Project Runway All Stars: Flag Day

Project Runway All Stars S01E08: "O! Say, Can You Sew?"

We are now down to the final six Project Runway All Stars contestants, and seeing as things are about to become very political, what better place to present this week’s challenge than on the lawn of the United Nations? Michael, surprisingly, had heard of the U.N., and Austin donned his most diplomacy-appropriate 19th Century French sailor outfit for the occasion. Each designer was asked to choose a flag to base a dress on, and to vote on a resolution demanding that Bashar al-Assad relinquish power. (Mila was the sole holdout.) Broadway challenge winner Mondo chose first, picking Jamaica’s green, yellow and black flag. Michael went next, and picked Greece. Next up was Austin, who chose the Seychelles, mainly so he could run around saying “Hey everybody! Scarlett sells seashells by the Seychelles shore! Wheeee!” Mila took Papua New Guinea, where apparently everyone is divided in half vertically like some kind of carnival freak. Jerrell chose India, which offered maximum garish/insane potential; and Kenley chose Chile, because she identifies strongly with the Chilean miners, who also were obsessed with polka-dots.

In the workroom, Joanna Coles flounced in looking like a ripe banana, and made a bold pronouncement that not even the designers could agree with: “Standing in this room are the six most talented designers in Project Runway history.” I guess she didn’t see Jerrell standing there? Or Mila. Or Kenley? Or Austin. Anyhoo, Joanna must have just come from a bra-shopping expedition, because brassieres were on her mind. “How does a woman wear a bra with this dress?” she asked Mondo. Well, she doesn’t, Joanna. This is Project Runway, not Project Dress Women with Fashion-Unfriendly Body Types. (Though that might make a fun spin-off.) Jerrell had created an outfit for that one insane woman at a museum opening. Austin was talking to Joanna about Seychelle slits, Joanna was still talking about bras, and Mila had lost her mind. Perhaps it was in the same place that Austin’s mustache had suddenly disappeared to. And Kenley was up to her polka-dot party-dress shenanigans. I must say, she had the right attitude about all of this. She laughed at everything (including criticism), never got stressed, made the dress she wanted to make every single time regardless of the challenge, and pissed Mila off in the process.

Snip, stitch, hem, cut, drape, sew, MITER (learned a new term this week!)... RUNWAY! Jerrell sent his ode to India down the catwalk and I reached for the air-sickness bag.

Next was Kenley’s look, and it was an asymmetrical take on her regular dress that had heart-shaped polka-dots and fun, red-and-white striped ruffles around the left side of the skirt, as if she had spilled a strawberry milkshake on it. Not sure what it had to do with Chile, but it was definitely cute.

Austin showed a horrible gown made from crepe-paper table cloths you can buy at a party store.

Michael’s dress, a toga with hideous appliques, was, as Mondo wittily observed, “Greece Frightening.” I wanted to throw a cup of olive oil at it and take off.

And Mila presented her Dr. Jacqueline and Mrs. Hyde thing that was definitely eye-catching in that “I will be noticed at any cost” kind of way. Ballsy, yes, but ugly, and had no connection to Papua New Guinea.

I had high hopes for guest judge Catherine Malandrino at first, because she is just so cute and French, but the editors started chopping up her observations to the point where they made no sense to me at all. “The feeling is like jam on a muffin!” “Open slacks cranberry pom-pom.” “Cartwheels in Equador enjoy hello booboodeboop!” So, so much for Catherine. At least she was cute, unlike the insipid Isaac Mizrahi. UGH. If you’ve been reading my little recaps of All Stars, you know that my annoyance with Mizrahi—both as a judge and person—has been growing weekly, to the point where I am currently consumed with hatred for this bozo. He actually called that ugly white strip of bedazzled fabric running down Jerrell’s outfit “almost like Nike in India. It’s fantastic.” Yes, that’s precisely what it is, Isaac. You plucked the concept right out of Jerrell’s swollen head and gave it a name. Nike in India: By Jerrell. Then he told Mila her dress reminded him of “Communism,” not Papua New Guineanism. Why? Could it be that the frock was severe and red and black? No, it must be some insider fashion knowledge that he has. He is the pro, after all! Then he said he hated when Mondo’s model turned around and he saw the green and yellow patches on the back. Why couldn’t you have just made the Jamaica dress all-black, Mondo? That would have really addressed the FLAG CHALLENGE so much better. Yeesh. This guy.

In the end, it came down to Mondo and Kenley as the judges’ top choices, and I think we can all agree that this week should have gone to Kenley. But Mondo won, just as he will win the whole season, so yay Mondo. (*Faint noisemaker sound.*) Bottom two were Jerrell and Mila, and, because Jerrell has incriminating photographs of Isaac Mizrahi on a recent sex tour of Papua New Guinea and the Seychelles, Mila bit the dust. Goodbye, Mila. We wish you all the best with your bold, schizophrenic designs.


– Who WOULD make a room of the six most talented Project Runway designers ever?

– If you had to wear one finalist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

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