my Burda Style screenplay pitch

I haven’t been able to take any photos of new garments so instead of writing about the hit-and-miss duo of tops I’ve just made I bring you a thrilling expose on what Burda photography does to my imagination.

I do like Burda. The patterns and styling often have a distinctly European feel and they’re generally a good mixture of the beautiful, the less exciting, the funny, and the boring. That makes sense — Burda’s a pattern powerhouse, so it makes sense that they deliver a mix. I have several Burda patterns on my mental to-make list but none of them cut out yet. That’s in part due to the fact that Burda photoshoot ideas can lead me away from sewing and deep into writing my own telenovela. It’s like playing with dolls.

The story below involves garments that intrigued me, but it took me a long time to realize I was indeed intrigued by them because — as writers from hacks to some pretty talented ones often say — the story came first and it begged to be told.

Here you have my pitch for what could possibly be the world’s first science-fiction telenovela, a genre crossover that has been a glaring gap in television so far. WARNING: Unmitigated wackiness ahead.

Working title: The Fabric of Cosmic Love

(Title suggestions welcome!)

The story begins at a secret apartment where the seventh wife of a very rich businessman ends a tryst with her tennis coach. Cunning, young, beautiful, but, again, above all cunning, Conchita used to be her husband’s secretary. Having been skillful at hiding her true desires — and her affairs — from her elderly husband, Conchita is now worried that her current lover Guillermo is hatching plans of his own. Poised to shatter young Guillermo’s delusions about his significance to her, Conchita prepares herself for confrontation.

We meet the couple as Conchita wakes Guillermo by glaring at him with unconcealed contempt and with the noise of her heavy necklace as she’s shaking with anger.

Photo from Burda Style Wardrobe Essentials. You can also find the blouse pattern here.

The argument ends with Conchita tearing the Rolex off Guillermo’s wrist as she shoves him out of the apartment. He is wearing just the white bathrobe. Having calmed her nerves with a stiff drink, Conchita calls home to arrange to meet her husband for lunch at their favorite restaurant.

But the maid who answers the phone has surprising news for Conchita: Don Alonso isn’t home. He suddenly left for Cancún, not giving any details about where he was staying or when he would be coming back.

And so now we join Don Alonso in Cancún, where he is walking on the beach with this young woman:

Photo source and blouse pattern here.

Has Conchita now become the future ex-wife, soon to be displaced by wife #8? No, the the little crucifix signals this young woman’s innocence to the audience. She is, as we learn from her conversation with the visibly emotional Don Alonso, his long-lost granddaughter Ana Fabiana. Her mother, Don Alonso’s daughter Milagros, unable to come to terms with her father’s multiple remarriages after the tragic disappearance of her own mother, Maria Fernanda, cut off all ties with her family. Now, after Milagros’ death in a water-skiing accident,  Ana Fabiana has reached out to her grandfather. They are taking a walk on the beach.

Meanwhile, back in Mexico City, Conchita is busy thinking about other things as she sits in the limo taking her back to the mansion. As the car approaches the house she spots a woman dressed in a striking 1960’s-style ensemble, carrying a cake…

Photo from Burda Style Wardrobe Essentials. Jacket pattern also available here.

There’s something about the woman that strikes Conchita as strangely familiar but in an impossible way, so she dismisses it. And so she doesn’t follow the woman’s gaze, fixed on flickering lights beyond the hedge…

The limo stops and Conchita rushes into the house, to Don Alonso’s study.  As she rifles through the papers on the desk, the camera pans out to the bookshelves on which we see family photographs. Among them there’s a two-part frame with a photo and a newspaper cutout. The photo is black-and-white and depicts… the woman with the cake, with the exact same hair and jacket. The newspaper cutout has another photo of her and the headline: “Abducted by Aliens? Young Millionaire’s Wife Disappears in Stream of Light in the Middle of Birthday Party.”

And this is where we end, wondering whether the returned Maria Fernanda is bringing cake to usher in an alien invasion.

*   *   *

I promise this is still a blog primarily dedicated to sewing rather than misguided creative writing exercises.

Now that you know why I’m not a successful TV writer, please feel free to chime in about the patterns themselves, or tell me about pattern photos that have puzzled or amused you. (But tips on further development of this show that no one’s waiting for are also very welcome.)

Happy weekend!


Published by


I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

5 thoughts on “my Burda Style screenplay pitch”

  1. Thanks 🙂
    I got a used copy of Wardrobe Essentials for something like $3 on Amazon. But the individual PDFs are not too pricey either. But, man, I can’t even tell you how long it took me to realize that white blouse was very pretty — so much is going on in that photo! And they gave her the chunkiest necklace they could find.


  2. Hahaha, love this. I particularly love 1) the way they managed to make sure the guy’s face was *perfectly* captured in the teeny tiny mirror in the first photo 2) everything about the second photo – the coat straining at the one fastenable button, the “head thrown back” laughter. It’s like they picked up a random guy from the café next to the photoshoot and he cannot. believe. his. luck. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there’s just too much of a narrative to these photos for the purpose of fashion photography but I really cherish them. Maybe they do double as prompts in creative writing courses?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s