Project Runway All Stars: S3 E3

It’s cocktail hour, dear readers. Grab a drink and meet me on the runway. 

The Challenge: The designers are told they get a night off to drink at Jay Z’s 40/40 Club, but obviously, there are no nights off when you’re an All Star. Alyssa shows up at the club and tells them to choose a cocktail, pay attention to how the bartender constructs the drink, and created a cocktail dress inspired by the drink. The designers have one day and $100 at Mood to make this happen, and for an extra twist, they have to make a “garnish” (that’s pretentious for “accessory”) as well. After the runway show, once she’s confirmed that there are at least a couple of wearable looks in the mix, Alyssa agrees to wear the winning look. (I love that the standards have gotten so low that no one will agree to wear the winning look until after they’ve seen it.)

Guest Judges: Ridiculously handsome interior designer Nate Berkus and and lovely fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Christopher’s cocktail was called “The Rose,” but rather than recreate a literal rose, he thought about romance and what the woman drinking The Rose would wear. His resulting dress was certainly as sexy and romantic as he could have hoped for, if a little underwhelming in terms of color. On my television, this read as more of a lovely ivory, but in pictures, it looks a little yellowed, which I’m not enjoying nearly as much. But the bejeweled straps in the back were really stunning, and he made something truly expensive-looking, which was more than what most of his competitors accomplished. But does anyone know what the accessory he created is supposed to be? I mean, unless he cobbled those shoes himself, I don’t actually see any “garnishes” here. Maybe the bejeweled straps are supposed to be the accessory? Even though they’re part of the dress? Help me out in the comments, dear readers.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

First of all, these pictures don’t do this dress justice at all, because what made this dress beautiful was the seaming, which is completely invisible here. When you can’t see the incredibly well-constructed, supremely flattering seams, this dress looks a lot more ordinary. And the lack of visible seams makes me notice things I missed on my TV screen, like how those cut-outs are just a little bit shabby-looking. I also have no recollection of what this had to do with Elena’s “Sardinia” cocktail, since this looks like twenty other dresses Elena has made. That’s not to say I didn’t love it when it hit the runway – I did – but Nate Berkus’s comment that he’s seen this dress from Balenciaga and Narciso Rodriguez was spot-on. That is how I’ve always felt about Elena – too many of her best looks are too derivative.

Also, no one is carrying that giant-ass purse to a cocktail party. #garnishfail

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I think there’s a few too many ideas here, and I think we’ve all seen enough peplums to last us until the next millennium, so this didn’t really do it for me. The shrug is distracting, especially with those strange straps hanging off the cuffs. And would you ever even imagine that this was inspired by a drink called “Strawberry Fields”?

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Jeffrey thought this was “Le Exotique,” but I thought it was ill-fitting, old-fashioned, and incredibly underwhelming. This is a better fabric for a pillow than a dress and that purse is the saddest little thing I’ve ever seen. Jeffrey might as well have sent his model down the runway naked save for a sign that says I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE. Let’s show this boy the door already.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Love the fabric; hate all the black embellishments. I think the way she trimmed only the middle part of the neckline in black is ridiculously unflattering and distracting. I think the straps in the back are too tight, and I think the harshness of that shiny black fabric on top of an already-loud print makes for something pretty unwearable. I love Korto, but this dress was a disappointment for me.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I’m loathe to agree with Christopher, but Melissa really has made this dress over and over again. Of her repeat dresses, he squealed, “This bitch is swindling us! Get her!” which was torturously over-acted but nonetheless accurate. Her “Sunset” dress is reminiscent of basically everything she’s ever made – asymmetrical dresses that aren’t particularly well-executed or thoughtful. I don’t think this was worse than what Jeffrey sent down the runway, because I think there actually is a market for something like this. But I understand why the judges would want to get rid of Melissa when she’s only got one trick up her sleeve.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Mychael’s “Spotted Plum” dress was downright boring. He’s lucky there were hotter messes afoot, because this was way too safe.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Somehow, this is inspired by a drink called “The Hemingway.” (I don’t see the link either.) I actually think this is a very cute and wearable outfit, but it also was a bit shockingly underdesigned, especially for Seth Aaron. And it didn’t look nearly expensive enough to wear to a cocktail party. It’s short, and it’s black, and it’s got boots, but that doesn’t actually make it cocktail attire when the fabric and cut read as daytime.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I fully agreed that Viktor’s “Tiger Eye” design deserved the win. I can’t even believe he was able to create something this beautiful and interesting in one day. The cut-outs in front and back are absolutely expertly done. The sleeves are adorable, and the print is used thoughtfully and beautifully. Now, how a woman with actual, non-runway-model breasts could wear this dress, I’ll never know. I’d have a nip slip in this thing before I made it into the party. But for the A-cups of the world, this is quite a look.

Judges’ Top 3: Viktor, Christopher, Elena
Diva’s Top 3: Viktor, Christopher, Elena
Judges’ Bottom 3: Korto, Jeffrey, Melissa
Diva’s Bottom 3: Korto, Melissa, Jeffrey

© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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7 responses to Project Runway All Stars: S3 E3

  1. Christopher’s accessory was that bracelet/hand jewellery thingie. Quite cute actually. Still on team Viktor until Korto wakes up!

    • democracydiva – Author

      I could barely even SEE that! But you’re right, it is cute. Thank you for solving the mystery. Agreed 100% with Team Viktor until Korto shows us what she really can do. Hoping that’s sooner rather than later!

  2. Vncntdl

    Yes, count me in for Team Viktor as well. It would definitely be the best-case scenario for an also-ran to beat a former winner. I’m sure the producers are thinking this too. Viktor and Korto have the best shot, although Elena has been on a tear (let’s see how long it takes her to implode). As for Korto’s outfit this week: I agree about the black fabric/embellishments (they don’t work), but I’m not a fan of the print either. The whole thing was a miss. Not quite a hot miss, but a miss all the same. I’m also not sure that Jeffrey can said to have phoned it in, as you suggest. Just don’t think cute cocktail dresses is in his wheelhouse. Glad the judges decided to keep him over Melissa, who has been seriously underwhelming in all three challenges. Here is one designer who should have never returned, b/c her limitations are more apparent the second time around.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Elena’s implosion seems imminent to me. She wasn’t as crazy as usual in this episode, but to me, that means there’s a big meltdown coming.

      I actually think Jeffrey could have created an AMAZING cocktail dress. Remember this green-and-white striped dress from all those years ago? If he had pulled out something like that, he could have easily taken the win. But you’re not wrong about Melissa – she always seemed fairly one-note to me, but that has been more true than ever on PRAS.

  3. ivyfree2

    Did they say what fabric Viktor’s outfit was? I know it was a print and it was expensive, but the fabric blend itself? Because he did an amazing job with that cut, but for some reason it read a little low-budget for me.

    I did love Christopher’s look because it was so fresh and pretty- I could see a young girl enjoying wearing that look, so long as she had a perfect figure and, as you say, A-cups. I liked the bit of sparkle that the jewels in back gave, and it really accented the model’s skin tone and slim figure.

    Korto’s dress kind of read loving-hands-at-home to me. I understand she likes using bright colors, but for a cocktail dress you want something a little more sophisticated. That high-low hemline to me is like the peplum and the exposed zip: time to move on. And I love Korto. I loved her in her season and still remember the black-and-white with yellow dress she did for the Diane Von Furstenburg challenge.

    Jeffrey is coming across as very, very tired to me. I like the fact that he has the ability to articulate his ideas and he’s not afraid to defend his look to the judges. But he looks just tired, as though he’s not well. I noticed they didn’t ask him about the trip to the cocktail lounge: he was the one who, in Season 3 when they went out for a party, said, “It’s not a party. It’s NEVER a f*** party!” He would have known this was going to be a challenge. That cut velvet fabric, though: that was just bad.

    Mychael should have thought that the ruffles over his model’s hips would make her waistline look big. And when you create a cook that makes a size 2 look big, it’s bad. Elena’s gonna blow her stack any time now. I can’t even imagine how exhausting it must be to work in the same room with her wailing and screaming. I loved the fact that when they brought her back she was saying she’s much calmer now, she’s taken up Yoga, but if anybody gives her a hard time!- she was just advertising that she’s looking for a place to fall apart. (I can’t imagine why that would help her career in any way, though.)

    Melissa’s dress, which she certainly has made many times before, was boring, and it looked heavy. Well, she used suede. It’s going to be heavy. She definitely deserved the boot for this look.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Not sure what fabric Viktor used, but with a $100 budget, it was probably something relatively cheap. If they’d had more money to create this, I probably would have agreed with you about it looking a little low-budget, but I thought this was relatively expensive-looking given the constraints of the challenge.

      Totally agreed re: Korto. She made some of the most memorable things in PR history for me – this green gown, for one: – but I haven’t seen her match that level of creativity and execution yet on All Stars. Still hoping, though!

      It seems all the commenters agree: Elena is moments away from imploding. I am not looking forward to that meltdown.

      I will never forget the time Melissa tried to make one of her asymmetrical cocktail dress FOR A BABY. A white ruched cocktail dress on a toddler – that might be the worst idea in the history of fashion. So I’m not claiming I’m a fan – I just think in this challenge, Jeffrey’s look was even worse.

      • Oh, my gods- I forgot that stupid cocktail dress for the baby!
        I’d also forgotten that green dress, but at the time (and now)I loved it- she does work with brilliant color, and it’s so nice to see something other than black. Hopefully, she’ll up her game pretty soon. Still, in her season, she did well up until the final challenge, and then she came up with that unfortunate gown that looked like a bridesmaid dress. I hope she does better this time.

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