Project Runway “Starving Artist” by BB
In this episode, the designers are separated into three teams of three each and will be doing their own fundraising for their budget money. The designers have to create arts and crafts and sell them to New Yorkers on the street. They can also offer fashion advice or do alterations for people, anything they want to raise money.
There will be no team leaders; it will be all collaborative. The three teams consist of Christopher (who has immunity and is pissed that nobody went home last week), Sonjia and Gunnar (who cannot stand Christopher) on one team (The CSG team); Dmitry (who is not happy to be working with Elena), Elena, and Alicia on the second team (The DEA team); and Ven, Melissa and Fabio on the third team (The VMF team).
The teams have three hours to work on the projects they will be selling to raise funds. They are all working on designing T-shirts. Some are painting them with different patterns and some are doing artwork on them. The DEA team’s shirts look pretty bad and Dmitry and Alicia are already lamenting have Elena on their team. All the teams leave to sell their shirts to the people on the streets of New York, not even knowing how much money they will need for their next challenge.
Some of the designers are having fun and some are not. I’ll let you guess who’s having fun and who’s not. The next morning, each team announces how much money they made. The VMF team made $800.48, the CSG team made $684; and the DEA team made $500. Each team will be using their earnings to buy fabric at Mood to create two looks for Fall; one of which must include outerwear. Sonjia feels like this is her “thing.” One member of the winning team will be the winner of the challenge and one member of the losing teams will be out. The teams have 30 minutes to sketch before going to Mood.
The VMF team has three very diverse designers so it will be interesting to see what they come up with. The DEA team seems more indecisive before they leave. At Mood, the DEA team is looking for different shades of grey with a pop of color. Team CSG has a lot of trouble picking out fabrics and time is running out. “Goodbye Swatch” (the dog) and “Thank You Mood.”
Back in the workroom, the other teams are already talking about team DEA. Christopher describes Dmitry and Elena as Boris and Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. They all think Dmitry and Elena will run all over Alicia and will throw her under the bus if they are one of the bottom teams.
Tim comes in to check on the progress of the teams. This is the quietest bunch of designers in all of the seasons of Project Runway that I can remember. Tim has to drag the information out of the teams. He tells Alicia to keep her eye on the fit of her pant in the crotch area. Dmitry is doing another jersey dress, according to Gunnar. He shocks Tim when he tells him the dress will have exposed darts.
Team VMF wants their designs to look light even though it’s Fall wear. Tim doesn’t think a woman who would wear the skirt and top would wear the coat they made to go with it. He thinks Ven’s skirt doesn’t belong to the ensemble. Ven is upset but will be open to modification if needed. Tim questions Sonjia’s leather sleeves on her jacket for CSG. Tim wonders if they’re over-designing. Elena thinks Christopher’s coat looks like an ugly snugee.
When the models come in Gunnar is happy with his dresses, but Christopher and Sonjia’s outerwear is not looking so good at the moment. Gunnar is worried because Christopher has immunity and feels Christopher will try to throw him under the bus even though he thinks his dresses are the best of the three designs on his team. Alicia and Elena have a difference of opinion on Alicia’s pants, but Alicia isn’t going to change them. Ven feels his skirt modification isn’t really him, but wants his design to blend in with the others.
The morning of the runway show, the three teams have two hours to finish up and get their models ready for the runway. Ven cut and sewed Melissa’s pants for her. He was worried about having to change his skirt, but once he sees everything all together, he’s OK with it. Sonjia is very happy about the way her jacket turned out. Elena is unhappy about Dmitry making last minute changes for their team and taking over. Elena wants her coat to cover Alicia’s pants and Alicia’s not having it.
It’s show time. This will be the last time someone has immunity (Christopher). The guest judge will be fashion designer Anna Sui. Here we go. The first two looks are from team Dmitry, Elena and Alicia (DEA). The first is a dress with a fringed shawl in dark and light gray made by Dmitry. The second look is a pair of slim pants (Alicia) with a dark and light gray loose over coat (Elena). Elena thinks her coat looks horrible and Alicia is worried the judges can’t even see her pants. I’m not overly impressed.
Team Christopher/Sonjia/Gunner (CSG) is up next. Gunner made a slim fitting dress of light pink with dark inserts on the sides and Sonjia made a form-fitting jacket to go over it. Heidi is smiling. The second look is another dress with a camel over coat with a belt. Gunnar made the dress and Christopher made the over coat. I like both looks.
Team Ven/Melissa/Fabio (VMF) is last. The first look is a skirt, top and jacket. Ven thinks it looks inexpensive and I agree with him. The jacket looks like one of those fleece jackets you would buy at Old Navy, but Melissa likes it. The next look is a little better (I think) with brown slim pants, a pink asymmetrical top and what looks like a taupe colored over coat. These two looks are blah.
Heidi announces that the Christopher/Sonjia/Gunner (CSG) team is the clear winner and I agree with the judges on this one. Someone on this team will be the winner of the challenge. The other two teams are deemed less successful and someone from one of the two teams will be out.
The judges ask for the two models from the winning team to come out first and the team explains who designed what. I love both of Gunnar’s dresses. Heidi’s favorite piece is Sonjia’s jacket and Nina loves the tailoring of it. Nina also likes the camel coat and so does Michael. Anna wants to hear how they worked together as a team. Gunnar tells them they all got to have their point of view. Christopher thinks Gunnar should win since he made two bad-ass dresses (that was nice of Christopher). Gunnar thinks he’s a contender and Sonjia thinks she should win for her jacket.
Dmitry and Alicia explain the looks of their team. Elena complains about Dmitry taking over and she’s not happy about sharing an outfit with Alicia. Dmitry and Elena get into it. Dmitry tells the judges it’s impossible working with Elena. Elena tells them Dmitry can only make dresses. Heidi sighs and says “alrighty then.” Nina thinks Dmitry’s dress is something they keep seeing from him. She thinks the shawl looks old lady. Nina tells Elena she only does oversize coats and it looks like an experiment. Michael thinks Alicia’s top and pants are boring and Heidi calls them throw-away pieces. Michael says it shows that they didn’t work together and Anna tells them all the conflicts they are expressing to the judges have come through in the clothes. Elena thinks Dmitry should go home. Dmitry thinks Elena needs to go home. Alicia thinks Dmitry should go home because she respects Elena more as a designer. I think Alicia should go home from this group.
The Ven/Melissa/Fabio (VMF) team explains their looks. Nina particularly likes Melissa’s white jacket (I didn’t especially like it but maybe it looks different in person). Heidi thinks this team is her least favorite and the two outfits look really sad and washed out. They don’t like the crotch of Melissa’s pants, but they like the white jacket. They think Fabio’s coat looks like grandma’s house coat.
Michael wants to know what Ven made because he can’t see him in either design. They think the designs look cheap and second hand. None of these team members wants to say who they think should go home. Anna thinks that’s what may be their problem; they have been too nice and accommodating with each other at the expense of their own points of view. Ven says if he had to pick the weakest garment, it would be Fabio’s coat. Fabio would pick Ven to go only because he’s closer to Melissa. Melissa picks Fabio’s design as the weakest.
The judges sit and deliberate who should win and who should go home. It’s pretty much a repeat of what they said when the designers were present. I think Gunnar should be the winner and Alicia should go home. I probably didn’t pick who the judges picked in either case, but what do I know?
The winner of the Starving Artist challenge is Sonjia for her jacket. It was very well made, but I still liked Gunnar’s dresses. Melissa is safe. Ven is safe. Elena is safe. Dmitry is safe. That leaves Alicia and Fabio. Alicia is out. I agree with the judges on this one.
Next week the designers will be making their own textile prints. That’s always a fun episode.
Real Housewives of New York Cast Blogs Part 2 by RamonaCoaster
I’m wondering how she and Heather knew Tomas went through Sonja’s back exit. Unless you’re really up close with a side view.
But as my fat Italian Grandma Millie always said, “It takes all types to make a world.” That’s how I grew up. I celebrate the differences in people, and then look for commonality. It’s there, with everyone, if you’re willing to look. I always assume, regardless of what we’re wearing or drinking or saying, that we run around most of the time in our own personal hell. We all have that in common.
So very true.
We hugged Aviva, when she walked in, and thanked Reid for bringing her. Then she asked us to thank him again. She asked us to thank Reid more times than LuAnn asked us to believe in imaginary Italian friends!
That’s rather bizarre.
The scene that launched a thousand screams had back story, I won’t bore you with it. There were phone calls, there were talks behind the camera’s back. No good ever comes of that, we learned that during the alleged blackmail-gate.
There’s so many other parts of the story that we don’t see and we definitely can’t trust certain people to tell the truth (Luann).
What you did see, though, was on last week’s show, when LuAnn, Ramona, and Sonja discussed Reid’s arrival. (Remember, I’d stepped out of the room to talk to Russ.) LuAnn said Reid at the house would change the dynamic. (LuAnn had trouble with the truth our entire stay.)
Thank you, Carole. That confirmed it.
Everyone else agreed. Ramona ask diplomat LuAnn to ask Reid to go to a hotel, she deferred to me. For the record, no one ever asked me to ask Reid to go to a hotel. This was a throwaway conversation. It died. It was idle chatter. Maybe it wasn’t nice, but in the end they were all fighting and pointing like Larry, Curly, and Moe over something that was discussed but never happened. Oye.
The arguing and screaming seems kind of pointless.
Some of the smartest people I know never went to Vassar, or even to college. Peter Jennings never finished high school and he was one of the most gracious, elegant, and intelligent men I’ve ever met. I’ve met people with enough degrees to paper an entire guest bungalow who have the manners of a jackal. Dangling an impressive resume to belittle someone isn’t like Aviva. I think she’s rattled by her suspicion that Sonja and Ramona have been talking badly behind her back.
I think we’re seeing the real Aviva.
“White trash” is a derogatory slang term referring to people in this country of a lower social class. It’s a slur — used by upper class whites to refer to uneducated lower class whites. While it may differ from Okie or Hillbilly, it’s still pejorative, and worse — it’s vulgar and inelegant.
Aviva’s derogatory statement says more about her than about Ramonja.
Aviva had me at “Hello” but she lost me somewhere between “White Trash” and “Rush Limbaugh,” and her reference to his infamous empty apology. Limbaugh wasn’t sorry for calling an innocent young woman a whore and slut, he was sorry his show lost sponsors. And it was arguably one of the nastiest moments in his almost 50-year broadcasting career.
If I am white trash then I really want to embrace my inner trash, because at least I don’t go around calling people nasty names.
Well, since your toaster oven cookbook is still in the works. How about tweaking it and calling it the White Trash Toaster Oven Cookbook. It’ll go great right next to my Road Kill Cookbook.
I am who I am and I want to be with people who accept me the way that I am. I don’t expect people to be like me, I expect them to be themselves. I don’t need people to tell me how well educated they are, and how they are THE real New Yorker. New York is a melting pot of people who come here to be themselves in very unique ways.The fact is New York is the town of tolerance. We pride ourselves on that.
If Aviva is so proud of being a New Yorker, educated at Vassar and calls people white trash, what must she think about the rest of the country?
I live in the moment and celebrate the past! I have a love for life and my friendships. When I go on vacation I GO on vacation. I am in St. Barths to have an extraordinary time with some extraordinary ladies and to share my special ties to the sexy island I have been going to every year for decades.
I think it’s important to get in as much fun time as possible with the people you love because you never know what’s going to arrive around the corner.
And the key word: ladies!
Ooooooh, you’re gonna get it on the reunion couch for that comment.
Why is everyone SO UPSET that I just wanted to spend quality time with my girls!?! No BOYS ALLOWED! But as you see there were boys (and a group of Italians) and I never went out of my way to make any of them uncomfortable! When Russ was around I ultimately excused myself, when the group of Italians came I was fast asleep. . .and then Reid and Aviva came.
And then there was the Johnny Depp look-alike Frenchman. You didn’t mind if that boy was allowed.
Before I go further I must tell you something. My favorite Alice in Wonderland is “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk.”
Have you been reading Teresa Giudice’s blog?
I LOVE the inner freak inside people. I love quirks and oddities! I have a certain freak side!
Heather and Carole saw a certain French freak inside of you.
Aviva should have been honest and said I can’t take a girls’ trip because I can’t go anywhere without my husband. Including the fact she couldn’t stay in the house without him. Then Carole enables her further by changing her story and saying she had Russ there. Well, I already explained that one.
Aviva has enough people enabling her. Didn’t she say she had issues over traveling or was that just in talking head?
LuAnn, when we were on the boat, agreed with Ramona and I but she still felt the need to stir the pot and as I am trying to diffuse things she says “Ramona YOU said the dynamics would change.” We all discussed it lightly because we were ALL surprisingly having such a good time and didn’t want to ruin the “mojo.” I was happy to see Ramona and LuLu getting along finally.
That was short-lived.
We were completely honest with Aviva and how we felt about Reid’s presence but it wasn’t enough. Never enough. What does she want from us? Ramona is right. . .did she want us to paint Reid’s name on our forehead?
And fall prostrate at his feet, kiss the hem of his garment, and swear your devotion.
Anyhoo, even with Aviva dumping on us after four months of the same repetition, I once again try to make her understand we are friends and not enemies, but she throws the education card at me. What does education have to do with relating to people?
Some of the smartest people in the world have a lot of trouble relating to people.
I am beginning to recognize in all sincerity that Ramona is actually funny. She is also being nice to me — so maybe that the difference, I don’t know? And I don’t know why she has turned this corner with me although I have my suspicions, but I must say, it’s nice to be in the vacation photos!
I remember when Sonja left that other woman….what’s her name…who bedazzles vajayjays…uuhhhmmm….it’ll come to me….give it time….Cousin It….hangergate….on the tip of my tongue…..has a creepy brother that smokes dead man’s cigars….damn I can’t think of it…….oh whatever… out of the photos on the camel excursion in Morocco. That was classic.
I am actually finding Ramona and Sonja together quite entertaining. While they are a lot to handle, they have been harmless in their fun and a source of a lot of laughs in St. Barth’s — they are on vacation after all and they a real frick and frack team. They balance each other’s quirky characters and they celebrate each other’s flaws. Like a modern day Laurel and Hardy, they are Somonja. Forevermore!
Well, that lasted only an episode and a half then….duhn,duhn,duhhhhhn… Aviva had to squash it. I felt bad that your fun was put on hold too.
The Aviva that I have gotten to know is confident, glamorous, and a true class act. The Aviva that came to St. Barths was twisted up from jump, relentless, and unexpected.
From her blogs, interviews & twitter, she’s still bringing the crazy eight months later!.
Encouraging does not equal begging, and while I am glad Aviva is here, I only ever wanted her to be here for herself, to face her fears and enjoy the benefit of it and, if she didn’t come we would have supported that too. Carole and I have been her encouragers, her supporters, her friends, but there was no begging by any means. I was proud of Ramona for apologizing to try to diffuse things for once. I didn’t think she had it in her! I am finally seeing the side of Ramona that Aviva told me about, the good side. And, Aviva well. . .I guess she is seeing something different. Unfortunately, it’s at the cost of us all.
It’s nice to see that you were a good friend to Aviva but it’s not going to be enough.
Housewife News by NoMoreDrama
It’s New Jersey Reunion filming time.
Lauren Manzo tweeted that she was on her way to the reunion with a make up artist drinking mini bottles of wine from straws like real ladies. Lauren didn’t say whether she was doing makeup or would be on the reunion, but she posted a picture for us:
Teresa Giudice tweeted about how shiny her hair will be and named a bunch of hair products. Caroline didn’t tweet about the reunion – she said she was sitting in the doctor’s office. Kathy was tweeting about shopping for a dress at Nordstrom (don’t they get their dresses in advance). Nothing about the reunion from On Display of Vague.
Responding to an invitation for lunch, Carole Radziwill tweeted that she would be filing in New York through January. It sounds like she’s coming back for a second season of RHONY. RHONY’s ratings were at another season high at just shy of 2 million viewers on Monday as the ladies and their boy toys/ boyfriends and husbands were in episode 2 of the explosive vacation.
Flipping out also premiered to 1.3 million viewers – the highest premier in Flipping Out’s history.
Wetpaint has posted a video of Ramona Singer and her husband Mario dancing on a yacht. http://www.wetpaint.com/real-housewives-of-new-york/articles/watch-ramona-and-mario-singer-boogie-down-on-a-boat-video
Not to be outdone by Teresa a few days ago photo of Bethenny Frankel on a paddleboard wearing a bikini made news. http://www.eonline.com/news/343815/bikini-shot-of-the-day-bethenny-frankel-is-paddleboard-perfection)
Real Housewife of Miami Karent Sierra has interviewed with the Miami Herald and tells us to expect drama. (I sure hope there is drama – otherwise what’s the point). http://www.eonline.com/news/343815/bikini-shot-of-the-day-bethenny-frankel-is-paddleboard-perfection
Speaking of Miami – my twitter blew up this morning with news that Dance Moms Miami was cancelled.
Old Interview with Aviva
One of our posters found this old interview with Aviva Drescher in the free library (which I hope means I can copy and paste it here for you to read.
I lost my leg in an accident at the age of 6, but I fought to become a model. Zone
“SHE has the willowy body, caramel skin and pronounced cheekbones of a true beauty.
As a sought-after model, Aviva Teichner is used to being seen as a paragon of physical perfection. Yet she hides adevastating secret.
At the age of six, she lost her left foot and ankle in a farming accident.
That alone would tax to the limit the courage of most people.
But two years ago, at the height of her career, Aviva chose to go under the surgeon’s knife once again.
This time, the 28-year-old asked doctors to remove a further six inches of her leg to make it easier to fit a more natural-looking replacement. Losing a limb would make most women want to hide away from the world. Not Aviva.
The 5ft 10in beauty accepted the challenge – and won her way on to the books of New York’s top modelling agency.
“But when I was young, modelling gave me the confidence to prove that I could do what other girls could.
“It reinforced my belief that I was still attractive.”
ONLY last month, Aviva retired from modelling to become a lawyer. But she still looks the picture of New York glamour, a Sex-In-The-City-style babe in three-inch heels.
And she still turns men’s heads, as she did in the early days.
“When I went to nightclubs, men would try to pick me up because they fancied me,” she says. “But wearing a prosthetic limb has literally kept my feet on the ground.
“It was a joke. Guys would look up at you and say, ‘Oh, you are so beautiful…’
“And I would think to myself:, ‘Well, I’m not as beautiful as you imagine…'”
Yet Aviva admits she still feels hesitant about letting men see the extent of her limb loss.
“When I lived in Paris as a student, I had a French boyfriend who owned nightclubs. I was thrown into a very superficial world, hanging out with rock stars and supermodels.
“I remember a boyfriend saying to me, ‘You know, people in this world are never going to accept you.’ That made me very angry.
“I had another boyfriend I was in love with. We’d been dating two months.
“Then, one night on the sofa while we were watching TV, he said, ‘Well, what will you be like when you are 50? How fit will you be?’.
“It turned out that his parents were concerned that I would not still be able to work or look after children.
“Again, I was furious. After all, I had additional surgery so that I would not have those problems down the line.
“I said, ‘How do you know what you are going to be like in 30 years’ time’?”
With a throaty laugh, Aviva says: “Let me tell you, it is a very quick test. If a man met me because of the way I look, then did not want to go out with me because of my leg, good riddance. I don’t want to deal with anyone who is that shallow.”
“On a very primal level, any man would probably wonder, “My God, if I make love to her, will she leave her leg on?
“It would scare me, too. It is not a pretty thing and I could understand it being a physical turn-off.”
For the past two years, Aviva has been dating Harry, an estate agent she met through friends.
Her experiences made her reluctant at first to tell him the truth.
“We were on our second date. I guess I was having a bad day and I was tired when he asked me, ‘Why are you limping?’
“At that time, I didn’t really care for him, so I simply said, ‘I hurt myself skiing’.
“When we started dating seriously, I wanted to apologise for lying to him. But he already knew the truth from a mutual friend.
“As soon as I brought it up, he said, ‘I know about your leg and I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me’.”
It was only then that Aviva found the confidence to tell him the whole story.
AS A little girl born into an affluent New York family, she had grown up with everything a child could wish for.
Her parents – German model Ingrid and businessman George – named her after the Hebrew word for spring.
Aviva was just six when, during a stay at the family’s country home in upstate New York, she wandered into a empty barn with a playmate. Together, they quickly learnt how to turn on the conveyor belt used to carry cow manure.
What happened next was a nightmare beyond imagining.
Aviva started “riding” the belt – and stayed on a moment too long. Her legs were sucked into the machinery as the belt moved on. Another few inches and she would have been dead.
For an hour and half, doctors battled in rotation to free her from the teeth of the machine.
Aviva has largely blanked out the trauma, but she does remember screaming. “One of the doctors told me to stop. But my dad, who came running when he heard the noise, said, ‘You just scream all you want, Aviva’.
“I think I was more scared of the needles they were sticking in me than anything.”
Over the next few days she underwent 14 hours of surgery and the countless operations as doctors battled to save her foot. But when gangrene set in, the fight was lost.
“They tried to save what they could. Then, before my sixth operation, my father came to my bedside and said, ‘They are going to remove a couple of your toes, Aviva. You’ll be like the bionic woman’.
“But when I woke up, I wasn’t missing a couple of toes. I was missing an entire foot.”
AT AN age when children delight in running, skipping and jumping, Aviva was facing life weighed down by a cumbersome, ugly false leg. Her first challenge was to walk again. She learnt to put one foot in front of the other as she held tight to parallel bars.
Then, using crutches, she was taught to walk with a prosthetic limb fastened to her knee.
“It was very old-fashioned leg, but I soon got my balance. Within a few days, I wanted to throw away the crutches altogether,” says Aviva.
“I kept trying to sneak out of the apartment and my parents would come running after me. I wanted to be like everyone else.
“Human beings have an incredible ability to adapt. Because it happened when I was so young, I walked very well.
“It’s like when you throw a baby into a swimming pool. It sinks, or it learns to swim.”
Aviva’s parents had far more difficulty coming to terms with their daughter’s disability.
“My mother was devastated. She would say, ‘My daughter was born with the longest legs the world’.
“She really feared for me. She worried that I would grow up never be able to deal with it, that I would ever be able to make love to a man.”
“Even now, when I’m 28, they wake every morning feeling sad because this happened to me.”
From the outset Aviva insisted on being treated her like an ordinary child.
“The kids at school knew what happened. I had a fixed and clumsy ankle and they used to stare.
“I found it hard not being like them because that was all I wanted.”
“I was very uncomfortable wearing a bikini and going to the beach. My parents knew this and did a beautiful thing – they bought a house in Jamaica so I could have the freedom to run around in private.”
As she grew to adolescence, even an amputation could not take away from her blossoming beauty.
But her deep-seated fears about her attractiveness remained.
“I was into every sport and even became captain of my high school volleyball team. But I was limited by what I could wear, and I felt I could not express myself.”
When friends were experimenting with clothes, Aviva had to stick to long skirts, trousers and flat shoes that hid her prosthetic limb.
“Thin and 5ft 10in, I wanted a short skirt. Instead I settled for kneeboots.”
She admits her disability was hard to bear on top of the normal burdens of the teenage years. “When I was younger, I kept it more of a secret. I had to grow up a bit before I could be comfortable with it.”
“Boys she met often knew already. “If they did not, I felt an absolute obligation to tell them on the second date because I did not want to draw anyone in and then give them a shock.
But, when she was 13, a photographer friend of the family suggested Aviva try modelling.
IT WAS what she needed to banish her subconscious fears that she was not attractive. “It was important to me to feel like everyone else. I just did not feel as completely whole and beautiful as girls with two full legs.”
From the start, it was made clear what assignments Aviva could do.
“I did head shots, and shampoo and make-up work. If they shot me standing up for a catalogue, they cut the picture off below the knee.
“I was cushioned. I was never sent for any kind of leg work. I was always very open about my limitations.”
Throughout college, Aviva kept up her modelling as sideline to her law and language studies.
But, before the camera or not, however beautifully made up she was, Aviva always felt let down by her clumpy replacement limb.
Skin grafts from her thigh had been used to try to cover the wound. But, as her bones grew and started to push through the stump, she suffered agonising pain.
The excess skin from the graft also chafed against her prosthetic limb.
Clearly, a more practical, aesthetic alternative was needed. Yet that, she knew, would mean taking off more of her own leg.
“It occurred to me that if I was going to get married and have children, I did not want to have to care for my stump as well.
“I realised that a better prosthetic would make me more mobile and that would be better for my kids. In short, at the age of 26, I decided I did not want to be a caretaker for my leg.”
Incredibly, Aviva chose to be awake through the amputation.
“They gave me Valium at the start of the surgery and at first I was asleep. Then I woke up. The doctors knew I was conscious and they talked me through it.
“I think I must have been the only person in the history of medicine who, in the middle of it all, asked for a phone to call my mother because she was so nervous.
“They brought one to me as I lay on the table. I rang and told her: “Mommy, they are removing the leg now and everything is okay.
“I could hear the sawing noise at the end of the table, so I put my Walkman on and started listening to dance music.”
The operation lasted about an hour and half.
Aviva remembers waking up next day and feeling “very very sad”.
“I looked down and thought, ‘Oh my God, my leg is so much shorter’.
“I was in extraordinary pain. But I went home four days later and I was pretty much on my feet in a couple of days. In no time, I was walking.”
She had to wait a year for her new leg – and, when it arrived, it was a bitter disappointment.
“I was promised a leg that was realistic. But it wasn’t.
“The colour was a ridiculous match and it was very heavy. It looked like they had pulled a leg off a mannequin.
“The people there did not care about the cosmetic aspect, the fact that I’m a woman and I wanted to look beautiful.”
DESPERATE and depressed, Aviva began to believe she would never find a limb that felt and looked like a part of her own body. But then she met Aimee Mullins, an American model who had had both legs amputated. And that changed her mind.
“I was at a sports event when I saw this very pretty blonde woman. She was introduced on stage as having had a double amputation.
“Suddenly I was sure that this woman would know where to get the legs I needed.
“I waited to speak to her and, when I saw her legs up close, I could not believe my eyes.
“It was a revelation. I had never met a young, attractive person in my age group who had the same needs as I did.
“Aimee explained to me that the root of my difficulty lay in the fact that in America 77 per cent of amputees are men.
“The women tend to be older people who have lost limbs through cancer, blood clots or diabetes. There is no special provision for younger women.”
Aimee’s limbs had been made by British designer Bob Watts, one of top prosthetic-makers in the world, on the recommendation of British amputee Heather Mills.
“I never thought I would get to England,” Aviva says. “But I told my parents and they said, ‘Right, we’re going’.”
A few weeks later, Aviva was standing in front of a mirror in his studio in Hampshire, gazing for the first time at a limb that closely resembled what her own would have looked like.
She says: “I wanted to see what a lifelike leg would look like on me because the legs are virtually real.
“There was a leg there that had belonged to Heather Mills. I was the same fit. I put it on and looked in the mirror.
“‘Wow,’ I said to my mother, this looks like I have two real legs’.
“Bob uses a machine that takes the shape of your leg and exactly matches it.
“The shell is made out of silicone and then sprayed with a special chemical.
“But instead of looking shiny and fake, he matches the colour and even paints hair follicles, moles and little wrinkles on the toes and back of the heels. They don’t just match the colour of your toe nail. They match the colour of the crescent in your toe nail. These legs are made by artists.
The leg even comes complete with a foot shaped to fit heel height – so Aviva can wear stilettos for the first time.
“I can wear knee-length dresses, although you can still see the break in the knee. I can even get pedicures for both feet.
“If I cross my legs, he can’t tell which is the false one.”
Aviva has always worn her limb more than 80 per cent of the time, except in bed. She is reluctant to have her stump on view, even when she is completely relaxed in a relationship.
“I feel better about myself when I have my leg on,” she explains.
“It is wonderful to be close and in love. But I believe that familiarity breeds contempt.
“Even in marriage, I think it is wonderful to have a little bit of mystery.
“I believe in closing the bathroom door unless needs be.
“If my boyfriend had a cut, I wouldn’t expect him to flaunt it. It’s the same with my leg.
“It’s something that is not attractive. It’s like if you have a pimple, you try to hide it, not show it off.”
Her shyness meant that early in their relationship Aviva slept with the leg on, despite the discomfort.
“Eventually, I told Harry, ‘I have to start to taking it off at night’.
“He was great. He joked, ‘Okay, but you’d better watch out because I might steal it!’
“To be honest, though, I think it took Harry a little time to be completely comfortable with it. But if he wasn’t comfortable, he never showed it.”
MODELLING, more than anything else, has helped Aviva come to terms with her affliction. Though she still wonders why she was given so much, only to have so much taken away.
Now she has decided that 15 years is enough.
“I know how easily beauty goes. I wanted to do more with my life,” she says.
Which is why she has finally taken up a career as a lawyer.
“My mother always told me that beauty is all about imperfections anyway. Everyone has their baggage and it is all relative.
“Top models today have moles, and big noses, and awkward, funny lips. I have another kind of imperfection.”
Aviva insists that she has never felt sorry for herself. That she has never wondered why she was given so much – and had so much taken away.
“It’s true I have been frustrated by not being able to wear certain shoes, or disappointed when I’ve seen a beautiful dress with a split down the middle that I can’t wear.
“But my philosophy is that God gives people what they can handle. And I believe he gave me this because he knew I could handle it.
“I am just glad that losing my leg is the worst of my troubles.” ”
No Big Brother recap. The show was delayed because of the convention. Morty’s has all the latest (spoilers so beware) here: http://www.mortystv.com/big_brother.shtml
Keep checking Morty’s next week to keep up with Big Brother while I’m on vacation.
No new Inspirational Postings for next week as well. NMD
Now that We’ve Seen Scary Island II – You can change your mind …