Project Runway, Season Five, Episode 7

Manolo says, taking the car parts and turning them into the couture? Excellent challenge! Indeed this was another of the episodes that captured the make-it-work spirit of the original season of the Project Runway. (And here allow the Manolo to praise the producers for the uniformly good challenges that have been given to the designers this season.)

As for the competition itself, once the designers were going, it was painfully clear that Keith the Angry Gay Mormon would not survive the week. Not only was his demise foreshadowed by the producers’ choice of clips, but from the beginning his decision to play it safe with the boring blah skirt and halter top was misguided.

The Manolo wanted to shout: “You are Keith! Hear you roar!”

Anger, not childish petulance is what was called for. Keith needed to channel his rage into something powerful and exciting. But in the stead, he gave into to weepy self-pity and insolence. No, no, no!

In the end, the result was foreordained. Keith would be leaving. His final outfit was boring, poorly made, and ill-fitting.

As for the winner, Leanne (the victor of the Season Five Mousy Brunette Deathmatch), the Manolo was underwhelmed by her outfit. But then any dress that includes makeshift panniers and does not include the towering Maire Antoinette wig, is not something of which the Manolo can approve. .

Much more to the Manolo’s tastes were Korto’s stunning and simple seatbelt swing coat.

Ayyyyy! But that was beautiful! Undoubtedly, it was also heavy and impractical, but, still, oh, so very, very pretty

Korto is clearly the most original and unexpected of all of the designers. Her choices are not always those of the Manolo, but they are emphatically her own, and they are emphatically original. She deserves to be in the final three, although whether or not the judges see it that way is the different matter.

Speaking of another of the Manolo’s finalist picks, this week, for the first time, the Manolo was disappointed by Terri. She is the person of undoubted talent, and has the powerful desire for success, but she keeps making the pants-based outfits, and this week’s was not all that. Perhaps there is some small truth in Jarrel’s catty remarks, that she has “only four patterns”.

By the way, the current Manolo final three: Jarrel, Terri, and Korto.

Ayyyy! All of the contestants would be African-American…or, perhaps in the case of Korto, American-African. (The Manolo is unclear on the acceptable terminology. ) Noteworthy and coincidental, yes. But freighted with meaning? The Manolo cannot say.

And now onto what was for the Manolo the true highlight of the evening, when the viewers were showed the picture of Stella with her boyfriend….

William “Ratbones” von Zipper.

When Ratbones likes someone, dey stay liked!

12 Responses to “Project Runway, Season Five, Episode 7”

  1. valawhoo August 28, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    I was surprised that Korto wasn’t reprimanded for “unoriginality” – not because her coat wasn’t beautiful (it was) or well-made (it was) but because everyone and her sister here in the Midwest has been carrying a woven seatbelt shoulder bag for… oh… five years now.

    Oh, I forgot. The producers and judges probably aren’t aware the Midwest exists, except as a stretch of land they gaze upon blankly from their first-class seats whilst shipping champagne on a flight from JFK to LAX. And that handbag has probably gone out of style everywhere but here (if it were ever in style to begin with). Ehn. It happens.

    I wanted to shake Keith for mentioning something along the lines of how Project Runway allowed him to escape Utah. Keith? You have a driver’s license, right? And surely the Great Salt Lake Wall can’t be that hard to breach, if you make a break for it in the middle of the night, wearing all dark clothing. In his case, fringe.

  2. Brad August 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    If local rumors (I live in Korto’s hometown, Little Rock, AR), Tim Gunn was in town earlier this week with a camera crew in tow, and those who know her say Korto’s been buying a ton of fabric since she got home. I can not vouch for the accuracy of either rumor, only that I heard them.

    Regardless, I, too, would be pleased to see Ms. Momolu at Bryant Park.

  3. Susan August 28, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    If the Manolo could plan a challenge of his own, what would it be, please?

  4. Minky August 28, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    I predict Kenley, Korto & Terri — the all ladies final!

  5. jackie August 29, 2008 at 12:29 am #

    I much preferred Leanne’s piece. I would have placed Korto’s coat third after Leanne and Jarrel, who used the materials in a more interesting way. But I’d love it if this week was a sneak peek at the finale.

    My dream final three: Leanne, Korto, Jarrel.

  6. Arlene August 29, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    Valahoo, Yes! Ditto on the woven shoulder bag thing. I can’t believe nobody brought that up during the episode. I like Korto, but I really don’t get the fuss over her derivative coat.

  7. klee August 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    I am disappointed at your dismissal of Leann, darling Manolo. She may be mousy, but she has backbone. For many weeks, she has made beautiful and interesting outfits, only to be overlooked(her nyc-at-night look was stunning. I predict the lady miss jarrel, korto & leann in the final three. Terri, while talented, is too much a one-note wonder.

  8. Melissa B. August 29, 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    klee, I agree with you on Leann — she is not a colorful reality TV personality, but every week she’s been solid to excellent (except for the brown cocktail dress). Her NYC design should have won that challenge, and I was glad to see her recognized here.

    How did Keith think the stylists were going to do his model’s hair if she couldn’t sit down? By standing on a stepladder? Or maybe she was supposed to kneel on the floor …

  9. Evie August 29, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    I actually (shock!) agreed with the judges on this one. Leanne took a lot of risks and did something high fashion, while Korto stayed well within her safe zone and perhaps edited a bit too much. I was kind of hoping that she’d at least throw a funky belt over the coatdress or something. Besides, we’ve seen time and time again that risk taking matters more to PR judges than ultimate wearability.

    I think for the final three Korto is a definite, and Jarrel is so over the top the judges will want to see what he puts out there, but the last spot is up in the air. Leanne turns out interesting and unique pieces, and could be a real dark horse. Terri’s also a great designer, but could easily end up being this season’s Uli in terms of clinging ferociously to a signature look. I just hope the judges can weed out Blaynalicious, Suede, and Kenley before then…

  10. Lisa August 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Kenley’s voice makes the Lisa want to stab babies, but she soldiers on watching PR, only to watch the Korto work her magic. The Lisa also lives in the Little Rock metroplex and can’t believe she missed the Tim Gunn! Whaaaa!

  11. eric3000 September 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Yes, I’ve been a Korto fan since the first episode!

  12. sheepskin November 24, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

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