New Show Recap

New Show Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 3.01, “Punk, or What Westwood Vivienne Do?”

In a world. On a TV. Sent through the airwaves. Via electromagnetic…thingies…of some kind… What? I’m a budget recapper, not an engineer. Sent via magic to your TV, it’s Project Runway All Stars! Yes, PRAS, where all the clothing is made up and the good intentions don’t matter. Get ready for some ugly crap concocted by people who should know better!

And… WE’RE BACK! Hi, I’m Lucy, and I’ll be your host once again through the shit-show that is Project Runway All Stars. Hopefully we’ll actually get to look at some pretty clothes along the way. This season, instead of Not-Heidi, or Other Not-Heidi, our host is Alyssa Milano! Her resting bitch face is excellent, so I have high hopes. Who’s the Boss? It’s me, of course, with timely TV references and a keen eye for mocking bad saggy-crotch trousers. Let’s get to it!

Here’s a link to the cast, so I don’t have to tell you who they are. What? I’m a budget recapper. I missed Daniel Esquivel’s mustache especially, although I don’t think he has the follicles to win. Yeah, I’m throwing out predictions already! You can’t handle the guessing! Nice to see Mychael Knight and Korto Momolu, too. I think their odds are slightly awesomer.

Christopher Palu is here to “sew stitches and cut bitches,” which made me upset my milkshake laughing, especially with the sweet smile he added. Ari South was Andy South the first time around (season eight), and she looks fucking gorgeous. I know that her gorgeousness shouldn’t matter, as this is a sewing competition, but wowzers. No one was particularly wowzers to see Elena Slivnyak, the villainess of season 10. But she said she’s taking yoga now which, as everyone knows, allows you to be mean while also wrapping your feet around your head.

After they all fake-hugged one another, the designers were greeted by Alyssa on a sunny street in New York City. Apparently she has a dress clothing line for the NFL, a sequence of words I don’t actually understand. She told them that Jeffrey Sebelia, the winner of season three, was coming back to compete. Ooooooh, drama mama. He beat Mychael, but Mychael was overjoyed at the thought of competing with Jeffrey once again. Ha ha, no, he was super pissed. Irina Shabayeva, winner of season six, was also there. Season seven winner, Seth Aaron Henderson, rounded out the group. Oh, Lifetime producers. You really know how to stir up animosity, and I like that in a network. These winners are obviously doing so well in the real world that they wanted to take a break from their busy lives of doing belly shots off Calvin Klein to come back to Project Runway.


The designers’ new mentor is Zanna Roberts Rassi, Senior Fashion Editor of Marie Claire. Damn it! I adored Joanna Coles, who always fought for the ability to wear a bra with it. Not-Joanna better measure up; I’m not calling her by name until I deem her worthy.

Alyssa announced the challenge: a punk look, to be judged by none other than Debbie Freaking Harry. Now, everyone, let us hazard a guess as to how many looks will actually turn out punk rather than gunk? I give it 50/50. They were told that they would all have to make their looks AT Mood Fabrics, which is a punk way to do things for some reason. Nothing says “F the man” like an expensive fabric store full of silk organza.

The designers listened to Debbie’s new song for inspiration. Elena thought that punk rock meant patchwork, which is…you can’t see it, but I’m shaking my head and squinting my eyes. She began adding neon to it, calling it an ode to the punk period when punk joined up with pop in the ’80s. Now, I never claimed to be a punk girl — my favorite movie is Xanadu, for God’s sake — but…did that happen? Tell me, gentle readers.

Not-Joanna came by and gave pithy advice to everyone. “This is neither punk nor fashion forward” was heard by more than one startled designer. At least two of them used safety pins, which is not really radical anymore — half of my button-downs are held together at the boobs with safety pins.

All kinda machinations happened when the models visited for fittings — Elena turned her patchwork backwards, which did look edgier; Ari cut the legs off her pants and turned them into sleeves; I tipped my milkshake cup up and licked the inside like a fucking lady. It was madness!

The day of the show, Melissa was throwing a bolt of fabric over her poor model. I’m not sure WTF happened to the look she’d been working on the day before, but this was a bad sign. Apparently, she’d spent so much time on her leather jacket, the dress was an afterthought.

Our judges for PRAS are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and, this week, Debbie Freaking Harry. Get ready for some wild and crazy and sorta punk! Vivienne Upper-Westside-Wood, here we come.

project runway all stars season 3 ep 1 jeffrey christopher irina
(L to R) Jeffrey, Christopher, Irina — all images courtesy of

Jeffrey showed us a punk black jacket with a peplum and fuzzy leopard lapels. I had one just like it in the ’90s, so I know it was super punk. This is me being sarcastic. On the bottom, a high-low tulle tu-tu in yellow. She looked like Dynasty Ballerina, which is a show I would totally watch. Upon closer inspection, the jacket got better — its peplum and body were of two different fabrics, with the back being sheer. Isaac said it looked the most makeshift, which made it rather punk. The judges generally liked this, and so did I, but those fuzzy leopard lapels really brought me back to 1997 with a shudder. But don’t we all kinda wish we could run around with a bunch of tulle strapped to our asses while stomping in black heels and giving mean looks to passers-by? Just me?

Christopher’s model looked like a priestess from a semi-punk post-apocalyptic tribe of the future. I kinda dug it. The tunic was short and grey on one half, and long and black on the other with a chain belt and a brown vest held together with safety pins (told ya!) over top. The black part of the tunic was held at the neck by a chain; my favorite touch. Black skinnies finished the look, but it was difficult to see anything about them.

Irina went pure sex in an alternating stripe dress made of sweeping panels for red and black stripes and white and black stripes that slanted toward the hips in a super flattering way. An X marked the spot over the model’s collarbone where the straps of the dress crossed. I don’t know how punk it was, but it was hot and studded, and I would like one now, please.

project runway all stars season 3 ep 1 victor korto daniel designs
(L to R) Viktor, Korto, Daniel — all images courtesy of

Victor nearly veered into a Chico’s kind of day for me with a dowdy leather (suede?) jacket and skinny pants in a red, white, black and grey print that looked like TV static. The sleeves had grommets, which is punk-ish. Or not. Mostly not on this thing. The pants were ye olde standard skinny, but that jacket. It was too unsexy, too boxy, too much like a suit jacket with a single button closure. Ugh, no. Just no. Mizrahi loved this, but said it lacked tension, looking relaxed and sporty. Georgina called it conformist. Debbie Freaking Harry gave it a thumbs down in the punk department, womp womp.

Korto made a really pretty outfit, but it was about as punk as Olivia Newton-John in roller skates. She gave us a pretty, flirty LBD whose swishy skirt came to a V longer in the center and shorter on the sides. Over top, a silver and black puff-sleeve bolero-like blouse. The best part was the back, which was open across her shoulders with only the zipper going up her spine, and some chains draping down over both shoulder blades. I give it a 3 out of 10 on my half-assed Punk-O-Meter.

Daniel’s model ran afoul of a rapid hot pink raffia monster. It attacked her middle and got stuck behind her belt but, luckily, the moddle survived. This happened over top another Chico’s black suit with pointy shoulders and cropped pants. The cropped pants said “grandma wading at the beach,” while the pointy shoulders said “she’s a fan of Shatner-era Star Trek.” I feel like pointy shoulders are the go-to when an otherwise staid designer has to do something “punk” or “edgy” or “avant-garde.” This rates a negative yawn on the Punk-O-Meter. This did NOT land him in the bottom, which made me twitch.

project runway all stars season 3 ep 1 elena ari mychael designs
(L to R) Elena, Ari, Mychael — all images courtesy of

Elena’s patchwork actually turned out pretty damn cool. Not my taste (I think patchwork should die, always and forever), but it made a statement that wasn’t catalog. Made of patches of hot pink, navy blue, black, and lime green leather, the colors were fabulous. Swingy in the front and crossed in the back, she looked like a hot girl who holds up signs at a race track. Is that a thing that happens? The black mini was the perfect accompaniment. Isaac called it a straight jacket, but in bright colors. He said it was the ensemble that looked like punk, but in 2013. Alyssa loved it, calling the jacket “delicious.” Even Debbie Freaking Harry loved it!

Ari’s outfit was hip and trendy, but not really punk to my eye, nor really special enough for the runway. Her outfit was patchworky in its own way, with grey-black pant-leg sleeves, shoulders of floaty beige, and a black undershirt with a swath of lime green chiffon draped over one half. The shorts were unremarkable. I dug it, but I’d expect to find this at Urban Outfitters, not Project Runway All Stars. The clutch bag the model carried only made it seem more off the rack. Georgina marveled at Ari’s construction prowess, but thought it was almost too perfect for the challenge. Alyssa called it not-punk, and too sophisticated.

Mychael — ah, Mychael. I missed you, Mychael. His model looked amazeballs in head-to-toe white. The sleeveless jacket tied foofily (totally a word) at the waist over a short, straight minidress. The jacket and the top of the dress were crinkly in a fabric I couldn’t identify that had nice body, which gave it a fabulous silhouette. The top of the dress was held together with gold safety pins (drink!) It was femme as fuck, and semi-punk. For the girly punk, or for me, please to send this one, too, right away. I can be bought, designers. I’m an internet blogger; I have no personal shame.

project runway all stars season 3 ep 1 melissa seth aaron designs
(L to R) Melissa, Seth Aaron — all images courtesy of

Melissa’s “post-modern punk” actually was. Her last-minute black and blue minidress was the perfect contrast to her white, leather sleeveless jacket — high in the back, low and pointed in the front. One side of the dress had a long sleeve, the other, just a strap of fabric hanging off the shoulder. It was tough, yet pretty. Isaac said he didn’t love it because he’s seen the jacket before — everywhere. I have to agree. Her sloppy-ish dress actually turned out to be a boon, for the hasty, imperfect construction made it punk-ier.

Seth Aaron broke out the plaid, which I actually thought we’d see a lot more of. It’s a little expected, like the safety pins. Black and white plaid cropped skinny pants with a white-with-black-edging bolero jacket. The jacket was coooooool — an embossed leather in some sort of animal-ish pattern, a little shiny, a lot awesome. I don’t think there was a shirt, for we saw gobs of moddle-boob, and rawr. I didn’t need the dangling leather suspender straps; they veered a little too costumey with the plaid pants. This went over like gangbusters with the judges.

Debbie Freaking Harry decided to wear the winner’s outfit! Score, right? The lucky designer was Elena! Her jacket, specifically. It was her first challenge win ever.

Unfortunately, Ari and Victor slunked (also a word) into the bottom. Ugh, this was tough! Nobody made a true embarrassment, and I like both of these designers. In the end, Ari went home, and it made me sad, sad, sad. What think you, Persephoneers?

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

12 replies on “New Show Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 3.01, “Punk, or What Westwood Vivienne Do?””

So I sent Lucy like five emails while I was watching this, and she probably thinks I’m a stalker. NO MATTER. I HAVE OPINIONS.

1. Things that are not punk: Mary Kay, QVC, Alyssa Milano, and most of these clothings.
2. Things that are punk: Swatch at Mood, Debbie Fucking Harry, and the tights Melissa’s moddle wore.
3. Hastag Team Ari! Oh, wait. Damn.
5. I actually really like Elena, and Irina, for that matter. They takes no guff. I hope they become besties and throw shade at everyone else until one of them wins.

Re: Punk vs 80s pop: Hello, post-punk, New Wave and Dark Wave fan here. We come from punk having a love child with glam after too much partying on the beach basically. yep.

When you look at Punk’s love children, we have goth, New Wave, Post Punk, Hardcore, pop punk, numerous fusions, alt rock, eventually grandbabies in grunge, emo, some folk fusions (interesting, because the things that drove folk pop in the 60s are very similar to some of the things that drove punk after that… basically after folk became commercialized, punk picked up the mantle of the working class frustration at inequalities but with a seriously nhilistic bent)

TL;DR, she’s actually not talking out her ass there even if she’s not using the words the right way.

They sent Ari home? SERIOUSLY? da fook.

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