Meet the Season 9 Project Runway Designers – Part 3

Posted on July 20, 2011

The T Lo Train is pulling into Judgmental Junction, y’all! Hop on board!

Viktor Luna

What is your design training?
Besides assisting my mother, I attended FIT in NYC and took some courses to enhance my knowledge, including ones in patternmaking, draping and design.
What’s influenced your designs over the years?
My influences are my Goth/punk years, and I try to apply the hard edge of that era but also bring luxury and sophistication of now. Oh and sexy too.
What do you look for in a model?
Size 2, long blonde hair, light-skinned, tall (6 feet), nice bone structure, a little figure (proportionally), LIPS and knows how to sell the garment.
Why do you think you will win Project Runway?
This is my passion, and I am a very competitive person who is always looking to strive toward success. I listen well, I have a good sense of style editing, and know how to push the envelope but still maintain chicness, sophistication and excitement.

Ohhhhh, Viktor. We were so with you because of the shoes and the professional-sounding answers, but then you had to go answer that model question and now you’ve fucked it all up for yourself. The lady viewers aren’t going to soon forget that one.


We’ll be blunt (because you wouldn’t want us any other way): these look cheap and poorly constructed.

 

More info on Viktor here.

Fallene Wells

When did you realize you had designer potential?
My sister Christy wanted to go to school for interior design, and I toured Brooks College with her when I was 11. The college also had a fashion Design Program. I saw all of the dress forms and fashion illustrations, and it was at that point I wanted to be a designer.
What is your design training?
I’m primarily self-taught. My mother taught me the basics at 11. I would sew off and on as a teenager, and it wasn’t until 2007 at my first fashion show production that I designed a collection.
What’s influenced your designs over the years?
I have always been influenced by different eras. Right now I am working on a collection that has a modern, wearable ’20s feel with art deco lines.
Why do you think you will win Project Runway?
I think I have what it takes to win. I can be humble, work great under pressure and grow from the feedback of the judges.

So a visit to a college fashion design school inspired her to become a designer… and skip the part about actually going to design school? Are we reading that one right?

She’s got a strong point of view and she seems sweet. A lot of her designs border on clumsy, but we suspect the judges will find things to like, assuming she doesn’t have a meltdown from the pressure, which is always likely with someone who boasts that they work really fast.

More info on Fallene here.

Bert Keeter

When did you realize you had designer potential?
In my last year of high school, when my art teacher commented on my “doodles” in class and suggested I look into attending Parsons School of Design.
Can you describe past jobs you’ve had?
I worked at Holly Harp, Bill Blass, Arnold Scaasi and Halston.
What’s influenced your designs over the years?
In the past nostalgia, romance, history. Now I’d say the modern international woman and her lifestyle.
Why do you think you will win Project Runway?
I enjoy working “outside the box” with challenges, I keep an open and upbeat attitude even when being critiqued, and I am a quick study with design concepts.

In a way it’s kind of odd that the show hasn’t had a middle-aged queen contestant yet. Considering the countless middle-aged queen dressmakers working in towns big and small across the country to ensure that local girls get the prom dress/bridesmaid dress/wedding dress of their dreams, you’d think one of them would have made it onto the show by now.

Not that we’re suggesting Bert is some small-town dressmaker. In fact, we took one look at his work and one name popped into our heads: Laura Bennett. The styles aren’t exactly the same but he’s got a similar minimal, classic, flattering, impeccably made aesthetic to his work.


We are shouting a call to arms to all the middle-aged queens in the audience (and we know you’re there, bitches) to support Bert 100 percent. Chances are, he’ll get annoyed with the proceedings almost immediately – because really, what 57-year-old is going to love spending 18 hours a day with a bunch of fame whores half his age? – and he’ll need the loving support that middle-aged queens are normally completely incapable of showing each other unless there’s alcohol involved. Be there for him, bitches. Because we can practically guarantee he’s going to get very cranky, very quickly. Let’s all root for Bert to show these little fetuses how it’s done.

 

More info on Bert here.

[Photo/Q&A/Video Credit: myLifetime.com]

    • aussiegal77

      Enough said – Bert FTW!!  And I’m not middle aged nor am I a queen.  Well.  I AM a woman, so that makes me a QUEEN in general.  

      So there you have it Bert – you have the undying support of THIS Half Way To Middle Age Queen.  Unless you turn out to totally annoy me in the first 5 mins of the show.

      • Anonymous

        And here’s a thumbs up from a full-fledged Middle Age Queen (by gender, not orientation)!

      • Anonymous

        Whatever other uses thought. But i give you two thumbs up because you became Queen in middle aged. Just i wanna confirm that “middle aged straight chicks for Bert” T-shirts been sold or not???
        online clothing store

    • scottyf

      *already has his “Middle Age Queens for Bert” t-shirts made up in three colors, and is working on the sequined version*

      • MilaXX

        Can I have one to match those miu miu glitter pumps?

        • Anonymous

          Read. My. Mind.

      • Anonymous

        You mean you didn’t START with a sequinned version?

        • scottyf

          …had to wait for the glue gun to heat up.

      • Rand Ortega

        Ahem, Soul Brother Scottyf, when will we see those darlings on your Etsy page for sale? (Have no idea if you actually have an Etsy page. Just sayin’) I’ll certainly invest in a couple for the PR viewing party. Who’s w/ me?

      • Anonymous

        Scottyf, I have a bedazzler at the ready if you want to send it to me. I’ll Swarovski the shit out of it for you! :)

      • Anonymous

        I doubt “middle aged straight chicks for Bert” T-shirts will sell as well, but I like his stuff so far.

        • Anonymous

          LOL!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12500056 Joseph Lamour

        You are officially the most hilarious commenter on TLo. I think they should dub thee so.

      • Anonymous

        Scottyf, you slay me and I thank you

    • Anonymous

      I’m sensing a fleurchon alert with Fallene.

      • Lenora Dody

        That’s exactly what I thought when I saw her.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Indeed!  I liked the look of her when TLo first put up photos of the designers but looking at her again now – there’s a worrying hint of Keslar about her.  Hopefully she’ll steer well clear of granny circles and we’ll all breath a deep sigh of relief.

    • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986 Judy S

      Thanks for including 57-year-olds in the category “middle-aged”…

      • Anonymous

        50’s been the new 40 for a while . . . I’m waiting to see how the baby boom re-defines 70. Any minute now . . .

        • Anonymous

          Sigh, tell my knees that, would you?

          • Anonymous

            Hey, Gotham, one of my knees is just 1 year old (replaced last year), so I’m starting my aging all over again!  :)

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMIFZ6A7BHP66M546AO77BWVQ4 Bonnie

              Amen, sister!  I had my right knee replaced in 2008,so it’s practically brand new!

              I’m all for supporting Bert, too.

              What is FAllen wearing in that photo? Suprlus from Pirates of the Caribbean?
              bitchybitchybitchy

          • Anonymous

            The physical toll is gonna catch us all up eventually. Sigh.

            But I wrecked a knee (car accident) at 21 so I don’t associate that issue with age. When it gets bad enough for a knee replacement I may be more adventurous than I’ve been for decades, that’s if all the other body parts can still keep up.

    • Anonymous

       I really like Fallen’s 20’s inspired items.When I first saw her picture, I thought she was going to be the out-there, artsy type who just doesn’t get it. Instead, I find myself hoping she does well.Yeah, Viktor screwed himself with the model comment. There’s sucking up to the judges, and then there’s declaring that you want Heidi to be your model.And he tops that off with clothes that don’t live up to the arrogance. Please make him go away now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12315747 Caitlin Steinert

      I can’t wait for the obligatory real-sized-women challenge so that I can watch Viktor crash and burn. Assuming he’s not already Auf-ed by then.

      • Anonymous

        Viktor’s cheap crappy clothes already have him going out in episode 1 or 2 for me.  I mean they look like aufed clothes already.

    • Anonymous

      And I thought Bert looked like a farmer! I like him. He has me intrigued and I like his pretty dresses.

      Ok, I’ll bite. Viktor wants a woman who is 6 feet tall and a size 2 to have a figure?? What is he, some kinda comedian?

      Fallene. Yep, definite Angela Granny Circles vibe. What’s with the bloomers and cowboy boots? And the grandpa vest and that shit in
      her hair? Those designs are ugly and sloppy. I hope she’s at least entertaining. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

        Well see, Viktor’s dream model would have a “proportionate” figure, so….I’m still trying to figure out how a 6 foot, size 2 model with blond hair and a good bone structure is any different from 80% of the models you see on the runway these days.  Is it the long hair part that is the dream for him?  Or the existence of lips? 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C6S4YGPE23GBCYHW5UQWHFKB3A Debra C

          His decription just sounds like the typical model-thin model. Seems about right

        • Anonymous

          Not just lips. LIPS.

          • Anonymous

            lmao
            I wonder if he’s particular about how natural the lips in question should be.

        • Anonymous

          Not just lips. LIPS.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_35OW6VJZLWTQDQHS4JLRTVC2JA Akumabunny

        The first time I saw Fallene’s photo, I nicknamed her MagicalFairy Lederhosen gal.

        • Anonymous

          Haha, that’s awesome! I think I’m looking forward to seeing what her personality is like more than any of the others.

      • Anonymous

        Boy played with a lot of Barbies in his youth, apparently, since he just described her.

    • Anonymous

      Wow.  Bert’s work is beautiful.  So clean, so impeccably made, so beautiful.  There’s none of that odd bunching and gathering in strange spots that makes you wonder if they’re just trying to hide a mistake or whether they really meant to do that.  Gorgeous work.

      So I know who to root for.  Go Bert!

      • Linda Shaver-Gleason

        Bert is the first contestant for which I’ve bothered to watch the video. I’m really impressed–I hope that his innovative seaming technique isn’t just a gimmick and is instead indicative of a creative, adaptable mind.  He seems pretty grounded, too, which will help when the stress piles on!

    • MilaXX

      Ohhhhh, Viktor. We were so with you because of the shoes and the
      professional-sounding answers, but then you had to go answer that model
      question and now you’ve fucked it all up for yourself. The lady viewers
      aren’t going to soon forget that one.

      Yep and now he’s on my shit list and his clothes suck.

      Fallene  sounds a bit too precious. I’m wondering if she developed that mentality that the very young sometimes get where they decide they don’t need formal training/college.

      I like Bert’s clothes, but wasn’t he the one who said his nieces/nephews call him Uncle Tightass? Let’s hope he was joking cause I’d like to see him go all the way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ailsa-Martin/644946901 Ailsa Martin

      Those are the fugliest pantaloon shorts I’ve ever seen.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_35OW6VJZLWTQDQHS4JLRTVC2JA Akumabunny

        Maybe she is an escapee from the upcoming reboot of the Three Muskateers movie?

      • Anonymous

        They’re painful, aren’t they? The entire outfit looks as if she dressed in the dark.

        She may be a nice girl, but if I were looking for someone to design an outfit for me and I saw her dressed the way she is, I’d make up an excuse and leave in a hurry.

    • Anonymous

      I am totally loving Bert–both the person and the designs–and will happily wear one of Scottyf’s tee shirts.  (I hope one of the colors is purple!) But as to no middle-aged queens on PR up until now…what about Chris March?  He was in his forties, and he was definitely a queen–maybe THE queen!  (Love you, Chris!)

      Fallene seems very sweet, but the clothes look home ec-y to me. Especially those godawful knickers.

      Victor.  Six feet tall and a size 2?  Really?  Bite me. Nothing like a “designer” encouraging anorexia.  (I do love his shoes, though.)

      • Muntaha Saad

        My thoughts exactly! How can you forget Chris March!?

    • Daisy James

      Victor: I get the idea of wanting your model to be model-sized, because hell, you’ve already made the clothes. But the rest of his answer was like he was trying to say, “My ideas are as conventional as is humanly possible.”

      Fallene: Just looking at her in that picture exhausts me. I have the sense that she’s going to be one designing with herself as the client. (Not that that’s always a bad thing.)

      Bert: Not over the moon about his dresses, but I’ll probably end up cheering for him just because I can tell him apart from all of the rest of the loud young things in the room.

    • Ted Kane

      To be fair, don’t most designers want a 6-foot, size two model?  Korto seemed to enjoy getting away from that, but I can’t think of too many other PR designers who have.  Also, I can think of several real-woman challenges where the winning designer was the one who got the skinny client, even though others with larger clients had better designs. 

      But from this group, I’d root for Bert.  His designs are pretty great, especially that gray dress.

      • http://moodring54.livejournal.com/ moodring54

        It’s a model, I get the size two and tall thing. It’s the “blonde and light-skinned” thing that made me suck my teeth (and probably added him on the majority of the commentariat’s shit list). 

        • Anonymous

          yeah, exactly. tall & skinny blah blah, sure, kinda goes without saying. but not just white but, like, the whitest possible? cool, good work!

        • Anonymous

          yeah, exactly. tall & skinny blah blah, sure, kinda goes without saying. but not just white but, like, the whitest possible? cool, good work!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12500056 Joseph Lamour

          I feel like Viktor is the kind of guy who puts “No fats, femmes or blacks” in his Grindr profile.

          • Carrie Mansfield

            MTE. You just know he’s going to whine about how the people in the inevitable ‘dress a normal person’ challenge are fatties.

          • Anonymous

            ^ This.

        • Anonymous

          I still say he’s being a suck up and describing Heidi.

      • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

        I was more disappointed that the Mexican designer still specified that she also had to be a fair-skinned, long-haired, blonde.  Even Shalom Harlowe doesn’t match that description.

        Really, Viktor?  Can’t even put one, little toe outside that stereotyped box?

    • http://twitter.com/rgmx Mercy

      One look at the vid convinced me: Team Bert!

    • http://pleasewelcomeyourjudges.com/ Brian @ PWYJudges

      I think Vincent was the closet thing we got to a middle-aged queen. I’m already liking Bert better!

    • Tamara Hogan

      I’d totally wear Fallene’s bloomers, but yes, I’m getting massive fleurchon vibes here. 

    • http://twitter.com/bexycahlik Becky Cahlik

      Regarding Fallene, I just don’t trust/like any contestant on Project Runway or other competition reality shows who always have to wear a headband/hat/bandana/scarf/huge flower accessories whatever in their hair. They always seem to be some of the most obnoxious people. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree JudyS, middle aged @ 57 sounds OK to me.  I am looking forward to life at 114. 

      Viktor is not the first, nor will he be the last designer to pray for a 6 foot size-2 model.  Really they all do, so I kind of respect him for putti@muzanE:disqus ng it out there.  But I’m still glad his clothes suck.

      Fallene – no.  Looks like a lot of draping held together with pins.  And the fabrics are kind of K-Mart, no?

      • MilaXX

        I know the fashion industry crazy when it comes to wanting skinny models, but I can’t let that “light skinned” comment pass without clarification.

    • Anonymous

      Size 2, long blonde hair, light-skinned, tall (6 feet), nice bone structure, a little figure (proportionally), LIPS and knows how to sell the garment.

      Nope. I won’t crucify him for that. This is just a young man who’s dressing Barbies – and who excuses it away by calling it Goth Eclectic and imagining he’s undermining the very concept of the Barbie aesthetic by dressing her in Scary and Dark and Indie and Unique. 

      Look at that third dress.

      Black lace: Goth!
      Spiky leather: Punk!
      Sullen stare: Edgy!
      Tempting Pout: Sexy!

      Yeah. This kid’s got nothing.

    • Anonymous

      well as much as I like Bert (although when I first saw his name I thought it said Bee Keeper), if we have a middle aged queen on the show, I wish it was Cesar.

    • Anonymous

      Victor annoys the piss out of me. You’re right about that model answer. Fallene is adorable and I want to feed her cookies, but going on and on about what her inspiration is sounds so freakin’ freshman year to me.

      Bert FTW.

    • Anonymous

      Victor annoys the piss out of me. You’re right about that model answer. Fallene is adorable and I want to feed her cookies, but going on and on about what her inspiration is sounds so freakin’ freshman year to me.

      Bert FTW.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you on Bert. Hope he can keep up the energy and the desire to play the reality tv fashion game because he’s good. Beautiful sewing and designs. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you on Bert. Hope he can keep up the energy and the desire to play the reality tv fashion game because he’s good. Beautiful sewing and designs. 

    • http://twitter.com/culligan82 colin gaul

      i might be alone in this, but the part of Viktor’s answer i found offensive was that he mandated “light-skinned” and im sort of surprised nobody is calling him out on THAT. 
      i may be the whitest white boy with red hair, but bitch please with the light-skinned comment. Has he ever seen a fierce woman of color stomp this crap out of a runway and sell the garment like her life depended on it? because that is something to behold. 

      • Anonymous

        I too am one of the whitest white boys with red hair, and I rolled my eyes when Viktor spewed that crap from his mouth. Viktor apparently has never seen a runway show that included either Naomi Campbell or Iman….

        • Anonymous

          Even keeping it within the realm of PR, I’d argue one of the best models the show ever had was Nazri.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

          Oh puhleeze!  ALL of you!  Stop turning some pretentious comment into some big “racist” drama.  So what?  The guy likes pale models.  Again, so what.  If he’d said he wanted a model with black skin and the darkest possible, none of you would say a word because THAT fits into your narrow world view.  It’s called “white guilt” and you need to get over it.  Folks, it isn’t what is said but the intention behind it.  This guy probably didn’t mean anything by it other than he likes pale skin.

          • Anonymous

            But you’re assuming everyone posting here are white Americans.

            As a gay black male when I first read Viktor’s remark my initial reaction was: “What the what?” but then I shrugged it off.  I’ll like to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s trying to suck up to Heidi.

            However, there’s not “white guilt” here when I immediately thought perhaps he racist.  I can tell you from daily first hand experience racism is alive and well in our country (assuming you live in the United States).

      • Anonymous

        I’m with you 100%.  The size 2 and 6′ tall thing didn’t faze me, because that’s what many designers seek.  But blonde and light-skinned?  Aryan Nation much?  I was already disgusted even before I saw his butt-ugly designs.

        Bert is a pleasant surprise.  He doesn’t “look” like you’d expect a designer to look, but his clothes!  J’adore!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

          Same to you in the comment I just posted to the other two cry babies looking for a drama and “racism” that most likely isn’t even there.  Try travelling a bit and MEETING others of different cultures, colours and lives.   You will find that Americans have an embarrassing need to apply racism to things that the rest of the world wouldn’t even notice much less say such silly things as what you’ve written here. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFMOZFM3WT3T56EZHVZFK7UXSI Ramon

            Well, I am from the Dominican republic, and Mexico is like my ideal country. Racism is a big problem in Latin America, it’s just more difficult to fight because it is so ingrained in the culture and it is practiced by people of color. He might not have meant anything by that comment, but try living around those attitudes all your klife, and then you will understand how those are incredibly offensive words.

            • Anonymous

              Latin American racism is, if anything, even more bizarre than North American racism, in my experience.  Nothing like listening to your Dominican brother-in-law tell racist jokes as he sits there visibly multi-racial (at least tri-racial). 

          • Anonymous

            What the heck?  I’m not even white.  I’m Asian, married to a Latino, and have travelled to 20+ countries on 6 continents.  My world view is sufficiently cosmopolitan.

      • Anonymous

        Yea, that’s the part that ticked me off.  I know you want a tall skinny model who can sell a garment.  That’s what all designers want.  The fact that he wants her to be blond is annoying, but not offensive.  But to specify that she has to be light-skinned is ridiculous.  If that’s how he feels, he needs to take his Walgreen’s-grade swim trunks to Sweden or something where 99.9% of the country is blond and white.

      • mefeinberg

        The light-skinned comment is what had me nonplussed too.  In this day and age, to basically say, “My ideal employee is white”??  Wow.  And yuck.  Well, we’ve certainly found our candidate for Most Clueless!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFMOZFM3WT3T56EZHVZFK7UXSI Ramon

      I hate getting all political, but for somebody who is from Mexico (albeit northern Mexico) Viktor (and I hate that spelling unless you are a Russian ice skater) has pretty revolting tastes in models.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFMOZFM3WT3T56EZHVZFK7UXSI Ramon

        And wouldn’t it be delicious if PR decided to use only African American models? One thing I love about Christian Siriano is that he seems to love models of color, and for his PR runway show he wanted fierce black girls (and he got them). Of course, he was just borrowing a page from Yves Saint Laurent.

    • Judy_J

      I’m already on board with Team Bert! 

    • Judy_J

      I’m already on board with Team Bert! 

    • Anonymous

      Victor’s clothes: Fug
      Fallene: I want to like her, but she’s a bit twee for my taste. I do like that she isn’t afraid of prints. I did see a little spark during her casting session and predict she will start, or be involved in, the first bitchy fight in the workroom. Seems like she’d fly off the handle quick.
      Burt: I predict he will be the first designer to hear either (or both) ‘boring’ or ‘safe’ on the runway.
      Carry on.

    • Anonymous

      Honey, I was on the Bert train from the day that train pulled out of the Lifetime station. I’m not scared of the Uncle Tightass moniker either because that can be an endearing trait. Lovelovelove his dresses, especially the silver-weaved look with the v-neckline. Go, Bert! Show ‘em how middle-aged queens do it!

    • Anonymous

      Bert is a friend-of-a-friend so I am psyched that his pre-show work looks so good… and that they’ve got Team TLo on the case as well. Gooooooooooooo Bert!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DO54ICWQLRD2STHRSELEATLSKY Cindy

      Bert can win right now and I’d be happy.  I actually like his designs (not that my suburban mom opinion has any weight!) and  I think he can be interesting.      Fallene has some interesting looks but it has that 1974 Seventeen cover model look.  –plus she has a cool name.

    • http://twitter.com/creneebo Renee Bomar

      Victor’s fabric choices look like a National Geographic photography of a fly’s wing.  Weird and jarring.

      • Anonymous

        After watching the video, I realized the two orange and black dresses shown on the main page are also butterfly prints. Creative, but he’s my least fave of this group.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      The only thing I loved more than Bert is seeing NICK!!

    • Rand Ortega

      TEAM BERT!!
      Go Middle Aged Queens of every gender & preference!

    • Anonymous

      team bert!

    • Anonymous

      Not middle-aged, but I’ll support Bert.

    • http://twitter.com/Stevesotherhalf Svanhild Salmons

      Viktor reminds me of the little jewish guy from “Big Bang Theory”.
      Expect angry phone calls home to Ma and smarmy chatting up of all the female contestants. 

    • Anonymous

      Well, I’m a middle aged woman who thinks she’s regal, so he has my support.

      However, the neck bear on Uncle Nick does not.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not going to crucify Victor for basically saying up front: I want a model who looks like the high fashion models used by the Big Name Houses. Why he’d put such a model into the Goodwill Bag Makeover clothes he favors is his thing. I think he’d do as well with a more idiosyncratic model but perhaps I’m not catching his vision.

      He’s certainly not alone. When the designers get to swap out models, if their “walks” are more or less equivalent it’s rarely the taller, skinnier one with a defined waist that gets the kiss good bye.

      So far I like Bert’s and Becky Ross’ portfolios the best.  

      • Lisa

        But it’s not just that – I think it’s the “light skinned & blue eyed” comment that’s pissing everyone off, and he should know better.  Let’s not forget in season 3, it was Nazri who a lot of the designers stole from each other.  She was in high demand.

        • Anonymous

          You’re right, and I don’t know how racist he is, in his behavior and thinking, outside his ideas of beauty.

          I was placing his physical description of his ideal model within the frame that in the industry, models aren’t really *people* they’re set pieces to create a ‘look.’ It’s an industry that calls a size 4 or 6 girl over 5’7″ “fat,” completely unselfconsciously.  Describing your ideal model is like describing your ideal furniture for your Barbie Dreamhouse.

          For someone who’s aspiring to greater status in the world of fashion design, I will be impressed if they want to include persons of non-white-anorexic-Barbie size, race, or age in the presentation of their clothing, but I’m not going to crucify someone who’s bought into the prevailing paradigm.

          That said, the standards for ‘beauty’ in modeling and all media are certainly racist in that persons of color are super-under-represented, as well as size-ist and age-ist and probably a couple of other “-ists.”

          In my opinion, the most racist thing about the under-representation of persons of color on runways and in fashion spreads is that so many of the clothes would actually look *better* on a person of color.

    • Anonymous

      Dear Viktor – Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn’t be caught dead shopping at Hot Topix. Sorry! Smell ya later! 

      Also, I would proudly share any piano bar spot with Bert. 

    • Anonymous

      btw:  “[R]eally, what 57-year-old is going to love spending 18 hours a day with a bunch of fame whores half his age?”

      WORD.

      Bert comes off as very professional and relatively unflappable in this video (haven’t poked around on the show’s Web site yet), I am waiting to see if he’s the contestant I love for their maturity or tune in every week just to see if he shows disdain and becomes Most Hated Fellow Designer or even breaks completely and assaults one of the the pissy little whiners.

    • Anonymous

      I love the classic feel of Bert’s dresses. They’re simple but very pretty and extremely wearable so they would sell very well. I’m really liking the 2nd and last outfits in Fallene’s pictures. And like others, I’m really hoping for a larger sized model challenge just so we can watch Viktor freak out. Or better yet, let’s just see what he does when he has to have a model of color or someone not blonde. The height and size seem pretty typical, but I too can’t let that “light skinned” thing pass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Raymond/100000418842583 Lisa Raymond

      I’ll root for Bert if he promises to never use the phrase, “the modern international woman and her lifestyle” again.  It seems like only someone who has extremely limited contact with women would actually say something like that.

    • Anonymous

      This middle-aged Diva is rooting for the slightly middler-aged Queen!

    • Anonymous

      I like Bert’s style but I’m kind of worried about his focus on making dresses from one strip of fabric. It’s like I can already see the episode where he stresses for hours about making that one cut, and then he makes it and it’s wrong and it’s all too much.

      • Anonymous

        One hopes he still has his other design/dressmaking skills and was just selling that in the auditions to give himself something a little different so that he’d stand out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-Price/100001235212396 Jamie Price

      Bert’s clothes are for the woman I wish I was. He’s awesome.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Bert also mentioned a GREAT book, The Beautiful Fall, about Lagerfeld and St. Laurent in the 70s. For that alone he gets my  support.

      • Lisa

        I love that whole era, it’s truly one of my favorites!  I didn’t know about that book though – I’ll have to pick up a copy!

        • Anonymous

          You can probably still pick it up for cheap on Amazon. It’s weird because I’ve read tons of fashion books but this one completely slipped under my radar until a friend gave me a copy. The cover design isn’t very striking and the title is kinda generic, but the book really gives a great picture of the period, the muses, the parties…!

    • Anonymous

      Not sure about Vikktor or Faileen (bargain basement?) But I like Bert. If I was at a party full of strangers I’m pretty sure Bert would come over and strike up a conversation with me. He also puts me in mind of Geoffrey Beene.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sitting in first class on the Bert train.  I like everything about his clothes, but he needs to name his collection after something other than himself.  Bert Keeter does not evoke high fashion.  Maybe he could use Viktor Luna’s name because that’s what I liked best about him.  Plus his interview gave me a chance to see Leanne again.   

      I’m sure all the Falleen/Angela comparisons have already been made so I won’t throw mine on the pile.     

    • Anonymous

      I have’t seen the show yet, clearly, but I can’t think of anything I like about Viktor Luna. The comment about 6 foot tall, sized 2, blonde models just sealed it.

    • Anonymous

      Re Viktor–A SIZE 2 6 FOOTER with a FIGURE AND LIPS??  Wow, he’s not asking for much is he?  I dislike him already–he should try designing for real women, or at least people who are actually going to buy his clothes.

      Can you tell I’m another Middle-Aged Queen (of the female variety) for Bert?

    • Anonymous

      Wasn’t crazy ass Vincent in his 50s?

      • Lisa

        I think a little younger – I think mid-40s.

    • http://www.sineaddoyle.com Sinead

      I’m so fed up of people thinking you don’t need training to be a designer. I get emails every day from 9-5 office workers who want to try out designing asking can they come in for work experience without even attempting to gain any knowledge of cutting, fabrics or design first because they don’t want to spend money on training. Research is a skill, designing is a skill, editing is a skill, making patterns is a real skill, working with different fabrics is a skill, construction is a skill. Dammit. 

      Which is why I’m on Team Bert. 

    • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

      You could see Bert’s Halston experience in that dress he put on the model.  The hood, the slinkiness, the minimalism.  All it was missing was Bianca Jagger and, well, Halston himself.  I don’t care if he’s sweet or sour, that dress was beautiful.

      But, Leeanne, stop with the low-flow showerheads.  Your hair will thank you.  As will my eyes.

    • Anonymous

      Bert for the win! His designs are clean, beautiful, and ageless. Any woman of any age could wear them and feel comfortable. The “modern international woman and her lifestyle,” however, sounded a bit pretentious. Otherwise, he seems to really have his shit together.

      Well, Viktor, you blew it already. I can understand wanting a model who is tall and skinny (who doesn’t want to be tall and skinny?), but blonde and light-skinned? How about you go and travel the world for a year or so and come back when you’ve matured a bit. 

      • Anonymous

        Am I allowed to reply to myself? Actually, Viktor (this spelling is very annoying) doesn’t even have to leave the country to realize that it is a multicultural world out there. Just walk down the street in any major city (and even most of the smaller ones). Such a shame to limit yourself in that way. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OYMPLGS7S7467GQMKEWJDJ3N4A Deb

      Viktor’s designs are from his Goth/punk years? He’s standing there in a button down shirt and V neck sweater and his men’s designs would be hooted off the stage at a nerd convention.

    • http://twitter.com/warontara Tara

      Team Bert!!

      Fallene looks like the Employee of the Month at Urban Outfitters. Maybe she’ll surprise me, but I’m already getting a Crafty Cathy vibe from her.

      Booo to Viktor for the “light-skinned, blonde” comment. Though he is obviously not alone in this feeling, he should at the VERY least be smart enough to have more tact than that. He’s the worst kind of person- prejudiced AND dumb. Psh, to the left…
      And, btw as a 5 foot 10 inch size 0/2, it is primo annoying when people talk about how tall thin gals aren’t “real” women, or go on about “stick figures” or eating disorders and etc. I’m not gonna have a meltdown about it, but just putting that out there. Skinny bitches need love too! :-)

      • Lisa

        I agree with you about Viktor’s “light skinned blonde” comment.  The fucking little punk is still an adult, and should therefore know better.

        • http://twitter.com/warontara Tara

          That is the kind of stuff that can stop a career before it even starts (as it should).

          • Anonymous

            But probably not a career in the fashion industry as it is now.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.parker Sara Parker

        ” And, btw as a 5 foot 10 inch size 0/2, it is primo annoying when people
        talk about how tall thin gals aren’t “real” women, or go on about “stick
        figures” or eating disorders and etc.”

        WORD.  Or my particular favorite is when people say that they just want to “feed that model a hamburger/cookie/whatever.”  Go ahead, dude.  Give her a cookie.  Some of us are just really skinny, and eating cookies isn’t going to change that.

        I’ll give Viktor the benefit of the doubt on the light-skinned/blonde comment and assume that he was just trying to suck up to Heidi (unless he makes any other comments on the show), although I can’t stand a suck-up either.

    • Anonymous

      I’m a 45 year old stay at home mom and I LOVE Bert.  I would wear anything I’ve seen of his.  Wonder if his clothes will come in a 12 Petite?

    • Lisa

      Oh Bert is a FABULOUS bitch!  And as a fellow oldster (47 – holla!), I’m on Team Bert!  Plus, flat out, I don’t care how old he is, his designs are beautiful!

    • http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/ Karen K.

      I love his designs — !  I can absolutely see Laura wearing them.  Bert FTW! 

    • Carrie Mansfield

      This is it exactly – the wanting size two, 6′ small proportioned girl is a mildly annoying whatever. It was the light-skinned blond hair on top of it that just really makes you go really Viktor, -really-

    • http://thenutmegpolymath.com/ EmilyH

      Bert has me more excited than any designer of recent memory. Bert FTW!

    • Anonymous

      Viktor Luna should never ever have a photo taken of him doing an unsmiling 3/4 pose. It makes him look dumpy, frumpy, overweight and pissed. He should always smile and be photographed face on. He’s sorta kinda cute that way. On the otherhand his clothing, especially the menswear, leaves a lot to be desired. I do like the first dress with the funky shoulder. And the model comment…is he seriously trying to get his head up Heidi’s ass already?

      I went to Brooks College for a year back in ’87. It was a shit college that’s now defunct. After one quarter of classes I spent the remaining year with my fellow jaded classmates getting drunk on the beach by day and driving up to LA to go dancing at Florentine Gardens by night. Fun times. Needless to say I flunked out, promptly moved back to San Fran and started classes at FIDM. So perhaps it was a wise choice Fallene didn’t study fashion at Brooks.

      Bert’s two dresses in the middle are the same dress.  That’s a sign of a good minimalist designer when one dress design can have several looks and feels simply based on fabric choices.  He certianly can design a really mean and simple minimalist dress but are we sure his name isn’t Bertha? He looks like a lot of my butch lesbian girlfriends. It would be cool if he could blow all of them out the water though.  I predict he’ll make it really far.

    • Anonymous

      I want Victor’s butterfly dress NOW. 

      Agree with you that Bert’s folio is immediately reminiscent of Laura’s work. From the video, it’s clear that he’s got the technical skills down. Impressed. 

    • Anonymous

      BERT! His clothes look beautiful! I want a one-seam dress from him…

    • Anonymous

      Viktor Luna – well, first, I have to say that he has a great villain name (“Nobody crosses Viktor Luna!”) – but I’m not really enjoying his designs, to say the least, and the model comment doesn’t help (particularly the “light-skinned” part), to say the least again.

      Fallene does herself look a little Jubilee Jumbles, but I don’t think her work does.  We can always hope, though.  We can always hope.

      I responded positively to Bert when I first saw his portfolio (I adore the long hooded dress), and I am pleased to see a positive response from everyone else, too.  Normally, terrible though this is to say, I tend to actually support the judges’ preference for younger designers (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most successful winner is also the youngest winner), but I have high hopes and well-wishes for Bert.  Still, it’s going to be a rough experience for him, most likely.  Go Bert!

    • http://www.facebook.com/samuel.j.donovan Samuel Joesph Donovan

      Does anyone else think that that girl looks like a potted plant?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T24URKJGBLJQPBWCRPU37IIHLU Krab Louse

      LOL at all the naive American comments.  ALL of you need to go and travel outside the US.  You’d get over that whole “let’s find racism in everything” attitude pretty quickly.  Guess what, people?   YOUR racism comes out loud and clear.   Why?  Because you’re all displaying the classic, “me thinks the lady doth protest too much.”  Who cares if the guy likes blonde models with light skin?  Different people like different things and that doesn’t make them a racist.  Hating others because of their culture or the colour of their skin DOES. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1214755227 Meira Niibori

        Okay, I can’t not reply here.  Why are you assuming that all of the many people commenting that they didn’t like the “light-skinned & blonde” comment HAVEN’T travelled outside the US?  Or are even actually American in the first place?  And for that matter, why do you think that those comments are saying/implying racism?  Sure, some people referenced models of color or non-white-American ethnicities, but why is that racism as opposed to simply pointing out HIS narrow-mindedness.  You’re making as many (or more) assumptions as you’re accusing others of.

        FWIW, my dislike of his comments regarding models was based on “Of course he wants tall skinny models, but why is he focusing just on appearance instead of their modeling skills – walk, attitude, experience, etc.?  Shouldn’t he want to work with fabulous models no matter what their hair color?!”  NOT  “He only wants blonde models?  That’s racist!”

        • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

          what it really makes him sound, i think, is both uninteresting–unable to look outside the most common box on the shelf–& dated. then there’s the overwhelming picture he presents of being, himself, at best jolie laide {actually, he seems very clearly jolie laide} & trying to identify w/ the oppressor, as they once said, as they should still say, only w/ a more reasoned emphasis on understanding who & what makes an oppressor, etc & ect, too long & intricate a discussion for a blog comment.

    • Anonymous

      The best thing I can say about Victor is that I love his shoes and the Butterfly print he used.

    • Anonymous

      so Viktor is either racist or really clueless. Let’s hope white boy is just dumb

      • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

        clueless & silly, i think. not white. just working at it.

        • Anonymous

          I’d have liked this several times, if I could. Hit the nail on the head.

          Though it’s maybe partly what gives me some sympathy for him as some of us clearly form our ideals for beauty partly using the criterium “not like us.”  I strongly prefer a particular skin shade (not identical to my own) as the ‘ideal,’ although I have seen very many beautiful people who did not have that shade skin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ashlea321 Ashlea Harvey

      Team Bert!  I want that green dress.  

    • narita_rayna

      seriously – bert ftw! 

      hope he doesnt turn out to be an ass on the show XD

    • http://profiles.google.com/bratling2 Laura Davies

      Fallene,  I think I know where your inspiration for those cracktastic pants came from–McCalls’ toddler patterns!  http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6059-products-10870.php?page_id=489 and http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6270-products-13573.php?page_id=489  And guess what?  My toddler, who has her own sense of style, would strip them off and hide them rather than be seen in public wearing ‘em!

    • http://profiles.google.com/bratling2 Laura Davies

      Fallene,  I think I know where your inspiration for those cracktastic pants came from–McCalls’ toddler patterns!  http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6059-products-10870.php?page_id=489 and http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6270-products-13573.php?page_id=489  And guess what?  My toddler, who has her own sense of style, would strip them off and hide them rather than be seen in public wearing ‘em!

    • http://profiles.google.com/bratling2 Laura Davies

      Oh! I found them in little girls’ sizes, too! http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m5797-products-9390.php?page_id=487   I’m betting that one of Fallene’s “designs” will somehow involve a poofy romper with ruffles sewn on the butt.  Because *every* woman wants an outfit that make her butt and thighs look huge!

    • http://onionjam.tumblr.com SkipperJane

      Anyone else see the name Fallene and immediately think of “Bambi”?  It doesn’t help that she’s too precious for her own good.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      queen of neither sex here but, you know, i’ll back him. i love that crepe de chine dress he’s got going on at the end. & the single seaming, while not singular to him & not precisely new, is a whole lot more interesting than the burgeoning stream of 1890s bicycling pantaloons that we are seeing now as a rapidly-getting-evermore-dated hommage to steampunk. the one yesterday who equated bicycling w/ anthony-woodhull-stanton era feminism was just the livin best. i gather she just has not quite come a long way, um, baby.

      as an aside, who the h-e-double-toothpicks in 2011 ooooohs at the mention of neoprene, of all rapidly-getting-more-dated fabrics?

      on the whole, tho–& including the aging youngsters–i think this crop of PR contestants is way better than many of the previous seasons. {due to this site, & this site alone, i have seen most of the stuff.} even the tremendously annoying postporny miss trinidad could work a couple prints. & the first proponent of bike bloomers {tho she probably doesnt know why theyre called bloomers}–anyway, even her stuff wasnt too bad.

      perhaps PR’s PR people think they’d better up their game even beyond the naked heidi conflagration or they’ll use their entire audience from the fiasco de gretchen?

    • Anonymous

      Yup people, Viktor made a bad comment, shucks.. you guys are terribly easy to set off. Wait with all the hate until you actually hear him say something slightly racist in another way than stating his preference in ideal model. Yup he prefers a light-skinned model for his clothes, he never said he wouldn’t work with a dark-skinned model or one with brown hair.

      Besides that if you look at the portfolio of Anya Ayoung-Chee you only see black models, if she would’ve stated she prefers black models would you be screaming that it’s a racist comment as well or would she be all ghetto-fabolous and fierce. 

      oh actually she wants exotic looks in a model.. oh no! she doesn’t want to work with the plain ol’ american gal, she just wants exotic looks.. how racist of her!!!!!!!!! (let me make a horrified shocked face with that, I just can’t get over the fact that she said that oh my gosh!)

      Yes he could’ve stated his preference more subtle, but each designer has his/her preferences in models, that doesn’t make them exclusive to that preference or racist.

      Fallene needs to burn those bloomers, seriously..

      Bert looks lovable, but his clothes are really uninspiring. For minimalism go to someone like Jil Sander, he doesn’t do minimalist, he does very basic garments. And I get that it’s all wearable and accessible for many age groups, but too be honest it looks a bit boring. Probably perfectly made, but not exciting at all. His work reminds me more of Peach rather then Laura.. I bet he’s a wonderful craftsman, but so far he doesn’t look like a designer to me yet.. Everything just looks like an impeccable version of home sewn clothes by a housewife with a pattern-magazine. But let’s hope I’m wrong on that.

      (I must say I can’t watch the videos, so I don’t know what’s shown in those)

      • http://twitter.com/warontara Tara

        I assume you’re trying to get a reaction with the “ghetto fabulous” comment?

        Anyway, it IS a dumb thing to say. Outrageous? Not really. He’s excluding lots more people than just black models (cause, last I checked, black women aren’t the only people in the world who aren’t light-skinned with blonde hair). Fashion is an aesthetics business, and clearly he is not the only person in the industry who prefers that look. That’s his choice, I just think it’s dumb to do that and even dumber to respond to the question “what do you look for in a model” the way he did. They didn’t ask him what kind of look he prefers, he just immediately went there with it. And this is ESPECIALLY a dumb move because he’s not enough of a name to risk potentially damaging his brand like that.

        And so, yeah, I think he’s a prejudiced idiot. If he’d said dark-skinned, brunette, redhead or Na’vi- I would think the same thing.

        • Anonymous

          Just to be clear, I didn’t mean or think that he was excluding only black women. If that sentence or something else in my comment made that suggestion, my apologies, it wasn’t meant that way. nor was the ghetto-fabulous meant as provoking (or in any way had an offensive undertone)

          • http://twitter.com/warontara Tara

            Ah I see. Sorry, tone is tough on the internet at 5 in the morning. :) I do get your point about it not being clearly racist, cause I don’t think he is necessarily. But I’d say that most people are reacting to the exclusionary tone of his answer than anything else. Or I guess I should speak for myself, cause that’s what I dislike about it.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not a middle-aged queen but I’m 100% behind Bert. Nice clothes there Bert! Can we get Viktor off the show before it starts?

    • Anonymous

      I’m not a middle-aged queen but I’m 100% behind Bert. Nice clothes there Bert! Can we get Viktor off the show before it starts?

    • Anonymous

      So far Bert is my “guy I want to win” from these.  I see Viktor as being an early auf.  Gunnar will be the pretty boy they keep around who shouldn’t be there as long as he will be.

    • Amanda in Austin

      GO, BERT!!!

    • http://summerborn.livejournal.com/ Summer Born

      WHERE can I root for Bert? I am 100% on the bandwagon and hope hope hope he stays in a while. The man has skills!

      • Logo Girl

        The Lifetime site has all the designers hashtags for Twitter if you are interested. I think the fan favorite will be determined by a combo of tweets and votes.

    • http://summerborn.livejournal.com/ Summer Born

      WHERE can I root for Bert? I am 100% on the bandwagon and hope hope hope he stays in a while. The man has skills!

    • Anonymous

      This middle-aged queen says “Bert for the win!”  (I included a *snap* for maximum queeniness.)  Love what I see so far–the dress on far right is stunning in its simplicity.

    • Anonymous

      We middle agers must stick together.  Bert FTW.  I SO couldn’t go live with those fetuses…and in this heat, can you imagine how annoying the little twerps are. ;-)

    • Jolene Barnett

      I dunno, Bert seems nice but I HATE hooded sheath dresses. Ick.
      And hello, Fallene! Like Bambi’s girlfriend! I just want to hear her name over and over, Fallene, Fallene, Fallene!

    • Anonymous

      First one ) not yet
      Second one) Not again
      Third One) not sure

    • Anonymous

      it’s official ~ tim wasn’t involved in selection at all (at least not these initial ones).  i feel like had he been, we’d be looking at a far different selection of designers.

    • Logo Girl

      I don’t think Fallene is her given name. It just seems too perfect. I’m just thinking that if my parents had named me after a Disney character, I would have become a full-out metalhead or something.

    • Lauen newman

      I would wear everything Bert showed. I love him. And I want his clothes.

    • http://twitter.com/TigerTsuki Tiger Tsuki

      Bert has my undying devotion too! We middle-aged queens need to stick together!!! ;)

    • http://profiles.google.com/grandiva1968 e jerry powell

      With an episode down, I can say that I definitely feel the Bill Blass vibe coming off of Bert like gamma rays from uranium.

    • http://profiles.google.com/grandiva1968 e jerry powell

      With an episode down, I can say that I definitely feel the Bill Blass vibe coming off of Bert like gamma rays from uranium.

    • Anonymous

      I guess I’m a middle aged Queen.  Isn’t that what “princesses” grow in to? ;-)