Project Runway All-Stars Recap: The Judges Get It Wicked Wrong

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

I am just going to come out and say it: I’m already mad at the judges on Project Runway All-Stars. Maybe it’s because they didn’t have Georgina Chapman’s level head to guide them this week, or maybe they’re just big dummies, but boy did they get it wrong. WRONG. So wrong. Opposite of correct. Wronggity wrongster. There are a dozen people left and they sent home one of the most successful, innovative designers. Oh, I’m sorry, Isaac Mizrahi – have you dressed Meryl Streep for the Oscars? Did you get hired to design Beyonce’s tour wardrobe? What’s that? No, you haven’t?? Oh, okay then.

The challenge

I will now attempt to channel my rage, although I make no promises.  The challenge this week is “good versus wicked,” or “go see Wicked on Broadway.” One of the two. The designers meet Alyssa Milano at the Gershwin Theatre, where she and the stars of the musical Wicked introduce the week’s theme. The designers will be paired up into six teams of two and each will be assigned “good” or “wicked.” Their looks should be couture – or as couture as you can make it in two days – and they’re given $250 to shop for materials. The winning design will be displayed at the Gershwin, which is a pretty cool prize.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

The teams are as follows:

  • Fabio (good) vs. Justin (wicked)
  • Sonjia (good) vs. Kate (wicked)
  • Helen (good) vs. Benjamin (wicked)
  • Michelle (good) vs. Chris (wicked)
  • Jay (good) vs. Samantha (wicked)
  • Gunnar (good) vs. Dmitry (wicked)

The drama

The designers are all a little iffy about going up against each other. Many of them are friends and truly respect each other as designers. Then again, there are contestants like Gunnar, who says he would gladly go home next week if he could beat Dmitry (spoiler alert: he does not beat Dmitry). Michelle doesn’t want to compete against Chris, because he’s one of her best friends and Fabio and Justin don’t want to compete against each other because they’re like, the nicest guys in Nice Town.

The real drama comes from designers struggling with the couture aspect of the challenge. It’s very hard to make things not look like a craft project when you only have two days. Helen is creating this ruffle thing that Zanna Roberts Rassi compares to a bath loofah (she ain’t wrong) and Kate is just trying to cope with the “wicked” parameters of her assignment not allowing her to create another white dress. Fabio wants to break gender barriers by not making a traditional gown, so he does this thing with pants underneath. He’s afraid it will look like an apron (spoiler alert: it looks like an apron). Meanwhile, Samantha scraps her look and starts over when Zanna gives her a rough critique.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

The best looks

The team aspect of this thing makes it sort of hard to understand – each team has a winner and a loser, but not all of them are on the top or bottom. The winners of each team are: Michelle, Samantha, Justin, Sonjia, Dmitry and Benjamin. Gunnar, Jay and Kate technically “lost,” but they are safe. Michelle, Benjamin and Justin “won,” but are also safe. That means the top looks come from Sonjia, Dmitry and Samantha. Really? Uh, okay. Joining Alyssa and Isaac are Betsey Freaking Johnson and Ariel Winter from Modern Family. Well, at least one of those people is qualified to be here.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Samantha: Despite making this entire look in like, a couple of hours, Sam’s look is one of the judges’ favorite. I think it’s lovely, and impressive considering the time crunch, but nothing special. Betsey Johnson says that it doesn’t seem wicked enough for her – but everyone agrees that it’s beautiful. Samantha is safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Dmitry: Gunnar says that Dmitry’s gown looks like an ice skating costume, and Michelle calls it more “cooter-ture” than couture, because the front slit is so high. The judges, on the other hand, are in love with it. The only complaints come from Isaac, who wishes it showed more skin, and Betsey, who again thinks the dress isn’t wicked enough. I think it looks like something from Maleficent and I love it, but I do see Isaac’s point about the middle. If it showed more skin, it would make the model’s torso look longer. Regardless, Dmitry is safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Sonjia: Oh my God, Sonjia’s dress is uh-may-zing. Seriously, look at it up close. It’s fantastic. The shape, the lace bodice, the petal skirt, the way it makes the model look good, but also powerful? I love it. The judges love it, too. It’s one of the few dresses, in my opinion, that actually looks expensive and couture. The fit is perfect, too. Obviously, Sonjia’s dress wins and will be displayed at the Gershwin. Yay, Sonjia!

The worst looks

Uh oh, I’m about to get rage-y again. In the bottom are Fabio, Helen and Chris. I love Chris March so much, you guys, because this is the face he makes when they tell him:

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

FOR REAL. Ugh, such baloney. He’s like, “I’m sorry, are you f*cking kidding me with this sh*t?” and I hear ya, Chris. I really do. But they are not kidding, because they are WRONG.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Fabio: There are many elements to Fabio’s garment that I like – the pants actually look pretty cool (you can see them better here) and I love that he’s trying to break gender roles by going beyond the traditional long gown for a woman. Unfortunately, there’s not much about it that says “couture,” and it really kind of does look like an apron. The judges don’t get it and while they appreciate his risk-taking, they don’t think it meets the requirements of the challenge. He’s safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Helen: Wow, Helen’s dress is super fugly. The handmade ruffles are, on their own, very gorgeous and truly couture. But the whole thing is weird and I hate it. The judges sort of laugh at it for a while, to the point where I almost feel bad for her (but I truly dislike Helen, so I don’t). Betsey Johnson says that the ruffled side piece is a great place to set your drink down at a party. I adore Betsey Johnson. Isaac points out that, just because you work really hard on something and it takes you a long time, it’s not necessarily good. Ouch. Her loofah gown also gets called a “duvet” and an “epic failure.” Oddly, though, she’s safe.

Source: Lifetime TV
Source: Lifetime TV

Chris: The judges are like, “You really missed the mark on this one.” He did? How? I guess they were expecting Chris March, king (queen?) of costumes, to make this massive, fluffy, elaborate black spangled thing. He didn’t, so they hate what he made instead. Isaac Mizrahi – who, again, has never been hired to dress Meryl Streep for the Oscars or design for Beyonce’s tour – doesn’t like that it’s made of t-shirt material. Ariel Winter, who is on the Worst Dressed list at every Golden Globes and Emmys, thinks it looks like a “Hot Topic t-shirt dress.” Alyssa Milano, whose maternity clothes resemble Christmas tree ornaments, is disappointed in him. Betsey Johnson, acclaimed fashion designer and innovator, loves it. Hmm. I think the model looks like a badass steampunk villain, but what do I know?

The results 

Chris March goes home. I throw things. WRONG. NOPE. GOODBYE.

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