Project Runway All Stars: Episode 5

Let’s start complaining.

The Challenge: Find a muse on the street and convince them to give you the clothes off their back (and exploit them if they have delicious abs). In two days, design a fashion-forward look on $150 that’s at least 50% comprised of your muse’s clothes.

Guest Judge: Sean Avery, ice hockey player and fashionisto.


This was far from being the worst thing on the runway, and Anthony is such a beloved personality that it would have been hard to see him go even when he deserved it. This week, though, he most certainly did not deserve it. You can wag your fingers about rule-breaking, but I’ll take an interesting colorblocked jumpsuit that’s relatively well-constructed over something hideous that followed the rules any goddamn day of the week.

The back is not nearly as well-executed as the front, and the headscarf that looked rather adorable in front looks a bit grungy-hideous from this angle. And the fabric pulls and puckers over her butt in a rather unflattering way.


The moment this hit the runway, I knew this was my favorite look of the challenge, probably of the season thusfar. It’s incredibly well-executed, it’s complicated and innovative, and it was virtually perfect for the little punk rock muse he chose. I loved the styling, from the ripped fishnets to the leather glove to the faaabulous sunglasses. The design work on that jacket really is beautiful, and I think the skirt is mega-flattering and totally chic. I’d wear this in a heartbeat.

Loved that Austin brought the black and white stripes back in for the back of the skirt. I’m a little over exposed zippers, but I think this one works particularly well. And that little bit of black tulle peeking out? Fab. I’m beyond impressed.


This was a scatterbrained, tasteless, thoughtless mess, and I still can’t quite believe Jerell got away with another cheap-and-tacky absurdity without the judges very, very seriously questioning his taste level. Some defend Jerell with the “he has a point of view” argument, but I’m not even sure that‘s true anymore. This outfit has a touch of like six thousand different “exotic” cultures, but he ruins any exotic beauty those elements could have brought by throwing them together haphazardly.

And let’s not forget that he made a tube top and a sarong. This could have been his entry for the “make a dress in six hours” challenge, but for two days of work? This simply doesn’t cut it. Get your sassy-one-liners-that-aren’t-as-funny-as-Anthony’s out now, Jerell, because you’re one more bared midriff away from aufs-ville.


Every look from this challenge sticks out pretty clearly in my mind except this one. Every time I look at this picture I go, “Oh, right. That’s what Kara made.” It’s incredibly forgettable, and the hat is stupid beyond stupidity. And she should have gotten Kenley to sew the top of her pants, not just the bottoms, because that’s where the real disasters lie. She looks like she’s wearing slacks on one leg and jodhpurs on the other, and I can think of very few women alive who would wear their pants at that Steve Urkel height. They do make her legs look incredibly long and lean, but the proportions make her torso look about two inches tall. The blouse is fine, I guess, but I can’t really get worked up about it.

She was smart to cover up the ass of those pants with that schmatte, because good lord, do those look like shit. Why would I want my behind to look as tall as humanely possible? Kara has skated by on her charm for quite awhile, but she needs to pump up the volume hardcore if she wants to stay in this competition.


I love this dress. The way she mixed the stripes and houndstooth looks fantastic and mega-flattering on the model’s body. The length is perfect and every proportion looks pretty darn fantastic. The cap sleeves are adorable. She only ranks third for me because she made a dress and Mondo made that incredibly complex denim jacket, plus a top and shorts, and I like to award those who take a few more risks than Kenley tends to take.

Chic and sharp for sure, though. Nobody can do that vintage-meets-modern thing quite like Kenley, no matter how unbearably loud she is.


I thought we left these sadsack diapers behind us after we collectively blocked Gretchen Jones out of our memories, but apparently, I was wrong. This was awful, dear readers, and there’s just no other way around that. At the end of the day, it’s an undergarment, and an ill-fitting one at that.

That belt is in the worst possible place. It cuts the model in half so that her ass looks like it takes up half her body, and this is a tiny little stick of a girl! No, this was student work at its best, and I think even a student couldn’t expect too good a grade based off this hot disaster.


Remember when Mila made the same exact outfit six hundred thousand times in a row and no one ever called her out on it? I’ll admit, those pants are fabulous, but they’re also the only thing she’s been making for the past several years. And everything about the blouse/vest combo and the overall color scheme is as predictable as can be. I know Mila’s got some incredible skills, but they’re too limited for this show.

The pants look a little weird in the back, no?


Was it tacky-tastic and totally out there? Yes. But it was also well-crafted, detail-oriented, and you could see the thought and inspiration that went into it. It’s hard to tell in photos, but that denim jacket really was excellent from every angle. Simply beautiful handiwork. The shorts, in true Mondo fashion, tend to say HAYYYY! LOOK AT THE GIANT PRINTS POINTING TO MY VAGINA!! But they’re also gorgeous, and the fierce urban styling helped bring the look together.

The cut-outs and seams in the back of the jacket really made all the difference. The fact that he was able to construct both shorts that fit his model and sleeves for his jacket was pretty amazing. But in terms of taste level and construction, elegance and beauty, I still think Austin edged out Mondo by just a bit.


Fugly hats are taking over the runway! Beware, models! That hideous hat and the too-chunky, sadsack-colored accessories didn’t help what was already, in my opinion,  a struggling look. Yes, the blouse is beautiful, and the mixed-printed ruffle is gorgeous. But those safari mom shorts looked kind of touristy and tasteless, and the vest brought nothing to the table. No matter how good the blouse is, I’m not giving it a top spot when it’s surrounded by some pretty ordinary, neutral-colored crap.

Snooze. I know the producers thought they were being just too cute by keeping all the girls safe and ensuring that a guy finally went home, but there’s no way Rami deserved a top 3 spot over Kenley.

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

All photos courtesy of Lifetime.
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2 responses to Project Runway All Stars: Episode 5

  1. Manuel

    With what i’ve seen from Kara. I still cannot remember or pinpoint a point-of-view for her. I want to like her things, ’cause of her accent and her thoughts, but she is not in the same level of design and awareness of the others. Even Costello has that one thing we can call out his own. And also, Jerell… why? Why do things just hoping they are going to work? Design its so much more about thinking and strategy to make a good product.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I couldn’t agree more about Kara. She’s made some things I’ve liked, but it’s more that I’m trying to like her in spite of her really not having as strong a point of view as her competitors.

      And amen for Jerell: it never quite looks like a lot of thought went into his garments. In Austin’s look, in Mondo’s look – they definitely weren’t lacking in thought and strategy.

      Thanks for commenting, Manuel! ❤

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