'Project Runway All Stars' recap: 'Redemption on the Runway'
Wendy Pepper, Ivy Higa, Josh McKinley and Casanova return to battle
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It's another all-star season, and we get a new host in Carolyn Murphy (let's face it, Angela Lindvall was no Heidi Klum), a lot of prizes and a bunch of designers who, if this episode is any indication, are oddly well-behaved. But I'm sure that won't last long. I mean, Wendy Pepper, Josh McKinley and Ivy Higa are in da house. Blood will be drawn!
Of course, everything starts out with great civility. The all stars are introduced to one another and there's much hugging. Everyone is very, very excited about Wendy Pepper, the "Disney villainess" from season one. There's a strange mixture of fondness and distaste in this, as everyone associates her with their first time watching the show, but they also hate her a little bit. Wendy is the first person to say she's not on the show to make friends, which means she can officially be added to this video.
Carolyn Murphy is our hostess, and she makes everyone drool -- not with her hotness, but with her rundown of the prizes the winner will take home. A trip around the world to go to all the fashion weeks! Office space! A computer! A layout in Marie Claire! Andrae is so excited he can't quite focus his eyes in one place. It's a little unnerving, really.
Joanna Coles is our Tim Gunn substitute, and she tells everyone the first challenge will be a team challenge. Big collective groan. She pulls two names from her button bag, as there will be two teams. Kayne and Joshua. Josh reminds himself to play nice. Everyone starts picking team members until the last one standing is Wendy. So yeah, they fondly hate her.
Joanna explains that each team will be creating a mini-collection inspired by an attitude. This does not seem difficult, but the team members bicker and quibble a bit about whether bold or fierce or coy or whatever is better than anything else. Finally, we end up with Team Bold and Team Confident. Too bad it wasn't a tougher challenge, like pick your favorite one of Snow White's seven dwarves (Team Sleepy vs. Team Sneezy). But this will do.
Suede is on Team Bold. He is a very refined designer and will never make a three-sleeved dress. Well, good to know. Has that happened? Is it something we need to be worried about?
Team Bold seems like a mess. Team Confident, well, we haven't spent much time with them. But they run around Mood and generally seem unhappy. However, there's not a lot of complaining, but it's early in the season yet. Give it time.
I just need to say that I miss Tim Gunn. Let's move on.
Ah, a complaint. Wendy (Team Confident) declares Althea Miss Bossypants. Which seems true. I think Althea might call herself Miss Bossypants. So, the claws aren't exactly out.
Joanna comes in to talk to the designers. We don't see much of this, at least not that we can make sense of. She thinks Peach is sounding as if she feels out of her depth, and she probably is. She's a tennis wear designer! Joanna thinks Josh's outfit will be bold, but scary. She thinks Anthony Ryan's bow tie is too junior. She's afraid of Ivy, because she was such a bitch on her season. Ivy cries. She'd put all her money into starting a business and she hadn't been able to pay her bills. Yeah, she may be nicer now, but I'm not entirely convinced.
Joanna starts firing off one-liners. Uli's studs read stegosaurus. She thinks Kayne's outfit is Catwoman meets Lady Gaga. She thinks Josh's outfit is a little bit hooker. Hey, Joanna's more fun this season! That's a relief.
After model fittings and lots of silent, focused cutting, it's back to the hotel. The designers raise a toast to Wendy Pepper, which she finds oddly touching and I just find odd. I know everyone finds her fascinating, but it's pretty clear it's fascinating in the way a tarantula might be. I am half expecting someone to poke Wendy with a stick, then giggle.
Time for the runway! Our judges are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and guest judge Rachel Roy. Plus, a surprise guest judge! It's… Mondo! Yay!
The fit is excellent, the color is (of course) bold, but I hate it. It looks like a jumper over a tube top.
This does not seem to fit at all. It looks wrinkly and just horribly put together. I like the idea of two-tone sleeves, but this is a miss.
Is this a vest? I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm interested.
This is so H&M. That's not a good thing. What are those hard things on the shoulder caps?
Laura Kathleen Planck
This is well-made. Is it great? Not really, but it's pretty good in a sea of meh.
Is that a sheer midriff? A criss-cross back? Eesh. This does look hoochie.
Oh, I kind of love this. The fabric at the elbows and midriff is different and even better, slimming. I would buy the jacket. And trust me, I was no Ivy fan during her season.
I do like the fabric, but this doesn't knock me off my feet.
This looks a lot like Althea's dress, but the leather makes it tough in a good way. The back is also nice.
Anthony Ryan Auld
I hate this jacket. It's great -- if you have no hips, no waist, and don't care that you don't. The sheer back is not cute. I don't love that it's buttoned all the way to the top, either. I don't think this is edgy. More jockey-esque. All she needs is a little riding crop.
I'm not sure about the bat wing bodice, but this is cute, I guess. But it doesn't seem very current.
Woof. I was looking for a spider woman costume! How convenient!
Even though I really don't like the black fabric (I just wished she'd picked something that looks less like a zipper and a caterpillar mated), otherwise I love this dress.
The winning collection is… Team Confident.
Carolyn calls Anthony Ryan, Ivy, Casanova, who have the highest scores. Suede, Peach, Andre are the lowest.
Laura Kathleen had the highest score on her team, but fat lot of good that does her. But everyone else is safe and can get off the runway.
Casanova is first. Michael wishes the skirt was a little longer. Mondo thought the tone-on-tone choice was nice, but nothing exciting.
Ivy is next. Georgina thinks the lace placements are amazing, but she thinks a lace short might have worked better. Carolyn didn't like the jacket, but Rachel did and so did Mondo, so suck it, Carolyn.
Georgina thinks Anthony Ryan's look is modern and fresh. What? Have these people ever been to a horse track? Michael thinks the pants don't fit so well in the crotch, but Rachel thinks Anthony Ryan cut the tush well. Okay, I don't get it, but okay.
Suede talks about his bold design. Mondo thought the handkerchiefs on the skirt look sloppy. Michael thinks a turtleneck would be better. Georgina thinks the top doesn't work with the skirt.
Peach tries to explain why her outfit sucks. Michael thinks she shouldn't talk about why it sucks. Mondo and Georgina tell her she should have spoken up.
Andrae says his outfit is a tank with a skirt. Georgina thinks there's a problem if he has to explain his design. It's too complicated for the eye. Rachel thinks it's too difficult.
Casanova is safe. It's down to Ivy and Anthony Ryan. If Anthony Ryan wins, I will gag. He WON? Ugh, that jacket was miserable!
Suede… is safe. I'm pretty sure Peach is going home. Andrae… is in. Peach is out. She doesn't seem too upset about it. She is mortified to be going home first, but that's about it. She gets to do what she loves, which apparently is making little tennis outfits, so it's all fine, I guess.
I was wondering why this episode seemed so rushed -- it's just an hour! But I'm thrilled that "All-Stars" isn't the super-sized hour and a half of a "regular" season. Still, I might have been happier to see less footage of model fittings and more of the designers interacting or getting feedback.
What did you think of the premiere? Are you rooting for anyone? Do you think Ivy has really changed?