It was ‘A Night at the Opera’ for the Project Runway All Stars who were told of their week two challenge by none other than red carpet staple designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka. Having Badgley Mischka guest judge is exciting for the designers, but thrilling for us viewers as well, as the show’s “All Star” moniker looks as if it’s encompassing more than just the challenging designers. While the name of the challenge suggested the designers may be attending the opera, Badgley and Mischka would explain to them that they would have to create a high-end, couture ball gown that a woman could wear to the opera. “Couture” may not have been the most accurate of words to use, however, since the designers had $350 and only one day to complete their dress.
With the time constraint and the high-caliber guest judges, the designers went into the challenge feeling a bit apprehensive, including Mondo and Kara, who admitted that ball gowns weren’t their strong point. But Austin the “Couture King” Scarlet seemed to be the most nervous of all since he knew the judges and his fellow All Stars were expecting something really grand from him and if he failed he would be very embarrassed. Funny he’s not concerned about looking embarrassed with that fuzz above his lip though, very funny. But, as high-stress challenges go there wasn’t too much drama to speak of at Mood or the workroom this week since the designers were diligently working away. Michael, of course, being the drama queen, made a bit of a spectacle when he found out (gasp!) that April was designing a red dress just like he was going to. The horror of having two red dresses on the runway was too much for him to bear so he opted for black instead.
The camera shots around the workroom seemed to confirm the apprehensive feeling as valid. Many of the dresses were looking a bit heinous, to say the least. Both Kara’s and Sweet P’s prints were looking more grandmother’s couch than opera gowna and Gordana’s dress appeared to be becoming an ice skater’s costume. But everything seemed to come together at the end, the designers presented their gowns and only a few were as horrible as I thought. Kenley’s pink-tiered, Barbie monstrosity somehow made it through to the next round without any comments from the judges and Jerell’s maternity dress was lucky enough to have the same fate.
The designers with the highest and lowest scores were April, Sweet P, Kara, Anthony, Austin and Michael. While the judges were giving there critique it was difficult to know who they thought had the low scores as they were once again nice to everyone. The top designers obviously deserved the highest praise. Michael’s black dress ended up looking very glam with feathers and beading attached at the neckline and a daring and sexy back. Anthony’s white, Grecian dress was very romantic, however horribly styled with black leather gloves and a few other heavy accessories. But the winning design was Austin’s. His gold and black dress was elegant and fresh and modest compared to the other looks that came down the runway, a look that immediately thrilled the judges. On the lower-end, however, there was April, who took on a little bit more than she should have with this challenge. In addition to putting her dress together, she dyed her material, something that is difficult to complete in one day and it showed. The end result was a “tortured” gown that wasn’t attractive or flattering and worse, it wasn’t even sewn very well. The judges seemed torn with Kara’s dress. It was fun, easy and fresh, but the velvet belt around the waist just wasn’t working. It was a dress that was either liked or disliked but either way it wasn’t known exactly why it was liked or disliked. Thankfully for Kara and April, there was Sweet P, whose dress was anything but an opera gown. While it wasn’t nearly as poorly made as her dress from last week, it was very reminiscent in shape and the judges weren’t impressed. Sadly, Sweet P is no longer an All Star.
It’s not my ba boom moment. –Kara
If you want to do red, do f@#king red. Who cares! –April
Me doing gowns is doing gowns in a corpse bride kind of way. –April
No one wants a nip slip at the opera. –Jerell
How am I going to know this isn’t a bride’s maid dress? –Joanna Cole
I constantly feel under pressure, like I’m in a pressure cooker. –Kara
We’re insulting the world of couture by using it to describe this challenge; we’re just going to call it really, really, really pumped up prom dresses. –Anthony
I want her hair swept back from her face, I want it pulled so tight she can hardly blink. –Michael
Job well done, team me. –Jerell
It looks like you started a ball gown but it looks like a dirndl. –Mark Badgley
You think she’s going alone, she’s certainly not going home alone. –Georgina Chapman
That’s why we work together; I don’t like black and red together either. –James Mischka
I love this dress because it’s modest. –Isaac Mizrahi
I mean, I did add pockets. –Kara
It looks like she was putting gas in the car and standing in an oil slick. –James Mischka
The bodice looked like a swimsuit. –Georgina Chapman
Tell Scarlet O’Hara that that’s a ball gown. –Isaac Mizrahi
Tasteful, what a good word, I haven’t heard that in a while. –Isaac Mizrahi
Until next week! Be sure to check out our other favorite site dedicated to all things Project Runway…Blogging Project Runway!
–Bonnie J Brown