Friday, January 13, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, E2: Pumped-Up Prom Dresses


The good news about having the All Star season? You immediately know all of the designers and you don't have to waste time getting to know people who will spend all of 17 minutes on television ever.

The bad news about having an All Star season? The weak are way too easy to spot in a sea of fierce competitors. Those designers you scratched your head about when the cast list was posted? They are not doing so well, are they?

Luckily, there's enough great design, bold personality and, yes, occasional dramatic flair-up to keep things delightfully interesting on Project Runway All Stars until the fat is completely trimmed. So before I insult the word "couture," let's take a look at last night's episode...

Challenge: New Heidi (seriously, I cannot remember her name) brought out world-famous design duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka of—you guessed it—Badgley Mischka to deliver the week's task: create a gorgeous, feminine, elegant couture evening gown for a glamorous night at the opera. $350 and one day to get 'er done. There are a few words I'd like to pull out of there to reemphasize: elegant, couture, gown, opera. Just remember those. It'll come up later.

In the Workroom:
  • Michael Costello is infuriated when April wants to do a red dress because he wanted to do a dress. April, being the amazing spitfire that she is, is unconcerned: "Who the f*** cares?! If you wanna do red, do f***ing red! Like... who cares?!"
  • Anthony wears a "Thank you, Mood" t-shirt. I want one.
  • Kara feels like she's in a pressure cooker and almost has an emotional breakdown. "I'm so surprised!" says no one.
  • Anthony says what everyone has thought anytime Project Runway has a couture challenge: "Insulting the world of 'couture' by even using that word to describe this challenge. We're just gonna say 'really, really, really pumped-up prom dresses.'"

Top Three:
  • Anthony - I love me some Anthony, but I was not terribly thrilled with this dress as an elegant, couture opera gown. See, I told you those words would come back up. The judges complimented it for being sexy and vampy and modern, but I just saw way too much boobage for it to be appropriate to see Madame Butterfly at the Met. Execution-wise, he did a beautiful job draping, but, to me, it just didn't fit the challenge.
  • Austin - The "King of Couture" really knocked this one out of the park. The gold lamé was absolutely gorgeous and refined. It totally embodied what you think of when you imagine socialites attending an opera. I wasn't a huge fan of the tulle in the back, but love the way it interlace with the lamé in the bodice.
  • Michael Costello - Dramatic? Yes. Sexy? Yes. Perfectly tailored? Yes. But when someone compliments a dress by saying it looks like a Kardashian, I am concerned that the dress is in consideration for the win. The crystal/feather embellishment was cool, but I hated the way it overwhelmed the model's neck and face. And though the judges praised the open back, it was way too low to be appropriate for the venue. Check your opera glasses, judges. That sh*t cray.

Bottom Three:
  • April - Although I loved her quips against Michael at the beginning, April did not produce her best work this week. Going for an out-of-the-box Corpse Bride look is a cool inspiration, but not when you are design a couture, elegant opera gown. The dress was completely tortured over and the ombre dying effect just made it look like the model had stood in a puddle before getting on the runway.
  • Kara - I was a bit surprised to see Kara in the Bottom Three. Though I wasn't a huge fan of the pastel print or the high waist, it seemed like a perfectly good entry for an elegant ball gown. The judges' main complaint seemed to be that they couldn't see Kara in the dress, but there were several other entries that were far more deserving of being in the bottom than her's.
  • Sweet P - Once again, Sweet P completely missed the mark. This was more of an awful debutante ball dress than a couture gown. The colors were totally wrong and that print was heinously bad. Add on to that the severe technical issues in the bodice, and this dress was DOA.

Honorable Mention: Like last week, I was shocked that Mila was not in the Top Three. Her dress was glamorous, striking, sexy and perfect for a fancy night at the opera. Loved the glitter and sparkle.

Dishonorable Mention: After winning last week's challenge, I was horrified to see Rami send a disgusting silk bridesmaid dress down the runway and call it couture elegance. It aged the model at least 15 years and the tacked-on skirt was completely unflattering.

And the winner is: Austin! No big surprise there, and a well-deserved victory.

Auf Wiedersehen to: Sweet P. Again, no big surprise. Her name was honestly a surprise on the All Star list to me, so her early elimination didn't make me gasp.

Overall, while many missed the mark on what the challenge called for—including the judges—it was still an entertaining round of Project Runway All Stars.

What did you think of last night's episode? Were you surprised that Anthony and Michael were in the top? Are you sad to see Sweet P go? And how many more times is Michael going to complain before someone just smacks him and send him home?

[Image Source: Lifetime]
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