And so the Season 1 finale of Project Runway All Stars continued. The show picked up at the end of the fourth day the finalists were given to finish a collection of six pieces and segued into the day of the final runway show. The designers had one calming moment upon entering the awe-inspiring ambiance of Gotham Hall where their collections would be shown, before they were hurtled into the chaos of finishing their garments. Austin, who seemed to be the most behind schedule, was scrambling about sewing dresses onto models that still had pins in them, but he wasn’t completely panicked since he’s familiar with working up until the last minute. Mondo was calm and seemed to be in good shape but questioned how he’d show a number of his pieces. And Michael, who is always ahead of the game, came into the day thinking he was in good shape until he started dressing his models and discovered many of his pieces didn’t fit. Gasp!
But with all the disarray that occurred behind the stage, each of the collections walked down the runway without a hitch. Austin introduced his collection with a long drawn-out narrative about his clothing being designed for a hundred-plus year old vampire who borrows clothes from “Hasidic dandy friends”. Mondo coined his collection “Therapy” since the competition seemed to have driven him a bit batty and he was in need of it. And Michael simply designed a line of clothing that was inspired from the Serengeti. Even if one hadn’t seen the collections, it’s pretty easy to imagine what each of the designers sent down the runway. Michael, who thought he was stepping out of his range, created jumpsuits, a flowy dress and a number of other loose and casual garments one would wear on a tropical vacation. Each garment was made of a different graphic print, but still looked collective, if not a bit under-inspired. Mondo’s collection was a line of separates including well-made, tailored jackets, pants, dresses and tops. As judge Georgina Chapman is always pointing out, Mondo has a knack for pairing prints and colors that work beautifully together. But while Mondo’s collection was the most cohesive of the three and the garments were very nicely put together, the details were much too large and seemed almost cartoonish and inexpensive looking. Austin’s collection was the most scattered, he had a bridal gown thrown into a line-up of clothing that also included a leatherette jumpsuit. While Austin clearly has the ability to think grandly and create looks that are fantastic, his collection was just not thought out well enough to be a complete collection. But let’s give him a break, as he was only given four days and his collection did have the most opulence.
With the grand prize being so immense, including a $100,000 cash prize, a chance to sell the winning collection in select Neiman Marcus stores and a guest editing position at Marie Claire, the judging panel had five judges total, including guest judges Tommy Hilfiger and Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus. I think we know who will be making the ultimate decision. The judges critiqued each of the designers one-at-a-time, creating quite the suspense for the other two designers who were waiting back stage. Each of the designers were given quite good evaluations, where they received high-remarks and low. The judges’ decisions were tough, however, because none of the collections were perfect. Ultimate the judges had to decide which collection would sell the best, even with the help of a stylist, and that went to Mondo. Michael looked truly surprised that he hadn’t won and Austin looked as if he would be hiring a hit man to finish off everyone in the room. But while Mondo was walking away with the grand prize, Michael and Austin had the consolation of paid weekend trip to Paris, c’est la vie. Congratulations, Mondo, can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
I think I’m going to throw-up. –Austin
Does Liza Minnelli know you went through her closet, girl? –Mondo
I’m getting a fashion orgasm right now.–Austin
I feel Austin may have bitten off a little bit more than he can chew and now he’s choking. –Mondo
And occasionally borrows clothes from her Hasidic dandy friends. –Austin
They’re looking inscrutable; I can’t tell what they’re thinking. –Joanna Cole
Therapy. You’re cured. –Joanna Cole
I’m mad for the appliqué. –Isaac Mizrahi
Thank you, this is a wonderful consolation. –Austin
Be sure to watch the season finale next week on Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m.! And check out our favorite site devoted to Project Runway: Blogging Project Runway!
–Bonnie J Brown