Saturday, February 4, 2012

Project Runway All-Stars Episode 5: Shirtless in Central Park

Greetings, Project Runway fans!   This was a fun episode, wasn't it?

Thank you Frederick Law Olmsted for giving the greatest city in the world the best back yard in the world.  Central Park is truly glorious.  It's even more glorious since last spring when NYC declared the park smoke free!

"Designers, please find a muse to inspire your next outfit.  Here's the All-Star twist: you have to use the clothes your muse is wearing in 50% of your outfit.  Here's $50 for you to use as a bribe."
 There were so many elements to this challenge.   And either there was a furious question session with the producers or the designers really started thinking out of the box for this challenge.

"Listen, toots, you're not fabulous enough to be my muse, but I can't find striped jersey to save my life at Mood.  I swear they hide it.  So I know you paid $20 for that top at H&M.  I'll give you $15.  Deal?"
"Hi sexy white guy!  My name is Anthony and I'm a designer.  I'd like to hook my friend, Austin, up with a date but in the meantime, can I buy your shorts for $30?  If you had any idea what a zipper AND denim cost at Mood, you'd know what a deal this is!"
And some designers probably didn't have to pay their marks for their clothes, because they were more than willing to be exhibitionists for the camera.

"I love your accent.  Could you just say, 'delicious' one more time and I'll take my shirt off for you."
Frankly, there was more male anatomy this week than at a Chippendales performance.   Lifetime Networks: where Rob Lowe and John Stamos take turns playing killers and where men strip nightly.

So let's see how our designers did this week.

Safe Ladies- Kara, Mila and Kenley

Kara Janx must have been inspired by the Central Park strip tease show because her look this week was quite solid.

It was a three-piece look with an interesting top and well-fitted pants that Kenley may or may not have helped her with.  For a change, it fit well and was quite fashionable.

Mila Hermanovski's look was very typical--black and white, geometric, featuring leggings.  In this case, the leggings featured the workmanship that Mila is definitely known for.  

Kenley Collins took her muse's outfit

and turned it into something truly fabulous.

So cute.  So wearable.  Flattering.  Solid.  One of Kenley's best.

Guys on top--Rami, Austin, Mondo

Rami Kashou was inspired by menswear.

Because we didn't see him interact with his muse, we really don't know what material he used.  I would have loved to have seen the negotiations over this guy's jacket.  In any case, Rami made a strong outfit that really showcased his skills.

OK, the hat was dumb and the blouse fabric was really weird.  Wait, he paid good money for that fabric...

Or maybe she just offered it up to him in exchange for a nice, white t-shirt.  It would have been an improvement.

But the shorts were amazing.

How cute is that?  The clever thing he did to both the ruffled shirt and the shorts was to use that black and white fabric detail as trim.  It's the first thing you see, not the ugly fabric, unless you're Georgina Chapman, who saw it instantly.  In any case, it was good enough to keep him in the running for another week.

Austin Scarlett was inspired.

From the two-toned hair down to her holey hose and cool shoes, Austin was smitten.

Those studs...those nails...

Austin translated all of it into a fabulous outfit that made everyone forget he's known for his elegant gowns.

Austin made this!
Super cute, really edgy.  

And he almost pulled off a win...but

Mondo Guerra was really, really inspired.

You see, a good print is like gasoline for Mondo's engine.

And that's a print worth haggling over.

Mondo: Could I have your jacket as well?
Muse: Only if you give me your fabulous t-shirt!
Well, at least that's what I would have told him!

What resulted was a gorgeous jacket with an asymmetric closure.

And a cute bra top that picked up the chevron pattern in the skirt.

Mondo let the pattern do the talking and simply made a technically amazing jacket to compliment it.  The judges loved the keyhole back, but I thought it was a bit tacky. Mondo won this week, deservedly so.  Although it was very close between Mondo and Austin.

And somewhere in NYC is a woman who's thinking she should have gotten way more for her jacket.

Jerell, Michael and Anthony

What can I say about Jerell Scott that I haven't said already.  What do you think, Joanna?

I see, we agree.  Joanna very diplomatically tries to have a rational conversation with him about the proportions of his outfit, the jewelry and the "depth" of his patterns...whatever... This is why I'm not the "mentor."  I'd be screaming, "WTF????  Jerell, people think you're INSANE!"  But executive editors for Marie Claire Magazine just don't do things like that. You delegate reality to underlings.  She's got a runway show to get together.  Breaking someone down to the point where they walk off does not make good television.  So just stroke the chicken so that the eggs are laid.

This gives me a great opportunity to give kudos to Sean Avery, formerly of the New York Rangers and a bunch of other teams because he has a nasty attitude.


That drew a penalty!

He took a summer off to intern at Vogue.  He dates supermodels.  He worked with a clothing company to design a show for New York Fashion Week.  In his spare time, he plays hockey.  He once spent several months in anger management therapy, but I think Jerell Scott would like to send him back for a redo.


Sean got off the line of the night when he described Jerell's outfit as "Lady Ga Ga and Gwen Stefani Meet Burning Man on Acid."

Spot on.

Speaking of chickens and eggs, according to Michael Costello, "Chickens started laying eggs and Jesus came back" when he saw his muse.

She's very cute, Michael, but what you should have been doing was looking at her clothes. 

"You realize, Michael, that Gordana got sent home two challenges ago for the same kind of outfit."
Yikes!  It was a make-it-work moment for Michael if there ever was one.  Well....

Uh oh.....

Well....the challenge was to make an outfit inspired by your muse, using the clothes he or she was wearing.  He did that.  But where oh, where is a woman supposed to wear this outfit when there are egg-laying chickens to feed and Jesus is knocking at the door?

And if you're lounging by the pool, why do you need a belt?  It's a very confusing outfit.

But the one who laid the biggest egg was the one who couldn't follow the rules of the challenge.

In Anthony Williams' defense, he was not aware of his weakness at the time.

This woman is wearing Anthony's kryptonite.
He didn't realize he was powerless against prints, until he encountered one in the wilds of Central Park Union Square.  Like anything that's bad for someone, he was drawn to it.  He usually "lets the fabric speak" but this one spoke a language he could not understand.

Oh, he knew he was in trouble from the get-go, which was why he started stripping all of the denizens in his vicinity of Union Square.

"I got clothes from Stan, and Justin, and David, and Joachim, and Jamal...."
If he had been smart, he would have changed his muse to someone not wearing prints, but he wasn't and he didn't.  So Maeve, the print-wearing siren, continued to haunt him.

Where's the print?

Oh, it's on the HANDBAG?  AWWW....Anthony!  How could you?  

I had flashbacks to Season 3, when Angela Keslar stuffed the extra fabric into her handbag so that she didn't have any leftovers in the Black and White challenge.  Handbags can be a bane.

If he had just used the print as the top, he would have been in by a hair.  That's how bad Michael's outfit was.   However, because he didn't use the print, the judges were allowed to pile on.  That origami on the front of the pants is not flattering, nor is the flap on the left leg.   The pants are too short (or too long, depending on the look you were trying to go for.)

Anyway, Anthony is gone on a technicality.  

Next week, we have a "face-off" challenge.  We've been waiting for the drama and I think that six episodes in, even old-timers will lose their cool.

See you next week!

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