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Project Runway All-Stars 2: The Business of Fashion

Last week, on Project Runway, the designers had to craft looks inspired by the 1920’s.  They also took part in a fashion face-off, in which each pair of designers had to make a look for a specific social function.  Anthony Ryan won and Laura was sent home.

The following morning finds the remaining five designers walking along Fifth Avenue.  They stop at Elie Tahari, where Carolyn meets them.    Carolyn introduces the designers to Elie Tahari himself.  Together, they explain the challenge:  Make a ready-to-wear look.  It will be sold on retail, which means the materials have to fall within a given budget in order for the store to make any kind of profit.  The designers will have access to everything on the Elie Tahari fabric floor.  The look has to have a wow factor and be similar to garments Elie Tahari would sell.  The winning designer’s look will be sold both at the Elie Tahari stores and on the website.  The profits would go to Save the Garment Center.

The designers then sketch.  Uli decides to make a dress and vest combo, while Ivy decides on a dress.  On the fabric floor, Anthony Ryan decides to make a dress, and Uli decides not to use fringe or feathers in her look.  Ivy chooses a print with a sunset pattern on it.  Emilio picks mustard silk, while Joshua opts for magenta stretch fabric.

As they have to stay within a certain price range, the designers have to consult with one of Elie’s employees in the cutting room.  She okays Emilio and Ivy’s choices, but Uli has to drop her vest in order to stay within the budget.  Joshua has enough money left over to get magenta lace to go with his fabric.

Back at Parson’s, Ivy decides on a maxi-length dress, so she won’t have to cut up her beloved print.  Uli had gotten white fabric.  Looking around, she sees everybody else has gotten colors and promptly suffers  a bout of buyer’s remorse.  She realizes she needs a way to make her dress stand out from all the others.  Emilio is working on a color-blocked mustard and orange dress.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds.  She’s brought Elie with her, and he actually dispenses most of the advice this episode.  Ivy shows off her print, and Elie recommends making the dress shorter.  It looks a bit heavy now, but a shorter version could work as a summer frock.  As for Joshua’s look, Elie thinks the lace and exposed zipper are a bit much.

Joanna thinks Emilio’s color choices are interesting, but Elie doesn’t like the color-blocking.  He also thinks Uli’s dress looks too heavy, and she confesses her nervousness about sending down a plain white dress.  Elie gives her a pep talk, telling her to let go of her fear and to stop second-guessing herself.  Joanna likes Anthony Ryan’s print.  Elie gives Anthony Ryan a little talk about how you appreciate things more when you fight for them.

After Joanna and Eli leave, Emilio decides to dispense with the color-blocking.  Elie is the client, after all, and he said he didn’t like the color-blocking.  So Emilio will make a mustard dress with burgundy trim.

Anthony Ryan takes a few minutes to talk to his lover on a video chat.  Later, Ivy uses video chat to talk with Casanova, who encourages her to keep fighting.  He lost, but she still has a chance.

The models come in for their fitting.  Anthony Ryan is pleased to find that his dress mostly fits; it just needs minor adjustments to be perfect.  Ivy decides to leave her dress long, as she can’t bear to cut her beloved print.  Uli finds her dress is much too big, and she have to take it in, big time.

That night, Emilio tells the other designers what he knows about Elie’s background.  He was born in Israel and had emigrated to the United States about 40 years ago.  He was homeless for a time, but eventually found work as an electrician.  Eventually, he switched to fashion design.

The next morning, the designers get back to work.  The models come in for their final fitting, hair and make-up.  During this, Joshua discovers a major problem:  His exposed zipper is making his fabric buckle, so the dress looks ill-fitting and messy in back.  He doesn’t have time to fix it.

On the runway, Carolyn mentions that the designers’ dresses would retail for somewhere between $500.00 and $700.00.  She then introduces the guest judges, Elie Tahari and Stacy Keibler, an actress.

Anthony Ryan made a sleeveless black, blue, and white mini-dress.  He used a print with vertical stripes.  For a change of pace, he did not do anything to the back.  No exposed zipper, no cut-outs.  Smart move, because he’d sent down a lot of dresses with details in the back, that often exposed a good part of the model’s back.  Sooner or later, he’d have gotten dinged for repeating himself.

Joshua made a sleeveless magenta mini-dress.  The top part sags, so it almost looks as if the model has a third breast.  Even worse is the exposed zipper in the back which is pulling on the fabric, causing it to pucker horribly.

Emilio made a mustard gold dress with burgundy trim.  It’s sleeveless and knee-length.

Ivy made a long dress out of a blue, orange, gray, and black print.  The top part looks like a tank top, and it has slits going up the sides.

Uli made a sleeveless white dress out of a woven fabric.  She decorated the collar and shoulders with a very short fringe.

Afterwards, the designers have to face the judges, who start with Uli.  She tells them she was drawn to the white material.  Georgina likes the detailing on the shoulders, since it drew attention to the model’s face.  Isaac likes the length of the dress.  Carolyn loves it and Stacy calls it classy.  Elie says, “You used the fringe in the right way.”

Ivy says she fell in love with the print.  Carolyn likes the color blocking, but not the slits.  Georgina thinks the length of the dress makes it look frumpy.  Eli thinks the black at the bottom makes the model look heavy.

Emilio says that he liked the luxurious feel of the silk he’d used.  Stacy calls it beautiful and Elis likes the neckline.  Isaac thinks it’s a nice dress, but says he expects more from Emilio.  The judges also note that the mustard gold is a difficult color to wear.  (They’re right; you need dark skin to pull it off.  But Emilio’s model is black, so it makes sense he’d choose colors that look good on her.)

Next up is Anthony Ryan.  Isaac likes the mix of prints, but not the neckline.  Stacy loves the dress and Georgina thinks it looks youthful.  Elie thinks the dress looks easy to wear adds, “I was impressed.”

Joshua tells the judges that he wanted to use lace in his look.  Georgina loves the color, but says the profile of his design looks as if the model’s breasts were sagging to her waist.  “Nobody wants droopy breasts,” she adds.  Isaac also likes the fabric used and the lace, but dislikes the fit, the length, and the zipper.  Elie also likes the fabric, but dislikes the lace.  Carolyn thinks the zipper cheapens the look.

The judges then have their chat.  Uli made a versatile and elegant dress, and Anthony Ryan made a youthful dress that looks easy to wear.  Emilio’s dress was sellable, but not great.  Ivy had a good idea, but relied too heavily on her fabric.  Consequently, she produced a “blah” design.  Joshua had made the horrible mistake of using a zipper with a stretch fabric.

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Anthony Ryan and Uli had the high scores, and Anthony Ryan is the winner.  Ului and Emilio are safe, leaving Joshua and Ivy in the bottom two.  Ivy is out, so Joshua is in.

Next week:  The designers work with female veterans from the good ship Intrepid.