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Episode 4: Tavi Tells It Like it Is

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Welcome to Week Four of Project Runway All Stars, where it's time for the first ever interactive challenge in Project Runway history. Mentor Joanna Coles informs the designers that fans of the show have tweeted thousands of photos to inspire them. She then has each designer pick one of the photos to use as the inspiration for their runway look of the week. The designers are even further inspired when they learn that USA Today will run a profile of the winning designer, which will be seen by hotel guests across the nation.

For the second week in a row there are no huge crises in the work room. This means that once again, the producers spend too much time letting us know how unlikeable Laura Kathleen is. In case you've forgotten during the past seven days, she's insensitive, insulting, and brags too much about her privileged background. Note to Laura Kathleen: When for two weeks in a row, your competitors try to warn you that you need to be nicer to your fellow designers, and when one of those advisers is Season Ten's abusive, rage-aholic Joshua—you should probably take heed.


Our Judges: Tavi, Dad, Mom, Wacky Aunt Carolyn and Quiet Older Sis Charlotte
This week, joining "beautiful" Georgina and "famous" Isaac in the judging chairs are two guest judges. The first, designer Charlotte Ronson, turns out to be somewhat of a non-entity. Her comments are bland and unmemorable.

Our second guest judge, however, makes more of an impact. It's 16-year-old blogger Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Magazine. No stranger to pissing off the fashion establishment, Tavi was spot-on accurate and very outspoken in her critiques. Unlike many Project Runway guest judges, Tavi was brave and didn't temper her opinion in fear that the audience might not like her—possibly because she knows some of the audience already doesn't like her. Whatever the case, we thought she was one of the better Runway guest judges and hope the producers will bring her back.


Anthony Ryan's Design
Our winner this week is Anthony Ryan. Inspired by a photo of grill work, which somehow reminds him of surviving his battle with cancer, Anthony Ryan creates a bold blue, black, and white cut-away dress. It's slightly reminiscent of a Hervé Léger bandage dress and extremely reminiscent—in both color and design—of a look Anthony Ryan sent down the runway earlier this season. Not surprisingly, as this is only the season's fourth episode, the judges haven't forgotten that earlier dress. Despite this, Georgina loves the look's graphic elements, and the judges all like the fact that although the dress shows a lot of skin in the back, it manages not to be too sexual.


Laura Kathleen's Design
In second place is Laura Kathleen, who was inspired by a photo of water rippling, because she relates to its vulnerability. Yes, Laura Kathleen sees herself as very vulnerable—it's not easy having people dislike you for being so rich and talented. Perhaps she'd feel more love if she'd stop making comments like, "I'm not trying to make clothing for the farmers of America. I'm trying to make clothing that are fashion forward and progressive."

The judges are initially impressed that Laura Kathleen dyed her own fabric. Tavi particularly likes the way its pattern "catches the mood of the photo without directly referencing it." But then, during their discussions, the judges realize that they were more impressed hearing about the creation of the dress than by the actual dress itself.


Emilio's Design
Coming in third, is Emilio with a giant upside-down flower of a dress, with a daffodil yellow top and a billowing asymmetrical gray skirt, which is lined with more daffodil. It's very playful and fun, like the photo of the little girl Sophie that inspired it. Fortunately, Joanna talks Emilo out of giving his dress the title "Sophie's Choice," which conveys a slightly different message than "playful" in its relationship to children.

The judges like the spirit of Emilio's dress, although Charlotte points out that it would be difficult to wear. Carolyn responds to this with, "I'd look like a Chinese lantern in that thing." Carolyn's comment is particularly amusing because she says it while wearing a dress that makes her look somewhat like a space alien on a crusade.


Carolyn In Her Space Alien Crusader Dress

Which brings us to this week's three bottom dwellers...


Althea and Kanga look for Roo
Third from the bottom is Althea, who decides to set herself apart from her fellow designers by making a pantsuit. Unfortunately, her inspiration—a photo of a gorgeous and architectural train station—is a considerably more gorgeous and architectural than her pantsuit.

She chooses a fabric in an unflattering shade of taupe and uses it to create a well-cut jacket and a pair of horribly draped pants. Although Tavi says she's a "drop crotch apologist," Isaac compares the draping front pouch of the pants to a "wound" and Carolyn says it look like, "A mommy kangaroo and something was going to jump out of the pouch." Sadly, Althea's pants probably wouldn't be a flattering look on a female of any species, even a marsupial. Despite the horror of her pants, Althea is safe because her design and construction are still miles better than the work of the bottom two designers.


Joshua's Life Preserver Of Many Colors
If Althea fabric choice is too dull, then Joshua's fabrics are too bright and distracting. The designer, who comes in second from the bottom, creates a multicolor, ill-fitting vest. Worse yet, he pairs it with a light blue silk asymmetrically hemmed skirt, which doesn't match it in fabric, color, or style. It's truly the worst look of the week.

Georgina describes Joshua's design as "too schizophrenic," while Tavi pontificates: "It's hard for me to imagine the two pieces working together, but it's also hard for me to imagine them working with other parts of someone's wardrobe." Much to our surprise, an obviously angry Joshua does not attempt to strangle Tavi.


Andrae's Design
Sadly, in last place and leaving the show, is Andrae, who now sports glasses which make him look like a cross between Harry Potter and Iris Apfel. Andrae creates a dress of bright color-blocked panels that the wearer can zip into any color configuration they want—kind of like "a Tinker Toy set." Georgina says that Andrae's combination of stiff zippers and stretchy fabrics make the dress buckle in unflattering ways on his model. Meanwhile, Andrae pouts enough that he manages to get Isaac to apologize for never understanding his vision. Probably not the best move when someone holds your reality-show life in their hands. And so after repeated visits to the bottom three, Andrae is bid a sad farewell by Carolyn.

Andrae, we like your spirit and we will miss you. And if you ever decide to bring Santino's Season Two fantasy to life, and go to dinner at Red Lobster with Tim Gunn—please invite us, or at the very least, film it.

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