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Making Runway History

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Kenley Blogs Episodes 510-514

On The Road

The Real Winner

The Final Showdown

Leanne Speaks!

Finale, Part 2

What's Next

Tim Responds To Your Comments!

Love Is In The Hair!

History Repeating Itself

Garden Of Locks

Nature Calls

Rock 'n' Runway

Rock Steady

Rock N' Runway

Suede: Rockin' Out

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Take A Bow


Joe: Straight Talk

Working Girl

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Best Of The Best?

Written In The Stars

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What's Your Sign?

I Saw The Sign

A Designer's Dream

Fashion Inside Out

Stella: Lovin' The Leatha

Double 0 Fashion

No Leatha, Mo' Problems

Making The Most Of It

The Fashion That Drives You

A Softer Edge

Fasten Your Seat Belts

Show Some Love

It's All An Illusion

Daniel: Oy Gevalt!

Good Queen Fun

Drama, Drama, Drama!

Joe: All Aboard!

RuPaul: A Drag Race

Making Runway History

Why this is the best challenge.


The avant-garde challenge -- and I missed it! Oh BRAVO gods, wherever you may be (probably in LA as I know most of you) how could you do this to me? Why not on Season 2 I ask you -- nay -- I beg you!?! Ohhh, what a world ... what a world ....

OK -- so now that I have that out of my system, let's move on, shall we? In case you couldn't tell, I LOVED this challenge. It's the epitome of what I feel designers going onto Project Runway, and viewers watching it, had in mind when the words "fashion" and "television" were first combined. C'est la vie. I must be content with what I have, which is flying to LA next week to shoot SEVEN magazine covers for the new Lipstick Jungle television show starring Brooke Shields and co-produced by Candace Bushnell (the mind behind Sex and the City!!!) I'm super-excited to be art directing as well, but more on that later -- let's get back to the couture! raterunway_01_408_220x415.jpg

Team Ram-P
(giggles) Overall, I like both looks. I like them a lot. This is why: Both were clearly born from the hairstyle (which was the challenge), beautifully executing the concept of hard and soft, structure and free-flowing, so kudos for that because I feel it's the best visual representation of the hair out of any teams. I do think, however, that the avant-garde piece could've gone further: in shape, in color, in drama. Rami seems like an excellent designer in how he can restrain his designs to just the edge of everyday practical drama -- which is not a simple thing -- but for this challenge, where most others finally felt "unshackled" and were let loose, Rami almost showed too much restraint. The day look, however, is ADORABLE: the gradating hues, the juxtaposition of textures and fabrics, and most importantly, the overall look! Overall, I think that they did a nice job, and though it wasn't perfect, I though both designs were executed beautifully. raterunway_03_408_220x415.jpg

Team Chris-tian?
(I guess the Hollywood abbreviation trick doesn't really work with them.) Now THIS is a design that will be remembered when the history of Project Runway is brought up: chic, elegant, interesting, and beautiful ... what else is there to say? This team couldn't have been better matched -- Chris with his knowledge of infrastructure, and Christian with his zeal. I applaud them both for so successfully pulling together their best efforts to create not one, but two gorgeous looks. Bravo to both designers on a job well done! raterunway_05_408_220x415.jpg

Team Rick-it
(Ha -- I like that name!) I really did think that the idea for their avant-garde piece was interesting and unexpected, though obviously fell a bit flat somewhere along the way. However, I did love the hairstyle they chose -- it's perky, it's sweet, and I see what drove them to the design concept. I also applaud the fact that they built the hoop infrastructure of the skirt so well, as when I was watching I thought to myself "What the h**l! Where did they buy a hoop skirt from? At MOOD!" But low-and-behold, the power of editing. Anyways, from the fabric, to the flatness, it all kinda went sour I love the shape, however, and if different fabrics had been used with the same concept, I think it could've have been a black sheep, but alas, we were left with Jo-Ann Fabrics' remnants.

Oh, and the day look kills me and is obviously an afterthought. "Simple and cute" can still be interesting. This look unfortunately doesn't have ANYTHING to say besides "home-sewn." ... OY! And paired with black pumps? REALLY!?!? I just don't get it .... raterunway_07_408_220x415.jpg

Team Victor-ian
(Damn another good one!) Firstly, I cannot believe that they sewed an entirely finished, entirely lined, fitted trench coat with -- TAH DAH -- FUNCTIONING snaps!?! That is something you just don't see very often on PR because of the time restrictions, and honestly, I'm stunned. There was so much work put into the avant-garde look, and it shows, that their hiccup came in designing/producing the day look. I have no doubt that they both could've upped the look of the day piece tremendously if given more time, but, unfortunately, to me, it still looks a little rough around the edges. Whereas Team Chris-tian brought equal interest to both pieces, balancing the attention, Team Victor-ian's leaned a bit too heavily on the avant-garde. Well, they both should be so proud of what they accomplished, because it truly was fantastic!

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!