New Show Recap: PR All Stars 2.05 “We Have No Idea What These Words Mean!”

Welcome back, fashion lovers. This week, the designers tackled both avant-garde and androgyny without a net or a dictionary.I know they’re under a lot of pressure. If someone told me I had to make an avant-garde androgynous Look for $150 in less than twenty-four hours, I would probably pee my pants. However, when I hear a chorus of designers saying “So, I’m gonna do something with men’s wear, but kind of feminine?” I want to smack them all with a rolled-up newspaper. There is a difference between androgyny and gender-bending, you’d think they covered that in design school at some point.

Maybe the producers saw this coming, though, because the special twist challenge is that they find out they have to make two Looks, one to be worn by a man and one to be worn by a woman. They will get another $150 at Mood and another day to finish everything. Being faced with male models seemed to help a lot of the designers move away from the “girly man clothes” concept.

I’m not going to detail all the drama in the workroom. My husband and I got sucked into a marathon of Ink Masters this weekend and I have had it up to *here* with reality show contestant angst. Suffice it to say, Anthony Ryan is a delight, Joshua is less insufferable than he could have been and Laura Kathleen isn’t making any new friends. Let’s just move on to the good stuff, shall we?

Uli:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Uli's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her female model.
Uli’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Uli's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her male model.
Uli’s female model

Uli’s androgyny inspiration was the rock star. I didn’t think much of it until I really started looking at the clothes. Any one of those pieces could have been re-sized and put on the other model and it would have still worked. The overall effect is very Tina Turner meets Steven Tyler. It definitely leans toward the feminine, but the right guy could pull it off righteously.

Laura Kathleen:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Laura Kathleen's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her male model.
Laura Kathleen’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Laura Kathleen's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her female model.
Laura Kathleen’s female model

I’m fairly certain Laura Kathleen’s inspiration was “I don’t know what the fuck to do.” I really don’t think I have anything to say that the clothes don’t say for themselves. After the one-two punch of bad design and poor execution, the judges were not amused.

Kayne:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Kayne's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his male model.
Kayne’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Kayne's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his female model.
Kayne’s female model

I did not hate Kayne’s clothes as much as the judges did, but then, I have a soft spot for clowns. I think if they had switched jackets and nixed the stupid white eyebrows, the two of them would made excellent extras in a Fellini film.

Joshua:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Joshua's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his male model.
Joshua’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Joshua's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his female model.
Joshua’s female model

Joshua ended up right in the middle, and I would hazard a guess it’s because of his male model’s clothes. I would happily wear that ensemble (minus the furry blue bag) either as a whole or in parts. All I can think when I see that lady model walking down the runway is “Dear lord, what did this poor woman ever do to you Joshua?”

Ivy:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Ivy's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her male model.
Ivy’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Ivy's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her female model.
Ivy’s female model

Ivy also took one of the middle spots with her slightly blah see-through pants and leather diaper look. When asked after the show, she replied “As a matter of fact, I did watch Superman a lot as a kid. Why do you ask?”*

*Not really

Emilio:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Emilio's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his male model.
Emilio’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Emilio's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his female model.
Emilio’s female model

Finally, something worth talking about! Emilio’s models, when they were walking together, looked fucking amazing. There were moments where I questioned who was the male and who was the female, because the only way you could really tell was by the boobs and waist. At first glance, the suits are kind of costume-y, but if I were to see these two walking down the street I would guess they were part of a performance art group rather than the cast of Guys and Dolls. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show the open backs of both Looks, or the well-muscled backs of both models. You also can’t see that the models had matching makeup; a very “smoldering 40s torch singer” look. If you didn’t think androgyny could be sexy, then here’s proof to the contrary.

Cassanova:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Cassanova's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his male model.
Cassanova’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Cassanova's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his female model.
Cassanova’s female model

Cassanova said he started with the idea of armor, and the end result was rightly labeled “gladiator.” It’s interesting, it’s well made, but no one accused it of being androgynous. He quite rightly ended up in the bottom three.

Anthony Ryan:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Anthony Ryan's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his male model.
Anthony Ryan’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Anthony Ryan's avant-garde androgynous outfit on his female model.
Anthony Ryan’s female model

If Emilio created a vibe of sexy androgyny, then Anthony Ryan managed to capture genuine sexless androgyny. Don’t get me wrong, these people look hot, but these are not masculine clothes made feminine or vice versa. These are beautiful clothes that  do not appear to be gender affiliated in any way. I am also in love with the makeup he chose for his models. It’s a touch more than regular stage makeup, but it’s subtle enough that you almost don’t see it. I have nothing bad to say about anything he did, and it’s not just because I think he is delightful.

Althea:

Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Althea's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her male model.
Althea’s male model
Project Runway All Stars 2x05 contestant Althea's avant-garde androgynous outfit on her female model.
Althea’s female model

At first I was surprised that Althea was in the middle and Uli was in the top three. I thought the semi-Imperial Guard look was both bold and gender neutral. On second look, though, Uli’s glam-rock collection of pieces were way more versatile. Uli, Emilio and Anthony Ryan all made me change my mind multiple times about whether they were masculine or feminine or neither or both. Once you see the feminine vibe in Althea’s clothes, you can’t see anything else. And the loose shlubby pants do nothing for me as well.

Drumroll please…

Emilio is the winner! A part of me is disappointed that Anthony Ryan didn’t win, because I think he nailed androgynous better than anyone else, but the other part of me is saying “Yeah, but Emilio’s models were smokin’ hot.” IMHO, they both deserved to be on top and I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to decide between the two.

I really thought Laura Kathleen was a lock for last place, but Kayne and his clown couture were the ones sent to the workroom to pack up his tools.

Do not pass Go, do not collect a Tim Gunn hug on your way out.

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[E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/AngryOwlStudio if you're interested in checking it out.

5 thoughts on “New Show Recap: PR All Stars 2.05 “We Have No Idea What These Words Mean!””

  1. I may have literally rended my garments when LK did not go home. There was gnashing of teeth and cursing of deities, it was as ugly as her ugly ass clothes. I think my hatred of her is swinging towards irrational, then I see how good she makes Ivy and Joshua look in comparison, and I’m okay with the hate.

    Kayne’s looks would look great on Mondo, and at least he has an imagination, which is more than we can say for certain evil blonde people.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Emilio’s looks and his models and the whole bit of fashion opera he created this week. I though Uli and Anthony Ryan were equally impressive, but E’s models pushed him over the finish line a full length ahead of everyone else.

    I feel guilty and like a bad feminist, because I was totally objectifying some of those boy models who were probably born when I was in college.

    Thanks for pinch hitting for me this week! Sara B. did this at the last possible minute, because she’s awesome. It doesn’t read last minute at all, either, which means she’s double awesome, with a side of unicorns.

  2. Granted all I know about fashion I learned from my college roommate a decade ago, but since when does androgynous equal sheer fabric and ugly panels? Emilio’s outfits are amazing, and it seems like he was the only one who didn’t style them like something from a bad sci-fi movie. His models are mind-bogglingly gorgeous. They seem like they’re digging his outfits.

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