Project Runway All Stars: Finale Collections

Better late than never, dear readers.

Let’s bid auf wiedersehen to our so-called All Stars, shall we?

AUSTIN SCARLETT, Runner-Up

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Austin needs to tamper down his need to make eight thousand different random cultural references at once. Queen Austin herself said this collection was about an 18th century vampire who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and borrows clothes from her Hasidic dandy friends.

What does that even mean?! I mean, I see the Hasidic reference in the pais and maybe even the shape of the pants feels a little Fiddler on the Roof-esque. And the model has a miserable look on her face just like Kristen Stewart’s, so I guess that’s the vampire part. I actually think these pants look great – on the runway, not in real life – and the sparkly cropped tuxedo jacket with the salmon cuffs is delicious. I’d buy that in a heartbeat.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This was probably my favorite piece from the entire finale. It was chic, interesting, it moved beautifully, and the sculpted skirt is very well done. Another piece I’d buy tomorrow.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This was a throwaway piece. And when your collection only has six looks, one of them CANNOT be a throwaway piece. This is ill-fitting, uninteresting, and amateurish.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

At first glance, this gown packed a punch with a whole lot of drama. But once you got over that first moment, you realize how incredibly flawed it is. The volume is too much, and in the wrong places, and the result is supremely unflattering and very 80s prom. The hemline was a complete disaster, and a shiny, puffy mermaid gown is never going to win my favor.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This photographs pretty terribly, but the treatment on the neckline is just fabulous. There’s something kind of superhero-power-bitch about this that I’m enjoying.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This was beautiful. Elegant, interesting, romantic, full of whimsy and fantasy – it has all of Austin’s best qualities. And the sheer amount of work he produced in five days is astonishing, considering he made two complex gowns and many of his other pieces were heavy on construction. But this isn’t just a “great for five days’ work” gown, it’s a beautiful piece in and of itself. Between this and the second look (the black sculptured dress), Austin proved to me that he deserved the win over Mondo. (We’ll get to him in a bit.)

MICHAEL COSTELLO, 3rd place

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

I mean, it’s no secret I hate Michael’s designs. I think they’re completely uninspired and I’ve never seen even an inkling of an original thought or design in him. So I’m not surprised to see a complete lack of innovation in his incredibly dull collection.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Cute, but you can buy this anywhere, and it’s too tight.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

A bit of a Monet – pretty nice from far away, but trashier the closer you get. Not to mention it’s almost identical to the dress before it, which is a pretty big problem in a six-piece collection.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Six looks to show the world what he’s got, and Michael makes this tunic-poncho hybrid. It’s hideously underdesigned, and still completely tacky because of the print. He clearly thought he could get away with boring silhouettes if the prints stole all the attention. But they’re hideous prints, so they’re only making things worse.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

I didn’t hate this. If anything, I thought it was a brave step forward for the transgender community, creating a jumpsuit with a crotch big enough to fit a penis, a vagina, and whatever else you could possibly imagine. Seriously, though, the pants are pretty awful, but the bodice is quite nice and I dig the pockets.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Way more chic and elegant than anything else, but it didn’t require much sewing, and the vest felt like a weird and unnecessary afterthought. It’s boring as can be, but at least this is a dress that doesn’t offend my retinas.

MONDO GUERRA, Winner

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Polka dots and pussy bows have both had a moment this year, so I can appreciate his desire to stay trendy. It’s fine, I suppose, but I know Mondo can do more. That’s probably more due to time constraints than his own flaws, but this just didn’t do it for me.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This is where things got cartoonish. This Jackie O-meets-Wilma-Flinstone thing felt a little cheesy to me. As the judges said, the pockets and the buttons are just too big. Not in a delightful, fantastical way, but in a “who would really wear such a thing?” way.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

Another throwaway look. The leggings are sort of cool, but kind of slutty and semi-ripped off from Mila’s. And that top looks pretty shoddily made. He can usually mix prints like a master, but something in the execution is lacking here.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

I hated this. The proportions were a nightmare, reminding me of last season’s torturous stilts episode, and nothing looks original, even though it’s still clearly Mondo. The crotch on those pants – sweet Jesus. I can’t look at anything else.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

I so did not understand the love for this dress. He’s made this exact silhouette, with the black on the sides and the print in the middle (the “skinny dress,” if you will) several times before, both on this season and his original season. And it’s not like he’s the first designer to do a Rorschach print – it was a big trend in the Resort 2012 collections just last summer. It’s cute, sure, but the judges and blogosphere acted like it was revolutionary, and I just can’t agree with that.

Photo: Tom & Lorenzo

This was probably my favorite look in his collection, but it was completely incongruous with the rest of his looks. (Which is probably why I liked it.) It’s still polka-dotted, and he references the first few pieces with the black circles on her shoulders, but it’s very hard to see this as part of the same collection. I really enjoyed this gown, but not the rest of Mondo’s collection –  I stand by my belief that Austin should have been crowned the winner.

Alas, dear readers, it seems I am destined to disagree with the Project Runway judges. Do you feel the same? Let’s hash it out in the comments.

See you next season! In the meantime, vote for the best-dressed celeb of the year in March Fabness!


© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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2 responses to Project Runway All Stars: Finale Collections

  1. I also liked Austin’s collection better than Mondo’s, but I’d really liked for there to have been a “no contest” ruling. I don’t think any of the three collections deserved to win.

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