Christian: On Challenge One

Christian Siriano runway experience during the first challenge.

What was it like meeting Tim and Heidi for the first time?
It was so amazing to meet Heidi. She was so sweet, funny, and beautiful -- all I wanted was for her to runway walk down the street! Tim was great! It's weird, I was not impressed with him at first, but I gained respect for him later on in the season and now I love him!

What was your impression of the first challenge -- to express who you are as a designer?
I loved the first challenge. I was happy that we did not have to make something out of strange materials! I love that we actually got to show ourselves right off the bat, it really showed whoe the stronger contestants are.

Which designer did you find the most intimidating when you first arrived?
Honestly, I found everyone a little Intimidating. I'm 21, and I knew that I had the least experience...but I would never let them know that.

During the first days on the set, what was the thing that struck you the most?
Oh, definitely the fact that there was never down time and that there were cameras everywhere... At all times!

What was it like to be in the last six on the Runway?
It is sooooo scary!! I was tired, hot, and it is so hard to be judged on something that you love and worked so hard on.

You were criticised for your fabric choice, but praised for your silhouette and detailing. Do you feel that you were criticized fairly?
I feel that with the fabric that was given (which was not that great) -- I made a great outfit! I took a huge chance using a plaid and I didn't have much to choose from in the beginning! Im happy with the decision made!!

The Real Winner

No doubt about this years Project Runway 5 winner!

Just a heads up that my book Fashion Inside Out is almost upon us! Though I've heard places are starting to ship it out, the official release date is on 10/28, so mark your calendars! I'm heading out on a book tour to celebrate with you all, so be sure to check my website for details on times, dates and locations: After a year and a half in the works it would be delightful to see all of your supporting faces!

But NOW, it's down to business! PR5 has finally come to an end. I hope after a week of digesting we've all be able to form clear-headed opinions about who we really thought was the winner.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I hands down think it should have been Leanne, but what did you think? Tightly edited, unique and comparable to no one, I think she did an excellent job of taking her inspiration and running it cohesively through each and every piece she sent down the runway. Unlike some of the other designers, Leanne's work is both subtle and intricate, and I applaud her to no end for being able to successfully straddle that fine line, especially at exactly the right time. Korto and Kenley both showed very nice collections, but I do think that Leanne was the one who had the whole package. Korto's sense of color and proportion are excellent, and the way she styled the looks was just intoxicating - the high buns, dewy skin, and fluttering fans - she certainly infused a lot of "earthy sexiness" into it. That being said, you take away all of the extras and we're left with clothing that didn't quite stand up to Leanne's more intricate work.

To me, watching Kenley's show was like watching your friend go into her glamorous closet, and parade out to see if the look is a "keeper" or a "throwaway." Although it was filled with definite highlights and interesting (sometimes costume-like) elements, I just didn't feel that it was a cohesive collection. One of the highlights for me was the green silk dress with the ballooned shoulders - I just thought it was a chic, well made, and truly stunning look.

All in all, these designers will find work and hopefully create stunning collections in the future. Congratulations to them all for coming this far and a HUGE congratulations to Leanne for the win! I'll see you in NYC sweetheart!