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Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 8

September 4, 2008


Big stakes challenge this week. Diane Von Furstenberg was the guest judge and the contestants got to choose from her collection of fabrics for their designs. How cool is that? The prize was that the winning design is produced and sold exclusively for American Express card members (Diane’s a spokesperson for them) and a “portion” of the proceeds go to CFDA foundation. (CFDA for those of you who, like me, don’t know instantly what it stands for is the Council of Fashion Designers of America. I won’t go on about how I don’t understand why they chose to send the proceeds there instead of somewhere charitable like cystic fibrosis foundations or helping hurricane victims – probably just keeping in line with the fashion design, which is what this show is all about.)

They included a blip this episode about how Blayne equates Mary Kate Olsen to a fashion legend. That’s laughable. And how Stella makes bad coffee. There wasn’t a lot of other excitement about this episode really. Nothing stood out in my mind except for Korto’s fabric choice, which not one judge mentioned.

So, let’s start there, shall we?

Remember, the designers got to choose from Diane’s collection of fabrics and the inspiration was 30s/40s design and the movie Shanghai Express with Marlene Dietrich. Each designer got a look book of Diane’s fall collection but it’s not clear if they got that before or after they went shopping for fabric. And the design would be added to Diane’s fall collection, if I recall correctly (please correct me if I am wrong), as well as being sold.

Korto  – Here’s her design. It’s lovely. I like the splash of yellow against the very graphic fabric and the solid black crop sweater/jacket.

In the middle of this Project Runway episode, they played the Diane Von Furstenberg’s American Express commercial. This is the dress in the commercial.

(Image taken from

Look familiar?

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2008 Ready-to-Wear

It amazes me that no one mentioned the fabric choice. Even the dress is similar. Perhaps Korto was just channeling Diane at the time. But that commercial has been on for a long time, too. She might have done better choosing a different fabric but as it was, she wasn’t kicked off, so good job.

Blayne – Was he designing for Mary Kate or Diane? Methinks the former. Weird jacket, and even weirder pants/shorts, or are they called knickers? They look like they’d be weird to wear. Strange. Next.

Jerell – From what I could see, this wasn’t too bad, but the blue belt just looks wrong. Why blue? Why not orange or a warmer color? And styling with that hat was just too much. Jerell just hasn’t been doing so well lately.

Joe – Okay. Watching this episode I almost thought he was going to be gone. I think he’ll be gone next week, but we’ll see. This cape looks like Little Red Riding Hood gone Goth. And it doesn’t work with the top, which has a distinct Asian influence, and an open back. When the hood is down in the back, it covers up half of the back opening. And the judges were right to point out the uneven hems and finishing.

Kenley – Cute dress, fit the challenge, but, like one of the judges said, had she added one more piece to it (a jacket, something) she would have nailed it. She’s getting a bit over-confident, Kenley is, and she was even arguing with Heidi. WTH? Or at least the editors made it look like that. I don’t particularly like the fabric she chose, but it’s still a cute dress.

Suede – That’s a vest over a full length dress. Why they have it buttoned up in this picture, I don’t know. The whole thing is fugly. ‘Nuf said.

Terri – I really like Terri’s designs and I love her combinations here. I could totally wear that, but I don’t know if it matched the challenge. I don’t see 30s/40s design influence here at all. But what do I know?

Stella – God, I’m getting good at this prediction stuff and I didn’t even know it. From last week’s recap, I said “I predict she’s off next week.” I was right! Three for three so far, but perhaps it’s just getting easier to weed out those that aren’t up to the challenge (no pun intended.) Overall, I didn’t think her design was bad, just the cape was wrong – too short, too wide – and the fit of everything else was poorly done. I was starting to like her quirkiness too. Bad cawfee and all.

Leanne – and the winner. This dress really is awesome, and I wish I had a better picture of it. It has a lovely ruffle down the center back from the waist, and the fit is exquisite. The fabric hugs the model’s curves just perfectly. I am not so keen on the jacket, but it all works together. Leanne had immunity from winning last week, so she could have slacked off. I’m glad she didn’t because this is nice. It looks like she could be a contender for one of the top spots. She just has a blah personality – or what we see of it on TV. I suspect she’s one of those who is highly analytical and thoughtful and hence appears less extroverted than she really is.



More about the winning design here: And it looks like they left out the jacket on final design being sold. I wonder why. Hmmm.

Any guesses on next week’s challenge? My prediction for who goes home is either Joe or Kenley. More likely Joe.


Previous week’s recaps here:

View Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 6

View Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 5

View Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 4

View Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 3

View Project Runway – Season 5, Episode 2

View Project Runway – Season 5, Episode 1

  1. Ruby permalink
    September 4, 2008 11:59 am

    Joe is a good sewer, but he needs some craziness and flair in his designs. Boring and too manly. Maybe he is good designing uniforms, sportswear, but not high fashion. Blayne is a fake, he deserves to be out, but…he is so weird that the show keeps him for rating. Kensley. may be in or may be out, she is kind of unpredictable, tough, for my taste, I would kick her out, she is not talented enough (my op.) The thing is between Korto, Leanne and Terri. Jerrel has imagination, but lacks editing skills, and if he doesn’t show he is learning from experience, he will be the next out after Joe and Kensley. Suede, i dont remember his dresses, just his hair.

    Hi Ruby, I agree with you about Blayne. He’s just weird. Even though I’d love to see a designer from Washington State (where I am) in the finalists, it’s not going to be him, unless he’s hiding some hidden talent somewhere. He seems a bit transparent. It also occurred to me that the final three might all be women this year: Korto, Leanne, and Terri – just like you said. Suede is, indeed, forgettable.

  2. Ruby permalink
    September 4, 2008 12:04 pm

    Leanne is getting stronger because she is showing that she can learn from criticism. Korto…I agree with your comment about the DVF fabric she chosed. But…may be the judges just let it pass because of the great job that she has been doing in PR. The gown was gorgeus, after all.

  3. Bev permalink
    September 4, 2008 12:41 pm

    I, too, loved Korto’s dress with the splash of yellow. Then I saw the commercial and….huh? Too much like it!

    Leanne’s dress was magnificent and I thought deserved the win. The jacket? meh

    The whole show was kind of boring and I hate it when they don’t show all of the designers’ work. Didn’t even see Terry’s or Blayne’s until the runway.

    Anyway, I thought Stella’s last comment about not caring if one didn’t like her style was hilarious. She really just says what she thinks and to heck with it!

    Bev – ya, the jacket was weird. In some of the photos they have on, it didn’t even look like she pressed the seams down on the collar. Weird. Stella is endearing in her rough-edged, blunt sort of way, isn’t she?

  4. September 4, 2008 1:12 pm

    awww…i love leanne. she is so unassuming, does not have the gigantic egos like the others. plus, i love her designs. i always check out what *she* is wearing in addition to what she puts on the model. the jacket she had on last night was very cool….those folds on the collar. squee.

    i was glad to see stella go. i’m sure, when it comes to rocker wear, she’s fab. but PR is not about rocker wear. and if she doesn’t care what people think, why is she on PR?

    i agree, joe is probably the next to go.

    Teri – I’m getting to sort of like Leanne, but she just seems like a meek little churchmouse to me and that one strong harsh word would blow her over. It’s so hard to tell on edited TV if that is who she really is, or how the editors are portraying her. She doesn’t appear charismatic or strong as I’d envision a designer to be, but she’s pulling out some good designs lately, that’s for sure.

  5. September 4, 2008 1:36 pm

    And I just thought of something – if I had a spare $700 laying around and was at my goal weight, I’d buy that dress for my hot new Christmas dress I’m setting as my reward. Sigh… I guess I’ll have to find a pattern to use to copy it.

  6. September 6, 2008 5:37 am

    I like Leanne and Korto. Does it look like next week will be another team challenge?

    Yes! Get the dress! copy the dress – how fun!!

  7. September 8, 2008 3:34 pm

    I wasn’t surprised about Stella, I knew it was coming. I think Korto’s dress was fabulas as always. I missed the comerical because I taped it. I liked Leanne dress, but I didn’t like the jacket. It looked like it didn’t match it. I don’t know why Blayne didn’t get in the bottom. Those pants looked just plain weird to me. He’s already did them previously. Suede’s dress was also not appealing at all. Terri seems to make the same thing each time.. always pants. I like it but she needs to show us something different. Joe is begining to be a little to confident. His outfit was not done smart either. (Sounds like I am complaining about them all huh LOL) Kenley is starting to crack.. She need to get a grip,.and the giggle of her’s seems to be a cover up for nervousness or something,.Her dress was very nice,, but she need something else to go with it. It seems the judges were being nice to her. As for who will go next, my guess would be Joe or Kenley. I think Leanne, Korto and Terri will be around. Leanne is geting stronger ever week. But she isn’t my favorite. It will get interesting from here on. 😀


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