Project Runway All Stars Blog
Episode 8 Recap
Whenever someoneâ€™s like, â€œI hate when people misuse or overuse the word â€˜literally,â€™â€ù I cringe because theyâ€™re talking about me. In fact, theyâ€™re literally talking about me. This weekâ€™s challenge makes me think of my disastrous diction, because itâ€™s the challenge where the designersâ€™ downfalls could be in being too literal.
In a scene straight out of a very tame rom-com, the designers meet Angela on the roof of the United Nations building. Here, on this lush, cubic expanse of shrubbery, we all gain the perspective that our work problems are peanuts compared to those in the very building Angeâ€™s heels are slowly sinking in the roof grass toward. World hunger, human rights, yada yada. But onto the challenge!
Duh, the designers must create a dress inspired by a flag and its country. They get a limited pick from one of the six in front of them that represent the major world regions (whatever that means.) At this point in the competition, it is less an irritant and more cold fact that Michael and Mondo are BFF. But now it appears Mila is bringing her alliterated self to the party. We also know that Austin and Kenley are buds, so the question really is: Where does Jerell belong?!
I love these challenges, because thereâ€™s always a choice that all of the All Stars are like, â€œOh my goddddd, Iâ€™m soooo happy I didnâ€™t get saddled with that option!â€ù And this time it is Austinâ€™s Seychelles flag, which is the kaleidoscopic nightmare that keeps Mila up at night.
At Mood, Milaâ€™s â€œI didnâ€™t come here to make friendsâ€ù attitude looks like itâ€™s about to pay off for her as we watch Mondo and Kenley give kind-but-questionable advice to Michael and Austin, respectively. This is a time when the wrong choice of trim (bright blue velvet) or fabric (iridescent, anything that can be described as â€œ2-for-1â€ù) can send you packing up your pincushion and heading home. Or to wherever sequestered, kicked-off contestants go.
Weâ€™re led to believe that Kenley and her â€™50s aesthetic are going to blow this challenge. Iâ€™m no fashion designer, but as a â€œProject Runwayâ€ù viewer, Iâ€™d like to introduce the kettles to the pots. Most of the designers on this show, especially the standing six, have been proudly and successfully using their design calling cards throughout the competition and why shouldnâ€™t they? These arenâ€™t aspiring fashion students; these are industry professionals who are known for what they do. As Jerell said re: Michael, â€œGreece, Michael Costello, draping.â€ù As Kenley said re: Jerell, â€œThis is so Jerell!â€ù Before they picked flags, sketched, went to Mood, entered the workroom, I could have told you what they were all going to make:
Austin: a flowing, feminine gown.
Jerell: an (Iâ€™ll even quote him) â€œethnic and embellishedâ€ù dress with at least one scarf-like quality.
Kenley: a cute, vintage silhouette, most likely with polka dots.
Michael: a drapey gown for red carpet or resort.
Mila: a cool, color-blocked ensemble.
Mondo: a funky, brightly colored, pieced outfit in jersey.
By these standards and expectations, Mondo was really the only one who gave us something a little out of his ordinary. But then again, when you saw his Jamaican flag dress, didnâ€™t it call to mind his Heidi/Jessica Simpsonapproved polka dot gown? You know, the one where he transformed what looked like simple black jersey into a gorgeous red-carpet silhouette with a unique pop of print?
Weâ€™re used to watching â€œPRâ€ù and nodding along with the judges in agreement as they criticize the contestants for doing something â€œexpected.â€ù On â€œProject Runway All Stars,â€ù weâ€™re seeing individual challenges week-to-week, but weâ€™re also watching the designers form a collection of their work. Whether they mean to or not. This isnâ€™t meant to be a criticism; I think itâ€™s one of the most interesting things about this season. This is reality television with seasoned vets, so letâ€™s give their garments story arcs as well.
Weâ€™re going straight to the runway, and totally ignoring Joannaâ€™s sudden call to action that all of these looks be bra-friendly. Like, really? Now? Who cares? They make so many contraptions for boobs these days that Iâ€™m not going to let my ta-tas stand in the way of fashion. (Thereâ€™s a joke in there somewhere, Iâ€™m sure.)
I donâ€™t know if it was clear in the paragraph above, but I love Mondoâ€™s look and think he was totally deserving of the win. His clothing is high-fashion but really wearable, and as a super hip young woman living in a metropolitan area, I want most of it. I also loved Kenleyâ€™s look and thought this was a weird time to tell her she needs to do something different â€_ because she did, didnâ€™t she? Isaacâ€™s remark was kind of like that fight you have with your boyfriend or your roommate when they didnâ€™t really do anything wrong but youâ€™re pissed at them about doing other things over and over, and youâ€™re just waiting for them to mess up again, and when they donâ€™t but do something kiiiiind of similar and annoying, you lash out and say things you donâ€™t really mean. Or at least didnâ€™t mean that time. Iâ€™m not sure if Kenleyâ€™s dress was necessarily Chilean, maybe Chilean hipster expat, but I liked it and it was a cool, Kenley interpretation of both the flag and the land.
It definitely wasnâ€™t the challenge for our other four contestants. Georgina Chapman and I have something in common besides the fact that weâ€™re both gorgeous, and we love Austin Scarlett and canâ€™t bear to see him go. So he doesnâ€™t!
Love your namesake red
so divine on the runway!
No comment re: dress.
I donâ€™t need to tell you or Michael Costello (who I think reads this blog â€_ gulp â€_ love yaaaaa, MC!) that the blue trim was not so great. I will say that Iâ€™m not a big fan of that type of completely open back on a dress. It just creeps me out, as the very hint of someoneâ€™s butt crack is prone to do.
Milaâ€™s dress may not have been for the average lady (do you know how many mullet skirts Iâ€™ve tried to make work recently? Me neither, but Iâ€™ve bought none, if that tells you something), but it was such a cool concept! Jerellâ€™s Indian look was so (SEE ABOVE) literal and kinda tacky, so I thought he was heading home for surrrre. I was literally wrong.
Bye, Mila! Send me a link to your leggings shop, girl! I will literally buy some!!!!
And don't forget Laura Bennett is recapping the show over on Lifetime Moms!