Happy, happy Friday! It's time for another Project Runway All-Stars recap. Last week I mentioned that I was more than a little disappointed with this season's premiere, and was not extremely optimistic about this reality show spin-off's future prospects. And now that we've made it through the second episode, I haven't had a change of heart.
OH well. Let's talk designers, dresses, and drama. So, so exciting.
From my notes: fancy fancy fancy
Translation: Designers have one day and $350 to create a "couture" opera gown. As contestant Michael Anthony pointed out later in the episode—and I'm paraphrasing here—it's an insult to couture to call any of these gowns couture. Couture typically takes months and months to create. Anthony quipped that the designer's creations could be better described as "prom dresses."
This week's guest judges were the very lovely Mark Badgley and James Mischka from Badgley Mischka. Austin Scarlett was the excitedest and he confessionaled his longstanding admiration for the designer duo, and his hopes that his career could follow a similar trajectory and take a similar shape.
Runway dresses from left to right: Rami, Mondo, Mila
In the Workroom
From my notes: kenley appreciates that joanna is their mentor because one of the prizes is being guest editor of marie claire. also because tim hated her.
joanna is asking gossipy questions. asks rami, who is your biggest competition for this challenge? – he says austin.
michael costello does not really design for women, doesn't deserve his sewing machine.
Translation: Still miss you Tim, but I have a serious girl-crush on Marie Claire EIC Joanna Coles. Everything else about the workroom was typical Project Runway: ill-advised dye jobs, crises of confience, deadline terror. Kenley Collins said it was so great that Joanna was acting as their mentor, because it prepared the designers to meet the challenge of working as a guest editor at Marie Claire, if they won. But also, Kenley and Tim Gunn did some serious head-butting during her season, mostly because Tim won't take crap and Kenley is full of it.
Joanna did a fine job of hassling contestants for our viewing pleasure. She asked Rami Kashou, last episode's winner, about his biggest competition. Rami said Austin, totally—because Austin is the Project Runway KING OF COUTURE. True things. But for a moment or two, Austin looks like he might crumble under the pressure.
When Joanna talks to Michael Costello, she notes that his gown is nice, but if he doesn't add cups to the bodice, his dress could put the wearer in serious danger of a wardrobe malfunction. "Nip slip at the opera," she says, "Not chic." If I weren't so lazy, I'd probably make that my ring tone. Right now, it's ducks.
Joanna also informs Michael that whenever she looks at designs, she always considers how they would look on her body. "And not enough designers pay attention to that," she says wistfully. "I DEFINITELY don't," Costello says. Joanna's eyes bugged out. Cut.
Runway dresses from left to right: Kenley, Jorell, Gordana
My notes: "as it's been said on project runway, one day…" stealing heidi's catchphrases
Translation: I still don't like Angela Lindvall. Her delivery's still wooden (though she definitely improved a bit for the second episode) and she doesn't have any kind of personality. Even the producers know she doesn't have a personality, which is why they're incapable of or unwilling to write some original catchphrases for the All-Stars host. Instead, she just parrots Heidi's wonderfulness: "As it's been said on Project Runway, 'one day you're in and the next day, you're out.'" I miss Heidi so much it makes my heart cry.
Okay, so when it comes to the dresses, I'm just going to copy and paste my notes because RAW impressions are so REAL when it comes to fashion. Also, I'm a little lazy.
Kenley – ew, pink.
Gordana – weird leg cut-outs. dated. ew, pastel violet.
Rami – aaah not a good fit.
Mila – okay, this is a real dress someone would wear.
Sweet P – she thinks the model looks like a cindarella. no way. she looks like a cabbage patch kid.
Mondo – okay. kind of disney-ish, but okay.
Jerell – maternity wear. pretty maternity wear.
Kara – maybe not "nighttime" enough, but kind of amazing looking. looks like a curtain dress, though.
Michael Anthony – grecian goddess. long black gloves. ok dress. styling is tacky.
Austin – YES pretty. gold, long. earlier, gordana said it was "too simple." she's just jealous/has bad taste.
April – whatever. prob would have looked worse without the ombre dye job.
Michael Costello – actually pretty nice. but he's such a weird misogynist creep.
The contestents with the highest scores
From left to right: Austin, Michael Anthony, Michael Costello
Michael Anthony: Explains that styling was supposed to make the dress seem not-bridal. Georgina Chapman agrees (with me, even though she doesn't know it) that the styling is weird.
Austin: They all love it. They're right, it's gorg. Judges notice that the bodice is uneven. Austin fixes it onscreen.
Michael Costello: Isaac Mizrahi says, "I can't believe you made this dress in a day. because it's perfect. shockingly perfect," which sounds like a giant compliment, until he follows up by saying, in an approving way, that the gown looks like "Kim Kardashian at the opera," as if that's a good thing. I'm seriously starting to question Isaac's judgement. Michael Kors would have used that as zinger, not praise.
The judges remind him that most women couldn't wear a dress like that. Too true. Georgina says, "she's certainly not going home alone in that dress." Angela says she wants to wear his dress, and sounds like she means it. In my notes I wrote, EW hate the world.
The designers with the lowest scores
From left to right: Sweet P, April, Jana
April: They think it looks rushed, and that the red/black combo is ugly. Georgina likes the red, hates the fabric combo.
Sweet P: Mark Badgley (who I LOOOVE) calls it a "dirndl skirt," hilariously. Overall, the judges are all pretty nice and supportive, just keep reiterating that it's "not a dress for the opera." Their kindness is maddening. This dress was crazy-ugly.
Jana: Everyone is lukewarm about this dress, but mostly think it's okay. Their main criticism boils down to, "Where is she in this dress?" In my notes I wrote, shhhuuut up.
After the designers and models leave the runway, Mark Badgley says, "I personally adore this dress. I know so many girls that would love to wear it." In my incredibly thoughtful, articulate notes, I wrote MEEE. Angela Lindvall doesn't agree: she wouldn't wear this dress, doesn't know many girls that would. I totally hate her.
Top two come down to Austin and Michael Costello. Regarding Costello's gown: "Much as I loved this dress, you've seen this dress a lot." AUSTIN WINS. Yayayay, good call judges.
Bottom two are April and Sweet P. Sweet P is sent home. Sorry Sweet P, but your dress was hands down the worst.
The end! (until next week's horrors.)