Does it Make the Cut? A Closer Look at ‘The Fashion Show’ Sale on Bravo

July 17, 2009 • Lifestyle

With the first season of 'The Fashion Show' now wrapped up, we feel there's no better time to look back at some of the standout looks that the contestants designed—and the recreated versions that Bravo is now offering for sale. And though we appreciate the idea behind Bravo deciding to mass produce the winning designs of each week's episode, many of the recreated looks leave much to be desired stylistically. But we'll follow in the show's footsteps and just like choosing the season finale winner, we'll let you ultimately be the judge.

The Rubik's Cube Dress.Week 1 Winner. Bravo Price: Sold Out

The Verdict: The recreated designs started off well, as dictated by the fact that Bravo's entire inventory sold out. However the key to duplicating this look was all in the way the fabric draped and was cut, a seemingly simple task versus specific fabric stylings and embellishments. Plus the distressed, uneven nature of the dress allowed for a bit more freedom in designing the copy.

Would I buy it: I guess it would depend on how much the dress originally was—though with so many asymmetrical lines, I would be nervous to purchase something like this without trying it on.

Sporty Convertible Coat. Week 3 Winner. Bravo Price: $249

The Verdict: This jacket was probably one of the few looks that Bravo was able to pull off as a replica. The big buttons, rounded collar, and mid-thigh length are all done appropriately to the proportions of the original. Even the fabric is similar, as it should be to boast a heftier price tag. The belted silhouette makes it appear as if the coat would in fact be flattering on just about anyone.

Would I buy it: If I was in the market for an investment piece like a new trench, one that didn't look like every other one out on the street, then yes I think this would be a valid option. However, as cute as it is, I don't think it would qualify as an impulse buy.
The New Black Dress. Week 4 Winner. Bravo Price: $199

The Verdict: Once a designer puts their signature on a LBD, it is difficult to make a facsimile that doesn't compromise some part of the design. You can tell just by looking at the two dresses that the quality in production is in stark contrast, as is the fabric and overall structure. The original doesn't blatantly show off the chevron design, as much as suggest it. Bravo's version not only shows off the mid-seam in the bodice, it drives down through the skirt as well—an element that isn't even apparent in the original dress. Also the waist is higher on the copy and the difference in fabric changes the entire aesthetic of the dress. It's not ugly—it's just not good enough to pass for the original design. 

Would I buy it: Pass. As in, there's nothing special about it and it could easily pass for just about anything else.

Mean Girl Sheer Top and Mean Cut Denim Pants.Week 5 Winner. Bravo Price: $95 and $150, respectively.

The Verdict: This outfit is what signaled the winds changing in trying to pull of these designs. It's as if half way through Bravo gave up and just went out and bought a top and jeans from Rainbow Apparel. Very little about the fake outfit could pass off as a winning ensemble in a fashion design competition, outside of the color scheme being the same. Both items look cheaply made, especially the top which lacks the subtle details that make the original cute. The bit of ribbon is a poor excuse for a belt and the pants are a different fit entirely! The model on the left boasts tight-fitting, skinny-legged jeans while the mannequin is stuck in what appears to be ill-fitting denim trousers. You know something is wrong with the clothes look unflattering on a mannequin! 

Would I buy it: Heck no. And just for argument's sake, I probably wouldn't be caught in the original look either.

Glamour Wrap Coat. Week 7 Winner. Bravo Price: $225

The Verdict: The concept behind this coat is so cool but, again, probably difficult to pull of as a replica. The draping and shape of the collar needs to be meticulously manipulated in order to pull off the free standing, floating effect as seen on the model. The dangling, metal accents are just the icing on the cake. The recreated coat has no accents, just oversized buttons and there's a reason the coat is undone in the photo—the floppy, foldover lapels just don't look good when pulled together to try and channel the structured effect. 

Would I buy it: The original? Definitely. The copy? No thanks.

Tulip Dress. Week 9 Winner. Bravo Price: $145

The Verdict: As the season draws to a close the designs on the show continue to be innovative and the ones in the sale keep coming up short. Here a fun, spunky party dress is again robbed of the subtle details that cause it to look well-made and unique. Besides the slightly horrid change in color palette, the recreated dress loses points for opting out of one of the best parts of the dress, the cumberbund-style belt. It accentuates the waistline and serves as a colorblock contrast against the cool ruffles folded at the top of the skirt. The lack of belt on the copy makes the panels on the side look like some sort of odd vest. The original also has a lower neckline which, though a small difference, allows the dress to appear more grown up than its contender. The other dress looks more like a clown costume because among other things, the circles are too big on the bodice.

Would I buy it: Not unless I'm getting paid to entertain at a children's birthday party!


Red Carpet Evening Dress. Week 10 Winner. Bravo Price: $225

The Verdict: The title of this piece describes all that the original dress embodies: serious red carpet glamour. The tucked waist, the pleating on the bodice, and that divine jeweled wraparound collar are worthy enough to be showcased at any new movie premiere. Sadly the same cannot be said for the replica. Again, the difference in color provides a dramatic change—the darker, plainer gunmetal takes away from the goddess-like dynamic of the ethereal dove gray. The pleats on top of the copy do not lay as smoothly as on the original, neither does the flow of the skirt when it is chopped off prematurely at the ankles. But the biggest tragedy is the absence of the statement making collar, as if the Bravo designers figured it would look better without the collar unfurling around the neck. Big mistake guys, these two pieces are a classic case of when good designing really does go bad.

Would I buy it: The very idea is laughable. Unless you plan to party around a rising tide, who wants an evening gown that floods?

Photo Source: shopbybravo

-Alia Rajput

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