Project Runway All Stars Episode 1 Recap

This episode is one of the few times in recent seasons that I began to feel exited about PR on Lifetime… yea!

So our contestants this season are…
Mondo S8     Michael S8     Mila S7     Anthony S7     Jerrel S5     Elisa S4     Austin S1
Kenley S5     Rami S4     Gordana S6     Sweet P S4     April S8     Kara S2

The intros were pretty standard and depend upon the viewer already knowing the previous seasons. I have a feeling Austin may be the one to spice it up this season with his teaser: “I put the star in All-Star”

Angela Lindvall

The host is Angela Lindvall, an American model and occasional actress. She informs the contestants that since this is ‘all stars’ there will be no immunity and then lays out the impressive prize package worth half a million dollars! She introduces the judges, Georgina Chapman (of Marchesa) and Isaac Mizrahi. The designers then present a mini-show of a recent piece which is kind of a nice way to start the season. It ensures that every designer gets to show off their skills without constraint of time or budget before they are eliminated.

In this mini show Jerrel presents a long, flowy blingy dress that I think is quite nice, Mila shows her typical geometric, graphic ‘thing’ but its definitely edgy, Kenley, Austin and Anthony show various prom/bridesmaid dresses (ug), Elisa shows something weird but it benefits from her having time to execute it well because its actually quite interesting, Rami’s is elaborately constructed and decidedly NOT DRAPED, a mistake he seems determined not to make this time around, Gordana’s gown has interesting red accented shoulders, April shows an incredibly BORING dress in muted gray and black, Michael C’s dress is romantic and flowy and of course Mondo knocks it out of the park with an amazing printed blouse, plastic skirt and quirky fascinator.

Obviously the host and judges are going to need a few episodes to get their rhythm down but I can feel the potential for a great season here…

The designers head to their rooms at Flatotel and Elisa kisses her bed. They also get a video message from Valentino – “make beautiful things!” and nearly everyone starts crying.

The next morning its off the the 99cent store for the Unconventional Challenge. The ‘twist’ is their design must be inspired by the look they showed at the mini-show. Seen being bought: gift bags, mops, towels, betls, trashbags, umbrella, dusters, ribbon, etc. There’s a mini ‘drama’ created out of Michael C and April buying the same materials.. and we all know that they didn’t get along in their season. Sidebar: What is UP with April’s grandma colored hair?

The workspace is pretty cool. And everyone makes fun of Elisa… which pisses me off.

Joanna Coles is revealed as the mentor, which should be VERY interesting. She sure ain’t Tim Gunn but then again it could be a nice change to have a mentor who is a bit more blunt. Less hand-holdy and more what the f— are you doing?

Her visit with the designers is really really truncated and we only see her comment on four people’s designs..including the bottom 3 designers (take note Lifetime, your editors are not fooling anyone.) Her comments are mostly really spot on, relevant and I called it – blunt. (Bordering on RUDE with Elisa but she’s the clear underdog in this episode.. hmm, I wonder who goes home? ahem… Lifetime editors)

Austin burns a hole in his dress with his glue gun.

On Runway Day things are typically hectic but there is a helluva lot less drama about ‘being finished’ than on a typical season. You can tell these guys are seasoned pros. The guest judge is Ken Downing from Neimann Marcus.

Episode 1 Designs

1 – Anthony – Hoochie mama, safety pins.
2 – April – I like Michael’s use of the mops better.
3 – Austin – Blue plastic judy jetson.
4 – Elisa – Nice surprise of color… but weird, weird, weird.
5 – Gordana – Red thingy/steel wool, like an ugly bow.
6 – Jerrell – Scarves – gorgous, flowy, nice detail.
7 – Kara – Mops, cute but nothing special.
8 – Kenley – Prom toilet princess.
9 – Michael – Cool draping with the mops.
10 – Mila – Kick ass leggings.
11 – Mondo – Fun LBD, love the electrical tape detail.
12 – Rami – Tailored, sharp, strong silhouette.
13 – Sweet P – Sloppy, hippy, ugly belts.

at least… thats what I think of their designs. :)

Judging is GREAT. Like really great. New judges. New perspectives. Astute comments. Not a SINGLE WORD ABOUT STYLING. Hallelujah!

The Bottom 3
Gordana – Comments: too many ideas – need to spread them out, overdesigned, know when to stop.
Sweet P – Comments: unresolved, unfinished, cut out/chew out, makes her look larger, graphic and colorful needs to be precise and purposeful, is it a mistake?
Elisa  – Comments: too much had to be explained, not up to par with the rest.

The Top 3
Jerrel – Comments: moves well, wearable, hi/lo hemline, not pushing boundaries? good execution.
Rami – Comments: great silhouette, his edge is in execution, editorial-worthy.
Mondo – Comments: fun, flawless, full of spirit, proportion, snappy.

The Winner is Rami.
Out is Elisa.

Next time…
Miss Piggy! Austin Starlett! Dodgeball? “Really bitch?” We want to look at the design, not the hair (YEA!)