Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, E7: There's No Business Like Show Business

This week on Project Runway All Stars, the designers dove into the magical business of show. So put on your tap shoes, grab your Playbill and let's talk about how it all went down on Broadway...

Challenge: The designers convened on the set of Broadway's Godspell, where legendary composer Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Wicked, Pocahontas, Godspell) greeted them and assigned them the week's task: create a design for a character in the show. The winning designer would have their costume featured in the show and their bio in the program. Actress Uzo Aduba explained the character as a rich, material girl showing off her wealth. And since the character puts the costume on onstage, it had to be separates. It's amazing to me that we are in the ninth New York season of this show and this is the first time they have had a Broadway-themed challenge. Drag queens and wrestlers? Sure, but for a show that so often associates itself with the city of New York, it's hard to believe this was the first challenge on the Great White Way. Of course, Project Runway is about becoming a great fashion designer, and costume design is certainly a completely different breed of creation. Many of the designers got caught up making a look for the runway instead of the stage, while others used their penchant for over-the-top drama to their advantage.

In the Workroom:
  • Mila continues to dislike Kara and Kenley's chummy workroom relationship.
  • Kara has an emotional breakdown after Joanna tells her she's not being ambitious enough to live up to the All Star title.
  • Joanna reveals she was in a production of Godspell and I continue to love her more and more each week.
  • Kenley decides to go for a look that evokes "signature thrift store pieces" which seems confusing for a challenge all about opulence.
  • Austin gets in a tizzy because he thinks Jerell is using his sewing machine. "No one pushes Austin Scarlett around!" Or puts Baby in a corner.

The Judges: The panel was joined by Broadway star Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Young Frankenstein), who was great at bringing the Broadway perspective to the design. She was all about making sure the design spoke to the character's personality and story, which is exactly what the designers should've been considering the entire time.

Top Three:
  • Austin - Though it bordered on being a bit too young, Austin's rocker-meets-flapper look was fun and modern. I loved the silver and gold fabric he used for the skirt and the layered netting underneath.
  • Michael - To me, Michael's design was more "fashion" than "costume," which would normally be a strength except that this challenge was all about making a costume! It was not nearly eccentric or flashy enough—with the exception of that garish (and ugly) headpiece—and the colors were just plain ugly. The skirt fabric looked particularly cheap, and I did not care for the bow the held up the halter top in back.
  • Mondo - I mean... this was the obvious winner, right? I loved the Bohemian rich bee-otch vibe the look gave off, and he managed to included a lot of interesting details like the feathers. The contrast of the flowing skirt to the tailored jacket was perfect for the character and the sparkle in the bottom layer was a wonderful final accent.

Bottom Three:
  • Kara - The judges were absolutely right when they called this the beginning of a great idea. The effect was spot on when the model walked out; there was no denying that the girl was a rich snob. Unfortunately, that silver bow was too bulky, the skirt had some serious construction issues in the back and the whole look seemed a bit too constricting for someone to be singing and dancing in.
  • Kenley - This was hands down my least favorite look of the week. The brocade jacket was totally fabulous, but she ruined it with those cheap feathers. Then, to make matters worse, she paired it with a skirt that did not go well at all and brought the whole look down to a vintage store mess.
  • Mila - This look was a bad combination of two good looks. Separately the jacket/top and the skirt were excellent pieces (though I would get rid of the skirt before the other two pieces). Together, it was mismatched and odd. The model ended up just looking like a girl working the corner.

And the winner is: Mondo! A-duh. He absolutely deserved this win, and it was a nice bounce back from last week's disaster.

Auf Wiedersehen to: Kara. I wouldn't have sent her home this week—it would've been sayonara to Kenley if I had my way—but I understand the elimination. She never really quite got to the point of wowing the judges because she always got too stressed out. It's a shame because I really like Kara and found her entertaining.

What did you think of this week's episodes? Were the designs worthy of a Tony award, or did they make you want to leave during intermission? Sound off in the comments!

[Image Source: Lifetime]
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