Cast Blog: #PROJECTRUNWAY

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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

Reality Out The Window

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Does mother really know best?

Heidi brings six mature women onto the runway while suspense reigns among the designers. Heidi declares, "These ladies are an important part of your challenge..." Pause. Next, six younger women appear and fall in place between the mature women. They are mothers and daughters. The daughters are all recent college grads who are transitioning into new lives as young professionals. The designers are to perform a head-to-toe makeover on the daughters, beginning with reconceived fashion and concluding with makeup and hair, for this is the TRESemmé challenge.

Heidi determines which designer designs for which daughter by selecting names from our velvet bag (how the designers loathe seeing that thing!). We adjourn to the workroom where the designers have 30 minutes to meet with their new clients - both daughter and mother. The designers have to manage the input of their clients while maintaining their own vision as a designer. Each designer's point of view must be evident in the final look. After the consultation, the designers go shopping at MOOD with a budget of $100. There are two days for this challenge.

The fabulous Cynthia Rowley is our guest judge. And the winning look will be featured in Elle magazine. Both the designer and the daughter wearing the look will appear. How thrilling is that?

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Jerell WINS! He designed for Caitlin, a printmaker and an artist's assistant. Jerell created a high-waisted skirt in chocolate with a ruffled top. I found the skirt and top to look very "cocktail," rather than professional, but perhaps Caitlin is going to a gallery opening? Thankfully, a long, but slim-fitted cardigan with oversized croc buttons dressed down the look, allowing for an easy transition from day to night. Congratulations, again, Jerell! (By the way, the chapeau that Jerell wore for the judging had been intended for Caitlin. Had she worn it, do you believe that the outcome would have been different?)

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Joe is OUT. Joe designed a most unfathomable look for Laura, a graphic designer by education who is seeking employment. Ho-hum: a navy blazer with an exaggerated rear peplum and brass buttons over a candy cane wrap-top and charcoal chalk-striped skirt. This looks says banker or lawyer, not graphic designer. Joe insisted that this dowdy, humdrum look personified "professional," but what about Laura's field of graphic design? Has Joe never considered fashion as semiotics? That is, the clothes we wear send a message about how we want the world to perceive us. To look at our budding young graphic designer, you'd think that she doesn't have a creative bone in her body. She does! Joe, you're a doll and we'll all miss you!

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Kenley designed for Anna, an accessories buyer. It's no surprise that Kenley's point of view was extremely evident in this look. She made a classic style dress out of a brown/pink/cream cotton print. The design resonated 40's vintage, but that's our Kenley. She designed a menswear-inspired vest, which I thought worked beautifully in counterpoint to the girliness of her dress. But, alas, Kenley insisted that she take the pink snakeskin belt from the dress and put it over the vest, thereby negating the menswear vibe. Still, hers was among the top three looks as determined by the judges. I disagreed. And from my perspective, I couldn't get over how much Anna looked like Kenley's mini-me.

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Korto designed for Megan, who's debating between med or another graduate program and who works in a lab. I was worried sick when I first checked in with Korto, because the green printed dress looked like it was traveling down the dowdy trail. Furthermore, the burlap textured cafe-au-lait textile for the jacket with ¾ sleeves appeared to be an unlikely partner for the print. Thankfully, Korto's tailoring of the jacket and construction of the dress were impeccable, so the judges' deliberation would conclude as a matter of taste, and she was in the judges' top three. Whew!

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Leanne designed for Holly, a teacher. Leanne's clients purported to HATE her first look, a dress with a Leanne-like semi-circular pleated embellishment across the top. Frankly, I thought unhappiness was coming for an over opinionated mother rather than an unhappy daughter. Typical of these bad client/designer relationships, the mother didn't know what she wanted; she just knew what she didn't want. Ever the rallying trooper, Leanne reconceived her look and, thankfully, it was received well by the client (well, the daughter at least: mom didn't get a chance to see it, again, until the runway show). In any case, I stood in support of Leann's final look and disagreed with the judges, who expressed disdain. The aubergine dress with a light gray high waistband and the light gray shrunken jacket with wide charcoal piping were sophisticated, polished, and well-proportioned.

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Suede designed for Avital, a photographer. Suede's design began as a pants look, but when Avital saw the riotous purple/brown/white print draped on Suede's dress form, she loved it so much that she wanted a dress. Really? I found her request to be inconceivable considering the impact of the print; specifically, why would you want to see more of it? And wasn't this really another cocktail dress for which imponderable excuses were being made? The only thing even more imponderable was the jacket-y cardigan (or cardigan-y jacket?) with the trumpet sleeves and odd pocket placement, and piped pockets, no less, so they would pop more. Oy! Suede, had it not been for that '80s business suit of Joe's....

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.]