Saturday, October 26, 2013

Project Runway All-Stars S3 E1: "You Got Punked!"

OK gang, here we are in Season 3 of the Project Runway spin-off All-Stars.  And, this season we have a motley crew of former contestants, some of whom I barely even remembered.  But, since I still have the copy of the coffee table book from the library, and All-Stars only had 60 minutes this episode (more on that later), let's go through the cast.  Feel free to skip down to my "..." as this is just a huge gigantic info dump.

Season 3
Mychael Knight, Finalist, 2 series wins
Jeffrey Sebelia, Winner, 2 series wins 
Upon doing a little bit of research, season 3 wasn't even covered by AV Club. This is the before time. Jeffrey Sebelia, season 3's winner, was a relatively new father back then, and he was also a rocker with a huge prominent neck tat.  His final was really slick and cool when it wasn't inspired by a picnic blanket. For the most part it was easy, stylish, and half of it still looks timeless.  Mychael Knight was the fan favorite of season 3, and his final collection was the right around the time of the urban blaxploitation 70s revival. 

- Also from Season 2: Laura Bennett and Uli Herzner
- Season 3 had the first everyday woman challenge (though Season 2 had the designers design for each other).  As such, the women were the designers' family.  Yes, Jeffrey was the one who made another designers' mom cry. 
- Laura and Mychael both accused Jeffrey of getting help with the construction of his final collection. The producers deemed this to be unfounded

Season 5
Korto Momolu, Finalist, 2 series wins
Korto Momolu's designs had been very tribal and inspired by Africa.  Her whole collection reflected by her African and urban tastes rendered in a high end, almost beachy, style. But, Leanne won with her one-note-ish collection of petals.  Korto was fan favorite though.

- Also from Season 5: Leanne Marshall, Kenley Collins, and Suede
- Drag Queens on the runway! (Man, I really REALLY miss the drag queen challenge)
- Korto designing a "hip hop" look for Leanne, and having LL Cool J shut that design down

Season 6
Irina Shavayeva, Winner, 3 series wins
Does anybody even remember this season with any fondness? Irina was like what Alexandria of Season 12 wanted to be.  Her collection was dark, punky and gothy while still being rather high fashion and never boring.  It was cold and icy in all the best ways.  That said, not many people liked it.

- Also on Season 6: Althea Harper and Gordana Gehlhausen
- First and ONLY season to be filmed in Los Angeles
- First season on Lifetime, and first season under Bunim-Murray
- Bob Mackie outfit!
- This was the season of the redone wedding dress.

Season 7
Seth Aaron Henderson, Winner, 2 series wins
Amelie Gilette dubbed Seth Aaron as Ed Grimley in the finale. Seth Aaron had had a Hot Topic aesthetic for much of the season, and pulled out a Dita Von Teese runway full of edgy leather and gothic touches while still remaining stylish.

- Also on Season 7: Emilio Sosa Mila Hermanovski (color blocking!) and Anthony Williams
- Little kid and mom challenge?

Season 8
Ari South (formerly Andy South), Finalist, 1 series win
Andy South was an urban, edgy, designer. His final collection was space age urban that was kind of monochromatic but still felt like it would have been great for a 1960s Italian Space Opera a la Barbarella. And, really, they were railroading Gretchen from day one, with Nina finally getting her way to everybody's dismay.

- Also on Season 8: Gretchen, Mondo, Michael Costello (yeah, it was THAT season)
- 90 Minutes format
- Hats, hats hats
- John Teti's first review season on AV Club

Season 9
Viktor Luna, Finalist, 1 series win
Viktor was the consummate seamstress.  Really, everything he made was impeccable, if a little boring. But, his final collection was borderline edgy, but so meticulous that it bordered boring.  I liked it more than most of the other commentors on AV, but what are you gonna do? Anya was railroaded for the win this season.

- OWL!!!
- Also on: Anya, Bert, Josh M (aka Big Gay Josh), Olivier
- Olivier asking Tim what Double D's were
- Big bear rock band standing around in their underwear

Season 10
Elena Slivnyak, Eliminated in Episode 11, 0 wins
Melissa Fleis, Finalist, 1 series win
Christopher Palu, Finalist, 4 series wins
Elena came in on a wave of androgynous eastern-block punk/goth overly butch designs, and failed to impress anybody. At all.  Christopher Palu was the sweetest most squeezably adorable gay dude on the series.  And, his designs for the final collection were totally average ready-to-wear. And, Melissa was even more boring San Francisco ready to wear.  They were both snoozefests in their final.

- Also on: Dimitry (winner?!), Origami Rose and Fabio (gypped!!!)
- Fundraising
- Candy!
- Rockettes

Season 11
Daniel Esquivel, 13th episode elimination, 2 series wins
Dali Moustache from Austin was weird and we all thought he had good taste in the beginning, but then he fumbled.  And, as he fumbled, it was totally represented by his hair.  The lower he got, the worse his hair got, until his elimination in Finale, Part 1, where his crazy hair was craziest. And, his mini collection was old lady jackets.

- Also on: Portland, Kate, and Tu
- Team based season


Project Runway All-Stars has a cold open tonight, introducing us to 11 different designers and the new host in 5 minutes.  Remember how in the last episode of Season 12 of Project Runway, which aired IMMEDIATELY BEFORE this episode, the designers complained that they were cast to fit into characters?  Tim Gunn denied this.  Well, all of these designers are pretty much introduced by their characters.

Elena: Megabitch.
Palu: "I'm here to sew stitches and cut bitches."
Ari: Transexual (RISKY!).
Mychael Knight: Chip-on-shoulder.
Viktor Luna: Reality Show Talking Head.
Daniel Esquivel: Austin Moustache.
Jeffrey Sebalia: Rocker turned hipster
Irena: Megabitch #2
Seth Aaron: EGO!
Korto: Fan Favorite Revenge Story
Melissa: Apologetic

Really, dear readers, this is how Project Runway re-introduces us to the All Star designers. Not by their fashion.  Barely by their position. But, by their personalities.  No, its never about their personalities, right?  Ugh.  So so ugh.  But, this is a 60 minute episode, and this all happens in 5 minutes.


And, so begins our journey into season 3 of Project Runway All-Stars, aka The Quest For More Money.  Since this series was actually The Quest To Give Mondo The Win, it's never taken as seriously as Project Runway prime.

This season, we get two changes.  The first is the host. Gone is everybody's least favorite Angela Lindvall, who had all the personality of a bowl of oatmeal.  Our new host?, Alyssa Milano. She has more personality than Miss Oatmeal, but what I can't get over is her accent.  Ah well, it is so much better than what we had, so I can't really complain.  The second change comes later.

Tonight's product placement? Debbie Harry and Blondie.  She's introduced as the queen of punk, or some rot.  But, really, if you've ever listened to people in the scene back then they all knew she was going to sell out for success first. And, while she makes good pop rock music, by the time she was successful she was so far from punk it wasn't even funny.  And, listen to the clip.  It's so generic adult electro, I'm bored by it.  Snooooooze.  And, punk should never be boring.  *seeeeeethe*


The challenge is to design a punk rock look, and they have to design at Mood.  I wonder if this is because of the delay in season 12's final episode, where they suddenly got a extra day in the last non-finale episode.  It seems like it would be rough for Mood, as they have to close the basement for a whole day, but maybe nobody uses the basement?  We see fabrics and shit all around them.  And, supposedly this is to make everything feel more DIY and punk.

If I had my way, they'd send the designers to a consignment shop, like Value Village, first to buy some fashion and then have it be a transformative punk challenge.  Because, really, that's what punk is about.  It's about the re-appropriation of elements and using them in ways that they should never look in a down and dirty way to say fuck you to the establishment. It's down and dirty.

But, the designers have to create a design from scratch.  What's impressive is that, in this 60 minute episode we get a lot of design compared to drama, but we're also down to 60 minutes and have 11 designers, so we get flashes.  Viktor has a promising look of chaotic grommets. There are jackets.

Now we get the second change for this season.  Our favorite ice queen mentor Joanna Coles has been replaced by Zanna Roberts Rossi.  Zanna is nicer and sweeter, but she seems really soft for being a mentor.  What makes Tim Gunn work is that he's completely direct.  He has a warm personality, but he takes no shit and rarely minces words.  Zanna seems like she's not direct, and is trying to nudge the designers from their terrible intentions instead of showing them the way.  Joanna Coles would just be like No.

Throughout the episode, we get a wide range of what some people think punk might be.  Elena likes the new wave/no wave era of punk when it was the origins of all things 80s.  Seth Aaron thinks Korto's look is bad because it doesn't have anything hard, and thus isn't punk at all.  Some say its DIY. Some say its thrown together. Ari thinks it is street.  This episode seems to be trying to turn punk into a buzzword instead of a series of movements that started in the working classes of the 1970s. Or, it is displaying the brutality of this episode as it is all about appropriating a rebellious movement against the system and making it into high end fashion.  I don't mean to get preachy you guys, but punk was always against this type of thing.

The final prize:
- Custom capsule collection on QVC
- A fashion spread in Marie Claire and a year as contributing editor
- A computer
- A year's supply of spring water,
- Trip for two to Southeast Asia (what?  Is this The Price is Right?!)
- Free hair styling and photography for a year
- Makeup
- A couple sewing machines
- $150,000

No comment.


Necktat: Its a deconstructed dress and a leather jacket. The bottom is straight out of Fight Club with the wedding dress Marla Singer wears. The top is 1980s punk, and too finished to be punk.  And, I'm bored.

Palu: Color blocking.  It is really polished and trying to give it a harder look.  He struggled with his best instincts, and it came out looking OK.  Not punk, but not finished either.

Irena: This is 80s hair metal bordering punk.  To me, this was the most badass dress on the runway.  It was hard, and hard and hard.  I loved this look, but it says metal a little more than punk.

Viktor: Punk goes high end. The challenge was to marry punk to a high end fashion look.  Where Necktat made a look that was really punk, but not so much high end, Viktor makes a look that was like the punk is going to work at a fashion magazine.

Korto: Struggled.  It's a big meh for me.

Dali Moustache: This made me laugh.  He literally took high end fashion and strapped something punk to it.  It's hilarious.  It mocks the judges, and the demands.  And, for that reason, its really fuck you punk.  I love the shit out of it.

Elena: Sloppy neon straight jacket worn backwards.  The jacket is witty, but it feels too 80s costume to me.  It's like New Wave (which Blondie was a part of) without going modern. But, this is exactly what we were expecting out of Elena in her original season.  It's masculine clothing on a female thatmakes it ripe for genderfuckery.  I like the jacket.

Ari: It's high end, modern (almost pomo), with great design and a polished look.  It has punk around the edges (like the sleeves and shorts).

Mychael: High end fashion made for an urban woman.  He has an eye that is so far from punk.  But, it looks good.

Melissa: Change the hair, and its kind of meh.  The back is amazing and off.  The front is so boring though.

Seth Aaron: Designed for Nicki Minaj. This is pure awesome rap.  This is not punk to me.  "I'm a badass, but I have money and I'm growing up."  - THAT'S NOT PUNK! That's empire.

In the end, everybody tells what they think punk is.  From street to leather jackets, to bondage to not caring to anarchy.  Debbie Harry sounds a bit drunk or on luudes, and monotously says "this isn't punk" or "I kind of love it."  It's sort of royal queen of sellout. Now, I may be coming down hard on Debbie Harry, which is only mildly unfair because I like her music.  But, I've always taken a bit of ick to her being associated with punk so hard.

Anyways, Elena wins this one.  And, Ari goes home.  Goodbye transexual designer. You made an amazing, but non punk outfit.  I had a bit of thought that you would not be long for this season because transsexual is edgy, but I didn't think you'd be out first, and not on an outfit as impeccable as that.

It's going to be a rough season, you guys.

Stray Observations:
- Necktat on QVC: "That's sort of the dream of every designer. If you can reach the demographic that QVC're set."

- Viktor wore wings on his jacket

- Coming up: The SIMPSONS?!

No comments:

Post a Comment