Project Runway All-Stars: Episode 10

Last night’s challenge on Project Runway wasn’t the most riveting or creatively stimulating, but I appreciated that the challenge brought a dose of the realities of fashion to the workroom. The designers had to work within a tight budget and create a garment with a specific price point for designer Nanette Lepore to sell. The designers sketched their looks and then worked with a “coster,” who appraised their designs and gave them a (tiny!) fabric budget. Though I love all the whimsical and over-the-top designs that contestants have created over the years on PR, it was nice to see them thinking about what folks would actually buy for a change.

This episode was the final round before Fashion Week, and the designers rose to the occasion and brought their A-games (as they should for the penultimate challenge). Though I divided them into a top two and bottom two, overall, I liked all four looks this week.

My Top Two:

  • Mondo: Yeah, this was just a simple shift, but I adored the combo of patterns (Mondo has a great eye!), and I loved the little line of ruffle detailing near the bottom of the dres. Now that was a cool touch. Though this look was, as robo-Joanna said, boxy, I forgive that because I loved the patterns so much.
  • Kenley: I also adored the peacock pattern Kenley used, and the dress she created does look quite flattering on her model. The challenge was to design something “women across the country” could buy, and I think Kenley did just that. Was this look a stretch for her? Nope, not even close. But it was a nice dress. Begrudgingly, however, I must agree with Isaac, who offered this assessment:  “It’s a good dress, except I kept waiting for it to change into something more inspired on the runway.” Yep.

My Bottom Two:

  • Austin: Austin’s coat was somewhat of a bulky blob, and I think I would’ve sent him home over Kenley. The coat did, however, have a fun flounce at the bottom and certainly moved well. When the model was just standing there, I didn’t like the look, but when she was walking, it was quite lovely.
  • Michael: I LOVED the pattern Michael chose, but I didn’t think there was enough design to this dress. It was just a long, straight piece of fabric, with a little gathering in the middle. I liked it, but I didn’t think it was anything revolutionary. Also, I didn’t notice this until the judges pointed it out, but the dress was too long.

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Is Kenley really this awful in real life? I can never decide if the editors are just playing up her awfulness or if…she’s just plain awful. Because, seriously, how can someone lack all self-awareness about how she comes off on camera?
  • Quote from Michael: “I’m making a kaftan. But this is more like a gay-dress-kaftan.” Ummm, what?
  • Poor Mondo and his utter inability to sketch made me laugh: “When I’m given time to sketch, I usually just draw hearts and stars, like an 8-year-old.”
  • Nanette Lepore was kind of scary, and apparently doesn’t believe in smiling. Austin called her “direct, no nonsense, to the point,” which I think is code for “cold-hearted and evil.” In all seriousness, though, she made valid points during her critiques. I just would have been semi-terrified of her if I were a designer.
  • Joanna’s obsession with women being able to wear a bra rears its head again! Though I find it amusing to hear her go on about this, she’s actually spot-on. I like when designers make things that “real” people can wear, as opposed to just models. Which segues into my next point quite nicely…
  • Austin said, “It’s just really hard to wear Michael’s clothes unless you’re a model.” I would argue that’s true for mostof the designers. Nonetheless, that was an astute observation.
  • In general, I loved, loved, loved the fabrics the designers used this week. Three cheers, Nanette Lepore, for having all that gorgeousness in your fabric room.
  • About his own dress, Mondo said, “You see those pit bull dogs that are so ugly, but they’re so ugly that they’re cute. That’s what my dress is.” I agreed with that – there was something odd about his dress, but it was so wrong, it was right.
  • What’s up with Austin’s mustache? Does he, like, pencil it in at times? I swear that in his interviews, it’s really light – almost to the point where I find myself thinking he got rid of it. Then, in the workroom, it looks dark and I’m reminded of how creepy it looks. Has anyone else noticed this?
  • I loved that Nanette pointed out Kenley wouldn’t take advice and listen to criticism. Thank goodness a judge (albeit a guest judge) finally called her on that nonsense.
  • I know the show has to include it because L’Oreal gives them cash money, but seriously, I could do without the weekly “let’s tell the hairstylist what kind of hair and makeup we want” session. It’s tedious and doesn’t add much to the proceedings.
  • Did I hear Michael give the instruction, “like the male Snooki” to his hairstylist? If so, I must ask – why, God, why?!?
  • During the show, there was a short ad where Heidi encouraged people to apply for season 10 of the show. Frau Klum!! I have missed you so. Thank goodness for the return of the “real” Project Runway next season. I’m about done with this all-stars nonsense.

Bitchy Line of the Night:

  • “Michael’s dress was just very…inappropriate. Also, I feel like I have seen that dress sort of on 14th street, in a bargain basement shop.” (Austin on Michael’s look)

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