And so it comes to this. It’s part one of the finale, featuring the caftan, the kitsch, and (he who better motherf*&^ing be) the winner. I refer, of course, to Michael, Austin, and Mondo. They are the all-starriest designers on Project Runway All Stars as decided by a bunch of talentless suits at Lifetime and some judges who, and I say this with 87% smientific certainty, have jelly beans between their ears. It is a wonder Mondo is there at all.
Not to diss Austin, who can do good work but who is, at best, uneven. For this wonderous finale event he shaved his moustache! As Mondo quipped, “He went from Errol Flynn to Kermit the Frog.” Ouch. Point: Mondo. We all lose this day. It is a sad time for crumb-catchers, and those who enjoy moustache rides. Now we have only Ron Swanson to carry the banner high.
For to diss Michael, who ought to move to Florida and make schmattas for great-grandmothers.
Not-Heidi opened the episode with a whimper, saying words and twitching a hand here and there. Acting! I think she was relying on her makeup to act for her, which had been applied via fire hose. She was soon joined by Jelly Bellies Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi, who helped Slather McFacepaint explain the rules of the finalists’ runway show. They would only get four days to create a mini-collection of five looks, for, as we all know from watching PRAS, haste makes taste. Or not, usually.
Our sausagey threesome joined Joanna Coles in her workroom at the headquarters for Marie Claire. Michael was very impressed with the building’s escalators and ceiling. A CEILING, PEOPLE. I think we’ve just learned why he thinks caftans are the height of fashion.
Joanna answered questions about what she looks for in a runway show (FYI, lots of rubber) and told them all about the guest editor position for the winner. He will join the MC fashion team to help determine themes that will appeal to readers, and also how to turn the runway into looks that we poor schlubs can wear in our everyday lives. You know, our boring existences without big-city stuff like ceilings.
Funny how Joanna turned out to be the only new cast member I really like. I dream of the old cast returning to the series, but I hope Joanna can join them. I declare her to be delightful. Delightful, I say!
They got one hour (!) to sketch their looks, and another hour to shop at Mood with three thousand American smackeroos. That is not a lot of time to create the drawings and theme, and then get enough stuff to make it all come to life. Mondo especially had a tough time with the alacrity of it all, wandering Mood hoping to be struck and not being bowled over the way he wanted.
Austin’s theme was “Madame De Pompadour meets modern-day rock star meets Williamsburg Hasidic gentleman.” I guess that’ll do, but there’s a high probability that one of the other contestants will do the same thing. I mean, that was my sweet sixteen birthday party theme.
They each got their own workroom. Fancy! Mondo loved the fact that he had a door to shut. Austin was very put out at that. He enjoys togetherness. Plus, he was lonely without his moustache. Let us all pause here to once again remember it. 3-15-12. Never forget the Ides of Moustache.
Michael was designing for a sexy safari lady ready to join Indiana Jones on a Crusade. I’ll interpret that from the Michael for you. “Sexy” means “metallic zebra print.” “Indiana Jones” means “her colorblind friend.” And “on a Crusade” means she’ll pound back some margaritas at Captain Ed’s Swashbuckle Saloon and Laundromat and end up posting a Facebook photo she severely regrets later because she couldn’t wear a bra with her Michael Costello Creation (TM).
Mondo said he felt dead inside from all the pressure. It seems that he does this when the stress mounts — goes a bit numb with it and wants to quit. That is why when he wins I shall join him at Marie Claire as his Hug Assistant. Michael said that Mondo’s having a different process and not reacting well under the pressure was disrespectful to him personally, because Michael has kids and Mondo doesn’t. Look, I get it — trying to succeed for your kids is a HUGE burden. But does anyone else remember that Mondo is HIV positive? I think trying to succeed in the face of a deadly disease is also a huge burden. Austin said that he wanted to win to try and help his mother, who had been evicted from her home. So I guess it was a big contest of who was more deserving of having feelings and of winning, and they decided that Mondo doesn’t deserve either and is a big meanie for wanting to be alone. I don’t know what all went down in the workroom (because they keep kicking me out…) but you could cut the sanctimoniousness with a knife and it made me feel icky. But I probably don’t deserve to feel that way.
Georgina came to visit them and to chat about their collections and processes. Mondo shared his frustrations and she was very kind and understanding about it, saying that she’s had some very low lows when trying to create a collection. But then she learned to not torture herself quite so much and avoid the breakdowns without losing her artistic edge. This little chat made me like her, if not her questionable judging skills.
In the end, Mondo declared that the process was “driving him crazy,” so he decided to call his collection “Therapy.” Without having seen any of it, I say sign me up for a session Dr. Mondo!
Austin and Mondo unleashed their man-talons at model casting, going after the same ladies and flipping coins over them. That’s how I was chosen by my husband. Those of you thinking uncharitable thoughts like “he must have lost” are right on the money. But hey — at least he got himself an internet a blogger! Mondo ended the testy session with “Good for Austin.” Yeowch. In this battle, I don’t know who would win, for while Mondo possesses the ancient Earth-magic of the Elves, Austin is clearly part narwhal princess. It’s a tough call.
Isaac Mizrahi tottered by for a chat with the designers. Mondo revealed that he has a crush on Isaac. I’m pretty sure if these two men got together that Jesus would end the world right there and then. Not in anger, no. He’d send the Four Horsemen of the Fabpocalypse and fete us all with rhinestone cupcakes and pet Fraggles. I am now awaiting this.
Mizrahi told them that the reason they would someday earn the big bucks is because they have the confidence to say, “Screw you, I’m gonna do what I want,” and thereby achieve fashion triumph. Way to go, Isaac. Now Michael will never learn!
Naturally, because Lifetime hates everything that is good and right in the world, Not-Heidi appeared to give the designers a twist. A twist! Oh, la, how reality tee vee loves a twist! A real twist would be to have them design a prom gown for an ocelot, but nope. N-H added one additional look (which, of course, each of those three should have anticipated). They would have to use discarded fabrics from previous challenges to construct it. The designers greeted this fun surprise with the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for colonoscopies. Not-Heidi also forced our testy threesome to utilize the skills (?) of a vanquished all-star from couture past. The help would last for twenty-four hours. Mondo chose Mila for her technical abilities and work ethic; Austin picked Anthony for his similar aesthetic; and Michael plucked April for her awesome gray and purple hair.
When Anthony heard Austin’s theme of Madame De Hipster Hasidic Rocker Nonsense, he laughed and laughed and laughed and said Austin was lucky to have him there to clean up the mess. For example, he called Austin’s lace “dead White lady,” which made Scarlett the Starlet blush. To Austin’s credit, he seemed to be taking Anthony’s very honest advice.
The episode ended with our three divas reminiscing via flashback about how awesome they are. We must all wait a week until the finale to see the looks in all their… lookishness!
I have thoughts about the collections, but I’m staying silent until next week. But you can dish! What do you think about the fashions you sorta saw last night? And shall we lay odds on who will win?