Category Archives: ProjectRunwayAllStars

Project Runway to Run Through End of Decade

Rejoice, those who still watch and love Project Runway. Lifetime has made a huge commitment to continue to air the show, and it’s two successful spin offs, through the end of the decade.

According to reports from Deadline, Lifetime has renewed the flagship show, Project Runway proper, for Season 16 through 18. Season 15 is slated to air this coming July. This renewal will carry the show through the 2019-2020 season, and the end of the decade.

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This renewal proves the promise that fighting Bravo for the show back ten years ago was worth it for Lifetime. Before ProjRun, Lifetime was the home of bad movies, and the poster child of the patriarchal insult of what women wanted for a television channel. Since getting Project Runway as a staple, and making it a nine month affair, Lifetime has branched out, and even scored the BBC’s And Then There Were None this past winter over PBS and BBC America, and will be part of the conglomerate doing the simulcast airing Roots this weekend. And as Deadline notes, the show is still bringing in the ratings, not to mention dependable Emmy nominations every year: “The most recent Season 14 finale last fall drew 2.52 million viewers in Live+same day and delivered some of the show’s best numbers in target demos in two years”

Continue reading Project Runway to Run Through End of Decade

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Project Runway: All Stars “Oh Look, A Finale!”

We’ve reached the finale of this season’s PR:AS, and for the occasion, the show has rented out a space in One World Trade Center in order to promote the view, and probably tourism to New York City. The challenge is also New York City based–they are to make a mini collection in four days time based on their experience of the Big Apple.

Did I say mini collection? Because the show certainly thinking its going to be quite a few pieces based on the army of models they’ve hired for the finale to join Alyssa and the designers in the observatory. Twenty four models, to be exact, twenty-one women and three men. So eight looks each, seven women’s looks and one male look, in four days, with $3000.

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Sketching and model casting all takes place at the Observatory, the better for the show to showcase the view some more. They get a full hour to shop at Mood–turns out one can do $3000 worth of damage at Mood in a single hour. While they were out, the show also rearranged the workroom so that they all have eight dummies and tons of room to work. Dom’s going to need it, since she’s painting her own fabrics–an idea that looks good until the heavy ass leather falls over while drying. Kini boasts with four whole days he’ll probably make two collections.

Zanna arrives on Day Two, which may be the earliest she’s ever checked in with anyone ever.

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  • Dom: Zanna makes freaked out noises when she hears how much fabric painting Dom’s been doing. She pooh-poohs Dom’s blobby silhouettes.
  • Kini: He has lots of pieces to show off–all of them the women’s ones. Zanna is very worried that he’ll go too gimmicky.
  • Ken: Our only designer to ever make the All Stars finale who never showed at least a dummy runway collection at NYFW, Ken is clearly the underdog, and Zanna treats him like an afterthought.

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Once Zanna has torn them down, she tells them they will be getting assistants for the rest of today and for Day Three. They are, of course, the eliminated contestants. Though Ken wanted Jesus, he gets Layana. Dom gets Alexander, Kini gets Asha. Dom definitely lucked out since Alexander is the most menwear focused of the assistants.

Day three is dominated by model fittings–they have eight models to go through each. And then it’s the end of Day three and the assistant’s time is up–the show isn’t going to pay them for another minute! That leaves the designers to finish on their own on Day Four, in between skype phone calls home.

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Ken points out at the end of Day Four that they really did all finish though–at the end of the day there are 24 finished looks around the room. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Let’s see if the judges are as impressed.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Oh Look, A Finale!”

Project Runway: All Stars “Prints, The One and Only”

We’ve only got four contestants left–Kini, Dom, Ken and Sam. That means next week is the Project Runway: All Stars finale, and probably not a moment to soon. certain the show seems to be running out of gimmicks. They’ve resorted to turning Alyssa into a walking LED billboard for the show. Now, I am a big fan of the flash and trash use of wearable tech on the runway. And if I thought for one minute that the designers were actually going to get to design clothing with LED embedded fabric, and could perhaps do something creative with it, I might be all over this challenge.

But I know Project Runway, and when they start bleating the word “technology” over and over, it’s a sign that we’re in for another Branded Challenge from their IT partners, to create their own print. The only good surprise is that it’s Nina Garcia who steps on stage to present the print challenge this week. (She’ll also be judging–and as we know, she has her favorites.) Except she’s joined by yet another flapping head, who is here to tell us that this challenge is also sponsored by phone cases! The winner of the challenge will have their print featured on a phone case as a bonus prize.

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There’s $150 at Mood, with the admonishment that since this is a print heavy challenge, the idea is to buy a print that will complement your created print. Technology seems to have sped up in the print creation world. It used to be that the “make your own print” episode was a two-day challenge, purely due to the need for the print to go out to the wherever it would be made overnight and then shipped back the next morning. But as Alyssa leaves she and Nina say they will see the designers tomorrow.

Ken’s Prints/Prince reference is far more topical than he probably knew when it was taped a few months ago. Let’s skip the bullshit with Sam and his lack of experience with Nina Garcia, due to being an alum of Project Runway with training wheels, because lord I am sick of this shit. Let’s get to the “surprise” which is the arrival of the previous four winners of PR:AS, Mondo, Dmitry, SethAaron and AnthonyRyan, who are here to advise the Top Four, as well as remind us both that in four seasons a woman has never won this show, and that Georgina and Isaac are such terrible judges of fashion, they forced AnthonyRyan into a win he did not deserve, thereby creating the AnthonyRyan Rule we see today. They also bring the fabric that was magically created in a matter of hours.

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  • Dmitry’s advice to Ken is do something big with his design, because his print because it’s boring, unlike everyone else’s.
  • AnthonyRyan talks about himself to Kini, because he is a terrible mentor and a narcissist.
  • Seth Aaron tells Dom not to give a crap about the judge’s opinion.
  • Mondo was Sam’s mentor on Under The Gunn, so Sam cries to him how hard the real version of the show is. Mondo tells him he’s failed to execute all season and he needs to actually execute if he plans to be in  the finale.

Before leaving Seth Aaron reminds us all of Rule One: Don’t Bore Nina. Bless him. With the previous winners and their encouragement out of the way, it’s time for Zanna to come in and rip everyone to bits about how terrible they are.

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  • Kini: His print looks like something you find at Khols, and so is the top he made with it. Zanna warns him not to go gimmicky to make it interesting
  • Sam: His print is digitized cartoon flowers. Zanna doesn’t hate it, but when he says he making yet another jumpsuit, and pulls out yet the same mesh he’s used in now three different challenges, she turns to stone.
  • Ken: His print is dull, and Zanna is bored.
  • Dom: Everyone keeps saying this is Dom’s challenge. Her print is good anyway. Her painted leather jacket is less good.

No one is even close to ready when the models show up, not even Kini. The models mostly stare at the outfits they might get to wear, and side eye a few of the prints these guys have designed and leave.

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Day of Runway, and I am so over all the catty bitching and the snide comments. I have never wished so hard to go back to Project Runway: Junior where everyone loves everything everyone else did.

Let’s head to the runway and see if Nina can railroad Georgina and Isaac into decent decision-making.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Prints, The One and Only”

Project Runway: All Stars “Av-Ante Garde!”

This week’s episode is brought to you by the letters A and G, which stand for both Agora Gallery, which agreed to allow the show to film there in order to promote their existence to those who might not be part of NYC’s art scene. The artists for a few of the works are also on hand to talk to the designers and help them become inspired, while promoting themselves as well. It also stands for Avante Garde, which is this week’s challenge.

Though there is semi-enthusiasm from two of our five remaining contestants, the other three look a little ill. As we all should–it’s been years since Project Runway‘s Avante Garde challenges have produced anything even close to an Avante Garde look. This is mostly due to the cheapnesss of the proceedings since coming to Lifetime–mini-budgets and one day are, at the most, able to produce a first draft concept of what could be a full-blown Avante Garde look, at best.

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The show seems to be semi aware of this problem, so they’ve upped the budget ($400) and lengthened the time back to two days for this challenge. (Which is still shorter than the original Avante Garde challenges, where the regularly scheduled two-day challenge was lengthened to three.) But hey, at least they’re trying, right? They also let the designers sketch at the art museum (the better to interrogate the artists as well.)

The first day is Mood shopping and six hours of work. Most of the concepts are great. Dom’s doing optical illusions. Ken’s making cages. Emily’s binding fabric tubes. And Sam…bought the entire paint section at Mood…. and is making a tribute to gay marriage….based on a photograph of an owl in a glass case. I’m curious how that’s going to work. The rest of the cast is not, and convene another meeting of the We Hate Sams Club. Zanna, of course, does not show up until halfway through the second day, in order to maximize panicked hysteria when she tells them how terrible they are as people for what they are creating.

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  • Emily: Her dress is the sort of run of the mill that Project Runway passes for Avante Garde most times. Zanna channels hatred and boredom.
  • Dom: Her overlay looks like it wandered lonely as a cloud. Zanna asks “But how is it going to win?”
  • Kini: If this is Avante Garde, then Elie Saab is the most out there designer working today. Zanna shrugs.
  • Ken: I kinda of love what Ken’s got going. The question is, can he finish it? Zanna worries it’s too Blade Runner. She is wrong–the more Blade Runner, the better.
  • Sam: I’ll give him that the painted fabric is something. The problem seems to be that he has no idea what, or what to do with it. When Zanna hears him say “it’s a tribute to gay marriage” I think she might fall through the floor in utter embarrassment.

Sam tries to cover up his rainbow happiness in purple chiffon, which doesn’t really solve anything. Kini is talking about a black body suit to go with his gown. Emily announces to anyone who cares that if Zanna wants her to go home, she’s going home for an outfit she’s proud of.

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Day of runway, and you would think that these people would have enough work to do that we could skip all this drama nonsense. Sadly, you would be wrong. It’s obnoxious enough that the interruptions for the Hair, Make Up and Divorced segments of the Accessory Walls are a relief. Two of our models cannot even see where they are going.

Let’s see which of these outfits gets declared gone.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Av-Ante Garde!”

Project Runway: All Stars “Rebel Rebel, You’ve Torn Your Dress”

Project Runway is getting philanthropic and they want you to know about it! This week’s episode is brought to you by the letters N and P, for the fashion company N:Philanthropy, which is only too happy to use the show as a promotional vehicle for the raising of funds. Their representative Yvonne Niami announces they will also be using the designers for the curation of a new look for their daywear collection, which they like to cliché as “A Rebel with a Cause.” Unlike their regular sales (of which only 10% go to charity) 100% of the winning design will go to charity, presumably since they won’t have to pay the contestant for their work.

A $250 budget for Mood, and of course only one day to design and create their look. Sketching happens in Mood yet again this season–is this a time-saving measure, so they don’t have to stop back in the workroom? I suppose that means Mood is cool with it, so hey, why not?

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Alyssa made sure to emphasize that the look is “summer” possibly to stave off way too much leather buying–there are leather skins bought, including by Ken, but on the whole the designers aim for lighter fabrics–except Kini, who seems to have bought a brocade  or an upholstery that resembles aluminum foil after it’s held leftover chicken for several days.

They paid Yvonne Niami to come back a second time and walk through with Zanna–hopefully that means Zanna’ regular negging on the designers will be curbed.

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  • Emily: She ignored “Summer” and went with “90s power suit.” Niami says it’s not feminine enough. Zanna wrinkles her nose and calls it too heavy.
  • Asha: There’s straps and other nonsensical things, but all I can see is that Asha is using the same damn fabric Peytie was married to in Project Runway: Junior.
  • Dom: She worked in cancer research, so her design is inspired by stainless steel and rubber gloves. Zanna makes positive noises.
  • Kini: Zanna calls it Disco Banana. So much for a reduction in negging!
  • Ken: He’s worried about his top. Zanna has no advice. Niami bleats “edgy.”
  • Sam: His “seersucker jumpsuit” looks 1940s nurse wear. Zanna and Niami call it safe and walk away.

Sam has hysterics, rips his garment to shreds and restart in a panic little for his model to try on when the girls arrive–he winds up taking his pieces and starts re-piecing them into a new outfit on his model as she stands there, like a living dress form. Those who need to summerize their outfits raise their hems and show off their model’s knees. Kini attempts to de-banana-ize his outfit by dipping the jacket in black dye.

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Day of runway, and Ken decided it’s time to meltdown over his top, since he still doesn’t know what to do with it. He and Asha assume they will be the last ones sewing, but that’s because they’re not taking Sam into their equation. The usual ads for hair, make up and the still divorced accessory wall fly by. Ken scraps his top yet again with five minutes to go, and literally grabs some leftover fabric and drapes a blouse. it is a workroom “Make It Work” miracle. Tim Gunn would be so proud.

Let’s see who comes up with the lowest number when all the math is said and done.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Rebel Rebel, You’ve Torn Your Dress”

Project Runway: All Stars “Not Very Sporting”

This week, Project Runway is brought to us by the Letters B, C and B. For Brooklyn, Cyclones and Baseball. With opening day yesterday, for once the product placement is exactly on time, and probably under budget to boot, considering the Cyclones are in fact minor league. They’re paying the regularly scheduled models a bit extra though, since they have joined Alyssa at the stadium to model her line of female oriented sportsfan clothing for our designers at today’s challenge reveal.

Said challenge reveal is all about promoting Alyssa’s brand of what she calls “Athleisure wear,” which is not only a mouthful, but obscure enough that the show makes sure to edit in a definition for those sitting at home going “ath-what?” Think fashionable yoga pants, the kind with serious applique work for people who have never gone into a yoga studio in their lives, and never plan to sweat in them. The winning outfit will be sold through Alyssa’s line, which means she’s officially reached Heidi status, since Heidi gets to do this outsourcing of design for her lines every season over on ProjRun Proper.

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Ok, maybe not full Heidi status, as the designers are allowed to go to Mood with a $200 budget, instead of having to use the brand’s pre-bought bulk fabrics so it can be produced cheaply. But she’s in luck as most people follow the look book, which means that all almost all seven designers buy the same thing–I count at least two with matching meshes, three with the same shade of blue and two others with the same shade of red. The matching fabrics brings out the usual catty nonsense that’s been going on all season.

Let’s see what catty nonsense Zanna spews upon seeing these outfits.

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  • Sam: Fifties in the front, Elvira in the back. Zanna notes it is the same mesh he bought last week and wound up in the bottom three with.
  • Asha: Her dummy has nothing but a strip of tortured fabric on it so Zanna fantasizes that the sketch might turn out amazing.
  • Kini: He’s making an entire wardrobe from mesh, blue fabric and…denim, of course. Zanna laughs.
  • Dom: Her little red polka dot fabric looks like ladybugs. Zanna says “unique” without wrinkling her nose.
  • Layana: There’s a whole lot of trying too hard on that dummy. Zanna’s eyes swipe left over and over, but Layana’s outfit does not disappear.
  • Ken: I’m a sucker for high-end hoodies so I am all about what he’s done so far. Zanna tells him not to overdo.
  • Emily: Her blue fabric is a perfect match for her hair. Zanna says it looks like a lady who lunches.

With no truly disastrous reviews, no one starts over. In the room, the models come and go. Everyone’s doing fine…except Ken, who is really behind. All he has to try on her is non-beat brand headphones he grabbed off the branded accessory walls.

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Somehow the show decided that ken’s not having anything for his model is a great reason to give him an “unbalanced” edit this week. On the one hand, it’s a nice change from the usual We Hate Sam Club meetings we’re forced to sit through. On the other, I feel bad for him, since this plays on most superfans who watch knowing about his freakout meltdown at NYFW during his season and refusing to allow his outfits to walk. And all he really did was go back to the hotel an hour or so early because he needed a break and a good night’s sleep.

Day of runway, and the lack of drama is clearly killing the producers, especially when Ken comes back looking like a walking advert for the production allowing these guys to have more sleep on a regular basis.

Let’s see if the judges got a good night sleep and can pick the better outfit to win for once.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Not Very Sporting”

Project Runway: All Stars “Fashion Neverland”

We’re down to eight contestants, all of whom that are left are from Season 11 or later. They meet Alyssa at Drama Books, where some of them have the terrible idea that this might be an Unconventional Challenge, and fantasize about ripping up precious novels to create ugly outfits, in Project Runway‘s own version of Fahrenheit 451. Blessedly, this is not so. Instead, it is the third promotional challenge in three iterations of Project Runway this Broadway season to shill for Finding Neverland.

Laura Michelle Kelly, who already shilled once before on Project Runway: Juniors is back again. (I guess only ProjRun Proper gets Matthew Morrison.) While the rest of us sit over here wondering why Harvey Weinstein didn’t have the foresight to have all three shows do Hamilton themed challenges instead, Kelly introduces the challenge–pick a famous female character from classic literature, and create a make over outfit for her. Alyssa is very clear here–do NOT use the “pop culture interpretations” (ie: Disney versions of the characters) as your basis –use the actual book description of the character. That means they’re actually going to have to read the books now–so this must be a two-day challenge right?

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Eh, maybe a day and a half–the books Kelly has to hand out are pretty slim volumes. Kelly also reads descriptions of the characters aloud to each designer before handing off the books (not actually the ones in the stories though), which means the designers don’t get to choose which characters they get–this has all been pre-assigned by the producers. To wit:

  • Dom: Tinkerbell
  • Sam: The Little Mermaid
  • Kini: Alice (In Wonderland)
  • Asha: Rapunzel
  • Emily: The Snow Queen
  • Ken: Snow White
  • Layana: Belle (from Beauty and the Beast)
  • Alexander: Cinderella

Of the three challenges based off this show, this is actually the first one that is both straight forward (ProjRun Proper’s challenge was “Use Your Imagination”) and directly related (ProjRun Junior’s was “Red Carpet.”) Third time’s the charm, I guess. $200 budget at Mood, one day challenge. Sketching happens at Mood, by the way, since Drama  Books for some reason doesn’t want them to loll around their store and draw.

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Back in the workroom, it looks like this might not have been assigned as a red carpet challenge, but it might as well have been. Everyone is hell-bent on fantasy runway couture, which I suppose won’t yield the worst results we’ve seen this season, even if it’s not exactly the challenge as given. (And don’t say, it’s because they’re Princesses. We’ve seen what modern-day princesses wear, and Kate Middleton wouldn’t wear a stitch of these things.)

Let’s skip the weekly meeting of the We Hate Sam Club (Seriously guys, that team challenge was over a month ago. Editors, please move on.) and all the hooting and hollering, and see how cruelly Zanna will crush those dreams.

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  • Dom: Her “Tinkerbell” outfit only makes sense, if Tinkerbell is Mod London circa 1965, and also blind. Zanna is hesitant.
  • Asha: Her Rapunzel outfit only has a bodice. Zanna doubts Asha’s ability to finish it.
  • Alexander: He has yards of fabric and a big old smile. Zanna does not call it costume–a refreshing change.
  • Layana: I don’t know what’s uglier, the print or the yellow. Zanna is bored.
  • Ken: He’s making Snow White a Red Power Suit. Zanna looks askance at it.
  • Emily: Her Snow Queen has a silver jacket and blue fabric that looks like it was created specifically for moms who want to make their girl’s homemade Elsa costumes. Zanna calls it “old lady.”
  • Sam: His Little Mermaid outfit looks like it was inspired by Rodarte. I’m not sure if that’s a complement or not. Zanna gently suggests a different direction.
  • Kini: He’s making Alice in Wonderland Alice in 80s Denimland. Zanna is amused.

Zanna reminds everyone this is supposed to be a “modern” challenge, which most are sort of ignoring. The models attempt to have no facial expressions about their outfits.

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By end of day, we definitely have people who failed at time management, while Layana basically remakes her outfit on the fly.

Day of runway, and Alexander is panicking he won’t finish. Layana seems disappointed with what she finished. Asha is proud that she finished. Not everyone is sure Sam should have finished. Let’s see who the judges decide is finished.

Continue reading Project Runway: All Stars “Fashion Neverland”