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The Telefile

A Debate Regarding the Project Runway Finale

by Lauren Gitlin October 16, 2008 11:51 am
A Debate Regarding the <i>Project Runway</i> Finale As we've established before, what you choose to watch on TV speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. And last night last night's programming dilemma definitely separated the men from the boys, or the girls from the boys, or the straight boys from the gays or what have you. You see, it was both the third and final presidential debate and the Project Runway finale. What to watch? If you're like me and don't own a home DVR (for shame, I know, but I'm working on it!) it entails running back and forth between the TVs in the living room and the bedroom, which kept the tensions high at the old Gitlin domicile last night, but provided the unforeseen benefit of a serious cardio workout.

In any case, it's not TwoP's practice to analyze campaign strategies or political platforms, so I'm here to discuss the outcome of Project Runway season five.

I have to admit that I'm still licking my wounds about Jerell's dismissal. Ultimately, what he showed the judges on the runway wasn't his best work, but dude won three challenges!

With that said, sometimes it's hard to separate one's personal feelings for a particular designer from the work he or she produces. It's part of why I was so sad to see Jerell go, whether or not his work was equal to being in the top three. And it's why even though my personal taste is very much in line with Kenley's creations, I would have plotzed royally had she taken the prize last night. Over the course of the season, she showed her personality to be more and more grating, and it all culminated (for me anyway) during the nature challenge, when she gave both Heidi and Saint Tim what for. I mean has she no shame?

To be honest though, I thought that based solely on the caliber of the designers' collections, Kenley was the true winner. Sure, Korto's looks were sexy and her bold color choices made everything pop, but there was a certain workmanship and elegance that was missing. And Leanne, who we all know went home with the top prize, certainly had a lot to recommend her: a clear perspective and a sartorial trademark -- hello intricate petal details -- but it's tricky not to cross the line between having a signature look and being one-note. And her color palate was yawnsville. Kenley's to my mind, was the most fanciful, the most exciting and fresh, which is, after all, what fashion's about, at least for me: an escape from the mundane, dreary reality of workday existence. Moreso than she had the entire season, Kenley showed with her final collection that she was capable of more than her kitschy fifties silhouettes, though they were a constant motif that made everything cohesive. I agree with the judges that whether or not she was conscious of it, a lot of the most impressive looks she offered up were dangerously similar to pieces by well-known designers (her wedding dress was nearly identical to something Alexander McQueen had shown and some of her structured flower-print pieces were dead ringers for Balenciaga designs).

So much as I'm loathe to admit it, because she showed herself time and again to be such a miserable a-hole, I think based purely on talent, Kenley shoulda been the P-Run Queen Bee. What are your thoughts, style-watchers?

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