Saturday, August 22, 2009

Project Runway All Stars Challenge - My Thoughts

One of the biggest treats about Project Runway returning to air was the All Stars Challenge. I can't tell you how excited I was to see this. I enjoyed it far more than the 6th season premier, partially because they had a lot of people on here that I just love. The All-Star Challenge: Create three looks that show how you've grown as a designer. One of them has to be red carpet. Oh and there's more - a fourth look made from the material in some restaurant in the Meat Packing District. Yeah, typical Project Runway. Love!

Let's start at the most obvious place: The Winner.

Daniel Vosovic

I began watching Project Runway at the very tail end of the Second Season. My friend Tara had begged me to watch it, saying I would love it. I remember Daniel's final runway show. I remember thinking he was dull. I also remember thinking that he had no idea what to do with women's boobs - that he kept trying to make women look like little boys. That has changed - he seems to realize that you have to allow room for the girls, that you have to put them on display. Thank goodness. But I still hated his collection for the All Stars Challenge and disagree with the judges.

Take this dress. This was Daniel's "Restaurant Challenge Dress". I realize he's pushing the envelope here, but the pieces of tubing he plastered around this woman's chest reminded me so much of images of suicide bombers I just could not stomach the design. I don't understand how the judges couldn't bring this fairly obvious comparison up. It doesn't look like a waist cincher - it looks like dynamite. In a bad way. In the "You're all going to die when I press this button" sort of way.

I think I may have to buy his book, however.

Now, on to who I think should have won...

Korto Momolu

I have never seen a woman design more clothing that just has to, no, NEEDS to be worn from this show before. I think everything she makes is just gorgeous. Yes, some of it is expected, but she knows how to do good clothing. Still I can see why the Project Runway judges chose Daniel instead of Korto (or anyone else). Her clothing may be beautiful but there's not much that's new or different here. But it's all just so gorgeous!

Incidentally, Korto mentioned that the day after the finale of Project Runway "Korto Momolu" was the most Googled name in th world. Think about this a minute - that's quite an amazing accomplishment! I would have never in a million years though that a Project Runway designer could have been a number 1 Googled name on ANY day. You could say that she made the world stand up and pay attention to fashion for a few short hours. Good for you Korto! I'd love to see the stats on what else was Googled that day.

Korto is also making her own jewery now. And yes, she has a website where she sells it. It even includes the pronunciation of her name on the front page. Hee hee.

Uli Herzner

The judges panned her designs, saying they didn't look much like the Uli they've come to love. I applaud her for changing. During the season Uli was a contestant they complained that she stuck to prints so much they wondered if she could do anything else. Well, guess what - she proved she can. I think quite well. Yes, the dress I chose to show here does remind me a little bit of sea anemones or the graphics of the baby egg falling toward the uterus in Look Who's Talking, but I still think it's quite pretty. It had this way it moved as the model walked down the runway which I found appealing. When they showed her making this dress in the workroom I knew I was going to like it.

Also by Uli, this top which I could totally see myself trying to rock in some universe where I'm thin:

You can tell that this was Uli's "Restaurant Challenge" but how cool?!? I love this metallic tunic. It's very interesting visually.

Sweet P

I have to admit when I first saw Sweet P's designs I didn't like them. But when I went back and took a second look, I realized she impressed me a lot more than I had though. Her aesthetic sense is a little different than what I like but holy cow - can this lady sew or what? Just take a look at her "Restaurant Challenge" piece:

I don't think the judges gave her enough credit for pumping this out. Yes, it's a little wacky but it's a heck of a lot more pleasing than Daniel's Terrorist-Chic dress.

Santino Rice

Wow! I could probably watch the Santino Show all day long. This guy is so obnoxiously silly. I can see why people loved him (and loved to hate him). Back during Season 2, Tara used to talk about Santino all the time. "Santino - this, Santino - that, oh you should have seen what Santino did this week..." When I saw the Season 2 Finale I was disappointed - he was a shadow of the crazy-villain I had heard so much about. He looked like a sad little puppy during his Bryant Park critique, not the devil who would probably step on sad little puppies I had come to expect. Well, I was happy to see the larger-than-life personality that is Santino Rice back for this challenge.

Sadly, I wasn't that enamored of his clothing. The designs were not bad. In fact, I loved the sequined leggings (yes, those are sequined leggings under that white coat) and I thought his designs matched his personality - a little dark, very silly, a little unexpected. But you could tell next to the other designers that his would probably be considered in the "also ran" category if you were thinking in terms of voting.

By the way, I absolutely think Santino Rice and Chris March should go into creating some type of fashion workroom sitcom together. I would watch it.

Chris March

Poor Chris! He's one of my favorite Project Runway contestants ever, but he never seems to win! Based on what we saw from the clips for this All-Star Challenge, though, I keep wondering what Chris would be capable of if he didn't spend half his time sleeping. Take a look at this little plaid jacket. I love it...

His collection was good enough to get him in to the Top Four, but he was first out of that group. I think his "Restaurant Challenge" piece was what did it. This is where Chris really shines - using strange materials, and making costumes. Heidi was right to point out that while this piece is beautiful there was quite a bit of humor involved.

The humor, of course, being the Madonna-like Cone Boobs he stuck on the top of this dress as decoration. The result was actually quite beautiful. Look at the shape. It's a great shape!

Now the two who were "Also Rans' in my mind were Mychael Knight and Jeffrey Sebelia. During their run on Project Runway I was fans of both. But Mychael really dissapointed me when it came to his collections. In the end, I ended up deciding he went very far based on that coffee filter dress he created in the beginning - that was stunning. Jeffrey by contrast had an awesome collection, and I think really deserved the title (I went back and forth on that for a while but I've grown to appreciate what he did in the time since).

I have nothing of Mychael's to show you - his were really forgetable, in my opinion. Jeffrey - well, I sort of liked this:

I loved the shape of this dress. I'm not a huge fan of the asymmetrical neckline - It didn't seem to fit. But those are killer shoes she's wearing here and maybe that helps with my admiration of this piece.

I really hope Project Runway continues to do All-Star Challenges in the future. I do hope they bring back both Chris March and Santino over and over. They are just way too much fun. And I think Korto deserves another chance to win. I fear she's doomed to be second place forever. Third time's the charm, right? Well, Korto - I'd buy your clothing. And I'd gladly watch you return.

And yes, these images are captures from MyLifetime. I didn't want their larger images so I cropped them. Hopefully they don't mind.