Fashion hoors, internet denizens, and/or people with nothing better to do on Thursday nights – this is it. The grand finale for Project Runway All Stars. If we encounter another Gretchen (cursed be her name) brown diaper situation, I fully encourage nasty limericks to be written about the winner who doesn’t deserve it. If you’re not up to making kimericks, then stings of barely-coherent curse words are also acceptable.
As Austin donned a sequined blazer for the festivities, Mondo quipped, “Does Liza Minelli know you went through her wardrobe, girl?” I myself am not wearing sequins. But I am wearing this morning’s eyeliner (73 percent of which is still there, thank you very much) and a lot of cat hair. I am betting most of us are wearing cat hair. Shhhh – don’t be ashamed.
On the way to the Gotham Hall where the finale would take place, Austin had a self-described “fashion orgasm.” Yes, right there on camera. I tried to avert my eyes, but the sparkles! My cat is still under the couch, shaking. So is my husband”¦
Austin scrambled a bit during the final two hours before the runway show, due to his ambitious array of poofy dresses. This segment made me giggle, as it was little more than Austin bent over a sewing machine, muttering in a musical voice, “Beep beep beep beep, oh this beep beep beep.”
Michael thought he had his garments all buttoned up, so to speak, but ran into some last-minute issues, such as a dress where one sleeve was too loose and the other too tight. That’s why one-sided bicep curls are such a problem with models. Another of his dresses was six inches too big at the waist. Wut? I get that they only had four days for the finale challenge, but when you basically make dresses for only one figure (especially Michael), and you can order up the model you want for the dress you want, how the *&^% do you end up with a six-inch mistake? Poor pattern-making, that’s how. And it was on an accordion-pleat white goddess gown – something he’s made a couple of times on this series alone.
Joanna visited the designers amongst the madness of backstage to offer a helping hand. She lint-rolled Mondo, which is dangerous, as he was almost picked up altogether by the sticky paper.
Celebrities showed up for the runway show, and the screen flashed with their names and title. “Tommy Hilfiger – Fashion Icon,” etc. When the imaginary camera in my head panned to me, it said, “Lucy Woodhull – Has Something in Her Teeth.” “Nanette Lepore – Questionable Ability in Judging” was there, as was “Georgina Chapman – Wearing the Carcass of Sam the Eagle.”
Not-Heidi began the festivities by introducing the judges. It pisses me off the way she always intros Georgina: “The beautiful Georgina Chapman.” The beautiful, really? That’s all there is, huh? In addition to the usual judging suspects, for the finale they added Tommy Hilfiger and Ken Downing, SVP and Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: I’ve got naked pictures of Chris Pine!
Ha ha, no, I don’t sorry. If I had those, I wouldn’t be giving them to you slags for free.
Nope, it’s on to the runway show!
His collection was called”¦ “Austin Scarlett.” Okay, C- for collection name. I’m just gonna quote his description. “The story of a vampire from the eighteenth century who has lived many hundreds of years and now lives in Williamsburg and occasionally borrows clothes from her Hasidic dandy friends.” I get it now. I had a roommate like that once.
His first piece was a cropped pant, strapless jumper in hot pink satin with a cropped black sequin jacket atop it. This thing is bonkers, but I loved it. The external pant pleats gave this look such an interesting shape, coupled with the waist nipping in and visible between them and the jacket. Amazing. I wouldn’t be wearing this to the office next week, but I actually could picture Austin’s batshit vampire in it, looking fabulous, with a boy-toy draped over her lap for easy sipping.
His second was a black lace cocktail dress with a front swirl of fabric on the a-line skirt. The fabric had a slightly-leather-esque sheen to it (lacquered lace) which made the whole thing more interesting – kind of a mix of soft and hard.
The third was a rather dull cocktail dress in hot pink and black. The bodice on this one looked wonky to me, and I feel it might have suffered from a time constraint. It’s cute and wearable, but not breathtaking. I did enjoy the juxtaposition of taffeta and leather. His vamp must have dom tendencies. When the model turned her back, we peeked a small tuft of hot pink tulle at the center back bottom of the skirt. Do not like. All I could think of was “that would be so scratchy to sit on, and would get bunched up, like you sat on a bit of party decoration that attached itself to your ass.”
I did not love this red carpet dress. Too Barbie, too many things happening, and it wasn’t flattering. The peplum was too long and asymmetrical, making it look dumpy. And the mermaid poof… ugh, no, etc. If your gown makes me think “Susan Lucci should wear that!” then it belongs on The Young and the Tasteless.
I loved this — it needs to be on Pam from True Blood immediately. It’s a pretty standard catsuit, but the pinky-purple organza ascot takes it over the top in a great way.
The appeal of this floral, fairy-princess wedding dress is inescapable; it’s simply not my cup of tea. I like the accents in black, to dial it back just enough from twee. I just felt like it wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before.
I truly and totally detested the Gone With the Wind hair. It was ugly then and it’s ugly now.
This collection was fairly cohesive, flamboyant, and 150 percent Austin Scarlett. I didn’t love every piece, but with that first look especially, I feel he pushed the envelope just a bit. Yay, Austin! Yay for pink-obsessed vampires!
Our favorite sprite, Mondo, presented a collection entitled “Therapy,” because he found peace and inspiration in the work itself. I think all artists can relate.
Mondo opened with a muted but daring confection. A breezy polka-dot blouse with a pussy bow/tie tucked into a sequin-edged mini. The blouse was gorgeous — the dots on the body of the piece shimmered silver over sheer black, while the bow appeared to be a black/white chiffon. Again, Mondo mixes fabrics like no other. The skirt was a mix of two shiny fabrics, the swirl accent on the front mimicking the dots. Lovely.
Carnaby Street, ahoy! This mod number is straight-up adorable. From the neck buttons to the circle pockets, it’s just plain darling. The neck circlet looks to be the same fabric as the previous skirt – almost a snakeskin look to my eyeballs. I love it mixed with the sweet dress.
The next, a tunic over black skinny pants, isn’t my favorite. It’s just not my style. But it’s undeniably cool. (As you may have figured out by now – I am many things, but cool is not among them.) I wanted a closer look at the stripe down each outside leg; it almost appeared to be sheer black to let skin peek through.
I gasped “Oh, my God” when these wide-leg pants and cropped jacket came sauntering down the runway. THIS is how you make high-waisted pants. Love the front pockets. I would hire Mondo just to make me fun-shaped pockets. Here we get our first glimpse of his home-made Rorschach ink-blot fabric. I think it’s sheer genius. And pretty. The proportions on these pieces are divine. One red sleeve and one black sleeve made me swoon. I can see how this is therapy. Some days you just feel a little mis-matchy, you know?
The red and black sleeves were repeated in the figure-hugging Rorschach dress, which is reminiscent of Mondo’s polka-dot gown from earlier in the season. This is an elevated version, methinks. The hint of red on one side gave the model an off-kilter air that added drama and whimsy both to the piece.
The shimmery red, black, and white circle dress was part dressing gown, part red carpet. I loved the circle details across the shoulders, as well as the asymmetrical side-slit. She looked a little like a dressed-up escaped mental patient, and I say that in a good way. The bodice was wonked , however, and it was off just enough that I think it was an oops. I honestly can’t believe it was poor workmanship, so I think the model wasn’t given a once-over before she made her way out.
The styling of this collection was fabulous, with bouffant hair that had just a touch of electro-shock to it. It’s for a lady who is just finding her wild streak, or maybe it’s seeping out slowly. And she’s beginning to like it.
Michael’s collection was inspired by the Serengeti.
He began with a breezy jumpsuit whose shape I liked and whose fabric I didn’t. It was kind-of a dirty snakeskin, which just ain’t my thing. The crotch of the jumpsuit seemed very low. I liked the gathered neckline, but when the model turned to show us that the piece was backless, I once again thought WHY DOTH MICHAEL HATE THE BOOBIES SO? It seems to me in Africa, especially, a lady might want a bra so that it’s easier to run away from migrating lions.
His next was a sexy, sexy long-sleeved dress with a vest atop it. I believe I’ve said before that I hate pointless vests, and I hated this one. Joanna Coles loved it. It appeared to be silver, but the model took it off as soon as she began her walk, so maybe she disliked it, too. I don’t think the dress needs it. Nothing mind-blowing here, but a lovely little dress. And you can do what, readers? Wear a bra with it! Hooray! K BUT YOU RONG DOE. When she turned, the garment had a huge hole between the shoulder blades. Womp womp. Boobies: -2.
The third piece was a long-sleeved, black and gray zebra print dress in what looked to be a breezy knit. It was draped in such a way that the skirt flopped out at an angle at the hips. I know a lot of folks don’t like that, but I actually do. It sends to exaggerate the hourglass and gave dimension to what was otherwise a not very surprising dress. But it had a whole back. Maybe he was too tired to cut holes in it.
I couldn’t seem to identify the animal in the next print. Vague animal print blouse and matching shorts. This was okay. Drapey blouse, short shorts. The shorts were so tiny and floppy that they looked like lingerie to me.
This bustier and pants set was cute. It’s flowy, showy, perfect vacation wear for the giraffe/zebra (ziraffe?) lover. What I keep thinking throughout this whole collection is I’ve seen it all before. I feel that he made some pretty good clothes, but didn’t really design anything new.
His last piece was a white, halter-neck goddess gown. He made its sister for the flag challenge, except he learned and didn’t drape this one in blue ribbons. It had a simple, shimmery belt. I enjoyed the black crisscross detail in back the best. At judging, he showed an angled black vest atop it, and for once, I thought a vest enhanced the whole gown by making it seem way less boring/seen this already.
I guess I walked away from this collection saying, “Meh.” I actually had expected much worse, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Austin’s collection went over well. Isaac said it was less a collection and more the best of someone’s work over years. Tommy Hilfiger said the rock star vibe was great, but the ideas became less clear with the gowny gowns. Beautiful Georgina questioned the flattering-ness of the Susan Lucci gown, so it wasn’t just me. The lacquered lace was a favorite for them all. The judges adored the femininity of Austin’s collection, and the youthfulness mixed with glamor, which I think can be hard to do.
Georgina called Mondo “masterful” in his use of color, print, and graphics. Isaac said it was the most cohesive collection in its wit – and I loved that he pointed that out. As you might be able to tell from my bon mots, I love wit in every part of life. It’s the sugar that makes life taste sweet. The home-made Rorschach fabric went over huge with Ken from Neiman Marcus. Not-Heidi didn’t like the lamÃ© gown. Just shut up, Not-Heidi. You have no taste to match your lack of personality. (Why yes, I am wearing my bitchy undies today.) Except for HER though, the judges seemed to love Mondo’s work.
“Exceptional” was the word Georgina used for Michael’s collection. Um, wut? Hilfiger said one could put them in the stores tomorrow and sell them, but Georgina called them “too commercial.” Isaac said that sometimes the Serengeti fantasy and prints were not mixed in a most interesting way. It sounded like they were simultaneously complimenting and admonishing him for making a ready-to-wear collection. They admired his sex appeal mixed with sophistication.
“Ideas.” It all came down to ideas for Georgina, which I think is on the money. A fashion designer makes new from nothing; they don’t copy or rehash.
So who had the best ideas?
Both runners-up got a getaway to Paris, courtesy of Open Skies Airlines. A trip during which to nurse their wounds, no doubt. But not a long time – a weekend. *Eyeroll* Way to spring for the big bucks, Lifetime. A weekend isn’t even long enough to get over the jet lag.
Runner up number one: Michael. YES!
Runner up number two: Austin.
AND THE WINNER OF PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS:
THIS GUY RIGHT HERE!
Congratulations on a very, very, very well-deserved win for Mondo. It makes me want to pop into a Neiman Marcus and cry over the price tags.
Timmy Hilfiger told Mondo never to give up. Such trite advice, but it’s an aphorism I try to follow every day. I can’t wait for the day when I get to wear a Mondo creation!
Well, blog friends – tell me what you thought of the finale!