Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 10, “Don’t Get Too Peacocky”

Kenley: I wonder what we’re going to be doing today? Mondo: Probably designing something. Yes, friends, there are only four designers left on Project Runway All Stars, and Kenley, Girl Genius, is one of them. If you had told me Kenley and Michael would still be here at this point, I would have shoved you and screamed, “Shut! Up!” Elaine Benes style. This was the episode that decided who would go to the final challenge to compete for the whole chalupa. Would polka-dots reign supreme? Would Mr. Moustache take the day? And would this blogger be forced to set poo on fire outside the door of every Lifetime executive if human My Little Pony Mondo was sent packing?!

This week’s winning look will be featured in Nanette Lepore stores nationwide. Exciting! The challenge was all about mixing fashion design with the business of selling garments, so the looks must be ready-to-wear and able to be manufactured under a certain price point. Not a price point I can afford, mind you. But presumably someone can. People better than me, no doubt. The idea being that an affordable (?) product helps a clothing concern stay in business in the high-rent fashion district of New York City. Nanette herself kicked off this challenge and told us that all the proceeds from the winning look would benefit You should check out that link – lots of wonderful information about saving jobs in the fashion district.

Each of the designers showed his or her sketches to Nanette and her fashion coster, Kelly Keough, to estimate the price of manufacture. I thought this was fascinating, because we learned how different garment patterns would cost more or less to replicate in real life. Michael showed Nanette a caftan thing with huge sleeves and tons of billowy fabric. She seemed unimpressed, probably because she’s watched the show before and realized that Michael only designs caftans or curtains with snaps on. Mondo had a tough time with this part of the process, for he doesn’t sketch his clothes. Nanette kinda mocked his (self-admitted) terrible drawing, which left our diminutive hero feeling defeated. I gave dirty looks to Nanette Lepore, which left her feeling nothing, since she was not in my living room.

Human glitterbomb Kenley talked shit about how designers need to know how to sketch. Mondo took offense, Kenley made smarmy faces and talked in her horrid nasal voice. It made me laugh that Kenley had the temerity to imply that Mondo is not a real designer because he can’t draw for shit. She can only draw one dress! So there, Kenley. Ooooooooh, burn. Point: Blogger.

After everyone’s claws were sheathed (except for, perhaps, mine), the group sashayed onto Nanette’s fabric floor. If you’re still reading, Nanette, I take back what I said before because I want to be your best friend so I can play in your fabric floor. There were some fucking amazing prints in there, y’all. The seamstress in me got a sewing boner that lasted all night. I wanna make sweet whoopee with every ribbon of gorgeousness on that floor. I wanna hump the hemp. I wanna tongue-kiss every piece of taffeta, which would ruin it, actually, much the same way women are sullied when breached by a hot disco stick.

Michael ran into trouble when his fabric did not turn out the way he thought. He was told that it was 60 inches wide. It wasn’t – the print running down the center of the bolt was forty-five wide with white on either side. That’s just crappy, friends. If you’ve ever cut out a garment, you’ll know that if you were counting on sixty, having forty-five sucks giant elephant balls because you may not have enough for your pattern. I’m not sure how he missed that, as they were with the bolts of fabric, but perhaps he thought they meant the print itself was 60 inches. The real victims? Us, because he still had enough fabric to make a caftan.

Poor Mondo looked sadder than a dog who cannot bone. The bad experience at Nanette’s shook his confidence. He said he’d never felt as wishy-washy as with this challenge. My heart really went out to him. You could see him sag under the weight of his emotions. I wanted to pump him up with a bellows full of rainbows.

Both Joanna and Nanette visited the workroom. Nanette told Kenley her shapeless dress would not sell as well as her original sketch, a more fitted number. Kenley got huffy and refused to change anything. Yawn. Next, Michael had to defend, again, his impossible-to-wear-a-bra-with-it design. Y U hate boobies? They’re so fun! Bras can push them up pretty-like, and make them feel happy and secure. And only Communists hate cleavage. I don’t want to wear a dress accessorized with sore tits and back pain. Those features don’t match my skin tone. We, the titties, abjure you, Michael!

But let us not get our nipples in a twist – on to the runway!

Austin Project Runway All Stars Episode 10

Austin took a page from Kenley’s inspiration book and designed a 1950s swing coat. I have something almost exactly like it in my closet from the mid ’50s, except in a better pink. He meant it as a showstopping piece, but I felt the color was a bit too…old for that. It was on the wrong side of cranberry to really get my heart racing. It needed to be brighter, younger, to work against the age of the design itself. The ruffle at the neck, especially the back, was lovely. There just wasn’t enough va va for it to voom for me. But it was pretty, no doubt.

The judges thought this lovely, if a little wrinkly due to a not-so-great fabric choice. It just wasn’t crisp enough.

Michael Project Runway All Stars Episode 10
Michael's design (left), Jennifer Lopez (right) (duh)

Michael made a shittier version of Jennifer Lopez’s Versace Grammy dress from 2000. Except the fabric was worse. He went tit-to-tit with a twelve-year-old look and lost. Jennifer Lopez’s love don’t cost a thing, but mine needs a down payment of not-ugly at the least. Hated the color, hated the print, hated it all. It looked like a tourist potato sack beach cover up. The back gapped so much that not only can a lady not wear a bra with it, she’d better wear cute undies, because the whole party will be wack for her crack. In judging, Michael called this “timeless.” I guess so – it’s made an appearance in 2000 and now. It’s the vampire Keanu of dresses. Anyone got a stake?

Nanette Lepore loved it. All the judges did. Sigh. I just really, really miss the old cast of this show. You know, the ones with taste?

Mondo Project Runway All Stars Episode 10

Mondo’s look was not a dress I’d ever be able to put on my body – I’m a poor man’s Betty Boop who requires a waistline – but I thought this look was adorable as hell. She’s a day-glo flapper. His ability to mix colors and prints is absolutely unparalleled. And it’s so different! We haven’t seen this shape from him at all this season. I adored the top-stitched ruffle at the bottom. The little pockets in the band of yellow? Yes, please. I’m in Mondo heaven, where everything looks and tastes like ice cream. Isaac called it “masterful” in its balance of color, although he thought it needed definition at the waist. Nanette pointed out that Boops will have a hard time with it. Not-Heidi said it should be worn with sandals to play it down. Why? I have no idea. This woman is a human Kenley Collins dress.

Although the design looked to be built of remnants from a Candyland sample sale, I thought the overall look was sophisticated. It reminded me a bit of the breezy, gorgeous thing Diane Von Furstenberg wore when she guest-starred on the show. A dress doesn’t have to be tight to be amazing. Mondo is good enough that he can do that. Unlike…

Kenley Project Runway All Stars Episode 10

Kenley should have listened to Joanna and Nanette. The print alone was not enough to carry this drab, shapeless snore of a look. As Mondo pointed out, she doesn’t take the time to match the print at the seams, which, when your entire dress is plain as dirt because you’re a boring designer to showcase the print, you absolutely must do. The front of that thing was criminal. The print was too large anyway for a dress of that size (a maxi would have been much better), but to ruin the only good thing you have by… ugh, sorry. I just can’t believe how shittastic the front darts of that thing were. I was shocked to see it in a freaking all-star design competition. It was like bringing a Parthenon full of decaying Greek mummies to a modern architecture contest. THE ONLY GOOD THING WAS THE PRINT AND SHE RUINED IT – ARGGGHHHHHHH.

Georgina said, “I love your vintage quirk.” VINTAGE QUIRK? What quirk? SHE JUST MAKES VINTAGE DRESSES, EXCEPT BADLY. At least they pointed out the seam horror show. Nanette said the dress needed one of the original design features, a keyhole neck. Kenley said that it would have messed up the print. There aren’t enough Mary Crawley eye-roll GIFs in the world, folks.

Okay, everyone. Let’s shake all this bad fashun business off us. Take a stretch. Loosen your money maker, or what have you. Now we are ready to proceed.

Mondo won! Happy dancing! Aren’t you glad we warmed up first?

The bottom two were Michael and Kenley, which, for freaking once, was the right thing to do. Alas, we have heard the last of Kenley’s honking, insincere laugh. Oh, wait, I don’t mean alas. I mean hallelujah! When I need vintage clothes, I’ll look up Elsa Schiaparelli on eBay, thank you very much.

So what sort of odds do you give to our final three designers, Persephoneers? They’re all men – whatcha think of that, hmmmm? Tell me in the comments!

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Lucy Woodhull

Lucy Woodhull is a novelist, humorist, parodist, and all-around geek. Her new venture is THE SHITTIEST PRINCESS, a series of un-fair-y tales right here on Persephone. You can check out her sexy, fun romantic comedies at

25 thoughts on “Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 10, “Don’t Get Too Peacocky””

  1. I think Im the only person who doesn’t hate Michael’s designs.  Im not goin to go as far as to say they’re the greatest but I think people come down entirely too hard on him.  yes he made a caftaan, but in the last season of PR a woman just won who made NOTHING but caftaans.  I haven’t seen a decent set of seperates on this show PERIOD. that should be a requirement.  at least one pair of tailored pants, jacket, shirt, etc etc, because after all no real fashionista wears just dresses! *le sigh*

    Moving on…

    I had huge problems with Austin’s coat. the color, the style, the bad presentaton. Austin is not my favorite when he does anything other than dresses.  Im glad he know his strong point and wans to be known as a great evening wear designer! Stick to what you know!!!!  I can say Im glad to see Kenley get  the boot, which to me is waaayyyyy past due…but I have to agree these judges are def not my favorite.  I mean come on, Issac Mizrahi?  Enough Said. 

    Hopefully the final 2 will show up with out basically handing the show over to Mondo, who we all know is gonna win anyway.



  2. I couldn’t figure out what Kenley’s dress reminded me of at first but seeing the pictures here all I see is a jazzed up hospital gown. I think it’s a combo of the sad sack shape, high collar, and the powder blue color. I’d imagine it’s the kind of  hospital gown give out at those super “secret” rehab facilities the Stars go to.

  3. The failure to align is horrifying (although it could be done well if done on purpose to create an effect a la the back–that, or a variation thereof, could have been cute on the front, as a sort of nod to a button-front piece).

    Even worse? BROADCASTING IT. If you’re not going to have your fabric line up, why the fuck is the ugliest seam-up ever slashed across the front of the dress?? Okay, we all see where you cut the bolt! At least you could put the seams at the side, where they’re less apparent.


    1. Yes, this was the major flaw of that print in that dress.  She designed a dress with two front darts.  The darts destroyed the pattern.  She could have pieced it to match, but that would have taken a lot more time and yardage, which would have made the dress more expensive, especially in this challenge.  The funny part was the darts didn’t even make the dress flattering — it was still a sad sack.

  4. Kenley’s dress was so bad.  I hated the pattern on the fabric, and apparently, so did she.

    Michael’s dress, however.  WHY OH WHY do these judges like caftans so much???  Do real high-siditty ladies wear caftans a lot?  I thought caftans were mainly the purview of Blanche Devereaux.  But of course, I cannot afford $300 dresses anyway, and could never wear ANYthing without a bra – ever ever ever.  Ever.  The fact that he had to put a strap on the back of the dress to keep it from falling off the model tells me it wasn’t cut as fabulously as the judges seemed to think.  COME ON.  Are you kidding me??  It’s like he took a sheet (of nice fabric with a crappy print) cut HUGE deep Vs front and back, and shaped up some arm holes.


    I really kinda wanted him to go, just so it’d be a nice bookend for him – get kicked off at the same time as when he was first on.  But Kenley was apparently more horrible.

    Yay for Mondo’s dress, it was super cute.  Yay for Mondo winning, he deserved it. [Notice how he was the only one to come in under budget?]  All in all, I’m happy.  I just don’t want to see Michael anymore.   He is the anti-bra.

    1. GAWD. I would have been thrilled to see Michael leave weeks ago, his stuff is atrocious.

      I wonder if the judges are not-so-secretly trying to make caftans a thing. I live in fucking NYC and I don’t even see caftans of the Upper East Side anymore. If the ladies who lunch aren’t wearing them, who the fuck would?

  5. I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around Kenley. How did she even get to the final four? For someone who works so much with prints, you would think that taking the time to align it would be second nature. And Mondo is too good for this competition.

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