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Project Runway All-Stars 2: For the Veterans

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make ready-to-wear clothing “with a wow factor” for Elie Tahari.  Anthony Ryan won and Ivy was sent home.

The next morning, the final four designers meet Carolyn on the deck of the Intrepid, a national historic landmark.  She then introduces them to some “special guests”:  female veterans.  The designers will be designing outfits for the veterans for a special event.  The designers will have a $150.00 budget.  They will also have thirty minutes to talk with their assigned veteran.

Joshua is assigned to Captain Leslie Smith of the U.S. Army, who has a prosthetic leg and a service dog.  She lost the leg while stationed in Bosnia.  She had suffered a blood clot and the doctors had to amputate in order to save her life.  She’s going to a military event honoring veterans and would like a pretty, short dress.  She likes leopard print, which makes Josh’s day.

Anthony Ryan is working with Captain Donna Barrios of the Air Force, who is celebrating her 40th birthday.  She wants a long strapless dress and describes herself as “a boob hider.”  In other words, she wants something that will de-emphasize her breasts.  Given that she’s got the largest breasts of the group, that could be a problem.

Emilio gets Petty Officer First Class Lisa Dalhouse of the Navy SEALs.  She’s going to a friend’s bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  Her favorite color is yellow, and she wants a short dress.

Uli’s veteran is Corporal Jessica Lord of the Marines.  She’s going to a friend’s wedding and wants a long dress similar to what Uli herself is wearing.  Her favorite color is purple.

Then it’s off to Mood, where Emilio tracks down some yellow fabric.  Joshua finds some leopard print that he deems to be “too graphic,” so he buys some green dye in order to tone it down.  (For a one-day challenge?  Is he nuts?)  Uli can’t find any purple fabric she likes, so she gets some black and white print instead.  Anthony Ryan picks out some ombre fabric.  It’s dark gray at one end and shades down to a lighter gray.

At Parson’s, the designers get to work.  Anthony Ryan comments that his client has the largest chest.  Josh test dyes his print and asks Anthony Ryan for advice.  Huh?  The competition’s almost over, dude.  He shouldn’t be helping you.  Emilio informs us that his client does not want a lot of glitter on her dress.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds and starts with Anthony Ryan.  She advises him to consider a one-shoulder or strap for support.  Joanna notes that Uli is making a dress similar to the one she’s wearing, and Uli tells her that her client had asked her to do so.  Joanna likes Emilio’s short yellow dress, but wonders whether he can pull it off, since he’s used to making red carpet looks.  She comments that Josh seems to “have the wind beneath his wings.”  He tells her that he had a brother who had served in Afghanistan, so this challenge means a lot to him.

Afterwards, Anthony Ryan picks out some royal blue shoes to go with his outfit– and answers Josh’s questions about dying.  The models come in for their fitting and Emilio finds that the top portion of his dress doesn’t fit.  Anthony Ryan discovers that his client is a lot chestier than the mannequin he’s used.  Since Joshua is waiting for his dyed fabric to dye, he only has part of his skirt finished.  Later, at the apartment, Anthony Ryan notes that his competitors had all placed second in their seasons, a fact he finds interesting– and intimidating.  (He’d placed seventh in his.)

On the day of the runway show, the designers get back to work.  Emilio is frantically working on a new bodice for his look.  Anthony Ryan is trying to think up ways to draw in the waist of his dress, which currently looks like a sack.  The veterans come in for their final fitting, and then go to hair and make-up.  Jessica and Leslie tell Uli and Joshua how much they like their dresses.  Joshua has even made a little sweater for Jessica’s dog.  Emilio has whipped up a bandeau top for his look.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judges, actress Katie Holmes and designer Carmen Marc Valvo.

Uli is up first.  She made a sleeveless, black, white, and gray dress.  The thin stripes form a chevron on the front.  The dress is floor-length in the back, but knee-length in the front.  Black straps double as decorations.

Emilio made a short, lemon yellow dress with a bandeau top that exposes a lot of the back.

Anthony Ryan made a long gray ombre dress that is dark up top, but shades almost to white at the bottom.  It is held in place by a set of wide white straps.  There is a slit up the skirt, which is very loose and billowing, and makes his veteran look heavy.  Worse, the color contrast between the dark gray top and the lighter skirt calls attention to the part of the body that Donna wanted hidden.

Josh is last and he made a little black dress with undyed leopard print at the hem of the skirt.  The dress has short sleeves and a v-neck collar.  Josh also made a black and white leopard print sweater for the service dog.

Afterwards, the judges talk to the designers.  Carolyn tells them that they will be judged on how well they worked with the veterans as well as the dresses themselves.  The judges then start with Josh.  Katie says the dress looks comfortable.  Carmen asks if Leslie had wanted the dress to be short enough to show her prosthesis, and she answers, “Yes, I’m proud of my service and my survival story.”  Isaac, perhaps jokingly, says the dog, which is also named Isaac, needed a more glamorous sweater.

Next up is Emilio.  Katie loves the color, but Georgina dislikes the bodice.  Isaac doesn’t like the bodice, either.  Carolyn loves the overall design.

Then it’s Uli’s turn.  Carolyn loves the back, and Georgina praises the hemline.  Isaac likes the dress, but dings the embellishment just under the collar, saying it looks like a last-minute addition.  Uli admits it is. Carmen loves the fit.

Last up is Anthony Ryan.  Carolyn thinks it’s lovely, but that Donna seemed “hidden.”  Donna says that was what she had wanted.  She had been in an accident and the resultant inactivity had caused her to gain weight.  She therefore wanted a look that would hide the weight.  Georgina would have also liked to see more of Donna’s body.  Isaac says the dress is not particularly flattering, but still feels fresh and young.

The judges then have their chat.  Josh had actually made something elegant.  Uli had also done a good job, marred only by a poor choice of embellishment.  The proportions of Anthony Ryan’s dress were off, and Emilio’s looks “homemade.”

Carolyn then calls the designers back to hear the judges’ decision.  She asks Katie to announce the winner:  Joshua.  Uli is also safe, leaving Emilio and Anthony Ryan in the bottom two.  They turn out to be safe as well.  Nobody’s going home this week.

Next week:  The designers go to Paris and face a couture challenge