'Project Runway: All Stars' recap: 'Green Dress for the Red Carpet'
It's an eco challenge, but some designs really stink up the joint
It's the eco challenge this week, and while I find this to be an admirable effort, I don't have high expectations. Too often green is considered synonymous (at least to designers) with earthy, nutty granola looks that make me hope someone plopped some Birkenstocks on the accessories wall. There's no reason for it, except that sometimes the designers want to make it abundantly clear that their dress is GREEN, and how will you know unless it's ugly?
This week, I'm thrilled that the designers don't have to trudge to the runway for a hint, then a second location for the big reveal as to what their challenge is. Instead, they get to go to a park in New York City that isn't Central Park or Battery Park or… well, it's just one of the many parks in New York City, but what makes it different is that it's on top of the High Line. That's what makes it done of the most exciting parks in New York City! I don't really look for too much excitement in my parks, because that makes me think of Needle Park, but okay. Carolyn presents the architects of the park, then says to the designers, "I know what you're all thinking -- how does this connect to a challenge?"
The park has grass, and grass is green, and it's a green challenge! Yeah, long way to go to connect the dots, but the challenge is that the designers must create a beautiful red carpet look made in an environmentally friendly way. They get to use Aairdye fabrics, and they'll also be recycling embellishments from previous challenges. And the president of the Council of Fashion Designers will be joining them -- Diane von Furstenberg! I think Carolyn could just lead with Diane von Furstenberg. How about creator of the wrap dress? Living legend? Sigh. Anyway, one of the rewards for winning this challenge is that Carolyn will wear the design to her next red carpet event.
After sketching calmly in the park, everyone runs frantically through the workroom to grab trims and act like a bunch of crazy parents fighting over the last Tickle Me Elmo the week before Christmas.
The designers cut and sew and stress out until Joanna Coles shows up in the workroom. She likes Laura Kathleen's idea for a palazzo pant. She also likes Emilio's design and color. She thinks Anthony Ryan's dress looks like something she'd put on the cover of a magazine. So much love! Oh, and then there's Althea. She does not love the drab fabric. I don't always agree with Joanna the few times she has an opinion, but I'm right there with her on this one. Althea got stuck with the last scrap of fabric during the choosing process, so this isn't really her fault. But man, I don't like her plans for this, either. It's like "Little House on the Prairie" goes disco.
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Joanna moves along to let Althea panic on her own. She tells Josh his fabric could look fabulous or hideous. I put my money on hideous! She says Casanova's bodice detail is a bit nipple-focused. She wishes Ivy luck, and I think Ivy will need it. She doesn't seem to be impressed by Uli's dress, and I have my doubts, too.
It's hot in the workroom, and Casanova declares that he stinks, but the designer who's really sweating is Ivy. She's in trouble, and I don't see her getting this done in time.
After a long day, the designers talk. Who's dressed a celerity? Only Althea and Emilio. Althea has dressed Kardashians while Emilio dressed Audra McDonald for the Tonys. Yeah, who's the better designer? Emilio! That's easy. Dressing Kim Kardashian is one step away from creating a line for Bratz dolls.
Runway time! Our judges are Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman and Diane von Furstenberg. Laura Kathleen is wetting herself she's so excited. She loves Diane! She's a living label!
I'm a little underwhelmed. It's a nice design, but it's dark and sort of drab. Forest green on the red carpet? Bleh.
I'm surprised by how much I like this. It is young and fresh, and I like the feathers.
I hate this. It looks like a bunch of fabric samples stapled to a sheath. The color isn't made any less drab by giving it a Mad Max twist. It just looks like what happens when boring fabric survives the apocalypse.
This is kind of great. It's unexpected, the red pops, and the clean lines ensure it isn't a walking headache.
This is not a movie premiere dress, as Anthony Ryan tells us. It looks like a blue Hefty bag, and the poor model is swimming in fabric. It looks like something you'd wear to go shoplifting.
Ooh, this is not good. The bolt of fabric stapled to the side looks like an accident, and the ruching across the bodice doesn't look all that intentional, either.
This is… okay. It's not great. It's not original. But it's not awful. The fabric is a little Holly Hobby, though.
The unfinished hem really ruins this, but it would have been a beautiful dress.
Josh and Casanova are safe. Huh.
Anthony Ryan is up first. Diane likes it a lot. She thinks it's cool and elegant, but maybe there's too much fabric. Isaac is torn. He feels it's a little Hare Krishna, but it looks like him. Carolyn wouldn't want her undies peeking out. Georgina loves the whole feel of this. Really? This is a hot mess!
Ivy is next. Isaac thinks this is the worst this fabric has ever looked. Carolyn wouldn't wear it. Georgina thinks it looks heavy. Diane likes the idea but the execution is poor. I'm not even sure I like the idea. Ivy really needs to work on time management.
Emilio talks about his dress. Carolyn can't get past the lining. Isaac thinks he didn't go all the way. Diane doesn't like the trim. I thought it looked fine except for the raggedy hem, honestly.
Uli talks about her dress. Isaac loves it, and Diane thinks she manipulated the feathers very well. Georgina thinks the feathers saved it from being a sarong.
Althea talks about her ugly ass dress. Carolyn doesn't think it makes any sense. Diane thinks it's Marie Antoinette meets Frederick of Hollywood. Georgina thinks she battled with the fabric. Isaac thinks she stopped herself.
Laura Kathleen talks about her pantsuit. Diane talks about pajama palazzo, and she thinks it's super elegant. Isaac doesn't know what's going on with the arms, but he thinks the print is fresh. Georgina thinks the proportions are off.
The judges talk, and for the record? I don't think Anthony Ryan can win simply because Carolyn doesn't want her panties exposed in public. Plus it's really not that good.
Maybe Ivy should be sent home for wearing that grey napkin with black shooties. She looks like a clothespin doll.
Anthony Ryan is… safe. Uli and Laura Kathleen are the top two. So the win goes to… Laura Kathleen. Seriously? I can't stand these challenges in which the "win" is designing for someone who works for the show. The best design doesn't necessarily win -- just the outfit Carolyn or whoever else feels like wearing. I thought Laura Kathleen's design was inoffensive at best.
Emilio is safe. I should hope so! Ivy or Althea is going home. And… Althea is out, Ivy is in. Yeah, that monstrous dress was a one-way ticket home.
Ivy thinks Althea is so sweet. Althea gets weepy. She thinks her family back home will be proud of her. To be a true person is to be a good person! What? What if you're truly evil? Anyway, that's the end of Althea. She'd never really risen out of the pack and sometimes I forgot she was still on the show, so no tears for Althea, I think.
Do you think Ivy or Althea deserved to go? Did you like the winning design? Are you looking forward to next week's Christmas-themed challenge?
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