Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Project Runway 5/11: Make the music with your clothes

I'd whine about not having all the excitement in the world to watch these shows before the actual finale after six designers actually showed at Fashion Week, but I think Kenley did all the whining for everyone for rest of the season on this episode.

We saw a pretty neat challenge in Week 11 as the designers had to create something for one another using a musical genre as the inspiration. Tim Gunn pulled their names out of a bag and then the type of music out of another of those magical Project Runway bags.

It may have seemed random on air, but it's waaaaaaay too coincidental some of the pairings. Little '50s Betty Boop girl Kenley Collins getting hip hop as her genre? And turning Korto Momolu into a country gal? C'mon.

But I digress. Back to the show.

Here's a look at the pairings and the genre and our thoughts:

Kenley for Leanne - Hip-Hop

I think guest judge LL Cool J said it best when he tried to cover up from laughing his swagger off as Leanne made her trip down the runway with some wannabe hip-hop outfit and a wannabe old-school Pepa hairdo. Those high-waisted jeans -- called "Mom jeans" by LL Cool J, "the most unflattering pants I've ever seen in my life" by Heidi Klum and "just God awful" by me -- looked um, well, I think LL, Heidi and I explained it perfectly. The leather jacket was nice, but as someone who grew up in the so-called "Hip Hop Generation," it was absolutely nothing close to anything resembling hip or hop.

Leanne for Korto - Country

The pink top was nice, as was the skirt that hugged the patoot and flared out at the bottom. Other than the cowboy boots and the neckwear accessory, Leanne's country outfit was made for walking . . . back into the design room.

Jerell for Kenley - Pop

Jerell nailed this challenge and had a legitimate gripe when not winning, not that he griped at all -- at least not on camera. The fishnet top and silver cups covering the goods combined with a mad short bottom and a blue short vest was quite cool. And all the way pop star. Jerell had Kenley looking like Ashlee Simpson impersonating Britney Spears trying out for the Pussycat Dolls, making it to the final cut before losing and then trying out for Danity Kane. Yes, that's a good thing.

Korto for Suede - Punk

Great pants. "I think it's right on the money," my boy LL Cool J said of Korto's work. She did a brilliant job of bleaching the pants. Can't really argue her victory on this challenge since she pretty much nailed the punk look for Suede.

Suede for Jerell - Rock 'n Roll

Not altogether sure what went on here. Suede made some sort of pants and a shirt that still baffles me. The vest was supposedly rock 'n roll, but after seeing this whole thing move down the runway, I started thinking, "Hmmm, I wonder what Stella Zotis is throwing at the television as she watches this episode."

- La Monica

Photos from

Project Runway 5/11: Honest Abe Jerell

Gotta love Jerell's honesty this week, suggesting he'd have no problem sabotaging Suede and letting Kenley go on with what her notion of hip-hop is in terms of fashion.

Well, played Jerell.

This is indeed a competition, and regardless of Bravo's ability to completely botch the calendar each season of this show and let nearly everyone show at Bryant Park, you still have to be in it to win it.

- La Monica

Project Runway 5/11: Leanne goes G

And we thought we'd hit the high point of ridiculously funny quotes when Tim Gunn learned a little "Holla at your boy!"

Well, in this week's fairly unique challenge of designing for each other based on a music genre pulled out of a hat, the quiet and reserved (at least on the show) Leanne Marshall was the client for Kenley Collins. The genre? Hip Hop!

Kenley asked Leanne what she'd like. And then Leanne strung these words together for us: "I'll totally do all gangster."

Such genius in this unscripted world these days.

- La Monica

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Peace out, Joe Faris

And there we have it, folks, an official 0-for-3 for us in our predictions after 5 episodes. In fact, we basically put the kibosh on whoever we picked, seeing how they all got booted once we made our predictions. Oh well, at least we went 3-for-3 last season.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jillian Lewis' thoughts on Season 5 at Bryant Park

We cornered (stalked?) Jillian Lewis after the "Project Runway" fashion show at Fashion Week on Friday and got her thoughts on what she just saw. We also asked for an update on her designs. Watch the video below.

Friday, September 12, 2008

VIDEO: Leanne Marshall's collection at Fashion Week

Lots of pleated things and a nice color palette in this Fashion Week collection from Leanne Marshall, the odds-on favorite to win Season 5 of Project Runway

VIDEO: Kenley Collins' collection at Fashion Week

Kenley Collins loves dresses and colors and her unique point of view. That's what you're about to get in this video of her runway show from the Season 5 finale of Project Runway at Bryant Park.

VIDEO: Korto Momolu's collection at Fashion Week

Korto Momolu is definitely one of three legitimate finalists on the show, and her collection at the Project Runway Season 5 finale at Bryant Park during Fashion Week proves it.

VIDEO: Joe Faris' collection at Fashion Week

Joe Faris went with an "Americana" theme for his collection shown in Bryant Park at the Project Runway Season 5 finale during Fashion Week.

VIDEO: Jerell Scott's collection at Fashion Week

Jerell Scott led off the parade of six designers at the Project Runway finale at Bryant Park for Fashion Week.

VIDEO: Suede's collection at Fashion Week

Take a look at Suede's collection from Bryant Park during the Project Runway Season 5 finale.

'Project Runway' women dominate Bryant Park

We'll have the videos up as fast as possible, but in the meantime, work with these words:

Early AM on Friday morning and the tents were packed with fans, sponsors, press, reality show contestants and their families all hankering for a spot at Project Runway's big finale show. Rumors that Jennifer Lopez was the guest judge were true, but unfortunately she bailed the night before because of a “foot injury,” according to Heidi Klum. So Tim Gunn switched hats - from mentor to judge.

There are still six designers left, so to avoid spoiling the big surprise, six designers showed. But it was pretty obvious who makes it into the final three, and here's the big news: the women dominate.

Kenley, Korto and Leanne showed professional collections, each with a point of view. Kenley said, “I made my dream wardrobe. It's Alice in Wonderland.” All dresses and one skirt expressed that 40's girl within her. A little costumey for our tastes, though we liked her lovely hand painted frocks.

Korto went to nature and her native Africa for inspiration and her collection was uncontrived, well-made and easy. She designed her own jewelry - ethnic beads and chunks of stone. A khaki silk evening jumper had one strap; her white linen wide legged pants fit like a dream and were topped by a ruffled top.
Leanne, who many believe is the favorite, said she lost millions of hours of sleep designing her collection. She showed her stylized bubble skirts and many architectural fanned pleats. We particularly liked a slouchy shoulder collar top with a turquoise skirt.

As for the boys, yeesh. pulled out every trick in the book, sequins, lace, leggings and some of the most ill-fitting bustiers we've ever seen. Suede dyed his Mohawk multi-color and said it served as some inspiration for his collection which at best was junior prom. Joe was the best of the boys - Americana - western and biker chic meant jeans and pants that fit well, leatherette bustiers, and a decent biker evening look - black leather laced bustier with basket weave floor length skirt.

Sorry boys, and hey, we might be wrong, but, frankly we doubt it.

- Anne Bratskeir

See photos from the Project Runway finale at Bryant Park.

A Moment With Blayne

We caught up with the recently aufed Blayne today at the finale show. For the record, he is not short, quite tan and kinda cute in real life. Known best for his overuse of "licious," on the show it's come back to haunt him. "I was just driving, and I have a Jetta, so a guy rolls down his window and screams, "jettalicious." He's in the throes of creating a new menswear line, "Richard Blayne," and his money is on Leanne to win it all. - Anne Bratskeir

Breaking: J. Lo out as finale judge

The "Project Runway" finale shows at Bryant Park just ended and the biggest news -- Jennifer Lopez was a no show. As Heidi Klum walked down the runway to introduce the show, she said Lopez hurt her foot and couldn't make it. Bummer. So who's the mystery finale judge? TIM GUNN!

Stay tuned for videos from Jerell, Suede, Joe, Kenley, Korto and Leanne, up this afternoon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Christian Siriano Spring 2009 collection

Christian Siriano has been busy since winning season 4 of "Project Runway." He's designing costumes for a movie, "Eloise in Paris," has been on "Ugly Betty" and other TV shows, will be at the Emmy Awards next week, is working on a maternity line, has a book coming out, and of course, he's been finalizing his Spring 2009 collection, which he showed at Fashion Week Thursday night. "I'm doing so many projects! It's crazy," he said.

We caught the show and had some face time with both Siriano and "Runway" mentor Tim Gunn, who raved about the designer. (See photos here)

And what's Siriano's take on this season of "Runway"? He likes the girls, wishes them the best at Bryant Park and is "ready for fabulousness."

Click here for "Project Runway" Season 5 Fashion Week videos

Fashion Week: Backstage with Malan Breton

In the Bryant Park salon, emotions were running high as designer Malan Breton viewed his models one last time before the official start of his runway show. "I always get emotional at this point when I see the walk through and all the girls ..." said Breton.

The statuesque beauties wore elegant pieces from his spring collection that are based on the five elements – wood, fire, metal, earth, and wind. Breton is continually inspired by his favorite film released in the 1960s called 'Star' starring Julie Andrews. "The [film's] costumes were designed by Donald Brooks and everything was just so beautifully made and beautifully executed. It's really been an inspiration for my collections from the beginning and I've kind of moved in that direction this season."

Interesting fact: Breton always ends his runway shows with a ballad from French singer Edith Piaf. Her songs greatly reflect the heartache and tragedy she's experienced in life and that sincerely resonates with Breton, who was introduced to the song by his beloved grandmother. He was immediately moved to tears upon hearing it backstage.

Breton is a regular viewer of this season's crop of young talent on Bravo's hit TV series "Project Runway" and predicts Korto will be the winner. "I think she's got it. I think she's got an amazing sense of style and color. She's brilliant!"

5/9 What's Your Sign?

Okay, so Project Runway fans, this is a truly abbreviated blog – hey, it’s Fashion Week, or as we like to call it, Fashion Weak. Speaking of which, this was one weak episode, following on the heels of one of the season’s strongest…the Diane von Furstenberg challenge.

So here’s the deal…aufed designers come back and are paired with current designers. Their challenge? Each team must create an avant-garde design that reflects the astrological sign of either one. One will win. Two will go. There’s no immunity. Life is sort of ugly for the gang.

Before they are judged by the Heidi-Michael-Nina troika, they’ve got to get through the fashion radar of seasons’ past contestants who examine their ensembles at the planetarium in the Museum of Natural History. Our old friend Christian Siriano is there as well as a slew of others.

Back on the runway, Jerell who’s teamed up with Jennifer finally wins it…though we didn’t really get the astrological symbolism. Darnilicious. Our sweet Blayne is out –he’s a good dude, but Michael thought his unbalanced Libra ensemble (it did look like one of the Fruit of the Loom underwear characters) appeared, um, to be “pooping fabric.” Holler at your boy.

Terri, who was fairly beastly in this episode, is also nixed for her poorly made Leo ensemble. Her relationship with her partner Keith goes way beyond dysfunctional. We call it hate.

So sorry to be brief, but we will have the inside scoop on Project Runway for you again on Friday when we attend the show at Bryant Park…every detail. – Anne Bratskeir

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

VIDEO: Michael Kors' Spring 2009 collection

"Project Runway" judge Michael Kors presented his Spring 2009 collection at New York Fashion Week, where the theme was Triple A: "Architectural, Athletic and American. Kors' terrific runway line up was, natch, mostly red, white and blue and had us thinking the designer was both inspired by streamlined Olympic wear -- a black Lycra wet suit, gunmetal crushed lame track pants--and on a more curvaceous note, the hip '60s based TV series "Mad Men," where retro rules," wrote Anne Bratskeir.

You be the judge -- watch video from the runway and tell us what you think.

Week 8 poll results

The judges whacked Stella. You disagreed.

45% - Joe Faris
30% - Stella Zotis
21% - Suede

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Christian Siriano show at Fashion Week

We're hitting the Christian Siriano show this Thursday during Fashion Week and can't wait. Here's where you come in: We've scored a pre-runway backstage interview and want to hear YOUR burning questions.

Tell us what you're dying to know about life post-'Runway,' his latest collection, his inspirations, etc., and we'll ask him on camera and post it Thursday night.

Need a refresher course on Siriano? Check out video of the collection he presented to win last season and see footage from the 'Project Runway' finale party.

AP Photo

Jennifer Lopez will judge season finale

It's Fashion Week in New York and the 'Project Runway' shows are this Friday at Bryant Park. Yes, we know, there are still eight designers left, but two off this week, right?

US Weekly reported some exciting news today -- Ms. Jennifer Lopez will judge the season finale!

It'll certainly be tough to top Victoria Beckham from last season's finale, but I think J. Lo has it in her. Stay tuned for videos from the runway Friday afternoon.

Getty Images Photo

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Meet Heidi Klum!

Heidi Klum signs autographs during a personal appearance to launch the Fall/Winter collection of "Heidi Klum by Jordache," noon-2 p.m. on Sept.9, at Bloomingdales, 59th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

5/8 Designers Do Diane von Furstenberg

Talk about career opportunities – the designers tromp through Manhattan’s Meat Packing District to meet at the gloriously sexy headquarters of Diane von Furstenberg, one of the world’s most famous designers and get their challenge right from the grand dame herself. "Create a look for my fall collection inspired by Marlene Dietrich in a Foreign Affair," commands von Furstenberg. She’s one of those fabulous at-ease-with-her-power types who is also extremely charming. Besides running her huge clothing and accessories empire she’s also the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which explains the bonus of tonight’s challenge. The winner’s look will be sold to AmEx cardholders (P.S. Diane’s a company pitchwoman) with a portion of the profits going to the CFDA. How nice.

Ok, so we reviewed Diane’s fab fall line on the runway last season in Bryant Park – yes, we were there with the likes of Ellen Barkin -- and indeed it conjured up smoky drinking clubs, femmes fatales and sultry spies. Lucky designers got to raid von Furstenberg’s sample room for fabric (several very nearly killed themselves with the huge bolts). For the second week running, Leanne nailed it, and man, she deserved it. Her swank inky evening gown with ruffled back topped by a short dove-gray mohair jacket – gorgeous, beautifully constructed and most of all, Diane, a judge, liked it. We expect to see Leanne in Bryant Park and at the moment, in our minds she and Korto lead the pack.

We knew that Stella’s time on this show was limited –- such a character -- but when Michael Kors said of her pants, “the crotch is every woman’s nightmare,” well, that was the last straw. So Stella is out for her cape (“Dracula,” said Diane), vest and pants ensemble. But to be honest, we think Joe’s look was worse … so costumey … in fact his drag queen may have looked well in it, and terribly constructed. Watch out mister.

Korto’s graphic black and white gown with lemon-yellow inserts was terrific, though even better was the jacket she designed to go over it. We would buy it now. Kenley was a doggone mess – oy vey, the weeping, the Diane worshipping and then the sheer audacity of telling Diane von Furstenberg that she felt her fall collection needed a dress. Honey, the dress was cute, but hush your mouth.

Blayne had a few interesting moments tonight, though we weren’t so keen on his runway knickers. First off, he admitted to wanting to marry Mary Kate Olsen. Second, he thought Diane gave him a look over and said, “Diane loves a tan.” Hmm.

Fern Mallis sat in for the Nina tonight, and while she was good, well, we miss the Nina. And you know what, we’ll miss Stella from Astoria, because wild as she is -- that girl is the real deal. Oh yeah, and you know who else we miss? Our girl Jillian Lewis from last season. We’re calling her to see what she thinks of the season so far. Stay tuned. – Anne Bratskeir

Monday, September 1, 2008

Your final 3 for Bryant Park

Last week, we threw down our Season 5 predictions on who the final three designers would be. We went with Stella, Terri and Joe.

Our dear readers rode with me for two of three, which is quite a nice show of support for my limited knowledge. After last week's episode, perhaps our readers will be 100 percent correct while I wallow in 67 percent accuracy. Sure that's great if I'm on a professional baseball team, but that's not even a passing grade at the high school I attended.

Readers chose Korto, Terri and Joe. Below are the final poll results.

151 - Korto Momolu
116 - Terri Stevens
96 - Joe Faris
84 - Kenley Collins
48 - Leanne Marshall
30 - Suede
28 - Stella Zotis
27 - Jerell Scott
9 - Keith Bryce
6 - Blayne Walsh