Lifetime

The Season 5 Premiere Of Project Runway All Stars Features Instant Injury, Woman Warriors, And One Bad Penny...But Is It 'Fashion-Forwards'?

And how well are its seams finished? Your editors discuss!

Our Players

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

The Talk

Welcome back to another season of discussing Project Runway All-Stars, dear wife...but just barely, since we both nearly quit when we realized not one but TWO Under The Gunn-ers would be participating. This isn't The Challenge, people. That show needs to be Friday Night Lights Season-2ed and never spoken of.

I assume the reason is that Lifetime is trying to act like all the Bravo seasons didn't happen, which means the number of legit "stars" from the Project Lifeway is limited? But a reason is not an excuse, and also, like..."stars." By definition, no one from Under The Gunn qualifies. How am I supposed to watch without just rooting for both those "who?"s to get bounced?

Especially Sam, who is so punchable, and the fact that I will be doing it to take that adorable intarsia-planes sweater off his smug ass means ain't a court in the land will convict me.

Lifetime

Lifetime

Leaving those two aside -- as I hope this season elects to do -- which designers' return has made you happiest? I'll start: I always liked Valerie's aesthetic in her season; as I recall, her issue was with time management. So I'm hoping her performance in the premiere (winner!) is a sign that she's worked on that. You?

I am happy to see Ken -- I don't think anyone else is happy to see Ken, including Ken, which is Ken's whole problem; I love Ken -- and I'm also surprisingly happy to see Fäde. Historically his designs were, for me, unwearable '90s-barf, but he himself is such a gentle presence, and I like listening to his thought processes even if the end result is not for me.

Wow, that is a perfect way to encapsulate his vibe! I agree, though I thought he did some decent work when he was able to turn off his Eurosity.

BUT SPEAKING OF UNWEARABLE BARF! Let's just address the Alyssituation and get it over with, like, for the season. Alyssa Milano has an adorable, NORMAL figure and glorious hair. What in the actual fiery hell are they trying to do to her? The runway look wasn't SO bad, but the intro styles, madon' -- the Lucille Ball hair, the '80s tied blouse, the 'marm-y sailor gaucho...things, it just was a big pile of fail.

Lifetime

Lifetime

Well, there are a few things going on. One is that as the host of a show ABOUT FASHION, she should look good. This is not something that has ever been a challenge for Heidi Klum or Hannah Davis, who I know are both literal models while Alyssa Milano is not, but...

Barbara Nitke / Lifetime

Barbara Nitke / Lifetime

...two, she's been dressing herself for decades; she presumably knows how to flatter her own proportions. When you're a shorter lady, that does NOT mean a skirt that cuts you mid-calf. When you're a bosomy lady, that does NOT mean a waistline that blouses up around your boobs! I don't know if the issue is that stylists are presenting her with these shit options and she feels pressured not to fight back because they're "fashion people" or whatever the fuck, but I wish she would, because I KNOW she knows better.

That's what makes me sad too. She definitely knows -- unless she doesn't, and she's doing that "the only rule is there are no rules" thing. I admire the sentiment (dresses over pants forever!) but at five foot ten I can get away with certain things La Milano cannot. Girl: you short. Get over it.

Her hair looks so good, though. Suh. Good.

It really does. Complexion, too. I really like her as the host! And I'm really glad to have Isaac Mizrahi back on my screen. He had elegantly economical comments about the runway looks, which on the whole kind of bored me. Did any stand out to you?

I agree that the runway was a bit blah, but I think I almost always feel that way about these half-assy "Show us who you are!" challenges. The limitations are almost always what make the looks interesting on this show, and without them, I feel like I'm just...shopping?

Lifetime

Lifetime

That said, I liked Valerie's geometric look, though if I'm being completely honest, I thought the little short-sleeved vest over it was unnecessary.

Lifetime

Lifetime

I liked Dom's giant jacket/rose sheath (even though I couldn't wear it myself, because I am built like a Milano who's...eaten Milanos).

I liked Valerie's too, and I agree about the vest. I liked Dom's coat and hated the sheath (that color is like a coffin-liner).

Lifetime

Lifetime

And as usual, I liked and would wear Emily's look but it was adjudged merely safe because she often isn't as body-con as other designers. And Kini sucked up to me with a black/white Elvis-meets-Audrey look.

Lifetime

Lifetime

I just won a bet with myself that you'd like Kini's. He's really nailed your style.

Lifetime

Lifetime

At the other end of the spectrum: I guess we're going to have to suffer through another season of Stella, rock costume designer, doing something expected every time. I guess her take on a sheath is somewhat different, but the black, and the laces, I can't. And then...Franco. Sarah? FRANCO.

Lifetime

Lifetime

He makes me so uncomfortable. And Mizrahi's regretful note that the look was "so nothing," from the armholes to the slit placement to the color, was right on. Like, being flaky is not an aesthetic, k.d. stayed-at-the-dance-too-long. The clear loser, IMO.

Especially when his story was about designing something to impress his future wife! With this bland tweed assemblage that's already coming apart in your model's pit? I guess you also have either money or a huge peen.

The only thing that sustained me through that bullshitty judging "result" was Dmitry. Please talk to me more about leather, Dmitry. You are so "fashion-forwards." God, I love him.

I would love to have him at my elbow whenever I'm shopping for "jeckets," that is for sure. (Speaking of people whose hair looks great: Dmitry.)

Lifetime

Lifetime

Clairol #67: Soviet Blac.

I happen to need a haircut at the moment and might bring a shot of his perfect framing wave into the salon.

I think you should, and I notice you have not deigned to comment on the doofy "you're both safe, but you have to show us what you can do, swearsies" outcome in which both Franco and Mitchell got to stay for another week.

YEAH, WHAT THE HELL. It's "All Stars." These people have all done this before -- TWO times before, in Franco's case. Fucking cut someone, nobody's got time to dick around like this!

Or make them Thunderunwaydome right there for the spot!

That's what I thought was going to happen! I still don't get why it didn't.

It might have taken time away from the careful pronunciation of the sponsors' names? Which, God help us, have stopped scraping the barrel and are now rooting around in the mud UNDER the barrel. The Schwarzkopf hair salon? Really? Is everyone getting a buzz cut?

The Chinese Laundry accessory wall? No one cared to look up the head of marketing for Crocs?

Or Claire's?

I would never let a Chinese Laundry anywhere near my foot and I have shoes from TARGET that I wear with pride.

Look, I'm wearing a dress over jeans with high-top Chucks right now, but that's the whole point: you've got to have SOME standards in life. Mine happens to be "vice principal of the Wes Anderson Middle School," but there's a commitment to quality. And layers. Many layers.

Hey, that's where I work as an art therapist with an MFA from Brown! I thought I'd seen you in the lounge. OUR FASHION ALTER EGOS ASIDE, do you have an early pick for how the season's going to end? I think Kini has a shot this time.

Oh, totes. He's definitely in the final 2-3, along with Valerie and...

Lifetime

Lifetime

...I'm going to say Asha? I didn't love that Xena, Wavy-Hem Princess thing she sent out today but she's got skills.

Lifetime

Lifetime

I wouldn't sleep on Layana either, if she can cool it with the pastels.

Yeah, they are not so fashion-forwards.

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