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Episode 6: A Green Dress for the Red Carpet

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It's Week Six of Project Runway All Stars and things kick off with Carolyn greeting the designers on The Highline—an outdoor park built on an abandoned elevated train track in Manhattan.The designers learn that in honor of The Highline, for this week's challenge they must create a "green" red carpet dress. The designers must immediately each pick their fabrics from a small number of swatches of environmentally friendly eco-tech fabrics, some of which would be considered too drab for a dust rag.

After introducing the challenge, Carolyn informs the designers that the she will wear the winning dress on a Red Carpet. A momentary deafening silence is heard while the designers try to figure out what Red Carpet event Carolyn will ever be invited to. They then clap and cheer with the forced glee of a group of people who have just been given black socks for Christmas.

Unlike this season's previous challenges, all the designers are overwhelmed this week. The All Stars complain about their time limit, the workability of the fabrics and the fact that some of them have no red carpet dress designing experience. Referring to last week's initially unpopular challenge, Uli says, "Androgyny seems like a walk in the park now," and then attempts to channel last week, by incorporating her leftover feathers into her new design. The judges consider this "recycling."


Our Judges
Joining the "Beautiful "Georgina and the "Famous" Isaac in the judging chairs this week, is one of The Highline's biggest supporters, designer Diane von Furstenberg. Carolyn describes the judges as "Three of the most environmentally conscious designers working in fashion, which makes us wonder when Marchesa started making gowns from hemp.

Laura Kathleen is ecstatic that DVF is the guest judge because the iconic designer is her biggest inspiration. We've never noticed a similarity in their work before, but perhaps she feels a kinship since DVF was once a princess and Laura Kathleen often behaves like one. DVF, who has appeared on Project Runway many times before, is a good judge. She's outspoken without being cruel.


Laura Kathleen's Design
Our winner this week is Laura Kathleen. Despite her bottom two finish last week, she takes a risk and makes a print jumpsuit with palazzo pants, which give the illusion of a gown. Although Georgina doesn't like some of the garment's proportions—the waist is too wide and the shoulders are too narrow—overall the judges love it. DVF is particularly excited. She says it reminds her of palazzo outfits she saw in Italy many years ago.

Although Laura is thrilled with her win, she clams up on the runway. We initially think it's because she's humbled and in too much awe to speak—which momentarily makes us like her a little more—but then she claims it was because she was trying to be cool and not show what a big von Furstenberg fan she is.


Uli's Design
In second place is Uli, with a short swing dress festooned with feathers. We think it's a bit too much everything and the kitchen sink, but the judges all like it. Isaac, who is surprised that he appreciates such an overly embellished dress, says, "I get very turned on when it's something I shouldn't like, but I like it."


Anthony Ryan's Design
In third place is the judges' pet, Anthony Ryan. Once again he does a blue and black dress. It's oddly shaped and looks like a giant sack that balloons out at the sides. It also accidentally shows the model's panties as she walks. Anthony Ryan describes it as "glamorous" and something one could wear "to a blockbuster." We think it's more like something one would wear to Blockbuster. Possibly with slippers. The dress could easily have been in the bottom three, but somehow Anthony Ryan bewitches the judges into thinking it's fresh. We're not sure what the power is that he has over the judges this season, but it doesn't seem strong enough to pass through to our screen.


Emilio's Design
After spending much of the episode criticizing his fellow designers' work, Emilio ends up in the bottom three. Thanks to his win the previous week, he has first pick of the fabrics, and chooses a gorgeous red one. His goal is to create a simple elegant gown, but then he runs out of time and ends up with an unfinished hem and a bad lining. The judges criticize everything—even the small bit of silver trim he uses. Emilio laments, "This is the sloppiest dress I have ever presented in my career." Truth be told, we'd still rather wear it then Anthony Ryan's, even if that dress didn't have the panty issue.


Ivy's Design
Second from the bottom is Ivy, who overthinks her choice, explaining that she chose a yellow fabric to represent the sun because there are stars walking down the runway and the sun is a star. Ivy even tries to drape the material so that it looks like the rays of the sun. This wouldn't be as bad as it sounds, if she had chosen a more workable fabric and then not spent too much time creating her patterns. She ends up with a heavy, wrinkled mess of a dress. But Ivy's design is not the worst dress of the week.


Althea's Design
Our loser this episode is Althea, with a drab patchwork dress which DVF describes as, "Marie Antoinette meets Frederick's of Hollywood." Althea, whom we had high hopes for going into All Stars, has been flying under the radar for most of the season, with her only previous appearance in the final six as part of the bottom three.

Althea's fellow designers are sad to see her go, or as sad as they can be knowing that they are now all one place closer to winning the season. We too feel bad for Althea when she cries during her final interview. But we go from sad to baffled, when she insists, "I think I could just as easily have won as gone home this week." Um, yes, but only if you'd made a completely different dress.

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