Fern Mallis gives her take on the debate over bland vs. over-the-top.
Bravotv.com: What is your relationship with shoes? Are you a shoe-aholic? What is your favorite pair? Most you’ve ever spent on a pair?
I think like most women, you can’t ever have enough shoes. Also, shoes are always the fallback purchase when you are feeling fat, and nothing fits, so you don’t want to buy any new clothes … shoes are always the “pick-me-up.”
Also NYC is very hard on shoes … so I am always looking for comfortable ones that don’t get destroyed by our streets.
Bravotv.com: How important are shoes to creating an entire look?
Shoes can be very important to a look, but truthfully, sometimes I angst so much over a shoe for a big party … and really when you get there … and there are hundreds of people at cocktails somewhere, no one can ever even sees your shoes, or there isn't enough space to look down. And when it’s for big seated galas, what is visible from the waist up is most important. However, wearing great shoes that are also comfortable can make you feel great and that is the most important aspect. If you are doing anything important, and your feet hurt because you are wearing some ridiculously fabulous , too-high heeled shoe that is uncomfortable, your entire experience is ruined ... and pained … and you walk like you are a cripple … it’s not pretty.
Bravotv.com: What kind of “inspiration” were you looking for in the dress?
I was wanting each of the looks to have some relevance to the particular shoe that was selected. Not necessarily a “match-matchy” look, but something where the shoe provides an exclamation point … and works with the color, the proportion, the mood of the shoe.
Bravotv.com: Which looks stood out to you the most (for better or for worse)?
I liked Daniela’s dress … for the reasons I explained on the show. The shoes had a reference point — like a center seam or spine that was subtly included on the front of the dress. It was a dress that was very sexy, and timely, and well done, and the shoe worked with it, without looking like a dress that was specifically designed to go with it.
Bravotv.com: It seemed like the final decision came down to which is worse — being bland or over-the-top? What’s your take on it?
It was a difficult decision, as I didn’t hate Andrew’s dress so much — even though it was a bit bland … and as George said, many of his clients would wear that dress. I don’t think, however, it took any advantage of the beautiful Manolo Blahnik shoe that he started with.
On the other hand, the leap that Lidia took was unfortunate, but we had consistently been seeing her get better and better, and have higher expectations for her, and wanted to see what she would do next with the input and constructive criticism.
But basically, bland is never acceptable.