Project Runway: 25 Looks We Love
In a final twist, the designers were asked to create a wedding dress (and, later, a bridesmaid dress) to integrate into their collections. Leanne's white gown floated down the runway, and straight to the top of the judges' lists, thanks to its wave-like origami pleating, the signature embellishment of her collection.
Jerell didn't miss a beat in the show's first-ever music challenge. Asked to create a pop-inspired look for fellow contestant Kenley, the designer whipped up this mesh mini, perfectly suited for a character he dubbed "Kenley Spears." Guest judge LL Cool J loved it too.
Although the judges initially pointed out some remarkable similarities between Kenley's wedding dress and an Alexander McQueen creation, they came around to her dress – a dreamy poof of feathers and tulle.
Everything was coming up roses for Jerell, who won his third challenge on Project Runway for his evening gown inspired by blooming roses after some meditation at the New York Botanical Garden. The designer was crowned the winner for his multi-layered gown – but, unfortunately, was not spared from elimination the following week.
Leanne was moved by lavender – and she took that inspiration literally in her flowing, elegant gown, which nabbed her second place and a pass to move on and create a collection for Bryant Park.
Jerell really listened to his client – and it paid off. The designer earned his second win in a row after giving a recent college grad a new look with a little help from her mom. The designer honored his coed's wishes – she wanted an outfit appropriate for an artist's assistant with an androgynous edge – delivering a stunning skirt, embellished blouse and oversized cardigan.
Kenley was fortunate to find a style ally in her makeover client – a recent college graduate whom Heidi Klum dubbed her "mini me." She offered her client one of her staple retro dresses with a bold print and equally bold belt. The perfect match earned the designer a second-place finish.
A favorite of past Runway designers (including Christian Siriano), Jerell brought his avant-garde sensibility to the challenge, which had him creating a look based on the zodiac sign Sagittarius. Paired with previously auf'd designer Jennifer, Jerell created a voluminous brown patterned skirt offset with a shiny top, and earned his first win on the show. As Siriano would say: "That's fierce!"
Leanne paired with Emily to create her avant-garde look based on the zodiac sign Scorpio that earned her high praise from former Runway contestant Alison Kelly who called it "mysterious." The look, complete with what the designer dubbed an exoskeleton, was interesting to the eye and actually wearable.
Diane von Furstenberg challenged the designers to create a look for her fall collection, influenced by Marlene Dietrich's 1948 spy flick A Foreign Affair. Leanne took the espionage theme literally (playing spy games in the workroom), which worked to her advantage: her blue column dress and gray jacket ensemble earned her a second win in a row.
Kenley got a little teary-eyed over the challenge – she couldn't wait to impress Diane von Furstenberg with her chinoiserie dress. And while the designer didn't create three separates like many of her peers, she nevertheless earned high praise from the judges and nabbed second place in the challenge.
She loves the '80s! Kenley impressed the judges with her tulle bubble skirt
and its bright, bold pattern. The designer drew inspiration for the
challenge – to create the perfect outfit for a night out in New York
City – from a photo she snapped on the streets.
DRAG QUEEN CHALLENGE
He had initial hesitations about the challenge – but Joe listened to his client, the fabulous Varla Jean Merman, and created a body-hugging, spangly pink catsuit that nabbed the designer his first win.
The only designer to deliver a truly athletic look, Joe nabbed third place for
his patriotic "skort" as his competitors struggled to create a Team USA look
appropriate for the Olympic opening ceremonies. Joe also earned kudos for his blue-and-red zipper, which Tim Gunn described
Here's a lesson: Coffee filters can be wearable! Kelli kicked off season 5
with a supermarket sweep, winning immunity and the first challenge with her
frock fashioned out of dyed vacuum cleaner bags and coffee filters.
LIPSTICK JUNGLE CHALLENGE
It was Keith's vision – but the designer had help from Kenley when the
two teamed up to create a glamorous look for Brooke Shields's character on Lipstick Jungle. The actress loved the team's floaty, tiered skirt and bold print top so much that she's going to wear it on the NBC show.
Suede "rocked it" – his words! – when the designers were asked
to create a "green" look for special guest Natalie Portman.
Using sustainable fabrics, he showed innovation with his whimsical cutout tutu dress, leaving Portman and all the judges blown
While many of her competitors were terrified of designing sportswear, Korto won the
challenge with her fashionable but practical look. The designer
crafted high-waisted linen pants that she paired with a leather
jacket emblazoned with red and blue detailing.
In the bottom the previous week, Leanne easily redeemed herself with her
tiered black ensemble inspired by New York sidewalk grates. The
designer earned special praise from Michael Kors, who appreciated the versatility of the look – it's actually a two-piece ensemble!
Melting down plastic cups proved to be just the thing that separated Daniel
from his fellow designers. Earning second place for his bright blue bustier
dress, the designer was one of the few in the first challenge to use a non-paper-like material.
LIPSTICK JUNGLE CHALLENGE
Stella sure loves her "leathuh" – and the self-described "tough"
designer got to use her fabric of choice to great effect when paired with
Jerell. The design team was hands-down Heidi Klum's pick to win the
challenge – though guest judge Brooke Shields wasn't so crazy for it.
Terri's flowy, colorful top – inspired by graffiti on the streets of
N.Y.C. – paired with tight pants nabbed the designer a call-out from guest
judge Sandra Bernhard, who said she'd wear the designer's clothes in a
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DRAG QUEEN CHALLENGE
Blayne didn't exactly crack the top three with his fluorescent look for Miss Understood, but the designer did inspire one of Tim Gunn's most memorable quips of all time. When he saw the outfit, the silver-haired mentor said the look resembled a "pterodactyl out of a gay Jurassic Park!" It wasn't intended as a compliment – but that sure didn't matter to Blayne!
Even though she stuffed her model's undergarments for a little extra padding and shape, Leanne's modern black mini-dress (with its corseted top) earned the designer a well deserved first win.
Terri may have quipped that Korto's woven coat-dress resembled a terrifying scarecrow. But Korto refined her look by adding rich embellishments and finishing touches that transformed her raw materials – seatbelts – into an elegant second place look.