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Last night, Lifetime aired episode 5 of Project Runway All Stars. The challenge—spot a stylish New Yorker and make them your muse in developing a fashion forward look. The twist—talk to that person, take their photo, and walk away with the clothes off their backs. Austin said it all by calling it "The Streetwear Muse of the City Challenge." Half of the final look needed to be constructed from those salvaged items; procured with a measly $150 bribery and Mood Designer Fabrics budget. The bright side: Two full work days.
The episode opened in Central Park and ended up continuing south to Union Square, where designers wreaked havoc on the green market by chasing down strangers and convincing them to strip down. Unsurprisingly, men were both more willing to take it all off, and much more willing to part with their clothes, than their female counterparts. Or maybe that was more a result of Anthony and Austin being a little slimy in the face of all those potentially shirtless men.
Later, at Mood, the tight budget really became a problem, as several designers came up short on cash. Kara, who was $3 short, managed to scrape by with the help of Anthony and Michael, and all was right in the world.
From there, the two day sewing marathon began. Anthony labored and worried over his look—which started out as hot pants-based separates and ended up a Halston/gypsy jumpsuit. (Isaac Mizrahi: "Nobody loves a jumpsuit more than me.") Austin, who focused mostly on a very young artsy, punky, girly girl—perhaps the only one of the designers who really found a true muse and went with it—created a full-skirted rock 'n' roll look complete with an epauleted jacket. Rami put together contrast-trimmed shorts and ruffled top, inspired by men's suiting.
One Trick Kenley created another '60s inspired dress with contrast pockets. Mila produced a directional separates look with paneled skinny trousers and an asymmetrical jacket. Jerell came up with a torso-baring bikini (he insisted it wasn't "slutty") top and sarong getup that was just a mess of over-accessorizing and multi-culty mixed print (Anthony very appropriately called it "Coming to America"). Mondo designed the outfit M.I.A. will likely wear in her next video. Michael seriously dropped the ball with some neutral lacy shorts and a top that looked like a bathing suit. And Kara's look involved a very skinny high-waisted pant and something that was maybe a print? Who knows, it wasn't memorable.
The top three designers—as judged by the usual crew plus Sean Avery (who has the personality of Metamucil and his glasses were horrible)—ended up being Rami, Austin and Mondo. The worst: Jerell (Sean Avery on Jerell's: "Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani at Burning Man on E"), Anthony and Michael (someone cracked after two consecutive wins). The ladies: Safe and sound.
Mondo won and Anthony—despite a lovelier and very clearly better-constructed look—was sent home. More for not using more muse-procured materials than for creating something worse than Michael's weird sweetheart onesie bathing suit thing.
10. Anthony running. Enough said.
9. Kara, to a guy in a, well, pink pique polo: "I think it's pomegranate or fuschia or passion fruit or delicious!"
8. Anthony, more slutting than sourcing, convinced a dude who was most likely a model to give him his shirt, then his shorts. He looked Photoshopped. Anthony and Austin lost their minds. Anthony: "Back off bitches, this ones mine!"
7. And Austin: "I don't know about Anthony but I got the guy's number."
6. Kenley really got up in everyone's shit—helping, opinionating, accessorizing. It was gross because, well, she's gross. At one point she popped on some severe sunglasses from the Neiman Marcus accessories wall and declared, "This is my edgy bitch look!" You're half right, Kenley.
5. It only takes being forced to beg for strangers' clothing but "all of a sudden [Anthony] noticed Mila has a personality." Burn.
4. Michael being Michael: "Very Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1999 meets 2002—but futuristic."
3. "I don't know if I was more interested in the shirt or the boy." But, "inspiration can come from anywhere!" So says Anthony in his sea of collected men's T-shirts.
2. Isaac on Austin's look: "She's out of control?And yet! She's fabulous!" And on Jerell's: "Talk about burning your bra, that's fine—but don't look like that."
1. "If a black person tells you you're too loud you're too loud." Anthony, on point and on Kenley.
· Project Runway All Stars [Racked]