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Project Runway All-Stars 2: Disco Designers

Last week on Project Runway: All-Stars 2, thirteen designers returned to New York City seeking the prize that had eluded them the first time around:  victory.  These returnees quickly had to prove their mettle in a team challenge.  Each designer had to make an outfit that would be a part of a cohesive mini-collection.  Anthony Ryan won and Peach was sent home.

The following morning, the designers go to the Nine West Shoeroom, where they are surrounded by shoes.  Lots and lots of fancy shoes.  There they are introduced to Stefani Greenfield, the Chief Creative Officer of the Jones Group.  She issues this week’s challenge:  Make a party outfit inspired by disco.  Wendy is delighted to hear this.  She had actually lived through the disco era and thus believes she has an advantage over the younger designers.

To help the designers get into the mood for the challenge, Stefani shows them a bunch of colorful shoes.  Many of them are platform shoes and others have heels made of cork.  Most have colors that could just about make one’s eyes bleed:  silver, magenta, turquoise, etc.  Each designer will get a pair and their outfit will, of course, have to go with the shoes.  As the winner of the previous challenge, Anthony Ryan gets first pick.

After making their choices, the designers are then given the traditional thirty minutes to sketch.  They also learn that there’s a prize on the line:  The winning designer’s outfit will be featured in Nine West’s fall ad campaign.  As they sketch, Andrae decides to make skinny pants and a voluminous coat, while Casanova considers a spider-web look.  Later on, at Mood, Ivy buys emerald green fabric for a jump suit, while Wendy looks for silver chains.  Uli picks out white fabric, as she believes that a white dress will stand out against a sea of colorful outfits.  The designers have to stay within a $200.00 budget.

The designers then quickly get to work, since they have only a day to complete the challenge.  Wendy and Suede do take some time to get to know each other, and Laura notices their growing friendship.  Kayne works on a bronze outfit, and he regrets getting chevron-striped fabric for his pants as he realizes the judges will eat him alive if the stripes don’t match up perfectly along the seams.  Making sure they match will, of course, eat up precious time.

Suede tells us that he was in the bottom last week and thus vows to do better.  He plans to take the judges’ advice to heart.  Wendy notices that Suede is wearing chains and decides to incorporate that in her look.  I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea as Suede’s dress sense seems to be inspired more by punk than by disco.  Casanova is working on a magenta dress and worries that it will be too simple.  He needs to think of a way to spice it up.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds and she starts with Kayne, who says his look is inspired by Donna Summer.  Joanna isn’t impressed by Uli’s white dress.  She thinks Ivy’s look may be a little plain, and Ivy responds that her idea had been to “make the shoe the leading lady.”  Joanna is baffled by Andrae’s decision to make an organza coat, and she declares that she’s never seen a coat in a disco.  She calls Wendy’s look “Halloweeny” and tells Emilio that the 70’s were the “decade that taste forgot.”  Finally, she stops by Casanova, who tells her that he’s making something a woman can comfortably dance in, since that’s what people used to do at discos.  She seems pleased with his thinking.

Afterwards, the models come in for their fitting, and Andrae realizes that he’s behind again.  After the models leave, Kayne suggests a disco dance-off.  Somebody thoughtfully provided a disco ball and Wendy and Joshua dance under it.  Back at the hotel, the designers find a letter from Carolyn urging them to play a video.  It turns out to be a message from the designer Karl Lagerfeld.  He wishes them luck and the designers treat themselves to some champagne.

The next morning, it’s the day of the runway show so the designers get back to work.  Andrae has trouble with his organza and he’s worried he won’t finish in time.  The models come in for their final fitting, and then go to hair and make-up.  Wendy asks a hair stylist to give her model a “Bianca Jagger look.”  Ivy gets Casanova to help her add some embellishments to her look, which prompts Anthony Ryan to cry foul.  Since it’s All-Stars, he doesn’t think people should be helping each other.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judge, Rafe Totengo, the creative director for Nine West handbags.  Then it’s time to start the show.

Emilio made a draped sleeveless chartreuse dress with a very long skirt.  The top is a halter with wide raspberry-colored straps, and Emilio added a sash of the same color.  He used pale gold sandals.

Wendy made skinny black pants with a snakeskin pattern on them and paired them with a black, white and red halter-top.  The halter-top is held in place and trimmed by a silver chain with large round links.  Two lengths of the chain are also attached to the left side of the pants.  Wendy used back and white sandals.

Anthony Ryan made a sparkly black and gold shoulderless mini-dress.  He paired it with black sandals that have cork platforms.  Casanova made a hot pink mini-dress with long sleeves but bare shoulders.  He cut out a “spider-web” design in the back.  His shoes were silver sandals with extremely high heels.  Suede made a sleeveless draped gown out of a sparkly gold fabric.  He used red sandals.

Andrae made a purple skirt and a sleeveless magenta top.  He added a purple jacket with billowing sleeves that was made of some gauzy, see-through material.  He used black and red sandals.

Ivy made an emerald green sleeveless dress with a see-through skirt plus dark hot pants.  She used gold fabric for the shoulders and decorated the front with beads.  Her shoes were high-heeled sparkly gold sandals.

Uli made a sleeveless white mini-dress out of a sequined fabric.  It’s decorated with black and tan embroidered geometric patterns and boast white fringe.  It’s paired with a set of yellow sandals.

Joshua made a turquoise jumpsuit that matched his sandals.  Laura made a sleeveless striped cream and gray jumpsuit with billowing pants.  She added a sparkling gold jacket.  She had tan sandals.

Althea made what looks like a basic red mini-skirt that’s been paired with a snug, sleeveless top apparently made of strips of magenta fabric.  She also used brown high-heeled sandals.    Kayne made billowing tan pants with a chevron pattern and a bronze sequined halter top.  His shoes were red platform shoes.

After the show, Carolyn calls Anthony Ryan, Emilio, Althea, Kathleen, Joshua, and Suede.  They are all safe, and it’s the other six who will have to face the judges.  They start with Ivy, who had wanted to do a modern take on the 70’s jumpsuit.  Georgina loves it and Carolyn likes the colors.  Isaac wishes she had embellished the back as well as the front.

Wendy’s look prompts Carolyn to ask, “Are we in Spanish Harlem?” Rafe thinks the look has too much going on, with the chains and the print shirt.  Isaac thinks it looks “theme park,” which is presumably another way of saying it looks like a costume.  The judges agree that it looks too junior and too much like an outfit that could be found at a mall.

Kayne’s look reminds Isaac of J.Lo, and when Kayne starts to thank him, Isaac responds, “It wasn’t a compliment.”  Georgina is impressed with how well he’d lined up the chevron stripes on his palazzo pants.  Carolyn likes the silhouette of his look, but dismisses the top as “boring” and “cheap.”

Uli tells the judges she wanted a fun, flirty, but not slutty look.  Georgina says that she was smart to choose a simple shape, given the time constraints.  Doing so let her create a polished look.  The judges also think the dress looks futuristic and somewhat Native American.  Georgina worries it might not be 70’s enough.  (With both fringe and an apparent Native American influence?  Is she kidding?)

Casanova wanted to make something that a woman could comfortably dance in.  This apparently helped him reign in some of his tackier impulses as he noted a dancing woman doesn’t want to worry about certain body parts being exposed.  Isaac thinks the dress is sexy.  Georgina loves the color but wished he’d made it a tad longer.  The judges applaud the “spider-web” detail in the back.

Last up is Andrae, and the judges don’t like his jacket at all.  They’re annoyed because they think it’s too similar to last week’s design.  His top and skirt are okay, and Georgina  likes his styling.

Afterwards, the judges chat.  Both Uli and Ivy made great dresses.  Casanova chose a great color, but his dress is similar to what can be found in a mall.  As for the designers they didn’t like, Kayne had done a good job with his pants, but his top looked cheap.  Wendy and Andreae’s looks were… “interesting.”

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Casanova is safe and Uli is the winner.  Ivy and Kayne are both safe, leaving Andrae and Wendy in the bottom.  Andrae is in and Wendy is out, much to Suede’s distress.