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Project Runway All Stars Takes A (Fairy Tale) Princess Cruise

Princess protagonists of children's literature are the inspiration for the latest challenge. Who won't be living happily ever after?

Our Players

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

The Talk

I need to start with a confidential message to Kini. Buddy, I get where you are coming from. I am not a Sam fan either. I can also appreciate how much more frustrating it must be in your position, to see him praised for work you actually did. But the bitchier you are about him backstage, the longer the show is going to keep him around! Use your head!

I am so glad we agree on this point! I really feel as if Sam might have gone home this week absent the sniping between him and Kini, who needs to act like he's been here and stop kicking down. And not for nothing, but if you had an issue with his taking credit for your shit, the time to rip Sam for that was when it happened. "Maybe he did!" We'd have seen it; he didn't. Anyway, we shouldn't sink to the level the production clearly wants everyone involved to -- viz. the stagey inquiries of other designers about their beef -- so let's move on to another Under The Gunn "graduate": Asha, who won this week. Boo.

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Lifetime

I co-sign that "boo" real hard...boo. The challenge this week -- tenuously tied in with the Finding Neverland musical, which our esteemed colleague Mark Blankenship would not forgive us for failing to mention is produced by Harvey Weinstein, who's also behind THIS franchise, which is why this is its THIRD Runway universe tie-in, SPEAKING OF "BOO" -- was for the designers to be assigned female protagonists of children's literature and bring their spirit into a modern outfit. Asha got Rapunzel, and other than the braid down her model's back, I don't see it. The train is a visual continuation of the braid? ...K? Also, I don't understand what we were actually looking at. It was a peplum-y skirt worn over a jumpsuit? What and why? Georgina was right: it looked cheap.

Cheap, and composed of design elements we just. keep. seeing -- here's a jumpsuit, here's a plunging neck, here's a mofo-ing peplum. The back looked straight out the dress-up box to me, which is dramatic, but...just, boo. Dom's was the class of the runway again: well made, well thought-out, and nodded to the challenge without going costume or craft.

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Lifetime

Honorable mention to Emily's Ziggy Spacejacket. Want!

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Lifetime

Dom's take on Tinkerbell deserved way more credit than it got, I agree. Guest judge Ke$ha nailed it when she said it was perfect for dinner out -- effortlessly eye-catching and cool. And not for nothing, but unlike Asha's stupid plunging neckline, Dom's potentially could work on a variety of body types: her witty idea for the wing cut-outs on the shoulder blades is also a sexy way for anyone at any size to show some skin without feeling self-conscious about it, and just about everyone looks good in skinny pants if they're tailored like Dom's were. As for Emily: I can't believe she was only safe. She made the Snow Queen look terrifyingly bad-ass. What did you think of Layana's take on Belle? I kind of didn't disagree that it looked a little Maxxinista...but maybe I'm just basic because I didn't mind it that much? (And thank you, guest judge Brad Goreski, for speaking up for those of us who shouldn't be shamed for liking sales.)

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Lifetime

I didn't hate it, but I agreed with the judges nevertheless: that print is budge. I think if she'd flipped the pleating so the yellow was the outside and the print was the peekaboo, it would have worked better. On the other hand, it all seemed kind of...vague to me. The length felt accidental; it just didn't have that much of a point of view. As we've said before, nothing against Forever 21, but we don't watch PRAS for that. Or to see what a Japanese butterfly would wear to a rave, KINI.

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Lifetime

I still don't know how Kini's Alice in Wonderland look was in the top this week. What happens to that whole ruffle cape when the wearer sits down? "She doesn't" is not an acceptable answer if this isn't an avant-garde challenge. Give a thought to wearability. (I loved how Brad's critique about how busy it was got to be the final word in that section. Um, it's a top look, and that was not positive.) Also not giving a thought to wearability: Ken, with his Snow White look. Am I crazy or did it look like the pants were too tight for his model to walk in?

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Lifetime

My notes on Ken's: "I don't get it." I liked the marriage of textiles, but that's the textiles doing all the work -- I don't get the backstory, or who it's for. It's a...suit. However, it's a suit from this decade. I can't say the same for Alexander's look. Can we PLEASE NOT with that neckline anymore? I felt like I'd flipped accidentally onto a Gossip Girl promisode from 2003.

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Lifetime

Completely, and the fact that he tried to age it down with the pixie hair on his model made it so much more tragic. Not to say I wanted a direct through line from the Disney designs of these characters to the runway, but a softer colour would have made so much difference in Alexander's case. That dark wine did look more evil stepmother, as did that tight-assed skirt. But then, if you go too literal, you end up with Sam's mesh and fish scale Little Mermaid...which brings us back to the top, because how is that not the losing look. It was like he pulled it off a wall hanging in a seafood restaurant -- and not a fancy one.

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Lifetime

I sympathized with Sam on the literal tip -- because "mermaid" rules so much out. You can't do that skirt story (which: good; just ask Donna Martin), it makes a lot of the blue end of the spectrum suspect...it's a tougher pull than it might look like. But the real fairytale is so much darker than the movie and suggests so many other possibilities, like a high-end mesh midi OVER a shiny pant...that this Matey Tavern thing is what he came up with points up his youth, IMO.

For sure. He's going to keep doing these half-baked things because he's...not that good. And he's not going to hang on much longer if some people can just quit making him seem so appealing as a character by picking fights with him. KINI.

I think there's good in there, but he's leaning on cute-and-bitchy instead of putting any thought in, which is no doubt what Kini objects to -- but you're right, Kini needs to do that silently so the inevitable may finally happen.

Think of the greater good, Kini! Journal that shit! Turn it into a Kindle Single! TAKE MY MONEY!

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