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Welcome to Week Two of Project Runway All Stars. For this week's challenge, the designers must each pick a Nine West platform shoe and create a Seventies disco-inspired party dress to go with it. The winner's design will appear in a Nine West advertisement. Since none of the designers except for Wendy are old enough to remember the Seventies, this challenge truly is a challenge for many of them. It's particularly difficult for Uli, who explains, "I grew up behind the Iron Curtain so I think my disco was different than everyone else's." We wonder what state sanctioned disco was like.
The designers work on their gowns without drama. We're fear we won't have much to write about, and the producers are obviously similarly concerned, because all of a sudden, a disco ball appears at Parsons. The designers then participate in a disco dance so awkward that it causes the Seventies to say, "I want my music back." But the Seventies don't bother asking for their clothing back, since most of the designers' garments look like they came from the Eighties. Doesn't anyone take fashion history classes in design school?
Awkward Disco Dancing At Parsons
Next, to fill up even more screen time, the designers receive a letter from Carolyn telling them, "I was on a photo shoot today with one of my favorite designers." They then watch a video made specifically for them by Karl Lagerfeld. In it, Karl says something useless and somewhat unintelligible, which we think is:
The Perfect Runway All Stars design fashion. It's all about being creative. Take your fashion very seriously. To be a successful designer you must have a ponytail. Otherwise you will fail. Good luck.
Okay, he may not have said the ponytail and fail part. But it doesn't matter what he said, because the designers are all too busy screaming in excitement over the video to really hear him. Yes, they scream at the screen. We too are watching Karl on our screen, but do not feel as compelled to yell.
Joining Georgina, Isaac and Carolyn is our guest judge, noted purse designer and Creative Director of Nine West Handbags, Rafé Totengco. We're not sure why Project Runway All Stars has a handbag designer as guest judge, when the challenge is focused on shoes. We assume Rafé's has some great insights to share. Instead, he turns out to be a Project Runway fan boy, going so far as to criticize Andrae for his emotional behavior back on his original season. All those actress guest judges are starting to look a little better.
Our winner this week is Uli, with a white dress which looks futuristic, Native American and a bit ice queen. Despite Joanna's critique that Uli's dress came from, "A time during the Seventies when I was asleep," the judges all love the look. Even Georgina's concerns that they might like it because it's not Seventies enough, doesn't keep Uli from getting the win.
In Second place is Ivy, with a green and gold shift, whose skirt bottom is sheer and shows underlying hot pants. Despite Isaac's criticism that she didn't embellish the back of the top, the judges still like it. Of course the only reason that Ivy even got a chance to finish embellishing the front of the top is because her real life assistant, and Project Runway All Stars competitor, Casanova helped her. If only all Project Runway contestants could have their own assistants on the show, imagine how much better their garments would be.
If Casanova hadn't helped Ivy, he would have come in Second place instead of Third. But considering how poorly he did on his original season, Casanova should be thrilled with another top three finish. Casanova's fuchsia satin blouson top, with the spider webbing back, is striking. Even Joanna loves it, which is surprising, since it's almost impossible to wear a bra under it—one of her big pet peeves from the last All Stars' season.
Third from the bottom is Kayne, with a gold sequin top with striped bell bottoms, an outfit which actually does look Seventies. Kayne initially worries that he hasn't bought enough fabric to line the stripes up on his slacks, but he does a good enough job at it, that he impresses Georgina with his technique. Unfortunately Georgina also says that there is nothing intriguing about his design and Carolyn says his top looks, "Boring" and "So cheap."
Joining the bottom three again, and this time in second to last place is Andrae. Although the judges like his styling, as well as his top and skirt, they are appalled by his sheer organza jacket. They think it looks too much like his design from last week. He probably wouldn't have finished in the bottom three if he had just listened to the advice of former Disco Queen, Joanna, who said that during all of her many visits to discos, she never saw someone wearing a coat. Andrae, take a note: Coats don't really lend themselves well to dancing.
Coming in at the bottom this week is Wendy Pepper with a tacky looking pants ensemble, which causes Carolyn to ask, "Are we in Spanish Harlem?" We'll give a less culturally offensive critique and say that while Wendy's design looks a bit more Seventies than some of her competitors, it does look cheap, mall-like and—to quote the judges new favorite criticism—"Too junior."
So yes, Ding Dong the witch is dead—and by that we don't mean that Wendy was "aufe'd," although obviously she was, but rather, this woman, the villain of the first season of Project Runway, whom all the subsequent All Star villains were worried about competing against, does an about face. Although she says she came onto the show to take no prisoners, Wendy actually ends up bonding with her fellow designers, particularly Suede, who says her loss made, "Blue Suede." We can only guess that Wendy enjoys hearing someone talk about himself in the third person a lot more than we do.
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