Project Runway All Stars Goes Over The Rainbow For An Isaac Mizrahi Challenge
When Isaac assigns the designers' inspirations for the latest challenge, whose colours pop? Your editors discuss!
Tara, I don't understand Stanley's win at all. ...Well, wait, maybe I do. It's an Isaac-Mizrahi-based challenge this week -- the designers took in a Mizrahi exhibit at the Jewish Museum, then worked off palettes assigned to them by Le Miz to make spring party looks, and the winner is working with Le Miz on his Lord & Taylor line for spring, so I wonder if, among the top finishers, Le Miz didn't just pick the person he'd most like to collaborate with. (Or, more accurately, not pick the pricklier Ken or Helen.) But Stanley's looked woefully badly finished to me in the close-ups, I hated the Necco green color he picked for his required contrast hue, and the top and bottom didn't really go together, to me. The judging was a little all over the place this week generally, and it could be hard to tell whether a given critique was positive or negative overall, but I found it quite surprising that Stanley's seemed to be headed for the top.
I do think you're on to something with your speculation as to how much Mizrahi's choice of winner had to do with the question of personality -- not just the one he might want to spend the most time with, but the one he may think he will be best able to steer. As a judge on every episode, Mizrahi knows who can take a critique (which, in this case, may mean "who won't fight too hard for his ideas") -- and I wonder if that was why they held back the nature of the prize until the very end. If a Joshua knows he's definitely not going to win it, how hard does he try? ...Although I guess he didn't really try that hard regardless.
I think Joshua felt his main job this week was rehabilitating himself with the judges -- and, as part of that, not sending something down the runway that looks like it came from an Etsy store for fetishwear. And for Joshua, that likely was quite trying, as it were. Yeah, his look lands as a little too simplistic, but: it's Joshua. For no one else is resisting the temptation to make a glitter arrow out of rick-rack and point it at the model's nethers such a harrowing prospect.
Would you have put him on the bottom? Granted, his look was a notch less simplistic than Edmond's Wendy Darling nightie and benefited from the comparison...
...but I didn't think Merline's was the worst. Yes, it had The Merline Problem -- predictable folds and cutouts -- but was it really worse than Edmond's? It certainly wasn't less thoughtful!
I would have put Josh in the middle too. It wasn't as too-simple as Edmond's; what's more, for him, like I said, going stripped-down and flowy versus his usual overworked and harness-y is a departure. Edmond lost a battle with his fabric. It's not quite the same thing. And Merline also lost a battle with her fabric -- the judges said as much -- but I was still surprised to see her go home, primarily because it sounded like they were working themselves up to find a reason to keep her, again, some more. No, on the merits the look isn't worse than Edmond's. It's just the same goddamn look she always sends out, and if you're going to be that resolute about your lane, you're risking hitting a pothole. ...Okay, that metaphor isn't great, but it's better than whatever drunk-chiminea thing was happening with the front of her skirt, and I'm fine with Merline's ouster. And so is she, apparently. I'm less fine with Ken not winning, because his model looked delicious. Like, I wanted to drink her! But I will get over it if someone can source that tassel necklace for me, because tbh that was probably 30-40 percent of the effect.
That Ken was getting the "about to send a model down in literal staples" edit made the finished product all the more impressive. Who cares if he added the pink pop at the last possible second: he needed that time to build his corset, and the fit was like whoa. Plus his shades actually went together, unlike MANY of his peers'. Could they have maybe distributed some damn colour wheels to remind these idiots how that shit works? Okay, Fabio, you didn't want green -- but pairing it with BLUE is not how you get that message across. Honestly, if Stanley won on the sole basis of getting that green and pink are complementary, I'm okay with it.
Yeah, wtf was with Anthony acting like he's the first person to pair yellow and lavender? I had outfits, plural, from Esprit in the '80s that were...that. And I got it off the Easter bunny's five-page spread in the April 1984 issue of Vogue, so.
I would have respected that more had the lavender not been so pale; maybe it was my screen but it read more gray to me -- and not a statement gray either. Also not using purple to its best advantage: Helen. That short-long idea was stupid and she should send Carmen Dell'Orefice red roses every day for a month for defending it. Her model looked like she fell down a gully, got her pant leg torn off, and stood up a woman-sized bruise. ALSO worse than Merline's.
That aubergine Helen picked is possibly the best color on me personally, and I still didn't care for it. It's not a spring purple, and when it's in that silhouette...bear with me here, but you know that Samurai Jack episode when Jack meets a lady in a bazaar, and they travel together through the desert, and then it turns out she's Aku? That's Helen's outfit, except in black and green. I also like Samurai Jack a lot, but it was giving me hookah-bar costume, is m'point.
WELL: this was a pretty loose mandate and a pretty underwhelming runway, which mostly served to remind me that there are still so many cuts to go. Like, it's actually kind of bizarre that Edmond is still here -- but maybe when Zac Posen returns to us next week, he can rectify that.
I am, as always, looking forward to a full complement of hashtag Posenfaces.