Project Runway All Stars Rocks Out With Its Frocks Out

The latest challenge finds the designers creating performance looks for musical artists. Who's off-key? Your editors discuss!

Our Players

Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.
Hello, I'm West Coast Editor Tara Ariano.

The Talk

I really liked the challenge this week -- clunky product placement of the Hard Rock Café aside, it's about time the brief had them designing for performers. The face-off element, with pairs of designers assigned to rock, pop, or country, worked for me too. What I didn't love about it is how it seemed tailored to keep Edmond around when he's seemed on the brink of going home for weeks, with good reason. Again, I like Edmond personally and he's certainly not incapable of coming up with cool shit. This just seemed aimed a liiiiiittle too squarely at the particular sort of cool shit he does do. And I wasn't crazy about the look, either, honestly. Didn't hate it, but wasn't crazy about it.


I'm with you: Edmond's look was executed just fine, and it definitely looked like "rock," but it also struck me as very expected. Black leather? Fringe? Leggings? Sure, that ticks all the boxes if you're dressing a fictional rock star in, like, a Disney Channel original movie (though that one might wear a tank top under the vest to cover up all that cleav). I just can't think of an actual female rock star in the year 2018 who would wear it onstage without looking like a cliché. Stanley's rock look wasn't my favourite overall either, and it wasn't the most innovative either, but I could picture a Melissa Auf der Mar in it, you know?


ha, totally! I'm trying to forget that unacceptable leopard-print shoe Stanley paired his look with, but I really liked the vest and the skirt -- as separate pieces. Together, they seemed too matchy and, like, Epcot Rock, but it wasn't any more costume-y than Edmond's, which to your point felt like he had a literal checklist, and didn't necessarily tie all the items together. But the judges didn't appear to have seriously considered sending him home, either, and Helen's departure worked for me. It fit gorgeously, but talk about too literal. Not to mention: I know corsetry is Her Whole Thing or whatever, but I don't know that she's even capable of envisioning any other silhouette.


I felt bad for Helen because I got what she was trying to do, and I could imagine a Faith Hill wearing that look onstage at the Opry -- though she might have gone even MORE literal with a cowboy boot. The silhouette was country, but the sequins made it glam, and that skirt would be fun to move around in. How it lost out to Fabio's tennis diaper, I do not know. Points to him for putting it over by styling his model to look like Kimberly Schlapman from Little Big Town, but still: no.


The sequins made it dated, to me, and I agreed with Georgina Chapman that, without anything else to break them up, the textile looked a bit cheap; Fabio's take on glitzy country, using gold denim, worked way better for me -- and that hobnail detailing, straight off a mid-century diner banquette? Love it. I would have liked more coverage in the back, i.e., any, but Taylor Swift would absolutely wear that, or has worn that.

Well, reasonable people can disagree! (Not that that always applies to us, hee.) Let's see if we found common ground here: Anthony should have beaten Ken. I feel that wig choice on Ken's model was explicitly intended to evoke Whitney Houston, but I feel as though, now that she's left us, it's not a pop look I can picture on any other diva who ever was -- especially the coat!


I had no idea how to guess the judges would respond to the panty...situation underneath, or to the fact that, for me, the fabric against that model's skin tone did 85 percent of the work. I did note while watching it walk that I could see Céline Dion in it, although maybe not in that colorway. I didn't dislike it, or the coat, but for it to win the face-off when it was so fabric-choice-dependent -- and Anthony's was also good? I don't know. Anthony's had problems, don't get me wrong. It was giving me En Vogue, and not in an unalloyed good way. But it was more intentional.


I loved that Anthony mentioned Rihanna during his critique, because it was clear from his model's walk that he'd also given her that reference, and she was feeeeeeeeeling herself. Katy Perry or Ke$ha should be so lucky as to step into a garment like that -- I could even see Beyoncé in it if Anthony took off the sleeves. Plus you know I'm here for that blue.

And it looked pretty comfortable -- not something you could say for a few of the other garments. Speaking of comfortable: I'm comfortable with the winner edit Anthony's getting. Should I be? Or do you think someone else is taking home the money?

It definitely seems like that's the scale where the producers' collective thumb has ended up (...idk), and I'm happy with it too: Anthony has shown real versatility over the course of the season and maintained his charming and likable attitude throughout -- which doesn't necessarily have to be a consideration, but I'm never mad when it is.

Even his work husband Ken probably won't be too mad about it.


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