Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Project Runway All Stars Recap 4.8: Les Poissons

Hillary here: Allison's heading up this week's recap, with far more wit and clarity than I could manage after this particular episode. Meanwhile, I'm off in a corner playing the blues on my snarfblat, adding commentary as necessary.

Allison: The contestants arrive at the Long Island Aquarium, home to over 5,000 species of marine life , including two of Alyssa’s friends, penguins Kevin and Pam Clearly, they need to engage more creative people in their penguin-naming department. Tuxy and Roxanne? Waddles and Petunia?  

Now, excuse me for just a minute while I study the Rorshach Design that is Alyssa’s dress while she talks.

I have retreated to my happy place rather than contemplate Alyssa’s dress; instead, I’m having Parks and Recreation thoughts and thinking how CUTE it would be if the penguins got married.

Then, I’ll try not to look at it from the back…


You’ll notice, only one penguin appears on camera after this shot. After studying the distinctive pattern on the back of the dress, I wonder if we need to say a more formal good-bye to Kevin.
Be at peace, Kevin.
Whaaaat? Alyssa Milano the inspiration for Ariel, Disney’s Little Mermaid? Did I know this? I think I knew this. Anyway, it makes this experience of being part of her world all the more exquisite, as we dive into a challenge wherein the designers are asked to come up with a design inspired by one of the species from Under the Sea.

I googled this. Apparently animator Glen Keane used photos of her Who’s the Boss? days when he was working on Ariel’s face. Actress Sherri Stoner came in for movement references, and Jodi Benson did the vocal work. So I think Alyssa’s “Ariel is based on MEEEEEE” statements are in fact a bit much. She was a part of it, but it wasn’t as if Disney rolled out the red carpet for her - she didn’t know about it until later.

Sorry. I might just be bitter at Alyssa because she killed Kevin.

Oh, and this is the Avant- Garde challenge. They have 2 days and $150, make that $250 if someone volunteers to sketch in the shark tank. Helen volunteers, and I’m soooo relieved, because maybe that means she’ll untuck her ponytail from her jacket (huge pet peeve of mine).

I don’t get the hair in jacket thing, because ITCHY.
So, off to sketch, where the designers find that beauty is better down where it’s wetter.
Dmitry is immediately inspired by the sea horse. The shape and the scales, and the whole body made of geometrical scales with a very complicated patterns. Not unlike the man himself.
Fabio goes genderless with the red bubble-tip anemone. A lovely little species that reproduces asexually. He wants his outfit to be the most conceptual piece on the runway. We’ll sea.

Michelle’s heart is captured by the flamboyant cuttlefish. This doesn’t happen for me very often, but I found myself enchanted by Michelle’s sketch this week. Like, I thought the sketch itself looked whimsical and beautiful, especially with the third panel where the cuttlefish is looking right at you.
Then it’s time to follow Helen into the tank, where the sharks have been warned that designers are friends, not food. (wrong movie, I know, but go with it) She concludes with a message saying, “Let’s go to Mood!” And they’re off!
Sonjia is inspired by the red-bellied piranha, and will make a dress. Justin the yellow scroll coral, and will make a structured, grand dress. Jay’s fish is the lion fish—“very ethereal, and has tons of volume and weight to it”—so he will be making an asymmetrical jumpsuit. Just kidding. Jay will make a dress. He will also play with vinyl. He claims to never have played with vinyl before, but I have my doubts.
To the work room! Those poor, unfortunate souls.
Dmitry is engineering a pattern. Michelle is going flamboyant and wild (just like her cuttlefish). On day two, there’s a sweet moment between Michelle and Justin. She thinks he’s not finding the joy of Avant Garde—always an ominous feeling. Even more so than the fact that Helen’s dress looks like tripe. In a good way.
Zanna, conceptual nail art from Laruen B. Beauty (and a chance to win $5K in couture nail product), model fittings.

Helen sexes up her granny’s nightie-tripe dress by hacking it at the hem. Fabio points out that not only is Dmitry’s look not fashion forward, it’s a look our dancer created several times in
Season 10.

He totally did - to good effect - but the repetition cracked me up during the “judging.”

Michelle worries that her dress looks like maternity wear. (Has she seen nothing Alyssa has been wearing all season?)

I think Alyssa’s nutty maternity wear has infiltrated Michelle’s design sense.
To the runway, where our guest judge is Nicole Scherzinger , who rose to fame singing with the Pussy Cat Dolls, dabbled in design, and whose new single “Run” is now available. “Run,” you know, that thing you do with those—what are they called—oh, yeah. Feet.

I’ll present the Runway with little comment. I don’t feel qualified to say much, since in-season Kohl’s is about as fashion forward as I allow myself. I’ll say this, though…that my favorite look was the one deemed safe – Sonjia’s. Michelle was robbed, and the elimination was what Lady Hillary calls a “button-bag” decision.

I had a phone conversation (because we’re old-fashioned) with Kara at L.A. Bullets and Sonjia’s was her favorite, too. I confessed that I couldn’t remember Sonjia’s. She totally got the “safe” edit, we didn’t see much of her.

The top (ish)...


“Kiss the Girl.”

I thought Michelle's was the most avant-garde of all the looks.

Jay: (with something that looks remarkably like what he did last week, no?)

Mais oui.

And, the winner! Finally! (not to be arrogant…)

Dmitry! Who has apparently “come into his own” or something, which I guess means “experimenting less and going back to his roots.” Whatever, man.

The bottom looks came down to Fabio and Justin. Might just be me, but I though both looks seemed...stringy? Unfinished? Not sure if that was just a matter of fabric, or time, or if it was an intentional style choice. Anyhoo, the maker of the hideous pink backwards tuxedo remained, and my Justin went home.


Hillary--explain to me, please. Where this decision came from?

The decision making - what’s the word - BURNS.

The judges have been loving most of what Justin’s been putting out for weeks. Sure, they didn’t care for his Match.com outfit, but it wasn't a technique issue as much as an originality issue.

Justin’s not my very favorite, but I didn’t feel he deserved to go home for this, and especially not with his previous body of celebrated work. Meanwhile, you’ve got Jay’s Celebration of Arbitrary Overdesign (I don’t know how he can be arbitrary and over-designed at the same time, but he does it. Maybe it’s his evil genius).

So like I said, Justin wasn’t my favorite but I didn’t feel he deserved to go home as yet. I feel like somewhere Tim Gunn is getting very worked up about all of this.

Readers: What did you think? Would you have used a Tim Gunn save for Justin? 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the judges have trouble sticking to one decision in the moment, let alone have any memory of what they liked or didn't the previous episode. I agree, Justin should've stayed.


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