To know the work of Chris March is to boil, bake and sizzle in the kitsch-in — and no, America, that’s not a misspelling. Most people first became acquainted with March’s camp-infused, wonderfully whimsical, fabulousness-driven, stunningly over-the-top (and bottom) design aesthetic when he memorably appeared on season four of Project Runway, making it to part one of the finale.
March was and still remains one of the few designers in Runway history to seem genuinely unaffected by, and certainly undeserving of, the sputtering castigations of celebrity judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. In fact, it was obvious at the time of his stint there that neither of those so-called mandarins of fashion had a clue how to constructively respond to March’s individualized and highly evolved visual sense. Watching the show, anyone with a brain could see that March did not need to fetishize some celebrity-determined, wholly subjective definition of what is fashion-forward — or, for that matter, fashion-backward, fashion-upward or fashion-downward, for March personified fashion-funward.
By being true to himself and his own frolicsome truth of the visual, he exposed Project Runway for what it is: a curious coven of conformity, a utopian netherworld where “ready to wear” is all too often “ready to weary.”
Like the canniest of Runway‘s alumni, losing for March meant winning. Who else could have segued so easily to his own reality show, Mad Fashion? Plus, the man seems to have no issue, really, landing gig after gig after gig designing fashion statements for the mega-celebrities of the day — like Lady Gaga or even Meryl Streep. Then there’s I Heart Chris March, a celebration-cum-anthology of his tr√®s outré designs (available for purchase as easily as you can say “click”). To top it off, only March could sue Thierry Mugler for nonpayment of fashion designs for a certain celebrity and somehow come out on top.
Now there is March’s latest endeavor: writing, directing and designing Chris March’s Butt-Cracker Suite! (the subtitle is “A Trailerpark Ballet”) running at HERE (145 6th Ave.) through Dec. 29. Check out the blurb — we think it pretty well describes the show:
Chris March’s Butt-Cracker Suite! is an outrageous re-creation of The Nutcracker set, of course, in a trailer park.
Dancing pink flamingos, cans of Spam, and ugly Christmas sweaters come to life on Christmas Eve… but no Sugar Plum Fairies or Snowflakes in this version! March promises to brighten your holiday season by turning “trash” into this season’s most unique and outrageous show.
With a lot of fun music, over-the-top costumes, fabulous dancers, and just a hint of blasphemy, this show is the tacky gift that keeps on giving!
And it is!
And now, 5 questions Chris March has never been asked — and a bonus question (or two):
1) What’s the most perceptive question anyone has ever asked you about your work?
“Are those tits real?”
2) What’s the most idiotic question anyone has ever asked you about your work?
“Are those tits real?”
3) What’s the weirdest question anyone has ever asked you about your work?
“Did you get to see Beyoncé naked?”
4) Name two or three fashion styles that best accentuate a trailer park butt-crack and why.
Thongs, muffin tops, and jeggings, oh my!
5) Describe one costume you’ve dreamed of designing for years but have not yet built. If you’ve dreamed of no such costume, describe one you can see in your mind but know is physically impossible to construct.
I’ve always wanted to make an insane Marie Antoinette costume with a wig that would break the Guinness Book of World Records.
6) What question about Project Runway have you never been asked? Why have you never been asked it?
I’ve never been asked if Tim Gunn and I had an affair. I love Tim, but not in that way. (I know lots of guys who do, though!)
7) Do you ever look at Heidi Klum in an outfit and think, “Er, no, dear…”?
Some of her Halloween costumes…no comment. She needs me to make her fabulous!