Project Runway’s Mood

Do you have a secret reality show that you just can’t get enough of, even though you know it is silly, staged and completely un-real? Whether you will admit it or not, I will. My dirty little secret is Project Runway. I can’t get enough of Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, sequins, pleats, crazy unwearable designs and unabashed snarkiness. All set in the glorious background of New York City and the promise of showing at NY Fashion Week for the finalists. Fab-u-lous!

One of the best parts of each episode is the designers’ visit to Mood, the amazing fabric store in the heart of New York’s garment district. I’ve always been fascinated watching these talented artists run around 3 stories of fabrics and notions with only 30 minutes to find the perfect materials for a design they have just barely begun to imagine. And the amazing textiles they found there! Nothing like I had ever seen at a fabric store near me, that’s for sure.

It just so happened that Dan’s favorite French onion soup is made by a lovely restaurant, the Houndstooth Pub in the garment district so we made several trips there during our last trip to New York. On one of those visits, I remembered that Mood must be nearby and Googled the address. Even with the address, it wasn’t easy to find.  It was on a block of amazing shops, one just of beads and feathers,

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the next all embroidered fabrics, little custom shops, other fabric stores…amazing. But I couldn’t see Mood. Ends up they didn’t have a big first floor display window. You had to go into a building in the middle of the block and go up an elevator which then opened into their store on the 2nd floor. I’m just not used to city buildings I guess…not like strip malls!


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Once the door opens in Mood, there is a polite young person at a small desk near the entrance greeting and asking if you needed assistance.  Her quick assessment of my open jawed expression must have told her I was a fan of the show and had come to bask in the textile glow so she smiled us on our way.




Yup, I think I clutched my coat and had that expression on my face the whole time we were in there. That’s my mom’s special Christmas sweater that she wore to all  holiday events back in the day.  I was proud to wear it.  Dan had to admit the place was pretty incredible.  3 floors packed thoroughly, if not efficiently, from floor to ceiling with all things fashion.



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I mean, look at the directory signs.  That doesn’t begin to describe what is happening on each level.  I was not the only one walking around in stunned wonder, even some of the employees seemed genuinely awestruck at some of the fabrics and were happy to point out some unusual ones as I wandered around.  I saw fabrics ranging from $8 a yard to $230 a yard and I wasn’t even looking  at the prices too much.

I didn’t see Heidi (to Dan’s extreme disappointment) or Tim.  The shop dog, Swatch, was nowhere to be found and I didn’t ask, but his portrait presides over the shop with a fitting air of fashionable boredom.


And no, I didn’t buy anything, but yes, as I wandered out I did whisper “Thanks Mood!” under my breath.

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