Friday, February 9, 2018

Project Runway All Stars 2/8/18--"Thrown for a Loop by Betty Boop" summary

Previously on “Project Runway All Stars”:there was a makeup challenge, which of course had nothing to do with the makeup. Everyone got a new product with some random name, that was supposed to inspire a superhero with some power. Basically, make a pretty dress with some vague story. Remember all that drama last week with Helen? Absolutely nothing happens. Anthony makes fun of her once and that's it. He made a white dress with huge sleeves, but lost to Fabio's basic sheath with a tulle overskirt. It was so basic, and I love Fabio, but it was boring. Merline's dress was too Star Trek and her seams didn't line up, but Amanda's heavy colorblocked skirt was sent home. Hey, at least they're consistently choosing design when the choice is bad construction vs. bad design. (click for more)

Alyssa brags about their “special guest”. Then everyone pretends an animated character is actually in front of them. This is terrible. Also, Betty Boop? Is she back or something? Resurgence? I have no idea. Everyone also pretends they love Betty Boop. Blah blah, make something chic and young and whatever the fuck. You guys get the idea. Do these people even know who Betty Boop is? OK and THEN she says the winning designer will help with a collection sold exclusively at Torrid. Torrid!?! You mean Hot Topic's plus size store? Where I actually have shopped? I was not expecting that at all. I mean, they do have “character” clothes, with branded characters or designs or whatever. It's like cosplay light. Wow. However I do notice no one talks about how great Torrid is. Whatever, and I'm sure it'll be terrible and overpriced but still. Spoiler: they never mention Torrid again, I'm pretty sure. It's like they wanted to do a token plus size challenge, but they balked at actually doing one. So they picked out a nearly 100 year old cartoon character who is a giggly sexpot, and is “curvy”, and then you should be inspired by her and we'll quietly release some clothes at a plus size retailer. But we'll never once mention the words “plus size” and we'll only say “curvy” if we absolutely have to. But we'll say “sexy” as much as possible.

Mood is Mood. Actually they sketch at Mood for whatever reason. OK so should these outfits be judged on a cartoon character? Or the fact that they're going into plus size stores? Or neither? Josh brags that he doesn't need anyone's help. I was going to be pissed, but I have bought some...let's say “revealing” clothing from there, so maybe they wouldn't mind as much. He's still annoyingly cocky, though. Char looks for neoprene. Edmond gets a print, as does Helen.

In the workroom there's a 5.5 foot tall statue of Betty Boop for inspiration, I guess. Also no one bought red, it doesn't look like. Everyone is nice to each other...? What does it say about me that I find this weird? Merline has some weird mesh with a floral print on it. It looks like those plastic bubble things you make designs with, the ones you spray to make them stick, that got recalled because kids swallow them and they stick together. Helen got some striped fabric, then realizes that she will have to line everything up perfectly. Edmond has an abstract print, that looks kind of like an orchid but also like ink blots.

Anne shows up. She tells them this should be “young Hollywood chic”. Char maybe has made a sock-hop kind of dress. Oops. Merline says her strength is shape? Listen, it's late and I'm just trying to get through this as this point. Stanley is going to decide something last minute. Fabio needs sex appeal. Everyone gets some solid suggestions I guess. Edmond has reversed his fabric so it's just plain white. Anne of course loves the print. Josh has a street look because Josh. Helen has too professional of a color. Anne loves some other polka dots that Helen only has a yard of. Anne doesn't think the designers are young enough this challenge. They've got Hollywood but it's too mature, I guess. She leaves them with the news that one of Betty's friends wants to talk to them.

Oh. It's Popeye. OK what is going on with these cartoon characters? No one cares about Popeye. Anyway, all he says is good luck and remember Betty is sexy. That's it? They had to stop working and go into the lounge for THAT!? This is terrible. Back to work. Merline is scrapping her weird mesh print to make an all-blue dress. But she's struggling to make it sexy. Char and Josh talk about how they're totally both pushing themselves and doing so well and evolving. Josh is desperate for critiques. I don't think you should be but fine. Merline worries that her dress looks maternity, because there's a lot of extra fabric in the front. Model fitting. None of these dresses look particularly well-suited to a plus size retailer. Helen decides to use the polka dots after all. Edmond puts his dress on his model and then decides to use the print after all, so now he's starting over. Merline is learning neoprene doesn't drape. Ken does something with the sewing machine and gasps dramatically. Josh has wasted all his time today making a crop top.

Runway Day. Josh has to make his skirt. Edmond also has a ton of work to finish with his dress. There is a lot of running around. Hot makeup guy Scott. Merline is sewing her model into the dress as the hairstylist is working on her. Stanley throws out his design? He tosses it away, anyway. Josh shittalks Anthony's look, which is rich because he's like “it's a tissue” and let's not forget that shit Josh himself put out last week. Plus he's pretty much out of time too.

Guest judge is designer Rebecca Minkoff. Josh: white crop top that says “I **heart** Betty” but the heart is a Betty Boop head. Then under that is a weird white piece that looks like a skirt lining, but there's a thin vertical piece that runs from the waist up under her shirt. I'm not sure what that weird strap is about. Then a knee-length black mesh mermaid skirt. The back of the crop top is an inverted V, and you can see some more white straps. Edmond: short dress in a dark blue/purple print. The print looks like paint splatters, a little bit, but it also looks like heavily bleached jeans. The dress has a ton of ruffles at the bottom, and it almost looks like a pencil skirt with a slightly shorter ruffled skirt on top. The bodice has both spaghetti straps and a triangle halter top, where the point attaches to the bodice and then widens to go around her neck. So many ruffles, which move a lot when the model swings around. So maybe the ruffles are not attached to the skirt, but are instead just wrapped around her waist? Char: teal dress made out of neoprene. The top is a sleeveless boatneck with one ruffle, and the bottom looks like it started as a full skirt, but was then tortured a lot. It's a mass of ruffles that are so flat and stiff she must have sewn them down, or to each other. So now the sides of the skirt move but the front is just a big heavy chunk that's stuck a couple of inches shorter than the sides.

Kimberly: long pants or a jumpsuit, with very wide legs and long sleeves. The fabric looks like a white, pink, and black abstract print. So the pants are those kind of pants that are so wide they hit the floor and hide your shoes. At the upper thigh there's a band of black, and then more print fabric that looks almost like it could be a skirt over pants. The top is all black, with a shiny sequined shoulder treatment and an open neckline that looks like a zipper. These pants are terrible and huge but I don't remember any of this so I'm sure she's safe. Helen: off-the-shoulder top in gray and black. The fabric is stripes, but the way she cut it, it looks like there's a black box outlined on her torso, with gray at the edges and in the middle. The skirt is a polka dot wrap skirt, almost like a sarong, where one side is mid-thigh and the other hangs down past her knee. It's not just a high slit, one leg is hanging out. Stanley: short dress in a pale yellow, with a Peter Pan collar and no sleeves. That's pretty much it. But he's also put it with yellow wedge sandals and the whole look seems like it should be on Baby Spice.

Ken: long black strapless dress. The top is just basically two giant ruffles that hang down past her waist, and then a tight skirt slit up the front of one leg to her hip. This looks more maternity than Char's but fine. Fabio: sleeveless sheath dress in a purple and black fabric. It's also an abstract print, kind of like Edmond's. The back is a racerback. I mean it's nice enough but I could probably go buy this right now. Merline: long dark blue dress with a big ruffle down one side. The bunching looks better than Char's tacked-down ruffles but it still is odd and I don't like how it's lopsided and only one side. The dress without the ruffle is a basic sleeveless sheath dress that hits just below the knee. When the model is on the runway you can see the fabric is sheer and she hasn't lined it. The back of the skirt looks shorter than the front and there's a keyhole. Anthony: white and black dress made of two fabrics. The black is a mesh, and on the bodice it looks like he made the bodice out of the black and then sewed the white on top of it, like an apron. I mean, it's folded and has ruffles, but you get the picture. The skirt is very full and looks like the white over black petticoats. The hem looks unfinished, but I'm not sure if it's like a handkerchief hem over the mesh so that's on purpose?

Alyssa calls Ken, Fabio, Kimberly, and Anthony as safe. See, I told you about Kimberly. Helen babbles something about icons and modern twists. Georgina loves the skirt but not the gray in the top. Everyone seems to agree on this. So she seems fine. Merline talks about her dress, but up close it looks worse than it did on the runway. It looks like pleather, very heavy. The judges think she's so far off they question if she even knows who Betty Boop is. Ouch. It's not designed for a curvy person, and Betty Boop does have curves. OK fair. Josh smirks because he's a smug jerk. The back of the dress doesn't fit quite right and looks like an afterthought. It's asymmetrical but it's not done well so it looks like a mistake. Edmond's print is terrible. It's too dated. Plus his model has balls? What? He was trying to use the print, and instead made a dress that's too old. Isaac yells about “young and chic”. There are too many things happening.

Josh explains his ideas with a barely-concealed grin because he loves himself and is very sure they will love it. Which they do, because of course. When they pan down the look, it's white granny panties under the black mesh skirt., a swimsuit, with a crop top and mesh skirt? Well, it's very Josh, I guess. Isaac thinks it's racy but not vulgar. Mesh skirt and granny panties are not too much, according to Georgina. But at least Alyssa knows it's very young. Char talks about her poor dress. The color is fantastic, but that's about it. In the skirt you can see the back of the neoprene which is white. Char wanted a flowy dress, but neoprene doesn't act that way and Georgina doesn't even know why you'd make a draped dress for this challenge anyway. It doesn't fit and it looks like student work. Stanley talks about showing some legs. It's a little quirky, but it fits well. I think it's a romper with shorts, with some side panels of fabric over it. Like a skort. It's very young. Alyssa wishes the neck was open, but Isaac points out that with so much leg showing maybe that would be too tacky.

In the Scrap Bin Helen gloats about being in the top. Char agrees with the judges. Edmond tells everyone else they need to make everything youthful from now on. I feel like I should be insulted. Whatever, I'm not buying anything from here ever probably. Everyone was too safe this week. Josh was modern and young, but maybe too young. Isaac thinks a black mesh skirt had elegant. Helen's silhouette was great for a curvy person, but the gray fabric wasn't perfect. Stanley did something that was OK, but it's not “Betty Boop”. Out of the bottom three, if you ignore the lack of inspiration from everyone, only Merline's dress was anywhere decent. Even the design mistakes (ruffles near the face) were deliberate. Char and Edmond looked like they flailed and couldn't recover. Char should know how neoprene works, and if she doesn't then don't buy neoprene. Isaac also thinks it's super easy to work with. Edmond's print is terrible, and they show a slow-motion replay of the model walking. The ruffles do hang down from her waist in such a weird bunch that it does look like balls. Arguably Kimberly's terrible pants were worse than these two looks but I guess we don't have that option.

Stanley is safe. The winner is Josh. Because OF COURSE. Of course when they decide to throw a bone to a plus size retailer it's fucking Josh. OK here it is: Torrid collection Beware, it autoplays an animation with sound. OK first of all, this is three T-shirts, a skirt, a cardigan, and a dress. None of it looks like this dumb mesh skirt, but I'm not paying $35 for a ringer tee. This is useless. Also now you know Josh will be insufferable. I mean he's talking about connecting with Betty. Merline is safe. Char is out. Edmond is safe. She's upset, but she also wants to be grateful for the opportunity and move on. She's honored to work with some great people. That might be overstating it but sure.

Next week: avant garde, Josh is full of himself as predicted, RuPaul is here. Please let there be a RuPaul/Josh fight. Also my DVR says this isn't on next week? Didn't want to compete against the Olympics? Sounds good.


Duabe said...

Thank you, Toyouke, for finding all the right words to describe this runway. Do you think Betty Boop (or her creator) would wear any of these? Maybe the polka dot skirt, but with Josh's t shirt? That just made my head hurt.

You're right - the Olympics have taken over tv for the next two weeks, so no Project Runway. I recorded the show and watched it after the Olympic coverage - poor Nathan Chen - feel so bad for him.

Josh's granny panty outfit shouldn't be considered young or hip in any sense, am I right? I kept thinking of Michael Kors calling him out for that look. So many other outfits looked like the "bunch-it-up and sew-it-together" challenge. Wish they had more time for these challenges - maybe the outfits would be put together better and looked like something more than slapped-together-stuff.

Thank you, too, for the link to Torrid - didn't know about this company.

Toyouke said...

I mean, the sheer skirt with granny panties is a thing I guess? I know Ashley did it. It's so young and hip I am betting most people wouldn't dare wear it. Maybe just famous people? I wish he'd done black and not white though.

I like Torrid, although I am far outside their target demographic. I have had great luck with their dresses, especially clearance.

Anonymous said...

First of all Toyouke, thanks for this and Top Chef reviews. I had no video for the last couple of episodes and you've kept me up to date.

Two comments- I don't care for Josh, but I mean, he has to wake up and put on those eyebrows every morning so that's enough for torment for me. But I sadly do see his point of view. Sad because it's so inelegant but it is valid and sometimes he comes to close to interesting intersecting with some good taste that I keep rooting that he'll take the right road and end up fabulous. I'm deluding myself, of course, but it helps keep PR more run. And I am just glad that the cruel Michael Kors is not around, so the rest I will always forgive.

But really I am sorry for Helen, since she had a great starting place and then had no idea how to finish. Imagine she took strips of the men's wear and alternated gores with the polka dot in a swishy little skirt, and then put a fun flounce of polka dot on the neckline of the top. It would have also helped if the model had even a tiny bit of FUN in her styling and softer hair. She really could have knocked it out of the park had she tried to put some sass into the picture. I feel sorry for anyone as sad as she is, so no hate there either.

And of course, the t'shirt and a fun skirt would have rocked. Poor Betty, she must have gone home and eaten a box of Oreos and washed them down with a case of gin....

Your old (literally) fan,

Toyouke said...

Hi Rosie! I like your idea about putting some polka dots in Helen's top. I think that would have helped that outfit a lot. You're right that no one one really captured Betty Boop, but I'm still not sure why the producers picked that inspiration anyway. I don't think I ever watched that cartoon and I'm probably twice the age of everyone there.

Thanks for reading!