Project Runway All Stars: S3 E4

The designers go back to school and things get craftsy, dear readers. 

The Challenge: The designers ride a school bus to P.S. 212 Elementary School, known for its arts program, and are tasked with everyone’s favorite unconventional materials challenge. They spend four minutes tearing through what is either an art classroom or a training room for young drag queens to grab the necessary items.

Guest Judge: Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Urie, who should be permanent additions to the judging panel. Gabourey in particular was full of hilariously fantastic one-liners. (Example: “Sometimes I judge clothes based on whether Beyonce would wear them.”)

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I had to laugh when Isaac basically said he didn’t give a damn about Christopher’s anti-bullying inspiration for his look. Like everything that comes out of Christopher’s mouth, this story felt absurdly rehearsed and geared to manipulate the judges (and audience) into rooting for him, so I was glad that Isaac made it clear he liked this dress because of the dress, not the story behind it. Story aside, I also thought this dress was fantastic. I think the necklace and purse are made of the same toys I watched my boyfriend’s 2-year-old nephew play with over Skype the other day, so I thought those pieces were absolutely brilliant. The dress is chic and fashion-forward. I didn’t think it was the most innovative look on the runway, so I wouldn’t have given Christopher the win, but it’s certainly the best look I’ve seen from him to date.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Elena’s histrionics make me think she’s off her meds this week, but she certainly took her obnoxious pills before filming this episode. She whined about another designer’s work, “It looks like a Lady Gaga dress from ten years ago, and I would know, because I designed a dress for Lady Gaga.” Okay, except Lady Gaga WASN’T EVEN FAMOUS TEN YEARS AGO. If you’re going to act like a know-it-all, at least have something to back it up. Now, as for the wildly overpraised dress: I still don’t get it. This got rave reviews from the judges, but it looked like a dress made out of paper, and badly made at that. Those strange cups the judges loved – I found them hideous. And this is just paper version of every dress Elena’s already made.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I don’t know that I have the words to express how much I hated this look. This is the dress a four-year-old Disney princess would imagine during an acid trip. It was constructed so well that Irina had no chance of being placed in the bottom three, since her competitors made things that literally fell apart on the runway. So I’d have placed this look in the safe pile too, since there were hotter disasters to deal with.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Jeffrey’s look actually photographs shockingly well, considering what a disaster it was on the runway. You could see the poor model’s EVERYTHING – she was completely exposed on the bottom. It’s almost offensive how little regard Jeffrey has for the female form, how little he considers actual women and their bodies, even ideal model bodies, when creating these garments. He retorted, once again, that he didn’t feel this look needed to be “wearable.” Well, it didn’t need to be something a woman could wear to the grocery store or a cocktail party, but yes, you should be able to PHYSICALLY GET IT ON ANOTHER PERSON’S BODY. The fact that no one was eliminated from the competition during this episode was a huge disappointment to me. There were exposed vaginas and dresses tearing at the seams during this episode, and everyone gets to stay? What new and improved kind of crack are these judges smoking?!

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Oh, Korto. Girlfriend kind of fell apart this week, creating an amazing neck/shoulder piece and virtually nothing else. The bottom of this thing was an absolute nightmare, and the binder clips were just awful. I still would have ranked her above Jeffrey’s and Mychael’s garments, if only because Korto managed to cover her model’s vagina and keep the dress from falling apart during the runway show. But like many of my dear commenters, I’m still waiting for the “wow” moment that I know Korto is capable of.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Poor, poor Mychael and his ripped paper dress. I loved his color palette, but my compliments end there. He’s lucky the model was still wearing a dress by the time her runway walk was finished, with the way this was tearing with every step.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This weird little blouse was the only paper-made item that I found fashionable and interesting. I don’t even know what that skirt is made of, but it’s pretty damn awesome. And the hat, which is actually a KICKBALL? What a phenomenally creative idea! I didn’t love it at first, but the longer I looked at this outfit, the more surprised I was that Seth Aaron didn’t make it to the top three.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Viktor was wearing a hot dog tee shirt during parts of this episode, and even THEN, he was fanning himself with a handheld fan. I don’t know what goes on in that boy’s mind, but I absolutely love it. This dress was the clear winner, in my opinion – the way those broken rulers moved and shook like a new-wave flapper dress? To die for. Gabourey said it was the only thing she saw on the runway that she’d want to wear, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Judges’ Top 3: Christopher, Viktor, Elena
Diva’s Top 3: Viktor, Christopher, Seth Aaron
Judges’ Bottom 3: Korto, Jeffrey, Mychael (no elimination)
Diva’s Bottom 3: Korto, Mychael, Jeffrey

© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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8 responses to Project Runway All Stars: S3 E4

  1. I loved it when Zanna told Irina that she was certainly in the Pretty Corner and Irina looked as if she’d bitten on tin foil. Yes, it’s pretty. It’s also precious. Pretty and precious are not the stuff of high fashion.

  2. Marcia Dyer

    As a labor and delivery nurse I have to comment that a vagina can almost never be seen without a speculum, prolapsed vaginas are very rare. Vulvas, however, are probably what Jeffery allowed t o be seen. Or possibly a perineum.

  3. I’ll say right now that I’m a big Irina fan, based on many of the clothes she created during the season she won and during her final collection. She has actually made dresses similar to this paper rose dress so the idea came to her easily but the materials were identifiable. She was still light years ahead of many of the other designers who did an awful job. I don’t think the school had a great choice of unconventional materials. I’m hoping that Irina steps things up a bit. I don’t like to see her in the “in” group because she’s barely seen on the show.

    I recently purchased and watched the seasons of PR that are out on DVD. None of the All Stars shows are available on DVD. I blog about the regular seasons (I mostly write about doll clothes so I don’t cover all fashion per se) so I’m becoming pretty educated about the designers’ usual tricks, and I’ve learned a bit about draping.

    Honestly, if I have to hear Elena’s voice dominate every show, I may have to watch the remaining episodes with the sound off. It would be interesting to have Elena and Helen from Season 12 in the same room because they both do their melt downs and then take the prize for that challenge. I’d never vote for either of these designers as winners because they can’t handle their emotions without bothering people around them.

    As far as I’m concerned, the ex-winners shouldn’t be disappointing us. They have more experience than the designers who have not put together collections.

    I’ve been extremely annoyed by Alyssa as host until this last challenge. Maybe she’s relaxing a bit and letting her personality show. Her fashion and makeup have been terrible until this last challenge. She looked super cute.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I definitely liked the apres-ski Aspen vibe to Irina’s final collection during her season. She wasn’t one of my favorites, but I understood why she one and thought she had a lot of talent. And you’re definitely right that we’ve barely seen her this season, since she’s not nearly as dramatic as some of her competitors.

      Watching with the sound off? Brilliant idea. I agree with you wholeheartedly – Elena and Helen, both of their voices have become like nails on a chalkboard to me, especially with their nonstop histrionics.

      Aside from Seth Aaron, who I always loved and who I think is creating things that live up to my standards for him, the former winners have yet to show me anything worth mentioning. It’s sad – it either means they shouldn’t have won in the first place, or they’ve let their real skills deteriorate since we last saw them.

      Honestly, the last two All Stars hosts were so much worse than Alyssa, I can’t even begin to describe it. They were so anxious to grab beautiful models that they forgot that many of them aren’t exactly actors, and can’t read lines without sounding like a robot. At least Alyssa knows how to talk like a human, which is more than I can say for our last two All Stars hosts. Completely agreed re: her fashion choices. I’m not usually a fan of her style, but she looked fantastic in this episode.

      • I have to say that Alyssa has grown on me so much. I disliked her immensely at first, but her first personal fashion looks were awful. And I didn’t think she’d earned the right to tell the designers to work harder. Now she is so much more relaxed, and she’s EXCELLENT at what she does. She’s a good host in general and great at reading cue cards–as well as giving her own opinions. She made me laugh when she talked about her “back fat.” She’s a girls’ girl for sure. She is the best PR Allstars host for sure. I’d like to see her get more opportunities as a result of this show.

        I recently bought all the old seasons, up to eight, which is the last one available on DVD. Oh, now that I signed up for Amazon streaming video, I can watch more things for free. I like to watch the show while I’m sewing during the day. But my point is that I see something different each time I see the show, and I can easily see the designers repeating themselves. I have to laugh when a designer explains his inspiration to the judges and then the look is the same as the last one. I’d love to write an SNL spoof on the show. Maybe someone has already done it. I also laugh when a designer will fawn after his own design that is hideous. I was never impressed by season 5’s winner and no one ever talks about her. She made petals for everything whether she saw insects or moving water. Some designers color block–which can be nice–but that’s all some of them do. Michael C. of season8 and Rami of season 4 drape very well, but I can’t imagine doing sportswear or separates much by draping.

        Their worst designer can do more than I can do just watching from home. I learn a lot from watching the show, and I love it! Tim Gunn will have a new show next season, I am curious.

      • democracydiva – Author

        I totally agree with you about Alyssa. I’m not a big fan of her personal style, but she’s SO MUCH BETTER than the previous two All Stars hosts, so I don’t remotely care about what she wears. All I want is someone who can read scripted lines without sounding like a robot, and hopefully who contributes something fun and funny to the judging panels. She meets that (admitted low) bar, and so I’m totally on her team.

        You should google SNL and Project Runway – I’m sure they’ve done some skits about it before, at least back in the old days when the show was still mega-popular. Tim Gunn makes lots of cameos on TV shows as himself, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an SNL skit or two about him/the show.

        I’m curious about Tim’s new show too. Like every PR fan, I practically worship Tim Gunn, so I’m considering blogging his show too, but it depends on the format.

  4. I’m officially in love with Gabourey Sidibe.
    They obviously didn’t send anyone home, so that they could keep Jeffrey in the competition when he deserved to go once again. Not sure how long this thing is gonna last.
    Seth Aaron’s look was adorable. Should have been in the top three.

    • democracydiva – Author

      RIGHT? I never saw Precious, but Gabourey is my new favorite person on the planet. She’s so goddamn charismatic, how could anyone not want to be her best friend?

      No elimination this week has to mean a double-elimination in the future, right? Either way, it was BS to keep Jeffrey in for another week.

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