In episode 5, Alyssa Milano greets the Project Runway All Stars Season 4 remaining designers on the runway and shows them a short video featuring Paddington Bear. Oh how cute, but what is this? Well then she announces they are going to Paddington Sation in London for this challenge. The designers all squeal with delight. Once they arrive in London, their mentor, Zanna Roberts Rassi meets them at the station. She introduces them to a “surprise guest” and out from behind a big ticket machine or something walks Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of London. The Duchess tells them Paddington Bear is famous for his duffle coat and London’s weather is notoriously bad, so this week’s challenge is to design a piece of outerwear. And (of course) one more thing. She will wear the winning design!
The designers get 200 British Pounds (or $324) and will purchase the fabric in London. For inspiration the designers go sightseeing, get out their note pads and get designing. They are both exited and apprehensive about the fabrics in the London fabric store. There is a bit of who saw it first fabric between Sonjia and Benjamin. Sonjia get the fabric first and Benjamin is thrown into a tizzy over having to change his fabric.
The drama is low when they get back to the studio in New York. Dmitry gets nervous (in his unemotional way) about his wrinkled neoprene, but decides to cover it up with tulle and it works. Helena comments that she likes Dmitry’s look but it does not look “London” but “more like Oslo” (a good comment) and Dmitry thinks Fabio’s coat looks like a dress. Those are the meanest comments so it is not very entertaining. Benjamin starts to gain confidence in his forced fabric design but I don’t know why.
Quick cut to the runway. Guest Judges this week are Karen Elson, British model, singer-songwriter, guitarist and redhead filling in for Fergie, I guess and Debra Messing (another actress promoting a new show, and redhead, but at least she always dresses cool). The only regular judges are Isaac Mizrahi and host Alyssa Milano since Georgina Chapman is on world cruise. I made that up, but that is what I keep thinking.
The designers who are safe are Sonjia, Gunnar, Helen and Michelle.
The Highest Scores
Fabio: The judges were all amazed by the modern mix with classic fabrics, the movement and Isaac was all excited about the sleeve length. Fabio wins this challenge!
Dmitry: His modern look was well received but just not as “Fergie” as Fabio’s.
Justin: The fabrics and contrast with the lining were beautiful but the big opening in the back was like “What?”
The Lowest Scores
Jay: The judges thought too much was going on, it was too sporty, but they loved the back! Jay is safe.
Samantha: Her coat was called a pair of curtains, did not hang right, you could not see the pattern on the fabric, and was not well styled.
Benjamin: His look was considered drab, Junior, granny fabric, and Isaac said the design was “a resignation letter.” Benjamin is out!
“I’ve been in London like 20 minutes and there’s a freakin’ royalty standing right in front of me! -What?” – Gunnar
“I thought London had only one Queen, but now its like ‘look at all these Queens from the United States.’ – Jay
“Hurry the f- up and decide what fabric you’re doing so I don’t have to compromise my design.”
“The duchess poured me tea … with her own hand… this is crazy!” – Sonjia
“I’m not into royalty. I just hope she likes some androgynous coats, because that’s what I’m going to make.” – Fabio
“I’m in a creative mess.” -Dmitry
“This is the first time Zanna actually liked what I was doing.” – Fabio
“Don’t embarrass me in front of the judges!” – Zanna
“I can’t remember which is the front and which is the back.” – Benjamin
“I like it but I don’t think London – I think like Oslo” – Helen
“I feel really good about my design and I feel like it is worthy of a win.” – Benjamin
“I really do think I’m going to win this one.” – Michelle
“To be honest it can look like a pair of curtains.” – Karen Elson
“I’m mad about that sleeve length” – Isaac
“There’s something inexplicably drab about this. Why so drab?” – Isaac
“Is that a rhetorical question?” – Benjamin
“It looks like vintage – Granny takes a trip.” – Karen Elson
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– Carol Calacci
Project Runway All Stars Season 4, Episode 5: Designing For The Duchess
December 5, 2014