Project Runway: All Stars “Switch and Bitch”

This week, the show saves money (and filming time) by having Alyssa simply meet the designers at Mood. She claims that due to (certain) designer’s terrible fabric choices this season, the judges are taking the decision out of their hands. What can it mean? And what does it have to do with the show plugging Resort Season? (See, LV, no one calls it Cruise season. Stop Trying To Make Cruise Happen!) For those unaware, Resort is the next set of (off-season) collections that the big names in the fashion industry put out, starting in May and running until August.

After Ken gets to (blindly) choose an envelope first and then (blindly) hand out the rest, it turns out these envelopes have the type of fabric the designers have to shop for, ranging from silk charmuse (for Ken) to Lightweight Cotton (for Layana.)

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  • Ken: Silk Charmuse
  • Valerie: Linen
  • Asha: Neoprene
  • Layana: Lightweight Cotton
  • Dom: Jersey Knits
  • Kini: Brocade
  • Emily: Denim
  • Sam: Lace
  • Alexander: Upholstery

$200 budget to shop with. So of course everyone is planning  their designs as they shop. They should have known there would be a twist.

Said twist is waiting for them when they arrive in the workroom, with Alyssa (still in a terrible top and unflattering skirt) is waiting for them. Turns out that fabric they bought…is going to another designer. Once again, Ken gets to start off.

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  • Ken takes Asha’s Neoprene
  • Asha takes Dom’s Jersey Knits
  • Dom takes Valerie’s Linen
  • Valerie takes Layana’s Lightweight Cotton
  • Layana takes Ken’s Silk Charmuse
  • Emily takes Alexander’s Upholstery
  • Alexander takes Emily’s Denim
  • Sam and Kini are left to swap leaving Kini with Lace and Sam with Brocade

Got all that? It was really complicated. If there was ever a challenge designed to bring out all the passive aggressive temper tantrums, this was it. Angriest workroom ever. Lots of whines about wanting one’s fabric back, and catty remarks about what the other designers bought–apparently it’s all terrible, and such small portions!

Because this entire top half of the recap doesn’t have enough bullet points yet, let’s get to Zanna’s tear downs.

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  • Sam: Oh look, a jumpsuit. Zanna says it looks Disney, along with looking like a design he did already.
  •  Kini: Is he making a lace bathing suit? Zanna tells him to shut up his whining.
  • Dom: Oh look, a jumpsuit. Made from a circus tent? Wait–no, she made that circus tent stripe from two fabrics she had. Kay.
  • Valerie: Oh look, a jumpsuit. Zanna calls it boring. She’s not wrong.
  • Layana: Oh look, a jumpsuit. Zanna is sounding as bored as I feel.
  • Ken: Thank god, he’s not making a jumpsuit. I don’t care that it looks like a ballgown a five year old’s teddy bear wears to take tea with Mrs. Pickles the Rabbit. It’s not a jumpsuit.
  • Asha: Oh look, …oh. There’s nothing on the dummy to look at. Nevermind.
  • Alexander: He took Emily’s 90’s denim and made an outfit for a 90s era set musical. Zanna hisses “costume” at it.
  • Emily: She had no idea what to do with Alexander’s fabric, and you can tell. Zanna hates it. Emily starts to cry.

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Emily’s meltdown is in full swing. Sam and Kini snipe. The models arrive and giggle at the suppressed rage. Post fittings, Sam completely abandons his jumpsuit and starts over out of desperation. Hey, for all the sniping over Kini’s color choices, at least boyfriend bought enough fabric to make three different outfits. (Probably be cause he was planning on making three different outfits.)

Day of runway, and a night’s sleep has not solved any of the attitude problems. At least Emily has accepted Alexander’s fabric and is actually using it. For many, the stages of grief have reached acceptance, and some of them have even convinced themselves they like their finished products. We whirlwind through the commercials for hair, make up and accessories and head for the runway broken zipper drama from Ken and all.

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I love Alyssa’s dress….in theory. In practice, it makes her looks shorter and rounder than me, and I promise you there is no way girlfriend is either of those things. It also is a little Star trek (TOS) in the collar. Georgina has shown up for work this week, and it’s not even because there’s a guest judge that required her presence. Isaac shows up because everyone would forget he existed if he didn’t. The guest judge is Megan Hilty, who at least didn’t have to compete for her spot on this show with Katherine McPhee.

Mushy Middle

Kini

Kini: Resortwear for a Disney Princess Cruise.

Alexander

Alexander: Resort, if Resort was going to Woodstock ’97.

Asha

Asha: Basic and badly made.  How is this not in the bottom?

Top

Sam

Sam: Knowing what he had at fittings, this is fantastic. But if you have no idea how quickly he churned this out, it looks like he did little to no work on this challenge, and like he’s having the brocade do all the work for him. (Which in and of itself is pretty impressive, since the brocade should actually work against him, not for.) The judges are split on it, with Alyssa complaining that it’s just not creative enough, while Megan and Isaac are over the moon about it.

ken

Ken: There’s something about a neoprene ballgown that breaks my brain a little, because those words shouldn’t go together. It is certainly the best thing up there, in terms of high fashion–and the only thing i see that might be considered equal to something presented in a resort collection that includes evening wear. (Which is more of them than you might think.) But though the show cannot deny him a Top Three slot, they really wanted the more stereotypical concept of Resort, so sadly this does not take the win.

Dom

Dom: She’s so proud she made her own fabric. The problem for me is I hate the fabric she made. The top is a stunner, and the belt is fly. Everything from the waist up is slam dunk. I even love the skirt silhouette and all the detail work. I just wish it didn’t look like the top of a Cirque tent. Alyssa is the only one who calls that out (she compares it to a beach towel) but Dom insists that’s the point–it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. But the judges are bowled over that she made the striped fabric, any complaints about the colorway are put aside. She finally takes a win, her first for this season, and Megan will wear it at her next event.

Bottom

Emily

Emily: Ok, maybe she shouldn’t have bothered with the polka dot overlay skirt. It detracts from the top (which is perhaps my single favorite item of clothing on the runway this week.) It would have looked better with just the shorts. Georgina thinks if she’s made the skirt fuller, it might have been better. She’s sent to safety first though, mostly because she managed to turn out an outfit from upholstery that doesn’t look like it.

Layana

Layana: Oh look, a jumpsuit. In a fabric that has no business being a jumpsuit, which is the only thing that makes it interesting. Isaac calls it “flat.” In the battle of the jump suits she wins, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory.

Valerie

Valerie: Oh look, a jumpsuit. A turban did not make it interesting. Georgina calls it sweet, but that’s the nicest thing anyone says. Everyone else agrees it’s too dull and not enough for the challenge. Isaac hates the styling. In the battle of bottom dwelling jumpsuits, she loses, and is out.

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