Project Runway, Season Five, Episode 8

Many apologies from the Manolo for the delay in posting this recapping of the most recent episode. The Manolo is travelling this week, and next, and the next, all of it in preparation for his big move at the end of the month to this place.

Manolo say, ayyyyy! The Diane von Furstenberg is the challenge and the guest judge! The Manolo loves her, and her flirty patterned dresses. so cool, and stylish, and feminine!

Oh, and thus we have yet another first rate challenge with the big payoff from the producers. They are truly going out of their way to make this season the best yet in terms of challenges.

Of the course, it is too bad that this week the designers were not cooperating with this attempt at excellence, as the outfits they offered up could be considered barely competent knockoffs of the DvF, the sort of things one might expect to find on the shelves at T.J. Maxx under the brand name “Sassy von Theilberg”, or “Misty von Richtoffen,” although no one would buy them.

It was not that they didn’t try mightily to turn out something worthy of the wearing, it is just that for the most part their aesthetic senses and styles did not comport well with those of DvF.

For the example, it is hard to imagine anyone further from the DvF world than this week’s loser Stella. She did the best she could, but the final result was the messy ugly pantsuit that was neither fish nor fowl, neither DvF, nor Stella Zoltis.

Likewise, Retro Girl Kenley, who is the mistress of kitsch, seized upon the Shanghai reference to produce the floral World of Suzy Wong dress that was cute, in the sort of Masque of the Red Monkey Hand, 1930’s B-movie, Charlie Chan way, but looked nothing like DvF.

Query: Has DvF ever done floral patterns? The Manolo associates her with geometric prints, not reddish flower prints.

As for the others, Terri did yet another of her pantsuits, which are looking increasingly tired. Look for her to be sent away soon if she does not start producing something better.

And Blayne continues to survive, barely. The Manolo had some hope that his artificially constructed “wacky” persona would provide much needed drama this season, but he has turned out to be the sweet character, one filled with honorable intentions and good wishes.

It is hard to wish him ill, or root against him, even when he produces something as laughable as this week’s knickerbockers and jacket set. They were only marginally worse than Joe, Suede and Jarrel’s outfits (and what is up with the stupid little cap, Miss J?).

As for the winner, Leanne, her dress did not especially impress the Manolo either with it’s awkward proportions or with the limp jacket. But props for the purple color.

And this leaves Korto, who again should have won the challenge, but this time only by default. Her choice of material and her skirt were both spot on. Unfortunately, the yellow did nothing to enhance the piece.

Still, for the Manolo, Korto is becoming the standout talent of this season, the most original of the bunch. She will certainly be in Bryant Park.