PR: The Grownup’s Table

Posted on October 03, 2011

 

One of the best things about Bert as a contestant – and probably the number one reason why the other contestants are threatened by him – is that he’s an utter pro when he’s on that runway talking to the judges. He knows his references and he knows how to explain a garment when presenting it to people. He doesn’t always make the most modern-looking clothes, but of all the designers this season, he’s the one most likely to know how to present a collection to a room full of buyers and editors. That’s not a small thing and the judges know it.

HOWEVER…

We’re going to get hell for this in the comments section, but we think this look was wildly over-praised.

Silver shoes paired with this? Oh, honey. That’s a no.

This was a great fabric choice. It evokes the post-hippy era of Indian and Eastern-inspired prints that were all the rage in the early seventies, both in fashion and in decor, as well as evoking glittery late seventies disco looks. The thing is, a fabric like this could easily enter Tackyville depending on how the designer utilizes it.

And we’re sorry, but this is pretty tacky.

Here’s what we don’t get – and what makes this look tacky to us: why would you make a pair of black satin hot pants to wear under this? A complementary or matching color might have worked, but black just makes it look like it’s mismatched.

Then there’s the fact that we just don’t get what this is. Is it a dress? A cover-up? The judges kept praising it by saying “The top would look great with a pair of jeans!” And yeah, it would, but that’s not what Bert chose to do. He chose to do this weird dress/shorts hybrid that just looks, well, kind of ugly to our eyes. Ditch the skirt and make a pair of shorts that actually look like they go with the top and you have a look that’s pretty showy, but at least it’s cohesive and put together. This looked like too many ideas for one look.

Which is kind of interesting, since he went in the exact opposite direction with his second look: one very simple idea, perfectly executed.


We don’t know if the asymetrical hem was a deliberate choice or just an execution issue and that’s not a point in the design’s favor.

And the strip of fabric around the neck was probably not the best styling choice to make.

But these are our only complaints and they’re minor.

It’s very chic in that “Jackie in New York” kind of way. Perfectly seventies, but also perfectly timeless. We love the wide V neckline, placing the straps all the way out on her shoulders.

And yeah, maybe the judges overpraised the silver aglets on the cord sash, but it really did help to make the look. It was an inspired touch that only someone who knows what they’re doing would think to do.

We said going into this episode that if Bert didn’t nail this challenge, he’d be going home (much the same way self-proclaimed menswear designer Olivier was sent home for making shitty menswear). We don’t think he aced the separates as well as the judges seemed to, but he definitely knocked it out of the part with the second look. Sometimes making a simple dress demonstrates better instincts and sense of style than making something complicated and showy and we were happy to see the judges reward him for that. Too often, the showiest look tends to get the highest praise on Project Runway.

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/MyLifetime.com – Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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