Working Girl

Why the flashback to 1988?

In this week's transformation challenge, we had another situation where we were dealing with reality and a lot of them got tripped up. I think the minute you hear, "Oh she's going to work," I never would have imagined that young people would have such old-fashioned ideas. The next thing you know she's Melanie Griffith and she's taking the Staten Island ferry. She's got sneakers on and a briefcase. rate_510_jerell.jpgJerell, on the other hand, he took his girl and he gave her a jacket that felt soft and easy like a cardigan. I thought the mix of textures was great -- a little bit of shine, a little bit of femininity, nothing cliched. He also dealt with proportions in a way that I think was very flattering for her, worked well on her body, and I think overall the nice thing about it was that it was just sophisticated but not matronly. These are young women, so who on earth wants to look 45 at 22? I mean ... at 45 everyone wants to look 22. So, I looked at what he did and I thought he really did a very, very good job, and again he's turning out to be a designer of separates. He's turning out to be a designer who makes individual pieces that you would want to buy and wear on their own. So, this cardigan with the leather detailing and the little buttons they were just good pieces, and also he's starting to really understand how important it is to see things made beautifully.


Joe's design was a every bad cliche of the working girl. I mean it's just the pocket square, the pinstripes, the poorly-tailored jacket, the wrap blouse that a bad newscaster in Idaho wore in 1986. The skirt was at a bad length -- I mean he literally made her look 55 and she stepped out of a time capsule. It was just really the wrong choices. She's a nice-looking girl, so what was he thinking? And part of that, I think, also maybe comes from not realizing that the rules have so changed for women who work today, and it's about being current and being up to date and knowing what's going on. With this it shows he's really not plugged into modern life.

-Michael Kors

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!