T LO Interviews Bert Keeter

Posted on November 01, 2011

We know our Bitter Kittens well and we’ve known for some time now that if there was going to be one person from Season 9 of Project Runway to get the T Lo Interview, it was going to have to be T Lo Commentariat Favorite, Mr. Bert Keeter, or as we liked to call him, The Queen Mother. This interview occurred a couple of days before the finale aired, so we couldn’t ask him his thoughts on the winner, but he had no problem slinging that Bert bluntness when we asked him about his competitors, or the judges, or the guest judges, or the state of the fashion industry today. There’s nothing we love more than a fellow opinionated queen.

So Bert, how’s life after Project Runway?
So far, it’s been great. I’ve been very encouraged and pleased with the response from the viewers and people I meet on the street, on Facebook…they not only like my style and all that, they also like me as a person and how I carried myself out on the show. It’s made me feel great. I haven’t had anybody throw anything at me or try to run me down (laughs).

Do you get recognized a lot?
I do. It’s funny; actually on the plane out here I had five rows of people staring at me. At JFK, one guy who was going through security pointed me out. I was going the other way and he pointed me out to his friends. What’s really interesting and what I enjoy a lot it’s that I get recognized by people of all categories: young, avant-garde, more conservative, moms and dads, it’s really great.

What made you decide to try out for Project Runway?
Well, I’ve been out of it for a while and wanting to get back into it and just this last year a friend of mine got me hooked up with a woman and she helped me get my work set up. And I had a couple of good friends of mine in LA, one guy in particular, kept insisting and asking me, “Why don’t you try out for Project Runway?”and I finally decided to do it. I had this fear that was holding me back, but then I tried out for it and figured if I got on it that would be great, if not, at least I had tried. I’m very glad I did, it’s been a great experience.

You had a lot of experience in the fashion industry prior to Project Runway. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve done?
I graduated from Parsons. My partner John and I were living in New York at the time and as soon as I graduated, he wanted to move back to LA.  He was from the west coast, so we moved to LA and my first job was with Holly Harp. I don’t know if you remember her, she was a very big designer in the ’70s. She did beautiful clothing, so I went to work for her. I was with her about a year and half and I actually…this is how long ago it was…got a telegram from Bill Blass, who I had just met briefly through my partner John, asking me to work for him.

I moved back to New York to work for him for a couple of years, then moved back to LA to be with my partner, but I had to go back to New York just because of businesses and because of my work as a designer and that’s when I started working for Scaasi; I worked in his couture and ready-to-wear lines. After that, I worked for Halston. A friend of mine knew the illustrator there and they said they were looking for a designer. This was to design the JC Penney line and it was a great opportunity. Scaasi was a very difficult person to work for, so I applied for the job but they had just hired somebody. A year later I ran into the director of the New York Fabric Show and I was told that they were trying to get rid of this person and they offered me the job again.

Three years into it, I asked the director if we could start doing sort of a couture collection. We had about a million dollars’ worth of fabrics still in the fabric room; we had these amazingly talented people; so we did it, sort of an expression of Halston. The collection started getting good reviews and Bergdorf actually wanted to relaunch Halston made-to-order couture and I thought that was my chance to do what I wanted to do, but unfortunately the timing was pretty bad. Halston, who couldn’t stop anything legally, I think he put the fear of God into Bergdorf; he didn’t want to go through with it and he was bashed in the press and he was ill at the time too, so I left Halston after that because I thought I wasn’t going anywhere. And that’s when a lot of my friends started dying of AIDS, my partner was diagnosed and he died, a friend of mine was murdered… that’s when I got out of the business for a while.

That must’ve been a very tough time for you.
Yeah, it was very bad. It was a decade of a lot of stuff going on. I moved to D.C. and lived with my family. I stayed with them until my mom passed away, then I moved to LA, then New York, then back to LA and now I love it here.

Now I’m designing again, I know I’m good at it. I just have to figure out a way to get it going.

It is a brutal industry. Do you see much difference between how things are done now and back when you were working in the ’70s?
I do, definitely, and I have to learn to come to grips with that too. Specially working with magazines and editorials, so much today is about creating a buzz around the designer’s name so that they can sell their licenses; it isn’t really about the clothing. It’s all about ‘Oh my God, isn’t that crazy and wild?’ Meanwhile, I can’t afford it, but I can buy their sunglasses and their underwear.

I think a lot of the runway collections that you see in New York, Paris or any other place, especially Europe, are directed towards that market and not about the clothes anymore. Hopefully whatever I put on my runway is what I want my client to wear and be able to wear and not look like a bad joke in it. That’s sort of my take on it. I think fashion has become a spectator’s sport, not so much the clothes, but about all that other jazz. And the magazines promote that too because they want new, new, new. So when Nina [Garcia] says “It’s editorial;” well, it needs to be wearable too.

Moving on to the show, in the first episode everyone sort of fell in love with you and from the second episode on, everybody started hating you, and then towards the end everyone is hugging again and professing their love to you, especially Josh. What the hell happened there, Bert? Bad editing?
[Laughs] The first episode was great, I won the challenge, but after that I was two seconds away from going up to the producers and say, “I want out of here, I don’t want to do this.” I think the whole feeling of being in that environment, there are 16 of these challenges…I just wanted to get out of there. But I let that feeling of fear, or whatever that was, pass and I did what I needed to do.

I guess regarding the other designers and the viewers, I was naïve thinking that I would automatically be considered a contemporary of these people. I mean, Viktor was 30 at the time, Josh is 25, so I was twice their age practically. Later on I began to feel that they were probably thinking that it was like having their father’s friend around. My sense of humor and wit is different than theirs. They just couldn’t get me, and not being critical of them, I think a lot of them aren’t that sophisticated, they don’t have a lot of knowledge outside of Lady Gaga and Beyonce. It’s their world. Like Josh not knowing what the ’70s was like. Well, I didn’t live through the ’20s and ’30s, but I know how they dressed and how they lived and what happened in that timeframe so that I can relate to fashion.

I felt like I was in the twilight zone, in this field trip from hell that never ends and I was the chaperone. I really tried to relate to them in the beginning, then, I stopped and kept doing my thing, but fortunately towards the end of the season I think there were fewer people and the ones remaining started getting me. They saw me trying to help them with stuff on the show, you don’t see that on camera so much, so they warmed up to my sense of humor. I do have a very dry and sharp sense of humor, a lot of people like it, some people don’t.

And I think the reason why Josh came after me a couple of times it’s because I intimidated him; he saw that I knew what I was doing. He tried to pick on people…I think he thought he could bowl me over and I’ve been around long enough to know how to deal with people like Josh and I just stood up to him. He kept trying to do that and finally he gave up and thought that it would be better to be my friend than my enemy on the show.

It’s a very unusual environment, isn’t it?
It is. I never really watched the show that much or watched a whole episode of it because I used to get sort of squirmy when I was watching the designers on the runway being critiqued by the judges. I thought it was so personal to be standing there with the cameras and the world watching you and your design pulled apart; that made me feel really uncomfortable, so I would just change the channel.

What did you think of the judges?
I was very disappointed with most of the guest judges, I really was. I didn’t think most of them brought a lot to the show. Adam Lambert was by far the best. He was very dynamic and very engaged with the designers. A couple of the guest judges were just sitting in the chair, like Kim Kardashian, for example.

What about Heidi, Nina and Michael?
I found them very different. Heidi is very friendly. You see her a little bit more than you see the other two. She seemed to like me right off the bat, at least that’s what the other designers were telling me. I liked her sense of humor, she’s fun and entertaining, and I think sort of endearing. I love Michael’s sense of humor. I appreciate his aesthetic and what he’s done, and I think from Nina’s point of view – she’s a magazine editor – she’s always looking for something new. I think she liked a lot of what I did, for example she liked what I designed for her for the Nina challenge, but it wasn’t something editorial enough for the magazine. I thought they were all very good, very professional.

Do you think being the oldest contestant affected you in any way?
Well, with the judges for example…Michael really connected with me, you don’t see a lot of that; they edited it out. He really got my first piece for the ’70s challenge. I was talking about Julio, who is a designer from the ’70s and his face lit up. He said that we were probably the only two people in New York who knew who he was. He knew that I knew what I was talking about.

Did you feel that it was time to go when you were eliminated?
I think my look was better than Laura’s. When I was on the runway, I sort of threw myself under the bus because I was really embarrassed to be standing there with something not as good as I could’ve done for Francisco Costa. The look I didn’t bring out, he would’ve really connected and liked it a lot.

How did you react when they brought you back?
I was very pleased to be back and to be chosen by Anya to work with her. I do like her aesthetic and what she’s potentially capable of. I don’t think it would’ve been much fun for me to work with any of the other designers at that point.

How much did you contribute to her mini-collection? Let’s be honest, it has your name written all over it.
I heard that a lot. Honestly, I have to say, the designs were all hers. We started with the black dress, which I did make that from beginning to end, I can say that. It was her concept explained to me; what she wanted. I think the way I was able to make it work with her was my construction skills. She was talking about side seams and darts and this and that and I told her that I felt that those elements would take away from it because it was a very organic design. That whole dress is one piece of fabric. There’s only one seam in the center back, there’s not even a shoulder seam in that thing. A very organic design; that’s the way her design was when she described it to me because she never drew it.

I did help with the pants and a little bit on that top and she did the gown all by herself. We talked about which models should be wearing them…but it was basically her input as far as design. I really enjoyed working with her. It was right up my alley in terms of what she was trying to achieve.

We did see your final collection at the tents and we have to say that we weren’t as impressed as we were later on when we looked at it more carefully. It is a great collection. You have a great eye for fabrics and texture and attention to details. What did you have in mind when you created your collection?
I think when I got home back to LA after being on the show, I started rushing; bought all this fabric and stuff and I was working on this dress for three days and I thought, “This is bullshit. I don’t like this, I’m not going in this direction.” So I ditched everything because I was thinking in my head what they had been telling me, “You have to do this, you have to do that,” and I said to myself, “Why? I’m not in the running anyway. Why can’t I just do what I want?”

I think the first thing I did was that jersey, that one-shoulder dress and I started building around that. Then, I found that metallic-striped Georgette…and I kept thinking, “I need to put color in here, I only have 10 looks, so I’m going to keep it neutrals; I added that print in there.” I tried to make it fluid; to make it work from beginning to end. I have seen a couple of shows on Project Runway where they don’t look like a collection, they just look like a bunch of clothes and I didn’t want to do that. That was my main objective, I wanted it to be very cohesive and make a statement.

How much time did they give you to put the collection together?
We had from the day we left New York to the day they picked up the clothes, which was five weeks. I had about four weeks because I went back to D.C. to pick up my dog and see my family, so by the time I got to LA I only had four weeks. We were also given four extra days because of the hurricane warnings.

Did you get the same amount of money that the finalists did?
Yes, they gave us the same amount of money to design the decoy collections.

Your collection looks very ready-to-wear. You can pretty much wear every piece off the runway.
I have this thing and I don’t know why, but if someone buys something from me, I want them to be able to wear it for a long time, whether it’s a little black dress or a simple silhouette; I call them work horses. You can wear them to work, on a trip…you can wear it three, four times and you still feel you haven’t worn it too many times. That’s how I try to design; I want it to be interesting but also wearable.

I was at Bergdorf this weekend and saw this dress – I’m not going to name the designer – but it was $15,000. How are you supposed to wear that several times when it’s so recognizable? I want my clothes to be sort of timeless and I know that sounds a little hokey but I want people to be able to wear it the following season just by adding a different accessory or something to it and make it look current and enjoy it.

Do you feel you got what you wanted from your experience on Project Runway?
I think I would’ve liked to have been in the final four, I really do. I think that would’ve been a bigger prize for me, I don’t mean winning, but just being out there. I think the main thing I got was to be able to work in the workroom with the other designers. It’s a very different experience when you work alone and then you go home to your apartment by yourself, making those clothes by yourself. It was nice to be able to show my skills. It gave me a lot of confidence; a lot of gratitude. I didn’t know I’ve got what it takes. The response from my collection is really overwhelming from a lot of different people and from different walks of life.

Nine seasons of Project Runway have proven that you don’t have to be the winner to benefit from your time on the show.
That’s true. One of the most frustrating things to me was that they kept us sequestered and I didn’t get to see the judges or anybody after the show. I really wanted their opinion on my designs in general, especially Michael’s because I admire his aesthetic. So I tried to get in touch with Michael after the show ended, but of course he was busy preparing for his own show, so he had no time to talk to anybody. Just last week, his assistant emailed me and asked if I could talk to him. He called me and he was very nice; we talked for 25 minutes, he was very complimentary about my collection and what I did. He told me that I shouldn’t think that just because I didn’t win that I wouldn’t have a successful career.

What are your plans now? Do you have plans to start your line or work for another designer?
I would work for a design house. I wouldn’t want to be someone else’s assistant. What I would like is to stay in LA; this city suits me really well, and I like designing here. I’d like to create my own label in a year or so. That would be my hope; get a backer or an existing manufacturer that would want to go that route with me.

Do you think that a show like Project Runway helps showcase designers out there or do you think it’s mostly just for entertainment?
I think both. I’m going to be optimistic and say that I think it’ll help people like Viktor, he’s a good designer, also Anthony Ryan for what he wants to do. It’s helping me already. Julie Bowen contacted me via Facebook to design a couple of pieces for her. Love her personality, she’s the right type of woman for me to have as someone wearing my clothes.

We think you’re very talented and we really wish you the best, Bert.
Well, thank you. I have to let you guys know that I love your site. I’m new to this whole world of blogging and internet commentary. I really like your style and the level you all work at, I think it’s very informative and I love your sense of humor. You guys have a good eye and the way you place it. I have really enjoyed reading your site.

Well, thank you so much! Good luck to you, Bert!

[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com]

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  • Sobaika Mirza

    AHHHH YES! I was hoping you would score a Bert interview.

  • http://twitter.com/sockandaphone Gaby

    YAY BERT. Also I had NO idea he was so experienced beforehand. 

  • Toto Maya

    Yay! I was hoping you’d interview Bert. I’m so excited for him and I hope he gets his wish and restarts his career.

  • http://inkblotphotography.blogspot.com/ Cate

    Reading this, I’m SO bummed he didn’t make it to the final 4. Him, Anthony Ryan and Laura. 

  • Yuval Dinoor

    BERT!!! I miss that guy :) Nice interview, TLo!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fiddlecub Kevin VanOrd

    This is wonderful. Bert is is diplomatic–and when it is so easy to dislike Anya’s win, it is nice to see him supporting her because he thinks she has a point of view. I am no fan of Anya, but I appreciate his candor; he’s in a better position to know than the rest of us.

    It’s also a reminder that we don’t see many of the runway’s more thoughtful and exciting events. I would have loved to have seen that moment between Bert and Michael when that Julio connection was made. It’s always a wonderful feeling when you and a respected figure in your field have that flash of bonding and understanding. 

  • http://twitter.com/1carmelita 1carmelita

    He is awesome. Thanks so much for this great interview. He seems like such a smart, likeable person.
    Chaperone on a field trip from hell. I think I’ll be laughing at that line for awhile! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OD35QQZNBPZJXWTCBY7N4EE7VY Sarah

    Ooh, can’t wait to see Julie Bowen in one of his designs.

  • Anonymous

    “I felt like I was in the twilight zone, in this field trip from hell that never ends and I was the chaperone.”     I LOVE Bert! Great interview. Thanks.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      That is such a good quote. He gives good interview!

  • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

    Yay, Bert! Great interview. I really want to see more of his stuff. His designs are the ones I’d most likely wear….someday….

  • Anonymous

    Awe, shucks.  I love me some Bert!

  • Anonymous

    Reading this interview proves to me that the best parts of Project Runway never make it onto the screen. Bert did better than winning – he’s one of the alums that everyone will remember well and keep track of.

  • Kate Pearce

    Thank you Bert, for your humor, your blunt honesty and above all, your innate style-and please make some clothes I’d definitely buy some!!

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

    All Hail the Queen Mother.  Great interview guys! 

  • http://fafafab.tumblr.com/ fafafab

    adorable man, best of lucks for him

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineKatz Catherine Katz

    What a great interview!!  He certainly took me on a roller coaster ride!  Loved him, really didn’t like him, loved him again.  Ahh, the amazing world of TV reality show editing.  

    Class act!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for spelling ’70s correctly!!!

  • http://twitter.com/RobertSanchez36 Robert Sanchez

    Great interview! He’s actually very gracious when talking about Josh (more than Josh deserves). Bert deserves all the luck in the world to launch a successful line in the future.

  • Anonymous

    This was a sweet interview! It’s nice to get answers about things from Bert himself. 

  • http://twitter.com/TheScottFinley Scott Finley

    Bert, I hope you’re reading the comments, because I have to say I am so glad you were on this season. It was a treat to see what you can do, and the experience (and stories) you brought to the show. Regardless of the BS that went on this season with the gaming and fixing to assure a certain someone of the win, you were a bright spot in that show. I hope your collection (VERY smartly done, by the way-I hope buyers are “blowing up” your phone) sells sells sells, I wish you a ton ton ton of success.
    :-)

    PS: You also have amazing patience. The last time a screaming queen got in my face he ended up flying across the room.

  • Anonymous

    Very well rounded interview!  Thank you for this!

  • http://twitter.com/mrsjetplane mrsjetplane

    Yay Bert!  I love Bert.  I’m so happy he has such a good outlook after being on the show.  I loved him from the get go. 

  • Anonymous

    J’adore. YOU CAN’T BRING AN OLD BROAD LIKE US DOWN BERT! More than just talent. he had what so many of the other contestants lacked (*coughjoshuacough*) – class and perspective. This interview made me remove my earrings so I could stand and wildly applaud.

  • Anonymous

    Terrific interview.  Thank you, TLo.  I really, really liked Bert’s decoy collection, and I especially agree with what he says about being able to wear clothing for more than one season. In this day and awful economy, I don’t give a hoot if a piece is “editorial”; I want to know that it’s going to be timeless, effortless, and stylish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=668425491 Daniela ‘Dani’ Weiss-Bronstein

    Yay! And now I go off to actually *read* it. Thanks, TLo!

  • Maria Donaire-Cirsovius

    I got a little teary-eyed reading this.  This season Bert exemplified all the qualities that I look for in Project Runway: knowledgeable and articulate about fashion, excellent eye for fabrics, quality design. I was heartbroken when he didn’t make it to the finale but I hope that PR ends up being a springboard for him.  He seems like such wonderful person and I hope that he can make a go of his own line.  He’s the one designer from this season that I will remember.

    • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

      Word! Thanks for getting that interview, TLo.

      • Maria Donaire-Cirsovius

        Thanks for reminding me to thank TLo.  Great job with the interview guys!

  • Anonymous

    It’s so cool that he called Michael up! That’s the kind of attitude to have.

  • Anonymous

    I love the comment about being their chaperone. Bert is adorable and a wonderful designer. I hope he gets his wish and gets a line. One *without* watches and sunglasses and umbrellas under the imprint just to sell tchotchkes to the masses.

    • http://heartprintandstyle.blogspot.com Vivi N

      I like Michael Kors watches, though. :o(

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.eric.hill Shawn Hill

    He’s a class act. I like the idea of timeless style, “workhorse” pieces that endure because they’ll always be simple and chic.

    • Anonymous

      Let us be blunt. Those are the only kind of ‘high end’ fashion that most of us can afford to buy.

      And it is so wonderful to be able to wear something well cut & well made.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

    So interesting. I hope you can do a follow up sometime to get his opinion on the win. I agreed with him about his getting auf’d, too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QDTYKBJF23YJKXYRP2LWWOMJFQ TN

    “Honestly, I have to say, the designs were all hers.” Of course the designs were all her’s, there were no sleeves.  I like Bert more after reading the interview, he seems to be one of the ones that’s not deep up in their own ass.  I kind of want to hear what he thinks of his competitors, we only got a couple of lines here and there.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Maybe in a more candid setting. But in an interview I don’t think Bert would be silly enough to give unfiltered opinions on the rest of the contestants.

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

    I can wear something three or four times and not feel like I’ve worn it too much?! hahahahahahaha!

    Okay, I’m kidding, he comes off very well. Very gracious.

  • Anonymous

    I liked Bert from the beginning, even when a lot of people jumped ship because he was coming across as grouchy etc. Now that we know, from watching, the attitudes he was dealing with and the editing, I think he is definitely my fav of the season. I find him much more honest than than all of the others who talk about how much they love each other, etc blah blah blah. 

    I am excited about his designing something for someone like Julie Bowen because I think she will give him some exposure. I really want him to make it!!

  • Julie Fountain

    Bert is so awesome, and what he said about wanting to design clothes that women could wear for more than one season? Yes! Yes! Please! That is what the 99.9% of women that aren’t starlets want!!

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I’m under 30 and it’s what I want!  When I buy something trendy or flashy or silly (I do love something that makes me giggle) it’s always in the form of an accessories.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

      AMEN!

  • Anonymous

    I liked Bert from the start, and continued to like him, even after he started getting the “cranky” edit.  When he tried to explain to Josh (or was it Victor?) that the exposed neckline the latter was describing was Elizabethan and not Victorian, only to be dismissed as a “know-it-all,” I knew that his age and experience would not be his friends.  

    • Anonymous

      It was Viktor, which made it more annoying.  I thought Viktor should know better.

  • Anonymous

    Hooray!  I’d had my fingers crossed that your interview was with Bert.  I can’t wait to see more from him, and hopefully buy some classic Bert work horse pieces. And run into him on the streets of LA.

  • Anonymous

    Bert Keeter, grown-up.  And a gentleman.

    Best wishes, Mr. Keeter, in the next phase of your life as you expand upon your established and very worthy designing skills.  If you are able to use your time on the otherwise terribly disappointing Season 9 of “Project Runway,” then S9 will not have been an entire waste.

    All the best,

    NDC

    • Anonymous

      And, of course (apologies for the omission), many thanks to Our Boys, Tom and Lorenzo, for conducting and sharing this thoughtful and illuminating interview!

    • Anonymous

      Yes!

  • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

    I love him… If I had the money I would be calling that man so fast!  And I couldn’t agree with him more in philosophy — while there is definitely a place for the unwearable art pieces, the majority of iconic designers were WEARABLE too. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/gillianholroyd gillian holroyd

    Bert is SUCH a class act. Wish you all the best, honey.

  • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

    “I want my clothes to be sort of timeless and I know that sounds a
    little hokey but I want people to be able to wear it the following
    season just by adding a different accessory or something to it and make
    it look current and enjoy it.”

    He was never one of my favorite designers, but that attitude makes me want to hug him. I hope to run into him fabric shopping someday!

  • Pennymac

    Thank you TLo, for scoring the interview that we true bitter kittens hoped for! You’re a class act, Bert. I loved watching you put “principles before personalities” *wink* I hope you get the backing you’re looking for, because I, for one, would love to have some of your designs hanging in my closet! 

  • margaret meyers

    That was a great interview.  Thanks for being so thoughtful in your questions, and thanks to Bert for being so thoughtful in his answers.  I think his personal rule about not looking to make blockbusters you wear once, but looking to make beautiful, wearable clothes you’ll want to wear for years is a great frame of mind. This really explains his “look.”

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely. That is how I buy my clothes, especially something expensive.

    • Patsye Peebles

      Isn’t that the truth?  For all us non-celebrities, that is what works for us!

  • Anna Maria Diamanti

    ” I want my clothes to be sort of timeless and I know that sounds a
    little hokey but I want people to be able to wear it the following
    season just by adding a different accessory or something to it and make
    it look current and enjoy it.”

    Holy crap, no wonder I loved his collection so much. This is exactly my attitude about clothing (and shoes). I have lots of eye-catching but classic pieces that mix well and I very rarely waste time with what’s on-trend. Also explains in part why the judges aggravate me so much.

    • Anonymous

      Me too!  I’ve noticed this is how a lot of Europeans shop – a small amount of investment pieces that can be worn repeatedly and revitalized with accessories. 

  • Anonymous

    ….but didja pass him ScottyF’s phone number???  ;)  I love reading interviews by Class Acts of Class Acts.  Thank you TLo and thank you Bert. 

  • Anonymous

    Bravo, Bert! Thanks for the great interview. What a savvy guy. Winning PR doesn’t mean you aren’t a winner. All the best for future successes.

  • MilaXX

    Great interview.  I liked what he had to say. He’s honest, but comes across much more diplomatic. I  hope to see more of him in the future.

  • Anonymous

    Love me some Bert!

  • Anonymous

    What a Guy!! I wish Bert all the best and much success. He was one of my all time favorites and I would buy that gold disco look from him in a heartbeat!! I thought he showed much courage and professionalism….

  • Anonymous

    This is a great interview, thanks!  I’d love to read an Anya or Josh interview.  

  • Joshua

    I think Bert will end up OK, perhaps better off than any of the other designers this season. The judges called his designs dated, but I personally thought they were more timeless, like he said. He may not be a master of contemporary styling, but the man can make a dress. And I love how functional he is about fashion. I personally don’t get celebrities who dress up in something gaudy and glamourous just for one night — unless it’s Hallowe’en, of course. :P

    Best of luck to you, Queen mother!

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

    always my favorite person this season. i never understood the criticism.

    i was very impressed w/ bert for a lot of things.

    i think it took a lot of guts to get up on a 24 hours a day stage w/ a whole bunch of people young enough to be his kids, kids he had to live w/ as a peer [& all that encompasses];

    & i think it took a lot of serious, difficult & difficult to harvest from w/in ability & adaptability to present beautiful & supercompetent design work in a context that nobody over the age of forty couldve expected would even exist– & to not only hold his own but excel in all aspects of the competition;

    &, of course, bert’s work remains of the highest calibre, even after the small & large hells he encountered over the last couple of decades.

    count me impressed. i wish i could have said this better. i not only hope but believe there is a great design future for bert. i’m really really happy about that.

    ps. also happy i no longer have to defend his non-use of antipsychotics to the wackos who have currently & finally departed this board. what is wrong w/ people.

    pps. if i cant place an LA designer from the 70s, thats obscure. please tell us who is julio. i cannot believe i dont know.

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

      apologies for the stupid grammar, i’ve tried to change it many times [this s in 24 hours rankles each time i see it]. but the main thing is that i wanted to add the word proud.

  • http://twitter.com/ShelfAfterlife Shelf Afterlife

    Thank you for this interview.  I admit I had my ups and downs with Bert and I was manipulated into not liking him when they edited him that way.  But, you know, hindsight and all that.  It was a cracked-up season but I appreciate Bert and he seems like a really good guy and designer.  I would have liked to have seen him make the top 4 as well.  Too bad he wasn’t prettier.

    • Anonymous

      Ii don’t quite understand the “Too bad he wasn’t prettier.” remark.  I think Bert is an extremely good looking 57 gentleman and I bet he was a real hottie when he was 30!

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure she’s being facetious, hinting to Anya’s win based on how marketable she and her exotic looks are.

        Bert is a very pretty and elegant man, but he is not, to borrow Bert’s and Nina’s words, as “editorial”-looking as Anya.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        I seem to remember seeing a photo or two of Bert when he was younger. He was a hottie. And he’s so handsome now.  How cute is he in the first photo of him posted above.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I saw it and thought “now all you guys I know trying to hang on to ‘boyishly handsome’ just look at this photo and hang it up!”

  • Anonymous

    Viva La Bert!

  • Anonymous

    I knew I was right to love Bert from the start.  I’d also love to see him get an opportunity to start his own line.  He’s one of the few who seems to have a great sense of style, a great sense of the business, and a great sense of what normal women want in their closet.  Everything he said made so much sense that he could be really successful if someone is smart enough to give him the chance.

  • Anonymous

    100% class act.

  • Anonymous

    Who knows what someone like Bert could have done had they been more in to letting designers design than the whole stupid story mess and having ridiculous challenges (stilts anyone?) that have nothing to do with fashion at all. Glad to see the interview. Well done. Bert came across well and look forward to what he an do going forward.

  • Rand Ortega

    This interview makes me so happy! What a gentleman in every sense of the word. I hope Bert gets some advice from Joe Zee aka “All On The Line” & score a contract from Intermix, Fred Segal or Nordstrom. I would buy any of his pieces in a heartbeat.
    The only thing that would have made this the best interview ever:
    Good luck to you, Bert. & Congratulations on your engagement to TLo poster, Scottyf. We know you two will be very happy together!

  • Patsye Peebles

    Awww, great interview!  Thanks, Bert, and thanks TLo, for introducing us to the real Bert, down to earth yet fabulous!  

  • Anonymous

    Ultimately I found Bert likable, and this interview certainly fosters that.  And maybe it was editing, but he pulled some really childish, passive-aggressive stunts in the team challenges.  I think his people skills are going to need some honing if he’s going to revive his career–and I hope he does, because there were some gorgeous looks in his collection.

    • Anonymous

      I must say that I found your post both arrogant and condescending. I thought Bert acted with considerable restraint when dealing with les enfants terribles and their shenanigans. I rather doubt that you would have done as well, given your strong opinions. I have every confidence that Bert will be successful.  He has already had an amazing career, working for Blass, Scaasi, Halston and Holly Harp. Perhaps you should do some research on the internet to have an appreciation for the designers who chose Bert to work for them. They are fashion icons. They would never have chosen the likes of an Anya or Josh. If you are sincere in your admiration, you should show some respect.

      • Anonymous

        Hmm.  *Must* you say?  I *must* say that I find your screen name ironic given that you just flamed me.

        • Anonymous

          Please explain. Ironic?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5KDTLDJA7ZBCPDP6HV4FZMJDII Indigo

             i·ron·ic/īˈränik/
            Adjective:Using or characterized by irony.Happening in the opposite way to what is expected, thus typically causing wry amusement.

          • Anonymous

            I know what ironic means. I wanted to know what giiiirrrr meant by using it. To me, the use of ironic in reference to my screen name is a non sequitur. Just saying. But enough of this. Bert has been my favorite designer throughout Season 9. I don’t feel he got the respect he deserves from either the other contestants or the judges. I didn’t care for giiiirrrr’s criticisms. To me they showed a similar lack of respect. I called him on it.

          • Anonymous

            I think you can respect Bert (as I do) while acknowledging that he wasn’t on best behavior at all times.  For me, respect isn’t predicated on perfection.  For example I respect and adore Mondo and he was my favorite designer of Season 8, but even he admitted he was dickish with Michael C in the beginning.

          • Anonymous

            Given that we’re all fallible & human, you can’t respect anyone if you set the bar at perfect behavior.  That said, I fell off the Bert wagon for a while because (at least as portrayed in the t.v. edit) he was behaving unlikeably – understandably so, I thought, but still unlikeable. I didn’t stop respecting his work & I was happy when the as-seen-on-t.v. Bert seemed to relax a little.

            I’ve put up with worse behavior, on an intermittent basis, without ending a friendship because I understood where it was coming from.

      • Anonymous

        Interesting that you jump all over giiiirrr when she has a valid point. Bert did act in a passive-aggressive way at times, and he would need to curb that to have any future.
        Possibly that personality trait is why Gunn named Bert as his least favourite designer.  

  • http://twitter.com/meg_a_wo_man Megs

    Dear Bert,

    I am glad to hear you look to design timeless clothing.  As young woman with a very limited budget, I want to be able to invest in pieces that I can use for months and years to come.  My fingers are crossed that I will be able to grab one of your pieces sometime soon.  I found them classic, timeless and calling my name.

    Thanks,
    Meg

  • Anonymous

    Dang! I’m caught between an extended “Awwwww” and “All hail the Queen Mother”!  TLo, thanks for a fine, fine interview, and Bert, thanks for being a class act and a gentleman. Mwahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KQSWLY2RUE3HAOERJI7HHORJJQ Debby Barbero

    Bravo Gentlemen Bravo!  And thank you thank you thank you!  As a generational contemporary of Bert’s, I am thrilled to see him acknowledged as the tasteful, talented gentleman he is.  I too will be keeping my eyes open for more from him.  Every bit the wonderful guy I imagined him to be.  

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the interview. I also had my ups and downs with Bert, but he seems like one of the most genuine contestants, with real skill. I hope he does well.

    But if the decoys get the same amount of money as the finalists, other than the hope of the grand prize, what’s the point of competing as hard? Personally, the exposure of presenting a decoy collection would be almost as good as being in the final 3-4-5

  • http://www.anuttierlife.com/ Tillie

    Funniest and truest quote ever…

    “It’s all about ‘Oh my God, isn’t that crazy and wild?’ Meanwhile, I can’t afford it, but I can buy their sunglasses and their underwear.” 

    • Anonymous

      no kidding, right?

  • Anonymous

    Excellent interview! I love this quote: ”
    I felt like I was in the twilight zone, in this field trip from hell that never ends and I was the chaperone” Hilarious.

    I hope he sees much success from this.

  • Anonymous

    Team Bert from day 1! Never faltered. Amazing that the producers didn’t see his story as the most interesting. I want to read his autobiography!

  • Anonymous

    Great interview!  So nice to see someone who gets it – “it” being not only how to navigate the world of fashion, but also life in general.  Having lost a fiance suddenly in my life (and learning how loss can throw you for a loop for a long, long effing time) I totally felt a kinship with Bert when he first talked about his partner.  I admire his style and his outlook and wish him every success in the world.

  • Anonymous

    I loved Bert, wasdefending Bert when he started getting a bit snippy (he had a point re: Joshua), then said “Forget it, he’s just being an asshole”, then got back on the Bert bandwagon (mostly). This totally won me over again. Thanks TLo!

    • Anonymous

      I know, right? I did the same thing. For a while, I was cringing as I watched, but he won me back before the ending, and this kind of cemented the Bertlove I had at the beginning. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    Aha! The cupcake sleeve, of course!!

  • Anonymous

    “The field trip from hell.” LOL. 

    Awww. He’s such a sweetie. I’m very glad he connected with Michael Kors–it’s important to get good feedback on your work. I hope someone hires him quickly while he’s still got this momentum going. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s great to hear from Bert. As a viewer, I got his humor more as the season wore on, too. That bit about burying something in the woods in the ’80s cracked me up out of nowhere. One of the few redeeming aspects of this season — and a lovely, elegant final collection that I wish had made it to TV. Loved the trailing black scarf top and that gray/silver dress with the long vest that sat on the outside of the shoulders. I’d wear those happily, and I usually have a very different aesthetic.

  • Anonymous

    Nthing the love for his comment about wanting garments to be timeless.  It shows such insight into how a lot of women actually live and what they need out of clothes.  I really appreciate a designer like that.

    Fantastic interview :)

  • Anonymous

    Guys!

    I’m so pleased. You do such a great job with your questions and interviews. I can just hear him talking throughout the article, good job! (wouldn’t you love to hear what Kors said to him?).

    I know everyone has such love for Laura’s collection and I admit it is great and had a very personal point of view and all that but once you showed all the collections, I really became a Bert fan and think his really was the best (BTW, how did his clothes move in real life — I’ve only seen what you posted here). Could we have a Lauraology and a Bertology? I know, I know, I’m a demanding minion, and they won’t have as many as the finalists, but it would be fun. I like the Ologies.

    • Anonymous

      I second the Bertology request, because I would have loved to see his clothes in motion, too.

      Love him, love his clothes, love his knowledge of design and fashion history. Somebody better snatch him up quick.

      And thank you TLo for the great interview. It was a sweet cap to a bitter season.

  • Anonymous

    ‘I was at Bergdorf this weekend and saw this dress – I’m not going to
    name the designer – but it was $15,000. How are you supposed to wear
    that several times when it’s so recognizable?’

    THANK YOU, BERT. And thank you for being so wonderfully articulate!

    All the best to you, and thank you TLo for this awesome interview.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad it was Bert – and I’ve been obsessively checking the blog since yesterday waiting for this to appear.

    Bert, dahling, please launch your line.  Make oodles of money and then launch a Target collection so I can afford your clothes.  Because this:  ”I want my clothes to be sort of timeless and I know that sounds a little hokey but I want people to be able to wear it the following season just by adding a different accessory or something to it and make it look current and enjoy it.” – - – - is totally me.  I still have things in my closet from 15 years ago and still get compliments on them.  That’s the way it should be.  The average woman isn’t spending $15K on a dress.  The most I’ve ever spent was $215 on a Tadashi Shoji for a wedding, and only because it was a tremendously crappy season for dresses, and prom season at that.  I’ve worn it 3 times, but it’s trendy, and it won’t last more than 2 more seasons.  If I’d bought a Bert, I’d be wearing it through 15 more wedding seasons!

    I’m actually surprised MK didn’t offer you a job, my dear.  Or Donna Karan.  Your stuff reminds me of the best of their collections that I respond well to.

    Keep us posted!  I’m off to find you on Facebook now!

  • Anonymous

    “I want my clothes to be sort of timeless and I know that sounds a little
    hokey but I want people to be able to wear it the following season just
    by adding a different accessory or something to it and make it look
    current and enjoy it.” I don’t think this statement is hokey at all; that timeless quality is exactly what I’m looking for when I make clothing purchases especially “investment” pieces that I will use for business related events. Get busy, Bert!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/foodhussy foodhussy

    Bert – you were my season favorite! Congrats and good luck! 

  • Anonymous

    What a FANTASTIC interview, guys! What I love about your interviews is that you let your interviewee talk. So many times now the story doesn’t get told, but we got a great, great story from Bert here. Yes, I was one of the many who was on the Bert train, then on the Bert hate train, then watched his television redemption. What a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent man. Bert, please get something going with one of the big chains, this 40-something mom would love to wear your timeless designs!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Bert,

    I’m a bit long in the tooth to be writing fan letters – but here’s an open one to you.

    I know something about being “the chaperone on the field trip from hell” myself.  I went to culinary school and I was the only middle-aged woman in a class of young, fabulous wannabe rock star chefs who thought they were the center of the universe and had no connection to history.  They all thought they were re-inventing the wheel; cuisine needed to be new and exciting and sexy.  I just wanted to make good old fashioned delicious food – nothing more and nothing less.  And so I appreciate your goal to create beautiful clothing that women can actually wear.  The hot new fashions will come and go in a heartbeat, but beauty is eternal.  I think you have an understanding of that way beyond your former competitors on PR.  I’m sure you’re going to have a lot of success – look how fast your dress sold out on Piperline!

    You’re a gentleman and a scholar of the highest order – thank you for being the only person on PR this season that made watching it at all worthwhile!

    Smooches from your loyal hag-fan,
    Rose

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for the great interview with my favorite this season.  Love him and wish him much success and every happiness.  I would love to be able to save up for a couple of Bert pieces.  And how wonderful it is to see Scassi and Bill Blass mentioned.  He’s got a great storyline that he tells with elegance and humor.  Refreshing to hear him say matter of factly that a lot of the hamsters are simply not very sophisticated.  I loved his runway collection. 

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

      & holly harp. & halston. & whoever julio is [laughing]. so help me, i can place zoran but not julio. not yet.
      everyone in that workroom should have been intimidated. the world has gone crazy, i think.

      • Anonymous

        I’m genuinely puzzled by how dismissive they all were towards him. Was this just an especially dim, self-centered bunch?

        My god I would love to hear about working for Holly Harp and Halston and Scaasi.

        • http://twitter.com/KathleenGillies Kathleen Gillies

          It’s 20 somethings.  Seriously.  Not just the ones attracted to reality shows.  Young people are wonderful, work with many but there are limitations to their sphere of focus and attention.   They tend to use many “I” statements in conversation, the more opportunities to use them, the more interested they are in what’s discussed.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            Um, no.  For one thing, not all of those designers are in their 20s. And for another, not 20 somethings would have reacted that way with Bert. 

            In fact, I STILL don’t understand the problem with Bert:  why would you treat him in any way differently from the other designers in the room?

          • http://twitter.com/KathleenGillies Kathleen Gillies

            I was replying to maggiemaggie as to why younger designers would be dismissive of a designer in their 50′s.  Being a woman between 40 and death, I am pretty observant of those in their (the younger designers) cohort.   I’m sure not ALL 20 somethings are all the same (something I tried to communicate) but the majority actually do (dismiss/ignore–not view as interesting enough to talk to–older middle-aged people), particularly if they are male.   The people we saw as dismissive towards him seemed to be in that age group.  I would like to qualify that I don’t believe it is an intentional thing, more like…. the arrogance of youth.

        • Anonymous

          There was a podcast Bert did with Blogging Project Runway where he said he didn’t mention his partner’s death for a while.  I’m inclined to think the other designers simply weren’t aware of his background, either on a personal or professional level. That’s not at ALL an excuse for their dismissiveness, which really made them look like fools.  I just don’t think it was a case of everyone else saying “Halston and Holly Harp, WHOOPTY-DOO.”  You know?

          I also have to say I’m not sure Bert was at his best under the initial stress of the competition (the “I want to get out of here” moment he mentions).  Which is completely understandable, but then in one of the Lifetime bonus videos about Bert not getting along with the others, you also have Danielle reporting Bert called her a “stupid idiot” at one point.  Is that the most heinous crime ever?  No, but I can also see why people might have given him a wide berth.  Basically, on the question “Were the other designers dismissive and immature or was Bert a jerk?” to me it seems like it was a little from column A and a little from column B, massively amplified by reality show editing. 

          I’m not saying this to come down on Bert – on the contrary, I’m more appreciative of a designer that we see “warts and all” than someone who carefully triangulates what their reality show persona is going to be.  I always liked his designs, and in the end I also came to really appreciate his ethos, his experience and his awesome dry humor; it was a pleasure to have those impressions confirmed in this interview.  And since they all seem to have patched things over, I’m inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone.  Well, everyone except Josh.

          • Anonymous

            The fact that Bert was discreet about sharing his past makes me love him even more. Discretion is a wonderful thing.

          • Anonymous

            Totally!  I love that he doled it out in small bits over the season – the younger designers’ reactions during the ’70s episode when he was talking about Studio 54 were kind of priceless. 

      • Anonymous

        I know … I googled up Julio, like a fool, and then had to laugh at myself because, duh.  Bert’s Julio thing reminded me of the Rafael gag in “Being There.”  Peter Sellars:  “Are you a friend of Rafael?”  And I can’t spell Scaasi correctly evidently.  I think sometimes the show itself encourages this kind of blind spot when it comes to fashion history — all the judges’ “fashion forward” jazz, when in fact there is very little possible anymore in terms of the completely original, enables this kind of reality show ignorance.

  • Latiste Sasser

    Thank you TLo for this interview!!  Bert was a favorite and I was so disappointed when he didn’t win.  I never understood how or why he was ever “hated”.  I loved him!  He was clearly the most talented designer IMO!

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely – he was always my favorite from Day One and with the exception of one really shitty thing he said (but man, was he provoked by those narcissistic little turds) I was behind him and defended him unerringly.  YAY BERT!

  • Anonymous

    GREAT interview guys!

    –GothamTomato

  • vix eljay

    LOVE HIM.  I was just in the kitchen thinking “Who should TLo interview first?” and like a flash of light, it was clear: The Queen Mother.  He is great and I really wish him all the best.  Thanks so much for interviewing him for us!

  • Anonymous

    Fabulous interview.   He was really quite elegant.  And he certainly hit Evil Josh spot on.   Way to go Bert.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m so happy for Bert, and I really hope he continues to thrive in his career. 

  • Anonymous

    This interview made me realize how rarely television lets us hear from an intelligent, non-famous person with actual life-earned wisdom. Thanks, Mr. Keeter for being pretty much the only reason to watch this season of PR, and thanks, TLo for the great interview.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to you both and to Bert. It was great to read that he is doing well and that he got something positive from PR and the judges. At least the season wasn’t a total waste. Great interview.

  • Anonymous

    What a great, satisfying interview!

    I truly loved Bert’s runway collection, and I’m sure it would be a dream to own something he designed. I hope he does get backing to start his line!!!

    The man has worked with *legends*! I knew that he has worked with Halston but I didn’t know he also worked for Holly Harp, Bill Blass and Scaasi. Those little hamsters should be counting their lucky stars that they got to be in his presence.

  • Anonymous

    Although I am not willowy (I am more hourglass), I think his clothes are so beautifully draped that they would be flattering even on my frame.  I hope he gets a line together, because I would invest in his pieces.  Many of them really are the definition of timeless.

  • Anonymous

    I think Bert will do really well in his career.  His goal of making clothes that can be worn over and over and from one season to the next is obvious in his work.  His designs are more classic than cutting-edge, and I think this will serve him well. 

  • Anonymous

    Hail to the Queen Mum!  Bert seems as down to earth and clear thinking as he came across on the show.

    Best to him!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Tom and Lorenzo for a fantastic interview.

    Thank you Bert for redeeming season 9 for quite a few of us. The very best of luck to you. Your talent and graciousness would be a wonderful asset to anyone who will hire you. I’ll be on the lookout for a Bert original that I would love to buy and wear with pride.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luv2birdie Elana Bryan

    I love Bert and his clothes.  I am that woman of a certain age who would love to wear his timeless designs.  I hope he gets all the success he deserves!

  • Anonymous

    “this field trip from hell that never ends and I was the chaperone”

    Ha! That sums it up beautifully. he gives a really good interview.

    • Anonymous

      That quote might aptly sum up Season 9 of PR.

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

        true. but an outer ring.
        & it’s over now, of course. thankfully.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the interview T Lo and Bert being on Project Runway 9 is the only reason I will remember this miserable season.

  • Anonymous

    YAY!  Great interview, great subject.  We love you, Bert!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

    I love love love Bert– I never wavered, even when others were hating.  I will enjoy watching Bert’s future successes because not only doI think he was the best designer in S9, but I also think he has integrity, which was sorely lacking.   He’s also fun to be FB friends with– very accessible, funny, and nice!

  • http://heartprintandstyle.blogspot.com Vivi N

    BERT!!!!

    *faints*

  • Anonymous

    Excellent interview, boys! Great job, Bert!

  • Anonymous

    We were on Team Bert from Day 1. All the arrogance, condescension,  and downright hateful garbage spewed at him by the younger  designers was disrespectful at best. Viktor’s ignorance over the type of corsetry used was typical. Instead of learning something he lashed out at Bert; Josh was always looking for fights; and Laura constantly dissed him. He must have the patience of a saint to not send Josh’s teeth flying.

    That being said, we wish him all the luck in the cutthroat fashion world. There are women who want classic pieces, and they far outnumber the starlets and wannabes.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful. Love. 

  • elzatelzabelz

    Yay! What a great interview. I like Bert and hope he gets back into designing soon. 

  • Anonymous

    Bert was my favorite from the first episode. 

    His dress they sold online sold out really fast. 

    • Anonymous

      Unlike Anya’s. Which should tell the folks at PR & B/M something, but won’t. They’ll chalk it up to price instead of style.

  • Anonymous

    Great interview, Gentlemen!!! I love Bert and love you guys!!! Thank you!

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

    Thanks for this great interview. What a pleasure to read.

  • Anonymous

    Great interview! I’m so excited that it was with Bert. I totally agree with his idea that even high fashion should be more wearable. Also, I’m soooooo glad he pointed out how embarrassing it is that Josh didn’t know anything about the 70s because he didn’t live then. Anyone who expects to participate in the fashion industry should make a point to have a thorough knowledge about AT LEAST the second half of the 20th century, if not the last 150 years or more.

    • https://me.yahoo.com/a/O5zYg6EMmcahpFvPfpdCYLTSyBxqSWYJXena#f908b Kate

      AND they gave them all photos as references!

  • http://twitter.com/KathleenGillies Kathleen Gillies

    Thanks for the wonderful interview TLo.  Bert was one of my favorite designers this past season.  I wish Bert all the best of luck because someday, I’d like to be able to wear one of his designs.  I like some others here hope that he might be willing to partner with a more middle of the road venue so we can!  His story is very interesting and he is so talented.  I send virtual hugs and encouragement to Bert!!!

  • Anonymous

    Forgot to add my voice to those thanking you for the interview, TLo. Great questions which really allowed him to tell his story. 

    I agree his pieces are timeless. I never understood the criticism that his clothes were dated because they just seemed so classic to me. 

  • Anonymous

    Cool guy. i was particularly interested in what he had to say about anya, because i thought it looked like they clicked as a team for the mini collection. glad to see that impression wasnt wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Aww. I stopped watching after the abysmal “70s rock star” episode so I didn’t get to see the full Redemption of Bert, but I have to say from this interview he sounds smart, open, and pretty graceful. Consider me converted to the Bert-wagon.

    • Anonymous

      The Redemption of Bert! 

  • Anonymous

    YEA BERT! You go on with your bad self…best of luck…Thank you TLo for the interview, it was nice to hear from the man himself

  • Sara__B

    I hope to someday have a classic, timeless Bert Keeter design in my closet that I pull out and wear any time I want to feel especially beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    All the best for you Bert! I hope you can create your own label soon, I would love to see what you will come up with! 
    TLo, as usual, wonderful interview! 

  • grif wolf

    Great interview, thanks. Bert was the best thing in an overall terrible PR.

  • Anonymous

    Julie Bowen is PERFECT for his clothes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

    Loved Bert!  Wish we could have seen more of him.  

  • http://twitter.com/vintagegoddess just julie

    “Like Josh not knowing what the ’70s was like. Well, I didn’t live through the ’20s and ’30s, but I know how they dressed and how they lived and what happened in that timeframe so that I can relate to fashion.”
    Amen Bert, amen.

    and HOLLY HARP, he worked with Holly Harp. I love her designs. So 70′s hippie goddess Stevie Nicks-ish.

  • http://twitter.com/evagination Kendra Lynn

    What an articulate and interesting person — and so inspirational, too.  This was a great interview; thanks, TLo!

  • Anonymous

    Fabulous interview!

  • Anonymous

    TLo,

    Hugs & kisses for giving us a Bert interview.  Funny, I could have sworn there was a point where I felt like I was one of three people defending Bert (the most valiant being Scottyf, of course.)  I said he just seemed tired and cranky–funny thing is, that seems to be the case and then he adjusted to the nuttiness of PR and became a really graceful contestant.  I’m not surprised that he had a rapport with Kors–you could see that even in the scraps of judging we saw. Kors respected Bert.

    I love the way he talks about his craft–the love and depth of knowledge is there.  Who knew that that black “Anya” dress was a single seam–and he doesn’t say so, but he didn’t just make that dress, he designed it from an idea of Anya’s.  She just didn’t have the knowledge to know that the dress should be one seam to flow properly.  

    I’m old enough, too, to remember the early 80s and what AIDS did.  Poor Bert–so deeply talented, but losing so many people that he just kind of broke.  

    I wish him well as a designer–for altruistic reasons (he’s a talent.) and for selfish ones (I want to wear his clothes.)

  • Anonymous

    “Work horse clothes.”  Exactly.  That’s why I would see myself spending extra money to buy his clothes.  I don’t have a lot and I need it to last, but I still want to have some style…

    If I were the proposed customer, PR wouldn’t exist, but it’s still part of why I <3 Bert.  That, and the fact that he is a phoenix.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

      100% agree.  What’s the point in blowing a lot of money on something you can’t wear next season?

  • Anonymous

    Interview with Josh McKinley. Didn’t he say something once about being picked on? This article makes him sound like a popular boy in high school.

    http://www.news-herald.com/articles/2011/08/06/life/doc4e3c56b5bedea192910690.txt

    • Anonymous

      Oh, I couldn’t even swallow the first paragraph!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      McKinley said the show has helped him blossom as a designer but also has put him on the “fast track” to growing as a human being.

      “It helped me think on my feet,” he said. “It elevated me and gave me confirmation that what I was doing was (presenting) a unique voice that needed to be heard.”
      Yeah right. A unique voice that needed to be heard. I imagine all the Beckys out there didn’t need it. That’s as far as I could get. He is so gross.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      To be fair (and I’m not saying this is true in Josh’s case), being popular and not picked on are not always the same thing.  When I was in high school, there was a girl who was quite popular… until her ex-boyfriend went around making some very unflattering comments about her anatomy.  Her “friends” all thought they were quite funny and had a great time repeating them. 

      Another kid who was popular only lasted until our junior year when he got a severe case of mono that kept him out of school for 5 months.  When he got back, all of his popular friends had ditched him because he hadn’t been around. 

  • BerlinerNYC

    Wow, what a great interview. Someone who owns the fact that he can have a bitchy sense of humor and then proceeds to not say a single bitchy thing about ANYONE in the show, either the judges or his fellow contestants. That is graciousness, the definition of a class act, and a role model for the others.

    • Anonymous

      Glad you pointed that out. He wasn’t the least bit bitchy about anyone. He’s a class act all the way!

    • Anonymous

      Like x 100

  • Anonymous

    Thank you guys so much for this interview with my favorite designer this season.  Of course, he and I are both old – I expect that in his heart he just wanted to tell those kids to get off his lawn!  But, truly, his attitude towards design – give women clothes that are classic, will last, and can be updated with accessories – is a breath of fresh air in a world of crazy, expensive faddish clothes.

     

  • Anonymous

    Bert was my favorite from the first episode, and remained so throughout. He sounds like a great, down-to-earth, experienced grownup, which is an extremely refreshing change from the usual run of very young (in years or emotional development) special snowflakes with overly developed senses of self esteem and grandiose notions of their own talent. 

    Having just read that over, I can see that I am indeed a bitter kitten! This lackluster season of PR did it to me.

  • Anonymous

    Good for him. It’s nice to hear him say he wants customers to wear his clothing for a long time. Sign me up!

  • Anonymous

    If fan favorite was limited to TLo’s bitter kittens and unborn fawns, Bert would have won, hands down!

  • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

    “I think when I got home back to LA after being on the show, I started
    rushing; bought all this fabric and stuff and I was working on this
    dress for three days and I thought, “This is bullshit. I don’t like
    this, I’m not going in this direction.” So I ditched everything because I
    was thinking in my head what they had been telling me, “You have to do
    this, you have to do that,” and I said to myself, “Why? I’m not in the
    running anyway. Why can’t I just do what I want?” ”

    I love this. I love that he went his own way. It enabled him to make a wonderful collection.

    I hopped on the Bert Train in the first episode and never left. The  man is a class act. I wish nothing but great things for him.

    Thanks, TLo, for the interview. Can’t think of a better person from S9 than Bert.

    • Anonymous

      If Viktor had had the same attitude, he may have won. He should have gone his own direction.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        I do wish Viktor hadn’t choked. He’d at least have the comfort of knowing he stayed true to himself.

        • Anonymous

          Me too.  But I have a good feeling about his future.  Maybe as you age it becomes easier to stay true to yourself - 

  • Anonymous

    “they not only like my style and all that, they also like me as a person and how I carried myself out on the show.”

    Bwahahahahah.

  • Anonymous

    Great interview! “my God, isn’t that crazy and wild?’ Meanwhile, I can’t afford it, but I can buy their sunglasses and their underwear.”  Yes! It’s too bad that that’s the state of the fashion industry – people buying generic sunglasses and underwear just because they bear the name/logo of a designer whose wacky runway stuff they love.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

    I would loved to have met someone with Bert’s experience when I was starting my career. Kids today…..

    It’s so great to read a blog that is respected enough by the people they write about to get an interview like this. Very well done guys!

  • Anonymous

    This will probably be an unpopular opinion with fellow bitter kittens, but I’d LOVE Bert to go into partnership with Anya.  The Bertanya mini-collection featured the most beautiful clothes of the season and they have such complementary skill sets. I’m glad to hear Bert enjoyed their collaboration, I enjoyed watching it and really wanted to buy the clothes. 

    • Anonymous

      No, I actually felt the same way when Bert did Anya’s minicollection.  She’s got that contemporary edge and he knows what he’s doing.  I’m not surprised that they worked well together.

    • Anonymous

      While I agree that their collaboration produced some beautiful clothes, I fear that Bert wouldn’t get the recognition he deserves in such a partnership.  Reduced to the role of collaborator and tailor, I think his creativity is wasted.  Anya will always have the beauty queen poise and grace, will always be the face of her brand, and if they collaborated, he would be the fine print.  

      I want Bert to be successful in his own right, with his face and name on his clothes.  

  • http://twitter.com/yankeefoxtrot Alex McGeagh

    Oh Bert. You make my heart melt. I am so glad he turned it around. I truly hope he finds more success and I could eventually buy his clothes. <3 Go Bert, go!

  • Anonymous

    Bert’s recap of his life made my jaw drop. A lot of those details had been mentioned on the show, but seeing them all together like that – my word, Bert’s had an amazing life! My heart cracked when the narrative moves from fabulous design to AIDS and illness and death (a friend who was murdered? *awful*) – and then on to Project Runway. I want to read a book about his life. Perhaps TLo could ghostwrite, or act as writing consultants, on the Autobiography of Bert?

    I liked Bert’s sense of humor from early on – it resonated with me – but what really impressed me was the way he handled that yutz dude in the “design for the wives/girlfriends” challenge. The guy he was paired with was that icky one who just yammered on about his  wife’s boobs in a rather dreadful way, and Bert just kept sketching and planning and said “I’m sure you have a great time together” or something. It was just brilliant. Bert proved beyond any doubt that he can work with people in a totally compassionate, professional way (he was very quick and careful to let the wife know that they’d adjust the plunge of the neckline to make it only as low as she was comfortable with) – and he designs lovely clothing.

    Well done, Bert! Well done, Tom and Lorenzo!

  • Anonymous

    Holly Harp! I loved Holly Harp.  

    Best wishes to you Bert, I  hope you do very well.   

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I remember in one Tim Gunn’s minimal interviews on this season he said he didn’t get along with Bert.  TLo, did you ask about that?  Has anyone read more about that?

    • Anonymous

      I think that Tim Gunn just replied that Bert was his least favorite when asked who was. My guess as to why that would be is  Tim Gunn is accustomed to the contestants viewing him as kind of an all knowing mentor. Bert probably saw Tim as a contemporary, or less than. Remember that Bert had many years of real life experience in the fashion industry and Tim was a fashion school administrator. Or maybe they just didn’t like each other.

  • Anonymous

    He seems classy and cool.  Thanks for sharing this!  His collaboration with Anya produced some of my favorite looks of the season, and it was cool to hear his positive comments about it.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellika.sevelin Ellika Sevelin

    Thank you. That was a great intervju. I must say, your texts are so much more time worth than the actual show.

  • http://twitter.com/iraki86 Ira Ioannidou

    He seems so balanced and down to earth. I rarely read the post PR interviews but I really wanted to see a side of Bert outside the exaggerated world of PR. He has a clear goal on what he wants to do and a ver clear point of view.

  • Anonymous

    What a great interview.  No punches pulled.  I think I love Bert through and through now.  How many PR contestants have the cojones to contact Michael Kors? 

    Thanks, TLo.  This made my morning.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Frankly, after Halston, Scaasi, and Bill Blass, I’m thinking Micheal Kors is hardly intimidating:)  And I say that as a big Kors fan.

      • Anonymous

        Right?  I hope the snooty hamsters are embarrassed right about now!

  • http://twitter.com/SetMeOnFYYYYAH Miss World

    omg i saw this on my google reader and cheered out loud! awww <3 Bert

  • Anonymous

    Really nice interview, TLo.  I haven’t watched one episode of this season, but I am a fan of the work Bert has done and hope to see more from him in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster

    Yeay for Bert! LOVE him

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Bert! If you ever decide to switch teams, I’d seriously consider dropping my husband and running off with you. Also, as a DC native just a few years older than Bert, I’d love to know a bit more about his formative years in Washington.

    • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

      If he ever switched teams, I think there’d be a line around the block.

      • akprincess72

        Definitely.

  • Anonymous

    Especially considering Viktor later lectured Josh on not studying his fashion history because he wasn’t around in the ’70s.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

    In my dream world, I now have two gay uncles…Tim Gunn and Bert Keeter.  I’d be the best dressed woman ever.

    Love me some Bert.

    • Anonymous

      I like your comment, but I’d go with four. Think about it ;)

      • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

        This is so very true!  How dare I forget about our precious T & Lo!

        TLo…will you adopt me as your niece? Pretty please!

  • Erin list

    Mr. Keeter’s interview and clothing are by design ‘classic.’
    To quote Edith Wharton:
    “A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions.  It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness.” 
    New or fashion forward = trendy.  Thank goodness he chose to maintain his vision and design sensibilities.   Not everyone worships at the altar of the latest crazy trend or celebrity endorsement.
    Finally, I’m not surprised that his acerbic sense of humor was lost on the crowd, I’m just glad that the other designers could appreciate him in the end.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for the interview, tlo… i liked bert from the beginning, and even when he was getting pissy and not being so nice, i really saw alot of that as reaction to the way he was being treated (viktor rolling his eyes and showing disdain when he was paired with him;  josh’s ongoing nastiness particularly to the older contestants – bert and becky).  i loved the way bert eventually rose above it all and just kept designing and ignoring josh’s hissy fits.  pr needs more berts and fewer joshs – then it could get back to actually being a design show.  i wish bert all the best – he really gets the concept of timeless, classic design.  i would love to have one of his designs one day. 

    • Anonymous

      pr needs more berts and fewer joshs – THIS

      like x100

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I still find it BEYOND RUDE to behave that way when your teammate is announced.  If he would have done the same thing with Olivier (who I did not like at all), I still would have found it rude.  If you can’t act like an adult when there’s a camera on you, then don’t go on TV.

  • Anonymous

    good luck & much love Bert!  thanks for the interview TLO, it was really refreshing &  i hope Bert stops back in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

    I still think Lifetime should give Bert and Anya a reality show: Beauty Queen & Queen Mother Design a Line.  I’d watch it, and I’m just about through with Bunim/Murray.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    What a smart, smart man. I wish him the best. 

  • http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/ Karenlibrarian

    Wow, he is truly a class act.  I loved Bert at first, then I hated him, but then I liked and respected him at the end.  I’m sorry he wasn’t able to show in the final four but I hope he’ll be successful.  TLo, thanks for the wonderful and insightful interview.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent interview.

    Did you feel that it was time to go when you were eliminated?I think my look was better than Laura’s. When I was on the runway, I sort of threw myself under the bus because I was really embarrassed to be standing there with something not as good as I could’ve done for Francisco Costa.

    This is called *not* playing the game.  It was so clear that Bert was telling the judges, “This isn’t my best work” despite the fact that the gown itself was really beautiful.  I wish he had defended it–if he had, he might have been in the final four, where he belonged.

    One of my very few happy moments in the past season was when Bert was making joking (more or less) references to the balcony at Studio 54, and Ozark Barbie was just wide-eyed, open-mouthed clueless. And after all the horrors of this season, to not say anything bad about a single person?  Mighty impressive.

    Crap.  Just talking about this season makes me sad, but I wanted to wish Bert the very best.  I know he is going to be successful–who wouldn’t want to work with such a classy and talented man?

  • Anonymous

    Go Bert!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jenna.thomasmckie Jenna Thomas-McKie

    I like him even more now, if that’s possible.  Thanks, TLo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlotte.horseman Charlotte Horseman

    Great interview!  I watch Project Runway because I want to learn about fashion – and Bert’s experience and perspectives are so valuable and interesting!! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

    Such a good interview, but too short!  I wanted to know more! I wanted to hear why he was Tim’s least favorite, and, since he mentioned reading this blog, whether or not he had seen ScottyF’s comments!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jenna-Ryan-Boatman/583622701 Jenna Ryan Boatman

    What a gentleman. He was my favorite, no doubt, and I hope one day to be able to own a few of his “workhorses.” I’m surprised SJP and Halston Heritage have come knocking on his door yet. Thank you, T-Lo, for this interview. :)

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Especially in light of his comments about Halston and his time there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smpflueger Sean McArdle Pflueger

    Yay, I’m glad I ended up liking Burt. He really did have a great collection. I wish him luck in the industry.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful interview Bert! All your family is so proud of you and we will be there for you every step of the way! Thanks Tom and Lorenzo for all your entertaining posts/blogs/interviews!

  • Anonymous

    Great interview.  It’s so interesting how we (you guys and I) went from rooting for Bert to immensely disliking him to warming up and really liking him in the end.  And I am glad that it did come around full circle.  Wishing Bert the best!

  • Anonymous

    anyone else think he looks like jon voight?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=924762 Tricia Gilpatric

    Great interview!! Still think he should have been one of the finalists. I love his design & would definitely wear.

  • http://twitter.com/Briadru4 Britney

    Josh is TWENTY-FIVE?! That motherfucker is my age???? Oh fuuuuuuck. 

  • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

    Yay!  Best of luck to Bert!

  • Anonymous

    Well. This kitten is slightly less bitter this morning. Thank you TLo for a wonderful interview, and best of luck to Mr. Keeter. I do hope I will one day be able to buy a design of his.

  • Anonymous

    What a cool guy!

    Thanks for the interview TLo.

  • Anonymous

    So happy you did this interview with Bert. It was a crime he wasn’t in contention for the top prize and his backstory is so interesting to read about. I hope more LA actresses call him up and he starts putting clothes out there with his name on them. Do I think he was a better designer than Anya? Yes. If PR wasn’t on Liftetime and still on Bravo perhaps the producer driven narrative would have been to award the guy who had life kick his ass and lost his way only to come back at an age most people quit in that business. He was as good of a feel good story as Anya but I think he didn’t make the finals because there was a fear that a Bert collection would beat the pants (pun intended) off the competition. The guy knows how to design clothes that make women look elegant and chic. Great interview!

  • Cathy S

    Fantastic! You go Bert! I’m so glad he sounds so positive and I agree with his idea of timeless pieces. I wish him all the best.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AIQJKUWFMABQ4O7A7J5TLMN6OU Ella B.

    Bert’s a smart and resilient man who’s lived through some serious sorrow and loss in his life, so is it any wonder the manufactured drama, cat fighting and immaturity on PR took him over the edge a time or two?  He’s dealt with harsh reality so many times that his style is going to be based upon real world women, not the fantasy island girl ideal that won the competition.  I’ve thought for some time that a retailer like Ann Taylor would make a bucket of money doing a Bert Keeter casual wear line, or a retailer like Neiman-Marcus would sell the heck out of a higher-end Bert line.  I hope it happens for him.

  • Anonymous

    Tom and Lorenzo, maybe you should interview Anya instead of viciously ripping her to shreds. Constructive criticism is always welcomed but wow, I am astounded by the level of venom spewed by you all as well as your commentators especially when you don’t even know her personally. Bert has some degree of civility and has attributed some level of praise towards Anya’s work. He may not believe that she should have won but at least there was graciousness in his response.
    Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but something must be said with the way an opinion is expressed.  If you were the target of such hateful condemnation, how would you feel?  Sometimes we tend to forget that with each typewritten letter, we have the power to hurt/destroy a person’s sense of self. Some people have a strong sense of worth and sense of self but not all do. 
    You provide critiques (ripping the collections) of their work and that is your responsbility with regard to knowledge of fashion but it is also your respobsibilty not to rip the People. Its already difficult to make your mark in the world without people cutting you down. Anya did not appoint herself the winner of the show, others did. She did what she was asked to do and won whether it was deserved or not. If you want to know more about her work or lack thereof, well then ask her. I’m certain your readers would welcome such an interview. 

    • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

      Please provide an example of us ripping Anya to shreds.

      • margaret meyers

        Tom and Lorenzo’s r e a d e r s are the ones who have ripped Anya to shreds.  They have mostly given the judges the ripping, not Anya.

      • Anonymous

        Seriously, you want examples? This is what you said…The win went to the beauty queen with a sex tape who had a collection pinned together with spit and paper clips. That’s relatively mild in comparison to what you’ve said in other recaps and its still ugly and disrespectful.  I’m not going to bother finding other examples for you because I gave up on reading the recaps and the comments a while back. It has taken me this long to read the recap of the finale and I stopped after the sentence above. I’m disappointed in you guys.

        • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

          If this is the best example you can come up with of us “ripping Anya to shreds,” then we can live with your disappointment. There is nothing in that sentence harsher than anything we’ve written about dozens of other contestants.

          • Anonymous

            It’s all good. Internet feelings are transitory and your Revenge recaps are excellent.

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      While I agree with you somewhat in principle, I think a) you went after the entirely wrong target as the only thing I can remember TLO saying (and much as I love you guys, I just can’t face reading back through this season’s recaps so soon — the scar hasn’t hardened enough yet!) is that she didn’t deserve to win.

      And b)… I’m all for thinking about the feelings of others but anyone who is that thin-skinned and can have their “sense of self” “destroyed” probably should keep their ass off TV.  I mean, in a perfect world, that wouldn’t need to be consideration before doing a design competition, but here in reality, people are not going to think through their every word before they put it out there, and some of them aren’t going to like you. 

      I’ve talked here about going on PR, and if I ever decided to do so, I’d expect comments about my weight (which will never be low enough to please some people), my hair (which does whatever it damn well pleases sometimes), my faint hint of a lisp (left over from a decade with my front tooth missing after my baby tooth got knocked out), as well as my personality, my wardrobe, and my skills/taste. 

      • Anonymous

        If you wanted to get on the show, you have to stop posting in a searchable forum sounding like such a balanced & realistic individual.  ;-D

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Maybe I’ll use my married name… though I really don’t like it…

          And if I really want a lock, I could try to convince them that I’m the Playboy model that I happen to share a name with… I don’t know that they’d buy it, (though I’m still not sure anyone at that show knows how to Google) but we are both well-endowed brunettes, so maybe… ;)

          • Anonymous

            Well-endowed?  Okay, deep v-necks, then.

      • Anonymous

        While I agree somewhat that an individual going on Project Runway should be ready for some criticism, I do believe it often goes way over the top. I know Gunn finds the boards often cruel, and advises contestants to be prepared.
        Any designer that has gone to design school is prepared for some criticism, they’ve lived through it having had
        ‘crits’, often done in front of an audience. But, the garbage spewed by some, ‘whore’, ‘unbelievably, I find you somewhat talented’, ‘if she’s ‘x’ age, I’m 20′, even to the point of suggesting name changes.
        It is demeaning, hurtful, and upsetting.
        The world is a different place, and the Internet is anonymous, but, it certainly is boorish, and unattractive.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          Yeah, it’s not the most attractive view of humanity — but this isn’t 1994, and everyone should probably be aware of what they’re in for.  I don’t like personal attacks as a rule, and I do try to avoid them.  But there often seems to be this candyland view of the world when it’s someone that you (a general you, not you personally:) like. 

          And it’s an ENTIRELY different type of criticism than what one finds in design school;  frankly, if your professor ever says HALF the things you will find on the most polite board on the internet,  you should file a complaint with the dean! 

          My point is that ANYONE should be prepared for the PERSONAL attacks, whether appropriate or not, if they’re going to put themselves out in public at this point.  Some days people just plain suck. 

      • Anonymous

        I too can’t go thru all the re-caps looking for words that directly attacked or implied something neg. about one’s character, but its there.
        Of course you’re not going to be liked by all people and  just because you’ve opened up yourself to the world doesn’t mean it gives you the right to make jabs at one’s personal character.  And that’s what I’m saying to all of you readers. There is no reason to get so nasty. In my opionion you demean yourself when you do that.
        Why is it that most competitors say that they don’t read the blogs? There’s a reason for that. Maybe I’m swimming against the tide here but at least I tried.
        I listened to Kimberly’s comments on PR, and she said that you have to be strong mentally, emotionally and physically in order to face the rigors of the competition. I totally concur. If you do decide to try out, I wish you all the success in the world, missing front tooth and all…….

        • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

          You can’t provide an example, but “it’s all there.” Okay, then. Thanks for that trip through your imagination. We know exactly what we wrote about Anya and she wasn’t treated any differently here than hundreds of other reality show contestants have been treated by us.

        • Anonymous

          I completely agree that bloggers, in general, and especially persons posting to blogs, often cross a line to personal attack that is unseemly and worse.

          But one of the reasons I like this blog is that it is pretty gentlemanly & T& Lo put a lot of work into moderating what is posted here so that it may not always be kind but there is a definite line that doesn’t get crossed.

          “The blogs” in general and the posters on blog sites are different things than what T& Lo specifically have posted themselves.  I guess because my general impression is different than yours, you’d need to have the time to find specifics to convince me.

          ( And my reading of Shannon Stewart’s posting is that she has a hint of a lisp, from a time when her front tooth *was* missing. She isn’t still walking around with a gap, which would make auditioning for PR pointless. On American t.v. there are NO people with dental issues they can’t afford to have fixed. Unless it’s a cautionary news piece about meth addicts. On dramatic shows, even meth addicts have lovely teeth.)

    • akprincess72

      No thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Catherine-Rhodes/602850414 Catherine Rhodes

    Great interview. Tell Bert I would wear his clothes in a heartbeat. He’s in the Jill Sander/Calvin Klein aesthetic that I appreciate and I love the idea of having a “timeless” wardrobe. TLo, please let us know when his label launches.

  • Judy_J

    I finally got to read this interview, and it only reinforces my original opinion of Bert.  He seems to be a very nice person, grounded and sincere.  I liked his designs, and was hoping he’d go all the way with this.  I hope that being on the show and the publicity that went with it helps him to launch his own line.

  • http://twitter.com/VicksieDo Vickie Lord

    Bert reads TLo!  Wow

  • Anonymous

    Bert was definitely my favorite by the end.  Loved the “field trip from hell” line.  My favorite line from the season was when Bert told Josh to “drop dead”.  I don’t know why; it just still strikes me funny.  Glad the younger designers finally got him.  Thanks Bert for your sense of humor and best of luck with your career.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

    BERT! :)

    I’d already read a lot of this info elsewhere, but I want to read even more. Out of all the PR contestants, ever, isn’t he the one with the most industry experience? I just can’t understand why the other designers in this season did not respect him more. He should totally have his own biography written, maybe in a couple of years, after any effects from PR could occur. Maybe he was not lid and dramatic about his tragic life, but this PR season he had a very compelling “story.” I would love to read about his life, focusing on the fashion industry experiences, but also on other life events that shaped him. So long as the book does not try to get tidied up and remove any negative remarks about the industry or PR. Negative things are a part of life, so they should not be ignored. I’m not looking for dishy dirt, just reality. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, good for him! I hope we see a lot more of Bert’s work.
    Good luck to you Bert!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much, TLo, for this interview–I was hoping Bert was the sewtestant you’d interview.  Happy to hear he reads your blog.  I’m nearly his age, and I’d be happy to buy his line–classic, flattering, real-woman garments.  Best wishes, Bert!

  • Anonymous

    I forgot to add that I thought it was really smart of Bert to design his decoy collection as something he liked instead of trying to please the judges.  I wonder if Laura did that as well which would explain why their collections were the two best.  At any rate, it says a lot about (1) Bert for being smart in his choices and (2) the judges in that when the designers tried to do what the judges wanted, the results were often not that good or kind of boring.

    • http://twitter.com/artfulhome1 Christy Bishop

      I think you are exactly right. Viktor tried (for good reason, given what happened to Mondo and the polka dot gown!) to listen to the judges, and show that he listened. Good for Bert for doing exactly what he wanted, and giving us a mature, thoughtful, really lovely collection.

      Nice interview! And best of luck to Bert. 

  • Anonymous

    I adore Bert, and I hope that he finds a backer.  I’d wear anything he puts out.  I want me a Bert dress!!! Pronto!!!

  • vmcdanie

    It’s so nice to see the more human, non-edited, non-stressed and sleep-deprived side of these people.

    I hope Bert’s participation in this really pays off for him. It’s one thing to say he’s a nice guy and deserves it but more to the point, he has a lot of knowledge.

  • Anonymous

    *SWOON*

    If you read these comments Mr. Keeter, thank-you for this interview!  Such an engaging mix of candor and a mature, positive take on things.

    And thank YOU T & LO!

  • http://twitter.com/veronicamers Susan Howard

    Fantastic interview TLo! What a gem Bert is. Hope I get to wear some of your designs one day, Bert! You really get what us women who want to look fashionably put together and classic (not trendy) but can’t spend thousands at the drop of a hat want from a designer.

  • Anonymous

    I have to say, “this field trip from hell that never ends and I was the chaperone” is what I’ve always suspected PR can be like for a more mature contestant. But I’ve never been able to put it so entertainingly!

    Not often someone is interviewed and comes up with a line as good as the ones T & Lo craft for us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colleen-Kay-Sanceda-Gadon/725256919 Colleen Kay Sanceda Gadon

    Sharp, likeable Bert. Who knew he’d turn out this awesome? 

  • Anonymous

    Love him–I am a middle aged dyke who grew up with my gay uncles and lived and mourned through the early stages of the epidemic–so I loved Bert from the start.  He showed himself to not only be a good designer in the end, but a good guy.

  • Anonymous

    OMG! For once, my obsessional interest in fashion even when I was a kid and reading all the fashion mags I could get my hands on pays off. Julio! Holly Harp! Oh, this brings back so many memories… even the designers who did lines for JC Penney… although I also feel pretty old right about now.

  • Anonymous

    Such a sweetheart !
    I love him with all my mind. I was in the rollercoaster of the love-hate he provoked with his attitude on the show and, in the end, I love him more. I hope he will slowly and steadily make his way to the head of a brand.

  • http://twitter.com/JanelMessenger Janel Messenger

    I stopped watching when they eliminated Bert. I thought his collection was the best one that walked the final runway – in or decoy. Onward and upward!

  • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

    Love.

  • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

    Wonderful interview!  I’m really glad you boys did this.  It helps put Bert’s fashion history in fascinating context.  I really think he can have the same commercial success as Christian.  Gosh, how nice would it have been to see Bert compete on Season 4?  It would have been nice to see him working with a room full of professionals.  

  • Anonymous

    Did TLo ever Rip his collection?? If they did I must have missed the post, I quite enjoyed his collection so was curious to see what TLo had to say of it. I looked back a few posts on this site but can’t find Ripping the Collections for Bert’s though.

    • Anonymous

      Well nevermind, a quick google search was all that was needed to find it. Gorgeous collection, I wish Mr. Keeter all the best in his career. Great interview!

  • Anonymous

    You know, I sincerely hope someone does give Bert his own label. here’s the thing.  Of all the designers this season (and even in the last couple seasons), it seems to me that Bert is my favorite.  Not because he designs clothes that are particularly runway/editorial worthy, at least not in today’s trend of extreme outrageousness.  That’s not Bert at all. 

    (Yes, I get why they had to dump him earlier…how else could they stack the deck in Anya’s favor by giving him to her to help her with construction issues?  And no, I don’t have the hate-Anya thing going on. Designers can hire people to help with construction and sewing. She has a beautiful, tasteful–if severely limited–sensibility.)  But Bert knows how to design clothes that flatter a woman, that fit beautifully, are perfectly constructed.  His clothes are what I would call “investment pieces.” I could buy one of his designs (assuming I could afford them), and 10 or 20 years later, they would still be fabulous looking, fresh and flattering.  It would be like pulling out a classic Valentino–never really goes out of style, and always looks beautiful and flattering.  Not only that, his designs look good on a variety of body shapes rather than only on size-0 models who are 7 feet tall with no boobs and legs up to their armpits.So…you go, Bert!  Find that backer, get out your own label. There are probably TONS of women who would love to wear your clothes because your designs simply make women look and feel beautiful!

  • http://twitter.com/doctoraicha Baroness Sibella

    When he said he felt like the chaperone trapped on the field trip from hell, I literally laughed out loud. And at the end, when he said he wants to make clothes people can wear more than once? He had me. I’d buy his stuff.

  • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

    Wonderful interview.  Very articulate man.  And I know what he means about referencing historical design aesthetics; employing and arranging different historical riffs and motifs – incorporating them into your work.  Bert gets that.  I wish him luck.  

  • Anonymous

    Dear Burt,

    After they got rid of you I quit watching PR. Good luck to you and I hope to buy your designs soon.

  • http://www.allaspectsuk.co.uk/location/west-midlands/coventry/pest-control.asp Shannon

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  • Anonymous

    Love your aesthetic, Bert! Good luck to you. :-)

  • akprincess72

    Love you Bert!  I’ll be watching for your label!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abel-Rapp/1171323714 Abel Rapp

    Bert is one of the best. (No matter what Tim Gunn said about his relevancy on the after show – Talk about mean spirited and nasty. Thought the point of the show, especially afterwards, is to SUPPORT the designers who were on it. Very disappointing on Mr. Gunn’s side, though he is allowed his opinion.) But back to Bert. Makes beautiful clothes, beautifully made and there definitely is a place for them. BRAVO to Bert and to Tom and Lornezo for singling him out.

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

    Given the speed at which fashion is cycling lately, Bert’s pieces from thirty years ago would be timeless enough to go into production now with very little modification, or even, as he suggests, just re-accessorizing.