Cast Blog: #PROJECTRUNWAY

Dropped The Baton

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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

Transformation

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

Dropped The Baton

A disappointing episode of Olympic proportions.

Wow. I'm usually left with a much different feeling after watching an episode of Project Runway, but this "Olympic" challenge has really gotten the best of me. I was so disappointed throughout this entire episode with how ridiculously catty some of the designers are becoming. Some of them seem to lack knowledge of the actual challenge, as well as an actual TASTE LEVEL! Where oh where has it gone my lovelies? If it wasn't for the fact that my friends and I were actually yelling at the TV screen as the runway show was taking place, I would be at a complete loss for words. Nevertheless, I'll try to suppress the cattiness myself and focus on what we're here to applaud: good design.

Let's do this!

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Blayne
Like many of the designers in this challenge, I feel like Blayne forgot whom he is designing for. As a fashion-forward, runway-ready look it's a little messy, but still not horrible. But as far as addressing the women who would actually be wearing it, I just don't see it. Although I like the way the asymmetrical stripes work around the torso, I don't understand why they're in hot pink and teal. Also, the fit of the pants could definitely use some finessing. Overall, I think the look comes off as sporty and somewhat modern, which is definitely the direction more of the designers should have gone.

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Daniel
I felt bad for Daniel, because I know what it's like to choose fabric in the store, only to bring it back to the studio to have it turn a completely different color under different lights. Side note to all you designers out there: Always try to take your chosen bolt of fabric to the store's window BEFORE you cut - seeing what it looks like in both sunlight, and harsh indoor lighting.* That being said, the design was so completely off for this challenge, it really wouldn't have helped that much. Like a few others, Daniel seemed to struggle with keeping his design identity in a challenge that he obviously wasn't accustomed to. There are no indications of athleticism, modernity, or appropriateness for the occasion in his design. For Daniel's sake, let's hope next week's challenge is a posh one that his "cocktail party glamour style" will mesh well with.

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Jennifer
I've rallied for Jennifer for weeks now, but unfortunately, discomfort got the best of her. Similar to Daniel, she wasn't able to separate her own designer style from what was needed for the challenge. Proportionally this MAY have worked if the colors were different and she had lost the coy-looking sweater and turned it into a sleek blazer - it not only would've moved well, but would've covered a range of body types. However, in all honesty, as is, it really was off the mark. To me, this is another example of a good designer who makes clothes many women will probably like to wear, but who just wasn't ready for the chameleon-like challenges that this reality show demands. Jennifer, I know you're talented, you're a sweetheart, and I wish you the best of luck. I know you and your ladylike point of view will go far!

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Jerell
I died a little when I saw Jerell's garment. In fact, I died and then came back, but I was screaming the whole time at the possibility that Lindsay Lohan was the guest judge - what with her new line of overpriced leggings and all. ASIDE from the absolutely atrocious design of this look, I simply can't forgive Jerell for styling his design in such a horrible way. That hat is one of the worst Holly Hobby monstrosities I've ever seen. I simply can't imagine what he was thinking, putting a modern women living in 2008 in that hat. I can't! THEN, in what looks like a last ditch effort to make the look trendier, he paired a pencil skirt with cut-off leggings!?!?! GAHHHHHH!!!! I don't...I can't!!! Ahhhhh... I'm finished.

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Joe
I applaud Joe for actually making an outfit with an athletic edge, considering the challenge it seemed, thankfully, apropos. I really liked the athletic, color-blocked piecing on the jacket, as well as the proportions. But there definitely looks to be some sewing issues along the jacket's hem, and it appears slightly short waisted. I thought the skort idea was also appropriate for the occasion - a slight nod to the athletes wearing them - but I just feel the "USA" logo looks a little cliche and the asymmetrical hem looks irrelevant. Overall I think that Joe had one of the better ideas, but I definitely think he could've pushed the finessing of this look a lot further.

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Keith
I think that if there were fewer designers to choose the "bottom half," Keith's look would've been in there. It just makes no sense to me at all. Yes, the colors are "America," but the proportions of the high-collared vest with its dropped-waist hem looks so bulky and cumbersome that I can't imagine someone with some muscle wearing it comfortably. Styling the look with clunky, lace up, platform pumps just doesn't really work for me, and furthermore, a chiffon mini-bubble skirt for the opening ceremony of the Olympics? Didn't the designers actually KNOW whom they were designing for?? Also, isn't this like the 4th week in a row that Keith designed the same tucked skirt, in different lengths?

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Kelli
Wow, I really think that the designers need to keep their blinders on when at the fabric store, because there is no reason that more than one (or ANY) should be designing for our 2008 athletes in polka dots and boring old cotton, seemingly from Joann Fabrics bargain bin, considering what is available to them! This look is not only dated, it's just so wrong that I don't know where to start. Most of the designers seem to have forgotten that though athletes have no fat, they most certainly do have muscle, and wearing a pencil skirt with contrast piping on the widest part of a women's body just wouldn't be flattering. Yes, I think it's an okay design for a rockabilly swing dance, but it is just so wrong for this challenge.

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Kenley
I... what... who?! I'm sure that most of the designers were stuck looking at photos of iconic opening ceremonies from the 30s and 40s and really couldn't get past that. They weren't considering what women TODAY would actually be wearing. The high-waisted skirt is cute (though in purple), nice top, and okay styling, but much like the others, it just wasn't remotely appropriate for this challenge.

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Korto
I'm glad to see Korto picking up the slack from the past challenges where she's floundered, because I really think she has a great point of view and she's one of the ones I'm rooting for. In regards to her design, I do think she thought about the visual impact of seeing all of the athletes together, which would look pretty bold with all of the white and the crispness of the color-blocked shoulders. However, I have issues with the fabrications. I don't see linen pants being that wearable for most people, considering that they wrinkle in a moment and stay that way all day. Also, I like how it moved, but making a vest made out of leather for the Olympic games just seems a bit off the mark to me - great for an everyday fashionista perhaps, but for an athlete competing on a world stage? Nevertheless, congrats to Korto for jumping back into the game!

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Leanne
I really enjoy watching Leanne commit to her designs, especially after almost getting kicked off for the second challenge. I think she has shown excellent tenacity in her designing. Yes, her outfit doesn't exactly work for the challenge, being a bit over-designed, but I do really enjoy the overall feel of the look: crisp, clean, and modern with an athletic sensibility. Pairing it with clean hair, makeup and accessories really kept it from going way too far over the edge. I wouldn't have chosen it for the win, but I think Leanne, like Korto, is finding her footing yet again.

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Stella
My boyfriend loves Stella because she's so different from everyone else. Unfortunately, that "difference" only takes you so far. I think we've realized she is a "one note" designer, which is sad because I think she actually knows what she's talking about most of the time. Yes, the look is extremely unflattering to the models midsection, and comes off looking more like a biker babe than an Olympic athlete, but I do like the athletic vibe it's giving me... those gold metallic booties on the other hand...

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Suede
Like Keith, didn't we see a version of the same look last week? The skirt has nice movement to it, and though the fullness seems to be a bit out of proportion, it is still kinda cute and flirty. I remember watching the show on high-definition last night and thinking to myself "I bet I can see more construction issues than the judges can in person"... which is where I stand on the top. It looks like an afterthought and though the model looks cute wearing it, I don't think a sleeveless turtleneck is really that current, or appropriate for the challenge.

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Terri
I went back and forth on Terri's design. Yes I think she captured the sportswear feel that the opening ceremony, and America, is all about, but I still think that the look could've used both editing and some kick. The top/scarf combo look is confusing to me and kind of looks like the model is wearing a striped tube top that has slipped down, with a frilly scarf to try and hide it. The jacket also seemed a bit dated to me, very late 90s (I'm sure it was the pattern) though the shape and fit of the pants definitely win me over - definitely a universally chic style. I also applaud her for completing so many garments in the time allotted - if she is able to make her designs more cutting edge, and pair it with her sewing skills, I think Terri's in it for the long haul!

Overall, I was completely disappointed with what the designers brought to the table this week. Do all of you remember Kara Saun's designs for the "post office challenge" in Season 1? The way she so effortlessly paired together function and fashion into one universal design was truly phenomenal - I wish that I had seen more of that for this challenge. Not to use a bad track-and-field pun to end with, but I feel like most of the designers really dropped the baton on this one.

What's Next

Words of advice to Leanne, Korto, and Kenley.

Leanne put together something that was interesting and sophisticated and it definitely had a point of view. In a weird way she managed to have a focused collection that still had variety. She took an idea and she stretched it. The clothes were young as well as sophisticated at the same time.

What's next for her? Well, everyone thinks that they have to put on this big runway show and that's not necessarily always the case. I think her clothes are very much about seeing the workmanship, the detailing and all that, so I definitely think she's got the goods to do her own thing. I don't think she should feel obliged to do a big show right away. I think there's something to be said about things growing slowly and organically and that might be better for her. Then people can really see the clothes up close, because when you put the kind of workmanship into something that's understated, things can get lost. She could do a fun presentation, maybe, or a still life on mannequins. I don't think she necessarily has to rush out and put on a whole show. I think her clothes will be appreciated in both Europe and Japan so she should probably think about bringing it over her line to Paris where you're going to find more of the European buyers as well as the Asian buyers. Once again, I think her clothes will do really well in Asia. I think they have an understanding of sophisticated workmanship. You're not going to see her clothes in the local mall. They're not for that. She's got to keep it high-end and sophisticated and keep her focus, which I think she will.As for Korto's collection. I remember the beads well. There was one asymmetrical dress where the beads were built in and I loved that. Everything she wanted her collection to be - ethnic without being costume-y, playful with color - she managed to hit that with certain parts of the collection. But I think the necklaces, when they were just necklaces on their own, looked added.

With Kenley the reality is you have to have a confidence in what you do and you have to believe that you're right. A designer needs a big ego because you really are going around and telling people "You're wrong and I'm right." But I think that there are ways to do it gracefully. It's the kind of industry where you're always going to have good feedback, bad feedback, or sometimes no reaction, whether it's the woman in a store, the buyer, or the press. It's always a public thing, not a private thing. The important thing to remember is as much as it might burn you when someone criticizes you, the real reality is you don't have to take it totally verbatim. I think she takes things totally verbatim. And one can listen and say, "I got what you're saying but I'm ultimately going to do what I want to do, thanks for the input" and maybe you will learn something. You should learn something. When you think you know it all at 25 then your career's going to be really short. The whole point of fashion is that you never know it all. She's gotta learn how to keep her point-of-view and her confidence, but learn how to be a little more of a lady. Granted, being tough never hurt anyone in fashion.She's obviously got a point-of-view. She's got a great hand. The painting on those clothes was just gorgeous. In general, the quality and the craftsmanship of everything she sent out was beautiful. But I think when people are dress designers, which is really what she is, it doesn't make for the most compelling fashion show. It might make a very nice line. I think that in history there have been a lot of designers who are "dress houses," so to speak. They don't do a whole collection and they can have very successful businesses. It's hard to tell a varied story when you are so specifically dress-oriented and especially when your look is so particular. So I think she could put a line together and do very well with it. There's always going to be someone who likes something feminine and flirty and she's another one where I don't necessarily think the runway is always going to be her best friend. I think the greatest thing that has happened from the show in the last five seasons is that it's certainly made people aware that their clothes don't just appear in their closet. It's kind of like knowing the farmer who grows the crop. Suddenly you have an appreciation for the food that's on your table. I think that Runway has really opened people's eyes to know that this is an incredibly difficult endeavor and it takes real tenacity and talent.

I think that's the greatest part of the show for me. I'm a real fashion person so when something turns the corner and I think it's really spectacular that's the greatest moment for me. When Christian's show started and I saw the chicness of this 3-Musketeers silhouettes I thought "Wow." Same thing with Leanne. I look at the whole thing lined up and I think this is what we're here for. I'm happy when it looks great. My other highlight is sometimes just losing it laughing. Whether it's the wrestling challenge or... just losing it laughing in general! As much as I love it all and we are excited about it and spend so much time doing it, at the end of they day, they are just clothes. And sometimes it's good to just laugh about it all.