Getting Lucky

Cheering on my top pick of the final four designers.

I was so jealous of this challenge today! It was my dream challenge. Honestly, the only way you can really see a designer's potential is to give them a challenge where they have the freedom to create what they wish (i.e. a garment inspired by a painting vs. make something out of trash). I find the most successful outcomes with challenges are the ones that have this freedom, they are always the most interesting and daring.


After seeing Christian's collection at Bryant Park last week I knew he must have beenone of the real finalists. I have full faith in Christian as a designer and know he will do very well. We need a little more Britania in America anyway, so we shall welcome him with open arms. His look today was exceptional compared to those who designed just one piece. raterunway_01_411_220x415.jpg

He was completely ripped off by Chris and I thought the judges would lambaste Chris for that, but instead they gave him a second chance (once again) for an in to Bryant Park ...? I saw his collection last week and it reeked of a vaudevillian flophouse compared to Christian, Jillian, and Rami's collections, which were enlightened, modern, and daring. But more importantly, the blouse and separates Christian designed today show such a strong sense of conviction; his handle on volume and sculpting the fabric is, quite frankly, fierce. raterunway_05_411_220x415.jpg

Jillian's gold dress was lovely and she has such a knack for nailing the perfect Balenciaga-esque tailored coat. I can easily envision her line in the future as one which celebrates strong lines, masculine/feminine tweaks, and impeccably tailored avant-gardian outerwear. Her Bryant Park collection was stunning -- full of intricately designed knitwear and slouchy yet structured looks.

Poor Sweet P, I shed a tear for her today. It must have taken quite a toll on her senses to come to the realization that she was the only one truly eliminated today. Between me and you, I would so much rather see her show in the tents than certain others. She creates adorable, wearable frocks that rock, and I know she'll find this experience invaluable. She will shine on! raterunway_03_411_220x415.jpg

Rami, Rami, Rami was lucky, lucky, lucky today. His Web site shows that not only is he already an established designer, but can make really lovely wearable dresses. Give the prize to someone who has less celebrities already wearing his clothes.

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!