Project Runway All Stars: I Just Want My Pants Back

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Project Runway All Stars proposed an interesting new challenge this week: Approach someone on a New York street and haggle the clothes right off their back. If they happened to be your “muse,” all the better, but Anthony wasn’t exactly thinking “muse” when he convinced an already half-naked adonis to shed his pants; Anthony was just thinking “all-naked adonis.” And that was probably okay with 99.999 percent of Runway’s viewership. As the rules stated, the designers had two days to create a look constructed with at least half of fabric purchased from pedestrians with $150 provided them; whatever money was left over could be spent at Mood to complete the look.

Anthony saw this as his big opportunity to put his outsized personality to good use, so besides Mr. Underwear model, he also charmed a woman out of her psychedelic-print polyester blouse—a choice that would come back to bite him in the ass later on. Rami spent his day cornering hot guys. Michael had little luck talking women out of their clothes, but finally found a gorgeous girl willing to part with a crocheted top. People literally fled from Kenley. (Maybe they were worried she’d throw a cat at them?) Kara just kept repeating the word “delicious” at a guy in a pink polo shirt until he peeled it off for her. Mondo simply charmed a girl with his Mondo Rays. Mila scored a pair of stained jeans from a dude. And Jerell, ugh, who cares. That guy is way too self-confident.

The designers got to work constructing their looks, and instantly Mondo pulled ahead of the pack, explaining that piecing together thrift-store wear is how he learned to design in the first place. Joanna popped by the workroom; every week I like her more and more. (A friend of mine calls her a low-rent Tilda Swinton, which I find hilarious.) Where Tim Gunn just furrows his brow and expresses areas of “concern,” Joanna asks pointed, probing questions that get right to the heart of the matter. You can tell she has experience working in fashion editorial, and it helps here. Still, she feels less like a “mentor” than she does a “pre-judge.” I’d be terrified to have her saunter up to my desk to discuss whatever I was working on.

There were a few fashion disasters brewing. Austen’s military getup was just plain ugly. That guy does not speak the language of the youths of today. Anthony was flapping in the wind like a psychedelic sheet. Michael appeared to be constructing a wedding dress for a Texas polygamist bride. And Jerrell was putting together a visual representation of my darkest nightmares. Mondo, meanwhile, was killing it, in his singular Mondo way.

Let’s prance to the runway. The best thing ever happened this week: Sean Avery, the handsome bad boy of the NHL who also interned at Vogue magazine (not Men’s Vogue, either; the lady one) because he’s obsessed with fashion, was on the judging panel. And he was amazing, throwing out some hilariously spot-on critiques when he wasn’t cutting Isaac Mizrahi, that egomaniacal shrew, down to size. Producers: Give Sean a permanent spot, and ditch Issac. Trust me on this.

Rami made a ruffle shirt and shorts, tasteful and sophisticated but with no wow factor, and paired them with a cheesy blue fedora. Michael, two weeks a champion, sent out his model in a droopy napkin and whatever-is-shorter-than-hoochie-shorts. Avery described Jerrell’s look as “Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani at Burning Man on acid,” which is actually giving it more credit than is due, but still pretty bang-on for a fight-scarred professional hockey player. Anthony did a jumpsuit/palazzo pant getup that look tired and didn’t follow the rules. Austen has no idea how to dress a woman under 50. Mondo’s look killed—a patchwork motorcycle jacket, bustier, and striped skirt, styled to perfection with aviators and a frizzed-out ‘do. Isaac complained that “it’s too stylish.” Shut up, Isaac. Ugh.

Bam! Give this week to Mondo, and quite deservedly so. And Anthony went home. It should have totally been Jerrell, but Anthony used way less than 50 percent new fabric in constructing his look. Sorry, kid.


QUESTIONS:

– Anyone find it unusual how Kenley is flying under the radar this season? She was so controversial in her original season.

– Which was your least favorite outfit this week? And your favorite?

– Do you agree with me about Isaac? Or do you think he's a good judge?

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