Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
It's Week Six of Project Runway All Stars, and "Faux Heidi," aka the host formerly known as Angela Lindvall, comes onstage carrying eight totes. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean she's quitting the show to pursue a career as a bag lady. Rather it's to kick off this week's challenge. Each designer picks a tote with a luggage tag emblazoned with one of the seasons of the year. These are then used to pair the designers up—but not into teams. Instead they'll be competing head to head, with each creating sportswear for a seasonal weekend getaway look. So it's four fashion face-offs.
The teams are Austin versus Kara for spring, Mondo versus Kenley for summer, Rami versus Mila for autumn, and Jerrell versus Michael for winter. Everything goes boringly smoothly until Michael changes his design midway through and starts creating a gray oversized jacket ensemble, which is suspiciously like the one Jerrell was already working on. Mondo blames Jerrell's non-stop complaints on sour grapes over Michael having already won two challenges. Eventually mentor Joanna Coles gets drawn into it, and oddly enough, her attitude seems to be one that endorses plagiarism. Perhaps Anna Wintour should start reading Marie Claire carefully.
Our judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman are joined by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. Cynthia's no stranger to the Project Runway judging chairs, which may be why she has no trouble disagreeing with her fellow judges. We find her opinions refreshingly candid, despite the fact that we're pretty sure the main reason she loves Kenley's polka dotted gym class romper is because it looks like something she herself might design.
This week, the judges choices are surprising. It's like the remedial students are all in the running for valedictorian. Our top designs are Kenley's romper, Mila's Mod cape ensemble, Kara's elegantly generic pants outfit, and Jerrell's Bohemian coat and sweater ensemble. Our winner for the week is Jerrell, so in a way, Michael wins again!
Our bottom four are a who's who of the designers we would have guessed most likely to win the entire season. Austin creates a pants outfit straight out of the 1982 Talbots catalogue. Rami does a bulky layered ensemble, with a top which makes his model's breasts look lopsided. Michael pulls together a more polished "matchy matchy" version of Jerrell's Bohemian look. And based on his Eighties meets Fifties shorts outfit, the seemingly invincible Mondo actually can do some wrong. Much to our shock and dismay, Faux Heidi bids farewell to Rami. Kara, we adore you, but you should give thanks to the fashion gods that you were paired with Austin's this week, or we suspect you'd have been out.
And now, for the Top Ten Moments of Project Runway All Stars Greatness...
10. Mila acts as the group's timekeeper, informing the designers when it's time go to Mood. Think of Mila as the new Tim Gunn—without the vision, compassion, or sexual abstinence.
9. Jerrell insists that Michael ripped off his idea—because he made a coat. For a winter challenge.
8. Mondo tries to win the challenge for his mother's 60th birthday, although given the delay in airing this series, he could have given it to her for her 61st.
7. When Faux Heidi says that they're designing a look for one of the four seasons, we expected Frankie Valli to come walking down the runway.
6. Austin describes Mila as "Lady Mila Killjoy."
5. After Mondo cries that the judges ripped apart his personal vision, Kenley tries to console him by saying, "Hey, they said they would never have lunch with Austin's girl." In front of Austin. We guess the seemingly reformed Kenley still has a few bull-in-a-china-shop tendencies.
4. Austin asks, "Why are the most beautiful things always the most difficult?" Wait, didn't Seal say that?
3. Michael snarks, "I see a side of Jerrell that I hadn't seen before." Guess that gives him something else to copy.
2. Cynthia Rowley says that she doesn't like Mondo's fabrics, proportions, or accessories. Other than that, how did you like the theater Mrs. Lincoln?
1. Mood now sells "Thank you Mood" T-shirts!
· All Project Runway Posts [Racked]