Victorya: Panic On The Set

Victorya Hung's first challenge went by within the blink of an eye!

What was it like meeting Tim and Heidi for the first time?
Our first encounter with Tim & Heidi summed up the paradox of the whole experience of reality TV for me in that it was completely surreal. I was probably a little sleep deprived as well...we did have an insanely early start that day. But the whole time, all I could keep thinking was, "Am I really doing this? Someone pinch me because Tim and Heidi are standing right in front of me and I think I'm going to be on 'Project Runway!'"

What was your impression of the first challenge -- to express who you are as a designer?
Tough, but exciting. I mean, how do you get across who you are as a designer in one single look? And of course, you're thinking, "What if they judges don't get it?"
For me, the pressure of the task added a certain weight to the work environment, which made for an interesting mix because we were all pumped on adrenaline after that sprint through Bryant Park.

Which designer did you find the most intimidating when you first arrived?
Did we have time to even form a first impression? We hardly had enough time to swallow our champagne before we were ominously told it was "all over." Just by looks, I'd say Kit had the "cool chick" vibe going. I imagined her to be the kind of girl every girl wants to be, or wants to be friends with.

What did you feel when you were left on stage as part of the top or bottom six?
A whole mix of things: Am I in the top or in the bottom? Geez, I hope I don't say something totally stupid. Or, I hope I don't look as exhausted as I feel. Despite all the preparation, and the work leading up to it, I felt I knew, at that moment, how a deer must feel when its caught in the headlights. Caught unawares, panicked, instincts at ready. The spotlights on stage don't help either.

Nina called your dress charming. It was also called very sweet and flirty. How would you classify it?
A dress I hope girls would pull out of their closets and want to wear. Then wear again, and again. Not taking out the garbage, mind you, but to an event, a nice dinner out.

There is a great discussion of the sacrifices we make for fashion. What's the most outrageous you've heard?
I think what's more "outrageous" to me is when people try to make it seem as if their sacrifices are any bigger than any one else's. It's a very tough business. We all make sacrifices every day to be in it. So unless you surgically removed a rib to fit into a corset, the violins playing the background won't be moving me to tears any time soon.

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!