Inspired by a beauty queen who co-founded a nonprofit to help impoverished communities in Africa, NC State’s Justin LeBlanc designed a fabric on Project Runway last night that incorporated the American Sign Language sign for “I love you.”
The drama was heightened by the fact that it appeared the judges planned a double-elimination. As the stock reality-show music played, one of the three was knocked off, leaving LeBlanc and another contestant standing alone on the runway. One would have to go.
Tick, tock, tick, tock — they seem to take forever to make these decisions — and then, with the words, “Justin, you’re in,” our College of Design assistant professor and graduate was declared safe.
Last night’s challenge began by requiring the contestants to design a fabric using an HP computer (a little product placement there) with an up-and-coming innovator as their inspiration.
“She’s not what I expected,” LeBlanc said. He was moved by her altruism to create an abstract “I love you” sign on fabric in grey with a touch of red. The print became part of a fitted strapless gown that one judge called “hard to look at.” Not nearly as hard to look at as a strange-looking knee-length dress with poufy pleats that did the silhouette no favor. The designer of that dress was knocked off the show.
Now, with five contestants left, there’s only one more episode before the show’s finale.
— Sylvia Adcock ’81