Project Runway All Stars: S2 E9

Who’s ready for ready-to-wear, dear readers?

The Challenge: The designers must create a ready-to-wear look for the Elie Tahari customer. The garment needs to be simple enough to fit within a budget so that it can be profitable selling at $500-700. The winning look will be sold in Elie Tahari stores and online, with proceeds going to Save the Garment District. The lucky designers get to choose fabrics right from the Elie Tahari studio itself, which was incredible, as was the value of having both Elie himself and Joanna mentoring the designers in the workroom.

Guest Judge: Elie Tahari and his beautiful Israeli accent. Oh, and Stacy Keibler, who is famous for being George Clooney’s arm candy. I’m insulted by the fact that the producers expect me to believe that anything this woman says about fashion has any value whatsoever, particularly when she’s stealing screen time from the brilliant fabulous Mr. Tahari.


Photo: Lifetime via

You know what? I’ve spent every single damn post this season talking about how overpraised Anthony Ryan’s work is, and I honestly have run out of ways to say it. The only thing more boring than watching the judges cream their pants over him week after week is probably reading my complaints about the judges’ love for him week after week. So before I completely lose my damn mind, let’s just call this overpraised and move the hell on.

Bottom 3

Photo: Lifetime via

Beautiful, but far too simple for any sort of design competition, even if you’re trying to make something wearable and cost-effective. I don’t know why everyone hated on the color – I think that yellow would be terrific on almost any dark-skinned woman, even if pale girls like myself couldn’t rock it nearly as well. It just felt like the judges were saying, “Well, I wouldn’t look good in this color, so it must be bad,” and I found that kind of offensive. I think the silhouette is flattering and the dress itself is extraordinarily wearable, but this felt like Emilio was phoning it in, or at least getting a little bit lazy with his designs.


Photo: Lifetime via

Once again, Ivy took a beautiful fabric and did next to nothing with it. And when Elie Tahari is both your mentor, your judge, and the person who will ultimately be selling your look if you win, you BETTER DAMN WELL LISTEN TO HIM when he says to shorten the length of her dress. Her belief that the customer should purchase the long version and hem it to their preferred length was complete crap – the point of ready-to-wear is that it be READY TO WEAR, after all – and I just can’t imagine the stupidity or ego it takes to flat-out ignore what Elie Tahari tells you to do. Between that, and Ivy’s constant string of bottom-three designs, it was more than past time for her to get the auf.

Bottom 3

Photo: Lifetime via

Joshua’s lucky that Ivy’s bad work overshadowed his own, because this was trash-tastic and tacky to boot. Even Elie hilariously commented on Joshua’s “slutty lady,” and the droopy boobs were an obvious problem from the second this look hit the runway. The exposed zipper in back cheapened the look even more, and its truly terrible construction made the whole back of the dress look wobbly and wonky and overall not like anything that would be caught dead in a Tahari store.

Top 2

Photo: Lifetime via

Uli was terrified that sending down another white dress would mean the death of her, but when each of your little white dresses are unique and delightful, there’s little to fear. I’d have awarded Uli the win for her beautiful, versatile design. The judges were right to marvel over its versatility – they like to pretend everything can transition from day to night easily, but this little dress really can. Elie loved the way she used the fringe at the sleeves, and I loved the flattering darts in front and back that created a great shape. The waistband, the texture of the dress, the length – I’d kill to wear this dress, and I imagine a lot of ladies feel the same way.

Judges’ Top 2: Anthony Ryan, Uli
Diva’s Top 2: Uli, Anthony Ryan
Judges Bottom 3: Emilio, Joshua, Ivy
Diva’s Bottom 3: Emilio, Joshua, Ivy

© Democracy Diva, 2012.
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8 responses to Project Runway All Stars: S2 E9

  1. Week after week, I have the same thoughts: Anthony Ryan was overpraised; Uli should have won; Uli’s model is fantastic. It’s like one of these stories where you live the same day over and over again.
    On a less broken record note, I didn’t realise how unflattering AR’s dress was before seeing the pictures. Also, I’m black and Emilio’s dress would be top of my list of stuff I would wear from this week. Finally, I had never heard of Stacy Keibler before.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Uli’s model is fantastic, as is Emilio’s. Agreed about AR – they had to modify his look significantly to make it flattering enough to sell. (photo: And as for Stacy Keibler, I just wish the producers would realize that when you have one guest judge as amazing as Elie Tahari, you really don’t need a second one that no one’s ever heard of. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Indira

    I found the comments about Emilio’s color choice borderline offensive as well. I’m mixed white and Indian, not particularly dark-skinned, and own a few things in that color and rock the shit out of it. As long as you’re not particularly…pink, it would probably even work on some lighter skinned women as well.

  3. MoHub

    As a matter of fact, I’m very, very pale, but my undertones are yellow-green rather than blue-pink, and Emilio’s colors look ideal on me—even more so had he kept the orange bits.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I’m a pale girl of the pink variety, so I’ve got no chance in that yellow color, but I bet you’d look great it in! Thanks for commenting. ❤

  4. Cynlia

    i’ve also been really disappointed that they keep givig AR the win over Uli’s fantastic work…don’t know what this group has been smokin all season, but I need to get some….I have some situations for which I could use an alternate reality!

    • democracydiva – Author

      Amen, Cynlia! Whatever’s making these judges hallucinate so badly that Uli keeps coming in behind AR must be some pretty powerful shit. 😛

  5. I thought Emilio’s color choice was fabulous. I even liked it with the orange…but I did notice that the grosgrain ribbon on the front of the right shoulder was only tacked on. It seemed beautifully constructed, too. AR’s dress… well, when I looked at it in the photo it made the model’s hips look big. I can see why they changed it for the sale- it’s more flattering now. Incidentally, I’m a pale-pinky person so could never wear it- but with the color blocking he eliminated, he had a wide range of choices: he made it in mustard/orange/maroon, but other colors would also work. That could have been very marketable.

    Josh is completely incapable of judging his creations impartially. His dress could have been a success if he’d covered up the back (seriously. Who wears backless dresses?) and gotten rid of the exposed zipper, which as a trend can’t go away soon enough for me. He also needed to adjust the bodice in front: if you aren’t wearing a bra, you either need no boobs or some construction to help you along. He was trying to link the circular opening in the back with the circular bodice seam in the front- without the open back, he could have brought the circular bodice seam up to right under the breasts, which would have been more flattering. Lace might have been an okay touch if he’d minimized it- but it wasn’t necessary for the look he was going after so it just added to the price. Terrific color, though. LOVED that color.

    Ivy’s dress was just sad. I think she seriously overestimates her talent. Yes, it was a beautiful print. She actually made a nightgown, and not even a flattering nightgown- just a sack at a bad length. It needed to be fitted, lined (that’s a very thin fabric, nobody with an ounce of extra weight would look good in it- the bulging would show) and shorted to several inches above the knee. I think she simply couldn’t bear to cut the fabric.

    And Uli. Well, I think her dress is another one that would look great in different colors. I dislike the outward darts at the base of the bodice- maybe it’s just being tucked into the belt?- because I think that makes it look bulky, since it seemed a heavier fabric. But a beautiful, practical, stylish dress. I remember loving Uli’s collection in her season, and I remember people saying they wanted to contact her about it in the aftershow. I like it when she shows her construction skills.

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