Saturday, March 26, 2016

Project Runway All Stars Season 5 Episode 7 or, Really Sam? Kini? That Fabric is Hideous.

This week, the designers go to Mood before they do anything else. Alyssa is lying in wait for them, evidently just back from the gym. She's wearing a red cropped tank and black shapeless pants. Why else would she be wearing this unless she had just been working out?

The designers are told they will be shopping for fabric first, then designing, and they all freak out a little bit. The goal is to make high-end resort evening wear, but of course, there's a little twist. Rather than having full control of their textiles, the designers will be assigned fabric categories; they can only choose the colors and patterns with which they will work. Alyssa calls Ken over, as the winner of last week's challenge, and tells him to choose a colored envelope and distribute the rest to his fellow competitors. They open the envelopes to find their assignments, which range from the sublime (linen, lightweight cotton) to the ridiculous (neoprene, upholstery, brocade).

The designers scurry off to shop with a $200 budget. Sam, clearly not in his right mind, decides on some completely hideous turquoise and silver crap. He's been assigned lace, you see, so he decides to just sabotage himself right then and there. But crack is powerful stuff. He tells us that his piece is going to be so amazing, it will knock everyone else off the runway. Yeah, in horror.

The designers get back to the workroom and find that Alyssa is there, too. They know that can't be good, and it's not. As a further twist, she makes them switch shopping bags and work with the fabrics chosen by another competitor. It's kind of like Chopped, what with the designers essentially getting baskets of mystery ingredients with which to work.

Ken starts off by taking Asha's nearly-neon orange neoprene, Asha takes Dom's jersey, and so on down the line until only Kini and Sam are left. They, by far, have made the worst fabric choices, and they get to swap with each other. It's almost as if they knew in advance they'd have to swap, so chose the ugliest material they could find. Sam says that getting Kini's baby blue and baby pink brocade is the equivalent of getting coal for Christmas. At least Kini was on trend--baby pink and baby blue, known as "rose quartz" and "serenity" in Pantone parlance, are the colors of the year for 2016. Not a particularly comforting thought, however, as they are still both pretty horrible, especially together, in a garment for anyone over the age of 3.

Everyone kinda stomps around, angry at the turn of events, but then they get down to work. Ken is annoyed at the color of Asha's fabric, which begs the question of why he chose it. Valerie is happy with Layana's peachy cotton sateen, and Layana seems pleased with Ken's dark red silk charmeuse. Both are making jumpsuits, because that's the only thing Project Runway designers seem to know how to make anymore. Dom, checking out the rainbow of linen that Valerie had purchased, decided it was too "Toucan Sam," and picks just a couple of the fabrics to work with. She then cuts strips from the blue and yellow and sews them together to make her own striped textile.

Emily, on the other hand, is not at all happy with the fabrics originally chosen by Alexander. He has five yards of a sheer grey with ginormous clownish polka dots, and a yard and a half of a stiff dark red, which he says was all they had. His assignment was upholstery fabric; why that sheer was in that section is a mystery. According to the Mood website, it "has a hand similar to organza" and is "great for drapery." Emily can't figure out what to do, so she's draping a dress. Personally, I'd do a short little sleeveless dress in the red fabric, with a floor-length sheer over-skirt. Or, a top and booty shorts with sheer super wide-leg trousers to go over. But I'm not a professional designer, so what do I know?

Before we know it, it's Zanna Time. She critiques Sam's work first. It's a jumpsuit, of course, his 15th in 7 episodes. Zanna has seen it from him before, and she says it's very Disney cruise. Ha!

She tells Valerie, for the second week in a row, that hers needs a "wow factor." Kini says he's not happy with the lace at all, but Zanna's like, suck it up and make it work.

Layana's jumpsuit is "gown-y" but as it's an eveningwear contest and I don't see the issue here. Weepy Emily's dress is "too serious" and Zanna would rather see something "strappy and sexy" from her. And everybody says the word "aesthetic" at least four times each.

Sam's not feeling the whole Disney cruise thing, so he scraps his original design and goes for making a gown with the other horrible rose quartz and serenity brocade.

Let's rant, shall we?

Keep in mind, folks, that Mood is huge. Multiple floors of fabulous fabrics. There is not just one kind of lace (ugly, floral) or one kind of brocade (ugly, floral). Take a look at these fabrics I found on the Mood website.

These are lace. While the third one is kind of pricey at $80 a yard, it shows that lace need not be what typically comes to mind when one thinks of lace. The first one is $40 a yard, but pretty amazing. And if one really wants to buy stereotypical lace, why not some pretty crochet stuff? Several seasons back, white crochet lace dresses were all the rage. Dolce & Gabbana does amazing stuff with lace, even the kind that looks like grandma's table covers. But note that none of it is turquoise with giant silver roses. There's no way that someone can make that stuff look good in one day. Or one month.

As for brocade, it doesn't have to look like upholstery or flocked wallpaper. The first example is a gorgeous Carolina Herrera fabric at a mere $40 a yard. The others run $25 a yard. With the right trim and a bit of imagination (they are professional designers, right?) even an ikat-style brocade or wide awning stripes can become a fab eveningwear garment. Especially for a resortwear collection.
</end rant>

But, drama.
The next day, the designers raid the Dated Asian Stereotype Shoe Wall and the Grotesque Granny Jewelry Display and send their models to the hair stylists who use products with a German name that are developed with the assistance of a German model but have a British voiceover attempting to pronounce French names in their commercials, and makeup artists who use products from QVC.

The judges this week include Megan Hilty from Smash, a show that Alyssa says received a "cult following." Not ever having been in a cult myself, I can't say I enjoyed it.

Overall, the jury is quite generous with compliments this week, even telling the three designers who are safe (Alexander, Asha, and believe it or not, Kini) that they did a great job.

I can see her ass cheeks, Kini. Ass cheeks only equals eveningwear in Kim Kardashian's world. In fact, I can see Kim in this, but it would have been designed by Riccardo Tischi or Balmain. Or Kanye. But of course then it would really look like this, and the judges would fall all over themselves to tell Kanye how great it is. But I digress.

On top are Ken, Dom, and also miraculously, Sam. Ken's textured neoprene dress is spectacular. He wasn't a fan of the color, but he really made it work. The draping at the top might have been a little too much; a cleaner single shoulder strap might have been better. A halter would have been nice, too, but there were too many of those on the runway already.

Dom's is also pretty fabulous, what with the fabric she made and the flowing lines. It's definitely resort, and definitely evening. Alyssa pees in her lunchbox by saying it reminds her of a beach towel, but maybe that's because the skirt she herself is wearing is reminding her of a beach ball. Dom said the beach towel resemblance was slightly on purpose, because, after all, it was a resort challenge. Alyssa threw her a bitch face.

Sam managed to make something pretty from the less-than-pretty brocade Kini chose for him. Alyssa thinks it looks "homemade," because of course she could whip up something just like this at home.

Then we get to the bottom three, Emily, Layana, and Valerie.

Emily's dress looks like it belongs on a barmaid on Venus (thanks for that comment, Mr Minx!). The judges didn't hate her look, but the belly button + shorts + skirt was a bit much for Mrs Weinstein.

Layana made a jumpsuit with Ken's silk charmeuse, and while the pants flowed beautifully, the top is so skimpy. It's definitely for someone scrawny and flat-chested. And it's painfully boring.

And then there's Valerie's jumpsuit. I hate the styling, which is a little on the cray-cray side. That "turban" looks more like a soiled nappy. When she said she was going to put a turban on her model, I thought she was going to take her full Norma Desmond. Or full Ken.

During the judging, Isaac insists that the freshness and lightness of Ken's and Sam's looks beat out Dom's a little bit. I am stupefied by that statement, because clearly we haven't seen anything like Dom's out there before. Mrs Weinstein doesn't agree. Isaac continues that the drape + hideous cheapass necklace and earrings is a lot of look. And maybe it is. But the styling shouldn't take away from what is a fabulous garment. And why why why does Dom not deserve to win this challenge? (And several prior challenges.)

Isaac and Georgina also disagree on the bottom looks. Taking Emily out of the equation for whatever reason, Isaac prefers Layana's jumpsuit (as does Alyssa) but Georgina thinks Layana has a taste issue. But they make their decision and offer a verdict.

Dom's look is the winner (yay!) and Megan Hilty has decided she wants to wear it at her next Broadway event. 5'3" size 8 Megan Hilty wants to wear the same dress that the size 5'11" size 2 model is wearing. Looks like Dom will be spending more time cutting linen into strips and sewing it into a new textile.

The judges had a hard time deciding between Layana and Valerie, because both are "such all stars." Yeah, but you can't give everyone a second chance every week. It's already happened twice in the last six episodes. They should both go, as both of their jumpsuits were equally meh. Instead, Valerie is sent home.

Next week: Sam makes a jumpsuit. Kini tells us how much he hates Sam. Alyssa wears something unflattering.

Posted by theminx on
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