I feel like I haven’t seen Project Runway All-Stars in about a year, but apparently it’s only been a couple of weeks. I took a little blog vacay, so I haven’t had a chance to write about the show since Chris March was wrongfully eliminated for his “Wicked” design. And if you’re wondering, yes, I am still mad about it. The judges sort of made up for it, though, by eliminating Kate Pankoke for the third time because she made a weird, sparkly babydoll dress with floating appendages. Can we safely say that we are free of Kate Pankoke forever? No one knows. She might pop up again next season. Hell, maybe she’ll put her hair in pigtails and try out for Threads. I’m just glad we’re rid of her for now. In other news, Helen took home her first win for making a red dress about her failed love life. It had droopy sad shoulders, because I guess her ex-boyfriend made her droopy. This week, the show gives us a lame promo for the upcoming movie Paddington and then a trip to London hosted by Fergie, the Duchess of York herself.
The challenge, as I said, is supposed to be inspired by Paddington Bear, to promote the upcoming film. This is pretty dumb until the designers hop on a plane and fly to Paddington’s hometown – London, England. Zanna Roberts Rassi and Fergie (!!) meet the designers to explain their challenge: design a piece of outerwear, much like Paddington’s famous coat. Okay, that’s way less lame. The Duchess of York will wear the winning design. Dang.
The designers are fairly drama-free this week. They are all adorably grateful for their whirlwind trip to London, which ends with Zanna, Fergie, a penthouse suite and high tea. I mean, jeez. Gunnar is especially excited, because this is his first time out of the country. It’s sweet to see him genuinely happy, with nary a snarky comment made.
Of course, not everyone is happy. Benjamin and Sonjia both want the same fabric. Sonjia buys it, which means that Benjamin has to change his entire concept, because he doesn’t want to use the same materials as someone else. He gets really pissy about it, even though he’s the one who makes the decision. Meanwhile, Dmitry’s neoprene gets crinkled in the trip back from London and it can’t be ironed, which leaves him in a bit of a mess. He makes this weird tulle ombré overlay to cover it up. It’s pretty iffy. Samantha is making a very, very oversized coat, which is also iffy. Finally, Benjamin – who actually ends up with a nice fabric despite the Sonjia situation – puts see-through pockets on his coat and it’s weird. Zanna Roberts Rassi is like, “You are all kind of sucking, please suck less” and then acts like she represents the entirety of London fashion by saying, “Don’t embarrass me.” Um, okay.
The best looks
I am at the point where, when the judges announce the six best and worst looks, I can’t tell which is which. Because the judges this season are insane, mostly. Like, for instance, when they called Dmitry’s name, I thought he’d be on the bottom, whereas I thought Jay would be on top. I was wrong on both counts. Shrug. In place of Georgina Chapman this week, we have supermodel Karen Elson and guest judge Debra Messing, who somehow always shows up on Project Runway.
Justin: The judges love Justin’s look and so do I, even though I agree with everyone that the back slit was maybe not the best idea. The red lining on the heavy, grey fabric is lovely, though. Alyssa Milano is amazed at how he made a heavy fabric give such a flattering fit. Alyssa is wearing a roll of Charmin with a top knot bun made of fake hair, by the way. Karen Elson loves it and thinks it’s very London and Debra Messing’s eyes bug out, which I suppose is good. Justin is safe.
Dmitry: Despite using tulle to cover up his crinkled neoprene, Dmitry is very happy with his final design and the judges are in love. Isaac Mizrahi thinks it’s genius to make a coat from tulle and Karen Elson “sees London” in it. Alyssa Milano says she needs new words in her vocabulary to describe how she feels about Dmitry’s work, which is a bit hyperbolic, no? But obviously, he’s safe.
Fabio: Fabio was inspired by the way London represents classic and modern at the same time and he wanted his coat to do the same. The judges? Cah-ray-zee for it. Alyssa Milano says she’s developing “an unhealthy obsession” with Fabio. Between her intense swooning over Dmitry and Fabio, I think someone’s pregnancy hormones are getting to her. Debra Messing says she’s never seen anything like this coat (in a good way) and Isaac thinks it’s genius. I can’t really see Fergie wearing this, but it is an amazing coat. Fabio wins!
The worst looks
As I said, I was surprised by some of the bottom looks (Jay) but others weren’t as shocking. Samantha and her floppy, oversized coat were doomed from the start and everyone knew that Benjamin would crash and burn for those pockets.
Jay: I actually really like this coat, so I am surprised when the judges start hating all over it. The tailoring is perfect, but everyone thinks there is way too much going on in the front. Alyssa says that she loves the back, but the front is too busy. The thing is, I love the front? I think it’s so interesting. Karen doesn’t see the London influence. I am very outvoted on this one. Jay is in the bottom, but he is safe.
Samantha: Oh, Sam. I think this coat could’ve been really successful if she’d used a different fabric. I kind of like how big and floppy it is – it sort of reminds me of a bunny? – but it needs some structure underneath to give it more of a defined shape. The color choice is also pretty blah – up close, it’s a grey pattern, but you can barely tell. The judges appreciate her effort, but don’t think it was a success. She is, however, safe.
Benjamin: Why oh why did Benjamin make those pockets? I just do. Not. Understand. The coat, in my opinion, actually has a very cute and flattering shape. Debra Messing thinks it’s too junior, though, but she was on Smash, so I don’t take her opinion seriously. Isaac likes the fabric and he likes the shape, but he doesn’t like the fabric and the shape together. The combination is “blah” and “drab.” To me, this isn’t any gloomier than Justin’s look, but I can’t get past the pockets. The pockets are so bad.
The judges really hate Benjamin’s look. Like, really really. Isaac says that he’s offended by it and Debra messing gets this face on when she discusses it, like she’s talking about a flesh-eating bacteria. Calm down, guys. I’m getting offended by all this hyperbole, but okay. Benjamin goes home. Bye, Ben!