Saturday, February 4, 2012

Project Runway All Stars, Episode 5: A-muse-ing Anthony

After last week's infuriating soiree of gelato foolishness, what better way for Project Runway All Stars to get back in our good graces than by letting Anthony out of his cage and let him run free for an hour of fabulous fun?!  And while it wasn't perfect, it was certainly a step in the right direction.

So now that we're all in a better mood, let's take a look at this week's episode...

Challenge: The designers were brought to Central Park and tasked with finding a muse to inspire a fashion forward look. Of course, that alone would be too easy. There had to be a twist! Fortunately, instead of giving them 15 minutes to complete their look, the twist was that they had to convince their muse to give the clothes off their back in exchange for a white t-shirt and (perhaps) a bit of money from the designer's $150 budget. The remaining budget could be used at Mood, but 50% of the look had to come from the muse's clothing. These types of specific criteria in challenges always manage to bite someone in the ass—the "black and white" challenge from Season 3 immediately comes to mind—and, although they've all been through the ringer before, the All Stars were no different.

In the Workroom:
  • A lot of designers have budget issues at Mood, but none were as fun or dramatic as Anya losing her money last season.
  • Michael doesn't feel very inspired by his grandma lace fabric.
  • The Kara/Kenley duo continues to annoy the hell out of Mila and Michael.
  • Michael decides he wants his model styled like Sarah Jessica Parker "circa 1999 meets 2002, but futuristic," and I decide he should be eliminated immediately from the competition.

Anthony L. Williams: Because most of the episode was a tribute to the hilarious Anthony, I am dedicating an entire section to his fabulousness. Behold his best lines of the night, as well as a fantastic clip package from Lifetime...
  • "All of a sudden I've noticed Mila has gained a personality."
  • "I'm Anthony from Project Runway and I'm literally coming to take the clothes right off your back!" - sounds like a spin-off series in the making!
  • "Hi, hot white guy. How are you? I'm Anthony!"
  • "Back off, bitches! This one's mine!"
  • "If a black person says that you are loud, you are too loud!"

The Judges: Joining New Heidi, Isaac and Georgina this week was New York Rangers hockey player, Vogue intern and sparkly glasses-wearer Sean Avery, who kind of freaked me out the entire time. Am I alone here? His personality just seemed a little off, though I did appreciate that he reminded Isaac to never call a woman's stomach big in front of her. Well done, Creepy Sean.

Top Three:
  • Austin - By only using one person as a muse, as opposed to running around grabbing fabric from a whole host of park patrons, Austin was able to really dig into the heart of the challenge: create a fashion forward look inspired by the muse. His futuristic punk look definitely channeled the the girl he met in the park, but elevated the look to a dramatic level. The striped panels in the skirt were a great detail and the structured top cinching down to the waist was very cool.
  • Mondo - The concept of taking a heap of disparate materials and making them work harmoniously is so inherently Mondo that it's no surprise he excelled this week. The whole effect of the look was an incredibly cool, powerful, modern New York girl. I wasn't thrilled with the bikini top, but there was no denying the fabulousness of that killer jacket.
  • Rami - I have to admit, I was pretty underwhelmed by this entry. The tailoring and construction were totally on point, and I appreciated the piping detail he added with the black and white print, but there was nothing dramatic about it, the print in the top was not cute at all and the hat totally ruined the overall effect of the look. Well made, but not my favorite Rami entry.

Bottom Three:
  • Anthony - Poor Anthony spent too much time amusing the heck out of me and being frustrated by his lack of direction that what went down the runway was an undeveloped good idea. The giant flounce on her hip need to be toned down and structured more, the top needed to be fitted better, the turban needed to be burned and forgotten, and he needed to follow the rules and use his muse's fabric in the look. 
  • Jerell - I go back and forth between enjoying and hating Jerell's look. On the one hand, it was colorful and dramatic and fashion forward—totally something Lady Gaga or Gwen Stefani would wear and have people swoon over. On the other hand, it just looked too much like an African circus clown costume and needed to be toned down. Perhaps if that bikini top had been made into a midriff top in a quieter fabric, Jerell would've found himself on top.
  • Michael - The first thing I thought when I saw Michael's look fart down the runway: Gretchen Jones' Season 8 Fashion Week collection. And, let's be honest, that's not a complement around these parts. The idea of the top was cool, but the fit was horrendous and those granny panty shorts were beyond terrible. A little less camel toe next time, pleaseandthankyou.

Honorable Mention: Mila's look certainly didn't bring anything new to the table as far as what we've seen from her before, but it was certainly well made, well put together and incredibly stylish. I loved those jeans with the leather detailing, and the top and vest were incredibly hip.

Dishonorable Mention: I saw where she was going with it, but I just could not get behind Kenley's look. Though the fit was near perfect, there was just one too many variation of stripe and pattern that it threw off my eye.

And the winner is: Mondo, who has been aching for a win for five episodes. I might've given the win to Austin for really channeling his muse, but Mondo certainly deserved this win as well.

Auf Wiedersehen to: Anthony. And, listen, I understand and respect that his failure to follow the constructs of the challenge is certainly auf-worthy, but when compared to the atrocity that was Michael's outfit, Anthony's elimination just seemed bogus to me. Plus, I love Anthony and I am super sad to see him go. Austin better step up and be the crazy personality from now on.

So, a much better showing from All Stars this week, right? No rage strokes, no pounding heads against the wall. Not completely perfect, but I'll take it.

What did you think of this week's episodes? Are you sad to see Anthony go? Do you think the judges were correct in their decision? And do you think Anthony deserves his own spin-off show, Anthony L. Williams Takes the Clothes Off Your Back?! Sound off in the comments!

[Image Source: Lifetime]
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