Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The final four designers; Leanne's look
The Challenge: Tim takes the final four—Leanne, Jerrell, Korto and Kenley—to the New York Botanical Gardens for this week's challenge, to create an evening gown inspired by nature. They get an hour to take photos, to then choose one image in which to draw inspiration. The designers get two days to create the look and a $250 budget. The guest judge is Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman.
The drama starts early when Kenley forgets her tulle at Mood. Both Jerell and Korto have leftover tulle that they are not giving to Kenley, with Korto stashing hers out of sight. Korto on Kenley: "When you have an ugly attitude, it just makes you ugly and makes everything you make ugly." Kenley on everyone: "I don't like anything she [Korto] does. I don't like what any of the designers do. Jerell throws a bunch of glamorous shit together and it looks like a craft project. Leanne, she does pleated details with a muted color palette. That's been done." Ew. As if it excuses her from being a unlikable person, Kenley talks about her tough life as the daughter of a tugboat captain. This is interspersed with each designer crying to the camera—the pressure! the biggest moment ever!
After the runway show, but before the winner and loser is announced, each designer is asked which other two designers they think should be at Bryant Park with them. Jerell, Korto, Leanne would all send Kenley packing if they could. Kenley, not surprisingly, ditches Korto, and continues her sob story: "As far as arguing with people, I feel like I've been fighting my way through life, so it's a force of habit..."
The Winner: Wow, Jerell won for the third time! But just barely as the judges weren't thrilled with any of the looks. Of the layered, jeweled gown, Nina says: "This is the most youthful of all of them, but I do see that you had technical problems and it looks a little messy." Heidi wants to pull it up at the bust, which is sagging unfortunately. And from Michael: "It's off but it's off in an interesting way which kind of intrigues me..."
Leanne came in second with her lilac fluttery gown. Georgina likes the balance between structure and softness, and particularly the bodice. Nina likes seeing her work with something "soft, harmonious and feminine," but is concerned with the blue back, which Michael also finds "quite frankly, distracting." Heidi thinks it needs more work but is overall a "very pretty dress."
The judges think Korto's plunging tangerine and lace dress is too pageanty and not sophisticated, though made beautifully.
And though Kenley thinks she achieved exactly what she wanted to achieve, the judges are not impressed.
Nina: "It looks like a reptile but not in a a cool way; the whole thing is kind of creepy."
Kenley: "I wanted to stay away from pretty because when I hear gown, I think—ew—old."
Nina: "But she looks old. This girl does not look young, hip or cool at all."
Kenley: "I really wanted to stay away from typical and cliche."
Michael: "I wrote cliche."
Kenley: "It is not a cliche gown!"
Heidi: "And the petals. I have to say, they don't look very elegant either."
Kenley: "I wasn't going for elegant, Heidi."
Nina: "What I find from you, Kenley, is you get very defensive. It's almost like you know too much."
Heidi: "It is a little annoying, the attitude, I have to agree."
Kenley: [Rolling eyes.]
Heidi: "Like right now, what you're doing right now. If you don't feel it, I don't know."
Michael: "When you come off very flippant and smug, it's kind of like, well, does she really give a damn? Is she so cocky? Let's be honest, you wouldn't be here if we didn't like what you do. You know we're fans. We want it to be fabulous that's all."
The Loser: No losers. All four will create collections to show at Bryant Park, but one will be out in the semi-finals. And the saga continues.
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 11—Leanne Raps [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 10 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 9 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 8 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 7 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 6 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 5 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 4 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 3 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 2 [Racked]
· Reality of Fashion: Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 1 [Racked]