January 05, 2012 11:48 PM by Ashley Lee
It’s back and better than ever—all your favorite contestants from past seasons of Project Runway are now competing against each other in the very first season of Project Runway: All Stars! However, with a new host, workroom mentor and pair of opinionated judges, along with the largest prize in the show’s history, every episode will feature a challenge twist and the competition has already gotten fierce in the very first episode! Read on for the full recap and find out who’s already out—again!
After the All Stars exchange heartfelt hellos in the streets of New York City, model and Project Runway: All Stars host Angela Lindvall informs the contestants that though there will be no immunity in this competition, they will be up for an amazing prize: exclusive boutiques in select Neiman Marcus stores and NeimanMarcus.com, a fashion spread in Marie Claire and a guest editor position with the magazine for a year, industrial sewing and fabric printing equipment from Brother, office technology from Hewlett-Packard, and $100,000 cash from L’Oreal—a total prize package worth half a million dollars!
But who will win it? That’s for the brand new judges to decide: designers Georgina Chapman of Marchesa and Isaac Mizrahi. ”Now we all know you’ve been judged before,” says host Angela. “Maybe they had it right, maybe they had it wrong. The good news is this is a clean slate.”
The designers each bring a recent creation that they feel represents their design aesthetic, and the contestants dress their models for a fashion show, which is purely for introductory purposes for the judges…or is it? Nevertheless, Isaac loved it. “So diverse, thirteen different points of view,” he says. “This is going to be a great competition, I can tell!”
Unlike past seasons, all thirteen contestants move in together in one penthouse, and are welcomed by a video greeting from design team Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti that brought tears to every designer’s eye. A few glasses of celebratory champagne and a good night’s rest before the first challenge of the season.
And what better way to kick off the competition than with an unconventional challenge? The designers each get $100 to spend at a 99-cent store, but their looks must be inspired in some way by the ones they presented at that introductory fashion show! Amidst all the materials in the store, April and Michael both grab mop heads, and Michael is worried that April’s dress will beat his out. “She’s really good!” he says.
The contestants then walk into their workroom in 1407 Broadway, complete with HP tablets on every desk and an accessories wall stocked by Neiman Marcus. After working with streamers and scarves for a few hours, mentor Joanna Coles walks in for their first consultation. “I am here to help you push yourselves so that you walk out of here with that 500,000 prize,” she says. “Your job here is to really surprise [them].”
On the last minute of the work day, Austin realizes that his glue gun touched his plastic dress and burned a gaping hole, front and center. ”It’s almost too much for me to handle right now without pulling my hair out!” he confesses. The next morning, Austin carefully cuts out a replacement piece and hopes the shininess of the plastic camouflages the burn hole!
The first runway show is is guest judged by senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing. Austin’s melted dress graces the runway without a hitch, but April’s mop dress appears right after Michael’s, which is also made of the same material. Thankfully, all three of them are safe!
In the top three this week: Rami, whose tweed-like dress is made of laundry bags, tinsel and umbrella lining; Jerell, with a gray dress made of scarves and featuring a high-low hemline; and Mondo, with a structured black dress made of binders, electrical tape, cowboy hats, trash bags.
Isaac loves Rami’s dress. “I think you have an edge over the designers in terms of execution,” he says. “You made [those materials] your bitch!” In the end, Rami wins the first challenge of the season!
At the bottom of the pack is Sweet P’s colorful washcloth dress, Gordana’s overly designed streamer dress, and Elisa’s odd outfit that featured wings with writing, shorts and a tube top, a combination she referred to as “sacred geometry.” The look is too out there for the judges, and Elisa is the first one out. “I’m completely satisfied with what I created,” she says, “yet I can still respect the fact that I was eliminated.”
Did you watch tonight’s episode of Project Runway: All Stars? Should Mondo or Jerell have won instead?
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Photo credit: Lifetime