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Well, we made it through our first season of Project Runway All Stars. While it would have been more accurate to have called it, "Project Runway All Stars—Plus Elise and Sweet P," that title might have been a tad too long. And too mean. Fortunately, there were enough genuine All Star designers in the cast that we actually went into this season feeling pretty excited.
And overall, it was good. There were some surprises: Mondo moped and whined while Kenley became Miss Congeniality, and the extremely talented Rami got booted way too early. (The only upside of that last one was that we didn't have to spend a whole season correcting ourselves every time we accidentally typed "Romney.")
Other elements of the show we more predictable. Everything Mila designed was mod—although we don't remember anyone in Quadrophenia dressing like an asymmetrical Captain Kirk. Austin still wore his makeup better than we do. And Mondo finally got his redemption win. It was the best Project Runway season we've had in a long time: What it lacked in fights and craziness, it made up for with the occasional good designs.
We enjoyed a lot of the challenges. The black light one, the Broadway one, and of course, the one where they got to design outfits for Miss Piggy. Although when Michael said he wanted to ask the porcine diva out on a date, we realized that he may still have some confusion about his sexuality. Our favorite challenge of All Stars, however, was one that we think they should do every Project Runway season—the Nanette Lepore challenge. That was the one where the designers were forced to create garments using real world budgets. While the All Stars didn't love having that constraint, we found the ins and outs of pricing and production fascinating. (Then again, we're fashion nerds.)
As for this season's judges, they did a good job, although we expected Isaac to be wittier—Really Mr. Mizrahi, how could you let Michael Kors out-catty you? We didn't initially expect to like Georgina Chapman, but her critiques were always spot on. She quickly won us over to the point where we felt compelled to stop calling her "Mrs. Weinstein," and instead dubbed Harvey, "Mr. Chapman."
We're happy that for the role of mentor, they didn't try to reproduce the inimitable Tim Gunn, but instead went in a less cuddly direction with Marie Claire's Joanna Coles. We liked having a woman give the designers feedback about women's clothing for a change—we only wish Michael would have occasionally listened. (Michael, Joanna's right: Most women want gowns they can wear some kind of bra with. Trust us...)
Our main complaint this season was about our host, Angela Lindvall—whom we dubbed Faux Heidi. Angela seemed sweet, and we hear she's a very nice person, but she gave us a whole new appreciation for the hosting skills of Real Heidi. And Tom Schneider. And Joe Franklin. Didn't anyone in production notice that whenever they fed Angela lines through an earpiece, it resulted in speech so stilted that she sounded like English was her second language? To the point of making Heidi Klum sound like a native.
And now, to end our season, here are the top ten of the Top Ten Moments of Project Runway All Stars Greatness...
10. Georgina says that Michael's dress looks good when it moves, adding, "But you saw the problems when it just stood out there." The same could be said about Faux Heidi. (Episode 9)
9. Isaac muses, "Tasteful is such a good word. I haven't heard that word in a very long time." Probably because he was hosting The Fashion Show. (Episode 2)
8. Mila explains the people of Papua New Guinea "are extremely tribal looking. I didn't want to bring much of that to my look." If only there had been a country whose native garments were inspired by Mary Quant. (Episode 8)
7. 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. (Episode 12)
6. Georgina Chapman shares with the All Stars, "I'm lying in bed thinking, 'Why am I doing this to myself? This is torturous.'" Surprisingly, her thoughts have nothing to do with Harvey. (Episode 11)
5. After dressing her model, Kenley says, "She looks like she could go to a party in Chile." Or more likely, a party at Chili's. (Episode 8)
4. Isaac finds the light in Jerrell's model's mouth "weirdly sexy." We wonder if he was also turned on by the placement of the cocoons in Silence of the Lambs. (Episode 9)
3. 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." (Episode 7)
2. When Michael arrives at Mood, he says, "The first direction I head into is the trim." We confess, we never thought we'd hear Michael say he wants to, "Get some trim." (Episode 8)
1. The first line of the whole show and season includes Mondo saying, "I'm going to win." After all the controversy and fan anger over his previous loss, we're wondering if this is some heavy-handed foreshadowing. (Yes, we really said this the first week! Episode 1)
So, what did you think of this season?
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