Project Runway: Episode 5.5 Chic or Freak?
This week on Project Runway 5, the designers had to pair up to design a look for a character played by Brooke Shields on Lipstick Jungle. The designers felt about as enthusiastic about participating in a team challenge as I did about watching one. I much prefer to see what each designer would do on their own and have more individual looks to evaluate, but I guess we have to take what we can get.

This week saw Kelli Martin going home for a look that Michael Kors gleefully declared was “slutty slutty slutty.” Keith Bryce and Kenley Collins rose above their differences in sartorial style and personality to deliver a look that pleased the judges. But the burning question is: are the winning and losing looks also my picks for Chic and Freak?

Yep, pretty much. Continuing with the mildly disappointing feel of this season of Project Runway 5 so far, I guess the judges got it right enough, but I'm still not particularly excited about it.


Keith and Kenley's look was to me one of the brighter spots of this season so far. I don't know how truly successful it would be at going from day to night, but it was cute and unique and fit the challenge well.


I was also surprised by liking Jerell Scott's and Stella Zotis's as much as I did, but I just can't quite put it in the top spot. The silhouette was adorable and the individual elements all worked, but there was still some sense of it being too visually busy for me to be a total winner. I think it's actually the zebra-print belt worn over the larger leather belt. I don't mind the belt, or even a printed belt, but the black and white strong graphic print is just such totally different feel from the earth tones palette and softer print that it is much more jarring than it should be for being such a small piece of real estate in the whole outfit. I think if that little element was more harmonious, I would have put it in Chic without qualification.


I was surprised at the outfit offered up by Terri Steven and Suede. Much as I felt in the inspiration challenge, I felt like the print she chose for the top and the way the fabric was used made it look slightly cheap and like something you would pick up at a low-priced juniors store. The tight boot cut black pant didn't help elevate the outfit either. I also didn't understand how this would translate from day to night.

I liked Kelli as a person, but looking over her clothing line while writing her “Meet the Designer” piece, and then seeing what she offered in this challenge, I wonder if she might be hesitant to stray too far from a very specific pin-up/retro kind of sensibility. It's a fun sensibility, but without adding more of a modern twist to it, it starts to feel costume-like. And in this case, without adding a fashion-forward element to the design, it left the overt sexiness out there without any kind of mitigating factor to help balance it out. In short, “slutty slutty slutty.” (Actually, it wasn't THAT slutty, I just like to replay Michael Kors saying it. He was so enthusiastic about it.)


I'm not putting Blayne Walsh in this column mainly because…I don't know, the outfit was not appropriate for the challenge, but it wasn't, per se, total Freak. It was a passably cute outfit for some occasion, like maybe casual Friday on the hottest day of the year at a shorts-friendly workplace. And I can actually see how in Blayne's world this WOULD be appropriate to wear to an office and out to a cocktail party. At Blayne's cocktail party, everyone would want to be showing off as much of their tan as possible.

Korto Momolu's outfit was ultimately not successful. I'm a little too afraid of volume to get behind those sleeves and the tube dress beneath was one of those side-boob paparazzi shots waiting to happen…but I have to say that I still think she has one of the more polished visions of any of the designers. Even with its flaws, her outfit still looks like something, a singular point of view with some sophistication. I hope she can hang out in the competition for a while because my curiosity is piqued.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of Bravo)