Project Runway All Stars: S3 E6

It’s not every day the All Stars get to dress a true icon, dear readers. This is one makeover you just can’t miss. 

The Challenge: The designers must create a date night dress for Marge Simpson, TV’s most iconic housewife, to wear on a hot date with Homer. This might sound like a joke, but the winning look will be animated and worn by Marge in an upcoming episode, and that is undeniably awesome. Finally, some product placement I can get behind! More Simpsons, less Heidi Klum for New Balance, please.

Guest Judges: Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin, who makes us all feel old just by her mere existence as a 17-year-old; last season Project Runway All Stars winner Anthony Ryan Auld, who wore a piece of black tape down the center of his head that I still don’t understand; and Stacey Bendet, of Alice + Olivia.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

If the challenge had been to create a date night dress for Lucille Ball, Christopher might have had a chance at the top. But he heard “housewife” and translated it to “Donna Reed,” which didn’t work as well as he’d hoped. This wasn’t particularly innovative or interesting, and I don’t think the print would have looked great once it was animated. (I barely like it as it is.) So I’m glad Christopher got a slap on the wrist for this, but the decision to keep him on was a good one. There were way hotter messes on this runway.

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I like the jacket, but it’s awfully stiff yet kind of strangely pillow-like in the sleeves, and I don’t think it went with the dress or the Marge Simpson aesthetic. But I did love the sexy gown she made for Marge, particularly the draping in the back. Effortless, laid-back glamour isn’t exactly Elena’s forte, so I was surprised she pulled off this gown with such precision.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I’m not sold on a woman over the age of 27 actually choosing to wear this dress over a more modern, less girly silhouette. But out of everything on the runway, I think Irina’s look best balanced the date night concept with the cartoon character. It was event-appropriate, but much more fun than anything else on the runway. So color me surprised – I think I actually agree that Irina deserved the win!

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Just another in a long string of terribly executed and insanely underwhelming looks from Jeffrey. He probably should have gone home weeks ago, but the judges didn’t want to admit that one of their former season winners didn’t have the chops to be an All Star. The droopy, floppy front of this dress just makes me depressed, and the back is about as boring as can be. Throw in pearls and those ridiculously bright shoes, and you’ve got a hot disaster that’s about as far away from “Marge Simpson on a date” as you can be. So I’ll happily send Jeffrey on his way – I’m sure he still has talent, just not the kind that translates to a reality competition. (That might be the nicest thing I’ve ever said about him.)

Top 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

This was my runner-up look, for sure. It was much more age-appropriate for Marge. (I can’t even write this with a straight face – like a character who hasn’t gotten older in 25 years needs to restrict her imaginary wardrobe for age reasons. This is all ridiculous, and I love it.) Korto was clearly inspired by what she herself (also a wife and mother) would wear on a date with her man, and it worked very well. A brighter color would have been more fun in animated form – that’s my sole reason for picking Irina’s dress for the win over Korto’s.

Bottom 3
Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

Seth Aaron made something like six dresses during this episode, each one worse than the last. It’s almost hilarious, because Anya made a hundred thousand dresses like this, but way worse, and she won her fucking season for it. But Seth Aaron has actual, real talent, and everyone knows it, and so he was almost eliminated for phoning it in. Thank goodness he lives to see another challenge, because he’s still one of the ones I’m rooting for. I consider this a rare misstep – he got completely lost and just tried a million different things until he ran out of time to try anything at all. I think he’ll be back on form next week.

Photo: Lifetime

Photo: Lifetime

I’m too busy giggling at Marge creeping in the background of this photo to actually take this dress seriously. I liked it, but Viktor may have actually taken this challenge a little too seriously. This is something a big-city fashion bitch would wear on a date. Marge? I’m not convinced.

Judges’ Top 3: Irina, Elena, Korto
Diva’s Top 3: Irina, Korto, Elena
Judges’ Bottom 3: Christopher, Seth Aaron, Jeffrey
Diva’s Bottom 3: Christopher, Seth Aaron, Jeffrey

© Democracy Diva, 2013.
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22 responses to Project Runway All Stars: S3 E6

  1. Christopher’s dress made me wonder how they could animate it. Prints would be more difficult, I think. I did not particularly care for his print, or for the dress, but it certainly wasn’t the worst thing on the runway.

    I thought Elena’s jacket was awesome. I thought that her brilliant red dress was gorgeous. I just couldn’t stand the two of them at the same time, plus, a date night with Homer is going to be at a local Applebee’s or TGIF- it’s Springfield, not a big city- and that long, red, admittedly gorgeous dress was not only the best thing I’ve seen from Elena, it was completely wrong for Marge’s date night.

    Irina’s was fun and pretty; Korto’s was on the mark but for an animated series, a bright color was probably indicated. Victor’s was good but probably a little edgy for Marge. Seth Aaron’s was ordinary. We’ve all seen that dress too many times before. And I really like Seth Aaron. But he always did work by making six different dresses and going with the one he thought best. I’ve wondered if he’s a bit attention-deficit-disordered; he seems to have a hard time focusing on one idea.

    I feel badly for Jeffrey. He acts severely depressed to me- depressed and tired. And I think that’s a shame because he is talented. I wish he’d had enough time to work through the problems with his design, but ultimately, I think he’s relieved to be going home. He just hasn’t acted like his heart was in it.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I fully agree with your assessments of what would look good in animation – bright colors, no busy prints. Elena’s gown was more red carpet than date night in the suburbs, but it was still a stunning piece.

      I’ve just never seen Seth Aaron send something that lazy down the runway before. Even if he has trouble focusing, his garments are usually complex and well-executed, so I was shocked to see him send something so under-designed down the runway.

  2. I think choosing a print, any print, for this challenge was a no-go from the get go…well done, it might have ended up in the top, but if would have never won, because it has to be animated. Same with Victor’s design. I agree, it doesn’t look particularly Marge, but even if it had, there are too many details on it that it can translate well into animation (yeah, I am fairly obsessed with animation in general).

    Jeffrey was overdue, and I am not sad to see him go. I always considered him overrated and one of the contestants which should have never won.

    Glad that Seth Aaron is still there and I hope he will be back in the game soon. I always wanted to see a face-off between him and Irina.

    Who, imho, nailed the challenge. This is exactly the kind of dress Marge would wear. The animators like to default to pink and lilac for her on the rare occasions she doesn’t wear the green dress or the “short shorts and top” ensemble, and she has a thing for ruffles…the skirt might be a little bit short for her, but hey, it’s date night.

    Korto’s was the runner-up, but mostly by default. I am not sold on it. Totally wrong colour, and the missing sleeves doesn’t look deliberate enough for my taste. It looks like she just forgot to attach it.

    Elena’s just didn’t go well together…the jacket was totally wrong on the challenge, the dress unexpected coming from her, but a little bit simple overall…plus, again, big mistake to put the details in the back. That is not exactly the part the animators might want to show, and from the front it is basically a red tube.

    I think that it the mistake all of the designers (perhaps with the exception of Irina) made, they were thinking of Marge as a real woman instead of considering what would work or not work in animation. Perhaps they should have allowed them to talk with an expert first.

    • democracydiva – Author

      Perhaps they should have allowed them to talk to YOU first, because you seem like an expert on the subject to me! I never even considered the fact that in animation, we’re not going to see the back of the dress too much, if ever, and that it needed to have some interest from the front in order to win the challenge. Brilliant point.

      • Thanks…

        BTW, I am wondering about Anthony Ryan…everyone is making fun of his new look, but I wonder if it might be a necessity. He was the one who mentioned having overcome cancer in the past, after all.

      • democracydiva – Author

        Oh, I think he works the bald head fabulously, cancer survivor or no. I just had no idea what I was actually looking at with the stripe down his head!

  3. I think that Jeffrey and Seth Aaron deserved higher praises but their explanations were bad. It’s not that Marge is middle-aged. She’s a woman who only has one dress, so anything new would be different for her. Also, when I first saw both of their dresses, I thought they’d photograph well as a cartoon. Surprise. Surprise. The cartoons are much more adept at picking up details than I thought. But how would we know since Marge’s dress is so plain.

    I hated Elena’s jacket and dress together. I think she should have been a lower scorer because they were so bad together. I hated Korto’s dress. I make no secret that I can’t stand a one-sleeved dress unless there is something that makes the design balanced, like the neck gradually going upward on one side. Her dress looks like she ran out of fabric before she could add another sleeve, or she lopped off sleeve no. 2 on the spur of the moment.

    Irina is my favorite on the show. I’ve been staring at her and now realize that her lips have filler. I re-watched season 6 and she wore little makeup, so I can’t tell if she touched her eyes or her nose. She looks very different. She is way too young to be insecure about her looks. Way too pretty. I didn’t like her dress, but I’d like it better without that goofy stuff glued or sewed to it in the front. What is that?

    As dresses go, I like Viktor’s the best. I wouldn’t have eliminated Jeffrey because he tried to say true to Marge’s life and her style. I love the way he talked about her like she was a real person. He took the assignment seriously. If you look at the front of the dress, this is something that Marge would wear. I’m just sayin’.

    I would have eliminated Elena. Her outfit was like putting a sweatshirt over a prom dress.

    • democracydiva – Author

      It’s been a long time, so I don’t remember all the details, but from what I recall, he didn’t end up showing any of the pieces that may have gone over his budget in the actual runway show, so ultimately, no harm was done.

  4. jatreides

    Jeffrey told at the start of the season that he did no sewing in the last several years only designing for children. Maybe he was missing the practice.

    Anthony wrote on his FB Page that Chemo did not stop him from being a judge.

  5. During Jeffrey’s season the other designers thought he might have cheated because his clothes were all finished. He sat around while everybody ran around like they do before a show. Tim Gunn looked at all Jeffrey’s receipts; he’d gone over budget so he had to lose the blonde wigs that he’d planned to use. And he had to throw out a pair of shorts because he had no receipt for the pleating done by someone else. I think he’s a good designer but he didn’t react the way an honest person would react, IMHO. He wasn’t indignant at all. He was defensive. I actually hated to see him cut recently, and the jury is still out for me about the cheating. There has never been another season where one person finished early. Most designers re-tweak their stuff up until the last minute. I’m not calling him a cheater. I never knew what to think.

    • democracydiva – Author

      I’m with you – I wasn’t there, so I’m not sure what to think. He definitely got defensive and angry, but that’s also his personality, so I’m not sure that necessarily points toward guilt (but it definitely made me feel that he didn’t think the rules really applied to him.)

      • You know, I actually bought the DVDs and watched them a few months ago. My take is that Jeffrey was gobsmacked to be accused of cheating and very hurt. Keith (I think he was the same season), who was also accused of cheating and actually had pattern-making books in his room as well as leaving the set, was very angry and defensive and hostile. I know Laura Bennett wondered how Jeffrey could have gotten everything done: the other contestants still had hems to do and seams to take in and fasteners to apply. Jeffrey didn’t have much of that, but he did own some highly specialized equipment as he was already in business. I assumed he used a lot of his own equipment that the others did not have access to. And he didn’t have the handwork that Laura did on her garments.

        Jeffrey, in his season, came across as very brash and outspoken, but I remember him weeping in his mother’s arms and saying, “they aren’t nice people, here.” So I suspect that a lot of what we see is a protective shell. My personal belief is that he’s a lot more emotionally fragile than he lets on, that he’s been away from designing for women for a few years, and is trying to get back into it. He may just have lost his fashion edge. As I said before, he seems tired.

        I didn’t much like the dress he made and would never wear it, but I could see Marge Simpson wear it- and nobody else.

    • Michelle was pretty much prepared, she did tweak some things, but overall she spend more time helping the other designers than working on her own collection.

      It is hard to say…though, as long as the design is by the designer…but it is impossible to control how much of the final collection is really based on the ideas of the designer and where someone else might have some input.

      • It never occurred to me that a little cheating might be tempting. For instance, once in awhile the designers help each other, or the models pitch in. The designers might have friends at home who sew. They are exhausted by the time they get home. Andy hadn’t begun to sew until two weeks before the show in his season.

        BTW, I’d love to see the official rules. For instance, what are they allowed to glue for the challenges. What types of work can they send out for the final fashion show?

        When the judges are talking about each designer while they’re deciding who won the challenge and who is going home, can the designers hear any of that conversation? The show often puts a camera on the individual that the judges are discussing, and that individual looks as though he can hear what is being said.

      • democracydiva – Author

        I haven’t read the details of the official rules, but glue has long been a friend of the PR designers, for better or worse. For unconventional challenges, it’s often necessary, but in general, the use of glue always makes me wish the designers had more time to complete their looks (and thus didn’t have to resort to glue).

        On the regular season of Project Runway, the judges now examine the looks up-close and have Tim describe them so that they know whose looks are held together with spit and toothpicks. I think this helps hold the designers more accountable for their shortcuts.

        I’m not sure what the designers hear, but it seems to me that after the judges send the designers back to the workroom to discuss who’s going home, the designers cannot actually hear them, but are being edited to seem like they’re reacting to what’s being said. (I have no idea if that’s actually true – that’s just what I’ve always thought about it.)

      • I’m glad you brought up Keith. He reacted differently from Jeffrey. I don’t think Jeffrey was guilty. I just didn’t know what to think so I put the question out there, and I like your insight. I thought Jeffrey would have been more pissed off when he was first accused, like, “How dare you! Are you kidding me?” To be accused of something after working so hard is a slap in the face. So I’d think his first reaction would have contained more anger. I thought he “acted” guilty, whatever that means. Maybe he didn’t think he deserved to win because his life has been a struggle. I think he’s a great designer. His taste isn’t my taste usually. And he is brash. BTW, I watched the Bonnie and Clyde movie from the ’60s and then I saw a documentary on Bonnie and Clyde and I swear I saw a man from an old clip who was wearing a long coat very much like the one Jeffrey made for the challenge. Keith is another story. He was so guilty and he thought rules were for everyone but him. Remember when he got the Mood cashier to give him a deal? Who does that? When he was accused of something he actually did, he accused the show of making him a laughing stock to his friends. His life was ruined, etc. Maybe the show goofed by giving him back his fashion books. He still left the premises during the show and went onto the internet. He wasn’t innocent and he would never take responsibility.for his error.

      • democracydiva – Author

        Oh, do I remember Keith. What a little brat he was. Anyone who tried to sneak in pattern books under the watchful eye of Tim Gunn deserves whatever he gets. That was just awful.

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