Designers “Try” Avant Garde

Huge Willy Wonka fan, so the start of this week, this challenge, was a super exciting one for me. The designers headed to Broadway in NYC, the Theater District, to meet with Alyssa and get the challenge details. They went to the Broadway venue for the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory show, where joining Alyssa was Tony award winner, star of the Willy Wonka show, Christian Borle.

One underlying message of Willy Wonka is the power of imagination. Fitting for this week, to push the bounds of creativity and let the imagination run wild, an Avant Garde challenge. The designers would use Willy Wonka as an inspiration to create new inventions in fashion. It could be something practical, but a surprising use; inventive way to wear something new; or an unexpected innovation.

Cute segment with the designers not having sketchbooks, and they magically appear. This would be a 1-day challenge, with a $300 budget. However, there was a pile of chocolate bars, and in the spirit of Willy Wonka, one contained a golden ticket. This golden ticket would allot one designer an extra $100, and Biddell won that honor. After sketching at the show venue, the designers were off to Mood. We later learned the designers could source materials from 3 other locations as well because of the innovation component to this challenge — a dollar store, building supply, or an electronic shop.

With that in mind, Anthony got tons of dry erase markers, while Michelle ordered some foam carpet padding. After some new materials arrived, Anne came by for her check-ins. Of course, Django looked miserable! Anne had faith in some, such as Michelle. She thoughts others needed more strength in their looks, such as Cynthia. Django’s look also received some crazy concern, as he was discussing an apron — I was concerned too!

I am not sure why Django then went in full attitude mode, getting mad at Anthony for calling Anne, Ms. Anne, and then Christina for her look. There was definitely some other designer shade throughout the episode — Dmitry on Sean’s zebra prints. And then super funny Irina calling out Michelle for repetitive designers, but Cynthia thought the same of Irina.

The end of the day was crazy, especially seeing Sean decide to start over! Naturally the morning of the runway was going to be crazy, very much so for Sean with a whole look to complete (not a great birthday for him!). It was then time for the runway! The guest judges this week were Broadway star Andrew Rannells & actress Anna Camp. Overall, I was unimpressed with this being an avant garde runway. I am not sure for this type of environment, a 1-day challenge, if anything else was to be expected. The looks were not bad, they just weren’t Avant Garde…. well most of them.

Cynthia is riding the safe wave, and she needs to step up. Her look was so similar to Christina’s vibe, so definitely wasn’t avant garde. At least Cynthia incorporated more. Evan went with a futuristic vibe, but that doesn’t equate Avant Garde. For him getting extra money, I don’t see it was used wisely. I loved Dmitry’s look, not sure how inventive it was, but it did read super chic to me.

For the judges’ top 3, it made sense, and was fairly obvious. Christina created a super chic look, very bad-ass, loved the colors with the pop of the blue. I wish we had seen a bit more with the music aspect, but overall this was solid work.

Michelle had such a purpose with her look. The story worked for this challenge and I did see something different in her look. I don’t quite get the over-the-top praise for the under dress, but the creativity here worked.

Anthony’s gamer look was cool. It was kind of a throwback in a sense of writing, so really how new is that concept? But working that into the garment was interesting. The judges were right to point out the childhood imagination here. His win made the most sense.

Irina being in the bottom was kind of comical. There were 3 similar pant, futuristic bad-ass looks of the bunch, clearly not super inventive, yet Irina was in the bottom? I’m glad at least 2 of the judges had different thoughts, and this was clearly not a unanimous decision. Given that, there was no surprise she would not be in the bottom 2.

Sean’s look was a clear mess, and Django riding the bottom wave as of late, this was the clear bottom 2. Sean survived, barely! I love Sean, but if the judges were sending a look home this week, it would have been Sean. He was saved because he shows more potential. I am fine with that decision, because he does have more potential than Django, but it shouldn’t be held back that his look for this challenge was bad. His styling was cool, but as Anna Camp pointed out, the look was very much unresolved.

It was Django’s time. His look was interesting, but it was not Avant Garde. The top was cool, the hat was a little whacky, and the pants were a bore. The judges were right to point out that this look did read more cinematic and historical than creative and inventive for the future of fashion.


Designers go Red Carpet Glam

I love gorgeous gowns, so with this week being all about red carpet glam, I was super excited! Alyssa met the designers on the runway, joined by President of Butter London, Sarina Godin. Butter London has a new Glazen collection, creating an intense, metallic look, with a gel texture. This would serve as the designers’ inspiration for the challenge.

Each designer would create a red carpet look using metallic fabrics, while also adding a unique texture. The red carpet at hand would be up to the designer. The winning designer would receive a years supply of Butter London products and services for fashion shows and photoshoots, in addition to the $5000 weekly prize. This would be a 1-day challenge with a $250 budget.

The designers were off to the Butter London studio, to check out the Glazen collection firsthand, and to get some inspiration. Right from the get-go, Anya was not super thrilled. Others were much more excited and ready to head off to Mood, getting a little scared on the prices, but others were beginning to see their visions come to life!

As the designers were back to the workroom, we first re-visited the Michelle/Dmitry drama from last week. Dmitry still stood by his copying thoughts, but Michelle did offer an apology for snapping. Anya was still at a loss, which was no surprise, given her lack of actual sewing skills, she wouldn’t be relying on normal bag of easy tricks. In fact, when she was in the sewing room, it kind of looked as though she was checking out the other designers as if she was cheating on a test.

Anne came by for her check-ins, where we know from the past, Django was less than thrilled. Anne noted a cheap curtain look, making others modern, and giving some elevation. She reminded the designers that there was some interesting fabric choices, but the fabric couldn’t do all the work. Model fittings were soon thereafter, where some designers made some changes, such as Sean & Django, and we really got to then see how messy Anya’s process was for her look.

I’m going to add a new segment in my recaps with Designer Shade! Biddell was hating on Sean’s fringe, being super repetitive. But most shade was on Biddell, Anthony Ryan not seeing how he could just finish so early, and not try to do more. So yes, by the morning of the runway, Biddell was still finished, while Anya was barely struggling to get by. She had 2 or 3 other designers actually helping her complete her garment — YIKES!!

Given my excitement for the challenge this week, I was ready for the runway! There were actually 3 guest judges on the panel, not sure why so many, but nonetheless a full slate for the day — talk show host Wendy Williams, racecar driver Danica Patrick, and model Lily Aldridge.

The judges’ top and bottom pretty much made sense. For the rest, here are my quick thoughts — I didn’t love Cynthia’s print, it felt like too much; Christina’s look felt underwhelming; Anthony Ryan needed more punch in his look and it read very heavy; but I loved Dmitry’s look, such glamour!

How Irina was not the winner this week was beyond insane! Her look was the epitome of a red carpet challenge. I might have personally preferred a little less of a slit, but this look was stunning. The ombre effect was spot-on. This would be on anyone’s best dressed list.

The judges’ selected Sean as the winner. His fringe work was of course stunning. And this look would have been much better had the top been less, versus more. It was certainly a great look, but I didn’t get the red carpet story. I don’t imagine this being a look for the Met Gala!

Biddell rounded out the top 3, which was the right choice. Other designers thought his look, specifically his fabric choice, was cheap. But I didn’t see that, I saw chic glam. I didn’t really care for the earrings the way some of the judges did. They were too big!

The bottom 3 was Anya, Django, and Michelle, not too surprising of a group. Django’s look was originally dubbed by Anne as moo-moo like, so he added a midriff cutout I guess to be more sexy, more modern. It was not a good call. I loved his fabric choice, but he has to know better what to with it!

I don’t think Michelle’s look was as bad as the judges thought. Seeing the hem upclose, that was worthwhile to mention. And my major critique was, as Danica pointed out, the fit was off. This look read too boxy. It didn’t have to be skin-tight, but there was too much flow.

I think it was obvious who was going home though however, Anya. I don’t know if there was anything positive to say here. There were so many errors, it was so trashy, the fit was so bad. This is an embarrassment coming from any All-Star designer, especially one this far along in the game. Shame on the judges for keeping her so long!


Best of the Best — 2018

Many red carpets throughout the year of 2018, here are my top picks for the year!

SUI HE — Cannes

2ND LOOK

GIGI HADID — Met Gala

IZABEL GOULART — Cannes

SERAYAH MCNEILL — amfAR Gala NY

LESLIE MANN — Oscars

2nd look — Baby2Baby Gala

SHANTEL VAN SANTEN — Oscars Elton John Foundation Party

MADELAINE PETSCH — at the Art of Elysium

2nd look — Oscars Elton John Party

3rd Look — Emmy’s

VANESSA HUDGENS — Dog Days Premiere

VU NGOC ANH — Cannes

2nd look — Cannes

LAURIE METCALF — SAG Awards

JENNIFER GARNER — Oscars

MANDY MOORE — SAG Awards

LALA ANTHONY — amfAR Gala NY

OLIVIA HOLT — Avengers Premiere

2nd Look — Network Upfronts

KIMIKO GLENN — SAG Awards

Final Faves of 2018

Here are a final few fave red carpet looks from 2018!

BARBARA EVANS

DANIELLE BRADBERY

JESSICA SERFATY

ZENDAYA

MARSAI MARTIN

ANNA KENDRICK

CATE BLANCHETT

  • at the Venice Film Festival — Suspira screening

CLARISSA MOLINA

LUCY HALE

ALEJANDRA ESPINOZA

INANNA

BAMBI LEGIT

LUCY LIU

MARIA IVAKOVA

YANG MIMIMI

ANANYA PANDAY

AMELIA WINDSOR

ANGELA SARAFYAN

JESSICA & CODY

SASKIA ROSENDAHL

At the Werk Ohne Autor (Never Look Away) screening.

Designers are off to the Zoo

Alyssa hit the runway with a bang, as she strutted out having her own “Britney Spears” moment with a yellow albino python. The snake was of course a way to introduce the challenge! The designers were to find inspiration from a zoo animal, to create a look for a wild night out. The judges would be looking for a runway look that would stand out, attract the most attention.

With that, the designers were off to Turtle Back Zoo, racing to find their 1st choice animal inspiration, because each designer had to pick a different animal. The jaguar was a top choice, and then also an owl?? Each designer seemed good with their final selection, especially Juli who was fond of her “cheeky” monkey.

Sketching was done, and it was time for Mood, shopping with a $200 budget for this 1-day challenge. Anne came in later for her check-in critiques. She really was getting each designer to talk out their process. She mentioned no trashiness or going to the renaissance fair, and encouraged a couple to create a WOW factor. She and Django didn’t see eye to eye again, especially over the color green.

Django is very much not a fan of Anne’s critiques! Model fittings were next and Sean was kind of bouncing around 2 different looks. Day 1 was filled with hard work, but the morning of the runway brought some drama! Dmitry is known for his use of cutouts. Irina mentioned to him about some similarities seen in Michelle’s look. Anthony Ryan then made Michelle aware of this chatter. Michelle called Dmitry out and he deflected. But later, we saw Biddell also point out the similarities. I am not that immersed in knowing Dmitry’s work offhand, so I only saw the similarity when seeing the comparisons on the show. The judges also made mention of this, so clearly it was not just a minor issue.

Drama aside, I was ready for the runway! This week’s guest judges were supermodel Joan Smalls and actress Peyton List. Production clearly wanted some more Dmitry/Michelle time/drama on the runway. Otherwise, I don’t see how Cynthia’s super sexy leather look or Biddell’s mixed media, shimmery look didn’t make the cut.

A few other quick mentions — I definitely saw Anya’s bird inspiration, but I don’t think her prints worked together within her separates; Christina’s alligator look was pretty literal, and the sleeves, as well as the back were pretty cool, but the front was just so blah. I didn’t agree with the judges top 3 looks at all, but I do agree that Michelle, despite the drama, deserved the win.

Her porcupine inspiration look really did look like a WOW dress. She selected an eye-catching print, included some great details in the look, it really stood out. Joan Smalls’ comment on this being very visual was spot on. Dmitry’s look also made the top, and while not horrible, I still felt he was included so that the comparison drama could continue with Michelle. It was different, I will admit that, but I don’t know if it stood out in the best way.

And then Anthony Ryan rounded out the top 3. I didn’t hate his look, I just saw it more as a day or brunch look than a wild night out. It was a great look, but I don’t think it fit the challenge description. As for the bottom 3, it seemed kind of obvious that Django would land there. I was surprised he wasn’t bottom 2, especially over Sean. Django really didn’t capture a lion in this look; it was very much underwhelming. I don’t see Django doing well here because of that fact his work is going to have a hard time standing out amongst these other super talented designers.

With Sean being in the bottom 2 with Juli, it was kind of like the writing on the wall that it would be Juli going. Sean did capture the giraffe in his look, but I didn’t see this for a wild night out, and the plaid print fell flat. I liked the idea, but with the plaid print, and his styling choices, the look read far too casual.

For me, it was very much time for Juli to make her exit. I get that she is a commercial designer, but that generally doesn’t fare well on this show. This look was far too basic and not flattering. And she did attempt to try and do more than basic, and that attempt went horribly awry. Her leaving now reaffirms my point that Seth Aaron should have stayed over her!


Underwear for Outerwear Designs

This week’s runway began with a sexy bang, awaiting designers saw models walk out in sexy lingerie. Alyssa soon joined to lay out the challenge details. The designers were tasked to create outerwear from underwear by transforming corsets into high fashion looks. Each designer would be given a standard corset to use, completely with the ability to re-design, but the corset had to be fully visible in the silhouette of the final look.

The stakes were high for this week’s runway. As Alyssa was going over the challenge details, head designer for AdoreMe.com, Helen Mears, also joined the designers. Adore Me is an online e-commere site for women’s lingerie, sexy looks for women without sacrificing comfort. Helen announced that the winning look would be sold in a limited edition on AdoreMe.com and that the designer would be awarded $10,000.

With the details laid out, the designers were off to Mood with a $200 budget for this 1-day challenge. Afterwards, the designers were back to the workroom to begin cutting away, although Michelle accidentally cut her finger instead — YIKES!!

Anne soon came by for her check-ins. She began with a history on the use of corsets in high fashion looks, so making it clear there should be no excuses in the work done for this challenge. She was enjoying some of what she saw, but cautioned others on certain elements of their looks. Some needed a push, while others were doing that themselves, such as Irina. I am glad to hear that during Anne’s consultation with Anya that Anya realized her fabrics can’t do all the work for her! Django probably got the toughest critique and really just hoped he could make the runway critiques this week.

When the models came in, Jasper was back to his normal antics of working on his model’s walk and running around the workroom. Also after the model fittings, a couple of designers were doubting their work, Dmitry and Cynthia. As the day tolled away we saw some designer shade being tossed around — with Jasper for gluing lace onto his garment; Jasper calling out Cynthia for not using her corset in what he thought was the right way; and Biddell telling Dmitry that this was not his best work.

It was soon time for the runway! This week’s guest judges were designer Rebecca Minkoff and model Olivia Culpo. This was just a so-so runway for me. There were a few amazing looks, some looks that had amazing details, but certainly a few underwhelming looks. The judges’ top and bottom 3 were mostly what I had on my list, but I don’t see how Anya was not in the bottom. Her look was a hot mess and so poorly constructed! Django might have had a little too much going on, but at least his look didn’t have construction issues.

And then my one change in the top would have been including Juli. I still think Juli should have been out last week, this look doesn’t wow me enough to change my mind. But that is all in the past, and looking at the present, I did like this look top to bottom. Whereas with Dmitry’s look, his top did have a wow factor, but the pants kind of felt like a throwaway. A few other quick mentions — Michelle’s look felt like PJs to me; I didn’t care for Sean’s plaid and I thought the fit was a little too baggy to read sexy; I don’t see why Biddell was jumping on Dmitry about his best work because his work this week was certainly not his, way too safe!; I didn’t love Anthony’s work, but I was at least intrigued.

The win did come down to Irina and Christina, which was 100% the right call. I loved what Cynthia created. It was effortlessly beautiful, simplicity and minimalism at its best. But while Irina’s look was perhaps a little too sexy for me, I think she deserved the win of the week for creating just so much more and doing it so well. The jacket she designed was so fierce, such a bold, great color, and was really amazing. Perhaps AdoreMe.com could more easily sell what Christina created than Irina, but my choice would have been Irina for the win. Both talented ladies however knocked it out of the park this week, leaps and bounds above the rest.

As mentioned above, I would have traded Django for Anya in the bottom 3. Django’s look was not the best, but it wasn’t the worst, so I was glad he did not land in the bottom 2, which was between Jasper and Cynthia. I legit thought it was Cynthia going. Her look left no impact on me. I didn’t get her color choices and it was just a very sloppy look. And then just for fun, she created a Kentucky Derby-esque hat, which really hurt the look versus help.

But ultimately it was Jasper who was eliminated. I really didn’t care which of the 2 left. I don’t think either had done much to stake their claim to stay. Jasper has created nothing but super commercial looks, not really high fashion at all. This look definitely read slutty, not sexy. The fit was just way off and the lace was applied so poorly. You could tell he glued it and didn’t sew it, not that this would have made a huge difference in helping the overall final quality of the look.

Next week looks super exciting though — can’t wait!!

All-Star Designers Step Up!

I was not impressed last week with the All-Star designers’ dual color challenge. However, this week was a major turnaround, and a truly outstanding runway! The ever-popular unconventional materials challenge definitely made the designers step up their game.

The designers all met at the Southwest Airlines terminal, appearing as if they might be going on a trip. Once Alyssa greeted them on board the plane, they quickly knew a challenge was awaiting, not a destination. This was the week for the always popular unconventional materials challenge. All the materials were in the baggage claim, all flight related — tags, coffee cups, reflectors, air sickness bags, and more! The designers would have 2 days to create a look for modern-day travel.

On top of winning $5000, the week’s winner would also receive a vacation to any destination Southwest Airlines flies too, for the winner and a companion. The winning designer would also get to partner with a non-profit group affiliated with Southwest, Re-Threaded, and would serve as a consultant on upcycling, all for women empowerment.

The designers had 5 minutes to collect materials and then it was off to the workroom. Everyone quickly began figuring out their goal for the challenge. I think the global winners of Project Runway had the most trouble at the onset here, maybe not being as familiar with this type of challenge. Jasper mentioned during his season of Project Runway, there was no unconventional materials challenge.

The 2nd day of work soon arrived, and Django began by starting over on his design. Anne came by for her check-ins, urging some to do more, or saying some might be going in the wrong direction. She did have some positives — Hey, I love pockets too! As the end of the day approached however, many designers still had quite a bit to do!

The morning of provided its usual frantic moments, although it seemed Jasper had finally finished his work craziness and was soon focused a bit much on his model’s walk for the runway. I was getting very excited to see this runway, as I’m sure were the judges, including 2 guest judges — award winning journalist Tamron Hall and supermodel Martha Hunt.

As I mentioned in my introduction, I absolutely loved this runway! I had so many faves, and picking a top 3 was hard! I guess what it came down to was who not only made a great look, but one that was also fitting to the challenge theme of a modern day travel look.

I did love what Michelle created, but I think my top 3 would have included Cynthia. I loved her use of color, and she got a great fit for her model despite the type of materials she was using. But I guess with Michelle, she also had a striking color, and the reflectors created that extra pop of intrigue for the runway. However, I did find Cynthia’s look a bit more suitable for travel, and with Michelle, I felt a bit more of a red carpet or cocktail vibe. Nonetheless, both did excellent work!

A few other shout-outs, Django and Evan first. I loved these looks, but they definitely read more upscale than travel. Christina and Anthony Ryan both went a bit more of a sportier route, which was nice to see, but I don’t believe there work was quite as polished as some of the others.

The top 2 was without a shadow of a doubt Irina & Jasper. This was a tough call and it really could have gone either way. I am a huge Irina fan, so I am very happy for her win, and given she was on the bottom last week, this was a great turnaround to see for her.

And Jasper’s look was deserving of all the accolades too. He seemed so crazed during this challenge, and I thought we were in store for a disaster. But that was clearly not the case! I loved his color palette, and he really did create a super chic, high fashion travel look.

The bottom 3 made sense, although I did not like seeing Sean there! It was clear as the judges discussed though that he would not be going anywhere. There were really on 2 poor looks this week, and that was the bottom 2, Juli & Seth Aaron. I can see why with Sean’s look it created some discussion, but I was happy to hear this look had some positives mentioned. I thought it was a colorful look, perfect for travel!

A lot of times in a bottom 2 scenario, we see someone who did too much, and one who did too little, usually with the one doing too little going home. For Juli and Seth Aaron, I guess you could say both did too little. Seth Aaron made a dress from seat belts and that is exactly what it looked like. And Juli made a super safe, very basic look, that had 0 wow factor.

I guess what saved Juli was that her dress was at least wearable. However, I have only seen “safe” looks from her, where as Seth Aaron was just in the top last week. And at least with this challenge, Seth Aaron showed some attempts of trying. I think he should have stayed over Juli. But since she is not out, hopefully we see her step it up next week because safe is not what needs to come down the runway!

Best Dressed — 2019 Golden Globes

Here are my fave looks from the main red carpet and all of the various afterparties — Netflix; Hollywood Foreign Press Association; NBC Universal Golden Globes; Amazon Prime’s Video; InStyle and Warner Bros.; Fox celebration/Hulu/FX; HBO.

LUPITA NYONG’O

ALISON BRIE

LILI REINHART

CONSTANCE WU

FELICITY HUFFMAN

-Wearing a Laura Basci dress & Martin Katz jewelry; Dave Stanwell for Hair; Austin Evans on glam; Linda Medvene for styling

CAMILLA BELLE

MARIA MENOUNOS

TORREY DEVITTO

ISKRA

IRINA SHAYK

SKYLER SAMUELS

SAOIRSE RONAN

DAKOTA FANNING

STEPHANIE BEATRIZ

FIJI WATER GIRL — KELLETH CUTHBERT

VANESSA MORGAN

1st look — Marc Bower gown; Stylist — Maeve Reilly; Norman Silverman diamond hoops; Hair — Santoy Dorsey; Rock Her ring; Edie Parker Clutch; Patrick Ta — makeup, use of L’Oreal makeup

2nd look — Redemption gown; Rock Her earrings; Norman Silverman rings; Jimmy Choo clutch

  • at InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

LESLIE BIBB

REGINA KING

EMMA STONE

PENELOPE CRUZ

XENIA TCHOUMI

EMILY OSMENT

CHRISHELL HARTLEY & JUSTIN HARTLEY

Justin is wearing a Brunello Cucinelli suit, Montblanc cufflinks and shirt pins, an IWC watch and Christian Louboutin shoes. Chrishell is wearing a Romona Keveza dress, Jimmy Choo clutch, and Neil Lane jewelry.

MOLLY SIMS

Marchesa dress and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry

JAMEELA JAMIL

a Monique Lhuillier gown with matching coral earrings by Ricardo Basta Jewelry

JAMIE LEE CURTIS

an Alexander McQueen dress, Cathy Waterman jewels, and a Zaha Hadud for Perrin purse

KEN & TRAN JEONG

The All-Stars are Graduating

With no designers being eliminated last week, and 2 new designers coming on board, this week was sure to be an interesting challenge! Georgina joined Alyssa on the runway to lay out the challenge details.

Georgina first introduced a charity she works for in India, Magic Bus. Also joining these 2 lovely ladies on stage was a student of the Magic Bus program, Parvati Pujari. Parvati was the first person in her family to graduate high school, and she is now close to being finished with her Masters. This led to the theme of the week — GRADUATION!

Each designer would create a sophisticated party look that could be worn for a graduation celebration. It could be spring or summer. The winning look would be up for auction on eBay, with the proceeds going to Magic Bus. Since Dmitry won last week, he was able to choose his colors first and he assigned colors for everyone else.

Since this all was laid out right after last week’s runway, this challenge began on the next day, with the sketch session at Mood. This would be a 1-day challenge, with a budget of $150. As work began, we saw some instant complaints about color palettes for some, while others were quickly working away with their more appealing color combos.

Anne soon came in for her check-ins, with positives for some, but for others, she had more of a harsh take. She pointed out some tacky looks and to not fall into the skating costume realm. Probably her most choice words were to remind the designers that last week nobody went home, but that this week, someone was absolutely being eliminated.

Evan finished up his day with an early nap since his look was completed. But many designers still had lots to do and that spilled over into the next morning. It was nice to see some camaraderie amongst the designers in the workroom. The runway came quickly, and guest judges this week were actress Sofia Carson, and model/activist Kiera Chaplin.

I understood the judges’ assessment of the top and the bottom. I hated seeing Irina in the bottom just because I do love her as a designer, and her work. But I think a few others lucked out that Sunny didn’t adhere to the challenge guidelines. A few of the safe looks read matronly to me, so hopefully we don’t continue to see that trend. I still don’t think Anya did a huge step up from her work last week, and she would have been in the bottom on my list. I love Jasper, especially with his model ways in the workroom, but I haven’t yet connected with his work. And I ‘ve heard lots of impressive comments on Juli, but her work this week did not match those positive statements.

But enough on the negative, let’s transition to the top 3 and the positive work for the week. This was absolutely the top 3. My winner would have been Sean, I think had this work been a shorter length, maybe Isaac would have jumped on board. From what I heard, it seemed as if Isaac kept this from being the winning look. But Sean’s work was AMAZING in this purple & white color combo!!

I do agree that Anthony Ryan was leaps and bounds better than his work last week. I almost felt that might have been why they gave him the win, but nonetheless, kudos on making those 2 colors (blue & orange) work, and creating a youthful, celebratory look.

Seth Aaron rounded out the top 3. I liked his look, not loved though. I wish I had seen more of the red wine color he was given. All of the white, in the lace overlay format he used, kind of read doily to me?? The look didn’t knock my socks off and I think the judges felt the same. It was in the top though because it was a good look, just not a winning look.

As for the bottom 3, let’s start with Christina. I was surprised given how much I loved her work last week. She has lots of great ideas and that was her downfall here. She had too much going on in this red & navy look. The work she was doing didn’t connect and the look read way too mature for a graduation theme.

The bottom 2 consisted of Irina and Sunny. I was so happy Irina stayed. It would be a shame to lose her so early on! I understood what the judges said for her. I think had she done this look in a one-length dress or not had the front part so short, she would have been safe.

It is a shame to see such a beautiful look be in the bottom and to send a designer home, but each week there is a challenge, and the designers must follow the guidelines. I would understand a bit more had Sunny at least understood what he did wrong, but I don’t think he did. Even while waiting for the judges to deliberate, he discussed about the guidelines mentioning nothing of equal proportions. He clearly didn’t listen to the judges because they said nothing about the color combos being equal in usage, just that you had to use both colors. If he had maybe, deep in the skirt or bodice, used one blue overlay, he would have been fine. I actually don’t think using a little blue would have made the look horrible at all. It’s just a shame he didn’t even try!

Project Runway Winners’ Season

Project Runway All-Stars is back, one last time on Lifetime, and this go round, the show decided to pull out all of the stops. This is the first ever all winners season, with winners from the US version of the show, but also winners from across the world, from the global counterparts of the Project Runway franchise. Let’s call it as the show is, a World Championship!!

Alyssa Milano is back as the host, with Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman joining again as the judges. JC Penney will be sponsoring this season’s accessory wall. Additionally, the winning design for each week, will be sold in a limited edition online thru JC Penney. Another perk for the weekly winner, a $5000 cash prize, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

Alyssa met with the designers on Governor’s Island, looking right at the Statue of Liberty. Their first task, to let us discover more about each designer, specifically their roots. Each designer would create a high fashion look inspired by the culture of the designer’s country of origin. Lyft was providing travel services to Mood, where the budget this week was $200. And there would not be much downtime as this was a 1-day challenge.

With not much time to spare, the designers were eager to begin work in their very impressive workroom, and of course the even more impressive Brother sewing room. The designers were also looking forward to their first mentor sessions with returning mentor, Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire. Anne was not holding back! She urged designers to step it up, and to not go for a disney princess or school marm.

Anne also brought in a special guest, Anne Wojcicki, CEO & Co-Founder of 23 & Me. This was a fun surprise for the designers, where they each received kits to learn more about their DNA history. But no time for too much surprise fun, as looks were being quickly created, and the first runway was right around the corner.

Sponsors for the runway day will include Butter London, makeup & nail studio, and then for hair, Umberto Beverly Hills salon. This is of course worth repeating closer to the end of the show, but here are the very amazing prizes for this season’s winner —

  • Creation of a JC Penney capsule collection
  • Photospread in Marie Claire
  • Guest editor position for 1 year with Marie Claire
  • Inspiring trip for 2 to London, courtesty of Butter London, as well as the chance to create a signature nail color for the brand
  • A selection of Brother sewing machines, valued at $40,000
  • And for further brand development, a $100,000 cash prize

This week’s guest judge was the phenomenal actress Debra Messing. This was a standout first runway. Choosing a top and bottom 3 I found to be very difficult. With a couple of exceptions, for the most part I agreed with the judges. I do have a few quick mentions. For Jasper, this was a pretty look, but it read very much off the rack for me. I think Seth Aaron focused a bit too much on styling, versus the creation of his look. Styling should compliment or amplify the look, but not overtake or overshadow it. For Michelle, I loved the sparkle, but the look didn’t go anywhere for me, the rest kind of fell flat. And then for Django, this seemed like a hodge podge of fabrics that lacked a connective thread.

I thought Christina did a great job on a modern blazer creation. This look was sexy, but also chic, with lots of great design elements, including a pop of surprise on the back.

I also really loved Sunny’s black dress, a well-made, quality LBD, but with that pop of gold on the neckline, I was in love!

For the judges, let’s start with the top 3. I wasn’t super clear that Biddell was even in the top 3, but the judges eventually noted some positives. I didn’t get top 3 here. Other than volume, the look didn’t offer much. It was too on the nose for the inspiration and bordered costume more than a high fashion look.

I was happy Irina made the top 3. She didn’t rest on her laurels, and put forth so much effort with this first look. I don’t know that the hood was needed, but I loved the detail, the volume, the bold color — the look definitely read for a bold, confident woman.

And finally, the well-deserved winner, Dmitry. The cultural inspiration was immensely present. There was a lot to grab the eye here, prints, silhouette, and sheer areas, but it was not too much, and it all connected. As a maxidress fan, I would wear this in a heartbeat.

For the bottom 3, let’s start with Cynthia. I don’t believe this was a bottom-worthy creation. She styled the look perfectly. And yes, the lace felt a bit mismatched to me as the judges pointed out, but if this had been executed a tad better, this look would have been awesome.

As we later found out, no elimination occurred this week. Had there been one though, it would have been Anthony Ryan or Anya cut. My gut is saying it would have been Anthony Ryan though. He clearly wasn’t in the best headspace with his grandmother recently passing. He knew it too though, this was a very bad look. I can’t think of much to say that would be super positive. I didn’t see direction or concept, but what I couldn’t get past the most were the technical issues.

I was surprised that Anya was in the bottom 3, not so much because of her look, but just because she received such rave reviews the season she won, and I don’t recall her creating much more than what she did here. I get that she has a great eye for prints, and can create a very wearable dress. But this is a design competition, where each week, you have to create and sew incredible looks. For someone who can’t sew, Project Runway is not the show for them. She skated by her season and didn’t deserve the win if you ask me. We will see if the criticism here calls for her to step it up somehow, or breakdown.

Even though there was no elimination, the end of the show did hold a surprise. Two new designers would be joining the group, Sean Kelly & Juli Grbac. I guess since there was no elimination this week, it’s not too unfair these designers got to skip the first task! I’m guessing we will be in for a couple of double eliminations. And we of course saw a preview of the season, which looks dramatic, with lots of great guest judges and a few top models who might be walking on some of the runways?