Project Justin: Surviving the Coney Island design challenge

August 2, 2013
By Bill Krueger

Justin LeBlanc (left) works with Alexander Pope on Project Runway.

The assignment: Create a runway-worthy look based on materials bought in a Coney Island amusement park. That was the challenge for the designers competing on last night’s episode of Project Runway, and it proved a tough one for all the competitors—including NC State’s Justin LeBlanc.

“Part of me is like, it’s too much. I overdid it,” LeBlanc said when the dress was complete. LeBlanc, an assistant professor in the College of Design, worked with a partner to make a body-hugging mermaid-style dress with a short jacket out of the vinyl from an inflatable whale (blue) and an inflatable alien (green). The judges were not wowed, calling it everything from “a hot mess’’ to a “seapunk skipper” look.

justin-pope3LeBlanc and his assigned partner on the show, Alexander Pope of Ridgewood, N.Y., survived but were one of the two teams with the lowest scores. (A designer from Milwaukee, Wis., who spent most of the episode fighting with his partner, was kicked off.)

Each week, contestants are given a new challenge, and designers with losing looks are eliminated week by week. The entire season has already been shot and the winner decided, but the show and the contestants are keeping the results under wraps. Stay tuned.

— Sylvia Adcock ’81


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