Project Justin: LeBlanc on the ropes in latest episode

December 19, 2014
By Bill Krueger

NC State’s Justin LeBlanc is still in the running in this season’s Project Runway All Stars — but last night’s episode had him on the ropes.

The designers on the Lifetime reality show were tasked with making clothes for couples going on a blind date. Designing clothes for real people instead of models poses its own challenges, and in this case the designers also had to take into account their client’s style.

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Judge Zanna Roberts Rassi consults with Justin LeBlanc (Photo courtesy of Project Runway All Stars)

LeBlanc, an NC State alumnus and an assistant professor in the College of Design, was teamed up with Helen Castillo, who was a contestant with him on Project Runway last year. LeBlanc ended up designing the menswear with a client who indicated he would be comfortable wearing whatever he saw on a J. Crew mannequin. LeBlanc aimed to please and created a short-sleeved gray button-down shirt and tailored pants. The look was classic, the fit perfect — but other than praising the construction, the judges were not impressed.

LeBlanc and Castillo, who designed a cobalt blue shirtdress, ended up in the bottom of the rankings. Judge Isaac Mizrahi (who has recently designed lines for Target and QVC) blasted LeBlanc’s work, saying it could have been purchased at Banana Republic. LeBlanc countered that it was exactly what his client wanted.

In the end, the panel of judges decided that Castillo and LeBlanc could stay. They each got a lecture about learning from their failures. With no eliminations this week, there are eight designers remaining out of a starting field of 14.

The next episode — which will feature swimsuits and resort wear — will air on Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. EST.

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