Project Runway All-Stars 2: Wearable Art

Last week on Project Runway, the designers had to make disco-inspired outfits that complemented party shoes made by Nine West.  Uli won and Wendy was sent home.

The following morning, the designers meet Carolyn at a graffiti-covered warehouse that is home to the world’s largest collection of legal graffiti, which is also known as “aerosol art.”  This week’s challenge is to make a look that is “wearable art,” which could either be worn or displayed.  It is, in essence, a new version of the textile challenge.  Instead of using a computer, though, they will use seven yards of white fabric and a crate full of spray paint to make their own patterns.  They will have two hours to work on their patterns.  Three top “aerosol artists,” Meres One, Sen2, and Zimad, will teach the designers various techniques for using spray paint.

Kayne and some of the other designers do indeed ask about the aerosol artists’ techniques.  Ivy decides on a look inspired by female superheroes.  Laura decides to use purple and yellow in her look– and notes that Althea has decided on the same color combination.  She immediately assumes that Althea is copying her.  Um, not necessarily.  Two garments that happen to be the same color can look totally different in terms of style, silhouette, etc.  Ivy decides to repay Casanova for his help during the last challenge and help him with this one.

Then it’s off to Mood, where the designers have 15 minutes and $50.00 to spend.  I’m presuming that most of them buy neutral fabrics or items like buttons and zippers.  Then it’s time to go home, since they need to let their painted fabrics dry before they can use them.

The following morning, the designers get to work.  Emilio notices that his fabric is stiffer than it had been and therefore decides to make a piece reminiscent of a denim jacket.

At lunch, Kayne and Ivy gossip about Laura, who they both agree is annoying.  Laura overhears them, and is not happy.  Kayne then tells her that she needs to watch how she talks to people, as she can offend them.

Joanna comes in to make her rounds and starts with Althea, who is making a purple and yellow dress that looks similar to the one she’s wearing.  Emilio tells Joanna about the drip technique one of the artists taught him.  Joanna advises Kayne to ask himself if his dress is hideous or fabulous.  She tells him there’s a surprisingly fine line between the two– and his look could go either way.

Anthony Ryan shows off a white dress with black and turquoise stripes.  He tells Joanna he wanted to do a graphic look.  She asks him about accessories and he shows her a pair of turquoise shoes, and she approves.  Uli tells Joanna that she saw the Berlin Wall come down when she was a teen-ager– and the Berlin Wall was covered with graffiti.  She’s using it as her inspiration.

Suede tells Joanna that he’s inspired by the earth, sky, and stars, which explains the yellow and green discs he’s putting all over his dress.  Laura’s dress has an asymmetrical hem, and Joanna cautions her to make sure the judges don’t take it for a mistake.  Ivy has painted words all over her garment.  She’s inspired by comicbooks and the sound effects, like POW!, that are often used in them.

Then the models come in for their fitting and Uli is delighted to find that her dress fits perfectly.  Andrae, on the other hand, discovers his gown is much too long.  On that note, it’s time for everybody to go home.

The next morning the designers get back to work.  Andrae and Suede both note they still have a lot to do.  Anthony Ryan tells us that Ivy could be a threat.  The models come in for their final fitting and then go to hair and make-up.

On the runway, Carolyn introduces the guest judges, Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, who are both fashion designers.

Andrae made a green skirt decorated with a purple and yellow pattern.  He then made a sleeveless top that is white in the front, but matches the skirt in the back.  He also made a sash partly out of the skirt’s material and partly out of purple tulle.  Uli made a sleeveless mini-dress with exaggerated, pointed shoulders.  It is orange and purple.

Kayne made a black halter-top and paired it with a floor-length, multi-colored skirt.  It seems to consist of different colored panels that were sewn together.  Strips of black cloth act as dividers.  One wide piece of black cloth divides the top portion of the skirt from the bottom portion.  It also pulls the top part snugly over the model’s hips, while making the bottom flare out.  In the process, it also makes the model’s hips look bigger than they probably are.

Laura made a sleeveless purple and yellow mini-dress with a hem that is even in the back, but rises in the front.  Anthony Ryan made a sleeveless white mini-dress that he decorated with short black and blue bands.  His look also has a cut-out in the back.  Casanova made a yoked, backless dress.  The front is divided into quarters and each quarter has a different color or pattern on it.

Emilio made a skirt and jacket combo that looks more inspired by fire than graffiti, as both pieces are yellow, orange, red, and black.  He also made a red bustier and a skinny yellow belt.  The nod to graffiti apparently comes in his use of bold, bright colors.

Suede made a black and white tulle skirt that he then decorated with green and yellow discs.  He also made a black, sleeveless, one-shoulder top that he covered with green and yellow discs.  The top makes it look like the model rolled in candy that somehow stuck to her.

Althea made a black and white sleeveless mini-dress.  She decorated the white parts with a purple and yellow giraffe pattern.

Ivy made a jacket and skirt combo.  The jacket is yellow, orange, and white, with words like “passionate” and “tenacity” spray-painted in black.  The jacket is also cut very short in the back, exposing part of the model’s back.  The top portion of the skirt is made of the same material as the jacket, and has the same color scheme, while the bottom half is made from a white, translucent fabric.

Joshua apparently used every color he had.  He made a skirt with black, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red stripes.  His sleeveless top is black white, yellow, purple, and orange.

Carolyn calls Ivy, Emilio, Suede, Anthony Ryan, Kayne, and Laura.  They have to face the judges, while the others are all safe.

The judges start with Anthony Ryan, who wanted to do a graphic look.  Georgina praises the proportions, and she also thinks the dress itself is cute.  Robert likes the shape, but Jeffrey thinks it’s a little young looking.  It’s also not something he’d put in a gallery.

Laura was inspired by some of the techniques the aerosol artists taught her.  Georgina thinks the design looks like two dresses.  She also would have preferred a longer skirt, as the current short skirt cheapens the look.  She does like the top, which she deems elegant.  Robert would have also preferred a longer dress, and Jeffrey dislikes the odd hem.

Suede wanted to make something feminine.  Georgina praises his desire to do so, but doesn’t think the outfit is all that wearable.  None of the judges like the green and yellow discs he put all over his outfit.

Emilio took his inspiration from rap music, which is often linked with aerosol art.  Carolyn loves the dress and wants to wear it.  Georgina praises the silhouette and proportions, but thinks the belt should have been wider.  Robert also dislikes the belt, but Isaac likes the red top.

Ivy talks about her superhero idea.  Georgina thinks the look is modern, while Isaac likes the cut-out in the back.  He doesn’t like the word “tenacity” on the jacket, as he thinks it’s too on the nose.  Jeffrey thinks it’s a great play on a suit, but thinks the bottom part of the skirt would have looked better in red or orange.

Last up is Kayne, who wanted to create pop-art in an evening gown.  Isaac thinks the look is dramatic, but also thinks there’s a disconnect between the black top and the wildly colored skirt.  Jeffrey notes that the black stripe across the skirt makes the model look bigger than she is.  Georgina thinks the skirt is too busy.

Afterwards, the judges have their chat.  Anthony Ryan’s look has great proportions and seems effortless.  Emilio’s look is chic and boasts a fantastic silhouette.  Ivy made a good jacket.

As for the designers they didn’t like, Laura Kathleen’s look had an odd hem and wasn’t all that reminiscent of graffiti.  Kayne’s look was tacky and made the model’s hips look bigger than they are.  Suede’s look was confusing, with all those discs.

Carolyn then announces the judges’ decision.  Ivy is safe, and Emilio is the winner.  Anthony and Laura are in, leaving Kayne and Suede in the bottom.  Suede is out, so Kayne is still in.

Next week:  There’s an “interactive” challenge with a computer.

Top Chef: Seattle – Premiere – Don’t Let That Omelet Intimidate You

Welcome back to Top Chef – assuming you didn’t get your fix from Masters, which just ended about a month ago. But anyway, it’s not like Bravo lets this series breathe or anything. So we are back – with Top Chef: Original Recipe, Season 10. While the season will be in the Pacific Northwest, we are not going there this week for the premiere. Instead, as with Season 9, we will have Top Chef: The Trials first. Instead of 29 chefs gathering in one location to cook in shifts for judgment, with some landing “on the bubble,” this year there are 21 chefs divided into groups of four and spread out among Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and Atlanta.

It seems our four regular judges this season – Tom, Monobrow, Emeril and Wolfgang Puck – are putting the potential chefs through a test in order to weed out the better chefs. I said this last year, I like the drama that comes with these trials, but it just seems like a waste of chef talent for future seasons, and kind of mean to these poor aspiring chefs. However, that’s what we have, and these four tasks were a lot of fun.

Three of the four gave the chefs a basic task in order to see what they could do with it – a salad, an omelet and soup. Meanwhile, Tom was more interested in makeup. He put his group to work in his restaurant in order to see how they perform under pressure. While the other three tasks were good, Tom’s was really creative. I loved his idea. They structured the show around Tom’s task – starting there, and then sprinkling the drama there throughout the episode, before closing with Tom’s decisions. I’ll get to Tom’s task last and start with the more traditional glorified Quickfires.

Viva Las Emeril At Emeril’s Table 10 restaurant, we meet the five chefs, who are given the task of making soup in an hour. Emeril says soups are simple, but involve creative seasoning, with depth and passion.

Josh Valentine – He’s got a handlebar moustache and a full beard, and resembles a 1920s silent film villain.

Jeffrey Jew – Yep, he’s gay. His last name is also Jew. I can imagine he’s led an interesting life.

Stephanie Cmar – Very cute. Awesome last name. And a jaunty ponytail. I love the jaunty ponytail.

Tina Barbeau – Heretofore known as Marge Simpson thanks to her hairdo.

Kristen KishYowza. Um. She pretty. She and Ponytail are also buddies. And close buddies. So close that they work together, live in the same building and got matching spoon tattoos. Ponytail dismisses the immediate lesbian rumors. Kish is a former model – and yeah. I believe her completely.

The five scramble to make their soups. Marge is going for a heartier soup as she sees the others going for purees. JJ is trying to make a gazpacho, but Emeril is skeptical that he could chill it enough in one hour. He puts the soup in a shallow pan and shoves it in the freezer, and prays. Old Timey Villain has a pregnant wife at home, and should he make the cut he will ensure that he will miss his daughter’s birth. That’s one understanding wife he’s got.
Ponytail – Cauliflower Soup with Corn, Lobster and Pea Tendril – Emeril wanted more cauliflower flavor.

Marge – Shellfish and Chorizo Soup with Croutons and Garlic Mayonnaise – Emeril comments on the garlic, but the delicate shellfish was not overpowered.

Kish – English Pea Broth, Lemon Peel, Apple and Seared Scallop – She explains how she poached it three times to kill the bitterness. He thinks the scallop was perfect.

JJ – Chilled Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho, Peppers and Ceviche – Emeril loved the presentation, and it showed great depth. JJ is Chef #1

OTV – Roasted Corn and Coconut Soup with Mussels – He’s never made this dish before; he wants to push it. Emeril found it sweet and was waiting for the chili flavor.

Emeril tells the roommates that only one of them has made the cut – ouch. Ponytail gets the boot, and she feels like shit, but is happy for her buddy. That makes Kish Chef #2. In fact, her soup was one of the best Emeril has had in a while. Also joining Ponytail in elimination…Marge. Two hairstyles down. That makes OTV Chef #3