Saturday, February 20, 2016

Project Runway All Stars Episode 2

This week, on Project Runway All Stars:

The designers meet at the studios of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for a challenge that involves creating elegant and dramatic looks that show how fabric can move on the body and through the air. In other words, serve as a parachute in case the wearer is pushed out of a plane.

They are also treated by a mini performance by the Alvin Ailey dancers, who are elegant and dramatic themselves.

Sketching happens at the studio, then on to Mood to spend $300.

Back at the studio, everyone commences to sewing--after they play with the wind machine.

Mitchell has a problem with Sam, and the producers decide this is a grand time for them to have it out. It seems that Sam, who has been recapping all of the various PR shows on his blog, Sam Is Blond (even though his hair is really sort of light brown), said some weawwy mean and hurtful things about poow poow widdle Mitchell during his season. And maybe he did. Sam is not one to mince words--he says mean things about a lot of people. And for fuck's sake, that's the whole point of recapping. If you're just going to be nice to everyone about everything, it's not fun to read. Not at all. And it's certainly not fun to write. In any case, Sam is occasionally mean, to Mitchell and others, but he's also very astute, has a good eye, and makes a lot of really solid points about design and construction. And personality.

Advice to Mitchell and everyone else: if you don't like criticism, stay far away from the public eye.

Also, Mitchell--"slander" is spoken, while "libel" is in print.

Zanna Roberts Rassi then comes in for her critique. She looks pretty sharp in her oxblood leather dress. Considering how she usually looks like an escapee from the Asylum for Middle Aged People Who Dress Like Homeless Teens, and Alyssa has dressed fairly well in the past, I think their wardrobes have been switched this season.

She's super critical, and the designers really need that. Most of them seem to think that flowy fabrics are enough to meet the challenge, except for Stella, who has strips of leathuh streaming from the shoulders of her gown. All I could think is that I didn't want to be walking behind her gal in a windstorm. Losing an eye could be a very real proposition with those things whipping around.

She hates on Mitchell's dress, telling him he needs to edit. It's looking like bubblegum bondage, or as she puts it, "Barney meets Tinkerbell." I'm not seeing the Barney at all, but it makes for a great soundbite.

She gets to the point with Danielfranco, telling him basically that it looks like a big camo garbage bag. That's what I'd tell him, anyway.

Meanwhile, Daniel thinks that Vanessa's design looks the most like a prom dress, and that it's "borderline tasteless." And this is perhaps why he doesn't get very far in competitions. He doesn't understand what words mean, so can't apply them to his own work. 

The designers finish up the day without further incident.

The next morning, they have the usual short period of panic time before sending their models to the General Schwartzkopf Military Hair Salon and Laura Geller Warpaint Studio. The designers also pick accessories from the K-Mart Hooker Shoe Collection and Downright Ugly But It's A Sponsor So We Have to Use It Jewelry Wall.

Anyhoo, it's time for the runway show. But first, we have to pick apart poor, dear, Alyssa's wardrobe.

She's wearing a matching blue turtleneck and shorts. Wait. Let that sink in. Monochromatic turtleneck and shorts. Maybe from the Gap. What the everloving fuck? It's not flattering in any way, not cute. Not even Rihanna could make this get-up alluring, or even appropriate for judging a fashion show. I did, however, think of one person who could possibly pull off this look.

This week, Vanessa Hudgins is joining the usual "iconic" judges, Isaac Mizrahi and Mrs. Harvey Weinstein. Isaac is in his typical all-black uniform, and Georgina is wearing something she made out of recycled plastic grocery bags. Way to be eco-conscious!

The models parade down the runway. Asha's is pretty, but the way the pattern doesn't join flawlessly at the side seams bothers me. Valerie's flows beautifully (and is not at all tacky, Danielfranco). Alexander's drama comes from a cape that looks exactly like a big black parachute. The dress under it is merely semi-tacky lace fabric sewn over a black bodysuit. It's costume-y, and personally, I think it's awful. Sam's dress is quite dramatic, and owes a lot to the striped fabric he chose to use. Had it been a solid color, it might have been merely a resortwear dress with an overlong train. Ken's is very yellow. Danielfranco's dress is still not dramatic, elegant, or sexy. As he said in his own words, "it blows like crazy." Emily's dress is...well. Just a bunch of fabric tacked together in spots. With matching bermuda shorts. Stella's is fine. Black, of course, with leather and studs and whatnot, but pretty elegant. Not loving the cat o'hundred tails, but she's definitely safe. Fade sends an old lady down the runway. For an old lady, the look is pretty damn chic. The late Joan Rivers would have rocked the heck out of it. Overall, however, the floaty black and white fabric wasn't enough to balance the stiffness of the gold fabric underneath. And the styling is...not at all youthful. If the point of the challenge was to age the model, he would have won, hands down.

Mitchell's blue and pink nightmare now has dirty gray gills and fins attached to it. He thinks his design is "on point." Now, the phrase "on point" never made sense to me to begin with, partly because I'm old and don't understand modern slang. An attempt to clarify the situation by looking it up on the Interwebs only led to more confusion. has many definitions for the phrase "on point," from "satisfactory, meets standards," to "not to be stoned/drunk," to "gorgeous, sexy, without imperfection." There's also "tight, right on time, cautious," and "when something is ultimate perfection." But I feel the best and most true definition is this: "An expression that means immaculate, impeccable, flawless, superb, quintessential, or just simply good. Usually used by people who severely lack in vocabulary." 

You will never catch me saying "on point," because I have a vocabulary. 

God, I love being old sometimes. 

Dom's is fine. Lots of black. She calls it "angel of death." Kini's looks like candy corn come to life.

Kini, Valerie and Sam are on top. I like Val's best; there's something elegant about the simplicity of it. Sam gets the win, though, which probably irks Mitchell to no end.

Emily, Fade, and Alexander are on the bottom.
An aside: does anyone else think that Emily must be a fan of the Beast? Also, she must have had a cold (or maybe takes primal scream therapy) because she sounded very hoarse throughout the episode.

Alexander, who had the worst look in my book, was called out for his tacky "Wonder Woman" cuffs. And Isaac found Emily's nude bra, "unforgiveable." And poor Fade had so many problems with his look, from aging his model to not enough movement.

He's out.

Always a shame when the more arty designers are cut. It's not that they are bad at all, it's just that their non-conformity sticks out like a sore thumb. Taken by itself, Fade's dress is not a loser. Not by a long-shot. It just didn't adhere to the challenge's requirements as stringently as some of the other looks, even the ones on the bottom.

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