Which Designer Crushes The Competition In Project Runway All Stars's Candy Crush Challenge?

We rank the looks of 'Nina's Crushing It'!

We were all waiting for the moment Nana Garcia was going to take her turn to parachute into All Stars, and of course this is it: the tech-adjacent challenge, because at some point Nina decided her thing was going to be "internet maven" so she could give critiques that included the phrase "Instagram moment" and the lame, lame like. This week, the designers' inspiration is the mobile game Candy Crush, to which Fabio confesses an addiction but which none of the other four designers seems to know or care about: they are ordered to play a round of Candy Crush, with the designer who racks up the highest score getting first pick of the "lands" of the game's candy kingdom to inspire his design. Somehow Fabio's years spent deliberately missing his subway stop so that he can finish a Candy Crush game don't serve him, as Ken easily bests his fellow competitors...


...perhaps consequently, also walks away with the challenge win: a chance to collaborate with King, the company that makes Candy Crush? Yes, for sure, this is an opportunity for which Ken is perfectly suited.


Edmond, alas, has coasted his last and gets eliminated this week -- but what do I think about how the judging should have gone? Find out as I count down the looks from worst to first.

  1. Edmond



    Okay, yes, there's really no question this design is the worst of the week. Having come in last in the game scores, Edmond gets stuck with the land no one else wanted: Marshmallow Mountains. He admits that he's never gone skiing, but has he...also never experienced cold weather? Because otherwise I have no idea why he thinks skiwear is made out of neoprene. Furthermore, Nina clearly explains that this is a resort wear challenge, so he could as easily have designed an après-ski look that would have given him a lot more freedom: you don't have to have skied to get the concept of sitting by a fire cozily drinking. I also don't know why he heard "Candy Crush" and thought "black"?! The shade doesn't conceal the roomy, roomy crotch he's inflicted on his model.


    You could ski the slopes with a full-grown badger in there and you might not even know. Georgina comments that they're far enough along in the competition for the judging to have become very difficult. I assume this is the exception, because yikes: clearly the worst look, and it's not close.

  2. Stanley

    Stanley chose Lemonade Lake, and you can tell because his look is-- wait.


    It ain't Limeade Lake, son! I don't want to be rude (lol), but this is less Candy Crush than "Luigi, but make it fashion." Obviously they always have to be on their guard against being too literal in their interpretations of their design inspirations, but you're going to pick Lemonade Lake and make your look green? Get the fuck out of here. Furthermore, is this what Stanley thinks even a very fashionable woman would wear at a lakeside resort? Just the thought of all these yards of fabric filling with black flies is making me itchy. And while I have no problem with a dress-over-pants concept, the proportions on this silhouette are all wrong. Cap the sleeves, shorten the skirt, turn those palazzo pants into some cigarette pants, and try again. Oh, and while you're doing all that: GOOGLE A PICTURE OF SOME LEMONADE, NITWIT.

  3. Fabio

    I really thought Fabio might get bounced for his interpretation of Taffy Tropics...


    ...based on this reaction from Isaac as it walked away.


    That's approximately the face I made when I realized Fabio really had sent a fancy apron down the runway. But the judges are all way into it, and given that Fabio himself says he can see all its flaws, I think 75% of the credit for his being safe this week goes to his model, who gives it a sweet winsomeness that does convey a breezy resort feel.


    Fabio stresses through the episode since it was at this point that he was eliminated in his first season. This wasn't my favourite All Stars look of his, but I'm glad he's going to make it to the finale.

  4. Anthony

    Anthony gets slightly confused as to what Sticky Savannah means -- it seems like he's mentally been substituting "Safari" or "Sahara" in place of "Savannah" -- but Anne helps direct him by saying she has yet to find a safari jacket she wants to wear herself and urges him to design one she'll like. He doesn't.


    I was willing to overlook the monochrome white palette (though I don't agree with guest judge Kelly Osbourne that the eyelet evokes Candy Crush) because it looks so clean walking the runway, and unlike everyone else's looks, I don't feel I would spend my time at my hypothetical resort leaving sweat prints on the furniture if I wore Anthony's design. It would probably be ranked higher, however, if I never found out how his model actually has to get into it, which Anthony explains during his critique: "She gets zipped up and it wraps around and connects." No. No, she does not.

  5. Alyssa's Runway Look

    Maybe it's unfair to judge this look -- which I think is Valentino? -- against five outfits that were made in approximately twenty-four hours, but who cares.


    I might want to give Alyssa a silhouette that looks more like this one -- though still in the blue she wears on the show, which I think is gorgeous on her -- but this is a great leap forward from the tat they so often abuse her with. Not the greatest leap of the episode, though! We'll get there.

  6. Ken

    Candy Crush champion Ken chooses Brulee Bay, and this is the look that results.


    Kelly notes in her critique that she would have liked the sarong to be detachable to give the design a little extra impact, but I don't think it needs a gimmick to work. In a runway that's heavy on dresses over pants, this look is clearly the best executed, and if that yellow doesn't make you pucker up like you're sucking on a Lemonhead, you might need an eye exam. A richly deserved win for Ken. ...Good luck to King on that collaboration, though.

  7. Alyssa's Challenge Announcement Look

    I have been waiting to see this darling dress again ever since it graced the teaser at the end of last week's episode.


    It fits Alyssa so well that I can't even complain that the collar is so high: her bosoms look comfortable and not at all constrained. Maybe I only clocked Fabio's reaction because it lined up exactly with my own...


    ...but are he and his fellow designers possibly trying to give Alyssa lots of positive reinforcement this week so that she'll avoid the badly hemmed sausage casings and boxy blocks that have served her ill in so many other episodes this season/since she's been hosting this show? If so, let me join them. It is really cute.

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