Project Runway All Stars season 3

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 1

 

Did you watch the reunion special?  What a bunch of nut jobs!  Not just Sandro, but also Helen.  I think Sandro’s hatred of Zac Posen has more than a splash of homophobia at its core.  He is severely delusional.  And Helen has such a bug up her butt about Alexandria, that was hard to watch.

 

Bradon gets the prize for  adult behavior (a shame that we have to give an award for that) - - when Tim read Jeremy’s tweets about Bradon’s marriage proposal being phony and for the cameras, Bradon showed his true menschy colors and said that he hopes that he and his fiancé will be as happy as Jeremy and his husband.

 

The discussion of the show being rigged and tweaked for TV was fascinating, and it was shocking to see Tim go into such a lather.  I love his final word on the subject: “If this show were rigged, then Mondo Guerra would have won season 8.”   I also love his defense of the show, by saying that he personally has too much integrity to be associated with anything that’s false.  I love that man!

 

A few more observations: Tim Gunn has such lovely slender ankles.  Did you notice that Tim was the only person speaking with the designers?  I’m surprised they didn’t bring in Heidi or Nina or Zac.  I was hoping that Tim would ask Timothy this question: “Answer me honestly: do you believe in unicorns?  As in, do you think that unicorns are real and living in the world?”

 

OK, now on to All Stars Season 3.  I’m not impressed with Alyssa Milano so far.  She’s a little off, a little stale.  The other two All Stars hosts were also rather stilted, it makes you see how great Heidi is.  How about these new sponsors?  QVC for the accessories, Mary Kay for the makeup, and Alterna Hair Care for the hair.  Did you see the Isaac Mizrahi commercial for QVC?  Coincidence?  I think not.  I wonder if that was part of his contract for doing All Stars.

 

ON THE TOP

Elena is such a mess, but that outfit was sharp.  She should write her model a thank you note for suggesting the jacket be worn back-to-front - - I wonder if that will come up later?  Jeffrey’s dress was good, but it seemed more red carpet than punk.  I know he said he wanted to do punk for the red carpet, but the scales could have been tipped more on the punk side, for my taste.  Seth Aaron’s outfit had a great attitude and was beautifully made.  The pink lining in the sleeves was a great idea, a nice bit of pow.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

Christopher’s outfit was groovy.  Daniel needs to get over that hot pink, it certainly did him no favors in his season.  Korto’s dress was a big nothing.  Irina’s dress was not punk.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I can’t remember which of the judges said this, but Melissa’s outfit would have been stronger if it had been more trashy.  The vest was wonderful, and the dress just needed to be roughed up a bit.  She wouldn’t have been in the top three, but she would have been safe.  Viktor’s outfit, yeesh.  The jacket was OK and the pants were sharp, but they did not go together.  And what was with the freakin’ duffle bag, that was a big misfire.  Do you know what I would have liked?  Those pants with a sheer black top, bra optional (maybe electrical tape over the nipples, a la Wendy O Williams).

 

Ari is prettier as a woman, yes?  It’s a shame that she was sent home so soon, maybe she was hoping to do for transgender designers what Justin did for deaf designers.  Instead she was more like Isis on America’s Next Top Model.  Her outfit was well made, but a snooze, and didn’t address the challenge at all.

 

One final thing: I am so thrilled that the show is only an hour long.  That fills my heart with joy.

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 2

 

Did you see the article in the NY Times about the apartment of season 4 winner Christian Siriano?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/realestate/christian-sirianos-walk-up-world.html

 

With a slide show of photos.  What a dreamy place.  Love the idea of a guy who is five foot nothing painting an apartment with 20-foot ceilings.  Yes, girlfriend, he painted it himself!

 

Rock on, American Museum of Natural History!  So great to see one of my fave museums getting screen time on one of my favorite shows!

 

Jeffrey got the biggest laugh of the episode, when he said he had to “run like the cops are chasin’ me.”  Something tells me he’s speaking from experience.  How lovely that Korto got to return to Liberia and do a fashion show, I love that girl.  She got the second biggest laugh, when she said, “I look at Jeffrey’s - - bless his heart!”

 

Elena is a total loony tune, I have a low tolerance for that kind of mania.  And Melissa was turning on the water works, too!  What is with these people.  Put on your big girl panties and get a grip.

 

Is it too early in the season to be annoyed by Zanna?  She seems phony, maybe she’s taking phony lessons from the same phony coach as Alyssa Milano.  Did you notice Alyssa’s French, by the way?  I cringed when she said the name of Georgina’s fragrance (“purr foom de eck staahss!”).

 

Wasn’t it interesting how Alyssa announced who was being reviewed and who was safe.  Everyone seemed surprised by that - - she called three designers’ names, said they were doing to be discussed, and called two others, said they were safe.  And then did the same thing again, three and two.  Good way to mix it up and throw people off.

 

ON THE TOP

Bravo to Mychael, what a gorgeous outfit.  So lovely and still avant garde, gorgeous draping and tailoring.  Hoorah that he used the green as a lining and went with the pale grey as the primary color.  A really masterful look.

 

I was shocked to see Elena in the top three, let alone the top two.  I thought her dress was way too literal.  The tailoring was beautiful, but I didn’t think it was a successful look.  I was crazy for Irina’s dress - - the one word I wrote in my notes was WOW.  But Georgina was right, it would be better without the neck piece.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I loved Seth Aaron’s dress, that was fierce.  I would have put him in the top three over Elena.  I did NOT like the red lipstick over the mouth and chin, that was creepy, and not in a good way.  I liked Christopher’s look a lot, it was beautiful and flattering, but I could have done without the Edward Scissorhands fingernails.  Viktor’s look was very pretty, but didn’t have a lot of pow.  Korto’s look was a little too wearable.


ON THE BOTTOM

Melissa’s dress was beautiful, which is the problem.  She said she was thinking of putting more of the bands around it, which would have made a big impact.  The mask was more or less the only thing avant garde about it.  And yes, the furry green piece in the back looked like it was tacked on.

 

Jeffrey’s outfit could have been brilliant.  I see where he was going with it, but something creepy like that can also be sexy and have some wit.  The furry lampshade around the torso was a big misfire.  But yes, bless his heart for believing in it so strongly.

 

I was surprised they sent Daniel home - - he was deserving, that outfit was horrid (Anya nailed it when she said it was the fabric choice that was the biggest problem), but I thought they’d send home Melissa because he makes for better TV.  Vaya con dios, Mister Moustache!

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 3

 

A “cocktail architect”?  I was just wrapping my head around the word “mixologist”, and now they spring this on me.

 

Note to Viktor: you either use a fan or you wear a tam-o-shanter.  You may not co both.  Note to Irina: the fact that you were chosen last does not mean that they all think you’re going to win.  It means that they all have someone they like better.  Bitter pill to swallow, no?

 

This episode was a little dull, but the work was pretty good.  It seems like the judges didn’t really focus too much on the drink or on the accessory.  Hm.

 

ON THE TOP

Christopher’s dress was very pretty, not what you expect from a cocktail dress, very delicate and feminine.  I agree with Isaac that the bling in back was a little tacky.  Why not just use some strings.  Better yet, why does it have to be backless?

 

Elena’s dress was immaculately made, but I am getting so tired of that look from her.  The illustrious Karen Miller hit the nail on the head when she said she does nothing but severe symmetrical  dresses.  Do something else!

 

I didn’t like Viktor’s dress at all!  It was like a fashion vivisection.  Well-crafted, I guess, but not nice looking.  And I can’t imagine it’s comfortable, I bet the poor girl feels breezy as heck.  And the flap in the front was a bad idea.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I liked Irina’s dress a lot, it was interesting and had a good attitude.  Plus you can wear a bra with it!  Mychael’s dress was pretty, but I didn’t care for the gaping V-neck.  Seth Aaron’s outfit was a little too trashy Jetsons - - let’s call it “Daughter Judy Goes to Juvie”.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

What was Jeffrey thinking, what is wrong with him.  That fabric was beyond <<madame>>, it was <<grand mere>>.  The jeweled choker wasn’t a good idea, and the bag was junky.  I think Isaac might be right, he’s looking to be sent home, consciously or unconsciously.

 

Korto’s dress was a mess.  Too much going on, not flattering, and I really didn’t like seeing the underside of the fabric in the back of the skirt.  She needs to get her game on.

 

I didn’t think Melissa’s dress was so bad, but it was too similar to other things she’s done.  Thank you, producers, for giving us a montage of similar dresses she did in her season.  She should have made a simple cocktail dress with a normal shoulder and a normal hem, tailored the suede flawlessly, maybe a little creative colorblocking, and she would have been safe.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 4

 

One of my most devoted readers, the darling Jeff, sent me this article about Tim Gunn getting his own Lifetime series, airing in January!

 

http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/tim-gunn-nabs-his-own-fashion-competition-series-on-lifetime-1200827088/#

 

Oy!  It just never stops.

 

This episode wasn’t so thrilling, but I guess it wasn’t a total dud.  I found it perplexing that they had four minutes to grab their supplies - - did the producers decide five minutes was too leisurely?  And I was interested to hear that Christopher works for Haute Hippie, since that’s a label that’s been featured on a few episodes of *Million Dollar Shoppers*, that trashy yet brilliant show on Lifetime.

 

I shake my head over Viktor and Elena.  What was she expecting, of course he’s going to take her idea and run with it.  I hope she learns from this, but I doubt she will.

 

ON THE TOP

Christopher’s dress was beautiful.  It would have been better without the scissors, but that’s nit-picking.  I can see both sides of the bullying theme issue - - on the one hand, it’s good to know the story behind it, it gives more power to the garment, but on the other hand, I can see Isaac’s point that it feels a little manipulative.  “I have to support this dress because I’m against bullying.”

 

Elena needs to change her tune!  Enough already!  The boobies made this dress unique, but generally speaking it had the same vibe as every other dress she’s done this season.  Viktor’s dress was wonderful, but I agree with Isaac: the back was more successful than the front.  Too much white space on the front, it would have been better if it had all been covered with feathers.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

I loved Irina’s dress, I was surprised she didn’t get in the top.  Seth Aaron was channeling the spirit of Courrèges this week (never a bad idea).

 

ON THE BOTTOM

What a cop out!  Jeffrey clearly should have been sent home.  The judges keep saying the same thing to him, why isn’t he auf’d?  He is not doing good work, off with his head.  This dress was a wreck, it’s unforgiveable that the model would be exposed because the dress was so badly made.  And his excuses are always so feeble.

 

Korto’s dress was a little clunky, and the binder clips were a cute idea but not really integrated into the design.  Mychael’s dress might have been pretty if he had more time.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 5

 

This is what, the 15th season of Project Runway?  At this point we should not be subjected to the phrases “I’ve never done menswear” or “I’ve never done pants” or “I’ve never wiped my own butt.”  I’m tired of it!  I’m talking to you, Elena.  You had to know that there’d be a menswear challenge thrown in there.  Practice by making an outfit for a friend (if you have a friend).

 

Two hilarious moments this week: I loved Christopher’s impersonation of the Bond villain.  “Hello, Mr. Bond.”  He drives me nutty, but there’s something loveable about him.  It won’t age well.  Korto gets the prize for her assessment of Mychael and Irina’s duo: “They’re definitely going to the same party, but I’m not sure it’s the party we’re invited to.”

 

I guess I’ll have to watch the *Bonnie and Clyde* miniseries, since it appears to be playing on every channel.  I’m not sure I’ll like it.

 

Alyssa continues to make me shake my head.  This week it was when she referred to Austin as “an alumni”.  BRONK!  [that’s my attempt to make that buzzing noise from *Family Feud*]  The word “alumni” should only be used in the plural.  Austin is an alumnus.  So there.  BTW do they always need to have two guest judges?  It’s nice to see Elie Tahari, he’s a cutie.  I guess he was filling in the extra cred required by having that model person.

 

ON THE TOP

I wasn’t sure about Jeffrey’s outfit, but it turned out well.  A little severe.  So glad he did something good for a change, and it must feel good for him to have won a challenge.  I did not appreciate his tantrum over his model being the wrong size - - don’t you think you’d run into this over and over?  Clearly he needed bigger seam allowances.  I guess his outfit had a Clyde Barrow vibe, but didn’t have anything to do with the 30s.  Clearly that was good enough for the judges.

 

Irina’s outfit was OK - - the top and the skirt were lovely and right on target, but the jacket was a mess.  Christopher’s dress was gorgeous, I might have given the win to him, but Jeffrey gets extra points for doing menswear and doing something really risky.

 

IN THE MIDDLE

This is what I said when Elena’s model walked down the runway: car wash.  Richard said, “It’s an S & M nun!”  Which I’m sure actually exists somewhere in this world (probably somewhere below 14th Street).  Korto was a meh.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

I would have sent Viktor home, to be sure.  Fringe, really?  That jacket had too much going on and was badly made to boot.  Total disaster.  Seth Aaron’s outfit was sharp, but maybe a little too buttoned-up.  He should have figured out a way to sex it up - - maybe she could have taken off the jacket and had a backless blouse or something (but then how would she wear a bra with that).

 

I miss Mychael already!  Such a sweetheart.  But his work really didn’t deliver.  I have one word for that jacket, and the word is THRILLER!  Not good.

 

Next week: Marge Simpson, really?  I remember Laura Bennett (the divine Laura Bennett) being up in arms in the first All Stars season when they had to make an outfit for Miss Piggy.  She must be spinning in circles over this.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 6

 

The incomparable Claudia has started calling the show Product Runway.  I love that Marge herself addressed this issue, when she said to choose accessories from the “whoever’s now sponsoring the wall now wall”.  Hilarious.  Just when you think the show is aware of its blatant product pushing, five minutes later Seth Aaron shouts out, “Anyone want Resource water?”, and they show three designers eagerly guzzling Resource water, of course with the bottle perfectly poised to display the Resource label.  I cringe, I freeze, I shake my pretty head.

 

All that manufactured drama between Viktor and Christopher.  As if the cold shoulder wasn’t enough, then he has to apologize?  And the music - - I’m sure I recognized it from a made-for-Lifetime TV movie, maybe that one where Meredith Baxter played a woman suffering from bulimia (a classic of the genre).

 

You know what would have made this Marge Simpson challenge a little more marvelous?  How about a workroom visit from the great Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge?  Did no one think of that?  I love her, way back to when she was playing Rhoda’s sister.  And she has one of the greatest lines ever in a Woody Allen movie - - in *Hannah and Her Sisters*, he’s insisting that he’s not a hypochondriac, that his ailments are real:

 

HIM: What about the time I had that black spot on my back?

HER: It was on your shirt.

 

Anthony Ryan, yeesh, what is with the electrical tape affixed to his skull.  Not a winning look for him.  I hope Abigail Breslin has that skanky bleached blonde hair for a role, it really makes her look trashy.  And my dear friend Frank had the best take on Bendet: “She looks like an alien.”

 

Enough with the catty comments about the judges: let’s go to the runway.

 

ON THE TOP

I didn’t like Irina’s dress, I’m surprised it won - - though it did end up looking pretty on Marge.  I thought it was way too pageant.  I loved Jeffrey’s description of it: “a humungous nightie”.

 

Elena is such a surprise.  She gives the impression of being just a full-on flake, but her work often ends up being really strong.  That dress was fantastic, and the jacket was just as good.  Isaac had a good point, that it’s not really an “outfit”, because the dress looks so much better when the jacket is off.  I would have given her the win.

 

Korto’s dress was nice, but I thought it was a little too sophisticated for Marge.  A little too Studio 54 (I could totally see Bianca in that, no?).

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Seth Aaron was clearly having a hard time this week.  Four dresses might be a PR record.  Boy needs to focus.  His final dress was fine, but a bit of a throwaway.  Bravo to Isaac for calling him out on his dismissal of middle-aged housewives.

 

Christopher’s dress wasn’t so bad.  The print was a good idea, and it did look better without the belt.  And the draping was sloppy.

 

Jeffrey’s dress was awful: the fabric choice, the design, and those shoes!  It was just plain bad.  I wasn’t sad to see him go, but I did love that he used the word “nightie”.  He wasn’t up to his usual brilliance this season, he failed more often than he triumphed.  Think about it: he was the winner of his season, and Elena was consistently doing better work than him.  Go figure.

 

We’re down to the final six.  I’d like to make a prediction for the three finalists, but the designers have all been so spotty, I don’t know what to believe.

 

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 7

 

That QVC woman was strange.  Did you notice how she tilted her head down when she talked?  That and her upswept 'do made me think of Lisa Marie in *Mars Attacks!*  I think QVC has $8.5 billion dollars in global sales because they're run by Martians.  I'm just sayin'.  One other cocked eyebrow observation: did you notice that when Isaac visited them on the QVC set, he was only photographed from the bazooms up?  Methinks he's a little more zaftig than he'd like to be, and carefully chooses his angles in the runway judging segments.

 

It's so degrading to see the designers being all "Oh, I've always loved QVC!"  Really?

 

Elena: "Teasing the fabric to look like scales."  Hm, OK.  Sounds like a real winner.

 

The moment with Viktor coming out to Elena and Seth Aaron about his HIV status was touching.  But is it crass that I think of Mondo?  Is it unreasonable that I think he should mention Mondo?  And hm, how ironic that Mondo would be the guest judge.

 

The photo shoot in the workroom was a great idea because it showed the designers how crappy their work is!  Yikes, it made me worried for the runway.  With reason, it turns out.

 

ON THE TOP

Korto's dress was very resort wear, it didn't read red carpet to me.  But it was sharp and well made, and of all the dresses, it's the one that could actually sell.  It was definitely the pick of the litter, I'm pleased that she won.

 

Seth Aaron's dress was ripple-o-rama.  Love the fabric and the attitude, but the construction was wonky.

 

Love what Isaac said about Christopher's gown: "You had me at 'navy tulle.' "  Ha ha!  Very pretty and well done, but not innovative, not really special.

 

ON THE BOTTOM

Viktor's dress was sloppy and not distinctive.  He should be glad that others were worse.  Elena's dress was a non-wow.  I have nothing else to say on the subject.

 

A quick question about Irina: do you think the sound of the tear on the runway was added post-production?  The design was bridal in the extreme.  And not just because it was white, though the white didn't help - - the pasted-on flowers really put it in a bridal direction.  I don't know what she was thinking.  And very tacky of her to blame the tear on the model.  I was amused that she was so nonchalant about her auf - - "I won my season, I have a successful business, I didn't really need this."  OK, then goodbye!

 

LOVE, Chris

 

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 8

 

What a treat to see Nina again, and boy, does she look sexy.  Full of va va voom at her entrance, totally cougarlicious.  This challenge was an interesting twist on the “real woman” challenge - - they’re real women, but they’re also fashion insiders.  I was surprised at how pleased they were with their garments, they seemed pretty easy-going.  I was expecting more drama.

 

Brussels?  The best they could do is a trip to Brussels?  Richard tells me it’s a nice city, “a poor man’s Amsterdam”.  Can anyone confirm.  The radiant orchid thing was a cool idea - - did you notice that Alyssa “Dumb Bunny” Milano called it “wild orchid” in her runway show intro?  Did no one on the show catch that, and think it was worth doing another take?

 

WINNER

To quote Korto, “In the name of Jesus, amen!”  Loved her outfit, but Nina was right, the bag and the shoes were not doing her any favors.  Love the peek of radiant orchid, that was brilliant.  Plus I think the judges get tired of seeing dresses all the time, snaps for the slacks.  I think if anyone can have fun in Brussels, it would be Korto Momolu.

 

THE OTHERS

So interesting that the judges agreed on the winner but had a hard time choosing who was worst!  I thought Seth Aaron’s dress was lovely.  Yes, maybe it’s something they’ve seen many times, but it was beautifully made and looked like a dream on his client.

 

Nina took the words out of mouth about Elena’s outfit: the jacket was wearing the client, and not the other way around!  Interesting technique, but not right for someone so petite.

 

Christopher should have gotten the auf, in my not so humble opinion.  That green was a dud, the clutch was a throw-away use of the radiant orchid, I hated the hemline, and the whole look was mumsy and awful.  A much bigger disaster than Viktor, I don’t know why they kept Christopher.  I was sure he was a goner, when Nina gave him the stink-eye. 

 

Viktor’s dress was cute, and innovative, and showed off his client’s figure in a great way.  The jacket wasn’t too special - - he would have been saved if she had taken off the jacket at the end of the runway, to show off the dress.  Why didn’t HE think of that?

 

Hard to believe we’re so close to the finale.

LOVE, Chris

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 9

 

Today's column comes to you direct from Delavan, Wisconsin!  Richard and I have been here since last Saturday visiting my mother and brother and other assorted Ryans.  It's been a heavenly mixture of fun and sloth.  We allegedly fly out tomorrow, though we've been watching the news, seeing all those flights being cancelled.  Would it be so horrible to have to spend a few more days here?  The answer is a resounding NO.

 

We liked this challenge.  I loved that they had to pitch their ideas to the president of Milly and had to get his approval.  A few workroom comments: Why did Elena start a second dress?  Clearly she was able to fix the tear in her fabric (what kind of cheesy leather tears when you handle it, by the way), and what a lot of wasted time.  And Christopher, what an idiot.  Does he not understand how a dress works?  You can't have a zipper in the back, by the neck, and a second on the waist, at the side.  One last comment: If I again hear the words, "Anyone want some Resource water?", as Korto did on the last two episodes, I will write a letter to Lifetime.  I will cc the rest of you, of course.

 

Richard thinks the dress Alyssa was wearing was a Milly design, but boy, did it make her look dumpy.  That was the best they could do for her at Milly?  Or not.  Or as we say in Wisconsin, "Er no!"  A Project Runway first: THREE guest judges!  Yeesh, why not just have a whole jury of twelve.  Though we do love Kristin Chenoweth, and it gave me a chance to quote the great Jackie Hoffman, who made the following joke about Chenoweth in her show at Joe's Pub, singing a classic Bacharach song in Chenoweth's little girl voice: "A chair is still a chair / Even when I'm so small you can't see me sitting there."

 

CHRISTOPHER

Cute dress (though the bodice was wonky), but it was the dress he pitched?  Is it really a dress, if it has a detachable extra skirt?  Wouldn't Milly see that as two pieces, since it would require the manufacturing of a second piece?

 

SETH AARON

Mom didn't like the pink trim at all.  I thought it was OK.  Loved the shape of the dress, a very cute look.  And it would look divine on La Chenoweth.

 

KORTO

Love the use of fabric, love the tribal vibe, love the back - - but the front was a dud.  And how do you wear a bra with it?

 

ELENA

She continues to surprise me.  Masterful tailoring, but I didn't like the zipper up the front, and would Nick Cannon shut up about the easy access already, that's tacky.  Say it once and it's tawdry and amusing, say it twice and it's tacky.  Anyway, back to the dress: Mom and I thought the lemon yellow and white didn't quite work together.  Maybe it looked different in person.  I would have liked black with the lemon yellow.  Or how about hot pink with the lemon yellow?

 

JACKIE HOFFMAN

Does that Jackie Hoffman joke come across in an email?  Or is it only funny if you were there?

 

The remix idea was clearly just done for the drama.  Korto had it in the bag, and Christopher was being sent home.  This was supported by the work they did for the remix challenge: Korto's outfit was interesting and well made, Christopher's was boring and sloppy.  With a belt.

 

Next week - - the finale!

LOVE, Chris (and Richard and Anita)

 

 

Ryan on the Runway, volume AS3, issue 10

 

I’m so disappointed that Korto didn’t win.  This is more because I like her and not so much because her collection was better than Seth Aaron’s.  Is this the reality of reality TV, that we get drawn into the personalities rather than the work?

 

The illustrious Karen Miller has a theory that Alyssa Milano must have pissed off her stylist, and we had further proof this week: the soft serve turd hairstyle she had at the start of the episode, and the badly fitted Madame X Goes to Vegas gown she was wearing for the runway show.  Let’s all hope they’ll find someone new for season 4.

 

How exciting that the finale was at the UN!  But hey, the building is empty when they’re not in session, right?  It was touching hearing Korto and Elena talk about their countries of origin.

 

I wrote in my notes, after Day One, “Why don’t they have help?” - - and POUF!, they brought in help.  What a relief that they thoughtfully assigned designers (or maybe the final three chose them) rather than do the “third graders choosing kickball teams” process they often do.  That’s not pleasant for anyone.

 

It was a treat to see everyone getting along in the workroom.  Does anyone else miss the model casting?  The last few seasons of PR haven’t hardly touched on the models at all, and I miss that.

 

The scarves were beautiful, no?  And the designers used them well.  Why did they have Zac Posen and Gayle King as judges, instead of Zac and Elie Tahari, who was at the show?  I like Gayle, but come on.  Did you notice how cranky the other All Star designers looked at the show?  Oh, and I love that they brought out all seven models when they did the runway critique, I don’t think they’d done that before (usually they just have the “muse model”).

 

ELENA

I liked Seth Aaron’s comment, that Elena didn’t expect to make it this far in the competition so she was a little off her game.  She certainly showed a lot of strong work this season, especially in comparison to the work she showed in her original season.  But I really didn’t think much of her collection.  Too much the same, and would she get over the tyrannical symmetry already!  It’s such a flat look, it really gets tiresome for outfit after outfit to be a mirror image of itself.  Plus did it really have anything to do with Ukraine?  Not that I could see.  And was it Georgina or Alyssa who said that so much of her design is from the waist up, and so little going on, design-wise, below the waist.  Good point.  What would Freud make of that?  I’m sure he’d have a field day with Elena, in so many areas.

 

KORTO

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.  This is now the THIRD time that she’s come in second: in her original season (Leanne Marshall was the winner), in the one-episode All Stars special that Lifetime showed when the show moved from Bravo (Daniel Vosovic was the winner), and now this time.  Korto, please don’t try a fourth time, I couldn’t bear it!

 

That first dress was divine.  Her feeling for color is so delicious, this is a point that Nina made in her original season.  Her use of the scarf in the seventh look was really lovely, and wow on that palazzo pant jumper, that was to die for.  Too bad Diane von Furstenberg wasn’t there to do deliver her treatise on palazzo pants.  A couple of the looks were a little off, but in general, she makes beautiful, distinctive things that real women would want to wear.

 

SETH AARON

Congratulations to him, he is so deserving.  I loved his collection, it had such a playful Almodóvar vibe, it really caught the spirit of Spain, but still looked like his work.  That first dress was fantastic.  You know how Nina often says it’s a bad idea to do something in black, because you can’t see the design?  This was a black dress where you could see everything, because of the shiny highlights and the cut-outs.  The scarf dress was beautifully made, I love the chain in the back and the black leather inserts.  The black lace pants outfit was a little too fetish for me, but it fits right in with that Almodóvar world.  Love the yellow dress, and the little white dress was so sweet - - just imagine it as a wedding dress!  And the final red “matador” dress was dreamy.  Best of all, the collection was cohesive yet had plenty of variety.

 

My initial gut reaction was disappointment for Korto, but as I said, that was more about me liking HER.  Seth Aaron’s collection really was stronger and had more POW.  This is another of those cases where the judges chose Fashion over Clothes - - Art over Wearability.  Sort of like when they chose Leanne over Korto.

 

I’m a little skeptical about Under the Gunn.  The commercial they showed wasn’t promising, with that woman flaking out at her sewing machine and Nick and Tim hollering at her.  I’m going to give it a try, of course.  Will keep you posted.

 

PS - - How could I not include this.  Direct from La Furstenberg, from All Stars season 2: “Alright, I tell you - - when I was 20 a long, long time ago and I was engaged in Rome with a wonderful good-looking prince, he would take me to this Via Veneto couturier and they had invented this thing called pajama palazzo, and THIS is a pajama palazzo, and it is elegant and you just super confident and you have a palazzo and if you don't have it you pretend you have it, and it's really well done!”

 

PPS - - An update to my spreadsheet!  A few notes: this was the shortest season since the very first season, with only nine challenges leading up to the finale.  Elena spent more time in the top three than either of the other finalists.

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