PR: Ripping the Collections – Bryce

Posted on September 25, 2011

It’s time for that annual T Lo tradition of ripping the Project Runway decoy collections, darlings!
Not to be mean, but we don’t think anyone in that tent believed for a second that Bryce was presenting anything other than a decoy collection. He’d failed to wow the judges in pretty much every challenge and even though he was still in the competiton on TV, the collective feeling in the tent was that he would be leaving soon. Knowing what we know now, and how he responded when he was eventually auf’d, we think Bryce just wanted to show the judges and the world that he could make beautiful, sophisticated clothes. His collection was surprisingly low-key and showed more sophistication than anything he produced during the competition.

It was, however, not without its problems.

We responded really well to his color palette of black, off-white and a sort of minty green. We like the jacket quite a bit, especially the leather closures, but we can’t express enough how much we dislike that skirt. Assuming that it’s supposed to look like it’s falling apart (which is not at all a firm assumption), we don’t think the “ripped lingerie” effect of the skirt works with such a heavy top.

This struck us as a cute, modern look. It might have been fitted a little better, especially the shorts, but the proportions and silhouette work quite well. We just don’t like the strip of leather running down the front. That seems to be something of a thing for this collection; a juxtaposition of heavy and light. We get it on an intellectual level, but something got lost in the execution, we think.

We’re almost embarrassed to admit that this was probably our favorite look; not because there’s anything heinously wrong about it (although the top could be fitted better), but because it’s the most traditional look in the collection.

Can’t say we responded well to this one at all. He tried to do something interesting with that skirt, but we don’t like rolled pleats in pretty much any instance, let alone when the look sloppy and throw off the silhouette. The top isn’t bad, but it’s a bit underdesigned. Then again, the skirt’s a bit overdesigned, so maybe the top was the right choice. And is that denim? It’s coming out of left field.

We like the poncho very much (although slits for the arms would have made a hell of a lot more sense. Those pants, on the other hand, are painful. They should have been in a contrasting color and that seam running down the front is crazy unflattering. We won’t even get into the poor fit. A black skinny pant would have worked so much better here.

Enh. Upscale nightgown. And not even that upscale.

Far too simple for a runway show. Minimalism was all the rage this season, but there’s a very fine line between minimalist and boring. Guess which side this falls on? He could have at least dressed this up in the styling.

This all works quite well, actually. Nothing to get too excited about, but the use of leather (or pleather, given how shiny it is) and the exaggerated shoulders bump it up from being boring or underdesigned.

Decoy or not, we would expect anyone to put a little more effort in than this when you’re showing pieces at a New York Fashion Week show.

Its not a bad dress, but that’s pretty much the definition of “damning with faint praise.”

We think Bryce has some ideas but doesn’t quite know yet who he is as a designer. This collection was both underdesigned and all over the place. The only through-line was the color story (which he seems to have abandoned halfway through the collection) and the use of leather. The nightgowny pieces weren’t interesting enough to be anything but, well, nightgowns. The silhouettes were all over the place and we wish he’d found more ways to use that pale green to effect. It had the feel of someone who had a germ of an idea, but didn’t know how to follow through on it.

[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Anonymous

    That weird denim skirt looks like a regular skirt viewed through a glass of water or something else that wildly distorts what you’re looking at. Women like to look suddenly arbitrarily wider, right?

    Generally it seemed like the tops were pretty nice (not earth shattering, but nice), and the bottoms were pretty awful.

    • Anonymous

      I know!! it looks like some illusionist trick…like part of her was sawed off or something.

      • Anonymous

        and he could have done something like that for the avant garde challenge. To totally displace a woman’s proportions like that plays with the whole idea of manipulating the body.

    • Anonymous

      I actually really like the skirt for that reason, it very abrupty and effectively disrupts all proportion and expectation. Then again, I am a visual artist so that sort of thing appeals. Fully agree with commentor below who pointed out that he should have pulled this from his bag of tricks for avant garde.

      • I can see what you’re saying about what the skirt does to proportion and expectation. The problem I have with it is it looks part Amish/part avant garde (and I agree he should have done something like this for the A-G challenge). The top is pretty, and I think TLo are right that this needed a simple one. But if he’s playing with proportion only via the skirt, then the top needs to be sleeker.  This looks frumpy in its current state.

      • MilaXX

        I could maybe see the denim skirt working on real people, but it’s hopelessly out of place in this collection.

      • You like that skirt? You can probably have it if you simply ask nicely.

        • Anonymous

          Oh I would, but I’m no sample size and we know he has fit issues ; )

  • That last dress is pretty but not very….interesting. A yawner of a collection. But then, ALL of them are kind of yawners. 

  • That last dress is perfect to wear to any party that might be infested with vampires. 

    • Heh. I actually like that dress a lot, but I can’t argue with you either.

      But, shoot, all the vampires have been driven out of my town. I’d have nowhere to wear it.


      I was thinking it is more of a “human sacrifice’ look.

  • Way back when TLo first showed us this look, I summed it up: Bryce: boring.

  • The collection does not offend me. The colors are pleasing to my eye. That’s about it.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, as decoys go this is probably one of the least offensive. Goodness knows, we’ve seen much, much worse.

      • Some of the separates look like they came straight out of a 1980s $5 & $10 dollar store, except for the weird skirts which would have been seconds they couldn’t sell even out of the $2 barrel.

        Admittedly, some of the black pieces are nice or somewhat interesting (and generally, you couldn’t get dresses at the $5 and $10 store.)

        The fabric in the nitegowny thing is very ’80s, and I would have gladly worn it as a nightgown. Still wouldn’t mind.

        But other than the black pieces the fabric looks cheap: jeez what did they give him to play with, $1.98 a yard?

        • Anonymous

          Cpme to think of it, I had a nightgown back in the 80s that was the same color and had the same silhouette as the “ripped lingerie” skirt.  The top was a tank style and there were no rips.

  • Anonymous

    Well, at least there is no question about whether he should have been a finalist or not.

  • Do the designer who were auf’d get money from Lifetime to design their collection? If not, how can they afford to show? If so, what’s the difference between them and the top 3, other than those are the ones shown on cable tv?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been wondering about this, too. Getting to Bryant Park isn’t really a prize reserved for the top three anymore, it’s just another stage of the show.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been thinking the same thing!  So really, if you can just coast through until the final 6 you still get the money and the show at Bryan Park.  If you’re a designer looking for a following or a job you’ll still get seen by the right people, just not by the television audience.  And I somehow doubt that fashion designers are resorting to watching Lifetime to recruit talent for their teams!

    • MilaXX

      As far as I know they decoys get the same amount to work with. Perks of winning? The prize money, bragging rights, magazine spread and yes the final 3 are the only ones aired on tv.

      In many respects Bert was correct in saying just being on the show can be a steeping stone to starting or in his case, restarting a career,  Winning American Idol doesn’t guarantee a career, as evidenced by the more popular runner up on the judging panel, but being on the show can help boost or create a career

      • I am under the impression that only Austin Scarlet’s decoy finale collection was done for less than his season’s counterparts.  (So, from Kara Janx onward, they did indeed have the same amount of money.)   I am also thinking that starting with season eight, Tim Gunn started visiting ALL that were going to present at Fashion Week (which I guess explains why he showed up to Gretchen, Mondo, Andy and Michael C. so late in the game and so close to Fashion Week.)  I can’t find my proof on all of this, though.  Maybe I dreamed it.

        They only had 2 months for this, yes?

        How much time did they have for actual fitting is my next question.  To me, it looks like he didn’t have time to fit.  Can anyone explain if it is indeed that, or that he didn’t have SKILL to fit the models better?

        Gianni Rubino

  • Brave men, to face an army of 6 decoys in a season like this, and with a straight face, too. I really enjoyed your thoughts, if not the collection itself. Ripped lingerie, indeed. And some of those dresses–it’s like he realized it was cheaper to buy something than make it.

  • Anonymous

    I liked the black with mint green color scheme and would contemplate that for business wear. I like Bryce and felt that his collection was inoffensive. I guess that means I thought it wasn’t bad (though I do hate, hate, hate) those pants with that seam. It reminds me of the polyester stretch pants they sold in the late 70s early 80s.

  • Anonymous

    What is the point of having the seams on the outside of the clothes?  I think it looks messy and unfinished, and it always tends to make the person wearing it look bigger then they are.  I know Bryce is not the only one who has been pushing this, but it has been bugging me for awhile now. 

    As for Bryce’s collection….I am going to assume that these contestants STILL do want to work in the fashion industry.  Going on that assumption why wouldn’t you put forth your absolute best effort when making a decoy collection?  Even if you do not win PR, you are going to present in front of how many people and your collection is going to be seen by how many people via blogs all over the world?  Don’t you still want to garner up some business?  Aufed designers always complain that they never got to put forth their best work.  Well now is your damn chance.  I get so sick of looking at half assed designed decoy collections.  Even aufed designers are given a HUGE opportunity that so many aspiring designers would probably give a limb for, to show at fashion week….and it is offensive how many of them piss that opportunity away.

    • scottyf

      My assumption is that this WAS his best work. Which is kind of the point of the Soul Brother’s critique, imho. Looking back over his profile, he’s really only worked for a couple of high profile companies. I hope he uses his appearance on PR to get a gig as an assistant at some bigger fashion houses. That way he can work on his techniques and hone his point of view. He seems like such an affable young man. I wish him the absolute best. 

      • Anonymous

        have i been missing your posts lately or you still having posting issues?   i always find it kinda sad with the decoys cause some of them really have no business presenting during fashion week.  dear god do you remember was it blanes? 

        • Anonymous

          Blayne didn’t show, but I’m assuming you must be thinking of Suede’s.  Because YIKES was that one painful.

        • scottyf

          It seems that the weekends are just not good for my posts. How INCREDIBLY kind of you to inquire.

    • I’m with you on the seams.

      As for the decoys… They are finishing out the show earlier than the finalists.  They are then kept in a sequestered apartment until taping finishes.  So WHY are they not using that extra time?!?  I’d be sketching like crazy the whole time I was there so I could get to work the second I was released.

      • Anonymous

        i am curious about the decoy process. like when they get to start, and their budgets (which i assume is less then the finalists) and how much that all affects the decoy collections. like there should almost be an episode that shows the auf’ed working on their collections with their own problems. some of the previous decoys seem to have made it work enough to keep people guessing till the final 3.

        • They get the same budget according to all of the decoys, except Austin Scarlett because they didn’t realize that they’d need a decoy at that point. 

          They technically do not get to start working on their collections until they leave the same time as the finalists.  But they could start sketching before then, or at least planning the pieces out in their head.  Which would mean they would have extra time to decide on the collection pieces.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe they’re not told right away how many of them will be doing a decoy collection.  But still if they are required to spend this time in a sequestered apartment (Huis Clos) you’d think they’d at least start working on something in their heads.

          • Last season McKell (?) was allowed to go home right away because she had an infant and was auf the first challenge. Normally they are kept sequestered, though.  And I’d be working on ideas in case a) I had to do a decoy, or b) I ended up being brought back, as does often happen on this show.

          • April Johnston stated that the decoy presenters for season eight were told at the very end of the sequestering, which I **assume** means, the same day they gave the $$$ to the top four, and filmed their last bit at Parsons (“We’re giving you $9,000 and 2 months…”) so, in my mind, that’s a completely even playing field – same money, same length of time.  Yet, we can usually tell which are decoys and which are genuine.  It all comes back to talent & skill?

            I certainly think that some designers of decoys haven’t poured their heart & soul into what they made.  I don’t understand why such an opportunity would be squandered.  Jeffrey S. had to work his ‘job’ while he was doing his collection, and he still did nice work.  Yes, maybe he lost his girlfriend, okay, I’m starting to think it all through as I type.  I don’t know.  It just seems like too much of a big deal to put crap down the runway.  Suddenly, I’m not as mad at Maya Luz as I once was for bowing out.  (I still want to see more from her.  I do not want to see more from those who created **horrible** decoy collections.)

            Gianni Rubino

          • I thought Maya was perfectly justified in leaving.  Basically, it came down to certain issues she didn’t realize were problem areas for her until the judges pointed it out — and once she realized them, she didn’t want to send a collection down the runway at Fashion Week unprepared.

          • I agree, Shannon. I also can’t help but think Maya silently blew a gasket when she realized there was a second “make a pretty dress for Heidi” challenge. But her explanation made total sense to me.

      • Anonymous

        Are they really sequestered? I had no idea. I was wondering how they got Josh C  back so quickly. That’s so strange. What do they do all day when they’re sequestered? That sucks so bad. 

        • Yeah, it’s standard for reality competition shows to keep the ejected contestants nearby for the entire duration of filming. ONE REASON NEVER TO DO IT.

        • It does suck, but the show is only shot over a few WEEKS, so it’s not so bad.  Olivier will probably only spend 2 weeks sequestered at most.  I would assume they have more access to family and that kind of thing, because I know the family usually has to sign agreements not to discuss the show either, but maybe not.

          In fact, I’ve really thought about auditioning but I don’t know if I could do it if I couldn’t talk to my husband daily — we’ve been together for 10 years and never gone a day without talking to each other in some way, whether texts, chats, emails, or phone calls.  It seems a shame to break the streak now.

    • Anonymous

      I am curious as to why you assume that any of the designers aren’t putting forth their absolute best effort. Some decoy collections may be of questionable taste level or quality, but I don’t see that as a reason to assume that the relevant designer just didn’t care.

      Though, on second thought, perhaps that may be a more polite assumption.

      • It’s never that a bad collection indicates that the designer didn’t care — Josh, for instance, probably cared a great deal, based on his collection.  It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t generic.  Bryce’s collection had MULTIPLE pieces that were totally basic and lacked design completely.

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think I phrased that very well.

          Sometimes a bland collection is just a bland collection: it’s presumptuous and unfair to accuse anyone of not putting forth their best effort. A lot of work can go into something with very little to show for it. There are a number of designers throughout the seasons who I thought never actually earned the opportunity, but I see no reason to assume that any of them threw it away. Of course, the alternative is concluding that they’re just not a very interesting designer, so, as I said, perhaps that is a more polite assumption.

          In any case, I’m not sure any of his pieces are completely undesigned – uninteresting and unsuccessful, yes, but not undesigned. There’s something odd about the really basic pieces; take, e.g. the penultimate look – the neckline and shoulders give an impression almost like it’s on backward. Maybe I’m being generous, but I think he’s trying to do something, just not succeeding at it.

          • I always feel like a piece with ZERO design elements (of which I think only the sheath dress following the nightgown qualifies here — a couple of the other boring pieces did have something to them, not enough but something) shows that the designer just threw it up there.  I mean, come on, there is NO way anyone — particularly someone like Bryce who has BEEN TO DESIGN SCHOOL — doesn’t know that a black sheath dress isn’t in any way new.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know what he was thinking with that dress – no one here does, unless he’s reading this (in that case, best wishes!), which I doubt he would be for long.

            Maybe he was still trying to be safe (even though it wouldn’t matter); maybe he kept second-guessing himself; maybe he was so afraid of overdesigning that he went too simple; maybe he thought he needed something really basic to round out the collection; maybe he thought it was serving some conceptual idea; maybe he ran out of ideas; maybe he felt he had to scrap another piece and threw it together at the last minute; maybe he thought he could get away with a throw-away piece; or, yes, maybe he just didn’t care.

            There are lots of possibilities.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t like being mean, but if this IS Bryce’s best work, then my conclusion is to ask, *what is he doing in the fashion industry?* I don’t think he has a smidgen of a point of view, and I fail to see even $1000 worth of fabric in this collection. Perhaps he can sew well, and likes to look at women’s clothing. Perhaps he has a design background, but I’m not interested enough to go back and look at his portfolio.

      If I knew nothing else about him, and I assume that at least some of the folks in the tents did not, and was making a judgment on this collection alone, I would have to wonder how he got cast in the first place. It’s a bizarre combination, yet inoffensive enough, of a couple of interesting design elements (the bumpit skirt, the exaggerated shoulders, the ripped lingerie skirt) along with the most basic of silhouettes. To me Bryce has such a long way to go, and I’m sorry, but very little potential, to be successful in what everyone agrees is a very cutthroat industry, that he needs to look elsewhere for his career.

      Sometimes, sadly, what is one’s passion, and what is one’s talent, just don’t mesh. I do wish him success in his future.

      • “Sometimes, sadly, what is one’s passion, and what is one’s talent, just don’t mesh. I do wish him success in his future”

        Ain’t it the truth, Qitkat. The arts (and I’m including fashion designers in that category) especially are loaded with people of little talent.

        Bryce is, perhaps, a talented dressmaker, in that, as you said, he sews well, but he’s not a designer. And it really bothers me that Lifetime has scheduled this show so that half of the original designers get to show at Fashion Week. Showing at Fashion Week is supposed to be a prize for being the best, not a friggin’ gold star just for being there. This isn’t a five year old’s birthday party where everyone gets a present so no one will feel bad (which, going entirely off topic for a moment, is one of the more preposterous things that modern parents have come up with). It’s rather appalling to me that Bryce got to show at FW. I mean, there are a few pretty pieces here, but this is not fashion.

        • I have a 5 year old and we’ve never done that — though the kids do get the little goodie bag deals.  I was always of the thought it was better for kids to have a meltdown and learn that everything wasn’t always about them.

          • I agree. People need to know from an early age that there are special times when it’s all about them – a birthday is one of those days, but most of the time life isn’t like that.

      • Oh, I couldn’t agree more!  And I have the utmost sympathy for those whose talent and passion don’t mesh up.  I spent years trying to break into writing only to discover that I can only write well when I have no thought of selling my work — it became a choice between keeping what I loved and making a dollar off of a pale imitation.  That’s why I’m now an accountant with fun Word files littering my laptop:)

        • Any artistic endeavor is so damn hard to break into. I haven’t even gotten as far with my writing as you did with with yours. I am, how ever, really good at pontificating here and one or two other places :-). But I haven’t tried very hard to sell my stuff. There’s nothing new to say in this here world. It’s all in how one says it, and I’m just not sure that what I have to say is so different that it needs to be read by anyone else. So kudos to you for even trying.

    • Anonymous

      We have to remember a couple of things about decoy collections.

      First…maybe you *thought* you knew who you were as a designer–then you got auf’d when the pros didn’t like your stuff.  So maybe your POV isn’t as clear as it once was, and you’re in a state of transition.  This could easily make your designs/cohesion a bit foggy, couldn’t it?

      Second…the decoys get nowhere near as much money as the actual finalists for these collections.  So maybe you have to compromise on quality of fabric and not use as many ‘extras’ as you might have otherwise.

      Anyway…Bryce seems like a real sweetheart, and there just seems to be a gap between his ideas and his execution at this point.  I don’t think he ‘pissed this away’ at all…I think he did the best job he could, and I think these designs show some evolution from the stuff we saw on the show.  I like the leather closure ideas, and the jackets/blouses that are jacket-ish show perhaps an area he should work towards, and get away from the unusual skirts that don’t get very good responses.

      • Anonymous

        It is the execution part that is bothering me with Bryce’s collection and not just his. This was not a criticism specific towards just Bryce.  I have had the same criticism in many past seasons.  The fit on some of these items is truly bad. 

        Of course it can make things a bit foggy but if there is any time at all in your life to make it work, it is right now.

        I have no issue with Bryce as person. I certainly would think he is much kinder and sweeter person then Josh but this collection is underwhelming to say the least.  If this is the best he can do, then it is what it is.  I believed he could do better and it is disappointing.

      • The decoys (with the exception of Austin Scarlett) have all said they get the same budget as the finalists.

      • Anonymous

        I heard that the decoys now get the same amount of money. Can anyone clarify? TLo?

        • The idea that the decoys get less money than the finalists is a persistent bit of PR lore that, as far as we know, isn’t true. It’s true that first season decoy Austin Scarlett didn’t get the same amount of time or money but in every season since, our understanding has been that the decoys do, in fact, get the same amount of money as the finalists to complete their collections.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for clarifying that, T and Lo!  I somehow got the numbers $8000 vs. $5000 in my head a couple seasons back, and I have no idea where I got that from, actually.

          • BerlinerNYC

            That’s good to know. My friends and I were cackling the other day imagining if they made the decoy designers make their clothes out of scraps salvaged from the dumpster behind Mood Fabrics, and they would film the designers fighting over them in the dumpster, cage-match style. “I got some charmeuse!!” “I got some… human feces.”

          • That brings a whole new meaning to “Where the hell is my chiffon?”

            I’d pay money to watch Josh and Laura have to dig through a dumpster for their fabric.

      • You make some good points, quiltrx. If you make it onto PR, I imagine you get some validation for your work. Being subsequently skewered weekly by the judges has to crush your confidence. I can see coming out of that experience pretty damn foggy about your abilities.

        Maybe he’s not capable making the jump from theory to execution. I’m pretty harsh about him in my comment above, but I don’t think he’s entirely devoid of talent. I do, however, think his range is limited. He absolutely needs to figure out what he’s good at, what he can’t do, and focus on the good stuff.

        All that said, good and bad, I still think he doesn’t belong showing at Fashion Week.

      • Anonymous

        Another thing…I’d be willing to bet that the decoys couldn’t possibly get as long as the finalists to WORK on their collections.  I mean, if you’re one of the three finalists, you know you have the 4 months or whatever because you’re definitely going to Fashion Week.

        But the decoys…well, if you’re saying they all get the same amount of money, I can’t imagine that they hand over half of the people several thousand dollars.  And the start of the season on TV seems pretty variable…when they say they expect the eps to air (when they start taping) is sometimes not exactly when they’re shown.

        All that to say, I can’t imagine that decoys get the same amount of TIME for their collections, even if they were to get the same money.   They wouldn’t be able to say for certain where the ‘cutoff’ for the decoys actually falls until the first ep is actually on the schedule for a certain date on Lifetime, right?

        • But they know it’s a possiblity and they have the extra time when the others are still competing to think their designs up.  Even if they have less time to sew, they have more time to plan. 

          • Anonymous

            That’s certainly true…but to draw a real-life parallel, I have around 20 competition quilts designed…but they take 6 months to a year to execute with show-level workmanship.  Not even including the time it takes to find just the right fabrics, thread, etc.

            Trust me, I’m not trying to get in an argument, and I don’t mind snark…hell, I’m a daily commenter on Regretsy!  It just bothers me that it’s assumed Bryce (or any other decoy) didn’t give it his best effort.  Something being successful or unsuccessful…or beautiful or ugly…sometimes doesn’t have anything to do with the effort involved.

            To me, disparaging the product and disparaging the effort are two different things….tangible vs. intangible.  I give the benefit of the doubt to anyone’s effort–I wasn’t there to know.

          • I can see that.  (Though I will say, I have made some VERY basic quilts — basically just to appease the kids about their favorite shirts not fitting — and I’ve never met a pair of pants that takes ANY WHERE CLOSE to as long to make:) 

            I always feel like ugly takes more effort than boring.  And I think the point about decoy designers being in a weird place mentally is very valid and probably does account for that kind of thing.

      • Anonymous

        Second…the decoys get nowhere near as much money as the actual finalists for these collections.

        They have in other seasons.  Why not this one?

        • Anonymous

          Several people including T and Lo already corrected me on that above.

  • Anonymous

    Why was Bryce included in the designers selected for PR?  Honestly, when he produces THAT kind of stuff for Fashion Week – who let this guy in the door?

    • Anonymous

      The same could be said of many designers this season. Were the casting people off their game or was the talent pool incredibly shallow?

      • Anonymous

        Indeed and good question.

        In Bryce’s case, I don’t think they had any reason to suspect that his collection would be like this, because, from what I remember, his portfolio was all student-y and weird for the sake of being weird.

        • Am I correct in remembering that he was the one with the one legged pants on his rack, that left all the casting people dumbstruck?

          • Anonymous

            One legged pants left people dumbstruck? Were they really big fans of Final Fantasy X? 

          • Anonymous

            Yes, you are correct! A one-legged jean.

    • I think they cast these shows now with the “somebody’s gotta go home first” mentality. As if they get the storyline plotted long before filming starts. It’s not just PR, but many reality competitions.
      It hasn’t always been this way.

      • Not only “somebody has to go first” but think about some of the designers that STILL get mentioned… several of them are mentioned for being so outlandishly bad!  Look at the reaction whenever anyone here mentions Vincent or Suede — crazy awful designers are part of the PR fun.  In fact, I maintain the lack of really bizarrely bad designers is as much of a problem in recent seasons as the lack of stellar talents.  Everybody has just been boring rather than out and out BAD.  No one wants to watch boring!!!

        • Anonymous

           I hate that Suede gets lumped with the worst – Blayne, Ping, malvin? 

          Suede did make some decent clothes –  even if his decoy collection was really bad.  
          I think of his pizza dress (which won, right?) and his outfit for Jerrell,

          • Oh, see I didn’t mean because he was one of the worst so much as he was one that when he was bad he was TERRIBLE.  That’s fun to watch.  Some very successful contestants have done the same thing — see: Rice, Santino! I’d much rather watch a show with a Ping and a Seth Aaron than this season’s dull bunch (and most of last season’s, though I did appreciate Mondo’s work and I liked Michael C. — another one whose bad stuff was mighty bad)

  • Sobaika Mirza

    The collection is inoffensive, but I love that minty green.

  • Rand Ortega

    The embodiment of “meh”.

  • Anonymous

    That first little black dress is almost identical to one I found recently cleaning out my closet (would that I could still fit in it, damnit). Which means that it is about ten years old and from a dept. store. Which is about how current Bryce’s collection is.

    I think this season’s cast (have some serious issues saying “designers”) argues heavily for PR and lifetime to step it up a bit with who they bring onto the show. Continued mediocrity will drive away viewers almost as fast as the crappy judging.


  • Judy_J

    The only thing I really liked is the mint green jacket.

  • There is stuff here to like.  I kind of like that flowy, silky skirt, but I don’t like that the deconstructed part slices right across the crotch. Poor placement.  

    The fact that I see the ‘minty green’ as a light blue is the most interesting thing to me.  Now that you mention it I can see the green, like seafoam.  Since this is what caught my attention here, I guess I can say this collection didn’t wow me at all.  

    • I am consistently calling colors like this “blue” when most everyone else says “green” It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one! Clearly it’s light blue. Clearly.

      • Anonymous

        Light aqua. Clearly.

      • BerlinerNYC

        This issue comes up a lot on fashion-related blogs. How something photographs (vs., say, appears on TV) is already one issue, and then it gets even more complicated when it gets to your particular computer screen. The way a color looks on my MacBook’s screen may be totally different than how it shows up on someone’s big desktop monitor or someone’s iPad. Color perception is indeed an individualistic thing, but I suspect where you’re looking at it has a lot to do with it.

        And, for the record, I’m on the fence about green/blue here. It’s so pale that it’s hard to commit to anything other than very pale aqua. In any case, it would be minty, I’m sure. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Totally off topic, but I came onto this site at around 3am (pacific time) and it said it was hacked by someone called “Tiger Mate” from Bangladesh. Was that resolved? I was quite concerned. 

    • Andreas Plaianu

      Exactly my thoughts 🙁

      • he hacked google bangladesh too.
        doesnt seem to be incredible trouble, just wants to prove he can by doing.

    • Anonymous

      It seemed like it just hijacked the URL, I saw it on a second site I visit regularly. Pretty sure there’s nothing to actually fear.

    • It’s been resolved.

      • Does this represent something of a milestone for you guys?  You’re important enough to hack!  🙂

  • I dislike those closures. They look so out of place. I have a feeling he purchased them outright, rather than designing something unique. Bad choice.

    • Agreed, they bugged me to. Ugly. 

    • Oh really?  I actually kind of liked them.  Though they aren’t particularly unique, I thought they fit well with the pieces they were on.

  • michelle shields


  • Joe J

    The seaming on those pants in the fifth look with the poncho look remind me far too much of those hideous pants that  Rafael made in the first episode, albeit in a different color.  I can’t for the life of me think what sort of woman would look good with that kind of seaming combined with the tight fit.

    • Anonymous

      They look a bit like my grandmother’s polyester leisure pants.

  • margaret meyers

    It seems like Bryce has ideas, but hen he makes the garment and puts it on a moving human he can’t see what isn’t working and needs changing.  Your design has to adapt once it leaves the board:  how many times have we seen a drawing by a fmaous designer along side the finished garment and been surprised by the differences?  A good designer knows their drawing is just the start.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are kinder than I am.  The minty green made me think of hospital gowns.  The frogging detail seemed overused and didn’t seem to work with things to me.  

    Also if you’re going to pay tribute to Chanel and those clean graphic lines, the clothing *has* to fit well. All the light-colored stuff looked home-sewn.  

    The collection seemed half Macy’s bargain rack and half deconstructed stuff where what was deconstructed and why wasn’t thought out.  

    Yes, it’s innocuous, but I would actually have preferred some genuine out-there fug from Julie who was at least trying to do her own thing.

  • Anonymous

    I get a straitjacket vibe from those leather closures.

  • I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by Byrce’s collection when I saw it.  The most important thing he needs to work on is his fitting skills. But the overall look of the collection was smooth, urban and wearable.

    • Anonymous

      And he took some risks. Not all successful, but an interesting attempt. He needs to mature.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, I was surprised. I liked the colors. And some concepts were good, needing better skills.

  • Anonymous

    I think Bryce is young, very young, and he’s just not there yet. I liked some of these and the color story was agreeable. He may never set the design world on fire, but I think he can design attractive and wearable clothes for the 98% of us who cannot buy designer duds anyway. He just needs a little more seasoning.

    • Anonymous

      And he took some risks. Not all successful, but an interesting attempt. He needs to mature.

  • I heard from a reliable source that the decoys were only given a week (think about it, a WEEK) to prepare their collections this season. So you almost have to give them a benefit of a doubt. You’d think the producers would give them more time so they could create less obviously-rushed collections that would make it harder to guess which designers were top 3.

    • That makes sense. Some of the collections that were obvious decoys seemed not so much cheap as uninspired, simplistic. If you’ve only got a week to sew, I guess simple looks pretty good.

    • If that is accurate, then it’s the first time since S1.  Even then, they only did it because they didn’t think about needing a decoy.

    • Anonymous

      A week?  Why would their timeline be that much different than the top 3 designers?

      If I have it right, the top 3 have about 4 months between the end of the show and fashion week.  How would they limit the auf’d designers to only one week of that?  And why?  Seems more logical that they would just give them their budget and let them alone until fashion week.

      • Because the Producers don’t want the decoys outshining the top three? Otherwise the cracktastic judging might be questioned.

        Typical Lifetime move, it would seem.

        • But why would they want to make spotting the decoy so easy?  Kinda defeats the purpose of spending 8K per decoy to keep the surprise alive, doesn’t it?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think there are four months… if the show ended in mid-to-end July, which it did, and Fashion Week was early September, they had about a month and a half, two tops.

        And how would the producers limit the time budgets of the auf’d designers? Most of them probably got to work as soon as they were eliminated. 

    • Bert’s collection does not look like a week’s worth of work.  I’m skeptical.

      (No, I don’t know for sure that Bert is a decoy, I just don’t trust the judges and fear he is doomed for Being Too Old.)

    • This seems incredibly unlikely. The designers themselves would have known they’d be doing decoy collections since every season finale show has featured them.

    • What is the reliable source?

      Gianni Rubino

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking maybe the show could come up with something similar to what they do with Biggest Loser where those that are voted off get some kind of prize to work for in the finale. Not sure what it would be, but it does work for BL. I know of course in BL they are trying to encourage people to continue the weight loss, which is a good thing. I just wonder if something could be done with PR in this respect as well.

    • Lori

      I’m missing something here.  The decoys all get the opportunity to show at Fashion Week, what bigger prize could there be?

  • Anonymous

    LBD in photos 17 and 18? Costume from Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love.. No, wait; those  belts had conchos  on them.

    • but that he’s never seen it. he & it were birthed unto the world around the same time.

  • a very limited, very conservative talent come of age in the age of gaga. the last dress & the outfit w/ the pants & the p/leather sleeves are fine. i myself dont get why you like the off-brand hospital mint. perhaps it was better in person but in photos everything made from it looks almost precisely as if, instead of from fabric, it was constructed from a glutinous vat of aging pastel mints. keep the texture in mind & it’s only ever more so.

    til the gaga phenom grinds to a halt or, as it is, mutates into something more fashiony & less copycat old avant-garde, we’re gonna get a whole mess of people unsuited to wild design who, in truth, wanna design for somewhat unusual but very major celebrities. it’s kind of like bob mackie w/ more meat & way less glamour.

  • MilaXX

    Nothing exciting here. I agree with just about everything you said. The twisted skirts are the worst of his errors.

  • I actually see some potential in the suit with the poncho. First of all, lose the damn poncho and make a jacket in the same silhouette. Then he can work from there.

    What’s really interesting is that he made ankle pants that don’t just look like flood pants. Judging from some of the ankle pants I’ve seen, that’s apparently harder than it sounds. So I give him credit for that. On the other hand, the outside seams have got to go.

    I like the floaty dress with what looks like an asymmetrical hem (the dress right after the poncho suit), but he needed to style the hell out of it to get it even close to looking like fashion, not clothes. TLo are right. It looks like a nightgown.

  • Anonymous

    The mint green jacket with the black skirt was straight out of dress-for-success 1982. 

  • Anonymous

    Really liked the last look

  • Anonymous

    The cape and the coat, I rather liked. They reminded me of Pierre Cardin in the 60s.

  • Sara__B

    Didn’t Bryce say, in his last minute on PR, that he was going to lock himself in his room, listen to Lady Gaga, and sketch until he had a genius collection? The results are very disappointing. I was expecting much more in design, creativity, and execution.

  • Anonymous

    Is there such a thing as patent pleather??

    Unfortunately, the first skirt looks like he tacked the bottom on so her bottom wouldn’t show.

    • Is there such a thing as patent pleather??

      oh, absolutely. shiny vinyl, even textured. theres lots of it, has been for many years. 60s, latest.

    • Susan Crawford

      Yes – it was definitely around in the ’60’s. I had a mini-skirt made from it, in fact. It was my homage to Barbara Feldon! And they used to make fake Courreges boots out of it as well – tried on a pair once, and my legs broke out in such a sweat that it practically took a spatula and a pair of hedge-shears to get me out of those knee-high white boots. Those were the days, my friends . . .

      • I had pants out of it in 2000 — warmest things EVER!  I still have a bizarre affection for pleather to this day:)

      • Anonymous

        Oh my, I had the white fake Courreges boots!  I thought of sweat as a fashion accessory for wearing them.  Poor deluded kid.

  • Anonymous

    The outfit with the poncho looks like the old Braniff flight attendant uniforms. Remember Braniff or am I dating myself? Oh well, this collection isOK but not going to change the world, because it has all been seen before. Makeup and hair is just ICK. Styling? I think Bryce needs the PiperLime accessory wall.

    • Anonymous

      Ha-ha, I remember Braniff! I was scheduled to fly from DC to Orlando on what turned out to be the last flight. Actually it wasn’t the last flight. It was the beginning of the end, the flight was canceled after we sat on board for over an hour with no explanation. They herded us all off and told us to go find another flight. We got our money back, but no credit for another flight, no money for those of us who had to spend the night. As far as I know, they never flew again. Ahhh…good times….:)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, this is all over the place. Or maybe more like split personality. I don’t respond well to the celadon green, and some of the stuff he paired it with are just jarring. And the skirts are perfect examples of wanting to do something different, but having no vision, so instead doing something different just for the sake of being different, and it being just awful. It’s like the sartorial equivalent of a child trying to get attention from bad behavior if he can’t get it any other way.

    Overall, to me, it just looks like badly made mall clothes.


    • Anonymous

      The word “mall” came immediately to my mind too. There’s just nothing original or intriguing about this collection. I just don’t think that Bryce has what it takes. With the money BM would have provided for him and the extra time, wouldn’t you think he’d have just gone all out to show the world that the judges got it wrong? It’s a very sad little collection.

  • Boring, and easily identified as a decoy collection. He should work several years with seasoned designers in order to get some experience under his belt and develop a better design sense.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll say this: it’s better than I’d have expected. But I’m so tired of the open back. It was all over PR last season and it’s all over PR this season. When will it be all over?

    • I love an open back when deployed correctly — much like an exposed zipper.  But it has to be the obvious result of careful thought and planning, not what you do when you can’t come up with anything interesting!!!  I do a lot of shirts and dresses with cutouts or mostly open backs that have strategically placed pieces to cover a bra.  (‘Cause the people I design for don’t do braless:)  I find them to be a very easy way to do something a little different for wardrobes — which is essentially what I do as a hobby: I make full wardrobes custom for friends and family — while still being practical for the woman I’m dressing.

  • Lisa

    Yeah, you’re right – the minute this collection hit the runway, you’d have to know it was a decoy.  There’s just nothing here that’s memorable at all.

  • Anonymous

    It does not look as though Bryce needed more time or money, he just purchased the Simplicity patterns and went to work. And maybe he got a couple of free Simplicity patterns, remnant beige polyester double knit and those buckle closures leftover from his great aunt’s sewing closet.

  • Toto Maya

    All of it was ugly. If the design wasn’t bad, the color was hideous. If the color was okay, the design was atrocious. There are thousands of designers who could have done a better job for New York Fashion week. Hell, I think I could have thrown together some crap for it better than this. Sad.

  • Any idea if the decoy designers get the same budget to work with as the finalists?

    • Anonymous

      They have in past seasons (except, I think, the first).

      • Well then Bryce can’t use money as his excuse! It looks like he totally phoned it in. Why waste the opportunity??

        • Mary McClelland

          I think he is just naive and doesn’t understand the point of a collection fully.  I also think he just decided to throw ALL his ideas out at once. I don’t think it looks “phoned” in just lacking in sophisticated understand because what he’s 21?

  • Anonymous

    I’d like that pale blue jacket if it were fitted properly.

    That first LBD?  I already own it, in a couple of different fabrics and lengths.

    • Anonymous

      There’s something very wrong with the dolman sleeves on that jacket.  Perhaps the fabric was too stiff to drape properly or maybe they’re just cut wrong. I wonder whether they had any time to fit the garments to the models.

  • Anonymous

    FINALLY I figured it out. Bryce is one of the Campbell Soup Kids! OMG
    “MMMM MMMM huh?” 

    • You are SO right.  Thanks for the laugh.

      Gianni Rubino

  • Susan Crawford

    I liked the pale, cool mint green color – it’s a shade we don’t see very often, and a welcome change from all the peachy/nude/pales. But what did this collection in, for me, was the terrible tailoring and fit issues on almost every single garment. In the end, it is tailoring skill that separates the greats from the also-rans: check out the armholes and sleeve work; the way the garment works across the shoulders and back; the structure of the waist and hip. Bryce isn’t there yet.

    The cartridge pleating on the gray skirt? This is a technique that has to be done with precision and elegance. Alexander McQueen’s final collection showed the world how a master tailor can manipulate and fit a cartridge-pleated skirt and make it look both timeless and modern. But I give Bryce some props for attempting a reference to this technique.

    All things considered, I think there are pieces here that – with some tweaking – would be very nice to own. Good luck, Bryce! (And considering the crew that remained after your auf-ing, you’re looking better and better in retrospect!)

  • Anonymous

    The first skirt is one of the worst looking garments ever to come out this show!

  • Bryce loves Lady Gaga. In his interview he said he wanted to make something for her “so overdesigned, it would be offensive.” I don’t see an ounce of Lady Gaga in any of this.   ….. And your favorite piece? Something is so off about its proportions!  ……..What’s with the fit on everything?

  • Mary McClelland

    The poncho is a complete and utter Balenciaga ’06 rip off. Only this goes without saying that Balenciaga did it better. I loved it then and I love it now – it’s a cute, chic look.  Although, yes I agree it’s needs slits. Balenciaga’s had one. 😉

  • Anonymous

    D for DRAB and D for DREARY! Alas poor Bryce…poor, poor Bryce…

    • Anonymous

      Don’t forget Dull and Dismal!

  • Bryce’s House of Buckles.

  • Anonymous

    I have seen the question before, but don’t recall if there was an answer. . .

    Do they get to keep whatever money they don’t spend on the materials for their decoy collections?

    • I think they have to turn in receipts for reimbursement. I remember the brouhaha over missing receipts for Angry Little Peanut’s leather shorts or something (he left them out of his collection) in Season 3. Something similar for Kara Saun and the self-designed-and-manufactured-for-free-in-exchange-for-free-advertising boots issue in Season 1.

  • Anonymous

    It all looks a little J.C. Penney to me. I like the poncho…that’s about it. 

  • Anonymous

    The two thematic elements that were obvious to me were those horizontal leather closures and that weird semi-detached bottom on 2 skirts.  I hate them both. Somehow the placement of that leather closure screams “maternity” to me.

  • Anonymous

    I am wondering if there is any requirement that the designers spend the final collection money all on the final collection. The three finalists would of course spend the entire amount on a collection trying to win, but a 9th runner-up making a decoy collection might decide to just keep a portion of the cash for themself if allowed???

  • I see some camel toe going on in that poncho outfit.

  • Anonymous

    Bryce got a special deal on a box of leather frog closures and slapped them on every garment he could.  At least, that’s what it looks like.  He just doesn’t have a point of view and never has shown one on the show.  Besides his snarkiness at Fallene’s lack of skill, which was totally pot calling kettle, he seems innocuous enough.  But a designer?  I don’t think so.  There’s a Bolton’s I pass every week on the Upper West Side that has more fashion-forward garments in the window display than in this collection.

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap!   The crazy-ass pleated skirt looks like it was tailor-made for Ma Barker to store her rifles when she’s getting ready to rob a bank. Just awful.(the top was cute though)

  • I really thought something was wrong with the photo on that denim skirt/cream top combo. I don’t really like any of it. Some of it’s not bad, but it’s mostly meh and some is downright hideous.

  • Yawn.

  • Anonymous

    boring, boring, boring… Spitting image of Bryce was in the show. Sorry, darling…

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Two words – BO RING!

    I would just kill to see a TV show with TLo dissecting the shows with JoAnne Worley queued to yell “BO RING!” to take it over the top…

  • Em

    Firstly, I really love that second outfit, including the leather strip down the middle. 
    Secondly, the model wearing that outfit looks more like a gazelle than any other human being on the planet. Someone keep her away from any large cats in the building.

  • I’m a bit confused… Wasn’t it Olivier who got auf’d? Why are we ripping Bryce’s collection? (Not that I disagree that he can’t possibly be a finalist)

  • cydpaiva

    9th look down – it looks like the model’s head is on backwards! It’s weird! That neckline is just awful. There were some nice looks but I think for New York Fashion Week he could have done soooo much more.

  • Anonymous

    I’m far more impressed than I thought I would be. There are some nice designs here and lots of great ideas.  Some of the great ideas are not quite fully developed but I give him props.  This is far from boring and repetitive.  He redeemed himself in my eyes because he did not produce one single look on PR that I liked.