Project Runway All Stars: Episode 7

Project Runway hits Broadway!

The Challenge: With $200 and one day, create a costume (separates that can be put on while the actor is on stage) for a wealthy, opulent character to wear in Broadway’s Godspell revival.

Guest Judge: Broadway legend Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek, Anything Goes). As evidence of my complete and total bias towards this episode, please note that I have a both a playbill and a framed poster featuring Sutton in Thoroughly Modern Millie hanging in my apartment. The poster is signed by the entire Broadway cast, including Sutton. I am so much more of a musical theater nerd than you are prepared for, dear readers. So, as they sing in Godspell, prepare ye.


I’ll give this to Austin: He got this challenge. He made separates that can be easily added and removed on stage. They’re eye-catching and dramatic and they do evoke richness and wealth in a sort of modern Marie Antoinette way, as Austin was going for. However, I agree with Isaac that there’s something too young about this outfit. The babydoll dress reads extraordinarily youthful, particularly paired with the leggings. I personally like the leggings because they make this more practically wearable on stage, but you can’t deny that they take a few years off the model’s age, and not necessarily in a good way.

I did love the bit of crinoline popping out from the skirt. I thought the print was very luxurious and he used it in a beautiful way. And although everybody and their mother grabbed a (faux) fur stole, Austin’s was the only one that A) looked expensive and B) added something to the look as a whole.


Someone was clearly aiming to be safe tonight. Jerell + opulence + Godspell? I thought we were going to have some cracked-out hippie dippie hot disaster up in here, but Jerell made an outfit for the world’s stuffiest secreary. I love the sleeves on the jacket, but it’s not enough to make this look expensive. The skirt looks beyond cheap, and the jacket is too detailed to pop on stage. It also suffers from a depressing lack of color. This is Broadway, bitches. Lighten up.

Painfully boring, really. It wasn’t one of the worst things on the runway, but he so clearly aimed for the middle with this challenge that I can’t help but be a bit disgusted.

KARA JANX, Eliminated

Well, you can’t say she didn’t deserve it. The faux fur was terrible, the bow was worse, and that pencil skirt was the stupidest idea ever. Can someone please explain to me how you move around the stage when your legs can only go three inches in front of each other? I mean, I understand they’re not always thinking practically, but for God’s sake, someone has to wear this on stage. You need to take that into consideration!

And as if the idea of the pencil skirt wasn’t bad enough, the execution was truly embarrassing. The right side is inches longer than the left, and that slit is a fucking disaster, as is the seam at the top. We love your voice and your accent and your drama and your meltdowns, Kara, but this was a losing design if I’ve ever seen one.


This was another huge disappointment. I agree with the judges that the coat was cut absolutely beautifully, but there’s so many hideous elements happening that you can’t even see it. The cheap feathers on the collar take all the beauty of the coat away. And pairing it with the floral skirt (another pencil skirt? Are they kidding?) in that LOUD, clashing print – it doesn’t work. At all. And the matching feathers on the head are getting absolutely absurd at this point. They add nothing and nearly always detract from the look.

When most of the hideousity of the skirt and feathers are covered, you can see that this was quite a beautiful jacket. Too bad she had to poop rainbows all over it.


Again, this reads incredibly youthful. Like a slutty teenage Chiquita Banana. That fascinator is so many different kinds of hideous, and the tied-together shoes are absurd. That green is nearly impossible to look at, and the blouse is nothing to write home about.

But Michael clearly put no thought into wearing this onstage. First of all, that blouse is a gentle breeze away from unleash all kinds of sideboob, which isn’t exactly conducive to movement. Also, the actors are supposed to be able to put these clothes on while on stage. Either this actress needs to start off naked on the stage, or she’s going to look absurd wearing clothes under a backless dress.


This was another atrocity, saved from the very bottom only because Kara’s had such obvious execution problems. That sarong in those hideous colors was ridiculous. Once again, the faux fur looks anything but expensive, and the gold jewelry is all tacky and distracting. Mila clearly thought “gold=rich” and didn’t think any further than that in order to realize that gold platforms, gold studded bracelets, and white purses with gold studs don’t necessarily read as “wealthy” – more like “hideous.”

Yup. Still awful.


Mondo was the clear winner here. These pieces were stunningly beautiful, exquisitely made, creative and over-the-top and worthy of being costumes on the Broadway stage. He was the only one who pushed this challenge far enough – everyone except Mondo seemed too timid to actually make a costume, which is what the challenge required. The judges were right to point out that what makes this gown particularly beautiful is the bit of shine coming through under the top print – I wholeheartedly agree. And man, is this jacket exquisite.

Beautiful. It’s got opulence and divaliciousness in this weird medieval-meets-island aesthetic that works brilliantly for the stage. But I must say, no one else but Austin made anything that I felt even came close to meeting what the challenge required. I was so excited for a Broadway challenge, but most of these particular designers are nowhere near ready for the Great White Way.

Judges’ Top: Mondo, Austin, Michael
Diva’s Top: Mondo & Austin. Let’s face it: no one else deserved to be on top.
Judges’ Bottom: Kenley, Mila, Kara
Diva’s Bottom: Mila and Kara. The rest belonged in the safe-but-crappy wasteland.

All photos courtesy of Lifetime.

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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9 responses to Project Runway All Stars: Episode 7

  1. Manuel

    I loved how Mondo styled his outfit really dramatic. Because when he goes junior, the judges always respond badly, but everyone of them loves drama on the runway. I’ve been thinking that Joanna wasn’t doing her job right. She only comes once per episode and her critics always seemed non-desing like and more about building confidence on the designers rather than commenting about their work. This week I loved how she critiqued the designers work, because that pushed them to try harder. Like Kara, she was thinking her work was well-made challenge after challenge and that really opened her eyes. Even though she was out, imagine the result of her design without Joanna’s critique… it would’ve been über boring. 🙂 Thanks for recapping!

    • Manuel

      Oh, and I thought Mila’s outfit was the worst… but at least she has a point of view.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Couldn’t agree more with your comment on Mondo and how when he ups the drama and nixes the junior, he’s infinitely more successful.

      I also agree on Joanna: she really did give Kara a push in the right direction, it just wasn’t enough of a push to keep Kara in the competition.

      Thanks for commenting! ❤

    • democracydiva – Author

      Totally agreed – Kara is a fabulous soul and she seems truly well-liked. And clearly Kenley and Mila are seconds away from tearing each other apart!

      Thanks for commenting, Linda! ❤

      • Much as I dislike her, I’d love to see the old Kenley come out now that her good angel Kara is gone. Mila deserves to be taken down about a hundred pegs.

      • democracydiva – Author

        SO true, Laura. We need Kenley to revert to uber-bitch mode and destroy everything in her path – preferably Mila, Michael, and Jerell. Thanks for commenting!

      • Can’t quite agree about Michael. I like him and want to look after him in the way I’d look after a scraggly teddy bear with a missing eye and a few bald patches. Mila I didn’t like in her regular season, and I like her even less now, and Jerell is going to dislocate his shoulder patting himself on the back.

      • democracydiva – Author

        Michael just bothers me to my core, but I can agree to disagree on him, because I know not everyone agrees. And you’re beyond right about Jerell. That boy loves his own work in an unreasonable way.

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