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Last night’s episode of Project Runway All Stars was all about fashion in the real world. The designers meet hostess Angela Lindvall in the park where she lets them know they will have thirty minutes to trawl the manicured grounds trying to rip people’s clothing off. Nope, this isn’t some sort of weird porno starring fashion vampires – it’s a clothes off your back/muse in the city challenge.

Here’s the deal: The designers have to find a muse in the park and use their clothes to create a whole new look. The clothing the designers amass must be used as the material for at least 50% of their look. They have $150 to do whatever they’d like with – even buying clothes from people in order to source materials. Any leftover money can be spent at Mood.

Anthony instantly takes to this challenge like a southern girl takes to hairspray on prom night. I knew right away he was getting the dreaded “loser edit” and was sad. He uses his gregarious ways to collect an enormous amount of materials, sadly he went for quantity over quality and when he returned to the workroom he realized he had little to work with and lost focus. Anthony decided to use a woman wearing a polyester Brady Bunch shift as his muse, but the material was just so un-Anthony.

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Poor thing got very caught up in the moment and in the aspect of being the best at using his people skills to win over the public that he forgot the point of the challenge. He was left standing stupefied over a bag of t-shirts and some serious yardage of berry colored wool crepe. I liked his original idea of making hot pants with a blouson shirt – I was disappointed when he drifted away from that because I think the hotpants would have looked great in the graphic seventies print.

Jerell’s muse was a woman in an tie-dye maxi dress. I’m really not sure how he transitioned that into a bikini top, dashiki skirt, and ornate brocade shoulder piece, but he did. Inspiration is a difficult thing to understand, I suppose. Joanna expressed some serious worry about all the elements coming together but Jerell was massively confident.

Michael had some serious struggles – namely living up to all the hype stemming from his two straight wins. Additionally he was shy and intimidated in the park and had a lot of anxiety about approaching strangers. He finally found a sweet little thing to give him her crochet top, but the material paralyzed him. He was majorly over-thinking things and ended up with part of a grandma meets cougar shirt that was a hot freaking wreck! Joanna steered him away from the drapey mumsy rose colored blouse with flutter sleeves and somehow he came up with some serious hot pants with a bustier. Pretty much a 180, but Michael is into over-the-top, flamboyant looks.

Mila, of course, gravitated to the first person she saw wearing black and white. A zebra can’t change its stripes! She then ended up making something almost identical to what she herself was wearing in the park.

Austin’s muse was a little punky girl sitting on a bench in studded fingerless gloves. It was straight up Michael Jackson, the Thriller era, meets Chanel and I loved it.

Mondo’s muse was pretty much his girlfriend in a parallel world where he is straight. She had on this graphic black and white stripped dress that merged with some pretty outrageous blue and gold fabric. She topped it off with an army jacket and some Mondo glasses. Muse indeed! Mondo explains he actually learned to make clothes from buying them at a thrift store, taking them apart, and reworking them. His final outcome shows that he understood and embraced the concept of this challenge.

Joanna is supportive of the designers going out on a limb, but cautions them against over-working. Kara clearly has some issues finishing her pants so the workroom busy-body, aka Kenley steps in and pretty much completes them. Mila is aghast that Kenley spent so much time advising others and then actually sewing their garments. And Anthony cannot believe how loud Kenley is. The old Kenley is back! Bossy, loud, and unwilling to compromise. Missed ya, bitch!

The guest judge is NHL player and former Vogue intern Sean Avery. I forgot he existed after his brief stint as a Voguette, yet here he is in rose colored glasses. Which as it turns out is the perfect accessory for judging a reality show! He was an awful, mute, uninspired judge, wasn’t he?

I was impressed by this challenge and most of the results were pretty awesome. It was one of the best bodies of work we’ve had since the show started.

Ok, let’s trash discuss some looks!

Kenley: I never really like anything Kenley does, but this was better than most, although I question if she really did gather 50% of the material from her muse’s shirt. That was a little shirt and there were a lot of stripes on this dress! The hip pockets were a little low and they looked like pot holders from a far, but over all she did a good job of mixing the prints and it was a great shape. It was fitted well, the construction was aces, and it was pretty cute. I actually thought she would rank top three for this.

 

Mila: The pants were sensational. They were very modern and cutting edge; I think these would be a huge seller. Denim jodhpers – yes please! I love the way she mixed the materials and I think the top and vest were very chic. Mila has an impeccable eye for proportion and I think this demonstrated that – I cannot believe how well she fitted those pants from a pair of enormous men’s jeans. Good showing!

 

Kara: This was also very chic. All the designers did a pretty nice job of integrating multiple prints and I think this was very cute and high-fashion. I couldn’t really see the blouse she had over the bustier, but the whole look together came across nicely. I really liked the floral with the polkadots. And the pants – thanks to Kenley – were really well constructed. Kara should have payed it forward and helped Michael fit his bustier because her’s was light years better than his in terms of construction and piece work.

All three of the girls were safe and all six of the boys placed top or bottom.

TOP THREE:

Congratulations, Mondo! Finally Mondo wins after a season of being placed in the top three and never scoring a victory. He did a fantastic job of taking his muse’s original look and completely reworking it. The judges praised his attention to detail and thought this was fresh, modern, and very comprehensive. It was sexy without being too controversial and had a great vibe to it.

I think the shorts were fantastic, particularly because the pattern continued all around. The jacket was very cute and I’m sure almost any woman would wear that. Although I think the cut-out in the back was a little too much. This totally deserved the win in my opinion and it looked like almost all of his material came from people in the park. Good for Mondo!

 

Rami: This was a great look for the city and very versatile. It was a little more mature than some of the other designer’s looks, but hey it worked. Angela really liked the ruffled blouse and how it could transition to more professional or formal looks, but thought it lacked drama. I think this was a sophisticated take on shorts. Isaac thought the fit, along with the piping were really impressive. I didn’t think he necessarily needed the vest as there was so much going on with the shirt and the shorts, and the hat was certainly overkill, but I think this was a cute, classy look for an uptown girl.

 

Austin Scarlett: Because I love high drama clothes, I adored this. Austin gets what exuberant women want to wear. I love how his clothes always throw back to an era when people dressed up and when women went all out. He never lets the details fall by the wayside and he always creates a total look. The proportions and shape were phenomenal and it really flattered the body. Austin was totally inspired by his muse and it shows. This was such a great girl about town look, it had all the drama of a runway show and was still totally wearable. Austin needs to go work for Chanel.

The judges were excited by how much Austin truly embraced the challenge. Georgina questioned the neckline – which I liked – but whaeves, and Shawn thought there were too many details on one shoulder. Angela liked that it was high drama.

BOTTOM THREE:

Good-Bye Anthony: This was a great showing and there really is nothing technically wrong with it – it’s well-made, it fits, and it’s a totally chic look (ok – that ruffle was waaay too huge). Sadly, he did not use enough real people material to fill the requirements of the challenge and was mainly eliminated on a technicality. The judges didn’t think he embraced the spirit of the challenge, but he mostly just froze and had too many ideas with too many different materials. Anthony is not a print mixing designer.

The judges thought Anthony’s look was totally disconnected from his muse, which was true. He didn’t use anything she was wearing in the final look except he made a clutch from the shirt. Oddly, Isaac and Georgina were completely gaga over the finished look and were raving about the construction and that he did pants. Isaac loves, loves a jumpsuit. And this is a straight up Isaac look. He was salivating. Poor Anthony – his exit was completely gracious and I will miss him.

 

Jerell: This was a hot mess of crazy stew that doesn’t need discussing. He made a gypsy hooker costume! He was spared over Anthony because he used all material from his victims and Anthony virtually used none. Also, what the heck was that ill-fitting bikini top with the six miles of stomach topped off with a SHRUG?!? I really did not understand his confidence and excitement behind this. Point of view or no, this was a really big wreck of ugly and ill-fittedness.

Michael: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Frankly this wasn’t that bad – it just was kind of silly. He said he was referencing Carrie Bradshaw and I totally get it, but it didn’t reference his supposed muse unless he ran into SJP in the park and we didn’t see it. How great would that be. I liked the idea behind this but it was sloppy and the judges were right to criticize that it wasn’t lined. The shorts were inches upon inches too short. Frankly we all knew he would be safe, but he got a wake-up call that they aren’t going to let him coast through based on prior wins.

We will miss you Anthony and yay for Mondo finally being rewarded with a win.

Next week: It’s a fashion face-off!

THOUGHTS ON THE RESULTS? WERE YOU SURPRISED ANTHONY WAS SENT HOME? DID YOU LIKE THE CHALLENGE?

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