ve spent hours with her quilting friends sewing at the community center Thursday sewing group.  I would consider myself a novice quilter and an expert seamstress.  I tend to enjoy the design process and the act of putting things together over the tedium of cutting pieces perfectly, or doing intricate handwork like applique’.  My mom has done it all, and so have most of her friends.  They are a talented bunch, and they are a joyful, and generous group of ladies.

Japanese Style Quilt with hand embroidered blocks by Gayle Scott

Japanese Style Quilt with Hand embroidered blocks by Gayle Scott

Original Photo by Ben Trivett

Photo Slice Art Quilt by Gayle Scott and 3 Redding CA, Art Quilters

I suppose it should have come as no surprise that when Cyndi and I were approved for this quilting class, the ladies of the Redding Thursday Group jumped at the opportunity to clean out their fabric scraps, and donated all of the fabric to get our class started.  Not only did they donate the fabric, but they cut all the fabric into 4″ squares for us.  Thousands of 4″ squares were then packed into priority mail packages along with some fabric yardage to back quilts, and all was mailed directly to me for use in our projects.  Mom and I made a plan of ways to make quilts with beginners, and through her experience, we designed accessible projects that would help everyone learn the basics, and help them feel like they had the opportunity to design.  We also made a plan to have layout boards for those who may not be able to sew, but wanted to participate.  I cannot express the gratitude I have for those women’s generosity, and for their enthusiasm about this project.  I know that they are still ready to send a whole new batch of fabric whenever we are ready for more.  Truly, the program could not have happened without them, and it has kept us going now for months.  We have finished four quilts, and tens of other small projects like tote bags, pillows, pin cushions, and pot holders- all made from the squares they sent.

We are still going strong over at Prospect Hill, and will finish this time with them at the end of December.  We hope to move to another center in the new year through June, possibly with funding from BAC in a special grant for senior arts programs.  We truly look forward to meeting new seniors and working with some of our new friends from PHSS who recommended this new space to us.  We will always have a love for that center, and hope to return there with more programming as well.

I am so grateful to my mother for teaching me the basic quilting skills I have, for being the doer that she is, and for organizing and helping me plan this course from afar.  Her creativity and generosity is unparalleled, and I am so lucky and thankful for her in my life.  Soon, California will connect directly with New York, and mom will be a guest in our quilting class in Brooklyn, on her visit in the new year.

Here is a video of the seniors having fun, and chatting about class- you can see by the smiles on their faces, that they are as happy as we are to be quilting together.

Quilts made by seniors in the Quilting Class at Prospect Hill Senior Center

Quilts made by seniors in the Quilting Class at Prospect Hill Senior Center

The bottom line is this: volunteering is good for your soul.  I feel connected to senior citizens, but maybe you feel connected to children, or animals, the homeless, or the sick.  The point is, it feels good to give back to the community, and it feels even better if you can share something you love with others, without stress, without pretense, and without any reason other than to create for the joy of it.  I highly recommend it.

THE STRAIN- A Promo.

We were asked to help create a creepy gif to show to the people at FX.  We had a great time making our friend Nishell Falcone into a victim of The Strain .  Photos for the gif by Ben Trivett.  Thanks to the people at Sideways Advertising for the fun opportunity!

FinalStrainLight

Fashion Icon, Oscar De La Renta, Dead, 82

Oscar De La Renta, Fashion Icon

Oscar De La Renta, Fashion Icon

Oscar De La Renta, famous fashion designer, most recently known for Amal Clooney’s Wedding Dress, died today at age 82. (See ABC News Report here)

Amal Alamudin and George Clooney on People Magazine's Cover (Amal in Oscar De La Renta)

Amal Clooney and George Clooney on People Magazine’s Cover (Amal in Oscar De La Renta)

Amal Alamudin's Oscar De La Renta's Wedding Dress

Amal Alamudin’s Oscar De La Renta’s Wedding Dress

De La Renta has been designing stunning gowns for decades.  Sarah Jessica Parker paid special tribute to the designer by wearing his signature embroidered into her gown.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar De La Renta at the Met Ball this year.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar De La Renta at the Met Ball this year.

A quote from Parker about her gown and how it got the designer’s signature: “Did you see his name on the back?” Parker asked, twirling around so we could see the designer’s signature in red script across the gown’s tail. “I said to Mr. De la Renta, please let me use scarlet embroidery thread, and splash your name across the back. It was my idea. He would never in a million years have done it, he’s far too modest.” (source)

And finally, some highlights from this Spring/Summer 2015 Oscar De La Renta Collection:

Oscar De La Renta SS15

Oscar De La Renta SS15

Thank you for all of the beauty you created over the years, Mr. La Renta.  You will be missed, but you will be remembered in all that you’ve left behind to inspire us!  -C. Scott

“Chef” The Movie Inspires Culinary Adventures

 

Chef The Movie Header

We have been waiting to stream “Chef” at home for quite some time, and last night, we finally got to see it.  The passion project written, directed by, and starring John Favreau, includes John Leguizamo,  Bobby Cannavale, Sophia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johanssen, and a huge string of other big names in the cast.  The movie itself, though, is not about the big stars you see, it is about the story.  We love food, and this film showcases characters passionate about food, cooking, and making people happy by feeding them.

We’re such jaded New Yorkers, that as we watched, we kept waiting for something terrible to happen after the primary plot twist, but it just didn’t.  This was a story about believing in working hard at something that makes you happy and hoping that it works out.  It’s about how kitchens work when you build the right team, and it has some amazing camera work making the food look delectable, teasing your taste buds.  Some of the focus on the art of food happened with the help and tutelage of Roy Choi, famous food truck chef, and culinary genius.

The film also focuses on social media, and how it can make AND break you.  Not only that, but most of the big promotion for the film was done strictly through social media, with additional advertising on Bravo’s Top Chef tv show.

Here is how the #ChefMovie website summarizes the plot:

“When Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen — and zest for life and love.”

There’s nothing else to say but, SEE IT! (Trailer here)

 

How Jack Mackenroth Makes It Work

We’re going old school this week with our Project Runway interview series!  Back in the day, when Project Runway was just peaking in popularity, and still on the Bravo network, a very handsome young designer, Jack Mackenroth, was making his mark from week to week.  It has been seven years since the airing of the series, and Jack has made his way in the world, not best known for his sportswear design, but for his work as a model and an HIV+ spokesperson.  We recently got in touch with Jack, and he shared some of his PR memories, but also let us know about the important work he is doing right now.

Project Runway Designer Jack Mackenroth

Project Runway Designer Jack Mackenroth

HOW JACK MACKENROTH MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in?

 I was on season 4.  I was doing well–never in the bottom 3, and won a challenge, but I had to leave the competition early because I got a very serious staph infection in my face, and had to go to the hospital.

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

I was always a sportswear designer–primarily menswear.  I design clothes that real people wear.  I like subtle, special design details that make a piece original without saying “LOOK AT ME!”

Jack Mackenroth modeling the "Love Across Barriers" T-shirt he designed for Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM).

Jack Mackenroth modeling the “Love Across Barriers” T-shirt he designed for Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM).

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

Instafame is pretty crazy.  Season 3 and 4 were at the height of the show’s popularity, so after the show aired I was inundated with emails and Facebook messages, and people stopped me on the street constantly.  That took a lot of getting used to.  But it also faded away pretty quickly.  It still happens from time to time even 7 years later.  It’s such a weird concept to think that people you don’t know know who you are.

The other thing that was incredibly challenging is the schedule. I don’t think viewers realize that we film the whole season in about 5 weeks. There are no days off and we sleep about 4-5 hours per night. It’s insanity.

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

Well I am a bit of an anomaly compared to most of the other Runway Alumni.  I decided to take my 15 minutes of fame and go in a different direction.  In the year after the show I filmed 4 TV pilots (that never aired), and did a lot of red carpet hosting gigs.  I had a cameo in the Sex and the City movie with SJP and all the girls.  

Jack Mackenroth in the Sex and The City Movie

Jack Mackenroth’s cameo in the Sex and The City Movie

I was also the first Runway designer to be open about my positive HIV status so that brought some amazing opportunities as well.  I toured around the country for 4 years as the HIV spokesperson for Merck Pharmaceuticals, and I worked on an amazing HIV testing initiative, and photo campaign. We photographed TONS of celebrities–Sandra Bernhard, Billy Porter of Kinky Boots, Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, Senators and Congressmen, and on and on. 

5.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

Definitely a seam ripper.

Pink Seam Ripper

Pink Seam Ripper

6.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

PLEASE follow me on Twitter! I’m an addict. www.Twitter.com/jackmackenroth

You can also find more about Jack at: www.jackemackenroth.com!

Special thanks to Jack for taking the time to talk with us!  We wish you all the best and commend you for your positive work and for being a role model to the HIV positive community! -C.S.