Project Runway All Stars Recap: S2 E4

Are you ready for the runway, dear readers?

The Challenge: In one day, with a budget of $150, create a look inspired by photos submitted by fans on Twitter. Um, how come no one asked me for a photo? I tweet! I’m a fan! Le sigh. Anyway, the winner gets their look in USA Today, and I was impressed by the level of feigned excitement the designers managed to portray over this total non-prize. (Maybe it’s my lack of sycophantic love for the producers and their shitty ideas that prevented me from being involved in this “interactive” challenge. That’s a sacrifice I’m happy to make for you, dear readers.)

Guest Judges: Tavi Gevinson, child blogger whose voice sounds like metal claws on a chalkboard, and Charlotte Ronson, tacky and unimpressive designer. We’re really scraping the bottom of the guest judge barrel here, dear readers.

ALTHEA HARPER
Bottom 3

Go and watch the runway show if only for the ten seconds when these pants are on the runway. Pictures can’t do justice to the atrocity that was the crotch of these pants; I don’t think I have language to express how awful that “drape” was. A shame, because the jacket was kind of nice, but I was mortified just watching Althea try and defend those pants as if they were supposed to look like you could fit thirty-five vaginas inside the crotch. This is the first time she’s made it in front of the judges this season (for good reason – most of her work is not particularly memorable), but girl needs to learn that unless you can make a suit, don’t make a suit.

ANDRAE GONZALO
Eliminated

Well, it was long past time for Andrae to go home, considering he didn’t have the skills to be here in the first place. Like always, his look required a detailed explanation that made no sense and was delivered in approximately twelve different fake accents. That “scarf” looks like a kindergartener made it, and while the versatility of the outfit is interesting (the side panels can be removed and zipped in different ways), I’d have nixed him just for matching the eyeshadow to the pumps. Like Isaac, I felt that that particular styling choice was simply inexcusable.

ANTHONY RYAN AULD
Winner


One of the most overpraised garments in PR history. The model could not physically move down the runway in this thing – that’s how unbearably tight it was. The photos show all sorts of construction issues in the back that I didn’t notice on television – every seam and edge in the back looks crooked or puckered. The judges noted that they’ve seen this dress too many times from him (and, I might add, from a million other designers – Victoria Beckham has made an entire career out of making this exact dress over and over and over again), and still gave him the win. That’s fucking shameless. Yes, Anthony Ryan is darling and his cancer survival story is irresistible to Lifetime execs, but this made me long more than ever for the days when this show was on Bravo and every contestant didn’t need a dead relative or life-threatening disease in order to make it through the competition. It’s been obvious from the start of the season that Anthony Ryan is the judges’ golden boy, but if they could be a little less heavy-handed about it, this show would be infinitely more interesting to watch.

CASANOVA

Points deducted for being a little too inspired by the outfit in the photo, but this was still a fine entry from Casanova, who is raising my opinion of him with every passing challenge. He can make flowy pants that don’t look insane or unflattering (and I love the print), and he can style something from head-to-toe such that you can really imagine the woman who would wear it. This wasn’t jaw-dropping or particularly memorable, but it was still a strong entry from a man I previously thought was only cast for his accent.

EMILIO SOSA
Top 3

Another absurdly overpraised piece of crap. Yes, it had color; yes, I like the stripe in the skirt. Other than that, this was atrocious, incredibly poorly constructed, completely derivative of other, infinitely greater designers, and an unimpressive derivation at that. Just because the judges didn’t see it coming doesn’t make it good. Had this been the unconventional materials challenge, I would have been amazed by Emilio’s ability to make garbage bags and newspapers into something remotely fashionable, but since this is ACTUALLY FABRIC, there’s just no excuse for it.

IVY HIGA

This sort of defaulted its way into my personal top three, since two of the three that the judges chose this week were disgustingly overpraised. I don’t love it, but I think there’s something lovely about the skirt, and though I wasn’t a fan of the top at first, it’s grown on me. At a minimum, it was interesting, a little surprising, and reflective of Ivy’s photo inspiration. Sadly, that’s sufficient to make it better than almost anything else on this rather underwhelming runway.

JOSHUA MCKINLEY
Bottom 3

This was uninspired, it lacked creativity, it was poorly made, and it wasn’t wearable. I don’t know where the hell Joshua thought this look was going to take him, but it’s Rainbow Brite’s work vest with a completely nothing skirt in an extraordinarily dated color. I’m not a fan of Joshua’s aesthetic in general, but even I can readily admit that he’s capable of much more than this crap.

KAYNE GILLASPIE

This is beyond boring, and it looks like the lining around that back cut-out is completely falling off of the dress. If Kayne wants this Diva to give a more detailed response to his looks, he should design something worth blogging about.

LAURA KATHLEEN
Top 3

Laura, as a person, is probably the most unbearable and unlikable of the group. She’s convinced that everyone hates her because she’s rich, when everyone actually hates her because she never stops talking about her money, shit-talking her fellow designers, and generally being obnoxious and self-centered to a degree that blows these other obnoxious and self-centered people out of the water. That being said, this was the only thing I really liked on the runway during this challenge. I think she was smart and creative and took a risk in making her own print, which paid off. The silhouette was simple, but the sort of backwards-vest thing made it more interesting. And I don’t agree with Georgina that all long dresses have to touch the floor – I just felt that the hemline should be straight, whether it hits at the knee, the ankle, or the floor. So in spite of the fact that Laura’s the last person of this group I’d ever want to have a cup of coffee with, this was also the only look I thought deserved the win. Go figure.

ULI HERZNER


Almost underwhelming, but I thought it was so beautiful and dreamy and romantic that it still should have gotten some love from the judges. The design in the back was particularly beautiful, the styling was effortlessly perfect, and even though I’m the last girl to love an ivory/nude/blush dress, I felt Uli got robbed just because she made something long and drapey. News flash: just because it’s long and drapey doesn’t mean Uli’s made it before.

Judges’ Top 3: Anthony Ryan, Laura, Emilio
Diva’s Top 3: Laura, Uli, Ivy
Judges’ Bottom 3: Althea, Joshua, Andrae
Diva’s Bottom 3: Joshua, Althea, Andrae


All photos courtesy of Lifetime via New York Magazine.

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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Comments

  1. The most disappointing of the “creations” was Emilio Sosa’s entry, simply because he can do so much better. The show would have been better served if the producers had called no winners and re-shot the episode. Think Laura Kathleen is being kept around to be the “b**** fans love to hate” contestant, though her design this week was one of the better ones.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of what the producers should have done with this episode. I shouted at my TV, “Emilio, what did you do?!?!” when his look went down the runway. Such a disappointment.

  2. No drop-crotch in existance is attractive, IMO. They always seem to look like a baby with a full diaper. Tired of Andrae and glad he got the auf, even though I had liked him up to this point- if you have to give a long meandering explanation of your POV, you haven’t clearly expressed your POV. Emilio’s was dramatic but not attractive. Uli made a nightgown- albeit an attractive nightgown. Ivy Higa- well, again, I just find that granny panty/sheer skirt unattractive and it was what Gretchen won on years ago- that look ought to be over by now. LOVED Casanova’s description of Kayne’s outfit as a “Paris hooker red dress with a chicken on the head.” Gotta say that Laura Kathleen unfortunately did the best- I loved her print and agree that it didn’t have to touch the floor- IMO a long dress is more wearable if it’s just off the floor in front. Evidently Georgina never moves or bends in a long dress, because doing something like that means you’re going to step on the hem and rip it out. Liked Casanova’s- it would actually be wearable. I love this show, but admit I watch with an eye of “what could a woman actually wear” and they’re trying to do high fashion which presents a concept instead.

    Hated Joshua in his season and hate him now. Very few women want to look like a damaged pinata.

    • I hate drop-crotches and jodhpurs too, but usually I try and put aside my personal distaste for them to critique them constructively. No such luck here, because those pants were a disaster. And I fully agree that long dresses that don’t touch the floor are much more wearable than those that do – particularly non-formal dresses like this one. Thanks for commenting, as always! <3

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