September 15, 2008 12:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Who will be the winner of Project Runway Season5? That question came closer to being answered last Friday morning, as the show filmed its finale at Bryant Park, with each of the semi-finalists showcasing their 10 piece collections. The semi finalists are: Jerell Scott, Stephen “Suede” Baum, Joe Faris, Kenley Collins, Korto Momolu, and Leanne Marshall.
The tent was packed with both fashion and Hollywood elites as well as the show producer Harvey Wenstein, and stylist Rachel Zoe. Of course the judging trio of Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum made their fashionable way down the runway, posing for the cameras.
Host and executive producer Heidi Klum thanked everyone involved with the show as well as Bravo and then she introduced the guest judge and beloved mentor to the designers Tim Gunn, who stepped in at the last minute for Jennifer Lopez who had cancelled due to a foot injury.
Tim Gunn was very excited to have this honor and he said to the crowd, “I promise to be impartial and unbiased and to put my relationship with the designers on a metaphorical shelf.”
The show was set in motion as Heidi pronounced her trade mark command, “Let’s start the show!”
Jerrell was the first to present his collection, which featured a palette of black, gold, shiny coppers and silvers with abundant texture and glimmer. Hetold everyone, “I am just waiting on y’all to see what I do!”
Jerrell’s first design was the best of his collection, a wicked strapless pencil dress in shimmering copper. It was corseted in a silver border.
Suede was up next, donning a Mowhawk. He told the audience that the experience has been an amazing dream and that they would see in his collection “where he’d taken linear.” The color story, he said, was reflected in his hairdo, dyed in stripes of bright purple, pink, and blue.
The runway became a rainbow of color with an array of pinks, purples, teals, and stripes in lots of directions. The first outfit was unique and happy: a short pink plaid dress, overlaid with a ballooning turquoise skirt-cape that tied at the waist.
Joe’s collection was a mix of leather and denim, with lots of zippers and stitching. He said it was inspired by “Americana and everything it represents, the West, rock n’ roll, and motorcycles.”
His collection included a beautiful brown leather corset over skinny jeans, a pair of neon orange crushed velvet jeans under a denim corset and a pair of leather jeans that looked like they were painted on.
Next, we saw Kenly hit the stage. She stated that “Alice in Wonderland” and painting were the cornerstones of her collection, which entailed bold magentas and teals, and floral prints combined with impressive tailoring.
Her first design was amazing, a black strapless dress with a magenta skirt-cape tied around the waist. She also showcased a slim back strapless dress that was to die for, and you would have to, to fit into it.
Korto, could hardly contain her excitement when she appeared on stage and as she took the microphone she asked the audience, “Are you ready for me?” She said that her collection was born from her African roots and her life in Arkensas. Her collection was a display of greens, khaki, and gold. Korto experimented with an assortment of silhouettes including balloons, folds, and daring ruffles that together became one.
An off-ochre asymmetrical design with a halter top was fantastic, buther best design was a green gown slit to the floor with pleating, which I thoughtwas her best. At the end of her collection, she walked the runway with her little daughter.
The last designer to show her collection was Leanne. She said she had, “lost millions of hours of sleep over it” and saying that she was “in love with it.”
Her collection was an exquisite pallete of mint and cream, and the cutwork and draping in her designswere perceived by the eye as wavy, swoopy curves, and concentric fans of fabric. Her complete collection was fantastic, but the three designs that stood out the most were, a cream dress with a sheer mint balloon overlay, a gorgeous mint colored strapless dress anda layered ecru bridal gown.
Santino Rice, one of the finalists from Season 2 declared after the show was over, “It’s glaringly obvious who the decoys were.”
Due to the fact that several of Project Runway’s designers have been eliminated well before New York’s fashion week, all six contestantsremaining after last Wednesdays showwere able tosend a collection down the runway to keep the viewer’s guessing.
“The bottom line is that it’s down to Korto and Leanne, and if there is a third finalist, I would say it could be Joe.”
“Korto and Leanne showed craftsmanship, cohesion, and a point of view,” he said. “There was a fresh perspective in their work, whereas I saw a lot of schlock (in the other collections) and they didn’t necessarily have a definitive point of view.”
“Leanne’s color palette was really concise, which might hurt her,” he said. “Korto ran with a more 70s look, and a color palette with citrusy golds and greens and avocado.”
Santino is about to star in his own show on VH1 and spends his time dressing 30 exclusive female clients around the world with garments he makes by hand in his Los Angeles studio.
The winner of Project Runway 5 will receive $100,000, Bluefly.com distribution and Saturn hybrid vehicle.
Project Runway’s fifth-season finale is currently scheduled to air on Wednesday, October 15 at 9 PM ET on Bravo.
Photo Credit: Bravo