Project Runway All-Stars: S2, E1

Can I be honest? I am suffering from Project Runway fatigue. Though I still enjoy the show, it’s just not what it was during the early seasons. Additionally, having the regular season and the All-Stars season back-to-back seems like poor planning on somebody’s part. And, on top of all that, didn’t we just have an All-Stars season less than a year ago? Shouldn’t there be years between All-Stars editions? It’s a lot of PR, and perhaps it would have been better to spread the crazy fashions and workroom meltdowns apart a bit, no?

Rhetorical questions aside, I’m attempting to go into this season of PR with an open mind. While I did not enjoy the last All-Stars season, this go round has some advantages to it. First, monotone model slash host Angela Lindvall has been auffed; Carolyn Murphy is replacing her. Second, some of the contestants coming back are absolute classics from seasons of yore (Uli! Andrae! Kayne!). While I’m still holding out for an All-Stars edition that features Laura Bennett (my all-time favorite) and Jillian Lewis, it’s good to see these other guys back too.

So, how did this all pan out? After just one episode, it’s hard to tell – this was not the most dramatic outing, with nary a meltdown in sight. As of now, I’m reserving judgment on the merits of this season. Instead, let’s discuss the fashion from this week’s episode.

The Challenge: The designers split into two teams (a team challenge! Oh, the horror!), and Joanna then tasked them with creating a mini-collection based on an “attitude.” One team chose “bold” and the other chose “confident,” which aren’t exactly revolutionary concepts when it comes to fashion. Is it just me, or is this a pretty yawn-inducing concept for a first challenge?

My Top Three:

  • Ivy: I loved the jacket Ivy made, particularly how the print matched up perfectly from the arms to the torso. That was such a cool touch. I didn’t like the shorts so much, and I almost feel bad about putting this in my top three since I gave Christopher such a hard time for showing shorts on PR Season 10 last week. Nonetheless, the strength of the jacket made this a top pick for me.
  • Laura Kathleen: I liked how sculpted the top was, as it provided a nice contrast to the more relaxed skirt. It’s hard to tell from just a photograph, but I found this striking when it came down the runway – it was interesting, while also being something an ordinary person could wear.
  • Uli: In a sense, this is classic Uli – long and flowing. I loved Uli and never minded that aesthetic, repetitive though it was. But, I also think this dress is different because it’s a bit more refined and sophisticated than her typical beach-y look. Perhaps that’s simply because Uli was forced to work with the black and cream fabrics her team chose, but whatever the case, this dress is working for me.

My Bottom Three:

  • Emilio: A, this look bored me; the overall silhouette is too basic. B, I really detested the cutout in front – it was just too tacky, and it’s weird to see a dress with such a traditional shape have such a garish detail.
  • Kayne: All I can say about this look is, whaaaat? It’s like cat woman on crack. I am astounded that this did not fall into the judge’s bottom three. It’s way over-the-top which, I suppose, is true to Kayne’s style, though it doesn’t make for the most sophisticated garment.
  • Andrae: I adore Andrae – he’s one of my favorite PR “characters” of all time. However…this look was a mess. Particularly with the top, it just looked sloppy and thrown together. The tulle placed over the top didn’t add anything to the look; it was simply distracting.

Bitchy Lines of the Night:

  • “I mean, we have Andrae and we have Laura Kathleen. It’s like two little chihuahuas barking back and forth at each other.” (Joshua, who I’m fairly certain is going to be supplying a large percentage of this season’s Bitchy Lines).
  • “I’m a little terrified to meet you because I remember you being such a bitch on your season.” (Joanna to Ivy. This, my friends, is why we all love Joanna Coles).
  • “When I think of lace and black leather, the word that comes to mind is ‘hooker.'” (Roughly 20 minutes into the season, and Joanna was already on fire).
  • “Suede, oh God. Napkin, anybody?” (Uli on Suede’s dress. It’s more awesome if you imagine it in Uli’s delightful German accent).
  • “It was a mess, like his mind.” (Rachel Roy on Andrae’s garment. Ouch, but she has a point – Andrae always was a little cray cray).

Random Bits + Pieces:

  • It’s a mark of Project Runway’s declining quality that my three favorite designers in this competition are all from PR’s early glory years: Uli, Kayne, and Andrae. Uli for her designs; Kayne and Andrae for their personalities. Some of the people on this show from later seasons, I barely remember (Emilio? Peach? Suede? Casanova? Who?)
  • Did Suede always talk in the third-person so much back in his season? Because it’s insanely annoying and he needs to go, like, now.
  • I’m not sure if Carolyn Murphy is a good host, but compared with PR All-Stars S1’s Angela Lindvall, she seems like a total pro. Major upgrade, PR All-Stars.
  • This week’s guest judges? Rachel Roy and Mondo. I always enjoy Rachel Roy on this show – she brings thoughtful and articulate critiques to the table. Mondo too has guest judged before, and he comes off a tad too snarky to me. Perhaps winning has gone to his head?

The Results: Anthony Ryan won the challenge (I wasn’t a huge fan of his garment, but his southern charm is delightful). Peach was out – and given that she and Andrae were the bottom two, this was quite a relief. It was clear from the beginning of the episode that Peach was way out of her depth; she was clearly the right choice for an early exit.

Are you watching Project Runway All-Stars? Which designers would you have liked to have seen back? And who’s your early favorite to win this edition of All-Stars?

(All photos via Lifetime)

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