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Well, this is it. Part Two of the two-part Project Runway All Stars finale. Or to describe it more accurately: two episodes of filler that should have been condensed into one. Things kick off with the designers going to the event space, Gotham Hall, where they'll be having their runway shows. It's a grand room, with a lovely rotunda, but the designers "ooh" and "aah" over it so much that we assume the producers got the space for free in exchange for all the onscreen gushing.
Next, the designers get ready for their shows. Austin has sewing to finish. Michael has to fix a messed up sleeve on his garment—the one that April worked on. Mondo, amazingly, is done. All the designers tell us how much they want to win. Then they tell us again. And then again! We're not positive, but we're pretty sure that all of the designers really want to win.
The guests in the audience for the show include Nina Garcia, Coco Rocha, former guest judges Nanette Lepore and the guy who was "the stylist for Sex and the City," who isn't Patricia Field. "Meana" Irina Shabayeva, the winner of the dreaded LA season, is also there. We're not sure why, since she normally never shows up at Project Runway events.
Faux Heidi Lindvall comes out to introduce the show, dressed in that Stella McCartney black cut-away polka dot net dress that every celebrity this side of Kathy Bates has been photographed in. She pronounces her words so slowly that we once again are amazed that English is her first language. Despite all this, we still like Faux Heidi way more than Elle Macpherson on that train wreck, Fashion Star—just not enough to call her by her actual name.
And now, it's time for the show! Each designer comes out and introduces their collection to the adoring crowd. Or do they? Remember, this was filmed months ago. They couldn't let the audience know for sure who created the final collections. So we actually only see each designer speaking in close-up. Never in a shot which includes the crowd. Also, none of them walk at the end of their collections—like Project Runway designers normally do. So we assume that the models walked the collections in front of the crowd, but without introductions.
As for the collections, we are pleasantly surprised. They're actually all good. Particularly considering the fact that these poor designers had only four days to make them—or in Mondo's case, three days, plus one day of moping. Austin's collection is a mixture of rock looks and gowns. There are a lot of great pieces in it, but it's too eclectic a mix to really make for a cohesive collection. Austin ends his runway show with a stunning wedding dress, which is not surprising since he used to be the designer for the bridal gown company Kenneth Pool.
Michael's Serengeti collection really surprises us. It's solid, albeit "too commercial" and only includes one of his Grecian "can't-wear-a-bra-with-it" gowns. And then there is Mondo's Therapy collection, which is very Mondo. He mixes prints and uses over-sized cartoon-like embellishments. It's similar to, but more sophisticated than what he did for the finale of Season Eight.
Our judges this week include Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and two guest judges, Tommy Hilfiger and Neiman Marcus buyer Ken Downing. This is Tommy's second reality show appearance of the week. His first was on American Idol, where he gave style advice to the singers. His views are mostly ignored on both shows. On Project Runway, he pushes for Michael's collection, which the other judges overrule. And on American Idol, one of the few performers who took his advice got kicked off the show.
Our runners up this week are Michael in third place and Austin Scarlett in second. Which means Mondo for the win! There are some who feel that Mondo could have sent his models down the runway in garbage bags and he still would have gotten a redemption win this season. But truthfully, if you think of all the designers in the history of Project Runway, Mondo is one of the few with a truly unique vision. He creates styles that people would actively go out of their way to own. So whether it was preordained, or based solely on the final collections, congratulations on your win, Mondo!
Join us Monday for our Buyer's Remorse column, where we'll ask Ken Downing: "What would a buyer have Buyer's Remorse about?"
And now, for this weeks' Top Ten Moments of Project Runway All Stars Greatness...
10. Isaac Mizrahi makes a thoughtful contribution to the judges' debate, and advances the decision making process by saying, "I agree with all of you."
9. When Michael realizes that one of the dresses doesn't fit his model properly, he shakes her so hard she's at risk of developing Shaken Model Syndrome.
8. Faux Heidi pontificates, "There can only be one winner but there are no losers on All Stars." Well, maybe not among the contestants.
7. Immediately after Mondo wins, Tommy Hilfiger tells him, "Never give up." Shouldn't he have said that to Austin or Michael or Elisa? Well, maybe not Elisa.
6. Faux Heidi has a new hair style which would make a good earpiece cover—if, hypothetically, she was trying to hide the fact that she was still wearing one.
5. As Joanna and Michael watch his signature Grecian dress walk the runway on a video monitor, she says, "For those in the know, this is the moment when they'll know it's you." Aha! Sloppy editors, you just corroborated our theory that the audiences did not know whose collection was whose!
4. Ken felt there were too many messages in Austin Scarlett's collection. We're not sure why, but Austin described it as: "A vampire from the 18th century who now resides in Williamsburg and occasionally borrows clothing from her Hasidic dandy friends."
3. In giving notes on his final collection, Isaac begins to say to Michael, "The thing that you do again and again," but surprisingly doesn't end it by saying, "is make the same dress."
2. As she gives out the consolation prizes, Faux Heidi practically says, "Austin, your Mom's still homeless but you get to go to Paris!"
1. There are commercials for a new edition of Project Runway non-All Stars—with Real Heidi!
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