Project Runway All-Stars: Episode 1

Last season, I recapped a few episodes of Project Runway sporadically. This season, I’m going to try to recap each one. Let’s get started!

Before we get to the fashion, I have to say this doesn’t really feel like Project Runway (yet, at least). I’m watching because it’s the All-Stars season, and thus I want to see what happens with these designers. But it’s just not the same without Heidi, Tim, Nina, and Michael (Nina and Michael especially. They combine being bitchy with being legit fashion experts, which I love). I’m not sure why they shook things up for All-Stars, but I’m not loving it yet. I’ll try to reserve judgment for a few episodes, though.

Next, the competitors. While some of these guys are solid choices (I’m rooting for Rami and Kara), I’m pretty disappointed about who wasn’t included, namely – Daniel V. and Nick from Season 2, Michael and Ulee and Laura from Season 3, Jillian from Season 4, and Anthony Ryan from this past season. It doesn’t really feel like All-Stars when so many of the big guns are missing.

My gold standard for reality TV all-star editions is Top Chef All-Stars, which I adored (but which, it seemed, many critics did not). As with Richard Blais on Top Chef, I get the feeling that this edition of Project Runway was expressly created to rectify a past wrong – namely, making Mondo a winner. Although I kinda liked Gretchen (the horror!), most people hated her and seemed fairly outraged when she beat Mondo. So, Mondo, this is yours to lose. Don’t blow it.

Okay. Onto the part you’ve been waiting for – the fashion. This week’s challenge was one of my annual favorites – the unconventional materials challenge. This time around, they were at the dollar store, which is fun, but perhaps not as challenging as the time they went to a grocery store or the pet supply store. I also expected the judges to scold the folks who used more predictable materials (e.g. Sweet P using towels), but they didn’t really. Come on, judges. Be a little harsher!

In the early weeks of the competition, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of competitors. Rather than recap each look, I’ll give my three most favorite and my three least favorite designs. This episode, I was 4 for 6 on matching up with the judges picks, which almost never happens.

My Top Three:

(photos via Lifetime)

  1. Rami: I thought this look was quite unexpected for the former king of Grecian draping. This was fun and preppy and looked so well-made. Loved it.
  2. Anthony: This wasn’t that fancy or avant garde, but I was impressed how he made tissue paper and safety pins look like a real dress I’d actually wear. I also liked the purple and gold color combo.
  3. Mondo: Another look I found unexpected given what we know of the designer’s past aesthetic – which in Mondo’s case, was bold, colorful prints. This was understated for Mondo but so gorgeous. I loved the ruffle at the bottom and the fun belt. Oh, and the hat! So whimsical. It was a little black dress, but it wasn’t boring at all.

My Bottom Three:

(photos via Lifetime)

  1. Sweet P: This looks like a hippie child’s craft project. I mean…I honestly think Sweet P should’ve been the one sent home for inflicting this atrocity on us. Also, I don’t like the belts-as-straps thing.
  2. Mila: I can’t believe the judges didn’t call this one out! It’s super tacky, and it doesn’t fit the model at all – it’s just hanging there and is way too boxy.
  3. Elisa: When the model began walking down the runway, with her arms crossed, this looked like a giant garbage bag. Then, she opened her arms to reveal…a tacky bathing suit? Who would wear something like this? And why?

Bitchy Line of the Night: “Gordana’s look, it’s made of streamers. It reminds me of Easter at a Mexican family’s house. It’s a pinata. I hope her model is full of candy.” (Mondo)

2 thoughts on “Project Runway All-Stars: Episode 1

  1. omgsh, I had NO IDEA project runway started again! I love this show! But sadly I haven’t been keep up with the last season or so; thanks for post this cap. I cannot believe Michael, Ulee, Jillian, and Daniel aren’t “All Stars.” They were some of my favorite (as well as the judge’s) favorite designers past season and were in even in the top 3 at the end of each season.

    Who are they using for judges if Heidi, Michael, and Nina aren’t there?

    1. They’re using Angela Lindvall (a model I hadn’t heard of until this…) as the host and Georgina Chapman (from Marchesa) and Isaac Mizrahi as judges. It’s not quite the same, but I’m still excited for this season!

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