Cast Blog: #PROJECTRUNWAY

Fashion Inside Out

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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

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

Reality Out The Window

Fashion Inside Out

Diane von Furstenberg presents a challenge with a lot on the line!

Okay, before we get started I have to share some exciting news: I just got an advanced copy of my new book Fashion Inside Out from my publisher and it looks AMAZING!!! So many long hours went into it, almost a year of shooting, and countless moments of frustration, but to see it bound and looking beautiful in my hands made it all worth it! There's a big book tour coinciding with the US and UK launch date (October 28th I believe) that will take me all over the country, but I'll be sure to post more information about that when the time is closer... but I just couldn't resist sharing the exciting news!

Okay, tone it down Daniel, you rarely use so many exclamation points in one paragraph and you're starting to sound like a 10 year old on IM (LOL!) This week's challenge was a fantastic one, wasn't it? The designers were blessed with using high-end fabrics, they got to hear about what the challenge from the designer herself, and then, on top of it all, they had the opportunity to have it reproduced! Diane von Furstenberg is truly a living legend in the fashion community, and someone who has consistently designed beautiful clothing that makes women of all ages and sizes feel beautiful and sexy. Her qualifications make her an excellent judge and mentor. Tie in having Fern Mallis (both of whom are in my book! Wink wink) critique the designer's work, and they're getting a real-life dose of what NY Fashion is all about.

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Blayne
Considering Blayne's penchant for color and extremism, I have to say this look is pretty good. The jacket is fantastic and I simply can't believe that he did that in such a short amount of time; the silhouette works in beautifully with DVF's fall collection with its wide collar and cinched waist. Though I feel the blouson shorts may have worked in a slightly softer, more sophisticated fabric, I just don't see them looking chic enough as is. The exposed ties on the legs also make them look a little home-made, and then pairing them with bare legs and black pumps makes the whole look seem a bit disjointed - summer meets winter meets business casual. Good pieces, but not a knockout.

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Jerell
Fantastic job this week! I thought he did a great job of marrying his style with Diane's, and ended up with a gorgeous look. The color story and silhouette scream DVF, but I really enjoyed the futuristic touches of patent blue inserts he included on the jacket, really elevating it from looking like something she simply pulled from her archive. The only reason I can think of as to why this didn't make the cut was because of the length of the skirt; similar to his last challenge's mini skirt, this one is just a tad too short, and too young. I do think he styled his model appropriately and think the t-strap shoes and box hat help to make her look more period and relatable to the collection's inspiration. Nice job!

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Joe
Though I find this design to be pretty bad, I was on the fence halfway through the show, thinking that it was possible for him to end on the good side of straddling the risk-factor. The color combination was a risk, as was the hooded cape, but add in the poor execution (which I don't understand because he's handled past challenges beautifully?) it really was destined to crash and burn. When Joe was first showing Tim the hooded cape idea in the workroom, he held up (which I now know was just muslin) white fabric that looked much cozier and appropriate for the garment. Granted, the skirt/top was made very badly, but if he had made the cape out of cozy cashmere or wool in winter white, or something more outwear appropriate than the metallic dancewear he chose, I think it could've worked.

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Kenley
Hmmmm. I'm not sure what to really say about this dress. Yes, the fabric is gorgeous, yes, the silhouette is reminiscent of the inspiration, and yes, she's styled beautifully, but I can't get over the fact that it's just a dress. Unlike some of the other designer's looks, and many of Kenley's past challenges, this just doesn't hold its own when compared to the other designs being shown. Regardless of how it would sell in a store, it still needs to stand out the runway amidst everyone else's designs, and I think Kenley just didn't do enough. There are many times where a designer is weary of over-designing a look when they want the beauty of a fabrication to stand out, but I think that there was a way of doing a more interesting dress without losing the focus of the gorgeous fabric. In the end, the best part of the dress IS the fabric, and that's the one thing that Kenley didn't create. I'm sure I'm being so tough on Kenley because I think she's a good designer and I'd like to see her keep pushing herself - come on girl!

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Korto
Another very good, very bold look from Korto! I really think that she creates beautiful clothing and I love when she's confident in her designs - as she really isn't afraid to be daring when she's on. Korto really seems to love volume in her clothing, but she's smart enough to do it strategically. This jacket is flattering, wearable, sexy, and a smart accent to the dress. Though I'm usually not a big fan of colored inserts in evening gowns, I think the way she did it works. I'm also not a fan of ankle-length dresses and feel that it would've been more of an impact had she made it floor-length, though somehow it works on her model. Similar to Leanne's look, Korto designed two strong pieces that work together, an approach that some of the other designers really struggled with.

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Leanne
I'm in lust with this look. From her finger-wave tresses to the sweeping hem, I can find NOTHING that I dislike about this design. I adore navy for evening wear, finding it both sexy and strong (something that I feel is very much DVF's aesthetic) but when accented with a cascade of soft ruffles it just oozes sexiness. I literally "ooohhed" when Leanne's model took off the jacket to showcase the dress's neckline, a subtle take on a classic v-neck. The jacket is both soft, yet structured, and is proportionately perfect for her model - Leanne was smart to heed Tim's advice about chopping the length. Another win for the lovely Leanne! Yay!!!

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Stella
Wow, this was pretty bad. I was surprised how bad the execution was because that really seemed to be one of Stella's strong points - her technique. I have a feeling that she's more accustomed to working with tight woven fabrics (or leather) which don't have a lot of give to them, so you can sew it up and just pour the model into it... everything pretty much stays in place. Though with this spongy wool, it has a tendency to have a much softer hand and though it's a "menswear" fabric, it's still soft and feminine. Not to bring back horrible memories, but do you remember the suit that Nick designed for me for the make-over challenge? It was a good design that needed a crisp, sturdy fabric and not the softer, spongy version that was used. Anyways, I digress. I think that Stella truly was the rocker with a heart of gold and really did a great job of holding her own on this show. Stella will never work for a designer as feminine as DVF, and she shouldn't, because they both have their own distinct point-of-view and that's what makes them both fabulous. Good luck Stella and know that many of us, including my boyfriend and I, will greatly miss your sharp wit and straight-to-the-point comments!

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Suede
This is the (Okay, I've really lost track at this point) week in a row that Suede has sent a disjointed look down the runway. I love the green "camo" print he chose, and the neckline of the dress was both sexy yet demure, but the awkwardness of the heavy skirt (with unnecessary slit) and sporty vest took your eye away from the good points of the look. When Tim commented that there was too much fullness, I thought Suede would take the hint to either lose some (which I think he did) or chop the dress to make it younger and flirtier. If he had gone with option two, I don't think it would've meshed perfectly well with the rest of DVF's collection, but I think it would've been an improvement over what he had, and honestly, more Suede.

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Terri
Though Terri was getting flack from the other designers for repeat designing her signature pant/jacket combo, it doesn't really bother me that much, because she keeps changing it up. I think that this look was very DVF and would fit in very well with her fall collection. Yes, I can see that the crotch of the pants are a bit... ummm... tight, let's hope it's just the way the model is standing that's causing so much...ummm...tension. Overall, I think that this look was good, but there wasn't that "wow" factor that some of the other designers had, leaving her somewhere in the safe zone for another week.

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.