05 October 2013

PR12E11 Muse-ly (part 1: musing about inspiration)

Oh goodie! More product placement! This time it is the much-anticipated HP/Intel Textile Design challenge, wherein the designers draw their own prints which are then transferred to fabric and delivered for their use in their designs. I have realized that the post would be way too long, so I have divided it in two…one for the muses and one for the mused.

The nice twist this time around is that there are seven muses — young innovators all, in widely different fields — to be matched with our seven remaining designers. The muse paired with the winning designer will also get a technology prize in the form of product from the sponsor, so we get to have that repeated another time at the beginning and at the runway show start. But I digress, as I really liked the muse aspect of this episode. Let me spend some time sharing the muses with you:
Nana Meriwither was Miss USA 2012, paired with Justin. Her innovation is having started a foundation working on health and education issues, starting in South Africa where her mother was born. Justin sees the love as his inspiration.

Maria Gonzalez is a software developer, paired with Kate. Maria is a 17-year-old who has participated in Girls Who Code to encourage young women to enter the super geeky field of programming, which has been too male dominated for too long. I have to say that I looked for and couldn’t find the app she talked about creating. Kate has a basic misunderstanding of the consept of “binary” if we are to judge from her interpretation of it. [Note that I only have a picture of the organization logo…apart from the fact that Maria Gonzalez is not a particularly rare name, it’s probably a good thing that a 17-year-old’s photo is not readily available by Google search!]

Nigel Sylvester, professional BMX rider, paired with Bradon. While I am suitably impressed by the BMX riding (would totally love to have that talent and athleticism), his site seems to show peripheral connections to charitable causes and a whole lot of merchandising. I guess that would inspirational for young capitalist wannabes? Bradon gets inspired by the idea of Manhattan from above, with Nigel streaking through the cityscape on his bike.

Ilana Greenberg is a graphic designer paired with Alexandria. Ms. Greenberg seems heavily involved in the redesign of what looks to be an upscale restaurant destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Ever gushing and emotional Alexandria (I kid…the woman is barely animated!) is inspired by a brick wall she sees in the space. Exciting!

Premal Shah is President of Kiva.org and is paired with Dom. Kiva is a crowd source microfinancing site connecting small donors to starting entrepreneurs in 72 countries around the world. They accept “loans” in $25 increments and they have a payback rate of over 99%. Dom focuses on the lively colours that she sees in a couple of the projects and then later explains her fabric design as being about the lines that connect people over the internet. Okay

Ryan Keeley is an artist matched with Helen. Ryan’s art involves printing photos atop paintings…you can see some of his work and his whimsy on his Tumblr. Helen, the child of two artists, is dreading the print challenge, so you’d think she might go deeper into the artist motivation, but no.

Thiago Silva is a hot Executive Pastry Chef (oh, did I say that hot part out loud?) matched with Red Hair (yes, I know his name is Alexander, but I must be missing Sandro still). Thiago’s Facebook page shows him his cakes in all their beauty and creativity. Alexander bemoans the fact that, although he is VERY gay, he has never once decorated a cake. I can’t imagine why he didn’t zoom in on an inspiration from the beautiful chef he was paired with.

I’ll be back shortly with part 2…

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