Project Runway All-Stars: Episode 12 (Finale)

After 11 weeks of outlandish outfits from pseudo-All Stars, countless monotone introductions from robo-Angela, spot-on critiques from Georgina, general unbearableness from Isaac, and workroom gems from Joanna, we finally came to the end of the proverbial runway with last night’s Project Runway All-Stars finale. I enjoyed this season in the beginning, but in recent weeks, my enthusiasm has dwindled considerably. I had a hard time rooting for any of these folks (I kept thinking about who I would have cast instead), and the absence of Nina/Michael/Tim/Frau Klum grew increasingly glaring as the weeks dragged on. And, as I said back in Episode 1, this season seemed tailor-made (heh! fashion puns!) for Mondo to win, so it was a predictable and anticlimactic finale. Now that it’s all over, I can wholeheartedly say: Bring on Season 10.

But before we get to that, here’s what I thought of last night’s three collections.

Austin

I agreed with Tommy Hilfiger, who pointed out that half of Austin’s collection was quite rock and roll (with the leather, bright fabrics, etc.), while the other half was composed of frilly, puffy gowns. It was a jarring combination and – while I’m certain Mondo was always preordained to win this thing – I’d guess it hurt any chance Austin had of taking home the top prize.

(All photos via Lifetime)

  • Look 1: The crazy pants and black glitter jacket were a little too avant-garde for me (and dare I say a little too Jetsons-inspired?). Both the pink fabric and the jacket looked oddly wrinkled and sloppy. And what girl wants to look like she has HUGE hips??
  • Look 2: I liked the black dress with the lace top, minus the one weird hip protrusion. This was a dress I could picture real people wearing, though it was a shade boring.
  • Look 3: Overall, I liked the combination of the pink v-neck blouse with the black leather skirt. In a way, this was my favorite piece of Austin’s, primarily because it was something I could envision wearing in my everyday life, perhaps to work (of course, that means it was not exactly high fashion). The little pads/ruffles on the shoulders were a fun touch, but the top looked wrinkly, like he was rushing to finish this piece.

  • Look 4: I found the fabric on Austin’s big statement dress quite off-putting and tacky. Also, the dress was just a HUGE blob of material. It looked cumbersome and heavy to me; I usually expect Austin to be whimsical and light with his gowns.
  • Look 5: I’ll admit that I kind of liked the black leather jumpsuit, though it was probably too Catwoman-esque. Also, this piece didn’t seem to fit tonally with the rest of Austin’s collection. It stuck out, but not in a good way.
  • Look 6: I was not a fan of Austin’s BIG white wedding dress. On the top, it was very Madonna, circa Like a Virgin, with the black gloves and white ruffles. I agreed with Tommy Hilfiger again – this didn’t belong in the collection. And, for once, I disagreed with Georgina – I could NOT see a million women wanting to get married in this.

Mondo

I liked this collection a lot, and I too would have given Mondo the win (despite his outlandish, annoying behavior last week). What I loved about this was that Mondo stayed true to himself. All the quirky details he included were just so him (and so delightful).

  • Look 1: Mondo’s first look out the gate was strong, and I particularly loved the blouse – so fun! I was less a fan of the skirt. Does it look like it’s made of duct tape to anyone else?
  • Look 2: I adored this simple polka dot dress. What got me here were the exaggerated, whimsical details – the big pockets, the collar, and the gigantic buttons. They made the piece quirky and interesting.
  • Look 3: The silver tunic top and weird black leggings were Mondo’s big misstep. The top was just hanging there; it wasn’t anything special. And black leggings with weird pieces cut out of them? Gross.

  • Look 4: This was another favorite of mine. At first, I was ambivalent about the little peek of red, but ultimately I decided I appreciated it as yet another quirky Mondo-detail. The pants were tailored insanely well. So beautiful. This piece looked intricate and complicated, and I like that.
  • Look 5: I thought the peek of red worked even better with this dress. The print was also quite interesting here. Did one of the judges say Mondo created this print himself? If so, wow. That makes this even more impressive.
  • Look 6: I liked the long, flowy dress Mondo ended with, but it didn’t mesh that well with his other looks. The fabric was slightly crazy (and maybe borderline disco), but I loved how beautifully the dress flowed. I also loved the little peek of white lining. Very cool.

Michael

I enjoyed Michael’s collection, mostly because I personally think the flowy, funky, resort-wear stuff is fun (that’s why I always loved Season 3’s Uli. Remember her?). That said, there wasn’t anything particularly innovative about this. It was supremely wearable (particularly if you are weekend-ing in Miami Beach or something. Not that I’ve ever done that), but it didn’t seem like a show-stopping, finale-worthy collection.

  • Look 1: I loved the tan/gold jumpsuit Michael opened his show with – fun, perfect beach wear. The accessorizing bothered me though; he overdid it with the necklaces and they detracted from the overall appeal of the garment.
  • Look 2: Michael’s zebra print dress just looked like a normal dress to me – not particularly interesting. Also, this was maybe a little too tight/trashy.
  • Look 3: The shape and fabric choice here were cool, though I didn’t care for the slight puff at the hips. Why do these designers always do stuff like that? It’s not flattering! In any case, this dress was too simple. It was nice, but I wasn’t blown away.

  • Look 4: I loved Michael’s short jumpsuit – it was perhaps my favorite look of his. The fabric choice was excellent, it moved well, and it screamed summertime to me.
  • Look 5: I liked Michael’s long zebra-print jumpsuit, but the odd thing was, for being zebra-print, it wasn’t that interesting. You would think such a loud pattern would make for a more powerful look, but something about this fell flat for me.
  • Look 6: I enjoyed Michael’s signature Grecian draping, though it’s not exactly stretching himself. I also found it odd that this was the one non-printed look. And I HATED the black vest he put over the dress. When the model was actually wearing the vest, this look did not work for me.

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • Does Angela’s over-pronunciation of “embroidery” bother anyone else? It’s in the intro they play every single week and it drives me insane. Also, when she was introducing the designers’ runway collections, she sounded like she was putting on a Madonna-faux-British accent. I mean, who knew I could miss Heidi Klum so much?
  • I loved Joanna lint-brushing Mondo. He, however, didn’t love it so much: “It’s a little uncomfortable. It’s like your aunt rolling you down.” Come on, Mondo. That was precious.
  • Nina Garcia was in the house! Man, I miss her. And then they showed a Tim Gunn season 10 promo! I don’t know if it was smart for the producers to repeatedly remind us how much we were missing these guys.
  • When Michael said “I promised myself I wouldn’t cry” after the runway show, it seemed so fake to me, almost like he was willing himself to squeeze out a tear. Odd.
  • On the runway for their final critiques, was Austin wearing a hot pink mesh scarf? If so…fabulous. He’s just the best.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “Does Liza Minelli know you went through her wardrobe?” (Mondo, on Austin’s outfit. Priceless.)

And in case you missed ‘em: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, and Episode 11.

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