In the eighth week of Project Runway All Stars, the six remaining designers visit the United Nations, and host Angela Lindvall, in what I’m assuming was her most animated voice but really only sounded like a bored Ben Stein, told the designers that this week’s challenge was going to be the toughest yet. Each of the designers would pick a flag from one of the countries that is part of the UN, they would then not only have to use the colors of the flag in their design, they would also have to fashion a garment that would be inspired from the style and culture of that country as well. At the onset of the episode, who would have thought that such a global and peace striving organization would illicit so many un-PC comments and that some of the resulting gowns could be considered down-right offensive?
The countries and flags were divided up as follows: Mondo, as the winner of last week’s challenge, chose first and picked Jamaica, Michael, being Greek, chose Greece, Mila chose Papua New Guinea, Jerell opted for India, Austin picked the Seychelles’ flag in all its bright, primary colors, and lastly Kenley was stuck with Chile. As expected, the designers were feeling the stress of the challenge this week. Yet in spite of or because of the stress, Kenley’s and Austin’s relationship seemed to bond a bit more as they both were missing the company of Kara. But even with each other’s support, Austin’s dress seemed to fail from the get go. Not only did he choose pastel-colored materials, he also created a gown that seemed much too glamorous for an island nation. But Austin was not only the designer to struggle, even though Michael seemed to be quite speedy in the draping of his toga-inspired gown, he was having trouble incorporating the vivid blue of the Greek flag. Mila and Kenley weren’t letting the challenge keep them from sticking to their design aesthetic, and seemed to create dresses that pleased themselves, if no one else. And Mondo is definitely not pleased with the fact that Kenley’s same dress, different polka dot fabric is safe week after week. Joanna seems to have the same concerns, but Kenley is completely unfazed by their criticisms. Joanna was thrilled, however, that at least the women’s dresses allows the wearer to wear a bra, not so for many of the other male designed gowns.
For once this season, it was pretty easy to spoke the high and low fashions and with only six designers remaining, each of the designs were judged. In the top were Mondo and Kenley. The judges liked the fun and flirty, ruffled mini-dress Kenley created; although to any non-judging eye, it didn’t seem to represent a flag in any way, especially since the bodice portion of the dress sported navy blue hearts. But Isaac told Kenley to try to not do another dress like that, which shows they’ve noticed she’s been a one-trick pony. Mondo, with his simple, superbly cut black matte jersey dress, wowed the judges, even though they were not in love with the green and gold patterned stripe running down the back of the dress, but not so much to keep him from the win. That makes two in a row for Mondo, well done! While Michael’s dress wasn’t loved by the judges, it wasn’t completely horrible either, even though, as Georgina pointed out, it looked like it would be better suited on top of a present. But Michael is still an All Star, at least for one more week. Austin, who resembled a skinny German solider most of the episode, Mila and Jerell fell in the bottom half this week. Jerell, who is able to create one ghastly looking design after another still somehow still on the show. His green, black and gold dress, in all its gaudiness didn’t offend the judges as much as it did me, but they seemed more distressed that his India-Barbie costume was poorly constructed. Mila’s color-blocked, asymmetrical dress, which looked very Mila indeed, represented nothing about Papua New Guinea. And Austin’s dress, as I mentioned earlier was lacking in representation for the Seychelles as well. The judges ultimately decided that between the three designers, they’re interested in seeing more from Austin and Jerell, but not from Mila. Let leaves only five designers left, which means only two designers will not make it to the final runway show.
The indigenous people of Papua New Guinea look very tribal. –Mila
I guess the state of Kenley has polka dot flags. –Michael
We want to be able to wear underwear with our clothes. –Joanna Coles
I really think the outfit was one of the most vulgar, hideous things I’ve very seen. –Austin
She’s just a breath of fresh sea air. –Austin
When I think of Chile I think of ponchos. –Angela Lindvall
Try not doing a not like this. –Isaac Mizrahi
It’s kind of like Nike and India. –Isaac Mizrahi
It’s just screaming pageant. –Georgina Chapman
I think that bow would look better on a Christmas present. –Angela Lindvall
It’s not the worst dress I’ve seen on Project Runway All Stars. –Angela Lindvall
I get communist from this dress. –Isaac Mizrahi
The girl wearing this dress is embarrassed of her mother’s poncho. –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
Tags: Angela Lindvall, Can You Sew?, Catherine Malandrino, fashion designer competition, Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi, Joanna Cole, Lifetime TV, Neiman Marcus, Neiman Marcus Accessories, O! Say, Project Runway All Stars, Project Runway All Stars Season 1 Episode 8