Thursday, January 29, 2015

Project Runway All Stars Episode 4.9 - The Ready to Wear Challenge

"I never really do anything extremely simple, because - why?" - Dmitry

Confession: it's been pretty busy around here. Danny returned from an extended work trip in Canada over the weekend - SO delighted he's back. I'm working on galley edits for Reservations for Two, and had to pause to have a couple fillings replaced on Tuesday (which turned into "let's root canal those instead" - which is a tale of woe and painkillers for another day).

Allison: Forgiven! I am in a blur of school and writing and the ridiculous amount of paperwork when a kid changes colleges mid-year. If only there were a pain killer for that!

Anywho, PRAS, is giving me a bad case of the forehead slaps. This week's challenge exists mainly to help promote QVC's unfortunately named G.I.L.I. line, which simply makes me think of Gigli. The designers appear thrilled, and I'm curious how much of it is genuine excitement. I mean, QVC is not Saks. 

It would be cool if they had, like, a challenge for high-end snuggies or something, though.

That would be hilarious. I'd watch the heck out of that. Lisa Robertson of QVC announces the project while wearing a dress that turns out to be a part of the G.I.L.I line, and is also on clearance.

They have a budget of $300 for their ready-to-wear separates looks and a fashion-forward look. The designers sketch in the workroom and skip off to Mood.

Sonjia's thing is that she doesn't much sketch - she gets her ideas from her fabric. And while Helen rolls her eyes at it, Sonjia's technique is not far from the idea of figuring out what to make for dinner by seeing what's fresh at the market. It's great if you want to do a salad tossed with pomegranate seeds, but you might not be able to find pomegranates when you want them.

After their "critique" the designers carry on. Fabio splatter-dyes his fabric. (can I just say...because I cannot wait until the end of the much I HATE what Fabio did with that fabric. That was, just--awful.) Jay's in a dither. Helen struggles with ready-to-wear. Dmitry is confident. Sonjia's not feeling one of her fabrics, but has a new idea during her confessional. Michelle is into sleeves.

Alyssa, Isaac, Georgina, and Zanna ring he closing bell at the NASDAQ, while the designers watch and squeal from the street. They aren't even allowed inside the building - they have to be as far away as possible.

Back at the workroom, the designers get more sewing in before the models show up. Dmitry did not leave seam-allowances! There's not a lot going on - I'm beginning to feel sleepy. My jaw feels achy. I'm considering my painkiller options.

This week's guest judges include QVC diva Lisa Robertson and stylist/designer George Kotsiopoulos.  

The judges love:

Dmitry's neoprene and lace looks - blue for the separates and yellow for the "fashion-forward" look. They're deemed not particularly fashion-forward, but still very pretty. The yellow/black will never not read "fancy bee" to me. 

Not crazy about the yellow, but I loved, loved that dress.

Sonjia's grey eyelet/ cutout separates and yellow tube dress w/ grey jacket. The separates have strong mix and match options, with the panel split on the yellow dress. They do like how "fresh" her looks feel. I am personally unmoved by the yellow dress.

Helen's fashion-forward LBD - well-structured and timeless. Kinda classic Helen.

The judges are conflicted about:

Helen's a-line skirt and swing top - a colorway only a model could pull off.

Michelle's print separates/dress - maybe not easy to wear, but fun and romantic. The panel is split on the print.

Both of Fabio's pastel looks - the dress reading young, and the separates too simple to stand out. Isaac finds them "slightly irrelevant." 

Allison: Just, ugly. Rarely do clothes look just ugly--but that was like, K-Mart ugly. Like, my friend Pam and I used to walk to K-Mart (back in 1981), and everything Fabio made today looked just like what was on the racks back then. I swear, I could smell the blue-light ham sandwiches when I looked at those clothes. I might have owned that blue top.

I think Fabio's stuff - I think Isaac is right. I think Fabio can exist too much in his own headspace sometimes for his work to feel necessary to others.

The Judges Hate:

Jay's shiny pant - "TAPER THEM!" - Alyssa insists.

Jay's red dress - "the place it ends is unforgivable, darliIng, unforgiveable" - says Isaac. And truly, it's not great. The top maybe isn't bad, but the bottom is the fashion equivalent of a fade-out at the end of a power ballad.

Results: Dmitry is second runner-up, with Lisa Robertson announcing Sonjia's win. QVC will produce one of the separates, though we don't know which.

Michelle is safest of the lower scores, with Jay and Fabio in the bottom. Alyssa observes, rightly, that Jay pathologically overthinks his designs. Fabio is told that sometimes his designs tend toward self-centeredness.

MIchelle’s design would have been better accessorized with a Virginia Slim.

Jay is off, which is....overdue. I wish she could have shed Jay and kept Justin around a bit longer. 


I think Justin could have nailed the Ready-to-Wear in a way that half of the group didn't.

Before Fabio is allowed to exit, Isaac observes he's been in the bottom a lot. "Don't do it again. I mean it," he admonishes.

Next week is Marchesa wedding-themed so - TULLE.

What did you think? We're down to the final five - who are your picks for the finale show?

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