Project Runway: Episode 5.3 Chic or Freak?
Three episodes in to Project Runway 5 and so far my overall reaction to the designers is a resounding “Meh.” As Heidi Klum said last night, I'm just not wowed or knocked off my chair by the overall strength of the design vision exhibited by this crop of designers. And, if our commenters are representative of the viewing public, neither are you for the most part.

For this Project Runway 5 challenge, the designers had the vibrant nightlife of New York City as an inspiration, and had the ability to actually choose their own real fabric for the challenge. The end result: when I wasn't bored, it was a fug parade, in my opinion. But let's try to look for some good in the offerings, shall we?


Once again, I feel the need to explain why the judges' pick was not my own (for the full set of pictures of all the outfits from this episode, please see our recap). Like many of you, Kenley Collins is my favorite so far. And I really loved the silhouette and play with the contrasting textures of the dress. It might just be that I am too pedestrian in my tastes to get behind the printed fabric…but I can't get behind the printed fabric. I feel like a dress that is playing with volume AND has an aggressive, busy pattern is just too much for the eye to handle. Imagine the same silhouette in solids and it's a total knockout winner, but as it is, no can do for me. I still find Kenley, though, to be the most exciting designer this season so far and I am looking forward to seeing what she does next.

So for my best, I'll have to go with Leanne Marshall. I felt she did a great job with incorporating her inspiration without making it so spot-on as to be a cliché. The styling of her model was impeccable, and as the judges noted, the fact that it was separates and so well-finished were other winning points for me. I think if Leanne can rein herself in a little and play with the more restrained end of her creative spectrum, she could be equally interesting to watch.

Much as I felt with Kenley's, I liked Terri Stevens's silhouette, but not a fan of the printed fabric she chose. I'm sure any fabric purchased at Mood was high-quality and pricey, but it just reminded me of too-cheap acetate tops from bargain fashion stores. I do love the dress over pants look, although I thought for sure the judges would think it was so five years ago. I guess with the increasing rapid cycle of fashion, five years ago now is actually feasible to mine for inspiration. It's so retro early-Oughts!


Lord. So many to choose from. Honestly, I kind of want to lump everybody else into this category, but maybe I am just grumpy. So while I want to shake a finger of disappointment at almost everyone for their design concepts, I think I'll stick to the worst offenders issues for the actual Freaks.

Keith Bryce's dress's main offense is the utter lack of shape. I have to say he actually did a good job of placing the fabric scraps so as to create a new pattern, but the overall fit was so unflattering to his model. Things that are unflattering to a model are never going to work for anybody else.

I agreed with all of the judges' criticisms of Jennifer Diederich's dress: frumpy, not interesting, and with construction issues. I actually probably would have sent her home over eliminated designer Emily Brandle. While the frill on her black dress was inexplicably placed, I'd pick inexplicable over boring any day. 

Allright, designers, let's get it together, shall we? Tim Gunn always tells you not to bore Nina Garcia; well, don't bore us either! I'm hoping we are witness to some creative genius on next week's episode of Project Runway 5.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Images courtesy of Bravo)