Saturday, March 12, 2016

Project Runway All Stars Episode 5 Recap

Not really in the right mood to recap today, plus the video on the Lifetime site was giving me fits and the photos weren't working at all. Soooo.....I'm going to make this one relatively short. At least, short on images.

Alyssa comes out wearing a dress that would not have been out of place in Isaac Mizrahi's old Target collection. It's not completely awful, but keeping with the tradition of this season, it ain't great, either. At least it's not an unflattering shape or color. She also has the dreaded Button Bag of Doom.

She introduces ten naked people, members of Young Naturists America, a group of people who like to walk around naked for whatever reason. Bully for them, but don't dare put a bare ass on any of my upholstered furniture. The challenge this week is to design fashionable winterwear--'cause even nudists want to put something on when it's cold. Shrinkage and all that. Not only do the designers have to put out something that is fashionable, but also something that their models are comfortable wearing.

Alyssa hands the button bag to last week's winner, Sam, who chooses a person and passes the bag around until all designers have their assignments. They then troop to the workroom with their respective nudists to have a consultation. This brings up a question: is the runway set and the workroom in the same building? If not, that means the naked folks have to cover up in order to get from one place to another, then disrobe again. So contrived. Even if they were in the same building, chances are they had to put on robes at least, so as not to offend the sensibilities of any non-PR people they could encounter on the way from one place to another.

After sketching and chatting, the designers get $250 to spend at Mood.

Back in the workroom, Kini is *still* bitter about the praise Sam got for garments Kini created, and comments that he has no idea why Sam won last week's challenge. Layana piles on and asks Kini what he's making for Sam this week. Sam, apparently forgetting that Kini not only finished his pants but also *designed* the top for his model two weeks ago, says, "Kini is a very talented sewer. Period." Sam also takes the opportunity to trash talk Mitchell, saying he starts out with a good sketch, then everything goes to hell. Of course, nobody really has any faith in Mitchell as a designer. Alexander thinks, with this challenge, he is in over his head, and Mitch himself admits that he has no clue about outerwear, as he's from south Florida where his wardrobe consists of flip flops and Speedos--not much more material than the naturists wear.

This bitchiness makes me miss Project Runway Junior. Those young designers had not yet developed egos, so were nothing but supportive toward each other. I didn't find it the least bit boring; in fact, it allowed me to forget that Donald Trump exists and have a little hope for our future.

Zanna comes in to burst the designers' bubbles further. For some reason, she claims to have confidence in Sam to make his insane fabric choices work, but she dumps on Valerie's relatively staid grey/lime/camo/other print choices. She also thinks that Kini has too many things going on, what with his hoodie, coat, kilt, sheer shirt, and whatever else he's planning on whipping up in the next few hours. Zanna says she's all for Ken's manskirt, but her reaction seems to indicate otherwise. She praises Emily's decision to make the skirt and sleeves on her outfit short, so her nudist doesn't have to go from completely naked to completely covered. And before she leaves, she points out the cheap-ass accessories and shoes to remind everyone that Sponsors Are Important.

The naturists come in for fittings, thankfully wearing underwear so they don't rub their junk all over the designer's fabrics. Sam's client doesn't seem to like his green and yellow plaid mohair coat, but she is polite about it. Just the words "green and yellow plaid mohair coat," make me shudder. It sounds like something that a horse should wear, not a human. But Mood had a big roll of the stuff...some unfortunate person out there in the world is going to end up wearing green and yellow plaid mohair. We can only hope that it ends up on an even more unfortunate couch.

Once the naked people leave the workroom, Sam goes from person to person, asking if they have any leftover fabric so he can make something less-ugly than what he's got. Of course nobody has anything left for him, even if they do have scraps large enough to make another garment. Kini tells him that he's made extra pieces though, just in case. Ha ha, Kini, ha ha.

Meanwhile, Mitchell, is turning out something quite different for him - something that looks good. It's simple, not over-embellished, and quite amazing for someone who has never even made a jacket before, much less a wool coat. It's not haute couture, to be sure, but it's better than the average Made by Mitchell rag.

The next day, the naked people are transformed into clothed people. They are also mercifully underaccessorized with junk jewelry and ugly shoes and head to the runway. Alyssa is dressed as Bea Arthur from her Maude days. Maude Goes to a Fancy Party: sparkly black pants, black top, knee-length vest. Some maribou feathers would have really completed the look.

This week's guest judges are fashion blogger Aimee Song and former Halston apprentice, now super well-known designer, Naeem Khan.

The runway show is weird. The models come out naked first, then are automagically clothed by the miracle of television. I love Layana's look, the weird pleated pants and the terrific leather + non-leather jacket. She's in love with it, too, according to her voiceover. We didn't see much of her in the workroom, so it's definitely just a safe look, I also like Emily's and Dom's looks, both of whom are chosen to among the top designers this week, along with Kini, and, what? Mitchell!

I like almost everything about Emily's look - the length, the colors, the fabric she chose for the coat. I do wish the cape were more dramatic, and that the black belt were, I'm not sure - narrower? But it's a great look and totally Emily.

Mitchell's look is pretty amazing, considering what all else we've seen from him. The break on his pants is very sloppy, but alas that seems to be the style these days, as if men can no longer afford a tailor. But the coat and the sweater vest + cowl are great. He really should think of switching from making somewhat tacky (ok, more than somewhat) womenswear to menswear.

Not sure at all where Sam's pretty little head was this week, other than up his perky little ass. The bulky blobular sweater and overly voluminous skirt remind me of some of the fat girl work clothes I wore in the 80s (accompanied by a fluffy Farrah Fawcett-style hairdo and oversized glasses, although the sweater would have been pink back then). That sweater could only look chic if it were paired with something with less volume on the bottom, like perhaps skinny black pants. To her credit, his client didn't seem to loathe it. She isn't called "Zen" for nothing.

Val also seemed to go back a step this week, although her pieces weren't as much of a crime as Sam's.

Georgina claimed that Valerie's coat looked like a "housecoat on steroids." The image to the left is a housecoat. I don't think Georgina has ever laid eyes on such a thing, and she was just reaching for a Michael Korsian insult just to hurt Val's feelings. Personally, while I agree that there was a tad too much fabric in that coat, that the triangle print was completely unnecessary and it was a bit bulky, I thought it was otherwise pretty fabulous. In a thinner fabric than wool, lined with something also not wool (but in the same grey and lime palette) on a taller woman with a longer neck, it would be gorgeous.

I'm not at all a fan of camo, so I can't say anything nice about that part. But her client seemed happy, and that was part of the challenge.

The designers are dismissed and the judges deliberate. Dom's military-inspired coat was great, but not amazing, and Kini's was pretty good, but not the entire look, so they were dismissed early on. That left Mitchell and Emily to contend for the top position. While Mitchell's was pretty amazing--for him--it wasn't quite challenge-winning caliber. Emily's definitely was, and she was awarded her very first win ever.

The two bottom looks were deemed "Salvation Army," "dreary," and "aggressively clueless," which, when applied to Valerie's look, seemed a fairly clueless comment in itself. Yet, the judges noted, both Valerie and Sam pleased their clients. While that was a mandate of the challenge, I'm not sure it was as important as "create fashionable winterwear." By that measure, Sam clearly should have been out, having created neither fashionable nor winterwear. Alas, both designers were given a second chance, the second time this season that nobody went home.

Back in the green room, the other designers were surprised to find out that both Val and Sam were staying on in the competition, merely because they were good designers. It was brought up that neither Stella nor Fade, both also good designers, were given that second chance. And Alexander remarked that perhaps he should try flirting with the judges, as Sam seems to do (at least last week).

Are the producers just trying to ramp up the drama on this show, knowing if they get rid of Sam this week and Mitchell sooner rather than later, there will be that much less drama? Even Ken seems to be comporting himself as a gentleman this season, so he's not a reliable source for crazy anymore.

Things that make you go...hmmm.

Posted by theminx on
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