Project Runway

Get your DVRs ready, feminists, because the finale of this season's Project Runway airs tonight, and for the first time in the show's history all three contestants are female. (For those not familiar with the show, Project Runway brings budding fashion designers together to compete for a $100,000 prize and a runway show at New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park.) In the past, the three finalists have been both male and female (although the designs presented are always women's wear—what's up with that?), with only one female contestant ever taking home the grand prize.

The fashion industry has a long history of promoting male designers of women's clothing, from Oscar de la Renta (who showed a collection at the very first NY Fashion Week in 1943) to current Runway judge Michael Kors; women have always come in, well, second. But tonight, the ladies are coming in first, second, and third. So whether the show's winner is architecturally inspired Leanne, vintage-loving Kenley, or free-flowing Korto (and we've all got our favorites), tonight's finale promises to be a stride forward for female fashion designers and the feminists who love them.

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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7 Comments Have Been Posted

Project Runway Lady Finalists

Though it is refreshing to see an all-woman top three (particularly because women's fashion, and PR itself, has long been dominated by men) I still feel Runway has been going steadily downhill since its first fabulous season. Even if a woman will end up the victor, the show (and channel) still makes money pushing annoying gay stereotypes.

I'm wondering what other Bitch readers think about the demonization of Kenley, who proved to be annoying and whiny but totally not evil enough to warrent everyone giving her the cold shoulder and stuff. It definitely seemed like more than a lot of everyone's problem with her had to do with her refusal to be passive, even if she went about it in a bad way. I'm kind of curious to see who will win. I'm thinking Leanne has the most hipster/high fashion but not too creative feel they're all about this season.


I don't think anyone was asking Kenley to be passive, but there is a way to be respectful and firm without being a total bitch about it. How can see call herself a designer when she "says" she never looks at other designer's work? That's like being a writer without reading or an athlete and not knowing the stats of your competitors. If she can't take criticism now, what is she going to do when someone commissions her to create an outfit and they don't like it? Is she going to pitch a fit with her clients?

Project Runway Finale

Project Runway Finale
I'm glad to see female designers making waves in the fashion industry. For far too many years it has been a male dominated industry. Who knows how clothes should fit a woman but a woman. We only buy certain clothes because that's what's out there. It's funny how most male fashion designers learned the trade by the women in their lives, mainly grandmothers and mothers. And yet, they're the ones who seem to benefit from it, not Big Mama or Mama.
Leanne won the competition. That's no surprise. The judges seemed to love her. I thought she was one of the most creative when it came to her signature petal look, but I think with the collection she showed on the runway was a bit too much of the petal look. I wasn't a big fan of Kenley, but some of her collection was cool. Her attitude toward the judges was overboard at times. Understandably, she wanted to do things her way to portray her talent, but she should've taken the criticism a little better. And as far as Korto, I'm a fan of her work. I loved the colors she chose to showcase on the runway. I like how she integrated her African culture in her collection without being too costume.

Enough Kenley

I thought the whole Kenley thing turned out to be a really interesting instance of icy conflict between women (and in this case, a gay man) escalating into an all out cold war when the annoyed parties compare notes and realize they're all feeling the same way. Kenley seemed to be a generally annoying presence in the work room for weeks, and numerous comments were made throughout the season about her laugh and unwarranted confidence. While it seemed cold that everyone ganged up on her near the end, I have to admit I was feeling way done with her I'm-gonna-set-Heidi-and-Tim-straight attitude myself. A "they wanted her to be passive" argument feels a little like a "they didn't like her because she's pretty" argument.
In other news, I wanted Korto to win, and I loved the dress with the darts on the outside (from early in the season). I thought it made the models' butt look cute, thank you Michael Kors.

great finale

I thoroughly enjoyed the finale. I thought all three collections were fantastic, and I'm happy Leeanne won. I also liked that Heidi pointed out that Korto can design fashion for women of all sizes, and make them all feel beautiful. I think that was very important to point out as one of her strengths. Hopefully more and more fashion designers will realize the importance of that as well.

Project Runway

I thought Korto was robbed and I didn't think Leanne's line deserve to win. I thought her choice in colors were too plain and the whole line was too abstract for me. Would anyone really buy those designs at But I did like Leanne's designs throughout the season though. Leanne line was just a little disappointing to me.

I didn't like how the judges kept saying that Korto's line were "ethnic". There was more to her line than it only being "ethnic". I also felt like the judges comments toward Korto were condescending.

And I think it would of been AWESOME to have a black woman win Project Runway since that's never happened before. Just sayin'. :)

I agree!

Korto was robbed...althou I was hoping for Kenley despite her annoying demeanor. I'm a retro gal at heart. I'm still waiting for poodle skirts to come back. Hey, if jelly shoes can, why not wool poodle skirts? :)

But yes, I was also annoyed and offended that the judges decided that Korto was the ethnic designer. Considering that she can design for women of all sizes, wouldn't she be the best designer to launch a line? Leanne's stuff is boring...Maybe if Leanne & Kenley could work together, they might come up with something that wasn't too retro, but had fab color.

Veronica I. Arreola
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