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In Stitches

Written by Mary Skrenes

Jem and the Holograms are invited to compete in a rock fashion competition in Venice, Italy. But Shana is having trouble coming up with designs. Once they get to Venice, the Misfits, who are also in the competition, have Zipper steal Shana's designs, leaving Jem and the Holograms with nothing for the competition.

Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, The Misfits, Synergy (voice only), Rio (music video only), Eric, Lin-Z, Starlight Girls (Ashley, Ba Nee, Krissie, Deirdre, Terri, Lela, Anne, Marianne, Joellen, Becky, Nancy, Delaree), Danielle, Zipper, Tony Cassini promoter, Tito the gondolier, Limp Lizards.

Focus on:

Locations & vehicles:
Starlight Mansion, VTV, Gabor Mansion, airplane, Venice in Italy, gondolas, boat, Palace of Du Voisin in Venice, Misfits' hotel in Venice, shoe store in Venice, Cassini's salon in Venice.

First appearance of:
Palace du voisin.

"It Depends On The Mood I'm In" Jem and the Holograms
"Designing Woman" The Misfits
"Time Is Runnin' Out" Jem and the Holograms

"Designing Woman" by the Misfits, "Time Is Runnin' Out" by Jem and the Holograms.

Adventure, Action, Humor, Drama.

Original airdate:
6 September 1986.

Released on VHS. Released on DVD.

Italy: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. The episode title was "La Collezione Di Moda" (The fashion collection).
France: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Défilé De Mode" (Fashion Parade).
Venezuela: Aired on TV. The episode title was "Desfile De Modas" (Fashion Parade).
UK: Aired on TV.
Australia: Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
New Zealand: Released on VHS.

Behind the scenes:
When the Misfits are first seen in this episodes, in a photo on the Lin-Z show, the photo is based directly on their model cels, atleast Pizzazz and Roxy. You can see they're standing in the same poses.

This is where Shana's interest in fashion design was really developed. Although it was Christy Marx's idea, from the Jem bible. It seems to be wellknown by this episode, even by the media and Misfits, that Shana designs fashions.

Ashley is interested in fashion design.

Shana's room is on the second floor furthest to the left, watching the mansion from the front.

Although it's probably not directly mentioned in any episode, it's pretty much settled that Jem and the Holograms live in Los Angeles. But while Jem and the Holograms are on the plane to Italy and Jem transforms back to Jerrica because of satellite interference with Synergy's transmission, she says "Jerrica is supposed to be in New York, not on this plane", but maybe Jerrica needed an excuse why she wasn't around while Jem and the others were away.

This is a quite early episode and Italy is the third country the Holograms visit officially, after France and China.

During the Misfits song "Designing Woman", in the shoestore there are shoeboxes that say "CA-NIKE" instead of "Nike", "Shebok" instead of "Reebook", "TUNA" instead of "Puma", "Reverse" instead of "Converse", "Raddidis" instead of "Adidas".

The costumes designed by Shana in this episode, even though they're stolen and dyed black by the Misfits, they appeared in later episodes worn by Jem and the Holograms in their original colors.

Perhaps the character Tony Cassini's first name came from comic colleague Tony Isabella who worked on some of the same Marvel comics "Defenders".

We see the Holograms and Misfits find out about being chosen for the fashion contest, and the Misfits try to make the Holograms worried in advance. Shana's designing interest is established, and then the rest of the episode takes place in Venice. Ashley sneaks along and Eric hires Zipper again. The story revolves around stealing fashions back and forth across Venice and getting to the contest in time.

Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits are set for another contest against each other, and although there are other contestants, we don't get to hear alot about them after they're introduced. We get to see the Limp Lizards again for the first time since the first episode, but only in a picture. Not sure if it was thanks to Mary Skrenes or the animators, but I think she created the injoke thing to re-include the Limp Lizards every now and then, because Christy Marx probably only intended them for the original episode they appeared in.

This is not sound like a terribly exciting set up for an episode, with the theme who will win the design contest, and a music video in a shoe store. But this is one of the episodes that sets the fashion theme for the show, which adds to the already existing music and movie theme. Besides, this is a kick-ass episode with alot of cleverness, humor and cool lines.

This episode's story is somewhat connected to an upcoming one, The Rock Fashion Book, where the contest from this episode is mentioned. Although there are a couple of episodes inbetween. It's fascinating how the writers could keep track of each other's episodes while the previous one was not done yet. They must have had some kind of contact during the writing stage, probably through Sunbow.

This episode has a very long intro. I'm referring to the part where the main characters tell you what the episode is going to be about. Some episodes throw you directly into the action and manages to handle the introduction in just one sentence, and some episodes start off with the main characters being at home, finding out some news, preparing for an adventure, flying an airplane, arriving at the airport and so on. When the intro is this long it sometimes even makes room for a music video inside the intro, like it does here. Even Christy has done this, in the episode "Glitter And Gold", but that's because there are other ongoing stories there. The writer of this episode even manages to make an exciting scene on the airplane to Italy though, where Jem changes back to Jerrica.

Although the intro scenes took alot of space, it seems a little quick to have the groups find out about the contest and then fly to Italy already the next day. Atleast it seems like it's the next day by how Shana seems to do all the designs in a row and in alot of stress.

Here Shana's interest in designing fashions is established. I can't think of any moment before this that her interest was apparent other than in the episode "Starbright Part Three" in the music video "Puttin' It All Togheter". But I'm guessing this came from the Jem bible rather than from the writer of this episode. We also get to see Shana's room.

This is the first time a Starlight girl is featured again since the Starbright episodes. And it's of course Ashley which was a favorite of Hasbro and/or the producers.

As soon as they all get to Italy, the pace really speeds up and we get several exciting scenes with plenty of action.

Shana and the other Holograms don't recognize Zipper because he is in other clothes. If this was the first episode where he had his new haircolor it would had made sense. But he appeared in two episodes with it, prior to this.

I like how the writer connected one thing to another by having the Holograms go buy some new shoes after the ones in the trunk were ruined. She could easily have forgotten about that detail and let new shoes magically appear. But the shoestore-scene led to one of the very best Misfits songs being made. And speaking of that video, I consider it among top moments in songs/music videos in this series, when it hits the notes "I've got what it takes to make my plans come true...".

Why are the Holograms fashions so coveted anyway. The Misfits must really think Shana's designs are great, because not only do they steal them and leave them without fashions, but they decide to compete in them. Or are they just lazy?

This episode makes use of holograms, and keeps reminding the viewer that Jem is actually Jerrica by the help of interference and satellite glitches. Shana designs fashions by the help of Synergy, and Jem transforms into an old lady (which btw Jerrica and the Holograms did already in one of the first episodes, "Battle of the Bands").

I love the scene where the Misfits fall over the bridge and are hanging by to the fashions held up by the Holograms. There's something unique and funny about it, and it's a personal memory of mine from the 80's before I re-saw it, so it must be memorable.

Aja sounds so Chinese, or so foreign or something, when saying the line "Now nobody has costumes".

This episode ends the classic way, the Holograms are pressed by time to get to a contest, and make it in the end.

Rio isn't in the episode at all except for appearing dressed out in a music video. Nice way of including him since he didn't fit into the story.

Jem and the Holograms actually perform on the street in this episode, something quite far away from what they usually do since they had a super-quick breakthrough and never had to struggle alot with their band that way, unlike what we see the Stingers do in the episode "Riot's Hope".

Jem and the Holograms actually take the chance to go on stage in only underwear covered by holographic projections of fashions, and that's actually right after they had a satellite glitch which removed the holograms.

The way Tony Cassini describes the styles of the groups, is so beautiful I always think when watching this episode. It's like poetry. Well written by the writer. Listen as the groups enter the runway.

Conclusion: Shana's designing interest is established, and nice to see it being the main theme of an episode, and it's not the last time it is. Most of the animation is quite good, with some exceptions, close-ups, like on the plane, and Roxy when she says "cool" to Pizzazz. Almost makes you remember the bad animation in the Starbright retakes that turned out worse than the original scenes they were meant to replace, and makes you wonder if these were retakes too. Lots of humor, like when Danielle's butler lets Jem and the Holograms in, and asks them to refresh. And when Zipper stole Ashley's designs by mistake. And when Eric tells the seamstresses to be quiet: "Silencio".

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