Saturday, February 27, 2016

Project Runway All Stars Season 5 Episode 3

One of Alyssa's looks this week didn't make me shake my head. Not this one.

She's wearing a Hefty bag, or at least a dress made from a shiny, garbage bag-like material. Maybe it's leather, but maybe it's not. She brings out four other people to join her on the runway, two male and two female. They are Little Big Town, country music performers who have apparently won four Country Music Awards, a Grammy, and an Emmy--a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song, which puts them in the same category as Sesame Street (only Sesame Street is more entertaining, IMHO). In any case, the band has one fuzzy-headed blonde and one straight-haired brunette, plus two dudes that we don't really care about for this challenge. The blonde and brunette are opposites, see? Not really, both are about the same height, weight, and age. But the brunette, Karen, is apparently more rock and roll. I guess that makes the blonde more country, even though, you know, um, they're both country singers.

Because the girls are so vastly different, like Donny and Marie, the challenge posed to the designers is to create red carpet looks that represent a dichotomy. Oh, and they have to do it in pairs, which of course is a whole 'nother challenge unto itself. Right away Ken is bitching about not wanting to work in teams. Yeah, yeah, we know - you're not here to make friends. Gotcha.

Sam won last week's challenge, so he's tasked with matching everyone up. He chooses Kini for himself, because, as he so succinctly phrases it, "I'm not stupid." Kini is the best seamster in the group, and he works fast. Plus, he's not a bitch, so if Sam needs help, Kini is there to assist. Sam also pairs Asha and Alexander, Layanna and Emily, Ken and Dom, Valerie and Stella. Daniel and Mitchell are left (why they are even still around at all is a mystery), so they are stuck with each other, much to Mitch's chagrin. Each pair gets $600 to spend at Mood between them, which seems generous.

In the workroom, Daniel is trying to school Mitchell, who, admittedly, needs some help. But Daniel isn't exactly the best role model for Project Runway contestants. Grumpy Mitchell needs to get some air, otherwise he'll have a hissy fit meltdown right there on the spot. Daniel's not exactly wrong, is he? Even Zanna agrees with him when he says he plans to help Mitch with editing his look.

Not only are Daniel and Mitchell not getting along, neither are Stella and Valerie. According to Sam--whose method of pairing involved picking designers whose personalities were different--Valerie is bubblegum and Stella is tar. Not so much opposites, as both are pretty difficult to scrape off the bottom of one's shoe.

He also says Layanna is "super couture" and Emily is more street. But how are the others so opposite? Ken is bitchy and Dom is nice? I suppose Asha and Alexander's opposition occurs in the obvious female/male, straight/gay, and black/white categories. They do have a similarity: neither are particularly strong in the eyebrow department, but at least Asha has them.

Meanwhile, Sam and Kini are pretty satisfied with their designs until Zanna tells them she's worried. Sam's seems sort of current, but Kini's is from the 90s. They are such different looks, and not in a good way. Kini's solution is to feminize Sam's top by adding a tulle tornado of an overblouse. He's worried that if Sam's look isn't up to snuff, they'll be on the bottom, so he also takes charge of Sam's pants, as Sam doesn't seem to know how to finish them. Kini puts in the zipper and hook-and-eye closures and makes sure the side seams are aligned properly and the waistband is fixed. But Kini doesn't seem to do anything to make his own gown less "90's" and more now, which might become an issue later.

Valerie introduces Stella's look to Zanna by saying her girl "would cut someone if they got in the way." Stella takes umbrage.

Zanna thinks Val's look might come from a bridal store, while Stella's would be from an S&M shop. Stella once again disagrees. She seems very touchy this season. And why on earth did she buy black vinyl tablecloth fabric for her dress? Was she inspired by Alyssa's opening look?

Over on the other side of the room, we hear not a word from Dom and Ken, who seem to be getting along just fine. Ken offers up the opinion that Mitchell's girl looks like she got caught in some 80-year-old's trash. I have to agree.

The next day, as the designers are attempting to get things finished, Stella and Valerie skirmish over the proper way to make a belt. Val is being helpful, and Stella is just abrasive. I had always felt that she was completely loveable, despite her spiky-ness, but something has changed in the years since her last appearance on Project Runway. She also doesn't seem to like when Valerie takes control over the girls at the Hair Club for Women and Obscure Make-up Line Studios, where she tells the makeup and hair people that hers is Grace Kelly but Stella's is Joan Crawford. Of course, Stella may be thinking of Crazy Eyebrows, Crazy Lips Joan, whereas Valerie was probably just thinking of a good contrast for Grace Kelly.

After all the models go through hair and makeup and designers ransack the Christian Siriano for Payless Shoes and Heidi Klum Plagiarized Jewelry Collections, the models are sent down the runway.

Alyssa, wearing something black once again, looks pretty decent this time. Her outfit is generic, but at least it's not cray-cray.

Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman have jettisoned the male members of Little Big Town and are sitting in judgement along with Iconic Fashion Designer Isaac Mizrahi and Mrs Weinstein.

Daniel and Mitchell's dichotomy is pleasure and pain. But there is only gross discomfort present on the runway. Daniel's model is showing underboob, sideboob, and everything else. Presumably his look is pain, however, Mitchell's old lady nightgown hurts my eyeballs.

They are predictably on the bottom, along with Stella and Valerie. Valerie's look is actually great, and Stella's would be, too, had she not used that hideous fabric. Perhaps if it had been less cooch-tastic and if she had lined the inside of the skirt, it would have worked better.

Personally, I think Emily and Layana should have been on the bottom. Layana's dress had this weird puckering thing going on around her model's ass, and Emily's pants were awful. Stella's dress, while the fabric was terrible, was nicely made. And certainly she and Valerie's theme of Naughty and Nice worked better than Emily and Layana's Bride and Groom (are they really opposites?)

On top are Asha and Alexander, Sam and Kini.

Alyssa says that Sam's look is possibly her favorite look of all the challenges in the three years that she has been hosting All Stars, although she doesn't think it's red carpet appropriate. Kini is doing a slow burn.

Nobody says that Kini's looks like it came out of the 90s, but they note that it's not exactly flattering when not in motion.

Asha and Alexander not only did the whole opposites theme right--Light and Dark--but they styled their models to look similar to the girls from Little Big Town. I think the big bushy curls on Asha's model, mirroring those of Kimberly Schlapman, probably helped work some subliminal magic on the judges.

The Tops are sent back offstage and the Bottoms are brought out to talk about their ugly rags. It's pretty obvious that nobody really hates Stella's and Valerie's looks, so nobody will be going home from that team. And then they get to Daniel and Mitchell.

Mitchell makes Daniel talk about the looks first, saying that they were his idea. Daniel, who is clueless that he's being gently nudged toward the oncoming large multi-passenger motor vehicle, says his look is edgy and would be great on the red carpet. The female judges look slightly uncomfortable at the thought of showing off their knickers. Isaac says there is "something objectifying about it, and not in a good way." As if objectifying something can ever be done in a good way.

I just love Isaac's expression here.
Georgina defends Daniel's look, saying she loved the lines of the top, and had the skirt been lined to the ground, it would have been "sophisticated and elegant." They agree that the leather lace fabric he used is quite nice.

And then they get to Mitchell. It seems to me that Alyssa and Georgina are tiptoeing around him with compliments; they say things like "great ideas, incredibly creative," and "an artist." Isaac says his mind "is full of light, as opposed to darkness." It's a bit placating. If you look at his portfolio on the Lifetime site, there are just some short dresses in a stretchy material. Nothing particularly creative about any of them. Dunno. But the dress he made for this challenge is simply awful. The shiny pink skirt fabric looks cheap, there doesn't seem to be any real design behind the overskirt (done in another shade of pink that doesn't seem to go), and the feathers attached to the print fabric on the bodice just seem a bit crazy.

But Daniel is out.  Because his look was "disrespectful" and showed too much skin. Tell these ladies.

I think the producers had total control of the result of this contest. They may even have been feeding lines to the judges. Daniel is boring, but Mitchell brings the drama. Who would they rather keep on board?

Asha and Alexander are the winners, which of course they did completely deserve (although I thought Alexander's look was just slightly underwhelming) and their looks will be worn at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards. Probably altered and over-styled, but we'll see.

Posted by theminx on
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