Thursday, January 18, 2018

Project Runway All Stars 1/18/18--"Perfect Pairings" summary

Previously on “Project Runway All Stars”: the designers were told to “distress” two ways. Also they were supposed to have some kind of story for why their garment was jacked up, but they never really held anyone to that. Many people freaked out about having to damage their looks. Anthony won, because his distressing looked like it was part of the original print on the skirt. Kelly made a garment that was very her, which is to say it was borderline tacky but very obviously Kelly's look. They sent her home instead of Char because Char made pants with a train and Isaac lost his damn mind about it. Even though you can't walk in pants with a train and Kelly has a very strong aesthetic. (click for more)

Everyone shows up at a very nice restaurant and sits in pairs. You know and I know they probably aren't “random” pairs. Alyssa arrives with the head chef and sommelier and a giant fan over one boob. Her outfits this season have been really weird. Like, weirder than when she's pregnant, which I only mention because shouldn't it be harder for her to get dressed while pregnant? Anyway, Alyssa plays up how unique and special this “dining experience” is, while the only detail she gives is that there are wine pairings. Also the pairs you're sitting in are your teams. Apparently “pairs” are not “teams” because Alyssa clearly said no more teams on the first episode. Everyone talks about their partner, mostly to say that their partner has a strong point of view, which is not the same as their own point of view. You must be inspired by either the dish or the wine in your pairing. Winning team gets to come back for the full tasting. Wait that's it? Your “unique dining experience” is to have one course and a wine pairing? Shit, I can do that here in St. Louis! That's not unique. Oh but the losing team BOTH goes home. Nice. Also one day. So as far as I can tell the pairings are: Anthony and Kimberly, Edmond and Helen, Josh and Amanda, Candice and Merline, Ken and Fabio, Ari and Melissa, Stanley and Char.

They talk about the food, but after Top Chef when your chyron just says “lamb chop” I can't bring myself to care. Anthony can't understand the French chef but he says sometimes you just listen to hot accents. Hee. Candice says something about balsamic vinegar that is designed to make her sound knowledgeable but she just sounds like an annoying hipster. You know, like Kmanpat and I sound when we go out. Also the wine pairings are like “I always pair syrah with lamb”. This food just looks French and high class. I'm not sure what's unique about it. I sound so obnoxious. Listen, first of all, after this episode is over I'm going to watch “Top Chef” where people are making like, lemonade fried chicken, and rabbit trios on a campfire, and poached eggs with pinto bean foam, and so forth. So telling me this dish is “lobster” is not exciting. Also I've had far more creative tasting menus, so telling me this is “unique” is not accurate. It's a tasting menu. Leaving your table to go out to the patio where a chef is making flatbread for you is unique. Having your first course be basically one bite of every appetizer on the menu is unique. A French tasting menu with wine pairings is delicious, I'm sure, but let's not act like it hasn't been done before ever.

Everyone sketches and decides if they want to be inspired by the wine or the dish. Candice is draping pants. Ari sketches a cocktail dress because the wine makes her happy and light. I know I dumped on the whole menu earlier, but I actually like this challenge. I wish it wasn't partners, because I feel like this show just uses partners and teams in the hopes that people fight and have drama. Mood is Mood. Ken plans “overexaggerated hips”. Anthony and Kimberly yell at each other across the store. I think Anthony is planning for ribbons.

I will admit that people seem to be talking to each other and asking advice. I think the double elimination is changing the mood. Normally everyone just does their own thing but I think people are giving more advice to try to save themselves. Anthony at least mentions that he doesn't want to send Kimberly home. Candice gets some drama happening by trying to figure out what Merline is doing. But now she's trying to say she doesn't know what Merline is doing, or that Merline herself hasn't decided what she's doing so now Candice has to wait for Merline so she can make something. I'm not sure. I think that Candice doesn't want/can't make her garment until Merline makes some decisions, so Candice's garment can complement Merline's. Why Candice doesn't just do what she wants, I don't know. If Merline is taking too long, then she'll have to be the one to copy Candice? Right? Candice bitches to Anthony, who tells her to watch Merline because it looks sloppy. Merline meanwhile doesn't know how to put herself in her garment. Candice claims to be at peace with the fact that surely they're going to be in the bottom.

Anne rolls in. I don't know if I like her yet. I still miss Joanna. Kimberly and Anthony talk about paint and sauce. They seem to be in good shape. Ari has some beads and Anne warns her not to bunch them weirdly on her ass. Char and Stanley have hot pink and gray. Amanda and Josh had sea bass and Amanda tries to pretend that a black garment is “safest”. Boring. Ken and Fabio have interesting silhouettes that need to be amped up. Merline talks about lime shapes and...something. I'm not sure what she's talking about. Anne just warns them not to be weak. “Allow your partner to push you creatively”. Well, she says that to everyone.

Anthony yells at his mannequin for being clumsy. Heh. Melissa has pink brocade that she needs to keep youthful. Merline doesn't want to let Candice down. Model fittings. Fabio's jumpsuit is fantastic, but he was planning to put an overskirt so maybe he won't ruin a good thing. Merline has nothing to try on. That's not a great sign. Ari tells us that they change models every week, so making pants is going to always be a risk. Like Melissa's pants. She decides to scrap everything and make a dress. Anthony paints and shrieks. Merline and Candice seem to be in big trouble. They've got a lot to do.

Runway Day. Anthony has some stretching happening which sucks. Ken is pretty calm, weirdly. Hot makeup guy Scott. Ari's dress seems to have a sheer piece all the way down her back to the floor. Merline is done, I think, but it looks sloppy? Well, we'll see when we get there.

Alyssa should not wear high waisted, wide-legged pants with blousy crop tops. My opinion. Guest judge is Whoopi Goldberg. Edmond: long red gown, one shoulder, and slim. There's a “stole”, or basically a three inch wide strip of fabric wound around her arms and draped to the floor, and a short train. The whole front of the dress is covered in ruffles, or crumpled fabric, or maybe tabs. This was inspired by minted pea soup, so I don't know. Helen: very voluminous long gown in blush pink, or basically as close to skin tone as she could get. The bodice looks like she made a normal satin strapless bodice, then attached a big fan of tulle at the top, so it flows out and looks like it's a maternity gown. There is a ruffle of tulle all around the top of the tulle layer, which starts at the top of the bodice and swoops down to just above her ass. They do go together, I'll give them that. I'm not sure how but they do.

Josh: black gown with a sheer piece set in the side. So when you look at her from the side, the sheer exposes her leg, all the way up to the top of the bodice. Then there's a flap over her boobs like a ruffle, but not full so it doesn't really move so much as sit there. The effect from the front is like you pasted a length of fabric over her front for modesty. There's also some weird hanging bits, like string, and then somehow the skirt is full at the bottom like a mermaid skirt. It seems tacky but then Josh's aesthetic is tacky so I guess this is normal. Amanda: black dress, with a mullet hem (knee/mid-calf), with a halter top. The top half of the bodice is leather and there seem to be pockets. It's fine, I guess. They're both black, so they go together by default.

Melissa: knee-length dress in pink brocade with short sleeves. It looks like a little kid's dress that you'd put on your kindergartner. Kind of full skirt, bodice not fitted tightly to the model, weird sleeve length. Ari: long tight mermaid gown. So she also has sheer, like Josh, but this sheer is down the center of the dress. So there are strategic pearls/beading to cover her crotch, and I assume in the back because the same strip is there also. The sheer is a blush, and the two sides of the dress are a light pink/off-white. This is tackier than Josh's. At least Josh's dress wasn't going to expose anyone. They sort of go together, but not really, in that one is a junior dress and one is basically a naked model.

Ken: pink gown with a simple sleeveless V neck. Around the hips are pieces like Kini's umbrella dress he made for the rainway. You know? Where you attach fabric at the waist in loops so they create volume. The front is flat so it actually looks like the model has a piece of cardboard over her crotch. The skirt has two slits but they aren't super high. Fabio: black jumpsuit that fits really well. It has the same neckline as Ken's look, and then over the jumpsuit is a full machine lace skirt with a mullet hem (knee/ankle). The skirt looks like it's sewn in two parts, the front part with pockets that's kind of full, and a back piece that's basically a rectangle of fabric that doesn't look attached to the front. They've both got volume and the same neckline so that's something.

Merline: I think she tried to do that thing Dmitri likes to do, where you sew applique shapes onto some sheer, so it looks like they're floating in space with no seams. That was Dmitri, right? Anyway, this treatment is just long enough to cover her crotch, and then the rest of the skirt is one layer of tulle. The whole thing is a vague beige color. The matching pumps are also terrible. Up close the whole thing looks so sloppy and unfinished. Candice: the top is one shouldered, with a fan or a ruffle on that side, and a ruffle on the other boob so she has a titscrepancy. The pants are wrinkly and wide-legged. It looks overworked and terrible.

Char: short cocktail dress, one shouldered with a full knee-length skirt. The fabric is a hot pink and gray print that is actually really cute. It's not the most exciting dress, but if I saw it in a store I'd probably try it on. The shoulder has an extra piece of fabric for some height, but not as much as if this was an avant garde challenge. Stanley: long tight gown in dark coral, with a train, and a square neckline with straps. It's very boring, and when the show the bodice close up it looks like maybe the bodice is lopsided, but possibly I'm just so bored I want it to be messed up because at least that would be something.

Anthony: long white satin gown, sleeveless with a deep V neck. All around the waist of the gown there are blue paint splatters to make a print, then a wide, stiff rectangle attached to her butt that sticks out to one side. Kimberly: royal blue jumpsuit, with a skirt over it. The shoulders are extra wide, with short sleeves, then it looks like a knee-length straight skirt in the same fabric, over pants. It's interesting, but I wish the pants were tighter. They do go together.

Josh, Amanda, Char, Stanley, Edmond, and Helen are safe. Anthony and Kimberly talk about their dish, which was the lamb chop and syrah. Kimberly's bold color was from the bold wine. Oh, OK. Her jumpsuit is maybe one size too big, but Whoopi says she could wear it whenever, no matter what her weight is at that moment. Isaac, confirming what we've all suspected for FOREVER, tells her that he's not sure how she got royal blue from wine but he doesn't care because it's perfect. Because we all knew that on this show, your “inspiration” doesn't have to actually make any damn sense. Anthony's gown is very simple, but the drape in the back makes it interesting. He's onto something, and Isaac hopes he knows this week he did well. Merline says some nonsense about asparagus, so therefore abstract. Candice babbles about the legs on the wine. Isaac labels the non-color of Merline's look “mushroom”, which it is. The looks go together, but Georgina nails Merline for her shitty construction. Whoopi sees Star Trek because of course she does. Candice's hem is dragging on the floor and is unacceptable.

Melissa wanted to use the textures and layers of the food. Sure. Ari at least talks about light and sensual. The looks don't go together. Melissa didn't do anything in terms of design. Whoopi says it looks like she herself put it together. Burn. They know she had a huge top that she belted. Georgina hates that you can see the bellybutton her Ari's model. The back actually has no sheers, and the opaque comes to a point in the middle of her back, then the sheer and beading starts from there. Isaac and Whoopi actually love the back, and Isaac says if the front was all solid this would be a totally different story. Ken and Fabio talk about presentations. Their two looks really fit together. Whoopi points out that they're very wearable, by many sizes. The lace in Fabio's skirt picks up the color of Ken's dress. Isaac tells them Fabio's outfit seems easy to wear, and Ken's gown has great architecture.

Back in the Scrap Bin, Ari complains that the judges just didn't get her look. Oh I think they got it. Anthony has been nailing it this season, and the pairing with Kimberly was a successful pairing. Georgina wishes that maybe Kimberly might have had less blue. Fabio and Ken did a great job. Fabio's look was easy breezy, and they love the fact that Ken's gown had pointy hips. No, they say that. Ari had good construction, but the front sheer was not good. Melissa's dress was too dowdy and they don't even like the color. Merline sent down a look that accentuated her crotch. Isaac says he doesn't mind seeing a crotch (Whoopi interjects with a “Mm-HMM” which is hysterical), but he DOES mind calling attention to the crotch like Ari. Merline's construction was horrible, as was the construction on Candice's pants.

The winners are Ken and Fabio. Yay! Anthony and Kimberly are in. Merline and Candice had poor execution, while Melissa and Ari didn't match up and had poor design. Melissa and Ari are out. What? Merline and Candice are in. is more important than construction? I guess, since it's not like Kelly had poor construction. That's still stupid though. Ari is glad to have had the chance to come back, and Melissa seems pretty bummed.

Next week: go to a bouncy castle full of balls for an unconventional materials challenge. People maybe don't have enough material. Helen makes a stank face. 


Duabe said...

Thank you, Toyouke, for your thoughtful and insightful recap. The premise of this "teamless" challenge was strange, but at least the designers had a chance to dress up and eat some good food instead of the trays brought into the lounge for them.

Although my cable equipment finally is working, unfortunately, I was not. I have to watch the recording because I slept through last week's episode and the new one too. Feeling better today, so I will watch this episode as soon as I can.

Sorry to learn that Ari is gone - thought she'd stay a lot longer.

Duabe said...

Glad I read your review before I saw the episode this week - you really did a beautiful job of describing the work the designers had created.

I agree with the winners, although I thought Ari's dress was strangely beautiful - okay maybe for the right event - not a red carpet event.

Josh is still annoying with those eyebrows. Have you seen the Olympic men's figure skating team? Those eyebrows are there too - is it a thing?

Thanks, Toyouke, for setting the scene for me this week!