Project Runway: Episode 5.1 Chic or Freak?
Last night, season 5 of Project Runway premiered. We got our first insight into the latest batch of designers vying for the title of Project Runway winner, and we learned a little more about their personalities and design styles.

I also learned a valuable lesson about myself: I need hype. Without the usual juggernaut of advance buzz about the premiere, I felt mildly underwhelmed by the episode, like I had wandered into a department store basement full of clearance racks with last season's fashions. How am I supposed to get excited about this if Bravo doesn't tell me to be?! In short, I am, apparently, a marketer's dream.

Nevertheless, even though we also have the mildly depressing news that this is the show's last season on Bravo (Nordstrom) before it transitions to Lifetime (JC Penny's), we must rally and decide which new designer's offerings were the Best (Chic!) and the Worst (Freak!). I think this episode might be the new winner of Freakiest Freaks.

But let's start positive…


I'm putting winner Kelli in the top spot with a caveat. While I love love love the skirt and think she did an amazing job with the marbling, I really hate hate hate the coffee filter bikini top. I wish she hadn't just used two and made it so literal looking. I think had she created a whole little bodice out of burned filters, it would have been flawless. As it is, though, the sheer creativity and success of that skirt carries the look for me.

I also loved Kenley's. Sure, it was not as creative; she was using a lot of actual fabric. But I felt that the use of the stripes and the structural shape of the skirt shows a controlled but strong aesthetic, and I liked the use of the blue against the red. It's an adorable, yet fashion-forward silhouette.


Oh my. Where to start?

Okay, Jerry, when your model looks genuinely unhappy (as opposed to fashion-scowly), you have a problem. Also: when your outfit makes people think of American Psycho in particular, and murder in general, you also have a problem. And lastly: when this is your outfit, you have a problem.

Blayne. Stop saying Girlicious. Just stop it. And certainly don't write it on your model's thigh. It would be silly free of context, but the fact that the word is a bad reality show itself and now the name of a Pussycat Dolls spinoff group just makes your attachment do it even more bizarre. As to the outfit, I do like an avant garde or even “ugly” look sometimes, but it has to make sense and not be so visually cluttered and confusing that you aren't sure whether or not it was intentional. I admire his decision to take a risk, but the end result looks unfinished and so he couldn't pull it off.

It's hard to know what to really think of the designers yet. I wish they had started this season as they did last, giving the designers free rein to make whatever they wanted. That gave us a really great insight into the style and talent of each designer. Especially since we haven't gotten much outside info on these designers, it would have been helpful to see what they could do with real fabric and less creative constraints. As it is, we'll just have to try to piece it together in upcoming weeks on Project Runway.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images courtesy of Bravo)