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Project Runway – Week 5: Run for Cover

Anthony’s dress was the judge’s darling. They called it modern, slimming, and said the color and design are right-on.

There were twelve Project Runway designers left when they were given last night’s challenge to design an outfit to be worn by Heidi on April’s Marie Claire cover. The designers got right to work on this unprecedented opportunity for exposure on a national fashion magazine. They were given “rules” that were really tips about how to win the challenge, such as a warning to focus the attention from the thigh or waist up and use a solid color. The purpose of this advice was to help them plan a garment that would work on the newsstand.

Right off the bat, Amy produced a strapless printed dress—what was she thinking? I thought Ben would win with his Madame Butterfly in Technicolor, but the award went to Anthony and with plenty of praise. In my book, there were two atrocious outfits: Anna’s three-piece ensemble earned comments such as “no shape, doesn’t work together, dreadful, and forgettable.” The other shockingly bad garment was Jonathan’s—it looked like something from an early 1960s space travel movie.

There were two favorite moments for me: When Emilio said Mila is a one-note wonder—all she’s doing is color blocking. And, when the judges teamed up to say Mila’s dress reminded them of Ace bandages and a jogging bra, the arrows are pointing at the crotch, and the best of all Emmy Awarding winning criticism of the season—“This dress is the color of hospital food.”

Which ones did you like?


Ben Chmura


Anna Lynett


Janeane Marie Ceccanti


Emilio Sosa


Amy Sarabi


Mila Hermanovski


Anthony Williams


Seth Aaron Henderson


Jay Nicolas Sario


Jesse LeNoir

Jonathan Peters


Maya Luz



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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    Well, first, let me say, I again agreed with the judges decision. Anthony's dress just screamed Heidi Klum! Do I think he is the next P.R. winner? NO, his stuff is too much costume and not enough real fashion. I guess you could say that Anthony is living proof that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once-in-a-while. I think the mummy like ruffle looked sloppy and hurried but the color and style of the dress was clearly Heidi. I didnt realize it, but Mila IS repeating the whole color block thing over and over. I think she should be checked for color blindness since the judges SAID we need COLOR, to stand out from the newstand. Her dress was bland. I think the real winner should have been Jesse, but again, -AFTER THEY SAID NO BLACK- his dress was black, maybe its their hearing that should be checked.
    I really feel that Jeanene is ready to get the axe but shes getting some real competition from Jonathan for last place. I dont know what he's on, but he really needs to cut the dosage! That monstrosity would scare small children! Amy dissapointed with her "hankie" dress and Maya's dress looked like someone at the picnic smashed about 16 paper plates over her head and left them there. I didnt care for Ben's dress either, the colors were ugly and even though the back was cute, there was something matronly and outdated looking about it, I felt the belt confused the look even further. Once again, I think some of the cuter outfits were considered safe and didnt get much of a nod. Lastly, I dont have any idea how Anna ever made it on the show, her lack of experience or maybe taste or both stood out like a sore thumb. I was proud of her for holding her head up high when she left though.

  2. Cherlyn | | #2

    Emilio's dress looked like something from Fredrick's of Hollywood! I didn't care for it at all. Poor Anna, if she had chosen to do this outfit some other time when it may have matched a better challenge instead of this one, she might have won the challenge in a different category. I didn't care for that vest thing. I like the top and the shorts. I thought Ben's dress was going to win. It was very interesting. I liked the colors. While I liked Anthony's dress, there was something about it that didn't look well made. I felt it won because Heidi liked it. Mila produced the worst garment. It puckered, the colors were terrible, ---- totally a mess!

    I have not seen anything that looks that great on this season. I don't care for Mila's designs at all! Clearly, I have no doubt, she will be in this for a long while yet. I hope the designs get better.

  3. User avater
    Soli | | #3

    I didn't agree with the judges decision at all. I thought that Anthony's dress looked messy and cheap. I think that Seth should have won. His pant suit was beautifully tailored, form fitting, striking, and fashion forward. I don't know why contestants and other people are picking on Mila for being a "one note" designer with her color blocking signature look when Maya repeats those hideous ruffles that don't really add to any design over and over again. No one can complain about Mila's construction. With this week's chevrons, there were a few puckers, but for the most parts her garments look good and fit beautifully. I loved the bodice on Jesse's dress and my second choice for winner would have been Jay's beautiful gown with the graduated hem. I haven't liked all his work previously, but this one was very soft and feminine. Very pretty. I hated Ben's choice of colors, and didn't much care for the over-all style or peek-a-boo back, and poor Janeane is just in over her head. I agree with the judges, in this case, that her ocean inspiration was not visible in any way in her design or execution. I think Jonathan's romper was just a mess. Make it a tunic over some sort of bottom, and it would have worked much better. Here it looked like some poor East Indian inspired top that tried to grow legs and failed. I'm very curious to see who progresses, because to be frank, I don't find many of the designers terribly inspiring this season. I've seen nothing that I'd want to wear myself or wish I'd dreamed up myself.

  4. Skymom | | #4

    I agreed with the judges, even though Anthony's wasn't really my favorite garment. Given the very specific requirements of a magazine cover garment, which has to stand out immediately, and that it was meant to be for an April cover (on the stands in March, but must read "SPRING!" right away), Anthony fulfilled the brief best. Cropped at the waist or above, with Heidi's coloring and figure, I think it would work just great, and leave space for jewelry, hairdo, and cover lines. In another life, though, that dress might be better in a deeper, richer color--at least to my taste.

    It was surprising to me how few of the designers embraced colors--it was as if they had never seen a newsstand before! Emilio's dress at least "went there" with color, and the shape was a good one for Heidi, but the overall effect was a bit Victoria's Secret on Valentine's Day. All those pale, nude tones and bland bodices were crying out for help.

    I really liked Seth Aaron's suit, but not for an April cover and not for a cover-girl like Heidi. Ben's kimono came out so much better than I expected that I was really impressed. Very cool and modern, and just the right level of detail. The bodice of Jesse's dress was interesting but didn't read clearly enough, and the woven (?) detail was perhaps too low to show up on a cover. The rest--just too invisible colorwise, or (in the case of Amy's, which I enjoyed a lot), a little too busy.

    I'm beginning to think that the designers are showing battle fatigue--unable to process information or follow specific instructions. At least they can still design and sew though. The garments weren't all bad, but not right for the challenge.

  5. fiberann | | #5

    I would have to agree that Anthony's dress did meet the challenge perfectly, and it had Heide written all over it. But I didn't like it much. I liked Seth's pantsuit--great jacket--but it certainly didn't say "spring" at all. And I'm over my love of Mila's color-blocking. That dress was terrible in all respects--color, design, and even execution (lots of puckers in the wrong places--like at the top of the crotch "arrow"). Jeanene will get the axe next, for sure. It's a race for the bottom, though. Sews4fun, you have the perfect description of Maya's dress! I realize that they don't have much time, but they seem to be out of ideas and are not listening. By the way, if you've looked at MK's website, in his video on spring fashion he sings the praises of Lady Gaga (with a nod to Madonna). Project Runway designers, take note.

  6. User avater
    Kate_W | | #6

    My favorites were Amy Sarabi's hankie dress (colorful and floaty), Jay Nicholas Sario's dress (dreamy and floaty) and Seth Aaron Henderson's suit (sharp and edgy). Hard to believe these came from the same assignment.

    Anthony had a rightful win -- colorful, details at the face and neckline, springy. As far as final three for the season, I'm thinking Emilio with scissors in his pocket, Jay, and Maya of the paper plates (LOL).

    Mila does color-blocking but what happened? the back of Mila's dress looked like the arrows aligned, the front was atrocious. Is Amy stuck on hankie's? Seth, Jesse, and Jonathan seem stuck on their design point-of-views which seem limited. Although Seth did a great suit ...

    I complained about there being too much designer personality stuff in previous seasons -- the reality TV aspect. Now I'm thinking that those asides give us more info on where the designers are coming from -- for example, Emilio's asides on Anna (not much construction experience) and Mila (one-trick color-blocker). PR does not spend much time showing us the process. Oh well. Still love it!

  7. User avater
    auschick | | #7

    I agree with the judges decision on this one, but my personal favorite was Ben's outfit.

  8. dormery | | #8

    Anthony's reaction to winning made the night! I agreed with the judges on that, but I thought Ben's design was a very close second. If Mila had used a more "springy" color combination, it could easily have been the winner, too.

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