Last night's episode of Project Runway wasn't just the season finale. It was the end of an era. With the show (maybe) moving to Lifetime, an association with Marie Claire instead of Elle and a move to L.A., it will never be the same. It was interesting that there were three ladies as finalists, since there's only been one female winner in the previous four seasons: Chloe Dao. Most of the episode was actually rather dull: Model castings, dog poop, hair, makeup. Then the runway shows, which Bravo peppered with fake applause: Trust me, no one was clapping during each show, for any particular garment. And if you watched carefully, you could hear applause but see the crowd just sitting. In any case, the judges — Michael, Nina, Heidi and J. Lo-replacement Tim — had high praise for all three remaining designers. Clip above; collections after the jump.(Click on any image to begin galleries)
Kenley's collection was first. The judges liked the bright color palette and the fact that each piece was unique and different. Michael Kors said it was "full of charm" and had "a lot of personality." Tim Gunn pointed out Kenley's "impeccable construction." Nina Garcia was worried that the floral dress was very Balenciaga and Kenley admitted: "I realized now maybe I need to do some research." Finally: Something got through that hard head! That said, I reluctantly admit that I liked Kenley's the best. It was whimsical and made getting dressed look like fun. Oh. But. At the runway show, when Kenley said, "No one touches my clothes," I was quoting Nell Carter. Gimme a break!
Korto's collection was inspired by nature. Michael Kors declared it "great." Tim Gunn said she "hit a bullseye." Heidi Klum thought some pieces were "overworked." My mom said she was the only one who made clothes women who are not stick figures could wear. I love Korto, but I didn't love this collection. I did feel awful when Korto did not win, and said, "My heart is bleeding."
Leanne, the slinky little Leanimal, was named the winner of Project Runway. Michael Kors said her "workmanship looked divine." Nina Garcia appreciated that her collection had diversity, showing skirts, jackets and long dresses. And honestly? Leanne created stunning, innovative pieces. Congrats, Leanne! And thank you, Project Runway, not only for being entertaining, but for showing the passion, craftsmanship and artisanal skills involved when people really love fashion. Get your shit together and come back in January.
Photography by Alex Wright.Project Runway Season 5 [Bravo]