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Project Runway All-Stars, Jan. 26 – The Ultimate in Fast Fashion

Last week on Project Runway:  All-Stars, the designers had to make a cocktail dress for a very demanding client:  Miss Piggy, who needed something flamboyant to wear while promoting her latest movie.  (Yes, The Muppets has come and gone, but All-Stars was inexplicably bumped from its original summer slot to make way for Project Accessory.)  Michael won and Gordana was sent home.

Back at their apartment, the other designers congratulate Michael on his win.  He’s pleased of course, but he tells us that he still feels the pressure.

At the runway, Angela tells the designers she wants a “tasteful” look.  Specifically, she wants something inspired by gelato flavors.  As the winner, Michael gets both first pick of the flavors and the power to choose who comes after him.  He picks grapefruit, and is somewhat disappointed to see it’s pale pink, for he’d been hoping for ruby grapefruit.  He then asks Mondo to make his selection, and he chooses cantaloupe.  Mila chooses milk and sour cherries, while April picks blueberry.    Jerrell picks something called “Fruits of the Forests,” while Kenley selects passionfruit.  Austin picks Vanilla Madagascar, and Anthony picks green tea.  Rami chooses kiwi, leaving Kara with chocolate and cayenne pepper.  The designers get a colored swatch of cloth to go with their gelato.

Angela then introduces this week’s guest judge, Dianne von Furstenberg, who drops the bomb:  The designers have only six hours to complete their look.  That’s from the time they start sketching to the time they actually send a model down the runway.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I hate this type of challenge.  Ridiculous time crunches like this force the designers to take shortcuts and/or stay within their comfort zone.  They don’t encourage innovation or creativity.

After leaving the runway, the designers hurry to their workroom and begin sketching.  Michael designs a long-sleeved dress, while Kenley, unsurprisingly, decides to play itself and draws a sleeveless dress.  The producers do throw the designers a small bone and set up a “Mini-Mood” in the lounge area, so the designers don’t have to make their usual trek to the real Mood.  There we get the expected shots of people frantically grabbing fabric.  April can’t find any black jersey and realizes she’s going to have to rethink her idea.  Afterwards, Mondo frets aloud that he might not have bought enough fabric.

The designers then get to work.  Michael tells us that he’s had clients who wanted something in forty-five minutes, so he’s used to extreme time crunches.  April is using blue and purple, since she’s making something inspired by blueberry gelato.  Mila tells us she wants to “show a softer side” and is using red and white fabric.  She also tells us that while she’s made leggings in six hours, she’s never made a whole outfit in that time  Michael quickly runs into a problem, as he’s mismeasured his fabric, so one side is much shorter than the other.  Whoops.  Austin gets frustrated and simply runs out of the room.

Joanna comes in, bringing refreshments for the designers.  Not surprisingly, she’s brought them more gelato.  She starts with Kara, who tells her she wants to do a design that both emphasizes the model’s silhouette and “embodies the flavor.”  April plans to stick with what she’s comfortable with, and Joanna asks how she can have a “fashion moment” while doing that.  April points to the color, and Joanna then points out that April is covering the blue with a darker sheer.  Rami notices that April’s hem is uneven.

Mondo and Joanna discuss how to accessorize his dress.  Joanna shows Mondo how different belts can change the design’s look.  Anthony shows Joanna his look and is confident in it.  Austin shows Joanna a white dress and Joanna warns him about it looking too “bridal.”  Joanna notices that Rami is making a wrap skirt and asks if he’s doing so to “kiss up to” von Furstenberg, the “queen of the wrap dress.”  Rami says he’s making one because of the time constraints.  Upon seeing Mila’s red and white dress, Joanna says it’s very literal and urges her to be fabulous.

Joanna notes that Michael is probably the envy of the other designers given his speed-sewing.  She asks him what his secret is, and he answers that he learned to sew when he was ten years old.  (He’s now 28.)  She advises him to make sure his color stands out.  Afterwards, Joanna sends in the models for their fitting.

Austin decides on a shortcut that he considers shameful:  using a gluegun instead of sewing.  April finds that her dress is too short for her model.  Even worse, she doesn’t have enough material left to properly lengthen it.

The models come back for their final fitting, hair and makeup.  April tells us that she usually makes her own accessories.  Today, because of time constraints, she’ll use something from the accessory wall.

On the runway, Angela introduces the guest judges Diane von Furstenberg and model Miranda Kerr.  She then tells the designers that Miranda will wear the winning look to an industry event.

Mondo is up first and he sends down an orange caftan with a plunging back and long billowing, light green sleeves trimmed with ivory.  The caftan’s sides are also green and ivory.  Anthony made a yellow skirt and a sleeveless green top with pleats going every which way.

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