Season 3, Episode 1: Super Punks
We're back for another round of "All Stars," and the competition looks fierce. We've got a lot of talent and big personalities in the mix this time, including three former "Project Runway" winners (Irina, Jeffrey, and Seth Aaron), six who made it all the way to Fashion Week (Viktor, Mychael, Christopher, Melissa, Ari, and Korto), and two wildcards (Daniel and Elena).
The designers meet new host Alyssa Milano in Bryant Park, where she explains a few notes: Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman are back as judges, with Marie Claire's Zanna Roberts Rassi acting as mentor. There's no immunity this time around. Challenge winners will be up for elimination each week along with everyone else. The prize package is huge and valued at over three quarters' of a million dollars. Without further ado, Alyssa introduces the first challenge. Inspired by legendary rocker Debbie Harry, the designers have to create a punk look using only what's available to them at Mood. They'll hash out their garments in Mood's basement -- no workroom, no designers' lounge.
Because these guys have done this before, the first challenge has less of a learning curve and more of a "I HAVE TO IMPRESS YOU" bent. From intricate leather work to hand-hammered grommets, there's a lot of one-upmanship going on. Zanna heads in for the first critique and she's eager to take everyone's egos down a peg.
Let's talk runway. Debbie Harry joins Alyssa, Georgina and Isaac for the judging.
Elena - A black miniskirt with a backwards neon leather jacket. "This is a straightjacket, but in bright, fun colors," Isaac says approvingly. Debbie praises the jacket, too, bringing Elena to tears. Georgina calls the jacket the most interesting, well-worked piece in the runway show, and Debbie agrees so much that she says she'll wear the jacket at a performance, prompting a big show of emotion from a grateful, flattered Elena. (This is also Elena's first challenge win. Ever.)
Jeffrey - A ragged high-low chiffon skirt with a leopard-print-accented black peplum low-backed jacket. Georgina likes that it's editorial and Alyssa says she'd wear it. Isaac thinks it's a sucess because Jeffrey "expressed himself and regarded us looking at it." Jeffrey's safe.
Seth Aaron - White plaid pants with a black- and red-trimmed white leather jacket. Isaac digs the proportions and Georgina loves the attitude of the white leather jacket. "That was, to me, exactly what the challenge [asked for]," says Alyssa, but Georgina doesn't quite think it screams "punk." Seth Aaron's safe.
Viktor - A black blazer with grommet detailing on the sleeves paired with red, grey, and black patterened pants. The judges think it's well done, but Isaac says the outfit lacks tension, that the model seems sporty and relaxed but not really punk. Georgina and Debbie agree that the model looks a little conformist and that the weekender bag and shoes don't help. Viktor's safe.
Melissa - A one-shoulder blue bodycon dress, black tights, and a white sleeveless leather jacket. Melissa admits she ran out of time on the dress, but Georgina and Isaac both think that the dress and not the jacket is what gives the look some personality. Melissa's safe.
Ari - A lime green and slate grey jacket layered underneath a khaki bolero, paired with grey and black shorts. Georgina's blown away by the construction of the garments, but for her that underlines the problem: It's not rough enough. The ensemble is much more sophisticated than, as Alyssa says, "any person who's of that movement would want to be." And with that, Ari is the first designer eliminated this season.
Coming up this season on "All Stars": Tears! Yelling! Frantic sewing! Tons of guest stars, including Elisabeth Moss, Nick Cannon, Zac Posen, Kristin Chenoweth, and Gabourey Sidibe! Buckle up, kids.
Who are you most excited to follow over the next few weeks? What'd you think of the season's first runway show? How do you feel about Ari's elimination? Let me know in the comments.