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New Show Recap: PR All-Stars “(Disco) Inferno of Ugly Clothes”

Burn, baby, burn. Burn that mother down.

Hey, friends, Selena here, bearing all the snarky commentary about Project Runway that’s fit to turn into pixels. We missed the opening episode in our recaps, so I’ll start with a quick breakdown of what happened in week one.

We’ve got a herd of returning designers of varying skill and likability, from Anthony Ryan (high skill, high likability) to Joshua (high skill, low likability) to Peach (low skill, high likability) to Wendy Pepper (you know where I’m going with this.) Plus, Suede, who is strangely endearing and still refers to himself in the third person. Selena finds herself liking Suede, even though Selena thinks his clothes are pretty homely. In the first episode, our returning designers were treated to a team challenge, because that’s how the Project Runway producers roll. They were broken up into teams of two, with each team asked to design a collection. The winning team did a fairly attractive collection in structured black and white, the other team used a shade of blue from 1980. The theme of the first collection was “leather and lace” (which also has a connection to 1980.) Anthony Ryan was declared the winner, sweet Peach went home. The best part about the opening episode was the guest judge, the official imaginary designer of P-mag, Mondo. Mondo is the only grown man on the planet who can get away with forgetting his pants on a regular basis.

On to the new episode!

This year, the NotHeidi is different than last year’s NotHeidi, so we’ll call her AlsoNotHeidi, or ANH for short. My attention span is shit, but as far as I can tell, she’s some sort of clone of last year’s NotHeidi. She’s wearing my old, dear friend H’s prom dress from 1989. ANH tells her little designer chicks they will be designing a ’70s-inspired look to go with show sponsor Nine West’s new collection of funky disco shoes. Let me pause to say that if I wore anything but Converse sneakers and fuzzy slippers, I would be all over these shoes. They’d all go great with my blogger’s caftan and the fact that “Staying Alive” goes through my head all the damn time.

The designers do what they do, sketch, shop, sew, complain, and shoot down the other designers. There are a handful of funny moments where B-list All-Stars compare and align themselves with A-list All-Stars. Laura Kathleen annoys me as much as she ever has, which is quite a lot. I’d also like to sit her down and tell her she’d be stunning with her natural hair color. Pretty blonde girls are a dime a dozen, judging by her eyebrows, LK’s natural color is either deep chocolate or jet black, and she would seriously rock either of those colors.

Wendy and Suede have become buddies, and they’re really cute together.

Kayne is doing a chevron pant, and he’s worried he didn’t buy enough fabric to line up the points perfectly. I’ve sewn some stripey things in my day, I feel for Kayne.

Joshua, who I still kind of despise, makes a witty comment about Mad Max and Thunderdome. I want to like you when you’re clever, J-man, but you’re still kind of a douche.

Joanna, who actually adds something to this show as a regular cast member, meets with all the designers and puts everyone in their places with withering gazes and perfect diction. My first, and favorite, boss had the same air Joanna has, I get a warm feeling inside when I watch her guide her baby designer ducks.

Cassanova puts himself in his imaginary client’s shoes, and is trying to design a dress that’s comfortable enough to dance in, without the wearing popping a boob or showing her underpants. His dress is the shit, readers. I couldn’t wear it, but I would want to be friends with the lady who could and would wear it.

Kayne wants everyone to blow off a little steam, so he throws a spontaneous dance party. (I fully support spontaneous dance parties.) Then the designers got a special video message from human cartoon, Karl Lagerfield. The designers like him more than I do, because they all cry when he speaks. Karl vomits out a few platitudes, then we go to commercial.

To the runway!

Althea

Althea was safe, not in the top or bottom three. I think her dress is fine, if a little sloppy and not at all related to the ’70s. (click any picture to see it re-biggulated.)

Andrae

Andrae’s dress is nearly identical to last week’s dress, and it puts him in the bottom three again. He’s ultimately safe, however, because the judges think he has more to offer than he’s shown them so far.

Project Runway contestant Andrae's dress. Outfit consists of three pieces, an eggplant colored pencil skirt, a hot pink sleeveless blouse and a jacket made of net.

Anthony Ryan

Anthony Ryan makes an adorable little dress with graphic, geometric elements. It’s not my personal style, but I really like it anyway. As always, his dress is perfectly constructed.

Project Runway All-Stars contestant Anthony Ryan's dress for episode 2.02. The dress is a gold and bronze, color blocked mini dress.

Cassanova

I missed you, Cassanova. Let’s be friends, k? Cassanova’s dress is fantastic. The web on the back is beautifully constructed, and the color is spectacular. While I’m not sure how much hot pink there was in the ’70s, Cassanova did a great job of implying the ’70s without completely copying the style. Cassanova was in the top three, but he did not win.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Cassanova's dress. The dress is magenta, and the bottom hem hits the model about mid-thigh. It's fitted around the thighs, and loose and blousey on the top.

The back of Cassanova's dress, which features a spiderweb design across the open back.

Emilio

Emilio made a stunning mustard-colored gown. It’s the only maxi-dress of the bunch, which surprises me, as maxi-dresses are the first thing I think of when I think of the ’70s.

Project Runway All-Stars contestant Emilio's dress, a mustard yellow, sleeveless maxi dress with a bright pink belt.

Ivy

Ivy made a flapperish, emerald green dress to go with her perfect sparkly shoes from Nine West. I don’t like it, but the judges do. I’m surprising even myself by saying this, but I think Joshua should have been in the top three instead of her. Ivy ends up in the top three, which proves I’m never going to be a Project Runway judge.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Ivy's dress, which is a knee length emerald green and gold dress with a flapper hem.

Joshua

Joshua makes a stunning turquoise blue pantsuit nearly identical to one worn by my very own Barbie in the 1970s. I love it, but he ends up in the safe middle, not in the top or bottom three.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Joshua's outfit, a turquoise pant suit.

Kayne

I personally love this jumpsuit by Kayne, but the judges hate everything about it. He describes at as “very J-Lo in Miami” and so does Isaac, but Isaac doesn’t mean it as a compliment. He’s in the bottom three, but ends up safe.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Kayne's gold jumpsuit with chevron pants.

Laura Kathleen

In an emergency, Laura Kathleen gives up all hope and sends something her cat hocked up on the carpet down the runway. Okay, not really, but tell me this isn’t the lumpiest pantsuit you’ve ever seen? Again, the judges prove that I am not of them, because she’s safe, and not even in the bottom three.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Laura Kathleen's hideous, floppy jumpsuit in the colors of sadness and ennui.

Suede

Suede made this, which I can’t even describe. He is also safe, and not in the bottom three.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Suede's gold, asymmetrical, really terrible gown.

Uli

Uli comments toward the beginning of the show that her disco music, behind the Iron Curtain where she grew up, is probably much, much different than the other contestants’. Regardless, she makes a really cute dress with a simple shape and a lot of sparkle. I love it, and think it evokes the spirit of the ’70s without being literal. Uli has long been one of my favorite PR contestants ever, I have really high hopes for her. In an unexpected twist, the judges agree with me and declare Uli the winner of this round.

Project Runway All-Star contestant Uli's short, white, disco dress with lots of sparkle.

Wendy

And finally, Wendy made this bit of something, which admittedly isn’t great, but I don’t think it was the worst thing to sashay down the runway during the episode. Sadly, the judges don’t agree, so it’s g’bye Wendy. Suede is sad, and so is Selena. In her last bit, the other contestants all tell her they’re surprised to know she’s actually sweet, and not a serger-wielding lunatic.

Project Runway All-Stars contestant Wendy's version of the 70s, a pair of snakeskin pants, a graphic top and a chain belt.

And that’s episode two. What about you, dear readers? What did you love, and what did you hate? Who do you think is going to take the whole thing this season?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

7 replies on “New Show Recap: PR All-Stars “(Disco) Inferno of Ugly Clothes””

I would wear the shit out of Emilio’s. WOW. Just Wow.

I would wear suede’s I think.

The other dresses are shorter than I can usually wear because hi, body awareness? What’s that?

I’m a HUGE maxi dress fan so a bit disappointed about the tiny amount of maxis.

Sadly, the type of hem on Cassanova’s is the big deal breaker for me fashion wise. I don’t understand that type of hem, or true bubble hems, ever.

Which made looking for semi formal wear at Lane Bryant a nightmare, true fax. WHY would a plus size line go for a fashion that is kinda startlingly un-flattering? Yeah, it should be available for those who want it, but not all of us put “up to date” fashion above our personal style/shape. Where are the black nice dresses in more classic hem lines?

And don’t get me started on finding a bra the right size that isn’t “slimming” or “shaping”- I just want a deep cut bra my size that won’t cut into my skin, maybe a little push up for oomph, I have no desire for these other things. Seriously, some of them I would only wear for if I’m drag king-ing because by “shaping” they meant “Squeeze everything as tightly as possible” which. . . no. Dear lord no. (On the up side, two new white bras! Downside- there weren’t any in black in my size in the only cut of theirs I had any patience for. /rant.

I feel you on Lane Bryant, and it makes me sad, because they used to sell some great stuff. I have carefully handwashed an LB bra I bought in the late nineties, because it’s the only bra that does exactly what you’re asking for here. It’s going to die soon, and me and my boobs are going to be really sad.

I like to look nice, but I don’t feel comfortable in super short stuff, or anything that shows a lot of skin. LB used to sell so many more classic, timeless pieces than they do now, and I’m way too old for Juniors trends.

Also, MAXI DRESSES FTW. ; )

I’m liking the Plunge one. The other styles though. . .

I remember 10 years ago when I was a younger fatling being so thrilled the first time I walked into a Layne Brant because there were attractive clothes there. Now it’s. . . meh. If I worked in an office and could afford it, I might buy work clothes there but it’s definitely not what it used to be.

Also the designs all seem to assume all fat women lack waists. I’m fairly big, and I have a waist thanks to having inherited wide hips under it all and breasts. I know this isn’t true of all people- tons of bodyshapes in ALL sizes- but it’s like they expect apple and refridgerator box shapes only. Sad. :(

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