Cast Blog: #PROJECTRUNWAY

Rings Of Glory

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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

Rings Of Glory

The challenge was to design for the Olympics -what happened?

I take the designers on a field trip to the Armory Track and Field Training Center in Washington Heights in the upper reaches of Manhattan. It contains the largest indoor track in the world and is the center for Olympic training for track and field events. There, we meet U.S. Olympian Apolo Ohno who presents the designers with their challenge: Create a womenswear look for the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics. An additional highlight of our field trip is our visit to the National Track and Field Museum, which contains a rich resource of materials to help inform their designs. (But did some of the designers interpret the museum's historical images a little too literally?) The designers have 30 minutes to sketch in the museum. Then, we're off to MOOD with a budget of $150. And the designers have until the end of the day to complete their design.

Appropriately, and still thrilling, Apolo is our guest judge!

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Korto WINS! She created an extremely sophisticated look: a white cotton/linen blend pant, a stretch satin camisole, and a white leather vest with red shoulder insets and a black mandarin collar. There was an unexpected aspect to the all-white look, and the construction and fit were perfection. Furthermore, you could easily see how this look could successfully morph into menswear, which is not an unimportant element in this challenge. Congratulations, Korto!

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Jennifer is OUT. Oh, I reflect upon our museum visit and Jennifer's demise all makes sense to me: She saw the historical images (some of them being adorable dresses that looked like they were going to a garden party) and she saw the "Nike" refrain (the flying foot of the Greek goddess who personifies victory) and became entranced. Jennifer designed a gold and white striped high-waisted skirt (with an odd "purse" on the back, I'll add) and paired it with a navy shrunken jacket with the museum's Nike symbol appliqued in sequins on each lapel. Yes, it was a touch of Schiaparelli, but the whole look was too girly and too child-like. Jennifer, we'll miss your intellect and your good humor, really!

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Blayne began with a white jacket with Sgt. Pepper detailing. (He didn't know the iconic Beatles reference! I am an olde farte!) I feared that there were too many "Members Only" allusions in the jacket's design, so I was relieved that he modified it into a one-shouldered top. This was paired with a white skinny pant. I found his look to be fairly lackluster and even anemic, as though he was merely flirting with his intentions. But, his design was more athletic looking than most others. Holla, Blayne!

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Daniel finds it difficult to step away from his comfort zone. Yes, he possesses a sophisticated, high-end point of view, but does than exclude everything other than cocktail dresses. His blue dress with red satin piping (although whether the dress was blue or purple is debatable), was lovely, but hardly innovative and head-scratchingly odd for the Olympics. If her were designing uniforms for Olympic Air, then I'd be a believer.

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Jerell, oh Jerell! Did he listen to the content of the challenge? I'm still reeling over the look that he created: a high-waisted skirt in vertical stripes with a horizontally striped waistband; a pink top with ruffled cap sleeves; and red, white and blue polka-dot bib kerchief, black leggings(!), and this all topped off with a wide-brimmed hat. In another context, this look could be fun and sexy, but for the Olympics? Preposterous!

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Joe embraced an all white palette. He designed a skort (a combination of skirt and short) with a wide cuff and a jacket with red, white and blue stripe details. The stripes were rather painterly (i.e. random) in their placement, but the red trim on the collar, cuffs and hem helped give the jacket some definition. And he spelled out "U.S.A." on the skort. The look was nothing if not patriotic, but it was also nothing if not dull ... Keith created a white, sleeveless tunic-like top that descended into a blue-and-white print mini bubble skirt. The tunic had a high, exaggerated collar that was further accentuated with a billowing red and blue scarf. I thought his model looked like an ice skater. Isn't this the Summer Olympics?

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Kelli designed a look that is more sweet than sophisticated. She used a small-scale red and white print for the top with a white embossed bib insert and sleeve detail. This was paired with a navy skirt with odd extension that look like oversized pockets, especially for their being piped in white. The look was '40s reto with absolutely no semblance of modernity. Was it the influence of the museum, again?

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Kenley entered into this challenge with immunity, so she could have napped through it and still been safe. She created a cocktail dress with a white satin cap-sleeved top with a modified bateau neckline (irreparably stained by model's makeup during the fitting) and a high-waisted large-scale purple and white plaid skirt on the bias with a non-bias waistband. In the paraphrased words of Lucy Ricardo, "Kenley, if that's the look you want, then you sure have a good one!"

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Leanne, what happened? She designed another all-white look, this one with a cuffed short and a sleeveless top with a dramatic stand-up collar in layers of red, white and blue. The collar looked haphazard and lacked polish. And with all that was happening with this look, did she really need the button placket of the top to be off-center? This look was reto-modern, like an episode of "The Jetsons." Leanne, I'm just glad that you're still here.

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Stella, oh Stella. How is it that you continue to persist? Black stretch satin Capri pants and vest? Dark red, silver, and blue leather chevrons and waistband? An exposed midriff? Biker Olympics? Enough said.

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Suede has even me speaking in the third person! His design was another head-scratcher: a navy ballerina skirt with red and white ribbon detail at the hem, paired with a white halter-top. The look brought to mind a majorette or a cheerleader, but an Olympian? Tim is very confused, very confuse, indeed.

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Terri designed the most classic American look of the group. It was successful, it was stunning, it was appropriate, and it was ambitious. She created a menswear tailored jacket with a wide lapel over a horizontal striped strapless top, accessorized with an ascot-like scarf. Below, she had a beautifully fitting white pant with a tuxedo stripe on the right leg, only. I swooned. So as happy as I am for Korto, why didn't Terry win?

Leanne Speaks!

May we present season 5 winner of Project Runway- Leanne Marshall!

Bravotv.com: How did you feel when you won?
I was just in shock for a good couple of minutes after Heidi called my name. I was exhausted and exhilarated. It was the most amazing moment of my life.

Bravotv.com: Were you shocked by the result?
I was shocked. It was a big shock. I had hoped and I had my fingers crossed but it had been a long week and I was really sleep deprived so I didn't know.

Bravotv.com: What are you going to do with the money?
Going straight to the horse races... No, I'm actually going to re-locate to New York to further develop my clothing line. I'm actually going to hire some people to help me and hopefully show at fashion week again.

Bravotv.com: What did you think of the criticism the judges had for you?
I definitely would have had a lot more variety. I just always had in my mind, throughout doing the collection, to keep it really cohesive. Creating it I had so many different ideas and I started to go off on tangents so I was thinking that I can't do too many things with such a small collection, I had to keep it cohesive.

Bravotv.com: What did you think of the other collections?
I think Korto showed a really strong collection. I loved her colors and she makes great clothes for women. I think Kenley had some surprising pieces that looked really great on the runway. I definitely liked certain elements of Jerell's collection, the drama and the sparkle. It's very Jerell. Joe surprised me too. It was really well made. And Suede also did a really good job.

Bravotv.com: Are you prepared for your life to totally change as of tomorrow?
I'm not. After finding out and coming back I've been living my life normally as if nothing ever happened. Yes, it's going to be crazy and I'm really excited about it all.

Bravotv.com: How did you keep the secret?
I threatened to break anyone's arms who spilled. No... My family, my boyfriend, everyone was as strict as making sure that they don't say anything as I was. It's a great surprise and we want everyone to be surprised in the end. And I don't want to ruin it for anyone.

Bravotv.com: You're only the second female to win Project Runway. How do you feel about that as a female designer?
It's awesome. It's really exciting. I think there are a lot of strong female designers out there. It just so happens that a lot of the Project Runway winners are male. It's definitely about time.

Bravotv.com: Have you kept in touch which any of the other contestants?
I have been in touch with Korto and Jerrell. Also, Blayne every now and then. I definitely would love to keep in touch with them for a long time.

Bravotv.com: Where can we buy your clothing?
Go to my website, LeanneMarshall.com, and I also link to my Etsy page where I sell things online. Two shops in Portland, Oregon, Seaplane and Foundation Garments. And I just got a ton of requests so hopefully everywhere soon!

Bravotv.com: Any final words for your fans?
I'm just so touched and thank you for supporting me, coming up and saying hi and all that. I love it and I'm so appreciative of all of it. It kept me going and propelled when I was creating my collection. It's hard putting your self out there but one of the rewards is having [great fans.]