Thursday, February 23, 2012

Project Runway All Stars 2/23/12--"O! Say, Can You Sew?" summary

Previously on Project Runway: designing for Godspell. It went very well, because “make a costume for a woman who is rich and wants everyone to know it, but maybe is slightly crazy” is a fantastic directive. Mondo won, making a fabulous coat and dress that looked exactly like the kind of thing an eccentric rich old woman would wear. Others did sort of OK, but Kara made a boring outfit with a giant bow so she was eliminated. She’s cool, I just don’t think she does well in this atmosphere. (click for more)

Austin thinks it will be difficult to be inspired without Kara. He and Kenley commiserate as Austin voiceovers that Mila and Jerell are weaker designers.

They all gather outside the United Nations building, as Angela says something about the UN hosting their next challenge. As far as I can tell, you’re outside on the lawn. You could have snuck over there for all we know. Security could be on the way. Jerell talks about flags. Angela makes a lame joke about “their” challenges not being as tough as UN challenges. I am not sure what is going on with Austin’s hat. I feel it is a black leather cap. Today’s challenge is to design a dress inspired by flags. Oo…this better not get offensive. Angela tells them they have flags from “each of the major world regions.” The list is: Jamaica, Chile, Greece, India, Papua New Guinea, and Seychelles. Seychelles is Kmanpat’s favorite. They will be influenced by the colors in the flag and also the culture of the country, which is what I thought and why I worry about things getting offensive. I think they should have made everyone choose flags out of all 200 countries or whatever. OR do state flags, which can be pretty crazy. I’d like to see someone design a dressed based on Maryland’s state flag. Anyway, Michael says he wants Greece, as he is Greek. Is he? (Kmanpat: “You know what would be better? If they gave them a map and made them pick countries. And then there were no names on the countries so they have to know something.”) Yeah, that would be entertaining.

OK, back to the show. Mondo won last week so he picks out Jamaica. Michael gets to go next, so he takes Greece like he wanted. Mila picks Papua New Guinea, which is half black with white stars. Of course the other half is red with a yellow bird, so I’m not sure what she’s going to do with it. Jerell takes India because it is “embellished and ethnic”. Sigh. Austin takes Seychelles, to no one’s surprise because it’s a rainbow, although he calls it “Seashells”. Don’t think I didn’t hear that, Austin. Kenley gets Chile, which basically looks like the Texas state flag. She’s glad to go last because if she had been able to pick and then gotten frustrated with the colors, she’d blame herself. Angela sends them all off to sketch and read their portfolios on their countries.

Mila says this sentence: “The indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea are extremely tribal-looking.” She doesn’t want tribal, just a touch. Sigh. Austin tells us Seychelles is open because there is no national dress, but he is feeling beach and ocean. In Mood Michael goes straight for trim. Mila is still complaining about people helping each other. Kenley has managed to find blue and white polka dots.

Mila talks about staying true to herself and being modern, which to her means asymmetrical, mostly black with red and a tiny bit of yellow. I don’t know. Everyone eats except Austin is still in the workroom saying he can’t eat until he figures out what he’s doing. He’s thinking a flag that is a rainbow of primary colors is maybe not easy. Jerell says when he thinks India he thinks embellishment. That is what I think of when I think of Bollywood, which is probably what Jerell is thinking of. Michael seems to be done, and he starts babbling in confessional about how everyone thinks this is up his alley, Michael is a draper, plus he’s Greek…what? Do they think that? That this is right up his alley? He says his aesthetic is Marchesa, which is “gorgeous” and “tasteful”, and let me say: HA! Marchesa is not always “tasteful”. Mondo wants to make sure he doesn’t make a flag.

Joanna time! She says this room is the most talented room in the history of the show. OK then. Mondo has a sleek black dress, and on the back is a chevron of yellow and green. Joanna says it’s cool, but how do you wear a bra? Mondo admits you don’t, and that he knows that’s not the answer she wants. Joanna sighs and rolls her eyes, which is hilarious. Jerell shows her his outfit, and she tells him it looks like a sari on a doll you would buy at the tourist office. Oo. It kind of is, there’s an embellished bustier with illusion netting, and then a green and red draped piece of fabric over one shoulder. He says he doesn’t think it’s too literal and uses the phrase “ethnic opulence”, which I am totally going to start using as soon as I can figure out where to use it. Michael has a white draped dress, which also is backless and so cannot be worn with a bra. Joanna is fixated on bras today. She wants Michael to push himself. Austin has a layered skirt with panels or something. The bodice is weirdly elaborate with several panels and a slit that is asymmetrical? Or something? Joanna starts ranting about bras again and Austin quickly tells her he wants the slit to be thin, so you can’t really tell if there’s a bra under there or not. Joanna doesn’t really want bra strap, though. Mila has a Frankendress: one side is a short black sheath with a white belt, and the other side is a red poncho that reaches the ground. Hey, but you can wear a bra with it! Joanna tells Kenley her dress is obviously Kenley. She insists to Joanna she’s taking a risk by mixing blue polka dots and small red stripes, and also something will be asymmetrical, and it will be a party dress. Kenley also says she can stand out.

Model fitting. Everyone seems to be confident in what they have. With one hour left in the day, there is still a ton of work to do. Mondo has not done very much. Kenley all of a sudden doesn’t think she’s going to finish.

Day of the show. Jerell wishes he had bought some elastic. Mondo admits to being scared because he is making a mostly black dress. Austin is getting stressed. Austin thinks his dress is too short. Jerell finds a bindi on the accessory wall. Sigh. Hot makeup guy. Austin calls Jerell’s outfit vulgar and tasteless, and I would have to agree. It’s a short dress, very shiny, and then a green shawl draped over one shoulder. Kenley…has made a dress she has made before. That one with the high neck and then on one hip it was a different fabric and weirdly poofy? And we all said “ew” but the judges thought it was very fashion forward and then accused her of copying?

Guest judge today is Catherine Malandrino. Nice. Jerell: short dress in black with gold sequins. It looks like a bustier with illusion netting along the neck and sleeves. There is a piece of green fabric draped over one shoulder, gathered at the waist and then down to the floor, all on that one side. It looks like she’s wearing an ice skating costume and threw her shawl on weirdly. Not to mention a ton of gold jewelry and a giant pendant in the middle of her forehead. It’s pretty tacky. He hopes the judges see him in it. Honey, we ALL see Jerell in it. That’s the problem. Kenley: short dress with long sleeves and a high neck. It’s in blue heart polka dots, except for over her left hip is ruffles made of thin red and white stripes that look pink from a distance. It is exactly the dress she made for her finale collection and also for the challenge where they had to be inspired by New York, except in different fabrics. Austin: long gown in shades of blue with a yellow center panel. It’s got a V-neck, and the fabrics kind of wrap around so the front is sort of open. There is a thin belt, and the back has a bunch of draped pieces hanging down. Where are the rest of the colors? Also, it looks like the dress he made for Nancy O’Dell that got him eliminated.

Mondo: long sleeved black dress, very sleek, modest neckline. The back is open, and down the middle of her back are alternating yellow and green chevrons, each outlined in black, with the whole thing being about the width of her hand. It looks really cool. Mila: one side of the dress is a short sheath dress with a cap sleeve, and the other side is a long floor length dress with a long sleeve and for some reason one line of white piping all the way down the front of the dress. The neckline is weird too, like the black dress is a narrow V-neck and the red dress is a scoop neck. Michael: long white Grecian draped dress. The neckline is one-shouldered and lined in rhinestones, with a big flat bow or something on the shoulder, outlined in blue with blue ribbons hanging down so there’s some blue in the dress. The back is open pretty much down to her butt, with a thin strap of rhinestones. But you can also see at her waist, the dress gaps because it’s not fitted well. I mean, you can’t really fit a loose draped dress. But still.

Kenley starts saying women in Chile wear a lot of color and have a “Spanish flair”. Georgina says the dress is young and fun. Catherine likes that she didn’t go to far with her Spanish ruffles, I guess. See, this is the problem with all new judges. Kors and Nina would be all over this shit. They all love it and no one will say “I’ve seen it before”. Well, Isaac tells her not to do a dress like this again. Kenley acts like she didn’t realize she was doing it. Jerell talks about ornate and ethnic, and Angela says she likes the white stripe down the arm, which is a thick ribbon with gold lace edging, running down the arm with the illusion netting. Really, Angela? What? Isaac says it’s wonky and he can’t get over it. Catherine thinks the dress could be cute but the draping hides it, and Georgina says it needs editing. Michael talks about Greece. Georgina calls it “acceptable” but it screams beauty pageant. Too much volume and the bow is stupid. Michael argues that he didn’t want it to look like he just stuck some ribbon on there to get some blue on the dress, except that’s exactly what it looks like. Isaac says what I am thinking and everyone agrees. Austin talks about colors and he seems exhausted. The colors don’t quite match the colors in the flag, and the rouching looks unfinished. He ran out of time. Mondo wanted something slinky but easy and sexy. It is a great dress but the hair distracts Catherine. Oo, yeah, it’s a pile of braids and dreadlocks, with black fabric wrapped around like she has a head wound. Isaac somehow hates the back of the dress, which is the part that makes it not just a black dress. Mila wanted free spirit. Yeah. Isaac decides it’s Russian and communist. They like the neckline, but the Frankendress aspects of the hem being weird and also it’s two colors, those don’t go over well. Isaac thinks she meant for it to be disturbing, in which case, good for her.

Mondo put a lot of thought into his dress, although it’s a little safe and the hair was terrible. They gush over Kenley’s dress, which, blah. This is not Chilean culture, as far as I know, and I’ll admit to not knowing a lot. But I’m fairly confident in that. Michael’s dress didn’t fit in the back and the bow was bad. But it was finished. Austin fell flat, the execution wasn’t there and the color story didn’t work. He needed another day. Mila stayed true to herself, but no one can wear that dress anywhere. It didn’t remind them of her country at all. Jerell made a costume.

Michael is in. Mondo wins. Really? Cool, they made it seem like Kenley was going to win. Kenley is in, but she gets warned not to make the same dress again. Austin is in. Jerell is in. Why didn’t they warn him about too many embellishments? Mila says she’s proud of herself and that she’s grown as a designer.

Next week: well, they had that “After the Runway” thing, which I did not tape and which looks like a lot of arguing and Isaac “being real” so whatever. My DVR says next week they will use “light technology” and then it says “avant garde” so who knows what will be there. If anyone watched After the Runway and it was worth anything feel free to comment and share.

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