The Project Runway All Stars producers are obviously into water this season. This week the designers met at another pool. Actually it was a the the Long Island Aquarium where Alyssa met them with two penguins and let it be known she was the inspiration for Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Yawn. What little girl isn’t (in her mind). The designers are to use the tanks of fish and sea life for inspiration for this week’s avant-garde challenge. Yes, that’s right. Get ready for the whacky.
The designers are told they have 2 days to work and a budget of $150 unless one of them sketches underwater in the shark tank. Then everyone will receive and extra $100. Helen volunteers because she knows $250 is going to make her a favorite with her comrades and she blew her last avant garde challenge from her season.
The workroom is once again boring except Justin seems to be losing steam. Helen helps him with extra fabric (I don’t remember her being this nice her season, wasn’t she a bitch?) and Dmitry is now voicing his displeasure at not having previously won a challenge since he is clearly (in his mind) the most talented of this sorry lot. If you have watched every season of Project Runway like we have, you know this is foreshadowing that he will win. Project Runway has become a formula. Those designers who think they have made “da bomb du jour” get booted and those who run out of fabric, are uninspired or redesign their entire look in the last 10 minutes, usually win. Go figure.
Oh and I have to digress and mention how annoying the product placement has become: “It’s time to now go to the Chi Hair Studio” and “So I grabbed these two amazing bangles from the QVC wall.” Barf. Who would talk like that? Then again, Top Chef is worse I suppose. It just really made me cringe last night.
Off to the runway where this week’s judges were Alyssa, Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and guest judge Nicole Sherzinger (a designer?) from the Pussycat Dolls.
Dimitry – His inspiration was a seahorse. He used sheer fabric woven on with off-white to portray the skeleton of said seahorse. His dress was very skillful and beautiful, but hardly avant-garde. The judges however seem to forget that part and are so taken by the skill, Dmitry is declared the winner.
Michelle – Her inspiration is the cuttlefish. The gown itself was an odd color combination and an unflattering fit, but what really mesmerized the judges was the off-center lipstick of the model which gave her “resting bitch face.” You couldn’t look away, but the garment itself was not that great.
Helen – Her inspiration was obviously the shark since it might have eaten her had she not chosen it. The judges liked this one and I thought for sure the mass of ruffles would land her in the bottom. It didn’t. It did not read shark at all. Go figure.
Jay – His inspiration was the monkfish. This was my least favorite of the runway. The mismatched seems of the skirt unnerved me, but the judges didn’t seem to notice. Georgina comments she gets a David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust vibe from this design which I find an insult to Mr. Bowie. I guess the silver and black cape-like top could have looked a bit 70’s avant garde if you squinted. He’s safe. I don’t agree, but whatever.
Fabio – His inspiration was the red bubble anemone. His pink “backwards” shirt vest and wide pants are completely confusing and looks nothing like his fish. The final product was utterly uninspired, but the judges like Fabio – even though the designs he wears himself are usually better than what he sends down the runway. Surprisingly, he’s safe.
Justin – His inspiration was the scroll coral, but he was obviously uninspired this week. The end result was a tortured 80s power luncheon suit in a hideous yellow color with an even worse fit. Even after a win last week, he’s out and we are sad.
“Once I hear avant-garde I was like … Oh sh**t!” – Helen
“Come on…It’s like, if I can buy more fabric, I’ll risk my life for that.” – Helen
“It’s really hard to sketch under water.” – Helen
“You can take a whole family of four in this gown.” – Zanna
“This reminds me of a shower curtain…again” – Zanna
“It needs to be attractive – not just weird.” – Zanna
“I think Helen is making a big priestess costume for a vanilla planet that just serves soft-serve.”- Michelle
“I don’t get ‘shark’ – but who cares!” – Isaac
“Georgina can’t stop looking at it and I can’t stop myself from looking at it.” – Isaac
“She’s got resting bitch face.” – Alyssa
“Did you design what you’re wearing? Because I like that!” – Guest
“To me it was like ‘avant-garde’ ” – Isaac, using quote fingers gesture
“That looked like ‘Party City'” – Isaac
“Fabio, I’m glad you’re still here … because I really admire your work.” – Justin
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– Lauren Dimet Waters