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Project Runway: Stop! Emmy Time.

….and then there were 14. We’re treated to Raul saying the stupidiest thing, calling “pretty”a one trick pony. Does he not know of Badgley Mischka?

What the heck is Heidi wearing today? Did Seal get custody of the fashion sense when they divorced? Gunnar calls her “life size Barbie.” Life size Barbie needs to stop wearing PJs to work.

The contestants head to South Street Seaport for no discernible reason, except that out back there’s a nice bit spot where the show could park a bunch of expensive cars. Yes, expensive cars! No, this is not the Idol finale, this challenge is brand whored by Lexus! We are even treated to a Lexus commercial during this segment by some Lexus representative who Tim brought along for the occasion. Exactly how the cars fit in to the challenge is never really explained, but whatever. It is a Red Carpet Challenge for the Emmys. (Guess what Raul–pretty would help here.) It is immediately obvious this is a group challenge because there are half as many cars to be assigned as their are contestants. The color of the Lexus you get has to be included somehow in the red carpet look–other than that the cars, and their brand, are extraneous. The clients are past Project Runway contestants who are attending the Emmys. There is a $300 budget, and this is a one day challenge–the winner (not the winning team, just the winner) gets to accompany their client to the Emmys.

Groups: Car Color, Clients are as follows:

  • Christopher&Andrea: Brown, Anya
  • Nathan&Sonjia: Gold, Valerie
  • Buffi&Elena: Black, Laura
  • Ven&Fabio: Blue, Kenley
  • Gunnar&Kooan: White, Irina
  • Dmitry&Michelle: Silver, April
  • Alicia&Raul: Red, Mila

Noted that Christopher calls Anya “my client” and not “our client.” Anya wants a more structured outfit than a flowy thing she’s known for. Fabio doesn’t like Kenley. His opinions are not going to matter, because Ven totally takes charge of their sketching and the project. Irina wants a black dress, and Gunnar suggests “white accents” since he has to incorporate the car color–noted that if he told her that was why the white accents, the show edited it out. Irina annoyedly tells him he’s not allowed to make her into a checker board. Alicia and Raul want to do menswear for Mila. Mila looks a bit ill and demands if they are uncomfortable making her a dress. Raul admits he’s never made an evening gown. (Neither has Alicia.) They are officially going to be a disaster. Melissa likes that April’s hair is purple, and she plans to keep it that way. Buffi and Laura hit it off, Elena seems left out.

On to Mood! Gunnar treats Kooan like an irritating assistant. Dmitry and Melissa can’t find silver jersey and have to buy silk charmeuse instead. Ven obediently buys tulle for Kenley. Buffi seems to have submitted to Elena’s enormous shoulder habit. And there’s Swatch the Puppy!

Let’s get to some team challenge drama. Christopher may spew words about being honored to work with Andrea and learn from her, but he’s totally trying to run her over. At least Gunnar is up front about running Kooan’s ideas out on a rail. Elena is totally treating Buffi like her assistant, giving her the bullshit busy work of ironing pleats, while Elena constructs the dress. Buffi is not pleased, while Elena is having a meltdown at how long Buffi is taking, which helps no one. Ven refers to himself as “stuck with Fabio” and makes fun of him for not having a formal education. Ugh.

Tim Time! The clients each join him for the critique.

  • Gunnar lets Kooan do the talking in their presentation of a dummy covered in tape. Irina looks a bit confused. Gunnar says he wants to smack her for not liking his idea. Meanwhile Tim says what they are suggesting is borderline vulgar. (Not just Irina who thinks you’re awful, Gunnar!) Gunnar grumps that he wants Kenley. Oooookay.
  • April loves the silk charmeuse that Dimtry and Melissa have on the dummy for her. Everyone agrees this stuff is going to be a bitch to work with.
  • Mila’s face is hard and angry at the sight of the print Alicia and Raul have chosen for her, and snaps that prints look “daytime.” Tim backs her up. Raul is all about the print and a bit defensive when Tim says it’s a nice top but not for this event. It turns out Raul and Alicia do have a good quantity of black fabric, so this outfit could be saved.
  • Cut to Kenley looking at Ven’s work and saying “Fabulous!” and saying he has great taste in fabric. Match made in heaven.
  • Valerie is also very rah-rah-rah about the gold sequins Nathan and Sonjia have going and says it’s ok to cut her dress down to there, since she’s pretty flat chested.
  • Anya likes Andrea’s ideas over Christopher’s. By the end of their session Christopher is totally lost and upset his ideas have been ignored. He claims to not understand what’s going on anymore now that things are no longer going his way, and starts pouting.
  • Elena straight IGNORES Tim and Laura during their critique because she’s so frantic. Buffi tries to tell her to calm down and Elena starts lashing out at her as soon as they leave.

Buffi is just like “Oh hell no. This is not what I signed up for.” Elena has run off and is having a panic attack in a closet. The other designers tell Buffi to take over. Elena can’t get over that she has 24 hours and that the show gives them so little time. (Hello, did you never watch an episode of this show? Maybe you only watched the Bravo years?) They are officially the melt-down team. Buffi really needs a break to eat and Elena cannot hear her. In the end, Elena calms down and the dress seems to have come out. Buffi is just like “See? I could have eaten dinner after all!”

Christopher has turned on Andrea completely, bitching about her speed as soon as she’s out of the room, and acting like the fact that they’re dress is steadily going down the tubes is all her fault. Meanwhile Raul has decided since he sucks as making his first evening gown that he now hates red carpet wear for ever and ever. So positive!

Day of runway and Andrea is having merrow machine issues–Christopher doesn’t understand why she’s having a sense of humor about things. Meanwhile everyone in the room calls Kooan and Gunnar’s dress “Gunnar’s dress” and, currently, it looks godawful. Irina is horrified at how it fits her. Kooan is too depressed to fix it. Gunnar ends up sewing her into the dress as she berates him.

Let’s go to the runway!
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Project Runway All Stars “Ready To Wear”

…and then there were four. Angela has a nice black evening gown on today to announce the challenge. Her runway style may not be at Heidi level, but I think we can all agree she improved over the season.

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This week, the client is fashion designer Nanette Lepore. They are designing a piece to be sold in her boutiques, so it must work with her current line. Since this is the “ready to wear” challenge, it must be a commercial design that people will actually buy, and it must be a business savvy outfit–in other words the outfit they make for her has to be able to be created at a certain price point. The profits will go to her “save the garment district” charity. They have 30 minutes to hang out in her salon and sketch. Then Nanette and her CFO assistant will be coming around to approve the sketches and price things out.

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  • Michael: Nanette calls his caftan “a fabric eater” and frets that the lack of seaming means that there will be a lot of wasted fabric. The CFO prices it out to sell for $380. He wants to make it from jersey, which they usually get for $14/yard, and therefore (after labor/shipping/overhead/etc) he has a $48 budget for fabric.
  • Kenley: Nanette really likes the usual Kenley 50s number she’s put down on paper, especially the body hugging shape and the keyhole at the neckline. The CFO says such a piece would normally sell for about $350. So (after labor costs etc) she would have $41 for her fabric budget.
  • Austin: He’s thinking of doing a coat, but Nanette points out that the taffeta that would be needed for the structure he’s drawn is pretty pricey. But the CFO prices it high– retailing it at $500, so he has a $65 budget.
  • Mondo: Doesn’t sketch. (Oy.) Nanette looks aghast. She calls his painful little picture drawing a “tin can with a string.” Somehow the CFO manages to magically produce the numbers anyway and says they would retail this tin can for $300, so he had a budget of $32 for string.

Since things were priced out for the prices that Nanette pays for bulk fabric, their shopping is done from the warehouse in the back of Nanette’s studio, instead of at Mood, where they would pay retail. Also, this insures that what they make will go with the pieces already being produced since it’s from the same fabric wheelhouse. After their “shopping,” Austin and Michael come in right on target. Kenley is over budget and has to make slight adjustments to how much trim she buys. Mondo is under by $3.50. Go Mondo!

Once they’re back at the studio, Michael discovers the jersey fabric he chose has several inches of white on either edge of the pattern, so he just lost a good yard of fabric. There’s a lot of drama over whether Kenley should or should not include the keyhole in her original sketch, since it doesn’t jive with the fabric she bought. She decides against it.

Joanna’s walk through includes Nanette, and they show up during the moddle fitting to see it on real bodies. I approve of this.

  • Nanette immediately calls out Kenley for changing things up from her sketch. The dress she’s made has a slightly more loose silhouette and, most importantly, no keyhole. Kenley fights back (of course) and insists they will love it when she’s done. Joanna looks a bit embarrassed. Nanette looks displeased.
  • Michael: Nanette shakes her head at his caftan and says they can’t sell something that plunges to the navel. “How do you wear a bra with this?” Joanna once again demands. Michael has a hook and eye answer ready. Yes, but will he actually put said hook-and-eye in? Won’t this “ruin his vision” on the runway?
  • Austin has nothing to show. All he has is a muslin sleeve on his model’s left arm, and a bit of tap marking on the dummy. So there’s a bunch of “ifs” and “could bes.” Not helpful.
  • Mondo’s dress no longer looks like a tin can with a string. He’s not as far along as Kenley and Michael, but what he does have are the fabric stripes he’s bought sewn together and laid out on the table as a visual aide. Joanna can’t see where he’s going with this, but Nanette sees the strips of fabric on the table and the light starts to dawn over her head as she starts to get the idea of where he’s going with this. I might even go so far as to say she looks excited by the possibilities. He calls his dress “so ugly it’s cute.”

Day of runway: Austin is freaking out about the “rumpling” of his fabric, and fretting he has no time to line it. Mondo is wishy-washy-ing and saying to go home now would be “different.” Michael is refusing to use tape on the dress neckline and the model’s left boob looks like it is going to fall out. Needless to say, there are no hook-and-eyes anywhere to be seen.

To the runway!

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Project Runway All Stars: Avante Garde Light

And then there were five. Angela has cute shoes and an interesting necklace. Perhaps that’s why her dress is so dull? Oh, no, her dress is a plain black and white number because they needed something that would pop when they turned off the video lighting and flipped on the blacklight. That leads us to today’s challenge: the Avante Garde challenge. Avante Garde which will include all the decorative lighting tech these designers can handle (ie, not very much), plus a blacklit runway. One day challenge, Budget is $300 to spend at the “lighting store,” (Home Depot?) and another $100 to spend at Mood. Guest judge this week is Pharrell, who will option the winning outfit to be used in some nebulous way by “one of his stars,” whatever that means.

THEY’RE AT BARBIZON!!!  (Shout out to my lighting peeps!) There is an awful moment when Mondo refers to LEDs as “LCDs” and I die a little inside. Jerell gets fibre optics and LEDs.  Austin buys fairie lights to string through tulle. There’s also fog machine in a can, but no one wastes money on that. Michael seems to be buying nothing but gaff tape, and this confuses me. Kenley goes over budget on rope light and has to cut back. Onto Mood! Michael buys felt, plus some ugly pink fabric. Mondo tests his fabrics under blacklight before buying. Austin is in tulle heaven. Jerell is the only one who seems to think through how prints will pop and change under black light. I fear for the 1980s and what he might produce today.

Back at the work space, the show has set them up a blacklight room to see how their fabrics will read. (I’m still waiting for someone, anyone to refer to the lights by their wildfire brand name, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.) Mondo is stressing because he hasn’t found his inspiration. Michael churns out a dress from his pink fabric, only to completely reject it after he’s nearly finished and head back to square one. At least he works fast enough to be able to do this.

Time for Joanna. She starts with Kenley, who’s stretching herself out of polka dots and into plaid. The plaid is a homemade design made from gaff tape and glo tape on black upholstery fabric. It’s actually pretty impressive. On to Jerell, who has a bunch of magnetic LEDs like you see decorating kid’s bar mitzvah tables, a bunch of those fibre optic toys like you see at July Fourth celebrations, Judy Jetson hips on his dummy and little else. Joanna oohs over the kids toys, since there’s nothing else for her to see. Austin has a piece working that Joanna calls “part alien and part Elizabethan.” Austin’s vision is “starry sky.” Joanna then asks “isn’t this too romantic for someone like our guest judge?” which is the most racist thing I’ve heard out of a mentor on this show ever. Austin is too polite to point that out. Michael isn’t draping–of course he isn’t, he’s working with black felt. This blows Joanna’s mind. She calls his outfit “Very Lady Gaga” and he corrects her and calls it “Very Michael Costello.” Snort. His nearly finished second take on an outfit currently has one glaring issue–the spike tape design on the felt bubbles and puckers as it follows the curves of the dress. Under white light it’s not so bad, but the blacklights highlight every bump. In order to fix this, he needs to make little cuts in the tape and fold it over itself over and over to make it straighten up. Joanna doesn’t tell him this by the way, I just know that from a decade of working with gaff and spike. Mondo! Poor Mondo has little to show Joanna, right now because he’s still waiting for inspiration to hit. While he’s waiting, he’s made these not uninteresting panels of spike, neon and ropelight that look a little like miniature airport runway lights. He admits he’s not sure what he’s doing with them yet. Joanna looks a bit alarmed, even while nodding that the panels themselves are a neat idea.

By the end of the work day, Jerell’s outfit is starting to seriously resemble a sea anemone. Austin’s looks like an unfinished piece of undergarment from the 17th century. Michael’s has Minnie Mouse ears sticking out of the shoulders, like bizarrely inflated pectoral muscles. Kenley has somehow created her same damn 50s dress from the homemade plaid fabric and then hidden it with a big bulky samurai shoulder top. Mondo finally gets his vision, hours after Joanna leaves and the moddles have been fit.  Better late than never I suppose.

Day of runway! Kenley is still frantically weaving lights into her samurai top. Michael is in a panic because he can’t get his lights to work properly, and tells his girl not to sweat, lest she electrocute herself. Austin says he feels like God creating the heavens. Oy. Mondo can barely figure out how to change a battery, let alone trouble shoot lighting equipment, and nothing is lighting up. What can you expect from a guy who called them LCD lights?

Onto the runway!

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Project Runway All Stars: International Disasters

….and then there were six, outside at the UN. Why is Austin wearing a confederate solider hat? Or is he trying to audition for Ringo Starr’s role of the train conductor in Thomas The Tank Engine?

Why is it when I think of the UN, all I can think of is The Simpsons?

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Today’s challenge: Six flags for six designers. The flags and the country it represents are supposed to inspire the designer.. The countries are: Chile, Greece, India, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and The Seychelles. Since he won the challenge last week, Mondo picks first.  The breakdown is as follows:

  • Mondo: Jamaica
  • Michael: Greece
  • Mila: Papua New Guinea
  • Jermaine: India
  • Austin: The Seychelles
  • Kenley: Chile

Kenley says she ok with ending up last with Chile. Michael is psyched he got Greece, because his family is Greek.  They have a $200 budget at Mood, sketching is done at the UN with brochures in hand about their countries in question. Mila says she is going to ignore all indigenous dress from Papua New Guinea and is going to do exactly the same damn thing she always does. Austin’s people don’t have any indigenous dress for him to worry about. Michael is all about respecting the Greek flag. Once they get to Mood, Kenley makes sure to let Austin know she loves his fabric choices–she’s adopted him as her new BFF now that she’s lost Kara. Speaking of Kenley, she has managed to find a way to work a polka dot fabric into her flag even though there are no polka dots on the Chilean flag. The Land of Kenley has a polka dot flag, I’m sure. Jerell says when he thinks India he thinks embellishments, and has lots of gold lame.pras-ep8-11 (1)

Joanna’s walk through starts with her announcing that This is The Most Talented Top Six Ever in The History of Project Runway. Then she gets down to the business of critiquing, starting with Mondo. He says the Jamaican flag is inspiring him to make a floor length black gown with yellow and green colorblocking in the back. Joanna asks how you wear a bra with this design and is highly irate to hear one doesn’t. Next! She takes one look at Jerell’s first instincts for India and calls his outfit a national costume, and a doll’s outfit from a tourist trap. As he withers, she asks if the sari aspect is being too literal. Hopefully she’s set him to rights. Next! Michael emphasized his Greek heritage to Joanna. His draping is gorgeous, but the dress he’s come up with out of it is really rather run of the mill. Joanna bitches about the back being so low that underwear isn’t feasible and then inquires if it’s really ambitious enough. Next! Austin is up. Joanna has actually been to Seychelle! But she has no idea what the flag looks like. Austin says it inspired him to make a sunburst effect, with draping, and, you guessed it, a low back. “Is anyone doing a dress in this room where I can wear a bra?” snaps Joanna. Next! Mila picked a flag that is red and black, so she’s making a red and black dress. Go figure. Joanna is just thankful someone in this room is making clothes that are underwear friendly. Next! Kenley. Joanna asks how she is going to convince the judges this is “Chile” and not the usual 50s-esque thing she always does? More importantly: “Are you sure it will stand out?” Kenley squares her shoulders and says yes. Alrighty then. Back to work!

Day of runway, and glances at the outfits suggest that Joanna’s hyperbole was badly misplaced. Michael’s girl looks like a Miss World Contestant. Austin’s dress looks like a disaster, and he’s wearing a weird bib where his scarf should be. Mondo is babbling on about dreadlocks for his moddle. Kenley’s dress looks disturbingly like a Barbie dress. This is the best top six ever? I don’t believe it. Let’s go to the runway.

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Project Runway All Stars: On Broadway

And then there were seven. Did you know Austin does Kenley’s hair? Fun fact of the day!

This week Angela has been set up on the Godspell stage over at Circle in the Square theater. Apparently Steven Sondheim doesn’t do reality shows and Andrew Lloyd Webber is busy starring in his own, because we’re stuck with Steven Schwartz, which is why we’re designing for Godspell and not a bigger show. The challenge is to design a costume for the “rich bitch archetype” character (remember from the high school performance I’m sure you’ve seen–this show doesn’t have named characters)–the reward will be having the costume featured in a performance and their bio in a program insert (because they’re not going to print a whole run of playbills just for one show.) Since Godspell is an ensemble piece, and the costumes are all supposed to look like the actors brought the clothes from their own closet, this is a separates challenge.

One day challenge, budget is $200. There’s tons of brocade and lame purchased at Mood, and shots of Austin whispering “BROADWAY!” to himself complete with jazz hands. I’ve noticed this season they have a moment every episode where they praise the Needless markup accessory wall. You know–Bluefly and Green-whoever who replaced Bluefly on regular ProjRun never need people to do that for them. I’m just saying.

Joanna! says Austin must have robbed a bank with all the gold brocade on his table. Joanna calls his fabric hideous and then says she’s sure he’ll turn it into something fabulous in tone that says she thinks no such thing. Kara says she’s a huge Broadway fan and then shows the most boring outfit ever. Joanna does not fall asleep, which is good of her, but sneers that this is has no ambition or imagination. Kara bursts into tears. Mila managed to find gold lame that has tiny little stripes, so it’s very Mila. She worries that her usual aesthetic which suggests making a pencil skirt from some really horrid fabric would not be in character, and perhaps she should make a dirndl instead. Joanna points out that pencil skirts are what rich women wear, and with the sole exception of Heidi Klum, dirndls are not. Moving on! Joanna threatens Mondo she might break into song. His idea is that of stolen clothes from others. Joanna just worries it won’t read big enough on stage. Jerell is making stretchy things that girls can dance in, and calls his jacket “a piece of jewelry” she repeats that back to him in a doubtful tone, but he either ignores that or is oblivious to it. I’m going to guess the latter. Joanna nearly faints when she discovers Kenley is not using polka dots. But looking at the brocade and the other printed fabrics, the patterns are pretty spotty. Kenley is also considering a pencil skirt. They skip Michael’s critique and Joanna swans out.

Mondo hates his pieces once he sees them on the moddle and scraps everything and starts again. He’s still all wound up from his negative review last week. Kenley is overproud of her work. Kara is feeling stupid for the tizzy she drove herself into after Joanna’s review. Mila is discovering that faux fur does not work the way her usual boring fabrics do. Austin is running around yelling at people for stealing his machine and trying to fix the ones other people broke. Silly dramaz. Let’s go to the runway.

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Project Runway All Stars: Face/Off

And then there were eight.

Angela arrives on the runway with eight “weekend getaway bags” for the taking. Mondo, having won last week, chooses first. He takes an orange leather bag. The bags are then assigned super fast. Rami takes yellow zigzags, Kenley picks pink muppet fur. Michael gets a woven wicker beach bag, Kara has an obnoxiously magenta bag and Austin takes gold lame, natch. Mila has black leather with gold chain…and I missed what Jerell got, but then it turns out this is all a moot point anyway, since what’s important is not the bags, but what’s inside. In their bags are one of four seasons. Austin and Kara have “Spring”; Michael and Jerell have “Winter.” Kenley and Mondo have “Summer”; Mila and Rami have “Autumn.” This week’s challenge is “sportswear for a weekend getaway.” Those with matching seasons will be in a fashion face off with each other for the season in question. They have $200 and one day to create a look. Remember to think about who the girl is and where she’s going for the weekend–and no you don’t have to use the bag.

There is no drama at Mood, though there are “Thank You Mood” tee-shirts. Whatever happened to Swatch the Puppy anyway?

Rami vs Mila is going to be interesting, since they are very different styles. Mondo vs Kenley is a little more ugly, since Mondo doesn’t really respect Kenley. He calls this “Wrestlemania!”, er “Fashionmania!” Michael calls Jerell’s fabric “fuzzy wuzzy wuz a bear fabric.” If Austin doesn’t send Kara to the bottom–and home–I will be hard pressed to forgive him.

Mondo is having an “I hate myself” meltdown because he doesn’t know what he’s doing with his polka dots. Meanwhile Jerell and Michael have magically made the same coat. Michael jokes that he stole the idea from Jerell. Jerell doesn’t take the joke well at all, and the next thing you know, it’s turning into a full blown workroom cheating drama.

Joanna’s walk though: She starts with Spring. Joanna suggests that if Kara makes the high-waisted pants she’s envisioning on paper, it could be a stunner, while she feels that Austin’s colors are very American Sportswear. For Summer, Mondo she her some shorts that could be sexy, and a top that will be polka dots. When Joanna asks “Isn’t Kenley the Polka Dot Queen?” Mondo replies, “Yes, But I’m the Polka dot Princess.” Meanwhile, Kenley’s polka dot shorts currently look like granny panties. Joanna overlooks that in favor of “The War of the Polka Dots.” (Just wait until she sees the coats.) Onto Fall and Mila: Joanna says she recognized Mila’s pants from 100 paces. Mila is flattered, but I’m not sure that’s a compliment. Rami’s outfit, in contrast, is very voluminous. Onto Winter and The War of The Coats. Michael can’t find his sketch, while Joanna is noting that Michael and Jerell have the exact same coat. Jerell is ready to pounce. Instead, she decides it time for a “team chat,” and brings in the rest of the work room to consider whether this should really be considered cheating to clear the air. Jerell feels vindicated and that now everyone knows Michael cheated. Unless Joanna goes and tells the rest of the judges, how are they going to know about any of this come runway time? We’ve seen this sort of drama before, and the judges have always been in the dark about the workroom drama involved.

Exchange of the night:

  • Mondo: This is like dinner at my family’s house.
  • Michael: Spaghetti?
  • Mondo: No.
  • Jerell: Awkward?
  • Mondo: Yes.

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Project Runway All Stars: A Walk In The Park

Hello Central Park. Upon meeting the remaining nine contestants, Angela tries to pretend this was to “get them out of the house.” Cute. Can we get to the challenge now please?

The challenge this week is to “find a muse.” Choose any normal person in the park who is wearing something that inspires you, convince them to give you the clothing that you were inspired by, and here’s a (product placement) camera to take a photo of them so you can remember what it was about them that inspired you. The contestants have a $150 budget, which they can use to bribe for clothes, in case the muse in question isn’t just going to hand it over. This is NYC after all. Try not to spend it all on bribes….because the left over money is what you will have for shopping at Mood. At least 50% of the outfit must come from the muse’s clothes. The rest can be what you buy to supplement. Did Angela mention this is a two day challenge? The relief from the contestants upon hearing that is palatable.

Mila has this sour look on her face. It’s obvious she hates people, and has to fake a personality. Meanwhile, Mr. Walking Personality Anthony goes right up to a girl and immediately has her dress for free. There is a montage of Rami and Jerell getting turned down over and over. Michael hates rejection and nearly melts down after the first person says no. Kenley calls herself “mortified” by the challenge at hand, but since she has a personality (such as it is) she is the second one to be successful–with $50 as a bribe that is. Austin finds himself a punker goth wannabe girl–who I’m pretty sure knew who he was. Since she’s already in a costumey piece, its not hard to convince her to give up her clothes for a chance to see them on TV and have her picture taken. Mondo not only buys a girl’s dress, but her jacket as well, for $60. Kara and Michael pay $50 each for their clothing when they finally land victims. Back in Anthony-land, he’s getting a hot guy to straight strip to his tighty-whiteys right there in the park and doesn’t give him a dime. But he does get hit on by Austin as a consolation prize, and having given up shirt and pants to Anthony, proceeds to give up his phone number to Austin. Because, hello, hot guy! Priorities!

Once we get to Mood, Jerell announces he isn’t buying anything, because he feels like that’s cheating. Since nearly everyone used a good third of their money to bribe people in the park, their Mood money is short, and they’re all coming in pennies under budget. Except Kara, who is three dollars over budget, and Michael and Anthony have to bail her out, since they are the only ones with more than a few cents left over. Anthony states that he ALWAYS give back to the community. You church it up, honey! (By the way, did they send the clothes they got from the park back to be laundered while they were at Mood? I hope so. Because that looked like a warm day in the park, and also, ewww.)

At the end of the day no one has gotten very far. This “two day challenge” spent nearly all of its first day in the park and at Mood. So it’s a two day challenge by necessity, not by generosity. I am not surprised.

When we arrive back for day two, we discover Anthony is having a bit of a meltdown of indecision. Mondo is doing really well, since this is how he learned to sew. Jerell is making separates and showing lots of skin. Michael has pulled himself out of yesterday’s funk from rejection by strangers, and is humming along at his work station.

Joanna’s walk through: She starts with Mondo, asking if he think he can finally win a challenge, since this one seems right up his alley. He says yes. Test passed! Next up: Jerell. Joanna flinches a bit at the amount of bright and clashing–it’s obvious she thinks it’s too much of everything.  but Jerell denies her. I have to say, I agree with Joanna. She moves on to Austin. She’s glad to see he’s doing something different, but are the epaulettes too much? Austin insists they won’t be once they are pinned down. Then we come to Anthony, who’s lack of focus and indecision suddenly start making a LOT more sense when you see that he got WAY too much from the park. He has about 10 men’s tee-shirts, the one outfit we saw him get off the girl, miles of fabric from Mood…it just keeps going. Joanna says if he focuses, he might come up with something brilliant. Right now that feels like a pretty damn big “if.” Last one for the check in is Michael. Joanna takes one look at what he’s produced today and calls his shoulders “doilies,” which reverses all the work he did to dig himself out of his self imposed funk. He rips everything back and starts all over again.

Jerell is walking around crowing about his outfit, which currently is the ugliest thing ever. Anthony says he has no outfit. I’m thinking this might be bad things….and then I see what he does have, and it looks horrifling 70s. “It looks grandma” he says. Yes, Yes it does. Mondo mentions that his outfit is 22 pieces seamed together. Cool.

And how are the girls doing? Joanna skipped them completely. Kara’s decided she is safe because “the girls are solid.” Look, honey just because Kenley and Mila are solid doesn’t mean you are by osmosis and having the same genitalia. That’s crap.

Day of runway, and it turns out Kenley is finishing Kara’s pants for her. Obnoxious. Kara only got enough fabric because other people loaned her money and now she’s only finishing because someone smarter and better than her had time to help. Mila is enraged. Cue the shots of Kenley getting up in everyone’s business until she found the one sucker who would appreciate the attention. Good to know she’s still annoying, they just weren’t bothering to edit it in until now. Let’s go to the runway.

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Project Runway All Stars: Short Timers

Is it wrong of me to be a little afraid of this episode?

Angela is sporting a very plain column minidress that is nothing but sparkles. Not bad, but I feel like Heidi would wear it better. (Btw the way, Poor Heidi! Ok, moving on.) This week’s challenge is “Taste inspired by Taste.” They wheel out a gelato cart who I’m sure I’m supposed to register the brand, but since I’ve never seen it on Food Network, I don’t. The taste (and the color swatch of the ice cream) is their inspiration to make something that represents their style in the most tasteful way possible. Since he won, Michael gets to chose first. He takes grapefruit–and is disappointed it turns out to be such a pale pink. He was hoping for the ruby-red of the inside of a real grapefruit, but the gelato is a far lighter, slightly blue-ish pink. Each contestant gets to decide who goes next. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Michael: Grapefruit
  • Mondo: Cantelopue
  • Mila: Milk and Sour Cherries
  • April: Blueberry
  • Jerrell: Fruit of the Forest
  • Kenley: Passion Fruit
  • Austin: Vanilla Madagascar
  • Anthony: Green Tea
  • Rami: Kiwi
  • Kara: Chocolate with Cayenne Pepper

Kara is not happy she gets picked last, and doubly upset she winds up with chocolate.

Then the moment we’ve all been waiting for because the trailers for this week showed it over and over. Diane Von Furstenberg shows up and announces they have six hours to do the challenge. Have fun kids!

These six hours includes 30 minutes to sketch, and a trip to “Mini Mood” in the next room. Mondo freaks out that he didn’t time mange properly and somehow didn’t get all the fabric he needed. April on the other hand is upset that mini mood doesn’t carry black jersey and she only ends up with the small yardage of blue and purple. Kara decides that she only needs “chocolate-colored accents” and to focus on the taste of cayenne as an excuse to buy red fabric.

Now that they’re back in the workroom faced with their purchases, April decides she’s going with “Violet! You’re turning Violet!” for blueberry. I love this concept, but dressing a moddle as a blueberry might not go over so well on the runway. Mila is all proud of herself for not using an inch of black with her white. I’m not sure why, since she just replaced black with red and is just doing the same damn thing she always does. Meanwhile Austin is wasting time having a meltdown at his bobbin. Stop bitching and sew!

Joanna’s walk through! She tells them not to stop working and has more gelato for everyone to eat so keep their sugar rush going. She starts with Kara, who tells Joanna she thinks she has this nailed. Joanna nods and moves on. She asks how April how can she have a moment if she’s doing the same thing she always does?  and follows it up by noting how short and uneven the skirt on this dress is right now. Mondo explains that his dress can handle any accessory, even though it is bright orange. Joanna blinks at him and keeps walking. Anthony insist he’s creative at Joanna’s disbelieving stare. She sort of like Evil Tim Gunn, if you think about it. She is utterly disappointed that Austin has vanilla, and demands to see how the “Madagascar” is being included. She accuses Rami of doing a wrap skirt to suck up to Diane who’s the queen of wrap dresses. If she’d watched Rami’s season she’s know that he used to do nothing but wrap clothing, and that he’s not kidding when he says he’s really just making a wrap skirt because it’s the fastest thing he can under the circumstances. Joanna is surprisingly not mean to Mila, but that’s because there’s nothing to say, it’s so dull. And finally, Joanna makes Michael feel self conscious about his sewing skills being so fast, and tries to get him to admit he uses glue. (Rude!)

That was the end of that whirlwind! And Here Come the Moddles! Upon further review, Mondo’s made a caftan. April doesn’t have enough fabric to do anything Joanna recommended, because her dress is too small for her moddle. Hello, don’t you have the measurements? Haven’t you been making clothes for this girl for nearly a month now? Too small? Oy. Mila realises her dress is way sheer and her runway show is bordering on NSFW. Kara steals Austin machine, but gets caught. He decided the look of death will substitute in for actual altercations since he doesn’t have time for them. Really, does anyone in the workroom like Kara and her frazzled frantic energy? Because I sort of feel like the answer is no.

In the last hour, those who know what they’re doing are done, and those who don’t work like that….well, they’re sewing their moddles into their outfits instead of trying to sew in fasteners. Joanna wasn’t kidding, April’s dress is way short, and when her moddle turns around the outfit looks like a disaster. Anthony takes one look at Kara’s moddle, and dubs her a “pregnant cupcake.” He’s not wrong.

Let’s go to the runway!

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PRPiggy

Project Runway All Stars: Don’t Disappoint Miss Piggy.

This week we’re making a cocktail dress for the editor of French Vogue. That’s right, Pigathia Lee herself. The one, the only Miss Piggy.

This episode is such a holdover from when this show was originally supposed to air directly after the regular season Project Runway. If it had started airing Nov 1st (like it was originally advertised), this would have aired the week The Muppets was released to theaters. Not complaining, because I never complain about more Muppets being in my life. Just pointing these things out. Wonder how Disney felt about shelling out for what should have been advertising, only to have Lifetime decide last-minute to move the show to January? Not that I don’t think it was the right call–having seen Project Accessory, I agree whole heartedly with the decision to air it between Project Runways, instead of after them, since it really needed all the help it could get in maintaining an audience. I just wonder what they told those who were counting on it airing when they originally promised.

Anyway, onto the show. Michael C and Kenley are waxing nostalgic about watching Muppet Babies. In fact, almost everyone in the workroom is waxing on about seeing her in cartoon form as kids. Nearly all of them are far too young to have ever seen The Muppet Show, let alone remember where they were when Jim Henson died. Damn, I feel old. Mila is missing the point of the exercise and is going to go for 1960s mod because she couldn’t care less what the Pig would wear.  Austin, on the other hand, is planning on going for the hottest pink bow you could imagine. Sadly, they are designing for their models, and not designing in miniature. This would have been a fascinating episode if we had been able to see a runway show where they had to work with puppeteers.

The shopping at Mood seems to produce a lot of black fabrics. Black may be slimming, but is it really forward Pig fashion? Consider that in the movie she’s wandering around in a chic houndstooth suit and pearls. Miss Piggy really doesn’t do black. It’s just not her style. Meanwhile, Mondo and Kara are arguing over elbow length gloves in bright pastel colors. Just because your dress features classic Piggy gloves does not make it Pig Couture. Kara is trying to figure out how one sexes up a Pig. (No one suggests putting lipstick on it.)  Anthony frowns at such a thing and says “Miss Piggy is always a lady.” That’s right, Anthony. You go, girl. Kenley thinks her retro style, done  in an animal print will go over perfectly with Piggy’s style. This is not an incorrect assessment.

Joanna’s walk through is the height of comedy, and for those who might be tempted to fast forward through the workroom portion to get to the runway, I want to make sure you stop and watch this portion. It is Not To Be Missed. She calls this one of the best challenges in Project Runway history. She takes Piggy ultra seriously as a client, and acts as if they are designing for Anna Wintour. Her critiques are as withering as you would expect under such circumstances. Gordana tells her she is working on making sure that Piggy has a youthful look to her frock. Joanna calls it a nightgown. Gordana wants her to be comfortable. Joanna points out high fashion is never comfortable, and that Piggy would wrap herself in saran wrap for the red carpet if necessary, and stalks off. As for Mila, she is going ultra 60s, including a headband. This concerns Joanna, as Piggy has two large ears, and she might not being able to hear. Mila had not considered the ears. Moving on, Joanna points out that Kenley might not want to put a pig in giraffe print, and whirls off to talk to Austin. Austin thinks because he calls himself Moi, he and Piggy are soul sisters. Joanna snaps that Austin’s dress might be more giftwrap and not muppet clothing. Finally, WTF has Mondo done? That fabric! Piggy does not want to look like she came from the slaughterhouse! (Repeat after me: It’s Mondo. He will Make It Work. But all I can think is Red Room! Red ! Room! (Over there!) Joanna is appropriately horrified. As she goes to leave, she whips back and dramatically announces: Do NOT Disappoint Miss Piggy!, and then walks out.  Let us all bow down to Joanna Coles for getting through that entire segment without once cracking a smile.

Day of runway, Mondo has clued in that his dress is a bad scene, and has done his best to repair the damage, but there’s no getting around the awful fabric choice. MichaelC’s dress has a big bubble-like bow on the tits. Everyone’s rushing to finish and there’s more drama between Kara and other people about stealing her claimed accessories. How much longer must we suffer her? Kara is so excited to be seen talking to Piggy by her daughter. Being yelled at for a slutty dress by Miss Piggy you mean. Whatever. It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to get things started for Miss Piggy’s dress tonight.

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Project Runway All Stars: Having A Ball At The Opera

Welcome back! Angela is sporting a dress that’s a bit on the matronly side today. Not sure how I feel about it. But then we are interrupted by Bagley and Mischka showing up, and demanding a couture ball gown for a night at the opera. Makes sense considering their Spring 2012 show. The budget is $350, and the contestants only have one day to turn it out. Oh Lifetime and your inability to spring for more than one day of filming.

Austin and his unfortunate mustache remind us that he was once known as “The King of Couture” on Project Runway, before Chris March and Christian Sirano came along and made us forget all about him. Everyone is too polite to remind him of that and let him work himself into a tizzy of “I must be perfect!”

Off they go to Mood. Kenley picks pink taffeta, and pink and black polka dots. (I assume Marnifer squealed.) April is going for an ox blood-red fabric to show she doesn’t just do black. Michael C has a meltdown because he was originally doing red, but since April schooled him on the mops last week, now he can’t do the same thing as her. He shouldn’t have worried. April obviously watched last season of ProRun and runs for the dye bucket, horrifying the rest of the workroom. Obviously they didn’t watch last season, because they think this is somehow going to send her home. This is me, shaking my head at them. Hello guys? Have you not heard the dye bucket is in this tv season? No?

Joanna’s walk through: Rami is definitely moving away from drape and more towards folds. He says he’s watching Austin as his biggest competition. So of course then Joanna visits Austin and tells him “everyone is watching him.” No pressure! Joanna decides to go with the “dying will send you home meme” when talking to April, freaking her out a bit. Maybe dying is last season? MichaelC admits that he doesn’t think about how real women’s bodies will look in his clothes. At least he’s willing to admit it. Kara’s dress bodice fabric looks a bit like an 80s bedsheet. Ew. SweetP is just happy to still be here. Anthony chose white. Joanna asks how that will not read “bride”? Right.

The agreement among the designers is that couture cannot be done in a day, and it’s almost insulting to call something one does in a day “couture.” Anthony suggests they just all call what they’re making “really, really pumped up prom dresses.”  They all admit that they’re half-assing this, because the time to do french seams and hand rolled hems just isn’t there. Funny how a few years in the real world make them realise how unreal the show that started their careers is.

Let’s go to the runway and see what the inflated prom dresses look like.

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