New Show Recap

Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 5, “I’d Give the Clothes off My Backside for Cute Designers, er, Fashion”

Raise your glass of wine and squeeze that Ho-Ho, Persephone readers – it’s time to read about the glamorous life you’ll never have. Project Runway All Stars answers the question: what would happen if a rhinestone and ego factory exploded? I hope you slags appreciate this amazing writing I do – my husband just declared that he’s going to binge on sadness and stale cat food because he’s a blog widower. My sweatpants and empty marriage are all for you! So scratch your ass, pet your pet, and away we go!

This week, our gang of misfit style unicorns were challenged to harass find a muse on the streets of New York. Oh, who am I kidding. If elfin wonder Mondo found me on the street and said, “YOU! You are the short lady with mustard-stained boobs of my dreams!” I’d explode, leaving nothing but my soiled clothing and a scattered collection of Mel Brooks jokes to litter the sidewalk.

The rub of this task? They’d have to convince their muses to give the clothes off their backs. As Moe the bartender would say: Whhhhaaaaaa? The stranger-clothes would be fifty percent of the designers’ new streetwear looks. So the big challenge this week was for everyone to find someone who didn’t seem smelly or riddled with skin disease. Each designer was given $150 to use to both pay strangers for their clothing and to buy the rest of the fabric they’d need from Mood.

Anthony noted that one would have to have a great personality to convince people to part with their clothing, even for money. I don’t think so. I think they’d just need a camera crew, some shallow flattery, and the promise that they would get to be on PR. But I was wrong. (Huh – so that’s what it feels like.) A bunch of people said no! I guess New Yorkers are used to being asked to take off their clothes for money. Here in LA, we get asked to take off our clothes in exchange for being sweated on by Charlie Sheen.

Jerell got stripping offers from boys who weren’t even asked to! High five, cutie pie. Kara got a handsome guy to strip off his fuchsia shirt while he flirted outrageously with her. Go Kara! Try not to make something shitty out of it, hm? Won’t someone please think of the hot ginger guys?!

Kara Project Runway All Stars
"Get Naked for Fashion" is a cuause that's sure to catch on.

Anthony asked this guy to take off his jean shorts. The shorts were nothing special, but I think we can all see why Anthony was jumping and squealing over his sartorial find:

Austin macs on naked dude Project Runway All Stars
Austin's moustache brings all the boys to the yard and they're like, it's wispier than yours.

FYI, this guy did not have a shirt on when Anthony found him. Soon, many designers were eager to interview this man of taste and sophistication. Kenley and Kara came by to ask him his opinion of the spring ready-to-wear collections. Austin asked the buff gentleman, “Can I take these?” Let’s take an impromptu Persephone quiz. What do you think Austin Scarlett’s Moustache meant by “these”?

A. These sunglasses.

B. These underpants.

C. These items contained in the underpants (probably a cell phone or some such).

D. These shreds of dignity.

E. These digits.

If you answered “C,” you’re right! Sort of. Austin didn’t get the “cell phone” right away; he got item “E” in the form of suave dude’s phone number, presumably to get “C” at a later time, and possibly off-camera.

You didn’t know this week’s blog would be full of half-naked men, did you? Who’s the best blogger ever?

For added fun, here is a picture of Mondo wearing a Mondo shirt. You’ve just been Moncepted.

Mondo Project Runway All Stars
Mondo within a Mondo. Mondeux?

Mondo said that he began as a child sewing clothes from thrifted items – he’d rip them apart and make new stuff – so this challenge was right up his alley. He went on to explain that he routinely cured the sick through what he called “mondiracles” and rescued stray raccoons to train in the ways of balloon-animal making to entertain needy children. Needless to say, the raccoons are well-dressed.

Kenley was making noise and laughing psychotically in the work room, you know, as you do. Anthony called her “loud,” saying, “If a Black person says that you are loud, you are too loud.” She (loudly) declared that her outfit of a white ruffley top and sunglasses was her “edgy bitch look.” No, sweetie, I think the words you are looking for are “boring doily” or possibly “annoying doily.” Kenley further endeared herself to everyone human by giving (loud) advice about every piece of clothing, even going to far as to finish Kara’s pants.

And now, on to the runway.

The guest judge this week was a cutie named Sean Avery, who does professional hockey-playing and interned at Vogue. Eclectic!

It is at this point in the blog where I must recommend caution, friends, for there is fug ahead. Brace yourselves. Kiss your loved ones. Poke your eye.

Street-Where Have You Been All My Life?:

Austin opened up a can o’ crazy and I liked it! The weird little off-center shirt and ladylike yet badass skirt were just plain fun. She looks like she escaped from a biker clown college, and I don’t mean it in a bad way. The judges went ga-ga for it.

I hesitated to put Rami in the “good” list because I hate long vests, but the rest of the outfit is artfully done. I love the contrast edging on the ruffle blouse, especially; the same trim adorned the shorts. The combo of secretary blouse and shorts is one I enjoy, and this lady practically had her own cravat! When the model turned, I could see that the vest was less vest and more sleeveless coat, with a nice swish to the back. Okay, Rami. I forgive you! Let’s not fight again. The judges loved this one, but thought it lacked drama.

Austin Rami Episode 5 Project Runway All Stars
Austin, Rami (left to right)

Kenley… yes, I put Kenley in the happy category. Will the sky begin to rain puppies? Only time will tell. She still cannot seem to vary from a 1950s silhouette, but at least it was a wiggle dress this time instead of a full skirt. I just plain love the combo of fabrics in this dress. It’s adorable. It’s so damn cute I want to throw up and then wear the dress everywhere.

Anthony’s pants took my breath away when they appeared. I loved this look – the black and pink color combo was done to thrilling effect, the sexy halter went just so with the fullness of the pants, and I even liked the turban. The pants’ ruffle was an extension of one of the legs, not something tacked on top – that’s interesting. I have no idea where the street fabrics went into this, but I don’t care. The judges did, though. And since the top and bag were the only parts that came from street-thrifted pieces, the panel did not believe he had really satisfied the challenge requirements.

Kenley Anthony Episode 5 Project Runway All Stars
Kenley, Anthony (left to right)

Mondo’s always-chic lady was adorable and bitch-tastic all at once. He is the best at mixing up eclectic fabrics and cuts – there were twenty-two separate pieces in the jacket alone. The army green-overtones in the coat were unexpected when mixed with the yellow, black, and white. This is not an outfit I would probably wear, but I would stare at the woman who did. Not-Heidi said she would die for this, which almost made me like her enough to look up her name. Almost. Isaac enjoyed how it was bare, but covered, and also how in-control Mondo’s lady is.

Mondo Episode 5 Project Runway All Stars

Street-Well, I Guess it Could Be Worse:

Kara’s top was a cute mix of floral and stripes, but I really think a wide-leg trouser would have suited it much more than the high-waisted skinny pant she put on the model. The poor girl had grandpa crotch. As always, I hate long, flowy vest things. They are ugly and pointless, a wonderous combination.

Also with an ugly vest was Mila, although I bet a lot of readers will like this outfit of striped top and skinny pants. It just feels very “mall’ to me. And that’s great, if you’re not on Project Runway.

Kara Mila Episode 5 Project Runway All Stars
Kara, Mila (left to right)

Street-Why? Oh, Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, Why?:

Michael Costello mis-heard the challenge. If the task had been “make a strapless lace teddy that looks like it came from the sale bin at Fredericks of Hollywood’s remnants factory, oh, and throw a belt around it like you meant this to look like something lol,” then he would have won. Mila called this look “very elegant.” I had to pause the show to laugh. For real. In other news, I would like some of what Mila is smoking and/or snorting. Georgina said she would not allow her daughter to wear such a thing on the streets of New York. Not-Heidi thought it was a swimsuit. Isaac though the top was too saggy, and I totally agree. It seems almost impossible nowadays to find any woman in a strapless top that actually fits properly – even at the Oscars.

Michael Jerell Episode 5 Project Runway All Stars
Michael, Jerell (left to right)

Jerell’s masterpiece was commissioned by Princess Clemyntine, soon-to-be ruler of the Borough of Imsocool, located in the county of Look at This Fucking Hipster. As you can see, her shoulders are swathed in appropriated “native” fabric, because she’s one-eighth “native” of some country down there somewhere where the sky is, like, big and expansive, man. Her striped bikini top symbolizes the job she’ll never hold down – she prefers to promote Imsocool’s main exports, bartered mushroom-themed throw pillows and black-and-white pictures of reclaimed wood. Her skirt, of course, was made of locally-sourced tie-dyed hair from the greasy heads of musicians so obscure, they don’t actually exist. Upon seeing the outfit for the first time, Princess Clemyntine yawned, then created a painting from her period blood expressing her ennui over the awesome clothing. The work of art is now selling on Etsy for three million dollars, with all the proceeds befitting her friend Mike, who only has six vintage cameras and sorta desperately needs more.

Isaac said that Jerell’s model looked like she just walked off the stage of The Lion King. Sean called it “Lady Ga Ga and Gwen Stefani at Burning Man on acid.” Georgina loved the top, but not the bottom. SHE LOVED THE TOP BUT NOT THE BOTTOM? Like there was such a taste-level difference between them? Like the top was Elizabeth Taylor but the bottom was Kim Kardashian? Like the top was the Hope diamond but the bottom was a plastic vagina necklace? Side-eye, Marchesa lady. Side. Fucking. Eye.

And Jerell? That’s enough.

So who was the winner?

I can say with all objectivity…



Sad trombones play their sad song for Anthony this week. His bending of the rules got him eliminated, and saved Michael from his lace abomination. But Anthony held his head high, for he has pride, and cute shoes. I’ll miss Anthony’s amazing sense of humor and it sucks to see him go when his outfit was divine.

Readers, in the comments, I want you all to hazard a guess as to what Jerell will make for us next week. Please describe the stringy-haired girl he will design ugly clothing for. Tell me in the comments and we’ll see if you’re right on next week’s edition of Project Runway, All Hipsters!

By 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

16 replies on “Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 5, “I’d Give the Clothes off My Backside for Cute Designers, er, Fashion””

I feel like when they’re talking about women in New York, they tend to forget there are four other boroughs in addition to Manhattan. They kept saying stuff about how how NY women wouldn’t show so much skin and my response was, “um, clearly you’ve never been to Williamsburg in the summer.”


I have been waiting for the judges to rightfully crown Mondo’s work for weeks now.  And I am so sad to see Anthony go.  I was hoping this would be Kara’s week to depart, as I despise her attitude and most of her outfits – though not as much as Michael Costello’s.  Costello can go take a flying leap while eating an onion.  And his brocade-topped bathing suit?  Uh – NO.

Anthony was right about personality, and he has it in spades.  The fact that our poor-man’s Michael Kors had the nerve to call him lazy got all parts of my dander up.  Here he is creating great television, and folks are hemming and hawing because he didn’t use that hottie’s jean shorts in his outfit.  Come on!  We know why he took that man’s pants.  And we are grateful.

I like rules… but they exist in part to be bent. Okay, what Anthony did wasn’t creative bending so much as straight-up ignoring the issue. But for the judges to be sticklers this week, of all weeks, when there was Jerell’s monstrosity, is beyond the pale!

Thank goodness Mondo finally won, even though this week he actually had competition (as opposed to, oh, every single episode up ’til now, when his has been three levels more awesome than everything else).

Everyone in a judging position on this show must be on elephant tranquilizers.

I loved this episode! I suspect that it may be because Michael didn’t win. I’m honestly shocked the judges didn’t orgasm themselves over that bathing su- I mean outfit. Actually, if it had been better fitted, I think I would have liked it as a bathing suit! Loved Mondo’s shorts, and I personally hate shorts. And I’m still dreaming of Austin’s moustache (I think that deserves the alternative spelling). I would have given him my number too.

I love Mondo’s outfit — because I’m only human — but I think Austin’s was my favorite this week. It was the hole in the fishnets. I’ve never liked holes in tights as a fashion statement but here it’s bitchcakes. The fifties housewife has gone punk before her time.

… See? I don’t even know what that means. That fishnet hole has broken my brain.


I thought Kenley’s dress was really cute, like all of her stuff is cute, but she’s not even awful enough to be interesting as part of this PRA* experience. Kenley is boring, and it pains me to type that.

I’m getting brave and making my prediction that MONDO, Rami and Austin Scarlett’s ‘stache will be in the final three. Michael may weasel his way in there as a wild card, but I will be writing a strongly worded P*Mag comment if he does.

I keep wanting Milla to become Christine Baranski, because Diane Lockhart would own Project Runway, while texting BFF HRC and tossing back a nice scotch.

RIP, Anthony. Come write for us.

I think Austin most accurately caught and interpreted the vibe of his muse.

Also, Team MONDO.

Leave a Reply