New Show Recap

Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 9, “Sometimes You’re Neon, Sometimes You’re Neoff.”

Last night on Project Runway All Stars, Not-Heidi finally revealed her talent (besides being tall, White, and “blonde”). She is a woman of such spectacular ability that she can make clothes illuminate from within from the power of her magic model cooch! No wonder Wall Street guys will only date the ladies of the catwalk. Don’t stare directly at what I am about to show you, or you may turn into stoned. Stone. What? No, I’m not.

Angela Lindvall on Project Runway
This is what space cheerleaders wear.

I’m just joshing with you – Not-Heidi doesn’t have a talent. That there is a light-up skirt! For this week’s runway show, the place would be bedecked with black lights, for the designers were tasked with making an avant-garde look utilizing lighting technology. Light ‘Em-Up Lightskirt went on to tell the group who this week’s guest judge would be: none other than Grammy award-winning rapper, singer, composer, producer, and fashion designer Pharrell Williams.

If you’re saying, “Who?” I confess, I did too. Of course, I stopped listening to new music some time around 1999, so that could be it. If music got better after Ace of Base… Nah, it couldn’t have.

The winning garment will be worn by some music artist some time. Exciting stuff! Of course, because the designers were to use a completely new type of material and create something showstopping, PR gave them one day to do it.

At the lighting store, Austin gravitated, naturally, to the fairy lights. His joke, not mine. He wanted to bury them in tulle, so fingers crossed that we get to see Glinda the Good Witch on acid. Sometime during the filming of this episode, Austin separated himself from his Moustache, likely because the Smithsonian demanded it so that fifth-graders from all over may bask in its creepy glory. But because of editing, during the hour his Moustache would appear, then disappear, appear, disappear. It would have made a fun drinking game if I hadn’t finished all my vodka this morning.

Because Mondo is a pixie genius sent from the planet Wunderbar, he brought a black light to Mood Fabrics to test all the fabrics he perused. Kenley was doing that, too, but since she is an irritating idiot sent from the planet Nasalvoiceatopiaaaaaaaa, I’m sure she stole the idea from Mondo.

Jerell said, “I’m going to try this almost-tribal peplum skirt.” There is no likelihood that this will turn out not terrible. I wonder what almost-tribe he’ll be honoring with his beautiful designs? He also noted that he would be using feathers and fringe. If Urban Outfitters doesn’t snap Jerell up after this show, they will really disappoint thousands of stringy-haired women with an absence of taste directly proportional to their trust funds.

This happened in the work room:

Michael: What are you making?

Austin: I’m making… it’s going to be like midnight sky, see-through cage skirt with shooting stars… a galaxy of gorgeosity.

Michael: I’m making a coat dress.

Mondo called Austin a prima donna. I just can’t see it.

I felt evil for typing that last sentence when Austin (with Moustache, FYI) had a Skype with his mother only to find out her house had just been foreclosed on. We, the heartless harpies of Persephone Magazine, think that foreclosures suck ass and wish the Scarlett (?) family well.

For the challenge, everyone, it seemed, had grabbed a bunch of black fabric, stuck neon tape to it, and then added a few doo-dads. I really think this is what happens when you give them a big challenge and no time: crap. Well, mostly crap.

Mondo and Jerell Episode 9 Project Runway All Stars
Mondo and Jerell (left to right)

Mondo sent a pointy-boobed space cadet down the runway — and I do not mean that in a bad way. She looked like a comic book alien woman geeky boys in the 1950s fapped to. I loved the shape of the bust; it was almost subtle from some angles, but super cool. The only thing I worried about was that it wasn’t that avant-garde. Especially if you’re Madonna. But I could see a singer (ahem, Madge) wearing it. The hat reminded me of one of those stress dolls that you squeeze and its bits go poking out. Isaac questioned the avant-garde-ness of the piece – he thought the boobs were too normal. Pharrell said they looked like vintage Cadillac wings. Isaac also said she looked like a Teletubby. And now I can’t un-see it! He meant it as a compliment, and from the way his eyes lit up, I believed him. Georgina said, “There are no accidents with Mondo.”

Jerell presented a costume from King Kong – you know, one of the “natives” that live on Skull Island? At any moment, I expected his model to leap from the stage and swoop Austin Scarlett into her arms for sacrifice to poor, doomed Kong. Seriously, look.

A picture of one of the residents of Skull Island in the 1930s movie King Kong.
He is of the tribe known as Movie Stereotype.

I don’t even know what to say about this shit. It looks like he used the most lights of anyone. He will probably win. But perhaps not! Isaac said it looked like the model bought most of the pieces at a joke store. Pharrell called it a grandma look because of the long, black skirt underneath the fireworks.

Kenley and Austin Episode 9 Project Runway All Stars
Kenley and Austin (left to right)

Did it just get colder where you are, blog friends? Because I believe that hell might be experiencing occasional snow flurries as I type the words “I loved Kenley’s look.” I loved the plaid dress; I loved the weird, mesh jacket sprinkled with lights; I loved the hair – all of it. See what happens when you don’t make the same dress, Kenley? There’s hope for you yet! This one was a favorite of the judges. They enjoyed the proportions and the fact that her model had volume, but still retained her shape.

Austin said, “My model looks like she stepped out of a dream.” I thought she looked like an insect who stepped out of a bug trap and was caught up in the sticky tape strip. It was tulle over a cage with some lights swirled on. It was just lumpy and uneven and rickety. Her head looked like a question mark at the end of the query, “WTF?” Isaac loved it – he called it “mysterious.” The judges were enchanted by this. They thought it looked romantic! I think they were maybe reacting to the idea of this dress, because I found the execution lacking.

Michael Episode 9 Project Runway All Stars

I thought Michael’s neon ninja lady was kinda cool at first. The visual was certainly striking. The best part was the light bulbs inside her shoulder loops – they were unexpected and looked like some sort of nuclear-powered secret weapon. I hated the blinking lines of neon, though, especially at the waist. They just looked cheesy — she’s not an all-night pizza joint. Isaac said it looked like tape on a dress, natch. Pherrell called it – he said she was more fit for Comic Con. This was one that looked sorta neat coming toward you, but really failed the sniff test.

With tears in their beers were hipster-worshiper Jerell and gloomy-puppy Michael. I couldn’t decide who I wanted to see go home more…

Oh, wait, yes I could…


Austin won. There aren’t enough eyerolls in the world, y’all. I just really did not like that dress.


And on that high note, it’s time to work on my night cheese.

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

30 replies on “Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 9, “Sometimes You’re Neon, Sometimes You’re Neoff.””

My reaction while watching Jerrel construct his skirt with the fringe was, “It’s kind of Sugar Plum Fairy! I could get behind this!” And then his model walked out with a baggy maxi skirt beneath her lovely ballerina tutu and I about put my fist through the screen. Talk about a missed opportunity — but that was Jerrel all over. That and sketchy uses of the word “ethnic.”

Mkay. I am sorely disappointed that no one creatified an “Electra” outfit in homage to Gypsy. I love that Pharrell described Jerrell’s long skirt as Grandma-ish, ya know, like a woman who was once a model 20 years ago but is now a Grabsmother…hmmm. Since models are like, 13, guess that makes us 30-somethings quite ancient. Knocking on Death’s rather unfashionable door. AND…how oh how I longed for them to play the music from Disney’s Mainstreet Electrical Parade during the runway show.

I… liked Austin’s…

Okay, yes, the execution could have been better, but it was easily the most interesting idea in the bunch. Like, not phoned in.

Not a fan of Mondo’s, which is highly unusual… but I also didn’t like Kenley’s, so whatever. Michael’s was godawful ugly.

It just seemed like Mondo and Kenley and Michael all made clothes with tape. Meh.

OK – I am either a semi-old or nearing it with my upcoming bday, and I wanted to marry Pharrell for the first half of the 2000s.  Also, he did the music for Despicable Me.  (Which was pretty awesome, and my fave movie of 2010.)  So – suffice to say, the boy is quite talented, and also yummy to look at.

As for the dresses, omg Jerrell.  OMG Jerrell.  Please stop being so awful.

Kenley was my fave this week, with an outfit that Nicki Minaj would 100% wear.  In fact, the model was styled like Nicki Minaj down to the pink hair.  However, there is no denying that Kenley made the exact same dress again.  She just put a cage jacket over it.  She made it well, but it was the SAME dress.  Mondo’s was too plain for me – I thought he could’ve come up with something cooler, but it was definitely sleek.  And Michael.  Umm.  All I saw was this:

All I heard was: FINISH HIM.

Austin could’ve done better by wrapping those lights in more tulle, but I don’t think he got enough fabric.  That question mark puzzled me too, though.

If you’re saying, “Who?” I confess, I did too. Of course, I stopped listening to new music some time around 1999, so that could be it. If music got better after Ace of Base… Nah, it couldn’t have.

My thoughts were: I don’t think you should be referred to as revolutionizing anything if I have to look you up on wikipedia.

This wasn’t as bad as last week when they should have just sent them all home and given up, but Austin kinda phoned it in.  I’m a little shocked he won.  I also don’t get how that look is going to be in a music video or why they still make music videos.


I really loved Austin’s, even though now I can’t unsee the question mark. I thought it was frothy and delicate and didn’t recall my days going to raves in the 90s.

Oh, Jerell.

I also felt hell freeze over when I saw Kenley’s. It’s not totally out of her wheelhouse, but I think she stretched in new and exciting directions. If only she’d considered doing so before she was in the top five, but whatever, I can see why she’s still there.

I didn’t hate Michael’s, and his model did look badass. I liked the others’ (except Jerell) much better, but his look grew on me. It looks a lot better here in the still than it did in motion.

I still think it’s going to come down to Austin and Mondo, which means I probably just cursed one of them to go home next week.

Hilariously, the Google ad displaying next to this has a college-grant-seeking woman with a police car siren on her head and superhero boots. It’s nice Jerrel has already found more work.

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