Project Runway All Stars Recap: The Crying Has Just Begun!

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.


Apparently, Austin has shaved his mustache as this will allow him a fresh perspective or something.

The designers start off by paying a visit to Joanna Coles hard at work in her Marie Claire office. They ask her a series of questions about the guest editorship position included in winning the whole shebang and ask for her advice about what makes a good collection. Austin is totally enamored with Ms. Coles and wants her to clutch his tender doll-like face to her bosom and hold him in a tender moments embrace. Oh, Austin in your head it’s 1880 and you are Oscar Wilde.

Afterwards, the designers sketch in the park for inspiration and then head to Mood for fabric shopping. Mondo hates everything; just everything. His life sucks, his inspiration sucks, and most importantly, Austin Scarlet sucks. He gets some hideous red satin fabric with a circular print because he’s too over everything to care. Mondo spends the entire first day in the new customized workroom sulking. He declares it a free day and lounges on the sofa hating his fabric, hating Georgina Chapman for showing up, and hating Project Runway.

He’s an artiste, and artistes sulk, remember. He was pretty much laying on the sofa sucking his thumb after throwing a tantrum. Not a good look. After being rude at dinner, Mondo gets himself together a little more the next day and decides his collection is about Therapy because reality television is ruining his life and making him insane. I get it, being forced to make a zillion garments out paper bags in three minutes isn’t creatively flexing but you signed up for it, buddy. Furthermore, that red fabric he chose would drive anyone to Prozac. Yikes!

Austin‘s collection is, good lord, who knows what – something rock n roll, something with lace, something with a lot of tulle. All I know is, he’s making a bridal gown. Which, makes sense because he actually is a wedding dress designer and used to work for Vera Wang before going out on his own. Michael is designing yet another collection for size zero supermodels but this time it’s tribal themed. huh? Anya called… she’s learned to sew and she’s back for revenge. Look, y’all – a sleeve!

They choose models. Austin and Mondo spat some more and both want the same models They flip coins and then Mondo gets annoyed that Austin wins one of the coin tosses and deduces that Austin is selfish. Ok….

Isaac shows up in the workroom to talk taking risks. Mondo perks up because he wants Isaac to adopt him or something. The next day Angela shows up with a PR twist. Because there’s always a twist. Making beautiful clothes within a manageable timeframe is never enough for these producers. They have to do a sixth look. AND they have to use all the leftover fabric from their previous challenges. AND it has to be cohesive with the mini collection they’ve already started.

As far as twists go, I liked the idea of being forced to use the leftover fabrics. Neat challenge. I’m confused about how we’re thirty minutes into this show and we’ve barely seen any clothes; just snippets of collections and a whole lotta interpersonal drama and whining. Isn’t this show about, you know, fashion and creating it?

Anyhoodle, Angela announces the designers will get an assistant for twenty-four-hours. They get to pick one of the eliminated designers as their assistant. Mondo grabs Mila, which makes complete sense – especially considering she deserves to be in the top three. Austin nabs his brother from another mother, fellow pageant queen passionate Anthony L. Williams (who is my all-time favorite PR designer, next to Chris March and Jeffrey Sebelia), and Michael chooses April.

There’s no drama, everyone works. Anthony tries to steer Austin away from tipping over the edge into straight up insane costume category. What were those hot pink, extreme pleated, hammer pants? Oh no! Anthony is divine and I miss him. He should be hosting this show or mentoring it for sheer amusement factor because the judges and the producers could care less about the quality or innovation of the fashion. Why not just go ahead and make it a full-on game show?

Finally, Joanna shows up and doesn’t critique anything. I think they were trying to hide the collections for us as to not give too much away before the finale, but it was annoying to barely see anything they were working on and then have Joanna just come in and talk about what wonderful designers they all were. She totally fell into Tim Gunn of modern times category where she did little mentoring and lots of talking head.

Side Note: I miss Tim Gunn from the Bravo days where his opinion mattered and he steered these designers in a direction instead of doling out hugs.

Ok, and then it was over. They all went back to Flathotel to reminisce and explain why each one of them should win.

Next week: The season finale!