Friday, January 20, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, Episode 3: This Little Piggy Liked Fashion


I love The Muppets. I grew up watching the movies and shows, singing the songs and buying the merchandise. So I can only assume that this week's challenge on Project Runway All Stars was tailor-made to appeal to people just like me. And yet... here I am scratching my head wondering what the heck that was all about.

So before anyone starts calling this the BEST challenge in the HISTORY of Project Runway—*cough* Joanna *cough*—let's take a look at exactly what went wrong...

Challenge: Design a flamboyant cocktail dress for famous fashionista/international celebrity Miss Piggy. Now, here's where the root of the episode's trouble lies. Yes, Miss Piggy is a famous fashionista and certainly an international celebrity, but the most important part about Missy Piggy is that she is A PIG PUPPET. Why did the designers get to use stick-thin models for this challenge? Why weren't considerations such as proportion taken into account? Wouldn't it have been more interesting to see how a fashion designer creates a garment that not only looks good on a puppet but also allows the puppeteer to do their job? At the very least, have them use plus-size models. Instead, everyone just went about making a dress that in theory was for a pig puppet but didn't actually have to be. It just had to be over-the-top while still being fashionable. Lame.

In the Workroom:
  • Mondo wants pink gloves, but so does Kara. Mondo gets pissed. Kara gets the gloves. Austin wants sparkly shoes and gloves, but Kara has already put them aside. She pitches a fit and gets the accessories. These boys are being played.
  • Gordana tells Anthony he's "shit out of luck" when he sews on a zipper incorrectly. I love her.
  • Mila thinks Kenley and Kara are being a little too chummy, and she's right.
  • Austin thinks he and Miss Piggy are kindred spirits, and he's right.
  • Anthony quotes Oprah, considers eating bacon and continues to delight me every time he opens his mouth.

The Judges: Isaac Mizrahi was absent this week, so the judging panel we were just getting used to got changed up slightly. Joining New Heidi (still unsure of her name) and Georgina were joined by Miss Piggy and Eric Daman, a costume designer for Sex and the City and Gossip Girl who got into quite a few tiffs with the Muppet diva. You don't call out a lady's big ears in front of her, Eric!

Top Three:
  • Kenley - Miss Piggy's girly, flirty style worked very much in Kenley's favor. The look was totally over the top, and I'm starting to get sick of all these loofa headpieces, but it was 100% Miss Piggy. The bodice construction was a major issue, but the print and overall effect saved her.
  • Michael Costello - I just don't understand why these judges love him. I didn't find the dress to be sophisticated or perfect for Miss Piggy at all. It was too structured, too short and those loops just looked ridiculous. The print was an intriguing choice, but not for the entire dress. Just no.
  • Rami - If that dress had walked down the runway during any other challenge, the collective gasps and cries of the universe would've instantly cancelled the show forever. For this challenge, however, it was perfect. It was cartoony clown clothes for a cha-cha diva Miss Piggy, complete with bright colors and a ridiculous hat. My only (minor) quibble? Those polka dots needed to be aligned. Other than that, the look was perfect.

Bottom Three:
  • Austin - After last week's clear victory, Austin fell a bit from grace. His look was like Businesswoman Piggy—a little too overworked with the details and structure and a little too gloomy with the color choices. The bows were a fun idea, but perhaps a bit too much (though not as much as the judges made it out to be).
  • Gordana - Whereas Austin's look had too much structure, Gordana's didn't have nearly enough. It need a belt or some sort of tailoring around the waist to make it a little less nightgown-y. The colors and intention were spot on, but the details weren't quite right.
  • Mila - This was absolutely the kind of dress you'd expect Mila to make for any client, Miss Piggy or otherwise. The '60s mod thing is totally her aesthetic and she played it up well, but it just didn't feel like the spirit and flamboyance of Miss Piggy was there. She was definitely onto something, but fell short of it all coming together.

Honorable Mention: For someone known for tight, Bravo Housewife-esque dresses, Anthony turned out a dress that was gorgeous and billowy and very cool. The feathers were a fun and interesting detail and totally sold the look. Dear designers: this is what Miss Piggy would wear to the opera, if that challenge ever comes up.

Dishonorable Mention: What in the hell did Mondo send down the runway? It looked like Betty Rubble got covered in dinosaur vomit on her way to the Bedrock PTA meeting. There was a serious need for some contrast—even making those buttons black would've made a huge difference. As is, it was a mess.

And the winner is: Michael Costello. What? Seriously? Ugh.

Auf Wiedersehen to: Gordana, who I'm going to miss for her little quips and dry sense of humor. She was one of the only redeeming factors of Season 6 and I am sad to see her go, even if it was her time.

A slightly disappointing episode, especially considering all the possibilities that could've made it a great one. Still, I am loving this All Star season and there's enough positive to outweigh my frustrations with the challenge. Hopefully next week's Diane von Furstenberg challenge will make up for it.

What did you think of last night's episode? Were you puzzled by the challenge? Did you agree with the win? And which designer do you think it most like Miss Piggy? Sound off in the comments!

[Image Source: Lifetime]
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