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Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 8, “She Wears Shit Shows Down by the Seychelles.”

We’re letting our fashion flags freak flappily this week, friends, for Project Runway All Stars is going to the United Nations! As Not-Heidi droned woodenly: “…the United Nations brings together governments from around the world to find lasting solutions to some of our toughest challenges, such as climate change, human rights, peace, and security. And you thought our challenges were tough.” This delivery was so terrible, the drummer refused to give her a rimshot, deciding instead to devote his life to teaching models how to act, so that no longer shall mediocre jokes be thrust upon unsuspecting audiences.

Jerell gave her a courtesy laugh. It’s not going to help you, Jerell, especially if you keep designing hipster nonsense. Or maybe it will she said forebodingly.

Not-Heidi went on to tell the contestants that they would be designing beautiful dresses inspired by a country’s flag. I’m glad she said that, or else everyone might have thought to design ugly dresses. Mila, I’m looking at you.

Six flags were pre-selected, and the spoils were as follows: Mondo, Jamaica; Michael, Greece; Austin, Seychelles (which I spelled correctly the first time I tried, thankyouverymuch); Mila, Papua New Guinea (which I did not); Jerell, India; and Kenley, Chile. Are you ready for a world tour of WTF?

Mila expressed dismay that the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea looked extremely “tribal.” She wanted her dress to be more runway than tribal. But of course! Fashion only likes “tribal” when it’s an unspecified mish-mash of bones and beads – not when it has to do with an actual people group. Plus, I expect that no citizens of Papua New Guinea have ever worn a piece of fashion. Nope. They’re never even heard of pants there! I read that on the internet.

I’ll give you all three guesses as to what sort of fabric Kenley picked up. Here’s a hint: it, like, totally matches the proud polka-dot flag of Chile! What’s their national anthem again? “All hail Chile’s sacred dots, it’s the print we like a lots.” Their chief exports come in pellet form.

Joanna came into the workroom and gave Mondo and Michael what-for because they keep designing dresses that cannot be worn with a bra. Bravo, Joanna! Last week (I missed you all!), I kept screaming at the TV, “DAMMIT! What actress wants to run around, sing, and dance for two hours with her tits flopping around?!”

And so the runway show came around. But something special was in the air last night, for I present to you (drum roll) from New York City the 2012 Miss World Half-Assed Appropriation Pageant! Brought to you by Lifetime, television for masochists. Models from six countries will compete for points in several categories, including This Is What Those People Dress Like, Right?, I Stay True to My Ascetic a.k.a. Country Schmuntry, and I Escaped From Miss Teen New Jersey And All I Got Was This Discount Dress.

Jerell Kenley Project Runway All Stars Episode 8
Jerell, Kenley (left to right)

Jerell’s ode to India was so laughable, offensive, and hideous that I’m sari I just made that joke. Nothing says India like a bunch of gold lamé with the remains of a bolt of green fabric bunched into it. I don’t even think Miss India would run around in that at the Miss Universe pageant. I wonder why he didn’t furnish her a cow to ride? Or maybe paint her blue and give her a few extra limbs? That’s just lazy, Jerell. Although it looked to me that he did take the time to darken up his model. Charming. He scored top pageant marks in This Is What Those People Dress Like, Right? His model was voted “Miss Embarrassed.”

Isaac called the white stripe down the arm “Nike in India.” He and Not-Heidi loved it. I… I can’t. I just can’t. At least Georgina called it a costume.

In Kenley’s design, the rich culture of Chile shined through beautifully. I confess, I don’t know much about that country, but from this dress I can deduce that they do a lot of figure skating and are often mauled by bears who shred their clothing. They wear heart-shaped polka dot prints to honor Lisa Frank, prime minister from 1980″“1987. Kenley got the best score from pageant judge Nancy Kerrigan.

Georgina liked the attitude of Kenley’s dress, saying it had a young feel. A young feel? Maybe for 1972! I am officially over Ms. Marchesa – she and I agree on practically nothing. If I had money to spend on designer clothes, I wouldn’t buy hers. That’ll show her. Guest judge, French designer Catherine Malandrino, called it a beautiful, young dress. Y’all, are they all on drugs? They must be different drugs from the ones I’m on. Not-Heidi added valuable insight to the discussion by saying that when she thinks of Chile, she thinks of ponchos. At least Isaac told Kenley not to make the same dress again. Finally. Only took him eight episodes to get there. I think this group has the makings of a Mensa chapter.

Austin Mondo Project Runway All Stars Episode 8
Austin, Mondo (left to right)

Austin’s dress looked like something I made for my Barbie out of my mother’s old window shears. She wears shit shows down by the Seychelles. I know the flag had all those colors, but really, this is a case of too-literal run amok. It was messy, ill-fitting – like a prissy super-hero after a bender. His design was awarded Most Likely To Be Found Twirling A Giant Arrow By The Side of the Road by the pageant judges. He was thisclose to taking I Escaped From Miss Teen New Jersey And All I Got Was This Discount Dress.

Georgina thought the colors didn’t match the flag well enough, and Isaac thought it sloppily done.

Mondo’s dress was gorgeous: sleek, black, stunning. I don’t know what it had to do with Jamaica, per se (except for the nod to the flag in the back detail), except that rich Jamaican women would surely want to buy and wear one. Mondo explained that that he read the Jamaican culture was very relaxed, so he wanted a slinky, easy, sexy gown. She was Morticia Adams on beach holiday. In other words – fabulous. Mondo scored just under Jerell in This Is What Those People Dress Like, Right? for giving his model faux-dreadlocks.

This dress went over well, except for Isaac, who hated the flag part of it.

Mila Michael Project Runway All Stars Episode 8
Mila, Michael (left to right)

All I could think of when Mila’s creation came down the runway was Victor Victoria. Maybe Victoria Victoria. There’s no other way to describe it than two completely different dresses Frankensteined together. I didn’t love it – it’s not my style at all. But I gotta give it to her, it was executed beautifully, was flattering and eye-catching, and gave a nod to her flag colors. And it didn’t actively make me sit up and yell, “What the &*^% is that?” Mila won the I Stay True To My Ascetic a.k.a. Country Schmuntry category and also placed first in I’ll Put Dots On My Model’s Face Because That’s Tribal Or Something.

Isaac said this dress screamed “Communism,” which made me laugh. I can totally see that! The judges thought the two different hem lengths to be disturbing to the eye.

Michael took our collective breaths away when he sent the Statue of Liberty proudly down the runway, the American promise of liberty and justice fapping, er, flapping in the breeze like a – wait, I’m getting new information in my headset. Oh, his design was supposed to be Greek. Huh. About that, I can’t really say it better than Mondo: “This is not grease lightning, this is Greece frightening.” I guess the dress was nice, if you’re a fan of bed sheets with scratchy trim and knee-jerk cultural references.  Apparently “hopa” is Greek for “that dress gaps so much in the back you can see both Athens and Sparta.” This dress was hugely praised by the pageant committee, sweeping the Make Her A Yogurt Mascot, STAT! category.

The PR judges did not love this one, saying it was too billowy and pageant-ey. They thought that without the trim, it might have been okay.  Really?  The trim, people.  Yeah, that’s what messed up this wonder of a creation.

It’s official for me: The worst part of Project Runway All Stars are the judges and host. I hate almost everything they have to say and they don’t have one-tenth of the charm of the judges of old. As King Arthur said to the Black Knight, “You make me sad.” Come, Patsy!

The winner this week was Mondo! It came down to Kenley and Mondo, and I’m so glad he won because now I don’t have to send a box full of zombie bees (zombees) to Isaac Mizrahi’s house.

The Loser of Loserville was Mila. With her at the bottom was Jerell, he for his offensive and badly-sewn piece of shit, and Mila for a gorgeously executed piece of interesting-ness. And she lost. I don’t even now what the fuck to say. Does Jerell bake them all chocolate orgasm cookies every week or something? Bah!

As the old lady said to Princess Buttercup, “Boo! Boooooooooooo!”

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

23 replies on “Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 8, “She Wears Shit Shows Down by the Seychelles.””

Wow.  This was just basically Project Runway: Racist Edition.  Jerell needs to be out simply for bad design, ugly dress, and being offensive.  Not-Heidi actually said that that Chile makes her think of ponchos.  Out loud.

Mila’s dress was cool, but Victor/Victoria was EXACTLY what I was thinking when I saw it. (By the way, this review made me laugh and laugh and laugh.)

Joanna Coles line about wanting to wear underwear with clothes was the best and almost makes me not miss Tim.  I still miss Nina.

The judges are all insane. Completely fucking insane. They have horrible taste, no vision, and no sense of beauty. I cannot believe Jerell didn’t get shoved down the disposal for this piece of shit. Yes, Mila’s was crazy, but it was interesting and attractive. Kenley’s, despite having NOTHING TO DO WITH CHILE, was well-constructed. Michael’s and Austin’s were both boring as shit, but at least neither was ugly. Jerell’s was UGLY. And assembled with a stapler. AND somehow boring despite the vomiting of ‘tribal’ bits and pieces.

Fucking hell.

I was actually kind of offended by Jerell’s dress. It was the most blatantly appropriative of them all. It looked like he took every costume cliche and cultural stereotype and threw them into one dress. HE EVEN PUT A BINDHI ON HER.

I thought Kenley’s dress was kind of cute (I actually like some of her stuff, but it’s not runway and it’s ALL THE SAME). But she kept annoying me (like always) when she kept talking about the Spanish look. YOU DON’T HAVE SPAIN YOU HAVE CHILE. I know they share a language and there’s some influence and stuff, but they’re two separate countries.

I thought Michael’s was pretty, but it needed some fit tweaking and to lose that blue nonsense. And I thought Austin should have been out. His was just awful, and I kind of liked Mila’s, in a weird way.

But Mondo just wins. ALL the challenges to Mondo, please. He needed retribution for how wrong they were about his black and white shorts from the seasons challenge.

They didn’t kick Jerrell off for that dress. What else can even be said? This was a pretty boring episode. Michael has made that dress before in black without the trim and I think it won that week. Mondo made that dress before with polka dots on the front. It was still fabulous, but I was disappointed after he seemed to push himself last week. Kenley has made the same cute little dress every week. Austin’s wasn’t so obviously the same, but it reminded me of his Oscars dress. Mila was pretty much the only one who pushed herself and made something different and conceptual, and she was booted! I was so hoping this season wouldn’t be as frustrating as the last one with the awful judging. Mondo better win this whole thing!

Jerrell gets a slow clap for referring to India as “so ethnic.”

Kenley gets one for essentially making the sailor pinup version of Carmen Miranda. And I’m growing convinced that she cannot actually see prints that are not polka dots or things that resemble polka dots.

But my heart really goes out to Austin’s model, who was bronzed within an inch of her miserable butterfly life.


And she was in the top two? Are you sure? Are you high? Are the judges high? Are the producers high? Wait, am I high?

And fuck them, Mila’s dress was incredible.

This is all for Mondo anyway. They made a mistake so this is a do-over. I’m sure of it.

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