Project Runway: Episode 5.7 Chic or Freak?
Okay, fine.  So while this episode of Project Runway 5 was two annoyances in one for me (blatant, brazen, smack-you-in-the-face product placement AND gimmicky challenge),  I must admit that I did enjoy seeing how the designers interpreted the materials.  There was a great deal of clever creativity and we actually wound up with several solid designs.

Solid designs, though, not stellar.  I actually only felt that one design truly deserves to land in the Chic, and then there are a whole bunch of Almosts for this episode.


Leanne Marshall's design ran away with this challenge.  Her design was flat-out beautiful, risky, fashion-forward and an excellent reinterpretation of materials.  Leanne has shown flashes of a strong vision in the past, but it hasn't been since the second challenge where she's really pulled out all the stops and shown us something breathtaking.  This isn't just a good Project Runway 5 design, it's just a great dress.

Now for just a quick rundown of all the Almosts.


Terri Stevens's was nicely done, but I was disappointed that after the creativity of the Acid Betty outfit, she returned to her cool-chick in pants casual vibe.  I want to see her bring that edginess and drama to her other outfits as well.

Korto Momolu can really do so little wrong in my opinion. While I'm still a little timid about volume, I can see the appeal of this coat.  Why did she wind up in the Almosts for me?  Because it's just a coat!  Granted, it's a detailed and intricate coat, but I really would have loved to see that volume contrasted with like a sheath dress or just SOMETHING else underneath.  Even just as an afterthought. I was left wanting more.

I liked the motorcross vibe of Joe Faris's outfit, but the fit was a little problematic for me. I also have another problem with Joe: he's Mr. Literal.  In the first episode, with the grocery store theme, he made an outfit out of pasta and tomato-printed oven mitts.  In the episode about New York City inspiration, he took the design from the NYC photograph and made a bodice that literally echoed the design.  His Olympic outfit was cute, but the "USA" detail was so on-the-nose. And now, again, actually putting the logo on the outfit.  It's just all so spot-on.  It would be great for making some kind of commercial outfit, but exciting high fashion means abstracting the concept and filtering it through some kind of personal sensibility.  I am waiting to see that with Joe.

Kenley Collins's outfit was an admirable piece of work considering what she started with, but the end result wasn't terribly exciting.  Nice, but not exciting.

Jerell Scott's bustier is really great, and he's nearly in the top for me too, but I think with a bustier, a longer pencil skirt would have made this more fashion-forward and sophisticated.  I think Jerell has some great details but his sense of proportion has been a consistent weak spot.

Suede's outfit perplexes me a bit.  I think it looks pretty cute in the photos, but I recoiled when I saw it on the runway.  So I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and sticking him in the Almosts.  But I'm not 100% convinced.


I was annoyed by Keith Bryce, but I think Blayne Walsh should have gone home for this.  The fit was absurd.  I would not have been able to get past that.  And the messy styling did not help.

As to Keith.  Snooze.  A wrinkled reject from the Contempo Casuals Career Girl line.

I think I get where Stella Zotis was going with this, but it just did not come together.  I was bummed!  I like Stella a lot and I would like to see her do well in this kind of challenge, but alas, it was not to be on this episode of Project Runway 5.

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