February 10, 2012 12:01 AM by Ashley Lee
No Central Park stranger talk this week, because it’s the first fashion face-off of the season on Project Runway All Stars, as the designers are assigned to design a perfect weekend look for each the seasons. So who comes up with a truly original look and who is caught sending a design doppelganger down the runway? Read on for the full recap, including Joanna Coles‘ backfired tactic and the shocking elimination of a big fan favorite.
This week’s challenge is all about the perfect weekend getaway outfit. The eight designers will each design sportswear for one of the four seasons, which means that they’ll all have the same season as another contestant. ”Let’s make this a fashion face off,” announces Angela. After the runway show, there will be a top 4 and a bottom 4, one from each directly competing pair.
The spring season is peaceful in the workroom, as Kara and Austin both have the idea for high-waisted pants but have completely different applications in mind. Kenley and Mondo are designing for a fun summer weekend—which means the look must have polka dots, right? Mondo tells Joanna in the workroom, “She may be the polka dot queen but I am the polka dot princess!” Mondo mixes a black and white polka dot top with a pair of houndstooth-printed shorts.
For fall, Mila leans towards skinny pants and a khaki cape and Rami creates a belted dress out of an incredibly bright blue fabric. However, Jerell and Michael, who are both creating winter getaway looks, both find themselves in the wool section at mood; Jerell has a clear game plan while Michael is searching for inspiration among the aisles of fabric. Michael claims that his original design didn’t work with the fabric he bought, forcing him to adjust his look…so why does it happen to look incredibly similar to Jerell’s? “Come on, you were making a mini bolero jacket and now it has the same silhouette?” confronts Jerell to his direct competitor.
Joanna Coles asks the designers to gather for a quick meeting after her consultations with Jerell and Michael. “I like to have these at the magazine when there’s tension.” She asks everyone’s opinion about their similar looks—something Tim has never done. As everyone expresses their view of the situation, the issue is now out in the open with all the contestants. “Do the best work that you can,” says Joanna, “and may the best man win.”
“That was incredibly uncalled for,” says Michael who takes the meeting personally and thinks that the others are hating on him since he’s won two challenges (never mind that he was in the bottom two last week, I guess). Jerell and Michael argue about the origin of their designs during dinner, and it looks like that team meeting didn’t help like Joanna wished it would…
On the runway, the guest judge is esteemed designer Cynthia Rowley. Both seasonal looks walk out at the same time and take turns walking the runway. They looks are also judged side by side.
Of Austin’s look, Cynthia says, “It’s almost so dorky, it’s cool!” However, the judges agree that the look comes off boring and not modern at all. They don’t favor Kara’s outfit either. “I don’t see anything original here at all,” says Cynthia. Despite the moderate criticism, Kara comes out on top, but not by much. “She snuck her way into the high score because Austin went a little nutso this time.” said Angela.
For the summer looks, Georgina dislikes the lineup of the polka dots on the lower half of Kenley’s shorts, but everyone is pretty much raving about the jumpsuit and the lack of accessories the model is wearing. “It was just one piece with a lot of impact,” says Cynthia. However, Georgina complains that the judges have seen this look way too often in this competition thus far.
The judges are confused by Mondo’s look, as his model’s hair is styled for the fifties but his accessories are from the ’80s and his shorts are unflattering. Mondo hoped his dress would metaphorically be a gift to his mother, as he was missing her birthday for this episode. Georgina says, “It is a very good look, but it’s not as brilliant as it was last week,” says Georgina. Kenley wins over Mondo, but was Mondo held to his own impossible standard?
As for fall, Isaac hates Rami’s green draped turtleneck, but everyone loves the vibrant blue cardigan. Georgina says, “His top underneath, I wish I had never seen that.” Mila’s isn’t much better: Georgina clearly recognizes Mila’s aesthetic in the look, and her execution isn’t as flawless as it usually is this time around. Mila comes out on top.
“These two looks are so similar, how did they come about?” asks Georgina of the winter looks. Cynthia comments that the looks are so similar that Michael’s model looks like the mother of Jerell’s model! Jerell explains his side of the story, and says “I guess we got struck by the same creative bug.” Michael denies ever seeing Jerell’s vision to the judges. Everyone loves the perfect translation of Jerell’s bohemian vibe into a winter weekend getaway look (minus the giant buttons).
Isaac loves Michael’s coat, but hates the styling of a patent leather heel with his leggings. While deliberating, the judges start to notice that Michael’s aesthetic has been inconsistent, and they’d have no idea what to expect if Michael were to have a fashion show. Is he truly designing, or is he just executing designs he’s seen in other places?
Overall, the winner of the challenge is Jerell! “With the doppelganger on the runway, I’m glad the judges were able to see the real McCoy!”
In the bottom two is Rami and Austin. “This look didn’t push any creative boundaries and your styling missed the mark…again.” says Angela to Austin. However, Rami is out! “My first time at the bottom and I happened to be eliminated…life goes on. It’s impossible for everyone in the world to like everything you do, and I’m okay with that.”
Who do you think should have won or lost on tonight’s episode of Project Runway All Stars?
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Photo credit: Lifetime