Project Runway All-Stars – Episode 8

One-Sentence Summary:  It’s an international challenge as the designers create an outfit inspired by a foreign country.

My Thoughts:  

Hi, designers. Tonight you're here. And I'm here. And this is a runway.

Rachel:  Ok, I have to admit something.  I don’t like Angela.  Well, let me clarify that.  I don’t like Angela as the host of Project Runway.  She seems lovely enough as a person, but I’m not feeling her in the role of of lovely hostess.  Here’s the thing…  As much as I rip on Heidi, I secretly do love her.  She brings a charm to the evil task of sending people home, which is saying something considering she does it with a German accent – An accent not known for its warmth.  A charm that Angela just doesn’t have.  Maybe, in the same way the judges haven’t gotten fully gelled with their feedback, Angela hasn’t gotten her hosting sea legs quite yet. I mean she says, “We have a lot to discuss.” every single week in that same deadpan tone.  But at least, we have Joanna.  She’s not quite the next Tim Gunn, but I definitely dig her.  Anyway, we have some flags to fly so let’s get to it. 

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

OK, we both have an inflated sense of self, let's be friends!

We rejoin the designers at their Atlas apartment and Austin is missing Kara.  He things that she deserves to be there more than Jerell or Mila based “solely on design”.  Yeah, more like based solely on bitchiness.  Let’s be honest, the one thing the judges got right was that Kara gave up and stopping pushing boundaries.  I could have designed her outfits and that’s saying a lot.  And Austin, have you seen some of the junk you’ve sent down the runway?  I don’t care if the designers think it’s awesome.  It’s not.  But he & Kenley have each other which is comforting him.  I thought it was his “captain o’ the train” hat and mustache that comforted him.

You’re A Grand Old Flag

Michael lets his Greek and freak flags fly.

Welcome to the United Nations.  Really?  They have nothing better to do there than host a Project Runway episode?  Well, I guess they aren’t inside where, Angela tells us, they face the challenges of dealing with issues like climate change, human rights & national security.  They’re out on the lawn dealing with issues like hemlines, fabric choices & construction.  Yeah, forget climate change! Let’s talk about dresses!  Each designer will pick a flag representing a country from one of the world’s regions.  The countries are:  Chile, Greece, India, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea & The Seychelles.  Let’s see, how many of these designers have ever even heard of Papua New Guinea let alone can pick it out on a map.  Wait, can I pick it out on a map…  Ummm… yeah, I think I can.  OK, permission given to myself to continue to rip on the designers.  The colors of the flag and the culture of the country will influence the design.  Mondo won last week’s challenge so he gets to pick first:

Mondo – Jamaica
Michael – Greece
Mila – Papua New Guinea (OK, she may actually know the country)
Jarell – India
Austin – Seychelles (He’s excited to learn about the area.  Maybe first learn that it’s Say-shells not See-shells.)
Kenley – Chile

They are given cheat sheets about the culture of the countries they have chosen.  That will be helpful… Of course, if you don’t already know about Greece or Jamaica, you may want to get yourself some learning.

At Mood, Austin lets us know he’s all about elegance & beautiful harmony.  You sure about that?  He is and so is Kenley.  Now that Kara’s gone, Kenley needs someone else to shake her poms poms and cheer for and Austin gets the honor.  Wonder if he’ll be willing to dance around the workroom with her?  She loves his fabric. It’s gorgeous.  I guess that means he’s permitted to buy it.  And she, wait for it… wait for it… buys polka dots.  BUT they’re in the shape of hearts so it’s totally different than every other polka dot.  And that is All-Star creativity.  And a whole lot of sarcasm.

The Thong (and Bra) Song

I don't care what you say, Austin, that hat is stupid.

Anyone else love that we are reminded of the challenge after the first commercial break every week?  You know, in case we forgot in the 2 minutes we were away.

Joanna time!  This is the most talented room in the history of Project Runway she proclaims!  I wonder if she was thinking “now that Kara is gone”?  Anyone else think she didn’t love the Kara so much.  She meets with Mondo first and he’s doing a sexy dress that Joanna likes but wonders how you would wear a bra with it.  Mondo’s response:  You don’t.  Fair enough.  Jerell’s India dress looks a little bit like a national costume.  She wonders if the sari concept is taking India too far.  He says no.  He thinks he can still do his thing and make it work.  Michael has also made a no-bra dress.  Joanna wants to wear underwear with her clothes.  She says women do too.  Really?  Have you been on Perez Hilton lately?  This week, Joanna thinks it’s Michael’s that is the one whose ambition is lacking.  She’s not sure his goddess dress is going to impress.  Austin is draping and draping and draping… and you can wear a bra with his dress.  Joanna is happy to hear that but wants to make sure the back of the bra isn’t peaking out.  OK, what is going on with the bra obsession?  Did someone at Marie Claire suggest a “Burn Your Bra” fashion spread?   Did nipples go out of fashion?  Someone please tell Lindsay Lohan.

Moving on…  Mila’s dress is half-long, half-short and you can wear underwear!  Joanna deems her the winner.  If only it were that simple. Over to Kenley and her innovative polka dot dress.  How are you going beyond your comfort zone Joanna wonders?  She says she’s doing a party dress and everyone else is doing a gown.  Um, ok.  Good answer.  She doesn’t care what Joanna thinks and pretty much blows her off.  Mondo’s over her attitude.  Honey, we’re all over it.  I was over it before she sewed a single stitch.

You’re The Vulgarian

Make sure to smack Austin with your sari on the way past.

It’s almost time for the runway and Austin thinks Jerell’s India’s outfit is one of the most vulgar, hideous, tasteless outfits he’s ever seen in his life.  Are we looking at the same thing?  It’s not the best dress in the history of fashion, but that’s a little much.  It’s not like her chooch is hanging out or there’s areola happening which I think has to happen to qualify for “most vulgar ever” status.  She might even be able to wear underwear in that, though probably not a bra.

The Runway

Angela welcomes back the designers and lets then know that there are only 6 of them and after tonight only 5 will be remaining.  No shit.  See what I’m saying?

Tonight’s Guest Judge is fashion designer Catherine Malandrino.  Love her.  Love her accent.  I swear I was supposed to be born French.  But enough about me… Here are the dresses:

Jerell

I don't hate it. I don't love it. It is a bit over the top.

Kenley

It's super cute but I'm over Kenley. It really is the same thing every week.

Austin

Someone makes this dress every year. Nothing special here.

Mondo

I love that dress, but I worry if it's Jamaican enough.

Mila

I think I want to like this more than I do. It just doesn't work.

Michael

It's a pretty dress. Kinda too on the nose and holy naked back.

The Good & The Bad

Top 3 - Michael, Mondo & Kenley. Bottom 3 - Mila, Jarell & Austin

Kenley – Georgina – Like the attitude of the dress.  Catherine – It’s a beautiful young dress.  Didn’t go too far with the Spanish attitude.  Isaac – I love the spirit of the dress.  Angela – I think of Chile and I picture ponchos.  But when I hear your story, I think ok this is the modern cool girl.  Isaac – Push yourself though.  You do the same dress again and again.  (Kenley acts surprised at this feedback.   Joanna should have come from backstage -not that she’s actually there- and smacked her.)

Jerell – Angela – Love the white stripe down the arm.  It gives it a modern feel to India.  Isaac – It’s like Nike in India. It’s fantastic.  At the same time, it’s wiggly and wonky and I can’t get past that.  Catherine – So many ideas that could have been right.  Love the idea of a bustier dress but cannot appreciate it because it disappeared behind the draping.  Georgina – I just wonder, are there too many ideas & it’s going a little too ethnic with the jewelry.  It needed editing.

Michael – Georgina – I’m on the fence.  It’s an acceptable dress but it’s screaming beauty pageant right now.  Catherine – I have the same feeling as Georgina.  The starting point of draping is there but treated with too much volume.  Angela – The only thing that really bothers me is the bow.  It would look better on a Christmas present.  Isaac – It would have looked better without the trim.  It would have taken the beauty pageant away.

Austin – Georgina – It’s a pretty dress.  Just concerned about your color use.  They’re not quite the colors of the flag.  Isaac – There’s something about the rouching that’s a little tortured because you didn’t have time to finish it.  Is it a terrible dress?  No, but it doesn’t work.  Angela – It’s the not the worst dress I’ve seen on Project Runway.

Mondo – Georgina – I love the dress and I get Jamaica from it.  It’s funny how you can get Jamaica from a simple black dress.  Catherine – It’s very well-cut but the only thing is the hair.  It takes too much attention.  Isaac – My favorite part of this dress is that you took simple matte jersey and made it look like a new textile.  My least favorite part of the dress is that, when she turns around, in your face is the green & yellow.

Mila – Georgina – I can really see you in this dress and after last week that’s really great.  Isaac – I get communism.  It looks Russian.  Angela –  I really like the neckline and those aspects of your graphic style really come in.  The thing that bothers me is they’re two different lengths and they’re two different colors.  Isaac – It’s disturbing to look at in certain ways.  I think that was your intention, so in that way, you succeeded.

And The Winner Is…

Mondo's Jamaican-inspired dress gets him his second win in a row.

Mondo does it again!  Loving it!  Doubly loving it because Kenley didn’t win. And because she got a finger wagging about sending the same dress down the runway.

Week 8 Loser:  Mila is going home for her awkward two-tone two-length dress.  It was down to her and Austin.  Sigh… I’m starting to wonder if Austin’s contract stipulates that he make it to Fashion Week.

Bottom Line:

Only one lady left and it’s Kenley.  She must go.  And she must take Austin with her.

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