Thursday, January 25, 2018

Project Runway All Stars 1/25/18--"Balls Out!" summary

Previously on “Project Runway All Stars”: the designers worked in pairs to be inspired by a food and wine pairing. I actually liked the idea of this challenge, even though I really looked down on the idea that a tasting menu was “unique”. Candice started some minor drama, because she felt Merline wasn't deciding on her own look fast enough. It doesn't matter, though, because they ended up being safe. Ken and Fabio won, with some interesting volume and two looks that were complementary. Melissa and Ari were both sent home for boring looks. Well, in Ari's case, sheer beading down the front and back of the dress. So this season, if the choice comes down to poor construction vs. poor design, the poor design has gone home. (click for more)

Alyssa pretends everyone is going on an “inspirational” trip to the countryside. To visit a castle! Merline says she belongs in that time. Your challenge is to “design a ballgown fit for a modern-day princess. Everything you'll need for this challenge will be available to you inside the castle.” Immediately there is suspicious muttering. They know.

The field trip ends at someone's backyard where there's a bouncy castle full of balls. Ha! Anthony's comment is “What in Gay Hell is this.” Five minutes to fight each other for materials. To be fair there are a lot of sizes of balls in there. Josh says he needs to stop smoking. Fabio is just grabbing whatever balls he can get his hands on. “How many times am I gonna say 'balls' today? Balls.” Amanda wusses out and just stands outside to pick up stuff. Josh does a round off and dive back into the castle. Calm down. Fabio tells Ken (I think) that he'll help carry if he can have one of Ken's balls, and Ken just laughs.

Candice takes a rainbow ball apart, sectioning it so she has petals, each a different color. Helen brags about how she won the unconventional challenge her season, and we see her sketch of a “short, flirty, fun” dress that is what she thinks of when she thinks of a princess. OK but it's not a ballgown. Are we assuming the producers were being smartasses and it's a literal “ball gown”? I'm not sure I would make that assumption. Kimberly likes the idea of these challenges, but in practice she hates them. Helen has a squeaker toy and Anthony is thoroughly disgusted. He said something about it, so she squeezed it rapidly to make a bunch of noise. I bring this up because later she's going to act like she loves everyone and there was no reason to do that except to be a pain in the ass. Fabio fits a shiny gold bandeau to cover boobs. Actually his dress looks like a cocktail dress too. It's a great gold armor-looking dress but it's taking forever to make. Helen whines about how ugly everything is. Not her opponents' looks (yet, spoiler) but how her materials (and I guess everyone's) are just terrible. Josh says in confessional that she needs to suck it up. Girl, JOSH is being more mature than you. Plus you were just bragging about how you won your unconventional challenge. Anthony's material keeps ripping.

Anne Time. She makes Candice talk about being in the bottom. Amanda doesn't know what her skirt is going to look like or be made out of. Not great. Kimberly has a bodice covered in cotton balls. She says they were in the house, so they count. I mean I guess? Helen has done nothing. She wants to make her own textile, but she apparently has nothing done yet. Josh also has no skirt yet. Stanley wants to mix the colors together, but it might get muddy. Anne tells the room that most of them didn't get enough materials, but that's fine since “the modern-day princess” doesn't always wear a long gown. So I guess that answers that question.

Helen tells whoever she's talking to (and the room in general) that it's a cop-out to use glue. Anthony says in confessional he has an appreciation for what Helen does, but he does not have an appreciation for Helen. I can get behind that. Model fitting. Stanley is trying on his muslin , but that's all he's got. Amanda doesn't have anything either. Kimberly puts on what she has, which is basically a sports bra, and realizes the cotton balls look terrible. Josh picks out open-toed denim booties for his look because of course he does. Candice's top look pretty good, but it has to be cinched to look good so she's worried about it. Fabio realizes that Edmond also has a gold dress, so he's going to put some black in. There are a lot of people with no skirts. Candice thinks Amanda is the only one who has most of a dress.

Runway Day. There seem to be a lot of people making skirts today. Stanley is gluing everything. Hot makeup guy Scott. Helen says to her model that she could just glue something, but she doesn't want to cheapen it. You're not that special, Helen. I mean if she wants to sew everything, then that's up to her. It's not like sewing is bad or anything. But you can talk about how you want to sew everything without declaring that not sewing is cheap and shitty. And that's not editing, because those words came out of your mouth and the camera was on you the whole time, and I highly doubt your model asked you a leading question that was then edited out of context.

Guest judge is Kasey Musgraves, who is a country singer. Char: short black sheath dress, with a high neck and a zipper up one side. It looks like leather but is the inside of soccer balls, I think. It's actually pretty impressive, if wrinkled. There's a big ruffle on the front that's hard to see from the usual distance the runway is shot from. Amanda: long narrow dress in blue and green plastic. It's just above ankle length, with a slit up one side. It's very bright, and there's some yellow in the skirt too. The back is hackey sacks and there is what looks like studs along the bodice and neckline. It looks like she put the colors together at least with purpose, if not subtlety. Like, the back of the skirt is a rainbow with panels that are matched up to each other. Anthony: short strapless dress, made of strips of “playground balls”. The strips of rubber have volume to them, so from far away it actually looks soft, like he's wrapped her in fabric. It's rainbow colored, but with more green and yellow on top and pink on the bottom. When she turns around it does still look like fabric but now it's got a diaper butt which is unfortunate.

Kimberly: strapless short dress, or possibly a two piece with a miniskirt. It's in pink and shades of purple, but the skirt has flaps so it moves around as she walks and brushes it with her arm. Actually I think she cut the plastic into strips so the skirt is overlapping strips. The back ties as if it's just a piece of fabric tied around her. Helen: sleeveless bodice and tea-length pencil skirt. The textile is long overlapping rectangles of blue and white, with a couple of yellow rectangles near the top. They make the model look taller and more narrow. The skirt is shiny, and I'm not sure if she took the same textile and put shiny clear plastic over the skirt, or if she found the same colors in shinier plastic to make the skirt out of. Down near her knees the skirt is see-through, so we can at least see it's blue plastic and not clear. Edmond: short gold dress with some cutouts here and there. The gold is random squiggles that are a couple inches thick, just all over, with some larger pieces to cover her boobs. Those look like football pads. In between the squiggles it looks like the muslin is uncovered, at least on the skirt. From about her hips up, there is a lot of skin. It's puffy.

Stanley: sleeveless dress, narrow, that is tea-length with a high neck. The whole thing is made out of orange scales, cut it different sizes. Near her face they're pretty small, a couple of inches, and as you go down they get larger so the ones near the hem are at least the size of her hand. There's a row of darker orange at the hem, and I think a vest? I can't tell because it's exactly the same material as the dress, but there's some weird volume at her waist that I think is another piece. Josh: short dress made out of yellow softballs that were laid flat. So the problem here is when you cut the stitches on a softball or a baseball, and lay it out, you get the same shape as a maxi pad. You made a dress out of maxi pads. He clearly liked the shape, because he's laid them out on the bodice in a pattern, and I know it's possible Josh doesn't know what a maxi pad looks like, but didn't anyone warn him? You know what I wouldn't so I guess I could see that. I think he used them as strips, because the skirt looks like strips wrapped around the sides of her legs, with plenty of skin between. I will say he put some stitching around each of the pieces which looks nice. And it's very Josh, which is to say it's tacky but looks fairly well constructed. Candice: one shouldered top and short bubble skirt. I was going to say the top was fitted but it looks kind of wide. It's the same material Anthony had, so it looks like fabric, and she's put a bunch of layers in shades of pink. On the same hip as the one shoulder strap, there's a weird kind-of-rose-petal thing with some blues and yellows, and then the skirt is all yellow. I don't mind her look per se but her model looks wide.

Fabio: tight gold dress, with a miniskirt and a high narrow neck. You know where it's not just sleeveless, but the bodice curves inward at the shoulders. The whole dress is pieces of gold, with black peeking out between the pieces, and it all moves like one piece. It looks like molded metal. Like a creative C-3PO cosplay. There's a little fringe of tabs at the hem, and a big black exposed zipper up the back with a big tassel. You guys know I hate exposed zippers but because of the little pieces of black I actually don't mind this one as much. Plus, I love Fabio. Ken: shiny blue plastic, sleeveless with a deep V, and knee- length pencil skirt. There's some detail at the hip, like a flower or something. The back is just two criss-crossing straps that wrap around her waist in front and then tie off with two big flaps over her butt. Merline: long narrow dress, with cap sleeves, in yellow as a base. Then over the yellow are blue, green, and purple puffs, and the plastic the balls were made out of has white polka dots. It looks like she made a dress and then just cut open balls and glued them on. It's lumpy and ridiculous looking.

Merline, Edmond, Ken, Josh, Anthony, and Char are safe. That shit from Merline is safe? Josh's maxi pads are safe? That's some bullshit. Amanda makes up some nonsense about an experimental filmmaker. Georgina loves the back of the skirt, where the panels are sewn together to make a chevron pattern. But the front of the bodice, which is kind of low but also square, has a weird cutout and that's not great. Just under where the neckline is, is a cutout, as if the neckline was lower and you sewed a strip holding the sides together, but you left space between that and the actual bottom of the neckline. Georgina thinks she looks pregnant. Isaac complains it's not an evening dress with a grand ballgown skirt. OK Isaac did you see ANYONE doing that tonight? Come on. Also go speak with Anne because she told everyone they didn't need to do that. Alyssa doesn't like the fit, because it's just a little too baggy. Yeah. Fabio talks about armor and Egyptian royalty, and everyone really loves it. It's short, but it looks very expensive and fancy. And it fits really well. Kimberly says something about young and fresh, but I'm noticing when they pan up the dress, she really looks pregnant. I don't think Amanda's model did, but there is a definite bulge in the skirt here for some reason. Either that or the skirt is full where it starts, but then curves back in near the hem? Alyssa likes it, but Georgina thinks it's not the greatest dress unless it's moving. Isaac thinks it's very young.

Candice talks about a corset, and everything has to be hand-stitched. I guess. Georgina tells her it's very unflattering, and the skirt is droopy. Isaac thinks she got caught up in her fabric not working, and then clarifies that he's mad at the dress and not her. I guess. I don't think this dress is worse than Merline's or Josh's. I mean, it's not great, but “random shit sewn to a dress” and/or “maxi pad straps” are worse. Stanley talks about Audrey Hepburn. Not the worst inspiration. There is a little vest on top of the dress, in the same plastic. It's very chic and moved well on the runway. It's also different from anything else up there. Helen immediately says she was more concerned about creating an “actual” textile, and she didn't want to take “the crafty route” and glue stuff to muslin. See, Helen, this is why no one liked you on your season. You wanted to sew everything, and that's fine, because it's your dress and you can do what you want. But do you really need to slam everyone else who didn't do what you did?

Georgina hates how basic it is. Helen tries to say she wanted to make something basic and fashion-forward, but Georgina interrupts her to say it's neither of those things. It's too boring. The colors are fine (although the guest judge says “Best Buy” which is hilarious). Helen continues talking, I don't know why, and says “but there's no way there's like, purple or orange going into this, looking like...a clown dress, again, I was more concerned with like, execution, and fit. I just felt it would be a cop-out to like, hot glue to muslin.” You really should stop talking. In the middle of all this it looks like Alyssa and Amanda are exchanging “Girl!” “Girl I KNOW!” smirks, or at least it's edited to look that way. She tries to claim this is just her “personal preference”, except for the part where no one asked her. Someone says “Shade!” and Helen actually denies it's shade. I mean, sure, because shade is subtle and that was obvious as fuck. Now Helen's pissed because someone called her on her shit, and she's all “well if that's how you want to take it then fine” and tells the judges that everyone else is going to take it personally, but “c'est la vie, Project Runway”. Are you fucking serious. I hate this kind of person. There is no way her speech was anything but an attack on everyone else, because she thinks she should be in the top and she's not. So she has to slam the people who ARE in the top, and then when someone calls her on it, suddenly everyone is misinterpreting her and now she's the victim. You didn't need to say any of that shit about gluing and clown dresses. MAYBE I'd buy editing, like the judges kept asking her about gluing or something until she unloaded that speech. But that doesn't explain all the confessionals we've seen all episode about how lazy gluing is, or how she brought it up when she was asked to explain her dress right in the beginning. Also have some fucking self-awareness and know how it looks. Don't act like you can't imagine why people would take that personally.

In the Scrap Bin it looks like no one will move over for Helen to sit down, but then immediately she's seated so I'm pretty sure that's edited to look like a thing. Because you know if really no one would let her sit on the couch she'd get pissed and they'd leave that in. Stanley apologizes to Helen for gluing his dress. Ha! She is immediately offended, and all “well if you want to go down that route” as if she didn't just say a million times about how gluing was a cop-out. Helen is still trying to claim she just wanted to sew everything. Fabio lists off that she said gluing was a cop-out, and she didn't want a clown dress, and she didn't want orange or purple which were the colors of the dresses next to her on the runway. She undermined everyone else so she would look better. She's got the dumbest look on her face currently, as if she's about to insist she never said those things, except for the part where that's pretty much verbatim what she said. Helen jumps up and yells about why would she say anything rude about anyone!?! Wow. Fabio just rolls his eyes and Anthony comments “Cause you do it kind of often.” Amanda says “it doesn't have to be this deep” which...I'm not sure what that means. Now Helen is crying that she respects everyone and the last thing she ever wants to do is offend anyone. Fabio is tearing her argument to pieces, and I think she's trying to claim it's just her opinion. OK, fine, but saying “I didn't want to glue because it's a cop-out” when the person next to you glued their dress is rude. Say you prefer sewing, or you like the look of sewing, or something, if it's really about your opinion. Say “I really wanted this cool sophisticated color palette”, not “There's no way purple or orange is going into this” when there's a whole orange dress right next to you. See she's not even arguing that it's not what she meant, she's arguing that she would never offend anyone. Even if I had been coerced into shittalking others I should hope I could at least recognize that what I said was hurtful. Right? Like, “I wasn't saying your dress was terrible because it was glued, I like your dress.” Right? Not “How dare you, why would I say anything rude about anyone”. Anthony rolls his eyes and says “You were just being Helen.” Fabio tells the room it was so crappy that Isaac called her out. He did? We didn't see that. Why didn't we see that? Now I feel robbed.

Kimberly's dress was very smart, but she didn't quite meet her idea for the dress. But it's fresh and it was a good use of the material. Fabio's dress was amazing, and each piece of material was placed on the perfect place on the body. Fabio's girl was a warrior princess, while Stanley's girl was a refined princess. Very well thought out. Amanda's dress didn't fit at all, it wasn't evening, and the back was better than the front. Alyssa says they maybe can't eliminate Helen on this particular dress. Isaac replies that he'd like to, because of the shade. Wait, was it Isaac who said “Shade”? I thought it was Fabio because right after everyone was looking to the left, almost behind them, and not forward at Isaac. But if it was Isaac, then that would be his calling her out that Fabio talked about. I just dismissed it because they edited a shot right then where no one was looking at Isaac. It was a boring dress, and they all agree on that. Georgina says don't come to a competition and then get upset when you're judged. For the third time. Candice's dress was a disaster. The one shoulder and bubble skirt is outdated, and she should have realized it quickly and made something else.

They call everyone back out, and Helen is nowhere to be found. She better fucking quit. If you're going to shittalk people, then you need to face up to it. Go out to the runway and get the judgment like everyone else. If you can't handle it, then go home. Also what PA told all of them to go out there before Helen could be found/agreed to participate? They knew where she was because they had a bunch of shots of her in another room by herself. Isaac asks if there was drama backstage, and Fabio just says “slight” because Fabio is the best. Isaac has the most hilarious look on his face. He is one second from demanding they fill him in on all the juicy details. I feel you, Isaac. That would be me. Finally she decides to show up, with no explanation or apology. Was that her decision, or did someone tell her to do it for drama? Kimberly is safe. Stanley is the winner! That was close. I thought Fabio should win, but I did like Stanley's look too. Fabio is in. Amanda is in. As she leaves she says “Thank you, I appreciate the feedback.” And that is how shade is done. Helen's look was not flattering and was too basic. Candice's look was overworked. Candice is out. Of fucking course. Helen is in. She goes back to the Scrap Bin and after everyone is sad Candice is out, she says “Shucks!” with a finger snap. Helen, you really need to know when to stop talking. Josh announces that they're all glad Helen is back (are you sure about that?) and they want her to know that “we're all designers here, and we can all create textiles, so if you feel the need to apologize to whoever you feel you hurt by that...?” That was stone cold. Josh, you bug me most of the time but I have to give you credit for saying that. That was great. Helen again claims she didn't mean to hurt anyone and specifically names Fabio and Amanda and apologizes. Amanda nods but Fabio looks dubious. Also what about Stanley? Candice says she had a great time and this isn't the worst challenge to go out on. It just means she can't make clothes out of plastic balls.

Next week: or this season? Betty Boop, the Smithsonian, some fancy guest judges like RuPaul and Nina, Anthony curses. 


Duabe said...

Thank you, Toyouke, for the great job of describing the indescribable fashion from this week's unconventional materials challenge. It's hard enough to describe regular fashion, but the amalgamations of this week's runway were tough.

Sorry Candice left and not Helen. She annoyed me in her first appearance years ago and she still is annoying now - is there no "nice" in this woman?

I liked the gold Egyptian dress the best - it may not have been a ball gown in the usual sense, but it looked pretty.

Looking forward to seeing Ru Paul as a judge!

Ms. Newtown Ave said...

You really do a thorough job for us. Thanks. I thought Fabio should have won but I'm happy for Stanley.