Project Runway All Stars: Go Green or Go Home


This week, the designers meet Carolyn at the High Line, and while I’m concerned that they’re going to start tearing up grass and railroad ties to make steam punk coveralls or something, they’ve merely been brought outdoors so that they can be told that it’s the green challenge. “All Stars is going green! But not literally! A green dress for the red carpet!” (This is what happens when Carolyn goes off the TelePrompTer.) Put into more clear terms: The designers will use AirDye fabrics to create a red carpet look that Carolyn will wear at a red-carpet event.

There’s no trip to Mood this week, since the fabrics are being provided to the designers, but there are still several boxes of recycled fabrics, notions, and trims in the break room for the designers to scrabble over. I’m interpreting this as a move on the producers’ part to try to stir up some drama in this sluggish season, but it’s no use: Everyone cheerfully chooses their recycled materials and then gets right to work. Anthony Ryan says he’s mostly ignored the trims, since that’s not what evening gowns are typically about, and I predict that this will either land him in the top three or send him home. Uli mopes about how her fabric is more subdued than she’d hoped. “So depressing! Like a rainy day!” Meanwhile, Laura keeps gushing about how much she loves Diane von Furstenberg, who will be guest-judging. She manages to use the terms role model, idol, and hero, so clearly she’s serious.

Before too long, Uli’s shaken off her ennui, and announces, “It’s time for an Uli Explosion!” (God, I love Uli.) This mainly consists of her using every available type of trim at once, with an end result that’s actually kind of great. Joanna turns up for her critique, and she starts with Laura. “You are a DVF fan … hopefully you’re not in the bottom three!” Coming from anyone else, that would seem rude, but from Joanna it’s weirdly supportive. Joanna loves Emilio and Anthony Ryan’s work in progress, as always, but is concerned about Althea’s fabric being too dreary. This is particularly unfortunate, since Althea had the last pick of fabrics and the judges have been particularly hard on her fabric choices. Joanna worries that Ivy is running short on time and cautions Cassanova against “nipple-focus.” A lesson for us all.

That evening at the designers’ hotel, Joshua throws out what’s clearly a prescripted prompt for small talk. “Has anyone amongst us dressed a celebrity for a red-carpet event?” Althea says she’s dressed all the Kardashian and Jenner girls, and Emilio says that Audra McDonald wore his dress to the most recent Tony Awards. Emilio is sure this means that either he or Althea will win, and he says it like he’s kidding, but also like he’s very, very serious.

The next morning, it’s the scrambly-est pre-runway in All Stars history! Okay, I made that up, but still, everyone’s in a panic, particularly Althea, who’s completely starting over on her look; Emilio, whose dress is still half-cut on the floor; and Ivy, who’s just in bad shape all around. Given that Ivy’s dress had something like a hundred pattern pieces, this seems wise. Meanwhile, Anthony Ryan’s model can’t walk in his dress, and Joshua spends a not-at-all-insignificant period of time looking at himself in a mirror. Everyone makes it to the runway fully clothed, which is saying something, but both Ivy and Emilio wind up sewing their models into dresses.

Down at the runway, Carolyn’s “I’m going to wear it to a red-carpet event!” makes for some uneven judging, since her opinion weighs heavily. On top of that, Isaac has little patience for the designers who claim that they don’t normally do red carpet. Finally, in response to Ivy, he huffs, “I never understand what that even means, red carpet. Red carpet’s just a really good dress on a really good girl.” But all of that aside, having Diane von Furstenberg there is kind of magical, and lends the judging panel the weight and credibility it’s been lacking all season. (Is it going too far to call her a national treasure? That’s pushing it, right?)

Still, someone has to go, and Althea’s dress sends her home; Laura wins, and gets to be told that she won by Diane, which seems like the bigger prize. 

Next week, it’s All Stars Christmas! Nothing can possibly go wrong.