Project Runway Season 5 – Finale Pt. 1

I’ve gotta say this upfront: I can’t believe they did this!

The final three showing at Fashion Week? Are you for real? You’ve got to be kidding, right?

This, in itself, is a clue as to who is in the final three.

But first, let’s get on with the recap…

I have to admit that I’m a typical girly girl in that I love wedding gowns — I was the sort of little girl who’d drape a bed sheet around my head, pretending it was a veil, imagining the day I got married. (Probably more so than actually imagining the future groom.)

When Project Runway Australia threw in a bridal challenge, I swooned.

The designers for Project Runway Season Five were less than enthused when Heidi announced that their final challenge is to design a wedding dress that represents the designer and is a reflection of their line, which they have $8,000 to work with.

Frankly, I didn’t get the lack of enthusiasm.

But, quickly, we shift to the designers preparing to leave for home to work on their collections. We cut to Kenley and right off the bat, I feel the familiar need to reach through the screen and just throttle her senseless.

Okay, this whole business with Kenley going on ad nauseum about being “sabotaged” by the other designers is getting ridiculous.

This is what I don’t get about people like Kenley — you bitch and moan about how the world’s against you, but you never clue in to see that, amidst this pattern that continually emerges in your life, you are the one constant.

She takes off without even saying goodbye to the other designers — which is just “rude as hell” as Korto puts it. She reveals that she’s glad that the judges called Kenley on this, but I think Korto’s right when she says that she doesn’t think it’ll do any good because Kenley will still be bringing her “stanky attitude.”

We move forward in the timeline and now it’s four weeks to the finale and Tim is off to visit our four remaining designers, with Korto being first.

Korto is working on her collection in Little Rock, Arkansas — and it’s a really gorgeous workspace where it’s obvious that she’s being influenced by nature and her environment. Her colour palate is tasteful and elegant with greens and browns and beiges.

She says she wants her outfits to look ethnic without being “too ethnic” and has even incorporated her beadwork, which Tim declares stunning and sophisticated.

When we turn to her wedding dress, you see right off the bat that the dress isn’t traditional. She notes that it’s actually the same colour as what she wore to her own wedding.

Tim suggests that she put a little more “bridal” into the outfit so that it definitely looks like a wedding gown, rather than a red carpet dress — and I think he’s dead-on with that advice. I mean, the dress is nice, but at first glance — and especially after she said she wasn’t going to put in a veil or a train — it does not look like a wedding gown at all.

Later, Korto takes Tim to her home to meet her friends and family and to also give him a little performance with her drumming partner — and I have to say: it was really cool to see this other side of Korto.

She talks about how her family had to flee Liberia after the civil war broke out and that, when they came to the U.S., they had to start from scratch, going on welfare, and slowly building their way back up.

She says the experience taught her that, if you fall, you don’t necessarily have to stay on the ground. You have to get up and keep going.

You know what? This alone is enough to make me want to see her win. That and the fact that she’s designed some really beautiful clothes.

Next up is Leanne in Portland.

I have to admit that, right from the beginning, I didn’t think Leanne was going to make it very far — just because she seemed really bland and would blend into the background.

A few wins under her belt brought her to the forefront, but she still never seemed to be a standout in my mind.

When Leanne starts to show Tim her collection, she talks about how she was inspired by the waterfront and thought in terms of wave patterns. When she starts pulling out some samples, you see trademark Leanne with the pleating and detailing.

The wedding dress looks…well, it doesn’t have the same ease and flow as the rest of the collection, Tim tells her.

The two later head off for a bike ride — and I have to admit, I totally get why Tim was nervous. When you haven’t been on a bike for awhile, you have that scary moment where you think, “I don’t know if I still know how to do this.”

But you know what? The cliche is true.

Tim later visits Jerrell, who is working out of Los Angeles.

I have high hopes for Jerrell, just because, in the last few challenges, it seemed like he was really stepping up. He won a lot of the challenges and he was beginning to look like someone who had something interesting to say through his designs.

The wedding dress has an “asymmetrical swooping thing” on the top — Tim thinks the top looks “popped out” and suggests some stability.

A lot of his stuff looks overthought and Tim suggests doing a lot of editing…which I definitely think he needs to do.

I’m worried.

It just looks like he’s trying too hard, you know?

It was really touching how he choked up when he was talking about his parents and how grateful he was to his father, who had to work so hard to provide for his family…and as a result, he wasn’t around much.

Back in New York, Tim goes to visit Kenley in Brooklyn.

Surprisingly, she says that she values Tim’s opinion — even if it seems like she doesn’t.

(And often, it looks like she doesn’t.)

The outfits are…bizzare. I like the wedding dress, though — and she actually bursts into tears when Tim tells her that it’s stunning and that he’s proud of her.

She says she thinks she has a huge chance of winning and I can only raise my eyebrow over this.

It’s a little interesting how, the other designers all had people in their lives to introduce to Tim…but Kenley? She had nobody.

That speaks volumes.

When the designers reconvene back in New York, where everybody seems a little ambivalent about seeing Kenley again. Nobody wants to share with Kenley.

The mood visibly chills when Kenley arrives and she seems like she’s trying a little too hard to be nice…and it’s all “fake nice.”

She apologizes for being a bitch, but then snarkily says that she’s not going to worry about people she’s never going to be seeing again.

Back in the workspace, the designers gather around as Tim says there’s “one more challenge” — they’ll have to design an accompanying bridesmaid dress.

Just like the Project Runway Australia challenge!

Tim says that he actually likes where Kenley is going with her dress, but he’s not happy with Jerrell’s bridesmaid dress — especially with all the puckering and how sloppy the top is.

Leanne seems to fare better — and her wedding dress, which was essentially constructed from scratch after some feedback from Tim during his visit.

I can’t say that I’m a fan, but I do love the bridesmaid dress and really wish that I was wearing that to my sister’s wedding instead of the one that we’re currently looking at.

When you get to Korto, though, Tim is concerned that the dresses look alike — and that they’re in competition with each other.

I think he’s got a point, because they look like two nearly identical dresses.

When Tim tears up and talks about how much he cares about each of the designers, I just think, “How can you not love Tim Gunn?”

That’s why I’m so amazed that an absolutely perfect man hasn’t walked into his life yet and whisked him off his feet.

You see all sorts of insecure, mean-spirited, arrogant, rude, horrible people hook up every day…it just doesn’t make sense to me.

That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Moving on…

I hate the runway photos that they posted up on the web site — seriously, guys, this is like Project Catwalk calibre. The photos don’t show the outfit properly and focus on the wrong things — like the models’ faces.

What’s up with that?

Let’s get to the runway show…

Jerrell’s wedding dress gets a death knell from Michael Kors when he points out “the wings over her boobs, plus then the jewelled boobs plus the jewels under the boobs — and then, of course, she’s got a flower-pot growing out of her head…it’s a little garrish.”

Heidi says it looks messy and that the bridesmaid’s dress is a bit “mumsy.”

This made me think of that horrible Vivienne Westwood number that Sarah Jessica Parker wore in the Sex and the City movie.

His bridesmaid dress:

Kenley’s wedding dress was actually breathtaking — it was quite different, but still very bridal looking:

Michael, however, thinks it looks a lot like the Alexander McQueen dress.

When I saw this, I thought, “Yes. It looks totally ripped off.”

You can decide here in this side-by-side comparison with Kenley’s dress on the left and the Alexander McQueen dress on the right:

Heidi, however, declares that it’s “crazy good”, which illicits a faux look of delight on Kenley’s face.

Okay, okay — maybe it wasn’t fake, but everything about Kenley comes across as fake.

The bridesmaid dress:

Korto’s wedding dress gets knocked down by Heidi because there are too many details on the dress. It looks overworked:

Michael says the bridal dress is overworked by the bridesmaid’s dress is “underworked.”

Korto’s bridesmaid’s dress:

Leanne’s bridal gown is a little too puff-pastry-like, but Michael Kors thinks it’s chic and beautifully crafted.

“The fabric is very interesting — it’s modern, but dramatic. It’s you,” Nina tells her.

Leanne’s bridesmaid’s gown, which you can barely see in this picture, is actually really very cute. I loved the colour, I loved the design, I loved, loved, loved it.

Heidi applauds her and says that she thinks Leanne did a fantastic job.

Finally, we’re told that Leanne and Kenley are in. While Korto and Jerrell are in the bottom, Korto is sent on to Fashion Week.

And so…we enter season five with three female finalists for the first time in Project Runway.

I feel so bad for Jerrell…I hope he goes forward and actually makes a name for himself in the fashion world.

~ by justj on October 12, 2008.

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