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Austin Scarlett

Project Runway All Stars is returning to Lifetime with some fan favorites…and not so favorites!  There will be cat suits and cat fights, mark my words.  Thirteen past designers will be back to compete for the reward that eluded them their first go-round.  Each of the nine past seasons are represented except for season 4, but the majority of players are from the more recent seasons. 

Iconic fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi returns to judge alongside the gorgeous Georgina Chapman who is the co-founder of Marchesa.  Supermodel Carolyn Murphy (who is as intelligent as she is beautiful–her bio?  Whoa!) will take over this season's hosting duties.  Joanna Coles, former editor-in-chief of Marie Claire/just named editor-in-chief of Cosmo, resumes her role as all-star mentor.  I like Joanna, but I sure do miss Tim Gunn when he's gone!

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As a lover of fashion, bad television, and all things post-Simple Life Nicole Richie, you would think I'd be all over NBC's Fashion Star.  However, I am not.  I just couldn't get into it to save my life…and this is coming from someone who plans to dress as Austin Scarlett from Project Runway for Halloween this year.  To be fair, there are only so many hours in a day, so much space on my DVR, and, in addition to ridiculous amount of reality television I watch both for blogging and pleasure (it's fab too when those overlap!), I am also addicted Law and Order: SVU, HIMYM, and Happy Endings.  It's A LOT of television.

I'm going to give it another chance though this season, and here's why: Elle Macpherson, the show's creator and former host has chosen Louise Roe to replace her, and I think it's an interesting change-up for the series.  Not that I don't like Elle (she had a great work-out video back in the late '90s), but she's just not made for hosting.  Sure, she's drop-dead gorgeous, but did you see her on Friends?  It's like watching paint dry.  Louise Roe has the fashion knowledge AND the hosting chops…not to mention she's just obscure enough to be intriguing. 

Who am I kidding?  Jessica Simpson is still on the show, and she hasn't been relevant since she divorced Nick Lachey.  I doubt I need to point out what a sad state of affairs it is when an ex-boy bander from a boy band on the fringe of legitimate boy bands makes one relevant, but I digress.  How did Fashion Star even get picked up for a sophomore season?

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Paging Austin Scarlett!  Mr. Austin Scarlett!  Project Runway All-Stars is at the center of recent host drama, and I, for one, need it to be settled stat.  I love this show.  It’s been reported that supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whitely was poised to host the newest season of of Lifetime’s design fabulousness, but she backed out to film the upcoming Mad Max movie.  Tina Turner is probably torn on her opinion of this gossip.  We all know that Tina loves couture but has a special place in her heart for the Thunderdome.

The New York Post is reporting that producers scrambled to replace Rosie with Estée Lauder model Carolyn Murphy just days before the season started.  One source tells the site, “Literally days before filming, the show suddenly had no host. Rosie had been pushing really hard for the job. She’d charmed everyone. But then with less than three weeks to go, Rosie pulled out to do ‘Mad Max,’ creating a huge drama. It put the production in a terrible position, and the Weinstein Co. even threatened to sue Rosie.”

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Fashion Star…remember that gem?

It seems that there is a lot going on behind the scenes of NBC’s answer to Project Runway.  First off?  Host and supermodel Elle MacPherson won’t be returning.  Gearlive.com reports that Elle is calling it quits for season two.  She says, “I have been involved with Fashion Star from the beginning, and am very proud to see it come to life, not only in America but globally. The show is in great hands, and although I will not be hosting this season, I will still be very involved [and] will be reviewing the format for the upcoming season.”

That’s code for “artistic differences” isn’t it?  Answer me, Austin Scarlett!  Not only will Elle be hanging up her hosting cap, but sponsor and affordable fashion house H&M is also bidding adieu to the series.  Reportedly sticking around?  Hosts Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, and new mom Jessica Simpson.

WILL YOU WATCH FASHION STAR WITHOUT ELLE?  WHERE YOU WATCHING BEFOREHAND?

[Photo Credit: WENN.com]


Last night’s season finale for Project Runway All Stars went about how I expected. A winner was crowned, the losers flew first class to Paris and everyone else flocked to Neiman Marcus online to start procuring some goods!

The designers arrived at the Gotham Center for the finale show where they each had their own special dressing area, complete with their customized Neiman Marcus accessory walls. Austin still isn’t finished with his evening gown and is rushing around doing last-minute construction. Michael realizes that although he thought he had everything finished, he’s having a ton of last-minute fit issues. Mondo doesn’t seem to be experiencing any trauma–for once–and is confident going into the final show. There’s some last-minute preparations and drama, but nobody really cares about that! Let’s get to the final show.

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Last night’s episode of Project Runway All Stars was a prequel to the finale, which is a two-parter. There was no runway show and therefore no looks to critique. Since there’s no dresses to discuss, I can recap Mondo‘ s incessant whining and pouting instead! Which, is pretty much all that happened last night.

Things start out with Angela meeting the final three on the runway. The final three consisted of the ever-hopeful and slightly delusional Michael (who for some unbeknownst reason I have a soft spot for), the ebullient and fantastical Austin Scarlett, and the now surly, sullen, and depleted (once quirky and thoughtful) Mondo. Angela explains that for the final challenge they will need to create a five-look mini collection for an esteemed audience of Muppets and B-List celebrities. They have four days and $3000 to spend on materials. The runway show will be held at a secret location.

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Last night on Project Runway All Stars the three finalist were revealed after the designers had to create a ready-to-wear look for designer, Nanette Lepore.

The designers meet Nanette in her garment district store and we learn commercialization combined with rising rents are forcing many factories and designers out of the infamous district. Nanette is very involved in a charity to revitalize the area (as is Isaac Mizrahi). The designers are to sketch one ready-to-wear piece and then go over the analytics with Nanette and her “coster.” The coster basically tells them how much the garment would sell for vs. how much it would cost to produce and make a profit. The difference is how much they can spend on fabrics to construct the piece.

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On last night’s Project Runway All Stars challenge, the designers experienced a PR first! The designers had to make an avant-garde look using LED lights for the first ever blacklight runway show!

Immediately, when Angela explained the challenge Austin lit up (haha) but everyone else dimmed considerably. The nervous energy in the room was palpable. The designers received $300 to buying LED lighting and accessories, and then went to Mood to procure some blacklight worthy fabrics.

Almost everyone was over-whelmed by the idea of incorporating the lights into their garment on top of being forced to make an avant-garde look – which I guarantee most of these designers didn’t even know what that meant conceptually. Throwing every detail and weird idea at a dress and stapling some odd wings on doesn’t make it avant-garde – it makes it weird. Nevertheless, that’s the standard way to approach a PR avant-garde challenge and it happens every time the have one. Basically, a designer that isn’t avant-garde and doesn’t embrace that as their medium, isn’t going to excel in that style, so we always end up with a hot mess of weird, crazy, and ugly.

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