Project Runway All Stars Blog

Episode 2 Recap: Really, Really Pumped-Up Prom Dresses

By Tracy_Goldenberg 01/13/2012 07:17AM GMT

I know you guys already had this figured out by reading a little bit about my interest in muscles and teen pop culture, but I am very classy! So a “night at the operaâ€ù challenge is where my tastebuds reside — why, just recently I rocked a last-minute black tie event with a $37 dress purchased four hours earlier at Loehmann’s, soâ€_

Unfortunately I couldn’t pencil in a day of “PRASâ€ù judging, so I suggested my good friends Mark Badgley and James Mischka for the job. The adorable couple — “partners in life and business,â€ù according to their Wikipedia page (deal with it!) — announce the challenge, and the designers feel the pressure. Except Michael Costello, who is a big fan of the type of opera that we’re all a big fan of.

Kara Janx Episode 2Can someone help me with Kara’s statement of the night/week/world? The camera cuts to her and she says, “Evening wear I can do. But it’s not my ‘pabboo’ moment. Whereas it’s Austin’s ‘pappoon.’â€ù HELP! What do those words mean? I won’t even Google them spelled 500 ways, can you guys just let me know in the comments?

Everyone has their money on Austin, who understands that he must win in order to keep his King of Couture crown and sash earned in Season 1. (Although we all know I’ll be there, like a hybrid creepy stalker/beauty-pageant host with a bouquet of roses, either way.) Mondo admits that he saw an evening gown challenge coming and brings up a good point: Evening gowns without polka dots are not his forte, and this challenge is also not his “pabbooâ€ù moment. April answers my prayers from last week and says she’ll do a color this week for her gown. Unfortunately, that color is red/oxblood.

Mood is where the Great Red Debacle (As Seen In the Preview) of ’12 happens. AND IT IS TENSE. Michael is flustered by April’s choice to use red and feathers, so he ends up going with THE MOST GORGEOUS black matte jersey material ever, because surely no one else in this EVENING GOWN challenge is doing a black dress.

Austin Scarlett in the workroomBack in the workroom, we see that April isn’t even doing a full oxblood dress, she’s actually dyeing part of the dress for an ombre effect, which has all of the designers concerned. I’m trying to visualize April’s ombre “corpse brideâ€ù opera dress and am wondering if this would have been a great time for her to do a dramatic black dress with maybe serious shoulders, sleeves and intricate details.

Joanna returns to the workroom, and I think we can all agree that the best part of her visit is when Austin overhears Rami say that he is his biggest competition in this challenge and I get to make a screengrab of this:

At the end of the day, the designers don’t sleep like in other seasons, but swill a glass or two of bubbly chased down with some self-doubt. Anthony suggests that instead of “coutureâ€ù they be encouraged to make “really, really pumped-up prom dresses,â€ù which may or may not be Foster the People’s new single feat. Anthony Williams.

Let's start with... The Middle: I know there are haters in the crowd, but unfortunately for y’all, I love things that Kenley creates. Her dress is a little prom, but “Pretty in Pinkâ€ù/cool-edgy girl prom. Rami’s fuchsia frock, on the other hand, is what 16-year-old Lisa would have begged her mom to let her wear to prom. And not that I wasn’t a tastemaker at 16, but high school was a time when I wore more platforms and belly-baring shirts than Geri Halliwell at the height of her career.

I’m surprised that Gordana doesn’t make it to the top or bottom. I personally LOVE the flapper look and the sexy illusion skirt on her gown. (Heidi and the regular PR judges would be really into that styling, dontcha think?) I really like Mondo’s mod dress from the front, but think the bow/obi at the back looks a little tacky and costume-y.

I don’t hate Jerell’s dress, but the giant, pregnant, are-my-legs-moving-or-am-I-floating silhouette, which appears here and on Kara and Sweet P’s dresses, has got to stop. For all of Mila’s workroom jabs, her dress, although slinky and sexy, looks like something you could get at any department store. Don’t forget your color-blocking roots, girl!

The Top: Austin’s earlier comment about Michael’s dress being too much celebrity and not enough socialite feels truer the second someone mentions Kim Kardashian at the opera (also, don’t give that family any ideas!). Plus, Badgley & Mishka warned, “If you do a black dress, it should be the most dazzling black dress we’ve ever seen,â€ù and I can’t imagine that that is it. Well-fitting, yes, but so is everything I own from American Apparel.

Anthony Williams Episode 2I am falling more in love with Anthony Williams and his crystal-encrusted accessorizing each day. And speaking of accessories, if he keeps making boobies look like that in dresses, he’s going to win this whole thang hands down!

The win goes to the lovely Austin Scarlett for a luscious SGD (Serious Gold Dress) that looked like liquid gold on his model. Beautiful, flattering, sexy — I imagine most women, myself included, would line up for a chance to wear that. Lopsided tulle or not. This week’s Austin Scarlett Haiku shall celebrate his win:

King of Couture crown
Rests upon his flaxen hair
Beneath the halo.

The Bottom: Kara is saved after she wins the judges over with the pockets in her comforter-cover couture, and thankfully, despite a sad top on an otherwise interesting dress, April makes it through.

I love Sweet P. I think she’s pretty and wears beautiful clothing, but unfortunately I haven’t liked either of her designs from this season. The things that become evident to me while I’m watching “Project Runway All Starsâ€ù are:
1) I love all of these designers!
2) Every week will be sad with one of our friends leaving.
3) It’s never a good idea to attend a “PRASâ€ù viewing party when you have to write a blog about the show. Ah well, better luck next week!

P.S.: Miss Piggy next week!?!?!