Project Runway All-Stars Recap: Femininity Under Construction

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Previously on Project Runway All-Stars, fourteen past contestants returned for their chance at redemption. Or, in the case of previous winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak, they returned for a chance at…more money and free stuff, I guess. The quirky and textile-savvy Patricia Michaels was sent packing for a pointy boob dress from hell, while season 10’s runner-up Fabio Costa took home the first win. In week two, the remaining lucky thirteen are given their first unconventional challenge, and it’s a doozy. Some excel with the difficult materials, while some just can’t quite uh, make it work. (Sorry)

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

The challenge

The designers meet Alyssa Milano at Skylight at Moynihan Station, a well-known Fashion Week venue. The thing is, right now, Skylight at Moynihan Station is under construction – and therein lies the challenge. The designers must use materials from a construction site to create a feminine garment. It’s emphasized that their looks must exude femininity as well as fashion, so that makes it even more difficult when you’re dealing with rope, tarp, nails, tile and wire. They have 15 minutes to raid the place and grab everything they can, then one day to complete the challenge. There is no trip to Mood for backup material.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

The drama

You remember how no one ever liked Alexandria? Yeah, well that’s still happening. Everyone thinks she’s rude and she kind of is, but I love her anyway. She’s the epitome of “I didn’t come here to make friends,” but not because she’s a drama queen. She just literally doesn’t give a sh*t about making friends. You gotta respect that. Meanwhile, Kate Pankoke has managed to grab enough material to make…another white, frilly dress. I don’t understand how she does this. I’d be impressed – okay, I am because, damn – but we’ve seen this from her before. Like, for instance, last week. And also on season 11…and again on season 12. Everyone thinks she’s a one-note wonder and I can’t disagree.

After spending most of the day working with green tarp, Dmitry decides that he hates his garment and starts over. He begins weaving a red and yellow rope around the bodice of his mannequin and it looks an awful lot like what Chris March is making. Chris is pretty pissed and ends up reworking his own vision (against his better judgement) because he doesn’t want to have the same design as someone else. Dmitry is like, “Whatever, I’m Dmitry.”

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

The best looks

Joining Alyssa, Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi on the panel this week are actual designer Elie Tahari and Jersey Shore stars Snookie and JWoww. Oh, wait, they want to be called Jenni and Nicole now? Okay, sure. Anyway, they’re there, too. I guess taste level isn’t much of a consideration for the panel this season. Overall, the contestants do quite well with this challenge – it was a tough one, and most of their garments look very feminine and stylish. I’m a little disappointed that so many of them used tarp and/or construction vests as materials, though.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Kate: Hey look, Kate made a wedding dress! Okay, that’s what all the other contestants say about it. I don’t actually think it looks bridal, but it is the same frilly, baby-doll style we’ve seen from her before. Also, it’s white. Why does Kate hate color? I don’t know. I sort of expect the judges to rip into her for pulling the same thing out, over and over, but they all love this dress. As I said above, I am quite impressed at how girly and sweet it looks, considering it’s made from drawer liner, lightbulb cages and tile backing. Kate is safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Jay: I will admit that Jay’s dress is feminine and chic, but come on. It’s made entirely of tarp! That’s such a cheap cop out, isn’t it? But the judges don’t care – they think it looks great and they love the color. They also love the way he tore the tarp so that it has a shredded, textured look. Personally, I think Jay’s much more impressive necklace – made of nails – is what pushes this dress from blah to bold. Jay is safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Justin: Hands down, one hundred percent, Justin nailed this challenge. Look at that dress! It’s made entirely of white netting and zip ties – he used black and white zip ties to make a gradient pattern – and it’s freaking beautiful. It swishes and moves when the model walks. It looks soft, even though it’s hard. I am so in love with this dress, you guys. I want to have this dress’s little zip tie babies. The judges love it as well, and Justin gets his first win – not only of the season, but ever on Project Runway. Yay!

The worst looks

So much for bringing a past winner back, huh? Michelle lands in the bottom for the second week in a row and I’m I-told-you-so-ing all over the place.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Michelle: In my opinion, this is another cop out. Unlike with Jay, the judges agree with me this time. Michelle creates her own fabric from strips of a construction vest, which she paints and sews into a chevron pattern. It’s cute. It fits well. It’s the most boring thing ever, though. I mean, what part of this says “unconventional challenge”?  For an all-star and a past winner, this sh*t is weak. The judges are disappointed, but Michelle is safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Chris: Oh, my dear Chris March. Oh, honey. No. Just…no. His downfall here is that he changed his design and he knows it. The judges know it, too. When he mentions that he switched his bottom around so that his garment would be different from Dmitry’s, Georgina Chapman tells him not to worry about things like that – just do Chris. It’s good advice and I hope he takes it to heart. Despite the corset being interesting, it looks too much like…a corset made of rope. It’s not high fashion and it still looks too much like stuff he found at a construction site. Chris is safe, though.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Alexandria: Elie Tahari is the only judge who likes Alexandria’s design. Snooki says it reminds her of a spider, while Georgina says that it’s so 1980s that it becomes a caricature of itself. Ouch. I honestly think that Chris’s garment is worse, but yeah…this is not good. Considering what some of the others were able to do with the same materials – tarp, netting – the dress isn’t feminine or flattering. It’s unfortunate, because I think Alexandria is much better than this.

The results

Poor Alexandria. She talks about how much it stung to come in second place during her season and I know that she was really looking for redemption this time around. Unfortunately, she won’t get it. She’s sent home. Total bummer.

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