Project Runway All Stars: S3 E5

Grab your cigars and pistols, dear readers, because it’s time to get your Bonnie and Clyde on. 

The Challenge: In teams of two, the designers are tasked with creating updated Bonnie and Clyde-inspired looks for a young, modern couple. The looks must complement each other, but will be critiqued individually, which is how every team challenge should work, so that great designs aren’t stuck in the bottom because of their counterparts, and vice versa.

Guest Judges: PRAS alum Austin Scarlett, designer Elie Tahari, and model Bar Refaeli. It was a packed house of glamour and beauty and attitude, and that’s before you add Tahari and Refaeli!

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The belt and whatever you’d like to call that back-harness thing were spectacular. The rest of the gown was pretty, but not particularly innovative. I love the color and the draping in the bust, but it seems sheer in very random places. I think the hard-and-soft combination makes for an excellent reference point to the Bonnie and Clyde inspiration. Definitely worthy of the top three, but not my personal choice for the win.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The shoulders and lapels were a problem. I like the idea of changing up the texture in those areas, but the fabrics didn’t work well enough together, stretching and pulling and creating an awkward silhouette. And since Viktor dresses so much like this every day, but he has time to actually make/buy those looks, the model looked a little shabby standing next to him. And that should never be the case.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Cool, chic, but not particularly memorable. Thus, appropriate to kept in the safe pile.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I thought this was some of the best work Korto has done so far this season. The jacket is undeniable cool, and not like anything I’ve seen before. I loved the suspenders hanging down from the sides of those pants, which seem a bit high-waisted but otherwise very well-executed. Jeffrey got all the praise for his menswear coat, which was very nice, but I think if a menswear look was going to win, it should easily have been this one over Jeffrey’s.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This seemed like a random combination of garments that didn’t actually add up to an outfit. It felt a bit sloppy and very predictable coming from Irina. The judges seem happy to overpraise her or ignore her entirely, but I’d have tossed this look in the bottom three.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Oof. I love Mychael, but this was a mess, and his elimination was fair. I could not stop seeing this as a Chippendale’s costume – I was convinced these were tearaway clothes that the model was mere moments away from, well, tearing away. There was no way to make that gold fabric work, especially when the jacket ended up so tight on the model.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

By far my favorite look on the runway. I thought this was brilliant, perfectly executed, fabulously styled, incredibly wearable yet high fashion, and true to the inspiration. I don’t know why the judges hated on the leather embellishments – maybe he could have nixed the ones at the elbows, but other than that, I think they’re stunning elements and necessary to the gritty-meets-pretty aesthetic Seth Aaron was going for.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

The coat is very nice, I’ll give Jeffrey that much. But the pants underneath it seem like pajamas at best, and the length is absolutely insane. Of course, the judges happily ignored that in order to tell a Jeffrey redemption story and therefore keep one of their loose-cannon-drama-queen-ratings-booster characters in the competition longer. I’d be angry, if I hadn’t seen it coming a mile away. Oh, Project Runway. You’re always so reliable.

Judges’ Top 3: Jeffrey, Christopher, Irina
Diva’s Top 3: Seth Aaron, Korto, Christopher
Judges’ Bottom 3: Seth Aaron, Viktor, Mychael
Diva’s Bottom 3: Irina, Viktor, Mychael

© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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  1. I agree that Korto should have won…I disagree about Irina, I had her as runner-up. Her combination was dramatic. Plus, those two were the only ones who meet the challenge at least half-way.

    I hated Jeffrey’s coat. It looked depressing and tight, as if the model could barely move in it. I had him in the bottom. Also Mychael and Victor. Which shows what was wrong with the challenge. It is just not fair to let one half of the designers do menswear and the other half what they are used to do.

    I like Seth Aaron’s look, even though it had too many elements, but not for this challenge. It didn’t read “Bonnie” to me, but steampunk banker. I might have put it into the top nevertheless, because at least the silhouette was 1930th, so he started out right, but I was okay with Christopher being there too, even though his looked a little bit lacklustre. And I agree with Alyssa concerning all the lines.

    • I think your critique of Seth Aaron’s look is fair – that it’s not quite “Bonnie” enough. I liked the 1930s silhouette, but that alone doesn’t really make it Bonnie-esque. (But I still love that coat to death, steampunk banker or no.) And it does seem unfair to have half the designers do menswear – it puts them at a disadvantage. But how Korto’s fantastic menswear look ended up in the “safe” pile is beyond me.

      • I think mostly because they wanted two designers of the same group in the middle…which doesn’t make much sense, since of the group which were left, there was always one in the top and one in the bottom.

  2. I would have put Irina in the safe pile and Korto in the top 3. LOVE that coat. I think that Seth Aaron’s look would have benefitted from a different hair and make up. Love me some Austin Scarlett. And with the classy way Mychael left, it’s easy to understand how he won fan favourite. Not a bad episode!

    • I agree with swanpride. For some reason, the judges initially kept the teams intact for top, bottom, and middle and only afterwards did they separate the designs individually. Either a whole team should have had the win, or the eight garments should have been ranked individually from the get-go. (They still could have been judged on how well they complemented their partner pieces.)

      Judging in pairs, I’d have had Jeffrey and Seth Aaron on top and Viktor and Christopher in the bottom. However, if I were going individually from the start, my top three would have been Jeffrey, Seth Aaron, and Korto, and my bottom would have been Viktor, Mychael, and Elena.

  3. Most of the men in that era wore suits and vests, not that different from today. I shrugged my head when one of the designers described Bonnie attending a gala. Bonnie and Clyde were both dirt poor. Most of the heists they pulled off got them small amounts of cash. They robbed more gas stations than banks. They lived out of the various cars that the stole and bathed in rivers when it became difficult to rent places to stay due to their notoriety. Bonnie looks stylish in her poses that were found in a camera that got left behind when they escaped the law. She was petite and pretty; Clyde was handsome. It would seem that the PR judges knew little about Bonnie and Clyde themselves. Gala? Are you kidding? I think a skirt a straight skirt hemmed below the knees and above the ankles, cut on the bias would do it. I love that the recent movie tried to duplicate the outfit that Bonnie is wearing in most of her photos. I didn’t see Jeffrey’s coat. It would have been out of place. All of the designers’ looks would have been out of place. Why does Irina keep making those overly long sleeves?

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