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Project Runway 5th Episode – Make it Work

Irina designed a trench coat and won the challenge. Her design was quite successful and not in the least contrived.

I thought this might be the lettuce week—but maybe they won’t take a trip to the grocery store this year after this week’s challenge to make a garment from newspaper. I decided earlier in the week to try the challenge too. Not as far as making the dress, but as far as designing a concept. When I realized it was a newspaper design I reluctantly hit the pause button on my TV and the design button in my head when the time came.

First, I took an inventory of what I know about paper:
—Folding gives it support that can enable it to stand.
—Crumpling makes it soft and gives it texture and roundness.
—You can twist it to make cords or rope.
—In its natural state, it has no stretch.
—In order for the model to walk, the skirt has to be pleated, crumpled, or split.

I decided to design a dress that looked like a giant parrot tulip upside down from crumpled paper petals from the waist down, with a vertical pleated and strapless bodice in green. As it turns out, my dress would have looked much like a short version of the gown Christopher designed.

My favorites this week were Althea and Irina, with honorable mention to Ra’mon, Carol Hanna, and Christopher. Bad news to Nicholas and Johnny for double dogging us, but to make it worse than bad design, Johnny told a fib. Not so bad though, because without it I would have never heard make-it-work-Tim Gunn say what I consider the best quote of Project Runway history: “I’m incredulous at that utterly preposterous spewing of fiction that Johnny did on the runway. It was ridiculous.” I just love Tim’s mastery of prose. What did you think?

Until the next time…


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  1. Skymom | | #1

    Thank you for the report! I missed the show last night (though I plan to pick it up some time this weekend) and was having a bit of withdrawal. I can't wait to hear what prevarication Johnny came up with to elicit that bit of perfect Gunn-ery. I agree--the trench coat is nice, but I'm intrigued by how Althea used the print to create the pattern on her dress. It's quite stunning without being a costume.

  2. User avater
    SuitsMe | | #2

    I was thrilled that the judges liked Irena's trench! I was stunned when it came down the runway. What a classic design and a creative use of paper for the collar. It reminded me of persian lamb or fur.
    The most impressive thing about the show is the speed at which the contestants design and fabricate their creations, and they are so well fitted too.

  3. Lacey_Loftin | | #3

    I agree skymom! that dress with the piano like print was really beautiful! It looked couture for that model, I hope they let the models wear the outfits out. Beautiful Construction! I was incredibly impressed. Though this coat is a really desirable piece that I would actually buy for myself.


  4. smrn | | #4

    Stunning construction/art deco design. Who would guess it is newsprint.
    Have watched this show since it aired... It inspires me to stretch my creative brain... and MAKE IT WORK

  5. User avater
    Kate_W | | #5

    I was in awe of all of the designers just for working with, and creating a garment out of paper. Althea's design was incredible.

    Judith, thank you for your working with paper inventory as I hadn't thought of paper's wearing properties. For now, I'm going to limit myself to using paper for patterns.

  6. Stormee | | #6

    I liked the trench coat and I also liked Epperson's design. I actually liked all the designs. I think all these designers are good. They each have their own style and each style is unique. The one dress that I really, really, really didn't like was Ra Mon's maternity thing, that was so ugly and I was surprised that he did that because the rest of his designs were so nice. I love Epperson's designs, I would wear them.

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