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A standout Season 6 contestant (she was the runner-up!), Althea Harper was an easy choice for this round of "All-Stars". But after six challenges without a win or a memorable look, this week's pink-and-lavender polka-dotted number prompted the judges to give her the boot. We spoke with Althea about how her hair influenced her decision to come back to the show, feeling out of place during the season, and the thought process behind her fabric selection. Check out the Q&A below!
Big props to Joshua for providing this week's quote of the episode and now subsequent title of this blog! Way to go, girlfriend!
The episode started out with the designers walking the tracks at the High Line in NYC. (Fun Fact: The High Line is where "Project Runway" celebrated its 10 year anniversary back in September. If you're ever in NYC, you must check it outthe view is awesome, especially at sunset!) Host Carolyn Murphy told the designers that for this challenge they'd be going green to create a red carpet look using fabric from AirDye fabrics, which are made using virtually no water or power. Easier said than done, right?
I thought the designers passing around the ring of fabric samples was a nice change from the chaos that is known as Mood. However, I was completely befuddled by the fabric that Althea chose. I do realize that she was the last designer to pick, so her options were limited. But, she said that she would have rather chosen a "bolder color choice" and there was definitely a bold blue/purple fabric hanging on that ring that she could have picked instead. I feel like she sealed her fate in that moment. To me, that pink and blue chiffon looked so lackluster that even the nicest and most stylish red carpet gown couldn't bring it to life.
I was also loving Ivy's reason for picking her gold fabric. "The reason why I chose the sun as the inspiration for my design is because I feel like a woman should feel like a star at a red carpet event." Thanks, Captain Obvious. I die.
Workroom Shocker: Uli stocked up on feathers, trim and embellishments! ::insert sarcasm::
I was freaking out for Ivy as the day progressed. The models came in for the fitting and she was still working on her patterns! Just like she said, I was really scared that like in Season 8, this red carpet challenge would be the one that would give her the boot. Her sketch was gorgeous, but by the end of the day, I was just really hoping that she'd be able to walk something down the runway.
On runway day, it was like Emilio went from hero to zero. He started off this challenge with such a clear vision of what he wanted and got rave reviews for Joanna Coles during her visit. What happened?! His looks are always so polished and in those few hours that the designers have to finalize everything, Emilio's entire gown went down the drain. It could have been a top contender!
dvf. Dvf. DVF. D. V. F. Diane von Furstenberg was the guest judge! (I should have worn my wrap dress today in honor of this episode!) Talk about pressure! If I was one of the designers, I would hang on every word of her criticism and recite her critique every night before I went to bed as an affirmation. Between Diane and Karl Lagerfeld in episode 2, I think it's safe to to say the designers can now ascend to happy fashion heaven.
I am really happy that Laura Kathleen won this challenge. It obviously meant a lot to her and she was so focused in the workroom. This was the first challenge where she didn't seem to have any doubts about her design and stuck to her guns. And I also like that it wasn't a "typical" red carpet look. I can't wait to see Carolyn rock it. (But can someone help me figure out what DVF was saying to LK about the pajama palazzo?! I didn't catch a word of it, but I also can listen to her speak for days and not care. She's preaching the fashion bible as far as I'm concerned.)
I also really loved Anthony Ryan's dress. He honestly does no wrong. He just gets it. Every. Single. Time. Gorgeous.
I predicted Althea's departure the second she picked that fabric. The design didn't help. There was way too much going on with the exposed shoulders, draping, etc…
Do you agree with me? Did Laura Kathleen have this week's strongest look?
PS: Also, a huge congrats to Georgina Chapman, who recently announced that she's expecting her second child with husband Harvey Weinstein. Check out her teeny (and fashionable!) bump:
Non-Runway Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Sassy, lovable Season 3 contestant Kayne got the boot on last night's episode of "All Stars" after sending a poorly-received pair of houndstooth-and-leather suits down the runway. We chatted with the laid-back designer about how his previous work experience helped in the workroom, his favorites of the remaining designers, and what he really thought of his elimination. Check out his Q&A after the jump!
And we're back! Didn't it feel like an eternity since the last episode of "All Star"?! But I think the wait was well worth itthis episode was the best one yet!
The episode kicked off with host Carolyn Murphy, sporting a very gender-neutral outfit, telling the designers that in this challenge they'd have to design an androgynous and avant-garde look for their models. Ohs, ahs and oh s**ts all around. "What the hell am I going to do?" Laura Kathleen stated with sass.
After the designers sketched out their looks, they went to Mood per usual. Half hour to shop. $150. "Thank you, Mood!" You know the drill.
Back in the workroom, just as the designers started getting down to business, the lovely Georgina Chapman sashayed into the space to basically throw off their game. The catch? The designers have to create looks for both male and female models. The silver lining? They got another trip to Mood, more money and an extra day to pull it off.
I felt like this episode really showed the close relationship between Ivy and Casanova. As you may or may not know, Casanova is Ivy's design assistant in NYC, so they're tight. I would even wager they're each other's biggest fans because the look on Ivy's face when Casanova showed her his design made it seem like he just created the best thing since slice bread. (RIP Wonder Bread.) And to top it off, Ivy gave him her extra money during the second trip to Mood!
But from one romance to a bromance, I was LOLing when Joshua put on Anthony Ryan's evening wear look and strutted across the workroom. It didn't seem like it was the first time he's walked the imaginary catwalk…
The laughs kept rolling in when Joanna Coles came to critique the designers. My favorite moment? (And I'm sure you'll agree with me.) Two words: ball room. I don't even need to elaborate.
(Sidebar: Not gonna lie, I enjoyed seeing the male models take their shirt off in the workroom. It was, uh, a nice change of pace. Yeah, that…)
On the runway, I have to say that I was actually impressed with what the designers pulled off in what little time they had:
Joshua: I thought this was his strongest week yet. When I first saw that he was going to use blue fur, I was a little worried for him. But he was able to pull it off! (And speaking of pull it off, can someone please retire those blue pumps! I'm so tired of seeing them!)
Uli: The first word I thought of when I saw her models was "cool." The looked effortlessly confident and I just adore the trim! The whole look was very non-Ulishe really stepped outside her comfort zone. As Isaac said, "It was sick…in a good way!"
Althea: Loved the coats. The rest of the look? Not so much. But I do think the coats were enough to keep her "in."
Laura Kathleen: This challenge was definitely a struggle for her and like the judges said, you could really tell she couldn't bring her thoughts together to create cohesive looks. I get where she was going, but at the end of the day, both designs looked like a beginning-level designer created it. And I think she's much better than that.
Emilio: Love, love, love. I almost couldn't tell who was the male or female. (The female model was jacked!) Flawless. He deserved to win, without question.
Kayne: I feel like both his looks were more feminine than masculine. They should have been a balance of both. The scarf around the male model's neck was bizarre, as were his short shorts. And the styling was equally weird. I didn't get the white eyebrows. I like Kayne, I really do. But I feel like this look warranted his exit.
Casanova: All I could think when his models were walking down the runway was, "I love goooooold." Click here if you didn't get that reference.
Ivy: I didn't mind her look. I didn't love it either. It was sort of forgettable to me. She's had stronger weeks.
Anthony Ryan: Another set of models who I couldn't tell apart! Anthony Ryan just gets it…every challenge. That's all I got.
Your turn: Which look was your favorite? Sound off!
The challenge by the people, for the people! Can I get a heck yeah!
There have been a decent number of "design a look based on a photo" challenges over the years, but I really enjoyed the fact that this time around it wasn't the designers choosing what to shoot. It was in the hands of you, America. (Heck, it was in the hands of the world...the power of social media!)
After Joanna Coles was done explaining the challenge, she let the designers go in pairs to pick photos. I didn't really understand why the designers were able to pick who would get to select a photo with them. If there were only 10 photos, then I'd get why you'd want to make sure your biggest threat picked last. But there were thousands of photos, so the odds were in everyone's favor that they would find something inspirational. Off the bat, my favorite photo was Emilio's only because little Sophie is freaking adorable. But the headline "Sophie's Choice"...not so much. I'm glad Emilio didn't go with that.
Everyone's favorite third person-talking designer, Suede, was cut from the competition last night, paillettes and all. The former "Project Runway" Season 5 designer chatted with myLifetime.com about his "wearable art" garment, workroom catfights and why he will always be Team Tim Gunn. Check out his Q&A after the jump!
On "Project Runway," one of my favorite challenges every season is when the designers get to create their own fabricI think that it's the one challenge that really lets the designers show off their own aesthetic without being pigeonholed. So I pretty much felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I found out that there was going to be a similar challenge on "PRAS"…with spray paint! How freaking cool! And I think I can safely say that they designers felt the same way. (Really…Andrae's expressions always say it all.)
There's nothing more I love than a spray paint party on the windiest day ever! Seriously, I don't know how the designers came out of creating their fabrics without a speck of spray paint on them! Upon first glance, the fabrics that stood out to me were Althea, Joshua, Uli and Anthony Ryan's. But, per usual, I was curious to see what all the designers were going to do with their new creationsI didn't write anyone off quite just yet!
Say what you want, but I am very Team Laura Kathleen. In my opinion (and feel free to disagree in the comments below!), I like her sassy, sometimes bitchy, yet confident attitude. If she didn't have the designs to support the fact that she's a workroom diva, then I'd be all like, hush. But I think she one of the strongest designers in the competition and she can hold her own. So…all power to her. (And really, who doesn't love a good awkward scene? You know, the kind when you walk into a room and know that people are talking about you? Ivy and Kayne did not do a good job covering that up.)
Speaking of people talking about you, how come Joanna didn't tell Suede that he should really rethink his design?! She cared more about that the model could wear a bra than the fact that the dress was shaping up to look like it could be worn at a 7th grade school dance. I felt like his runway fate was sealed in that moment.
I have to be honest (Okay, when am I not?!), I didn't entirely agree with the judges top and bottom choices. I thought Casanova should have been in the Top 3 instead of Ivy and that Andrae should have been in the Bottom 3 instead of Laura Kathleen. Casanova's did a great job piecing together and embellishing his fabric, and I though Ivy's fabric was weak. I get where she was going with the comic book/Lichtenstein angle, but it came across as weird and Halloweeny to me. As for Laura Kathleen, I don't think a short hemline was grounds to be on the chopping block. Andrae's big purple bow and overall styling was just tacky to me.
I think it could have gone either way between Emilio and Anthony Ryan. I personally liked Anthony Ryan's dress and fabric more, but Emilio did an ambitious jacket and definitely should have been rewarded for that. Well done.
As far as Suede's exit, I think looking back, Suede can see why Suede was sent packing. Had Suede not used paillettes, I'm sure Suede would agree that Suede would have had a fighting chance this challenge. Another Suede bites the dust.
Well, it’s been a rough, weird week for the myLifetime.com team. Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy walloped NYC and the surrounding area but good, and while our group is extremely fortunate to be safe and sound, many of us have gone the past few days without power or an accessible route to the office. Kim has been busy dealing with fallout from the storm (don’t worry&$151;she’s totally fine) so I’m stepping in to recap this week’s ‘70s-themed episode. I hope those of you in Sandy’s path made it out unscathed!
I’m a late-‘80s baby. My understanding of the fashion of the ‘70s is limited to John Travolta’s white polyester suit on the poster for “Saturday Night Fever” and the loud patterns and ill-fitting fabrics that clothed the casts of shows I watched obsessively in re-runs as a kid, like “All in the Family” and “Taxi”. Which is to say that I don’t quite see the allure of a ‘70s-based challenge. Can disco garb be classy? I have my doubts.
Carolyn presents the designers with the challenge parameters at a Nine West showroom: They’ll create a modernized disco party outfit inspired by a shoe from the brand’s collection. The designers grab their heels of choice and start sketching, then make an uneventful trip to Mood. (For a better look at their shoe picks, check out our Rate the Runway slideshow.)
Back in the workroom, the group seems to be in good spirits. The designers compliment each other’s fabrics, chat about garment structure, and bond over stories from home with not a bit of drama to be seen. Wendy Pepper, season one’s notorious villain, becomes automatic besties with Suede, and even sings his praises in a confessional. The designers still throw some shade at each other’s outfits, and of course Joanna dampens the mood a bit when she comes around for her first critique, but to be honest, I prefer a workroom filled with relatively upbeat designers.
Pause for a disco dance break! Back at the apartment, the gang is treated to a video pep talk from Karl Lagerfeld himself. Well, as peppy a talk as Lagerfeld can give.
The designers seemed pleased with their looks as the models walked the runway, but I was underwhelmed. A lot of great individual ideas - Emilio’s color palette, Althea’s bodicecouldn’t compensate for the scattershot quality of the runway show. If I’d come in late to the episode, I doubt I could tell you what the challenge was based on the designers’ final products. I was surprised that no one called them out as a group for their inconsistency.
Kayne’s chevron pants and glam top matched my idea of ‘70s garb the best, but I agree with the judges that Ivy’s green-and-gold number and Uli’s white minidress were the strongest looks. I think they succeeded primarily because they looked modern and party-appropriate in a way that, say, Joshua’s teal pantsuit did not. Ivy and Uli also did a great job having their shoes complement their outfits and vice versa. I suspect the lack of beading on the back of Ivy’s dress may have given Uli the edge in the voting, but to my eye both looks were stellar.
On the other end of the scale was Wendy. Her prints-and-chains combination looked cheap to me - a shame, given how classy and graphic her black-and-white heel was. I wish she’d stayed more in the realm of “tuxedo” and done less with the dismal chains. Andrae, meanwhile, should have listened to Joanna and ditched that embarrassing jacket when he had the chance. Of course, that would have necessitated an overhaul of the boring top-and-skirt combo underneath. He was spared by the judges, but I was torn about Wendy’s elimination given the blandness of Andrae’s contribution. Neither of these looks was “All Star” quality, but which is a worse offense: A look that only works (and even then, just barely) when one of the key pieces is removed, or a look that doesn’t work but that shows some enthusiasm and a hint at a wider vision?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. For those of you who lived through the ‘70s: How did these looks stack up? Am I being too harsh in my assessment of the decade’s fashion? (Probably.) Who do you think best met the challenge requirements?
They're baaaaaack! Armed with a sharp pair of scissors, 13 of "Project Runway's" best and notorious designers (Um...Wendy freaking Pepper!) are ready for runway redemption. So gear up and get ready, boys are girlsit's going to be one crazy season!
There's nothing more I love than a second chance and as the designers sat in front of the runway to meet new host Carolyn Murphy, they all had their game faces on. In it to win it. Go big or go home. All or nothing. The whole enchilada. However you look at it, they were there to kick some ass and win the biggest prize in "Project Runway" historya spread in "Marie Claire" magazine, the position as a contributing editor at the title for one year, an all-expense paid trip to Fashion Weeks around the world, a HP Intel technology suite for one year, a complete Brothers sewing studio and $150,000 in cash. Oh, and she also told them there will be no immunity. NBD...not!
So just when the designers thought that no immunity was the only curveball being thrown at them this time around, they were then slapped in the face by judge Joanna Coles when she told them that the first challenge would be a group challenge. Cue eye rolling, whining and various forms of, "I didn't sign up for this." Suck it up, All Stars. Don't act like this is your first rodeo.
Once the teams were selected, they had to pick an "attitude" to base their collection on. After much deliberation (or domination by the Laura Kathleens of the world), the two teams settled on "confident" and "bold." No real surprise there..."modest" and "conservative" don't really scream winning looks.
On to Mood. Did anyone else get a kick out of the "Thank You Mood" t-shirts that were in the background of the designers' premiere fabric shopping trip? Lesson learned: Tim Gunn is everywhere, so you better make it work.
Back in the workroom, I was surprised how the designers really kept to themselves for the most part. In previous seasons any time there was a group challenge , the designers went into panic mode and badgered each other for every misplaced button, uneven hem or poor color choice. Maybe experience played in their favor because I thought the designers were oddly calm.
Of course that didn't stop them from getting cattylit is a competition after all. My personal highlight was when Andrae asked Laura Kathleen to check on his model and she said in the confessional, "I'll step in and fix shit when my shit is done." No wonder she's on Team Bold. Love her candidness.
On the runway, I thought it was very clear which team was the winner. Let me break it down:
Team Bold (Emilio, Peach, Andrae, Suede, Laura Kathleen, Joshua): Laura Kathleen and Emilio had the strongest looks in the collection, no question. The rest of the looks were completely lackluster to me. Andrae's look was just plain 'ol confusing, Peach's dress looked cheap and out of style, Suede's dress looked like something a teenager would wear to a school dance and I feared for Joshua's model that she was going to have a nip slip mid-runway.
Team Confident (Ivy, Althea, Casanova, Anthony Ryan, Wendy, Kayne, Uli) Hands down the stronger collection. I love the incorporation of lace in many of the looks and I thought it exuded confidence. The only look that was questionable was Kayne'sit was very Halloween-chic to me.
Like the judges, I thought it was a toss up between who should be the winner and who should be the loser. Personally I would have picked Ivy to win over Anthony Ryan because I thought the construction of her jacket was impeccable. But Anthony Ryan's win was well-deserved. It really could have went either way. Same for the loser. Both Peach and Andrae had looks that were not very "All Star." I like Peach, so I was sad to see her go. I was excited though (selfishly) that Andrae was saved so I could hear more of his insane vocabulary. (Well that and the fact I hope one of the designers recreates "Where's Andrae?!" from Season 2 in a future episode.)
Your turn: What were your highlight and lowlights of the first episode? Who is your favorite All Star?