Project Runway All Stars: Episode 3

Welcome back to the runway, dear readers.

The Challenge: Create a flamboyant cocktail dress for the legendary Miss Piggy to wear to a movie premiere.
Guest Judges: Eric Daman (filling in for Isaac Mizrahi) and of course, Miss Piggy!

ANTHONY WILLIAMS

A well-made cocktail dress in a beautiful black-on-black striped print and lots of feathers. The layers and folding in the skirt give it some interest and movement. I’m not sure this had much to do with Miss Piggy, but it would get quite a workout in the Democracy Diva’s wardrobe, I could tell you that.

The construction on the back was what put Anthony in the middle instead of the top (at least for me, but probably for the judges too). There are way too many contrasting stripes on the back and they’re not executed particularly well. But I was surprised to see a more modern, innovative dress from Anthony, he of the endless strapless tube dresses with one silly sash on them.

APRIL JOHNSTON

From the front, I thought this was a little bit brilliant. As April (and more so, Mila) learned this week, it ain’t easy to fit a dark aesthetic into a Miss Piggy challenge. But in spite of the black, this still totally worked for me. The dramatic feather/spike things around her neck are definitely the kind of divalicious touch Miss Piggy brings to everything. And I think the style and cut of the dress is adorable. The polka dots keep things a little cutesy when they’d otherwise verge on gothic.

But once again, the back of the dress made me nix April from the top of my list for this week. Why, you ask? Season 8, Episode 9, the couture challenge. April’s entry:

April, darling, I love you to pieces and I think your corpse bride aesthetic is fan-fucking-tastic. But if you think you can throw the same exact back-of-a-dress down the runway twice, you clearly know nothing about the Democracy Diva.

Seriously, take a closer look. Do you see the way the leather is cut in a kind of zig-zag, pointing in at the center of her back? Take out the black mesh sleeves, and it’s the same cut as her entry from this week. Take off the hideous train, and you’re left with a similar skirt – double-layered, shorter on the sides than in the front/back, slightly pleated but in a punk rather than preppy way. It’s not the same dress, but I’d rather she not keeping pulling out the same tricks, or she’ll surely get the auf sooner than she deserves.

AUSTIN SCARLETT, Bottom 3

Nix the bows, and you’ve got a sexy, intriguing structured dress for any basic Hollywood starlet. And that’s the problem – the only thing that stops this from being just another cocktail dress is the structure and lines of the bodice/skirt. And that’s not enough to turn this from a normal starlet dress into a Miss Piggy dress. In my opinion, a dress for Miss Piggy should catch every eye as it enters the room – the bows might achieve that effect, but not in a positive way.

Plus, the detailing was much sloppier on the back than on the front. That was a common problem this week, apparently.

GORDANA GEHLHAUSEN, Eliminated

As Miss Piggy wisely said, “It’s a fine, fine dress. I just don’t know if it’s moi.” I watched the exit interview with Gordana, and she explained her thought process: She doesn’t have a lot of knowledge of the Muppets, but she knows little girls love Miss Piggy; she wanted to make a dress that little girls would love and emulate the way they love Miss Piggy. And if you understand that as her frame of mind, this is a FANTASTIC entry. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the challenge. The challenge was to create a dramatic red carpet cocktail dress for Miss Piggy, not a beautiful babydoll dress that young girls will want to wear. And as far as the challenge was concerned, Gordana failed, and deserved this week’s aufing.

Although it’s a great combination of model’s complexion, hair color, and dress. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the wig looks faker than Kenley’s good behavior, but the color concept is very nice.

JERELL SCOTT

I suppose it made for better television to stick Austin in the bottom (after his win last week), but to me, Jerell really deserved that particular dishonor. Because this . . . it just doesn’t work.

First, the fabrics: They look CHEAP. The pink fabric looks cheap, the rhinestone belt looks trashy – in fact, the only thing that doesn’t look cheap are the shoulder pieces. Those don’t look cheap; they just look really fucking stupid. I get the flapper vibe that he was going for, and it would have been awesome to see Miss Piggy in a totally dramatic 1920s Hollywood gown. Unfortunately, this was a completely half-assed and ill-fitted attempt at the flapper aesthetic.

The back is more well-made, but it’s still problematic. The black bow across the pink skirt looks incredibly childish, and that’s at odds with the revealing lace he used for most of the back. And that’s a weird fucking hairdo for a flapper, no? I’m pretty sure you don’t just hide your hair in a braided bun and just fingercurl the piece in front, but maybe that’s just me.

KARA JANX

As far as I’m concerned, this should have been the winning look this week. First, the dress itself: it’s fucking adorable, it’s fashion-forward, it’s modern but a little bit retro at the same time. And you can’t deny its drama – even though the silhouette is sharp and simple, the pop of hot pink and the way the gloves accentuate that will turn every head on the red carpet. I can see now why Kara made such a fuss over those gloves, because they really do make the outfit. Crop tops and tummy cut-outs are huge right now, so I think this was a very trendy-in-a-good-way choice. I love the gray-on-black houndstooth, I love the studded shoes, and I think the barrel curls on the model’s head are sort of a nod to Miss Piggy’s ears, which is brilliant.

Fabulous. Love that the cut-out is only in the front – gives it a lot more interest and keeps it a little more like a cocktail dress and less like a bra and skirt combo. I love that it has a sort of fashion-editor-off-to-work sort of vibe while still totally being a party dress.

KENLEY COLLINS, Top 3

This dress was perfectly adorable. I thought the giraffe print was fabulous and kitchy and used well, and I think this silhouette is perfect for a red carpet movie premiere. I agreed with the judges that the bodice was strangely constructed and the fabric looked tucked into the dress, rather than actually hemmed. But that was quickly a last-minute fix rather than a design element, so I don’t think they necessarily needed to come down on her too harshly for that. What they should have criticized is her need to tape six yards of fabric to her model’s head and call it a fascinator. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good head piece; the weirder, the better. But when you hap-hazardly make these little crinoline head pieces with no consideration of shape, size, or proportion, you’ve just got a model strutting down the runway with a loofah on her head. Maybe if she made the same head piece, but 1/4 the size and with some semblance of construction, I’d approve.

Very, very sweet, and I’d wear it tomorrow. But I don’t think it’s nearly innovative enough for the win.

MICHAEL COSTELLO, Winner

I still can’t see what’s so goddamn special about this, the most ordinary cocktail dress I’ve ever seen. I don’t like the belt, I don’t know how Miss Piggy would physically wear that hat (considering her ears), and I don’t think there’s anything fashion-forward, innovative, or even interesting about this dress. It’s a basic tube dress with three loops on it. That’s not interesting to begin with, but considering that it will have to be scaled down to fit a Muppet, I can’t see how those loops are ever going to look good.

I also hated the black-and-gold exposed zipper, which is so two years ago, I can’t even stand it. But overall, what bothered me was that this did not bring the drama and flamboyance and whimsy and sense of humor that I think this challenge required. This was an AnyStarlet dress, not a Miss Piggy dress.

MILA HERMANOVSKI, Bottom 3

Mila, if you’re just going to blindly adhere to your mod aesthetic without any consideration of the challenge at hand . . . what the fuck are you doing on Project Runway? I have all the respect in the world for a designer who has a point of view and sticks to it, but if you’re not willing to even remotely consider the client in question (even if that client is a Muppet), then quit the show. No one is forcing you to design a red carpet dress for Miss Piggy besides YOU, Mila. So if you don’t like it, there’s the metaphorical door.

That being said, I think this is a fucking FABULOUS dress for Kristen Stewart at a press conference. But there is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that says “Miss Piggy promotes her new movie on the red carpet” about this. Mila didn’t do the challenge – she made another Mila dress.

And no matter how good Mila is at the one thing she does, until she actually does more than one thing, I don’t really consider her worth my time, at least in the Project Runway universe.

MONDO GUERRA

Oh, Mondo. You’ve disappointed me this week. I don’t know who told you to make a costume for Wilma Flintstone out of tin foil and glitter, but that really wasn’t the assignment. This dress didn’t really make much sense to me at all.

Nobody should look at your work and say, “Ooh! Another ‘unconventional materials’ challenge!” when you ACTUALLY USED FABRIC. Seriously, what the hell is this made of? Why did it move like ziplock bags and shine like cellophane? It seems like if you put it on, it would feel and smell like melted plastic.

Oh, and the hair? No, darling. No.

RAMI KASHOU, Top 3

This was a fun, silly, over-the-top entry that was perfectly deserving of second place. The good: This SCREAMS Miss Piggy, and is loud enough to deserve her. The bad: It’s kind of expected, and as clothes, it’s pretty fucking trashy. I know the challenge was to make something for Miss Piggy, not a real woman, but some people managed to do both, and I think those people had the most success. Rami took whimsy and silliness to a whole new level, and I appreciated it completely, because that was exactly what this challenge required. However, no matter what color polka dots you use, this is still straight up flamenco dancer. It’s Cha Cha DiGregorio from Grease meets Valentine’s Day on acid. It’s like what a drag queen impersonator of Miss Piggy would wear. I was happy Rami turned up the volume, but he might have turned it up just a bit too much.

I don’t think directly-below-the-butt ruffles, particularly in layers of organza and crinoline/tulle, are particularly flattering on anyone. And Rami, listen to my advice to Kenley – you can’t just put a feather in her hair and call it a fascinator. I won’t stand for it.

Judges’ Top 3: Michael (Winner), Rami, Kenley
Diva’s Top 3: Kara, Rami, Kenley
Judges’ Bottom 3: Austin, Mila, Gordana (Eliminated)
Diva’s Bottom 3: Jerell, Mila, Gordana


All photos courtesy of Lifetime.

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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Comments

  1. Nicely said! Completely agree that Mila’s dress would be perfect for Kristen Stewart and Rami’s would be perfect for Cha Cha DiGregorio. Cha Cha DiGregorio: there’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time!

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