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It's Week Seven of Project Runway All Stars and Angela "Faux Heidi" Lindvall meets the designers at a theater, where she introduces them to one of Broadway's most successful composers, Stephen Schwartz. Stephen is working on what was then (before All Stars got delayed) the upcoming revival of his musical about Jesus, Godspell. We also meet one of the show's stars, Uzo Aduba, and its director, who is initially only introduced as "Danny," possibly because in theater, unlike film, directors aren't gods. The designers learn that their challenge is to create a costume of separates for Uzo's character, an ostentatiously rich woman. The winning design will be used in the play and the winning designer will get their bio in Playbill. (Or would have, if Project Runway had started on time). We immediately wonder if the judges will criticize any of the designs for being "too costumey."
The All Stars are very excited about designing for Broadway, particularly Austin Scarlett, whose theatricality makes the late Ethel Merman's seem subtle. As the designers eagerly dive into their work, they're faced with the question, "What would JC do?" No, not Jesus Christ, Joanna Coles. Mentor Joanna makes her rounds, first beating up Kara and stealing her lunch money, then later being very supportive of another designer, saying "Work it, Mondo"—which comes dangerously close to Tim Gunn's legendary catch phrase. Aside from Mondo's and Kara's creative insecurities, things go smoothly.
When introducing our judges this week, Faux Heidi points out that Isaac Mizrahi is an "expert in designing for Broadway." We don't know about that, but we can tell you from firsthand experience that the costumes he created for the Metropolitan Opera's 2007 production of Orfeo ed Euridice looked like outtakes from a K-Mart Casual Friday collection. Joining Isaac and judge Georgina Chapman (whose judging we like so much that we've stopped calling her "Mrs. Weinstein," and will now call Harvey "Mr. Chapman"), is our guest judge, Tony Award winning actress Sutton Foster. Sutton gives the designers thoughtful feedback about how costumes should demonstrate character. We don't understand why the guest judge isn't Stephen Schwartz, Uzo Aduba, or someone who is at least tangentially tied to Godspell, like say, "Danny."
Our top designers for the week are Michael, whose look is more Carmen Miranda than rich bitch; Austin, whose theatrically trashy-rich costume seems to fit the character best; and Mondo, who once again demonstrates that since his season, he has continued to grow as a designer. Our winner is Mondo, who is greatly relieved after his soul crushing trip to the bottom three last week.
This week's bottom three are Kenley, whose busy design is a little too thrift shop and Rent for the character; Mila, whose (for once) non-Mod ensemble Sutton aptly describes as "Pretty Woman before she gets pretty;" and Kara, whose giant, bow-ed attempt at elegance misses it's mark. Sadly, this week we bid good bye to the lovely and talented Racked reader, Kara.
And now, for the Top Ten Moments of Project Runway All Stars Greatness...
10. In discussing Rami's leaving, Jerrell says, "Eventually they all have to be gone so I can get my check," omitting the word "unemployment."
9. A concerned Kenley explains that the competition is getting to Kara, who really misses her kids. Michael and Mondo try to comfort the sobbing Kara while Mila puts on a recording of "The Cats in the Cradle."
8. Kara says she hope the judges notice her designs' "clean lines and really simple, chic aesthetic." Um Kara, those almost got you tossed out last week.
7. Joanna suggests Mila create a pencil skirt, because, of course, what lends itself better to dancing in a musical than having your legs constrained.
6. Jerrell says of his initial design idea, "It's going to be really lamé." Make that "lame."
5. Isaac calls Austin Scarlett, "Austin Starlet," leading Austin to snidely respond, "It's Austin Scarlett." The last time people were this catty on Broadway they were singing "Memory."
4. Jerrell doesn't understand the style of Mila's ensemble, saying, "It's kind of like a girl who can't get into the club." Which is also probably the impetus for Mila's bitchiness towards the Kenley-Kara duo.
3. Georgina: In discussing Austin's dress, we're not sure the best wording was "a nod towards Marie Antoinette," considering she was beheaded.
2. Mila observes, "I've never worked with the fur before. I'm like some crazy cat woman now." Now?
1. Stephen Schwartz has won two Oscars, one Grammy, and has had multiple Tony nominations. It's safe to say that this episode won't add an Emmy to the mix.
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