Project Runway: Episode 5.4 Chic or Freak?
Last week's episode of Project Runway 5 left me feeling like either I was especially grumpy or this season's designers were not as strong, collectively, as we've seen in recent seasons.

This week, either I'm in a better mood or the designers were appropriately inspired by the Olympic-themed challenge to develop a lot of looks I found appealing. That said, I still have a few picks for the Freak category. It's just that this week, it's more for missing the theme of the challenge than the actual outfit being a hot mess.


Like the judges, I loved Korto Momolu's look. During the Project Runway 5 episode, she said that she doesn't do retro because she lives in 2008, and this outfit reflects that sensibility. While the wide-leg pant harkens back to other eras, the simple graphic top offses it and create a new context that makes it modern. It's also fashion-forward while still appropriate for the occasion.

Terri Stevens's was super-cute as well (although was anyone else mildly nervous about how low that tube top appeared to be riding?). The multiple elements would serve the athlete well and give them a few different looks.

I don't think this picture does Leanne Marshall's outfit justice, but on the runway, I thought it looked spectacular. Fresh, modern and sporty, but with a few chic twists that made it very stylish. Also considering the season and the inevitable heat, this is an outfit that would keep the athletes cool while showcasing their hard-earned physiques.

I personally would have put her in the top three rather than . His was very cute, but the length of the skort covering in the front was out of proportion for me. Had that been closer to the length of the back, he and Leanne would have been neck and neck in my book.


Now, I personally like the outfits that Kelli Martin and Kenley Collins and created. But in this context?

I look at Kelli's and it just screams “June Carter Cash at the Grand Ol' Opry” or maybe modern-day rockabilly gal goes demure, but not Olympic athlete.

It's a similar case for Kenley. It's an adorable ensemble (although I'm starting to realize she's got a major head start since her model seems to have some extra little spark that makes her really sell every garment that much better than any of the others). But what does it have to do with the Olympics? There's nothing that says “sport” or “USA” or “Olympics” to me in that outfit, even if it is totally fetching.

And Jerell Scott. I can't even evaluate that outfit with that hat. It's all so…Mary Poppins upper half meets Lindsay Lohan's lower half.

I was way off in my prediction for Daniel Feld this week, in fact, I got him and Joe swapped for position. Both have had a quiet edit, and I thought it would be Daniel's time to shine while Joe slipped to the bottom. Instead, Daniel produced this. Like Kelli and Kenley, the context for the dress is missing. I see it as blue – not purple as did the judges – but the color isn't the issue. It's that she looks like she's in costume for a cocktail party scene on Mad Men. And the fit is not great and the button placement looked odd when she walked. I still think Daniel has good potential, but this was not his best effort.

And Jennifer Diederich. It's like every outfit she made on this season of Project Runway was a sort of shy apology for taking up space. It's not so much for me the femininity of the outfit that is the problem. It's the timidity of it, which in no way would reflect the competitive drive and spirit of the athlete wearing it. To me, the successful outfits conveyed power, strength and confidence. Those are not three words you would associate with this look.

All in all, though a better offering this episode. I'm starting to get a little more interested in the overall crop of designers, so I am looking forward to next week's episode of Project Runway.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of BravoTV)