February 08, 2006 New York
Ecco Domani winner Victoria Bartlett set a laidback mood from the first look. In separates like slouchy "slope-neck" turtlenecks, cocoon vests with huge snap closures, and several jackets, the go-with-the-flow vibe was just right. But when it was translated into wide culottes, rolled-up shorts, and pants with pocket pouches on the outside, the flow outweighed the fashion. The color-blocked pieces Bartlett favorsand which often best incorporate the collection's sporty sensibilitylooked strong, especially some corset tops and a peach-and-white dress with a little shine. A gray top and skirt cinched at the waist was streamlined and chic, and the highly desirable sneaker boots that Bartlett developed with Report added a cool-girl edge. But the finale looksjust-for-show vests made out of ballerina shoes worn by models with veil-wrapped headsdidn't add much. Bartlett doesn't need theatrics to draw attention to her ever-evolving talent.