The Designers go 80s Crazy!

We did prints, we did the holidays, now it’s time for the Project Runway designers to take on the 80s! Cyndi Lauper was the iconic 80s person this week, serving as inspiration and this week’s guest judge. This was going to be a team challenge, so 2 teams going head to head. Each team would create a cohesive mini collection representing 80s fashion, but with a modern take. Each designer would be responsible for their own looks, but did need to work as a cohesive unit. To create each team, the infamous button bag returned.

Team 1, later dubbed Team Chaos, consisted of Geoffrey, Dayoung, Nancy, Brittany, and Delvin. Team 2, aka Team Stripes, was Melanie, Marquise, Sergio, Chelsey, and Shavi. Since Victoria won last week, she was able to choose her team. She chose Team Chaos, which was comprised of the stronger designers, but also, everyone having strong personalities!

This would be a 2 day challenge, with a $300 per member team budget, so basically $1500 for Team Stripes, $1800 for Team Chaos with the extra designer. During sketch time, Team Stripes was working well, really formulating with a solid plan, was very organized. Team Chaos was the exact opposite, clearly demonstrating those stronger personalities. And while shopping at Mood, Team Chaos continued with well….Chaos! They were trying to focus on a print for their color story, and couldn’t decide. Delvin was feeling unheard. And the print they did settle on, Christian was unimpressed.

Everyone was back to work for the rest of day 1. Team Chaos was still all over the place, not sure who was using what fabrics, what their exact designs would be, etc. But team Stripes was steamrolling ahead. It was then time for Siriano Sessions. In finally seeing what Team Stripes had going on, I was with Delvin on this one, this looked like straight up Beetlejuice costumes. It was a lot of black and white. And I wasn’t sure this black and white stripe trend was actually 80s? Christian was right to bring up the difference between cohesion and just repetition in looks. As it got to Team Chaos’ turn, you could tell there was some tensions in the group. Delvin and Brittany were rudely laying into Nancy. They did have good ideas finally, the focus on leather, the details, the embellishment work. The question was could they pull it altogether?

Christian announced then he wouldn’t be around for model fittings the next day. But he left the designers with a little twist — that they had to create all of their accessories, except for shoes. So the jewelry, handbags, belts, etc, it all had to be handmade. He happily went around collecting the accessory pieces some of the designers had already selected. They would be going to and trim and notions store the next day, Trim & Feathers, with a $200 additional budget. Day 1 ended and the designers continued planning at home. Team Chaos was still filled with tensions and there was a lot of focus being unfairly put on Nancy.

Day 2 began with the trip to Trim & Feathers. As the designers got back to the workroom, Nancy & Melanie were still unsure of exactly what their looks were going to be. During model fittings, we saw Victoria would be doing a repeat silhouette, but really she has done a lot of that already and the judges don’t seem to mind. The designers were still in strategy mode once back at home, but no surprise, Team Chaos was making some hair and makeup plans, and I guess forgot to include Nancy in that discussion.

The morning of the runway, Christian gathered Team Chaos around, to really make sure they saw what all was going on with each designer, make sure there was a cohesive story. Dayoung actually needed some help here. Her look was the worst of the bunch and Christian even pointed that out. But Brittany, with her annoying focus on Nancy all episode, she was overly concerned with her. I am glad Nancy stood her ground and didn’t let other designers change her look. I am also glad Nancy stood up for herself later in the episode and said her peace about how she was treated during this challenge. Go Nancy!

So onto the runway — the whole episode was geared towards the notion that Team Stripes had it altogether, thus they would win. While Team Chaos, being literal chaos, would be in the bottom. But as you saw even the bits and pieces from each team, it was vastly clear that Team Chaos had the stronger looks. Yes, Team Stripes had more cohesion, but the looks were not well made and were not that exciting. Seeing the looks come down the runway, this was all the more clear. Team Chaos just had so many strong looks, it would have been crazy if they were the bottom team. The cohesion was not spot on, but it was better than what I originally thought it was going to be.

The top 3 could have been anyone except for Dayoung. I thought everyone else really did a fantastic job. Delvin’s look was great, but was probably the least cohesive of the group. So the top 3 was Geoffrey, Brittany and Victoria. Very happy Geoffrey won, very well deserved. This look was the epitome of modern 80s fashion.

So Team Stripes was the bottom group, although there were some decent looks here. Chelsey and Sha’Vi were rightfully saved. I don’t get the decision of Melanie going home though! Sergio clearly can’t take criticism, and while he has good technical skills, he has a dated tastes and no willingness to ever change.

Marquise had one win and has done nothing memorable or great since. The judges claim Melanie wasn’t memorable, but I guess the judges were overlooking Marquise having just been in the bottom, and now again with some pretty horrible looking shorts.

His jacket was good, but Melanie’s look was not the worst here! And I would think keeping someone around who is open minded and willing to learn and self improve would make more sense here!

Project Runway Early Round-Up

As we all know, Project Runway is back on Bravo, and has been for a few weeks. I actually began recaps on the first 2 episodes and then the holidays hit, and needless to say, I fell behind! I am of course going to still watch, but after over 5 years of blogging about the show, I just can’t go this season without my recaps — IT’S TOO HARD! So I have decided to do a bundle recap of the 1st four episodes, my thoughts up until now, and then will be back on track to fully recap each episode here on out! NANCY’S LOOK BELOW

So first up, let’s go all the way back to the premiere episode, where we met this season’s designers, and they were hit with the challenge right from the gate. Almost the literal gate as they were still at JFK airport. This was going to be hard right from the jump, as the designers had to work in pairs, but did fortunately have 2 days to complete, with a $400 Mood budget. The task at hand for each duo, to create an innovative look inspired by space. The 2 looks had to be complimentary, but representative of each designer’s individual point of view. The setting would be a trip to space, one look needed to be a jumpsuit for daytime excursions and the 2nd look, a chic happy hour look for the space hotel bar. BRITTANY’S LOOK — Winner

In this episode, we saw Alan struggle as he forgot his fabric at Mood and Sergio showing a little ego. There was of course a little drama, lots of tears, but overall, a fairly decent runway. I really thought Nancy & Marquise were robbed for a top spot. Well, mainly Nancy. I just loved her chiffon wrap, the reveal was phenomenal, such a sexy LBD! DAYOUNG BELOW, BOTTOM DESIGN

For the top, the judges went with Geoffrey/Melanie & Brittany/Sergio. Of this group, I am pleased Brittany nabbed the win. Her jumpsuit felt very fashion forward, such great attention to detail. ASMA BELOW, ELIMINATED

The bottom consisted of Alan/Dayoung & Asma/Jenn, although it was quite obvious Asma & Jenn were the bottom 2. Dayoung’s look had some fit issues, but the concept was great, and with more time, I think it would have been amazing. But Jenn and Asma were on 2 different pages, not creating cohesion at all. One look was basic & boring, while the other was loud and crazy. The judges decided to send both home, which I think was the right call. Both really just didn’t hit the mark. JENN’S LOOK, ELIMINATED

Next up, with episode 2, the designers got crazy with prints! This week, the designers would take inspiration from the new film Cats! This would be a 2-day challenge, $250 budget, for each designer to create stylish, chic street style looks with a print. Everyone was ready to work, except Dayoung. She unfortunately fell ill and spent the entire first day on bedrest, unclear if she would make it back at all! She did decide to stay, but would be doing so with a full day behind everyone else. Sergio continued to throw some Christian shade, and Delvin completed his work early, yet again, actually hiding from Christian. Dayoung being behind was in an obvious struggle mode, but it was nice of her fellow designers to help out. NANCY’S LOOK

Celebrity stylist Marni Senofonte was back for this season, and was this week’s guest judge. Pictured above is Nancy’s look, once again, I say she was robbed for a top spot! These pilazzo style pants were very hip and I loved this shredded looking top. You could feel the texture in this look, and it was so chic and bold, a real bad ass girl!

But of the judges’ actual top 3, my winner would have been Delvin. This was such a great pop of color on this more overall muted runway. It felt really fresh, and very luxe. Victoria was also in the top, which I didn’t get at all, especially based on the feedback. This was supposed to be street style, but the judges even said “the club.” It was not a unanimous decision! One of the judges even referenced this look as a tennis uniform, which again, I ask how is that street?? Seeing later episodes, I think Victoria is a judges’ favorite for some reason, and I don’t get it or agree.

Marquise was named the winner, which I didn’t totally disagree with, but I still liked Delvin’s look better. Marquise’s look did well in mixing prints, and did feel like a fun, cool streetwear look.

Just like episode 1, the bottom was a little more obvious, but it was clear the eliminated designer was going to be Veronica. You could barely see her animal print. The look just fell flat.

Moving onto the next episode, all about really getting into the holiday spirit! The designers’ penthouse living room was transformed into a winter wonderland, full of holiday decorations, ornaments, ribbons and more. This was of course not a coincidence, as these items would be the materials for this challenge — so yes, unconventional materials challenge time! The task at hand, create a holiday look, the perfect party dress in this 2-day challenge. As the designers got to work, Nancy was not being the quietest in the workroom. If you ask me, big deal, I would take her actually working over someone just running around, being loud, and not working! Some Sergio on Siriano shade continued, Alan wanted to see boobs on the runway, and Shavi was dealing with shrunken berries. The clear drama of this episode was that while a few designers were really flourishing, many were floundering — such as Delvin not feeling unconventional materials aka Arts & Crafts as he calls it, Tyler being left with a short freakum’ dress, and Brittany who seemed to be in a constant state of tears.

Seeing all of the wintry sparkle in the workroom, I was ready for the runway. This week’s guest judge was actress Kiernan Shipka. From the safe group, I have to say Geoffrey had to have just missed being in the top. His dress was also made with wrapping paper, and I thought what he did was just as good, if not better than top named designer Sergio. But Dayoung was straight up robbed! Her look was so magical, very festive and such a stunning holiday look.

I definitely feel Marquise and Delvin were lucky to be safe. I felt there looks were not super innovative with the use of unconventional materials. In comparison, say Melanie using the corn husks, much more inventive and eye-catching. The judges named Sergio, Victoria and Shavi for the top, with Sergio as the winner. This was definitely not my top 3, but I guess of this top 3, Sergio’s look deserved the win. It had literal bells and whistles, and not in a bad way!

Victoria’s look had flare, but it wasn’t my personal fave. It only read holiday to me because of the cranberries. I just felt there were better looks. Same sentiment I felt with Sha’Vi. His look actually read super festive, but it just didn’t stand out to me. I think his model really sold the look though and that probably helped him in landing a top spot.

The bottom 3 was much more obvious, and wasn’t hard to guess, Tyler, Brittany, and Alan. Brittany didn’t do great, but has done better and I think the judges knew this was likely a random fluke. She can’t make excuses, but at least she had some form of concept in the top. I think you could tell in contrast, the judges were over Alan. He just hasn’t done anything super great in 3 episodes. I really think that was the only reason he went home over Tyler. I would have been good with either going, but Alan just maybe wasn’t ready for this competition. Too many ideas and he didn’t know what to do with them or how to execute them.

So going into episode 4, knowing Alan was constantly in the bottom, he went home, would that same fate happen to Tyler next? For this next challenge, it was all about the ultimate upcycle. Karlie’s fashion stylist, Karla Welch, would be a mentor for this task. Karlie needed a look for a CFDA event in Paris. The look needed to be original, wearable, and cool — An American in Paris. The twist this week, the fabric would be recycling materials of used clothes from Goodwill ($150 budget). Most of the designers were thrilled with this, well except Delvin & Victoria. And in comparison to all of the other challenges thus far, this would be a 1 day challenge! Also, no surprise as this was a challenge for Karlie, there were brand new models, Karlie lookalikes! DELVIN’S LOOK

There was a lot of focus on Tyler for this episode. Sergio was trying to give him some “training” or “help.” But was it really that? Tyler and Christian were butting heads a bit on his original sailor concept. It was interesting hearing the later Tyler commentary on everyone else’s looks as not being great, when his wasn’t great at all! Tyler aside, Victoria finished her look before Delvin and was elated. And Sha’Vi had a huge hole mishap at the last minute and not much time to correct it. BRITTANY’S LOOK

Actress Laverne Cox was this week’s guest judge. So who created transformative looks, giving new life to old clothing for this runway? I was very underwhelmed with this runway. There were too many suit type looks and then denim, which I am not a huge fan of, at least on this show. Delvin should have been in the top. This sequin lace top was stunning. I was also intrigued with Brittany’s look, maybe because it was a pop of color, maybe because it was very different than the rest, but for me, it certainly stood out.

The top 3 were Nancy, Chelsey, and Victoria (pictured above). I was okay of this top 3 with Victoria winning. It was chic, great details and was one of the better jacket looks. I just feel with Victoria, she is showing a lot of the same elements and silhouettes, and I don’t personally get the judges’ infatuation. Nancy’s look was also not my favorite of hers. But for the fact I feel she has been robbed in other challenges, I am glad she made the top.

As with every episode thus far, the bottom was abundantly obvious, Marquise, Sha’Vi , and Tyler. Sha’Vi had an unfortunate mistake and it hurt his look. He hit a snag and couldn’t recover. I felt he was deserving of a 2nd chance. Marquise has been flailing, but with Tyler being a repeat bottom contender, and not doing anything overly exciting here, he was eliminated. His look was tight, it didn’t feel innovative, there was no WOW factor. This was RTW, straight off the rack.

Cannes 2018, Part 1 — Best Dressed

The Festival de Cannes is always a major highlight in the movie realm, but it standouts with regard to fashion as well. There is always so much to fawn over, so here is my 1st Best Dressed list of faves!! This is from various red carpet premieres, the AMFAR gala, De Grisogono party, Fashion for Relief gala, photocalls, Kering Women in Motion Awards dinner, Positive Planet‘ charity gala and Chopard Secret party.

SUI HE

  • at the ‘Sorry Angel’ premiere
  • Styling by Min Ruir

2nd look —

FAN BINGBING
2nd Look

3rd Look

AISHWARYA RAI

2nd Look

3rd Look

PRAYA LUNDBERG

2nd Look

CATE BLANCHETT

2nd Look

3rd Look

  • backless, long-sleeved tiered rainbow gown by Givenchy
  • at the premiere of BlacKkKlansman

4th Look

  • a high-necked, lace Giorgio Armani gown that she also wore to the 2014 Golden Globes

5th Look

6th Look

VU NGOC ANH

2nd Look

  • Makeup & Hair Hoang Hien
  • Stylist —Lưu Tường
JESSICA SY

IZABEL GOULART

2ND LOOK

PARIS HILTON

2ND Look

3rd Look

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO

ANN ANDRES

NICOLE SCHERZINGER

2nd Look

HAILEY BALDWIN

  • wearing a sheer pink Roberto Cavalli Couture strapless gown featuring crystal fringe and glass beading
  • a diamond Chopard bracelet and earrings
  • Styling — Maeve Reilly

TALLIA STORM

LY NHA KY

HOFIT GOLAN

Most gowns provided by Vault Couture

STACY MARTIN

GUAN XIAO TONG

LUPITA NYONG’O

BELLA HADID

PENELOPE CRUZ

  • photocall — 355

ROMEE STRIJD

  • a 42-carat white diamond and sapphire snake necklace by de GRISOGONO
  • at the premiere of Everybody Knows (Todos Lo Saben)

NAOMI CAMPBELL

CELINA JADE

2nd Look

 

Met Gala 2018 — Best Dressed

This year’s exhibition theme is Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Here are my fave looks of the night!!

GIGI HADID

ARIANA GRANDE

KATE BOSWORTH

KELTIE KNIGHT

JENNIFER LOPEZ

NATASHA POLY

BLAKE LIVELY

STELLA MAXWELL

IRINA SHAYK

ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY

ANNA WINTOUR

POPPY DELEVINGNE

SCARLETT JOHANSSON

ANYA TAYLOR JOY

LETITIA WRIGHT

EMILIA CLARKE

CARA DELEVINGNE

SIENNA MILLER

  • a white top and champagne sequin skirt (both Louis Vuitton)
  • Jimmy Choo clutch and chain-link accessories, including a necklace and golden belt
  • two Fred Leighton star tiaras worn together

NICKI MINAJ

ALICIA QUARLES

LILY COLLINS

RITA ORA

  • black Prada gown with confetti-like embroidery, shimmering gloves, a yellow clutch and a custom “very heavy” crown
  • earrings by Lorraine Schwartz

Best Dressed — Coachella Plus

A couple of various red carpets, but mainly, this is about Coachella and all of the amazing festival fashion that was seen!

SARAH HYLAND

At the Costume Designer Guild Awards

EMERAUDE TOUBIA

At the HARPER’S BAZAAR X COSTUME DESIGNERS GUILD AWARDS DINNER

VANESSA HUDGENS

Coachella — a poolside event for her nail polish collaboration with Sinful Colors

  • Wearing a peachy Missoni maxi dress

EMMA ROBERTS

At The Hyde Away, hosted by Republic Records and SBE, presented by Hudson and BareMinerals

OLIVIA CULPO

Coachella —

House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve Goldie Crop ($158) and skirt; At the Revolve x Nicole Richie House of Harlow x Urban Decay Lunch

At Rachel Zoe’s ZOEasis Event

KATE BOSWORTH

Coachella — Dôen Yarrow Dress in Ditzy Floral ($250)

PARIS HILTON

Coachella; Rachel Zoe Suzette Lace Mini Dress; At The Zoe Report’s ZOEasis

EMILY RATAJKOWSKI

Coachella — LPA Tie Front Jumpsuit in Mixed Gingham ($198); At the #RevolveFestival Welcome Reception

MADISON PETTIS

Coachella — Revolve & House of Harlow event

JASMINE TOOKES

Jasmine Tookes — th a flowing maxi skirt and VS Wildflower Lace High-Neck Bra—plus a hat for the desert rays.

 

DEV WINDSOR

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO

WHITNEY PORT

STELLA MAXWELL

Wearing NastyGal

 

HAIM

All wearing Zimmermann

JASMINE SANDERS

Golden Barbie opts for a crochet Lovers and Friends set

JUSTINE SKYE

Justine Skye — The Day Club event for Three Olives

PARIS JACKSON

CHANEL WESTCOAST

 

 

2018 — Best Dressed Round-Up

Lots of red carpet events — iHeart Radio Music Awards, Olivier Awards, various premieres, and more! Here are some faves of the past few weeks!

TAYLOR LOUDERMAN

Mean Girls premiere

Theatre Forward Gala (on the right)

MASHA

ROWAN BLANCHARD

A Wrinkle In Time Premiere

at Miu Miu show in Paris for Fashion Week

HAILEY BALDWIN

LOTTIE MOSS

AMANDA STEELE

RITA ORA

Brit Awards

KAREN GILLAN

Avengers — Singapore premiere

Glasgow FilmFest

Tribeca Film Festival

SOPHIE HUNTER

Avengers premiere (on the left)

TALLIA STORM

Brit Awards

MARSAI MARTIN

Kids Choice Awards

Wrinkle In Time premiere

HELEN MIRREN

Oscars

SHANTEL VANSANTEN

Oscars 2018

CHRISTINE EVANGELISTA

MEGHAN TRAINOR

I Feel Pretty premiere

 

PARIS HILTON

DARBY STANCHFIELD

Oscars 2018

UCLA Sea of Change Gala

ASHLEY GREENE

BRITNEY SPEARS

Hollywood Beauty Awards

AMY NOBLE

Olivier Awards

JESSICA SWALE

Olivier Awards

ASHLEY PARK

Mean Girls opening

Theatre Forward Gala (on the left)

MAIA SHIBUTANI

Apex for Youth Gala

iHeart Radio Music Awards

LESLIE BIBB

Pre-Oscars

ISLA FISHER

DANIELLA MONET SHIMMERS

Kids Choice Awards

ALEXIS REN

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Event

NAVIA ROBINSON

At the Avengers premiere

BEBE REXHA

LESLIE MANN

Directors Guild

 

OLIVIA HOLT

Avengers Premiere

Family Equality Council’s Annual Impact Awards

SHAY MITCHELL

NYC Upfronts

MEL B.

America’s Got Talent season 13 premiere

PRAS — The Finale

It’s been a great season! But sadly, we are coming to a close on this standout season. We have our final 3, and as we learned at the end of the previous episode, the final 3 designers now had to create a 7-piece collection, again, making their mark in fashion history.

We started off with Day 3 of the 5-day challenge. The designers were excited to have some helpers over the next few final days. Helen was back to help Fabio, Candice for Anthony, and Amanda for Stanley. Plans were immediately made, figuring out what needed to be done and who was doing what. And of course, planning for the newly needed 7th look.

(Anthony Williams)

As the episode progressed, we got to see flashbacks and the journeys of the final 3. Stanley came in 3rd during his season. But with the not freshest ideas, he was not the winner. He has done far better on this season. Anthony didn’t make it far on either of his previous seasons and was left wondering had he learned enough for “third times a charm.” But he clearly has surpassed expectations. And finally with Fabio, he was recalling being cut right before the finale in his all-stars season. But again, such a different story with him on this go round.

Getting back to Day 3 of the work, Anne was also there for a visit. For Fabio, she focused on his color story, stating the need to infuse color. With Stanley, she questioned where was the standout piece(s), the drama. The colors were all so muted. And finally, with Anthony, she started off fully impressed. But as Anthony talked about painting, prints, ostrich feathers, etc., she worried about edits. All in all, she told 2 designers they need to amp up and one to reign it in some.

(Fabio)

By the end of Day 3, Fabio and Stanley were looking good on time, lots completed. Day 4 started off with the additional trip to Mood. Each designer was allocated an additional $250 for their budget. Model fittings had to be done. And we also saw Anthony scrapping lots of completed work. While he was tossing, the other 2 were making lists on final details. Anthony was clearly having time management issues, but Fabio and Stanley were able to take some time to themselves, have a nice quick dinner!

(Stanley — Shoutout for Umberto BH on the gorgeous ponytail here!)

It was soon enough the final day. Stanley had 1 look to do and some final finishings, hems, zippers, etc. Anthony was finally beginning his painting work, very Pollock-esque. Glad he scrapped the feathers too! The helpers left with 1 hour to complete the day. But luckily for them, as time wound down, they were able to enjoy a celebration with cake and champagne!

(Anthony — Love the Intermix heels here!)

The guest judges for the final runway were actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and designer Zac Posen. And with so much to see and discuss, the final critiques were done individually.

(Anthony)

I could not have been more pleased with Anthony being named as this season’s winner. I usually critique/recap winners first, but I will start with my least fave first, Fabio.

Fabio focused on the concept of time, merging the past, present and future. I loved his music — accordions! I still missed the bird top with his signature look, but I thought the yellow mixed in nicely with the creme and navy blue color palette. But with lots of oversized bottoms and long short looks, Fabio lost me. The judges raved over the jumpsuit, but I didn’t care for it. This was very RTW, but the drama was missing for a final runway. I also didn’t like the oversized sleeves. Too much repetition of silhouettes in that regard. The weaving on the white skirt was a pretty cool part of this collection. And the final printed look was a great ending, but more amp was needed throughout. I felt underwhelmed. I love that Fabio has a clear vision for his girl, but if you don’t fit that mold/aesthetic, this work is a hard sell.

Moving onto Stanley, a valiant effort, but I was not a fan from start to finish. His take was on a bold, modern, yet classic American woman. His vision read thru, but his collection read very heavy for me. On top of heavy fabrics, he made use of hard embellishments. I loved the embellishments, but not the fabric choices. The button look, the 1st look, I mean that was sublime. But starting off so strong, I never got back to that climactic point. The 2nd look, the mod mini-dress, it was super cute, but I agreed with the judges that it didn’t fit the best with the rest. The red look the judges loved, but I was not a huge fan. The nude/tan look would have been great if not in a suede fabric. And back to his final black and white look, still not my fave. I didn’t think his collection was super cohesive either. There were some great details, but I didn’t see everything come together. Zac was right in noting a regal quality to his work, very sharp. Stanley probably made the best overall quality of work, but even the judges seemed focus on only a few pieces.

But congrats again to the winner, Anthony, very well-deserved. I think he had the clearest vision, able to articulate well each time, if Audrey Hepburn had lived long enough to become Rihanna. I didn’t love the bodice on the 1st look, but loved the paint work. The polka dots on the 2nd look were super cute and chic. The 2-piece pants look was utterly amazing. The overlay piece, it was okay, very reminiscent of Kentaro. Probably a tie on my 2 least faves with that look and the next one in the black dress. I mean it was a great black dress, but I am thinking he knocked out something like this for the sake of time. The judges loved it. I thought the jumpsuit was a great way to use the print he chose more than once. And obviously seeing it in the final gown, that was just the best way to end his standout collection.

Anthony’s collection was maybe the least cohesive in some ways, I didn’t get the jump from the black/white pieces to that of the print. But I actually didn’t care. He showcased some amazing work here and I think he created the most pieces that the most women would want to wear. Fabio to the most extent, but even Stanley somewhat too, they have more limited client bases. Anthony designs for all! I get where the judges came from in questioning some of his fabric choices. And this print was definitely a hit or miss. Luckily most of the judges fount it to be a hit. But with his collection, there was just so much to discuss, so much to rave about. The eye could gravitate all over the place.

The judges had a hard time in deliberations. But the right decision was made. I felt like Isaac was saying if you want to show nod to the past, you would go with Stanley, for the future, it’s Fabio, but for the now it’s Anthony. In fashion, no one is looking backwards. And really, Fabio’s work is not that futuristic. I see work like his style all the time. HAPPY FOR THE WIN FOR ANTHONY!

 

PRAS — Nearing the End!

Almost the end time for Project Runway All-Stars and with that, the final 4 were off to this next challenge. The went to D.C., visiting the Smithsonian, house of over 3 million artifacts, all with national significance. I think deep down this final 4 thought all 4 would show for this “final” challenge, a 6-piece collection, making their own mark in American fashion history. However, the designers were surprised to learn that there would be one last “challenge in a challenge” to truly determine the finalists.

Of course first, what seemed to be a total waste of efforts, all 4 designers were of to Mood, but not just any Mood, the Mood warehouse, to shop thru Lord knows how many fabric options, with a $2000 budget. They learned this would be a 1-week challenge.Prior to shopping, the designers did their sketching at the Smithsonian, looking thru iconic pieces showcased there, using the past to make their mark in the future. Also completed in this day were all of the model castings. And again, this was all 4 designers, who finally landed back in the workroom, for the 1st day of work, doing lots of prep-work, drawing patterns, draping, organizing, etc.

But Day 2 hosted the big surprise, with Alyssa there 1st thing, toting the phrase “expect the unexpected.” The designers learned there would be an exclusive presentation before what they thought was the final runway. Each designer would showcase what they considered to be their signature look, a representation of their full collection. They would also receive input to steer work on their full collection. This left 1 day to finish, really for most, a full start on this look.

Anne came by later for her check-ins. She could feel the tension, feeling all the nerves. She reminded each designer to make certain they had a clear vision for their collection to best execute this one look being shown. So with a lot of work on day 1, certainly out the window for 1 designer, I am still amazed at another complete waste we found in this episode.

After the runway, the designers learned of another challenge, having nothing to do with this final 6-piece collection, just a fun surprise I am sure added for dramatic effect. I think a decision could have been made without this extra runway, but leave it to Project Runway to do all they could with drama.

The basics of this challenge was that the designers were shown to a backspace at their work studio, at Skylight Clarkson. As Skylight is the hottest venue to re-invent space, the designers learned they would be re-purposing fabric. Their were bins of all of the discarded fabrics from the eliminated designers this season. And another surprise, they only had 1 hour to work! We’ve seen this setup when judges can’t decide between 2 designers, but to make all 4 do this, REALLY?? With 2 runways, this was a lot to take in. Guest judges Dita Von Teese and Zanna Roberts Rossi had their work cut out for them! Lots of work in recapping too, so in critiquing each designer I will do both pieces at the same time.

SHOUT-OUT — Rodial & Umberto BH

I wasn’t in love with Stanley’s signature piece, but I didn’t hate it either. He did really create such a sexy look for the 2nd runway, it was clear he was making the final. He has excelled all season, so was certainly deserving of a final spot. Stanley’s signature take was on classic styles/icons, such as Jackie O. But with this black and white throwback piece, I was intrigued, but not in love.

It felt unfinished to me with the skirt, which I later read was intentional, but it took away from Stanley’s normal work quality in creating superb finishings. The bodice was gorgeous, very Blair Waldorf-esque, of which I am a huge fan. The collar was a little large, but good to know it was removable.

With his 2nd look, I really loved his use of mixed media. The color block effect was gorgeous! It was a very sexy look that I would rock any day. He was super quick thinking on his feet. The judges noted this look felt disjointed from Stanley’s normal repertoire of work, but it was still a top notch look nonetheless.

Fabio’s signature look, inspired by his grandma, was not fully received by the judges. They loved the skirt, but not so much the printed top, minus Isaac. I was actually the opposite. This top was super stunning in my opinion. The skirt was too long for me. Even with some critique for him, I still don’t think the judges were eliminating Fabio and they certainly loved his 2nd look even more.

I would have been fine had Fabio been eliminated and Ken got to show, but again, I knew the judges were keeping Fabio, especially after their gush-session on this 2nd look. I wasn’t a fan of Fabio in previous seasons, but I really liked his work this season. However, these 2 pieces were kind of a nod to the Fabio of old and the long shorts or skirts look, boy chic, very streetwear, just not my personal aesthetic.

Anthony and Ken seemed to be the final 2 for either chopping block. But having Anthony go would have been such a shame. His first look, conveying his take on if Audrey Hepburn had lived long enough to become Rihanna, was gorgeous in many ways, but not an A+ knockout situation. I loved the color. Royal blue is my favorite. But with the fabric choice, it read very heavy to me.

I did like his 1st look over the 2nd creation though. Asymmetry is not my favorite silhouette. The glam was there, as always. But again, I wished for a different fabric and color, but also the silhouette.

But with Anthony safe, this unfortunately did leave Ken out. I would have loved to see his entire collection. I wonder how it would have fared amongst the final 3. I hated he had to waste the initial efforts. But Ken did a great job this season. His final piece was based on a Harriet Tubman lace bow tie and handkerchief. But I think he got a little lost in the concept on this signature look. I liked the gold accents, but I was not sure about the sash/train.

And with his 2nd look, the judges loved it, but it was not a saving grace for him. It was a basic black dress. It just didn’t seem enough compared to what everyone else did. And with a unresolved, misguided 1st look, there was no saving Ken for this go-round.

PRAS & Candy Crush!

This would be a week of fun-filled, color excitement, right? Especially given that Candy Crush was involved! The actual runway may have not showcased all of the fun and color Candy Crush has to offer, but it was a standout showing nonethless! Nina Garcia was joining the ranks this week, initially along with Alyssa, to lay out all of the details.

Each designer would be assigned a Candy Crush land to gain inspiration in order to create a resortwear look. Narrative designer, Yonna Ingolf, was also along to further elaborate. She also announced the prize for the week in that the winning designer would be able to work with Candy Crush for a future fashion collaboration.

Each designer played one level and the highest scores got to pick their land inspiration first.This would a 1-day challenge with a $200 Mood budget. As the designers got going with this challenge, beginning their work process, it was clear they were all designing to that of a pants look, some in jumpsuit form, others a pant/short.

The designers welcomed back to the fold this week their regular mentor, Anne Fulenwider. She offered to be the Nina whisperer since she knows what she likes and what she doesn’t. At the end of her sessions, she reminded the designers that resort is a state of mind — the looks should not be too fussy!

Nina would of course be on the panel to judge, but along with her, as a guest judge, was Kelly Osbourne.The designers also found out they would be going to DC next week for their challenge. So who just missed that opportunity?!?

Ken one the chance to pick his inspirational Candy Crush land first, choosing Brulee Bay for a beach resortwear look. And choosing first gave him what he wanted, as well as this week’s win! I was in love with this gorgeous marigold, strapless jumpsuit. The color popped. It read high-end, fashionably chic. It fit with beach resortwear perfectly. The judges had a few comments, nitpicking if you ask me, but overall there were positives and he deserved the win!

Fabio actually was able to pick his inspiration land right after Ken and go figure, what a coincidence, he came in 2nd in the rankings. I support this top 2 ranking! Fabio had Taffy Tropics, for a tropical resortwear feel. I think he hit the mark spot on.. The colors were great, color-blocking being an excellent choice. This was not the most perfectly constructed look, but the vision was there and I would rock this look any day.

Rodial Makeup/Glam SHOUTOUT!!

Actually, the rankings this week all came in exactly how the designers picked their inspirations. Stanley was safe, having chose his land third, selecting Lemonade Lakeside for a lake resortwear piece. He went with a print dress over a pant. The judges were right in that this look had too much going on. And it read heavy as well, which doesn’t comport to resort in my eyes. But he did a phenomenal job on creating a well-polished look. The print he chose was kind of hit or miss, but he took risks and got the reward of being safe.

Umberto BH, Hair look, SHOUTOUT!!

Coming down to Anthony and Edmond in the bottom, I was worried that Anthony might get cut. I am so glad that did not happen and if it had, it would have been the incorrect decision. Anthony created a gorgeous white, short look for his Savannah Safari resortwear piece. Was it the best he has done all season — no. But it was well made, certainly wearable, and really just looked great. It had such an ease about it and was quite chic.

Intermix SHOUTOUT for these uber cute wedges!

This meant Edmond was out. Edmond did well last week, but has certainly not been the most memorable designer all season. And he really did not do justice in creating a look for Marshmallow Mountain with a resort piece. I do think it skimmed the line more on athleticwear than resortwear. The crotch area was an eyesore, so glad this was pointed out. All in all, it was just his time.

Next week is going to be impossible if one more is indeed cut — can’t wait to see!

PRAS Designers Face-Off

The designers were off to the Hard Rock Cafe in Time Square, to meet Alyssa, but this would not be any fun dining NYC experience! Along with Alyssa was the VP of Merchandise Development for Hard Rock, Kitsy Phillips.This week, the designers were tasked with a first for PRAS, to create a dazzling performance outfit for the stage. The performance-wear creation was not the only challenge though. Each designer would face-off against another within a given musical genre. The lower score of each pair would be at risk for elimination.

To figure out the pairings and genres, the designers were left to the fate of a Jukebox! The face-offs were —

  • Anthony versus Ken for Pop
  • Helen versus Fabio for Country
  • Stanley versus Edmond for Rock

Kitsy then announced that the winning designer would create a new hard rock T-shirt, which would be sold at select Hard Rock Cafes. Additionally, the designer would be whisked away, all expenses paid, for a trip to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun! Naturally, everyone was ready to go for this 1-day challenge, starting with spending their $250 budget at Mood.

Anne Fulenwider was still away, so taking her place this week as guest mentor was designer Rebecca Minkoff. She did a fantastic job. She pointed out to the designers about making sure their looks were recognizable within their given genre. She also wanted to make sure each designer created a look that stood out.

Joining the judges this week was model Olivia Culpo. And now onto the runway to see who survived their face-off!?!

Overall, I loved this runway. I thought each pair really provided amazing looks. I had a hard time selecting my faves. The weakest pair was Helen and Fabio though. And although Edmond has not done very well this season, I did really love his look this week, and happy for his win so close to the end here.

Shout-outs All-Around — Rodial glam, Umberto BH for the wavy locks, killer black booties from Intermix

His look screamed Rock! A little cliche perhaps, but compared to Stanley, it fit the Rock mold very well. The leggings he made were cool and the vest was a great touch. He didn’t rest on his laurels, really pushing himself, creating a lot for his overall look.

Shout-Out — Umberto BH on the straight locks

Stanley lost out in the face-off, actually landing in the bottom 2, but was safe at the end of it all. His look wasn’t all that bad, it was just a little too polished for Rock. I liked the print he created, but it needed more edge.

Next up was Anthony and Ken. This was a hard choice!! I loved both, but if I had to choose, I would have gone with Anthony. His choice of royal blue is personally one of my favorite colors. His fringe work was amazing. There was a great deal of mixed media, so much to catch the eye.

The judges went with Ken for the top look of this pair, but both really did a standout job here. His sheer jumpsuit was stunning! The judges seemed to disagree about the coat and I sided on not liking it so much myself. I don’t think it was needed to make the look better.

Shout-out — Another standout hair look from Umberto BH

And finally, there is Fabio versus Helen. I don’t think either particularly did a great job for the country music genre. I didn’t love Helen’s look, but I think she was closer to the mark than Fabio on a performance look. I actually liked Fabio’s romper creation, but it didn’t fit the challenge. I could not see the judges getting rid of Fabio though, so sadly, it was Helen who was out this week.

Shout-outs — Umberto BH for all of the curls; Intermix for the sexy strappy heels

With Fabio’s look, my main issue, besides that it didn’t read country, was that I don’t think it was enough for a stage or performance look. And then with Helen, her silhouette was great, but the full on black sequin concept didn’t work. Had she made use of a print or design to put with the black, or maybe having used another color, it could have worked with more of an impact. But the solid black was not the right direction to go!