New Show Recap

New Show Recap: Project Runway All Stars, Episode 3.03, “Petition to Put Nate Berkus, Professional Hottie, On Every TV Show”

Booze. Finally, this week, the designers were given a theme I could really get behind. Other acceptable Project Runway All Stars themes? Unicorns; donuts; James McAvoy; Xena, Warrior Princess; and lipstick.

The designers were spirited away to Jay Z’s 40/40 Club in order to imbibe pretty cocktails and be inspired. I was inspired by Cocktail Architect Youssef, who was so beefy and delicious that I forgave him for having the job title of Cocktail Architect. The players chose from nine different drinks, in order to make nine different cocktail dresses. Yay! If I could, I’d wear a fancy cocktail dress every day of the week just to annoy my enemies with my sexiness.

Only $100 and one day were allowed to make a cocktail dress. Ouch. The situation really got to Christoper, who ended up selecting curtains to make the dress with. The “Gone With the Von Trapps” gambit is a risky one, but can yield vast rewards in the Hot Husband department when done correctly.

In the workroom, Not-Tim sauntered by to give dress critique. Viktor chose an expensive “church” pattern for his dress, and it appeared to be quite sexy. Ooooh contrasts! Symbolism! I love it when my slutwear gets deep. After the Christmas Story leg lamp dress debacle of twenty-thirteen, Jeffrey knew he had better come up with some non-face-hooded goods this time, or else. Seth Aaron’s drink was the Hemingway, which is a cocktail with a steely jawline and a big gun. His dress possessed neither of these things, but had a great deal of screaming red. I don’t think Mr. Hemingway ever wore that color.

Not-Tim gave them a twist, for that is what drinks have. These are the jokes, folks. They would make a garnish (rim shot) for their dress — an accessory constructed by them. Many of the designers fretted about time to make this thing. Korto said she might just stick a straw in her model’s mouth and say, “Work it, baby.”

The guest judges this week were designer Rebecca Minkoff and interior designer Nate Berkus, who is seriously hot. I only mention it because I’m sure it helps him judge more effectively. It helped me watch more effectively.

Irina Christopher Mychael Designs Project Runway All Stars Season 3 Episode 4
(L to R) Irina, Christopher, Mychael (image courtesy of

Irina — Strawberry Fields (strawberries, lemon, pepper, whiskey). I don’t know what this dress had to do with strawberries, but it zinged with a lemon peppery-ness, and with whiskey, I thought. Strapless with a peplum, the main body of the dress shimmered in a plastic-ey pattern of gold and silver that looked like shards of glass. She added a black mesh high-cropped bolero that cheapened the whole thing, as if she’d cut the top off a rain coat and added it to a cocktail dress.

Christopher — The Rose (raspberries, lemon juice, prosecco). He was going for fun flapper, and did he ever get there. I don’t think it’ll be curtains for him with this pale beige confection of a dotted lace overlay atop a skin-colored (his particular model’s skin) sheath. No nips in sight! It shifted when she moved, so lovely, and the back revealed itself to have long, draping strands of crystals running down her spine like a chandelier. Me wanty. Alyssa said she was obsessed with the dress. Georgina loved it. Nate Berkus, Professional Hottie, thought he should win and came right out and said so. I think Nate Berkus should win. Everything. And I am the prize.

Mychael — Spotted Plum (plum, simple syrup, basil, gin). Ooooh — this little raspberry number made me sit up when she walked it down the runway. She looked like a colorful sea anemone, and I mean that in a good way. I enjoyed the deep, rounded V of the neckline (I guess it’s a U?), and the strong, but sleeveless, shoulders. The decorations at her waist and hips, petals of flowers draped around one another, should have made it bulky, but the dress flowed out from the narrowest part of her, just under the bust.

Jeffrey Elena Seth Aaron Designs Project Runway All Stars Season 3 Episode 4
(L to R) Jeffrey, Elena, Seth Aaron (image courtesy of

Jeffrey — Le Exotique (passion fruit, cardamom, anise). Jeffrey’s dress was the one that appeared to be made of curtains. Specifically, your great aunt Winifred who dresses in a lot of turbans and burned-velvet caftans, telling stories of her lovers in Morocco. This dress was less interesting, however. It, too, was the color of raspberries in a burned velvet. The neck was held up in the center front by a thick collar of rhinestones that seemed out of place. The open shoulders were lovely, but the drape was too mumsy. And then he added this tacky-ass white feather handbag with a clunky gold chain for a handle. For some reason, I’m beginning to question the taste level of a guy with ugly tattoos and a gross mustache. Georgina hated the jeweled neckline, Alyssa questioned the bag. Jeffrey whined that his model wasn’t the same size as his mannequin, and Isaac said he couldn’t make that an excuse.

Elena — Sardinia (fennel, lemon, strawberries, simple syrup). Elena gave us a super cool, sexy, yet sorta buttoned-up dress in cream with copious cutouts on the bodice. She pieced the entire top together, top-stitching to perfection. Little cap sleeves and a knee-length made this a dress a woman of any age could wear, and I loved that about it. Nate Berkus, Professional Hottie, thought it fabulous, but reminiscent of other designers like Balenciaga. The judges agreed with him, saying they wished Elena put more Elena in her clothes.

Seth Aaron — Hemingway (grapefruit, lime, triple sec, rum). Space cadet hooker. Not really sure how that related to Hemingway or literally any of the ingredients of that drink. This yellow cocktail, as envisioned by Seth Aaron, turned into a flirty, skater-type minidress with black side panels, and a strip of lipstick red up the center. A cutout peeked from armpit to armpit. The great women of literature don’t need to wear bras! He finished this dress with what I thought were thigh-high boots, but they turned out to be thigh-high legwarmers of black with stilettos underneath, which was so much worse. The only cocktail party this dress would be sophisticated at would be one with the cast of Jersey Shore.

Melissa Korto Viktor Designs Project Runway All Stars Season 3 Episode 4
(L to R) Melissa, Korto, Viktor (image courtesy of

Melissa — The Sunset (watermelon, lemon, honey, vodka). If you watched Melissa’s season of PR, then you’ve already seen the dress she made! It was her signature fitted, high-neck, sleeveless sheath dress in a shocking sunset pink. The asymmetrical hem was nice, but I thought the shoulders were unattractively uneven — the side without the giant cowl thing was stickey-outey and weird. (Thems is technical terms — I used to be a seamstress.) I did enjoy the pops of neon yellow in the dress and the black clutch handbag. It was striking, no doubt, but so not new. The judges thought the suede was cool, but that there were too many clunky ideas. Isaac told her to not think of the now, but think of the next step in fashion.

Korto — Summer (green apples, ginger, vodka). Someone during construction had called Korto’s dress a German beer garden girl outfit… and they were kinda right. The “Summer” theme came out in the green grass sort of print, and she trimmed it with vertical black seams at the bodice and a nipped black patent leather belt. The black straps at the shoulders appeared to connect to the belt, giving us a patented KortoBrau Girl. The cutest part was the high-low, gathered skirt that bounced on her little model butt when she walked. I wanted to love this dress, but it just turned out a little costumey and weird. The judges were divided on loving/hating the belt, but most dug the dress underneath.

Viktor — Tiger Eye (lemongrass, lime, cucumber, tequila). Viktor almost designed another bug dress for us this week; his church print of blues, greys, and whites appeared to be a pattern like that of a butterfly’s wings when dissected and put together again. He gave us a short-sleeved sheath dress, with copious cutouts rendering it futuristic and fun. The skirt hugged the hips, and came to a point int he front and back. The biggest “oops” to me was the wrap aspect of the center front of the skirt — the world was her gynecologist when she walked. The judges agreed that the skirt was problematic, but the top was diviiiiiine.

Despite the wishes of Nate Berkus, Professional Hottie, Viktor won! I’m sorry, Nate. Here, let me make it up to you with my boobs. Christopher got second place, for Alyssa wanted to wear both his dress and Viktor’s to a fancy party. OooOOOOoooOOOoohhh.

Melissa and Jeffrey found themselves in Designer Time Out, and Melissa was sent home. Jeffrey, however, just squeaked by, and was warned to stop making excuses, and start making better clothes.

Please leave a comment if you want Nate Berkus to be on every TV show from now on. We can make this thing happen, people!

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

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