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Project Runway 5 – Episode 1
Posted on July 21st, 2008

Let’s Start from the Beginning

The Challenge

o kick off season 5, Project Runway went back to its roots. This year’s crop of 16 designers had to step away from the ordinary with a challenge from Season 1. The challenge: create an innovative outfit using items found at a local grocery store.

The Design Room

After scrambling around the supermarket, the designers went to work on their garments. Right away, we got to see what this group of designers was made of. Some designers found creative uses for unconventional materials like plastic cups and vacuum bags, a surprisingly large number of designers were busy draping garments from tablecloths. The frequent use of this fabric-like material in the design room prompted a disappointed Tim Gunn to express his concerns that they all would be judged as “slackers”.

In this first episode we began to see some designers’ true colors. A cocky Jerry assured himself of his superiority as he commented that the other designers chose to work with materials he would just “throw away”. Suede demonstrated an irritating habit of referring to himself in the third person, and a horrible tan addicted Blayne annoyed me even more with his overuse of the term “girlicious”. Edgy rock designer, Stella barely pulled her outfit together at the end of the first challenge. Spending the majority of work time complaining that her chosen materials (trash bags) weren’t as sturdy as she’d anticipated, she didn’t start working until time was nearly up.

Project Runway 5 - Episode 1
(click on images to enlarge)

The Runway

The true innovators of this challenge definitely stood out on the runway. Some of my favorites were Terri’s crochet halter made of mop heads, Joe’s delightful Italian themed outfit from tricolor pasta. Daniel took ingenuity a step further by crafting an adorable cocktail dress from molded plastic cups. Some designers even managed to salvage their tablecloth creations. Korto presented a gorgeously draped kimono gown that she adorned with cherry tomatoes, while Leanne added a sweet touch to her garment by covering it with candy.

Project Runway 5 - Episode 1

Project Runway 5 - Episode 1

Other designers didn’t pull off this transformation quite as successfully. Suede tried to save his picnic dress by sticking little plastic squares all over it, and even though Keith’s tablecloth halter dress was very sexy; adding little balls of netting to the skirt didn’t make the outfit look any less like it was made from a tablecloth. And then there was that just plain scary thing that Blayne sent down the runway, I guess I’ll give him points for originality, but overall, his model looked like a roughed-up penguin.

Project Runway 5 - Episode 1

The Elimination

While it was kind of a close call between Stella and Jerry- at least Stella’s last minute dress resembled something that could actually be worn. On the other hand, the self assured Jerry’s creation looked liked something that could be worn – by a serial killer. I definitely have to agree with the judges’ decision to auf Jerry, although I’ll be sure to keep him in mind when I go on my next murder spree.

The judges agreed (as do I) that Kelli mastered the challenge by using bleach and coffee to create an artsy marble pattern on a skirt made from vacuum bags. She also used splattered coffee filters to create an adorable bustier. Her attention to detail really wowed with the hook and eye closure she created from a notebook spiral.

Project Runway 5 - Episode 1

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