Project Runway All Stars Recap: S2 E5

It’s been too long since the last drama-filled Runway, dear readers.

The Challenge: Create an androgynous look for your model. The words avant garde also get thrown around, but I don’t understand how that’s actually at play in the challenge. Luckily, neither do the designers or the judges. The twist: halfway through the challenge, they find out they have to make another androgynous outfit for a male model, to work as a pair to walk the runway with their female models. They get an extra day and another $150 at Mood.

Guest Judges: JASON FUCKING WU. And Robert Rodriguez. I couldn’t help but thank Lifetime for their massive budget that managed to grab such terrific guest judges, especially the always-in-demand Jason Wu.


Althea defined androgyny by saying, “our looks need to be sexless.” An interesting choice of words, because sex was definitely lacking from these pieces. But I think the best androgynous looks are the ones that are sexy – and sexy on every gender. Anyway, I enjoyed the color palette and the leather-embellished coats, but I felt that she essentially made the same outfit for both of them, but put the man in the more masculine coat and the woman in the more feminine coat. That’s not particularly androgynous, and there’s certainly nothing avant garde about this.

Top 3

Anthony Ryan briefly gained my favor when he talked sense into Joshua, who wanted to do assless chaps. But he remains the judges’ undeserving favorite, and I’m sick of them fawning over him week after week. I very much like the print on the skirt and pants, but I don’t think the woman’s look is even remotely androgynous. I’m fine with him slipping into the top three by default when there aren’t a lot of great looks on the runway (he falls into my top three in this challenge for that very reason), but do we have to pretend he can even compete with Emilio and Uli? It’s embarrassing.

Bottom 3

New York Magazine’s The Cut noted that these would make great Hunger Games tribute costumes, and that was such a spot-on comment that I can’t really think of anything else when I look at these. The cutouts in the gold fabric are expertly done. But the crotches on both pants are insane, and there’s nothing androgynous about either look.


While working on these looks, Emilio said, “A good suit looks good on a woman and a man.” And the final product was beautifully reflective of that statement. Choosing menswear fabrics was brilliant; pairing them with a mix of masculine and feminine cuts was even more so. Love the hats, love the cravats – these looks were by far the stars of the runway show.


Your half-naked Cirque du Soleil clowns are terrifying, Ivy. He’s wearing a diaper, for God’s sake. There’s nothing about this I like.


I actually liked the woman’s look, though the sexy pumps were the stupidest possible choice. I’m not sure what the hell is going on with the man’s look, because that sheer bathrobe is kind of ridiculous, and I think he’s carrying a furry blue purse?


I loved Kayne more than ever when I heard him say to the male model, “I have five sisters, two of them are single, I’ll have to hook you up!” What an amazing wingman. Single girls everywhere, get Kayne to adopt you as his little sister. Unfortunately Kayne didn’t understand that putting both a man and a woman in women’s clothing is not the same as androgyny. He made some sharp pieces, but they’re pieces we’ve seen before, and nothing about this really fit the wide constraints of the challenge.

Bottom 3

This was pretty awful. His shirt in particular – Georgina noted those sad, saggy, cut-outs, and I agreed with her wholeheartedly, because they’re awful. Her pants are just as bad, and I also agreed with the judges about how terrible those pockets look on her jacket. The gold buttons and silver fabric look tacky, and don’t have much to do with his look. She’s incredibly lucky Kayne had no idea what androgyny was, because she could have easily been sent home for this.

Top 3

I loved the styling, and his pants and her jacket are just terrific. I think her Sandy from Grease pants weren’t the best choice, and remove a little of the androgyny (particularly with the platform peep-toe pumps). But his weird feathered shirt – I know I should hate it, but I think the feathers are kind of fucking awesome. And it’s a great companion piece to the cool top the woman is wearing.

Judges’ Top 3: Emilio, Uli, Anthony Ryan
Diva’s Top 3: Emilio, Uli, Anthony Ryan
Judges’ Bottom 3: Casanova, Laura, Kayne
Diva’s Bottom 3: Ivy, Laura, Kayne

All photos courtesy of Lifetime via New York Magazine.

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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2 responses to Project Runway All Stars Recap: S2 E5

  1. I think Althea’s looks were really under rated. She gave an androgeny aesthetic, reminding me a bit of Haider Ackermann, who is really at the top right now. She made a lot of pieces, and those coats are really complicated and would fit great men and women. I think Anthony R. is sooo over rated by the judges, especially Issac. And, I was so impressed that Uli made the top 3 instead of Althea. I could not see her clothes at the top, since the used a trim she had done before. Removing those wonderful trims, her clothes would be just ok. (

    • democracydiva – Author

      Manuel, that Haider Ackermann comparison is spot-on. I agree with you about the coats – I almost put her in my top three because of them – but I felt both pairs of pants were kind of throwaways. And I’m with you on the trims – I like them, but she definitely needs to stop defaulting to them so often if she wants to keep me on her team. Thanks for commenting! ❤

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