All Stars Begin!
I was very naive the first time I auditioned and competed on Project Runway. I had no idea how it all worked: the grueling long hours and lack of sleep, a camera in my grill every waking hour, being sequestered and having no contact with my family, and the bad craft services food. When the opportunity came up to do Project Runway a second time, I politely refused. Not only was I not interested in putting myself through it all again, I couldn’t burden my husband again with singlehandedly caring for our brood of boys while I ran off to fashion boot camp.
As I sat down to watch this first episode of Project Runway All Stars, I was a bit worried that I would be filled with regret, but it turns out I am completely at peace with my decision not to be there and instead be a passive (but opinionated) viewer.
Normally this early in the game I don’t know the contestant’s names and I refer to them by their distinguishing characteristics, like their tattoos, where they come from or their hair color. This time around, I actually know, and have met, most of them.
Some I am happy to see again, like Austin, Mondo, and Rami. Austin’s work may not be cutting edge but it’s classically feminine, fabulously constructed, and always a delight to see. I loved the dress he brought; the neckline was genius, though his unconventional version looked a bit too plastic. Mondo’s bold use of print and color always impress me, though he chose to open with black. I didn’t like his challenge dress as well as the judges did, but I have no doubt he will enthrall us all this season. And if his fashions aren’t enough, his own outfits will entertain us all. Rami’s manipulation of fabric is stunning and I am excited to see more. It was unfortunate that he competed in a season with so many talented designers because he clearly has the stuff to be a Project Runway winner. He was the clear winner of this challenge.
Some contestants I could have lived happily the rest of my life without them ever darkening my TV screen; like Kenley, Anthony, and strange spitting hippy girl Elisa. Based on the horrid blue prom number that Kenley brought from home, she wont be around too long. The shade of blue and the neckline were completely unsophisticated and I swear the white puffy stuff coming out of the bottom looked exactly like the loofas she bought at the dollar store. Anthony’s challenge dress was actually quite successful. I liked the texture of the detail he created with the safety pins, but he tends to walk on the tacky side so I don’t predict a long tenure for him this season. As for hippy girl, thank god she was sent home so we can move on from the producers trying to make good television with wacky personalities and get down to fashion.
Most of the other contestants I was never really impressed with the first time around so I’m not really sure why they are back.
I am also pleasantly surprised by the change in the judging cast. Angela Lindval did a great job as host. I love the fact that she didn’t try to be Heidi, like the disastrous Molly Sims in the accessory version. She seemed relaxed and self assured which is not an easy feat. Heidi Klum is a tough act to follow and the only way to succeed is not to try and imitate. I need to see a bit more of Isaac and Georgina to know how I feel about them as judges, but so far so good. I loved the guest judge, Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus; his critique was smart and constructive. I pray the future guest judges are fashion insiders with real knowledge instead of a bunch of I-don’t-know-fashion-but-I-know-what-I like actresses. I never would have though that Project Runway cold work without Tim Gunn in the workroom, but I have to admit, the small amount of Joanna Coles I saw, I really liked.
I have so been looking forward to this Project Runway All Star season. I found the last round of regular Project Runway to be painful to watch; the episodes were too long (thank god its back to an hour) and the contestant personalities were too obnoxious. But most of all, I was disappointed by the fashion. I can put up with a lot of reality television nonsense if you give me a good runway show in the end. Because this All Star season was shot during the summer and was already being edited, I had heard through the grapevine that the designers really bring it and the fashion is spectacular. So lets watch this season together.
Tune in on Friday mornings to see what I thought and let me know in the comment section your thoughts, if you agree, or disagree. I read every single one.
"Project Runway All Stars" airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime. Watch full epsiodes online for free.