By CJ Bomb
And so here we are, people. It’s a new year but we have one last hurrah: Project Runway in its All-Star (hopefully not) faded glory. This season filmed before Georgina Chapman’s husband, Jabba the Hutt, AKA Harvey Weinstein, began to get everything that’s coming to him and hopefully more. So let’s just take a seat and focus on the business at hand, shall we?
First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR! Did you guys know this show is a worldwide phenomenon? Always trying to keep things fresh, the producers have chosen people who have already been on this show. A LOT, including not one but THREE past All-Stars winners, AND winners of some of the international franchises. Way to think outside of the box producers. Some people I am happy to see…. some not so much.
On the American side we have Anya Ayoung Chee, who won season nine barely knowing how to sew, let alone making patterns. Anthony Ryan, who won All-Stars season 2 basically admits he’s here for the money. He is hilarious so I’m ok with this one. Irina Shabayeva, whose designs I loved and personality I HATED, won season 6 when PR headed to Lifetime and things started their long, slow painful slide downhill. Dmitry Sholokhov, who won season 10 and season four of All-Stars is back and I guess I’m ok with it? Seth Aaron Henderson, who won season 7 and All-Stars season 3….. has been designing iPad covers? (seriously on his bio). I never got Seth Aaron, who dresses like a punk mortician and acts like a manic goofball. I don’t dislike him…. I just really haven’t been wondering what he has been up to… which is apparently designing iPad covers. Michelle Lesniak, winner of season 11 I’m actually happy to see. She made my favorite sweater of all time on this show and I’ve always liked her vibe. I’m noticing that a lot of these USA winners are actually originally from elsewhere….. leading to the……
INTERNATIONAL THEME! Here come the winners from around the globe. Christina Exie won in Australia and I’m digging her edgy vibe. Django Steenbakker is from the Netherlands and if I ever start a punk band that will be the name of it. He is direct because he is Dutch. Jasper Garvida won in UK and is just as cute as a button. He dressed Katy Perry and was SUPER excited about it. Cynthia Hayashi won in Brazil and is just happy to be here folks. Sunny Fong won in Canada and I’m just going to assume he’s nice cause he’s Canadian. Evan Biddell is also from Canada but he seems a bit more feisty. He’s certainly flustered when he sees who he is up against on the USA side.
Alyssa looks like she is in great shape, but her stylist stills seems to hate her. Those boobs need support. Period. Oh to be the best of the best means you get to work with….. JCPenney!! Well if that isn’t high fashion, what is? Oh and they are providing accessories as well. Great. And producing a winning look. For each winning look. Each Week. Fabulous. Considering this has been tried before and some faithful readers here actually went into the store to check it out and reported back how cheaply made and executed the designs were produced, I don’t have high hopes. I know I’m going to sound like an elitist snob when I say this, but NO ASPIRING DESIGNER ON EARTH would choose JCPenney if they had a choice. Not one. But this is Lifetime… so this is what we can expect. I never thought the word Barneys were going to fall from Alyssa’s lips so I really don’t know why I’m annoyed. Maybe for the designers. Whoever wins each week also gets 5K. That’s good.
They are standing on Governors island in front of Lady Liberty and the challenge is to come up with a “high fashion” design showing who you are and where you came from. They have $200 and one day. Lyft gets promo’ed. One fucking day. Again, don’t know why I’m surprised and/or disappointed. Sigh.
Dmitry is going to make a traditional outfit from Belarus and elevate and modernize it. Star-struck Evan tells Dmitry he’s going to to do a mountie costume, I mean outfit. Irina is From the Republic of Georgia so she thinks of wine? And is doing a petal coat? I guess I’m from Connecticut and I also think of wine a lot, so ok. Anthony is partially Native American (according to his grandmother) so he’s going to use color and prints. Every ACTUAL Native American who has ever been on this show just felt nauseous without knowing why. I don’t think think this will end well. Anya points out that Trinidad and Tobago is a melting pot and she will be also using vibrant colors, but for the RIGHT reasons, not some sort of bizzarro cultural appropriation. She’s going to do a modernized sari. Cynthia is looking for lace to do a version of technique from Portugal that came to Brazil and was passed down through generations.
Off to the studio they head and in one minute, Lyft, Brother and JCPenney all get their promos again. Anya hasn’t sewn since season nine. She has developed techniques where “she doesn’t have to”. This show cannot move back to Bravo soon enough. Irina looks at her the way a shark looks at a tasty, helpless baby grouper. Anthony’s head isn’t fully in the game as his grandmother passed away three days before he arrived. Oh Jeez. Irina is cutting leaves and contemplating what kind of shop she’s going to open when she wins. Sunny is admiring Evan’s work and being generally nice and Canadian.
Anne Fulenwider walks in and just gets down to it. Anya has half of Mood on one dress. Anne is worried about the movement of the garment. Django thinks its simple. It’s giving me a headache. Anya wisely starts to edit. Anne points out Cynthia has nothing on her form and that what she needs to step it up timing wise. Seth says Spain and Scotland are his inspiration. Anne is getting school marm. Disney Princess is NEVER a good critique comment so Jasper also wisely decides to edit. Anne tells Django after he describes his Vermeer inspired look that subtle isn’t always good on runway. He tells her european subtle is different from American subtle. She is not impressed by this statement.
Anne loves Irina’s petal wine coat but warns her not to veer into costume territory. She’s also giving that advice to Dmitry even though she also loves his modern take on a traditional dress. With the cut-outs this could be really cool. Sunny is doing east meets west and she tells him to pick up the pace. Christina is doing a softer top after Anne’s critique, and Michelle is worried about her bottom now that Anne has pointed out how plain it is. She tells Evan not to be so literal with his mountie outfit. Anthony is explaining his Texas Cherokee heritage outfit to Anne. She’s down with the top but not loving the royal blue underneath. Anne tells them they are all doing a great job and she’s sending someone in to inspire them. The founder of 23andMe comes in? And gives them all kits? And makes them do them then and there? I’m seriously counting the minutes until the shift back to Bravo. Turns out Dmitry is part Native American. Huh.
The models come in. Evan can’t button his jacket. Cynthia is happy with her look. Seth Aaron points out it’s technical flaws and the minute he starts a sentence with “Being an All-Star Winner…..” I scream at the TV STFU iPad designer!!!! My kids tell me to calm down. Anthony knows he’s in trouble. He’s trying to cover flaws. That always works on this show. Makeup and hair promo time ensues. Cynthia screws up her zipper and everyone tries to help. Some people love Irina’s look, some do not. Chick Fil-A and rooster sounds were mentioned and made. Jasper’s is pretty.
Alyssa’s stylist really does still hate her. She’s wearing a sequined jumpsuit she is too short for and has side flow hair. She’s tiny and yet still looks dumpy. Champion of the world…yadda yadda yadda…. Seriously, that is being said every two minutes. There’s Georgina pre-glass castle shattering, Isaac, awesome as always and Debra Messing. Okay. I’m good with this one. She’s always wonderful. She comes out resplendent in red and makes Alyssa look like a toddler playing dress up.
Anya pulls it together the way she always does and does a pretty flowy maxi dress. The fabrics work well together but it’s not exactly earth shattering. Imagine what she could do if she knew how to actually sew. Evan’s model looks like a Ivana Trump in 1984 dominatrix nutcracker outfit and I’m kind of digging it. Maybe cause I’m a child of the 80’s? Jasper’s looks a Laura Ashley tea dress circa 1987 since we are referencing the 80’s. How is this east meets west? Oh Seth Aaron. Highland Rape has already been done much better by Alexander McQueen. Blade Runner meets Highlander wannabe. Django knows he has a winning look, he just hopes these idiot American judges will understand it. Oh Anthony, it was nice to see you, albeit briefly. This is bad. Like the contestant that got chosen for their wacky personality bad. I like Christina’s funky office manager and Michelle’s grown up 90’s baby doll dress. Love the sleeve and the back. Sunny’s will look great in JCPenney’s. That isn’t a compliment. At least Irina did something funky and different? Everyone else’s is tame, or worse, tame thinking it’s cool. Cynthia’s is ok. Dmitry? Dmitry took something traditional and made it modern and cool. Love the velvet and the cutouts. I pick Irina and Dmitry for the top two and Anthony to go home. Everyone else was meh.
Evan’s mountie outfit is loved by Georgina but she tells him he might want to exhibit a wee bit more restraint in the future. Isaac loves the silhouette but thinks the gold buttons make it costumey. Debra only noticed the unevenness of the jacket, but Alyssa loves the balance of proportion. Debra thought Anya’s dress was too simple. Isaac thinks it needed more drama. Alyssa points out as an All-Star if you are going to draping, it better be some kick ass draping. Georgina loves the colors and cutouts of Dmitry’s dress. Isaac adores it, loves the fabric and the length. Alyssa was shocked it was Dmitry as he normally does incredible structure. Irina’s coat is Debra’s favorite piece of the day. Georgina loves it but thinks the fabric is a bit heavy. Isaac noes NOT love it and thinks the treatment of the fabric cheapened it, Alyssa disagrees and thinks it was a wow moment on the runway. I don’t understand why Cynthia is there, they seem to just be bored by it. Anthony is trying his best to sell this but no one is having it. Georgina is confused by the multiple directions. Alyssa claims she gets what he is trying to do (huh??) but it didn’t work. Isaac thinks there is a lack of precision and it feels as though he’s not here. Anthony bursts into tears and explains about his loss. It was heartbreaking to watch.
Dmitry for the win!! Well done sir. And suck it Seth Aaron. In a massive twist NO ONE GOES HOME. I do this recap for the love of my fearless leader TT and you guys, but doing the beginning of this with some many contestants is HARD. AND NOW TWO MORE ARE COMING IN????? WHAT THE FUCKITY FUCK???? A Woman from Australia and Sean “Fringe” Kelly. Damnit producers… trying to milk this cow as long as they can. Oh well. Condolences to Anthony and let’s hope for a more interesting week next time. I wish everyone a new year filled with peace, love and kindness and lots and lots of laughter. Xoxo CJ