Last night on Project Runway All Stars, the designers had to create a dress inspired by one of six flags. They met Angela Lindvall at the United Nations, and then lazed on the grass to get inspired. We were already doubtful about the runway, because it (it = our attention span) is not long enough for a parade of primary colors.
Mondo Guerra went with Jamaica’s flag, for a perfectly logical reason: “because of the colors.” Michael Costello chose Greece’s flag for a less strategic reason: “because I’m Greek.” And then there was Austin Scarlett, who baffilingly chose the flag of Seychelles “because I love tongue twisters.” Mila Hermanovski chose the flag of Papua New Guinea because it looked like she designed it, Jerell Scott chose India, and that left Kenley Collins with Chile.
The designers were given the Cliffs Notes on their respective countries, and Austin tells us that he doesn’t really know anything about Seychelles, and he also chose it for the opportunity to learn. We hope it mentioned that was the honeymoon spot of Kate Middleton and Prince William!
Since trips to Mood have been pretty pointless without the possibility of Tim Gunn chasing Swatch the dog, we’ll just skip over that.
After the first break, Austin explains that the challenge is to create a garment inspired by the flag and culture of a country. We don’t remember culture being part of the directions, but that might have made things more interesting! He is beginning to regret claiming his worktable in the state of Seychelles, due to the flag’s array of colors: blue, yellow, red, white and green. He thought he could solve the problem at Mood by purchasing chiffons in… blue, yellow, red, white and green. He ends up focusing on just the blue and yellow and tries to incorporate the other colors in the model’s hair, as a belt, etc., but it falls flat. These are colors only a flag or Denise Huxtable can wear. He also hopes that the judges aren’t too picky about “sort of the draping.” By that we think he means the construction of the gown, which at this point is just a ridiculous thing to say.
Michael tells us he doesn’t like Austin’s dress, but we don’t like his, either: a white draped gown with a big ol’ blue sparkly bow on the shoulder. Everyone thinks it looks too pageant, but that bow makes it look like it won first place at a county fair dress designing competition, if they have those. Joanna Coles rants and raves about not being able to wear a bra with the dress. Has she never seen a backless dress?
Jerell was fairing slightly better with his cool black bustier dress with gold embellishments, but then he weaved in a nonsensical piece of dark green chiffon (we think) and styled his model to look like a Bollywood dancer in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Kenley is making a party dress, and Joanna asks her how long she thinks she can get away with making the same thing. Just like she did with our beloved Tim Gunn, Kenley pretends to not know what Joanna is talking about. That said, her dress is looking like the most wearable in the room, and we love the asymmetrical ruffle detail on the skirt.
In the After the Runway show (whoa, when did that start?), Jerell called Mila’s dress “an angry box of French fries”), but we kind of liked it… the asymmetry –a short black side and a long red side—was dramatic and interesting. We didn’t even mind the thin yellow stripe along the red side, which she only put it there to incorporate all the colors from the flag (ahem, Austin), and it didn’t look hastily thrown on (ahem, Michael).
Mondo is making a perfectly fit black gown with a surprise panel of green and yellow cutwork in the back. We like.
The runway critique was odd. It wasn’t until the judges were alone that we were sure of who landed where. In the end, the top included Mondo and Kenley, which makes sense, and Michael, which does not. The bottom included Austin, which makes sense, and Jerell and Mila, because at this point if you’re not in the top, you’re in the bottom.
WINNER: Mondo (makes sense)
OUT: Mila (nonsense)
It’s pretty obvious that Austin is getting by on his reputation. Mila’s dress wasn’t our favorite but she didn’t deserve to go home. We would have sent Austin or Michael home first.
What do you think, Runwayers? Any predictions for who is next to go?