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'Project Runway' finale (+ spoilers)!

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Leanerunway_l_2

Projectrunwayfinale_lSure, the fifth season of the Bravo 24-hour fashion show hasn’t exactly been a fan favorite, but you wouldn’t know that from the crowd — 900 strong — elbowing to get into the tent at Bryant Park for the taping of the finale this morning. (And we’re talking 8:30-in-the-morning morning.) It was a fabulous mix of fashion elite, the Bravo Alumni Club (we counted contestants from every Runway past, Rachel Zoe, that Make Me a Supermodel cutie, and so many others) and a few random celebs to light up the front row (hellooo, Michelle Trachtenberg and, uh, Judith Light!).

Once the air kisses subsided, Runway’s own glamazon Heidi Klum took the stage to welcome the crowds, and bade a seemingly reluctant auf Wiedersehen to Bravo and the Magical Elves. She also announced the one surprise of the morning — all the whispers that Jennifer Lopez would be filling Victoria Posh Beckham’s size 00 sheath as the guest judge at the finale were true…until they weren’t. After a mysterious foot injury (perhaps somewhere between the Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta shows she attended earlier this week?) La Lopez had canceled, leaving Tim Gunn to join the judging panel. For the First. Time. Ever.

After last week’s surprise ankling (that one’s for you, J.Lo!) of two contestants, all six remaining designers showed collections. But it wasn’t too hard to figure out who were the red herrings and who would be joining Jay McCarroll and Christian Siriano (both of whom were in attendance this morning) in the Runway hall of fame. But since it’s possible our crystal ball is a little fogged over this morning, check out the best and worst looks from each designer after the jump, and let us know who you think will be in and who will be out.

[In case that wasn’t clear, there will be spoilers galore after the jump. So please don’t yell at me when you click below and see spoilers. No, really.]

Now let’s start the show!

Jarrellrunway_lJerell deserves his own cell in couture jail for hissequin-on-sequin crimes of fashion. Sequined jackets over sequinedpants? Maybe for Michael Jackson’s comeback tour. But he did have somelovely silhouettes, and his embroidery work was beautiful and intricateand the kind of thing that as the occasional accent would be stunning. Get this guy an editor and then we’re talking!

Suaerunway_lSuede introduced his show saying he drew his inspirationfrom the Bluefly.com challenge. But after seeing his collection, Idon’t know that the chic-on-the-cheap website will be returning thelove. It was candied pinks and blues and the kind of rustly shinethat’s better suited to Barbie’s Dreamhouse than Bryant Park.

Joerunway_lJoe pronounced his collection to be all about “Americana.”Meanwhile, I saw a lot of laces and leath-ah. (Any chance formerworkroom-mate Stella rubbed off on Ol’ Joe?) The jeans were quite nice,actually, but has there ever been such a large collection of bustiersoutside of a Nashville saloon? (Or maybe even inside of one?)

Kenslyrunway_lKenley created what she called “her dream wardrobe,” so whilethat, naturally, meant loads of puffed sleeves, bubble hems, and tooadorable dresses, I loved it. Her tailoring was superb and her liberaluse of color was fresh and fun. I know some people (cough, Tim Stack)found her ubiquitous headpieces as annoying as her inappropriate runwaylaughter, but I found myself hoping that one will come standard withevery Kenley original that will be sold at the Kenley-only dressesstore at which I will be customer No. 1.

Kortorunway_l_2Korto, who’s displayed a great design aesthetic all season, ever so slightly underwhelmed. (Don’t hate me!) Yes,her designs were lovely and some of them great, but all solids and noprints makes for a slightly forgettable show, no? I wish she borrowed alittle from the patterned, pailletted dress she herself wore to say herhellos to the crowd. So: Elegant shapes, tropical colors, love therandom crossing-guard strap across the open-back motif, but she (andher too cute daughter) aren’t taking home top honors.

Leanerunway_l_2Because that, my friends, hands down goes to…Leanne.Anyone who’s been watching since the first episode knows that thisstealth designer has been working on an entirely different level fromthe rest of the PR gang. In fact, the Leannimal received the one burstof spontaneous applause this morning when her first look floated downthe runway. Her drop-dead-gorgeous sea bisque color palette, herexquisite knife-sharp pleats in what appeared to be the softestsilks…J’adore, tu adores, nous adorons.

So, if you ask me, it was girls’ night this morning all the way. Buthey, what do I know? Do you think Suede-licious will be taking home theSaturn hybrid? Was Terri (who made for great company on our way intothe tent — thanks for the tee, T!) robbed? Let’s hear it!

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