‘Project Runway: All Stars’ recap: ‘Flapper Fashion Face-Off’

12.20.12 5 years ago

We’re down to the final six, and as usual, that means excitement coupled with a sense of loss, probably like “The Hunger Games” but without the post traumatic stress disorder. Before the challenge begins, Ivy mourns Casanova. He may be gone, but she is determined to try harder. She’s not just doing it for her, she’s doing it for Casanova! He’s not dead, Ivy. Geez. 

Carolyn walks before the designers bearing envelopes. She tells everyone that the 1920s is when fashion entered the modern era. Someone’s been watching “Downton Abbey” methinks. Oh, she says that because it’s a 1920s challenge. Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid Carolyn was going to start mooning over Matthew or Thomas or complaining about why nothing good ever happens to Edith. 

Uli gets first pick. She opens the envelope and pulls out an invitation that says social soiree. Josh draws, and his says afternoon garden party.  Designers continue to draw and open. Anthony Ryan, after hours speak easy. Laura Kathleen gets social soiree, Ivy gets speak easy, Emilio gets garden party. It’s a fashion face off! And retro! And there will be thumb wrestling!

So, as you can guess, they have to design with the ’20s in mind but with a modern slant for the event in their invitation. They get $250 to spend at Mood. 

And they have to share TABLES! With their RIVAL! Oh my!

Every challenge brings out Uli’s feathers, but Laura Kathleen doesn’t need feathers to compensate for her designs! I am now desperately wishing that Uli wipes the floor with Laura Kathleen. Or I should say dusts the floor with her, as she will have tons of feathers. 

Anthony Ryan feels like Ivy is spying on him. Ivy feels like Anthony Ryan is spying on her! I think they should spy on each other just so they don’t feel paranoid on top of it all. 

Joanna Coles comes to visit. She’s so pleased! It’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Downton Abbey”! Calm down, Joanna. I think you may have just emoted in public. How humiliating. Anyway, she’s concerned that the big pouch on Josh’s dress is too marsupial. She notes that he and Ivy are the only designers left who haven’t won challenges. I don’t think that’s going to change this week, really. She tells him to channel his inner Joshua and have confidence. I say channel your inner marsupial, Josh! Wiggle your nose, flick your tail!

On to Emilio. She thinks the print he’s working with could be on his grandma’s sofa. Emilio declares that the woman wearing his outfit owns the estate where the garden party is being held, while Josh’s woman is only a guest. Josh counters that Emilio’s woman is the appetizer to her husband, while his is the main course. I’m a little uncomfortable with this line of reasoning, as right now they’re talking about headless dummies and there’s just a lot of pretend going on for grown-ass men. 

Joanna loves the pants Laura Kathleen is making, but Uli’s outfit makes her want to do the Charleston. Still, it looks like other things Uli has done. Joanna thinks the two blondes are doing exquisite work. 

Joanna loves Anthony Ryan’s naughty feathered caplet. She also loves Ivy’s fabric and thinks her dress is very Roxie Hart from “Chicago.” She asks Anthony Ryan what he would give Ivy’s outfit on a scale of one to ten. He says it’s a strong seven or eight. Ivy would give him a strong five. Ow, Ivy! 

Joanna is just tickled. She loves what she’s seeing! I can tell she’s pleased because… well, she said so. It’s not like she smiled or clicked her heels or anything. 

The models come in, and Uli realizes her outfit is see-through. And she didn’t buy anything to put under the outfit. Uli! Come on! 

Runway time! The designers get to sit at little tables and sip drinks! How civilized! Uli and Laura Kathleen wear headbands with feathers. Hey, it’s not a reality TV show anymore, it’s a party! 

Our judges are Georgina Chapman (by the way, are you watching the documentary about her that airs after ‘Project Runway’?), Isaac Mizrahi, “Boardwalk Empire” star Gretchen Mol and British designer Jenny Packham. 

Josh vs. Emilio


This isn’t awful, but there’s something dated and flat about the color combination. The bright neon green stripe in the back makes a huge difference — so why tuck it away in the back? The whole outfit needed it. It’s so close to being interesting, but doesn’t deliver.


I like the cut of this dress, but with the fabric it does seem dated and grandmotherly. Ironically, this looks like a 1980s revamp of the 1930s, which just seems wrong.

Uli vs. Laura Kathleen


The shawl over the shoulders isn’t my favorite thing ever, but it’s a very, very nice dress. I liked it last week, too.

Laura Kathleen

I like the fabric. I’m not sure about the fur vest. It seems to throw off the dimensions by adding too much bulk to the top. The pants make the model look fat. 

Ivy vs. Anthony Ryan


Oh, I’m so disappointed! The fabric is gorgeous, but she just inverted the design into a chevron running down the front and it’s just dull and heavy. It looks better from the back. I don’t like the little feathers on the bottom, either. It’s just dowdy.

Anthony Ryan

The capelet is kind of fantastic. The rest of the dress doesn’t compete with it, but it’s fun. This feels young but doesn’t look cheap.  

The critique begins. Josh and Emilio are first. 

Josh explains he wanted to explore the freedom of the 1920s. Georgina loves the cut of the dress and think it feels modern. She thinks the colors are so good. Jenny thought it was very successful. Carolyn thinks it’s safe. Isaac thinks it’s not interesting enough, but thinks the back is divine. It could be great if he showed it properly. 

Carolyn loves the detailing on Emilio’s dress. Gretchen thinks it’s ladylike. Jenny thinks the two dresses are two of the strongest, but she thinks it might be too dated. Isaac thinks it’s very 1930s. Georgina thinks it’s lacking in personality. 

Uli says she wanted to create a loose fitting dress with expensive fabric. Isaac loves the dress, but he doesn’t like the white fringe. Gretchen loves the shoulders. Georgina likes it better once the shawl comes off. But Carolyn likes the shawl.

Laura Kathleen loves a whimsical pant! Shut up, Laura Kathleen. Isaac thinks there are brilliant things about the ensemble. He thinks it’s too heavy with the fur. Carolyn thinks the top is beautiful but thinks there’s some weird flaring on the pants. Georgina thinks the model looks enormous and there’s a problem in the crotch.

Ivy taks about her leather and sequined dress. Carolyn feels it’s Prada-esque. Isaac feels it’s too heavy. Jenny thinks the feathers are a distraction. Gretchen thinks it’s grown on her. 

Anthony removes his model’s cape. Jenny loves it, but thinks it could be closer to the body. Isaac doesn’t like the capelet, then likes it. Georgina thinks he takes an idea and makes it his own and modern. 

Josh has the low score and Emilio the high score.

Laura Kathleen has the low score and Uli the high score.

Ivy has the low score and Anthony Ryan the high score. 

The judges talk, and I have to say nothing was truly awful, but I don’t think anyone hit it out of the park, either. 

Emilio is… safe. The winner is… Anthony Ryan. I’m not surprised. Uli is, of course, safe.

I would not cry if Laura Kathleen went home, but I suspect Josh or Ivy is going home. Josh… is safe.

Josh can be fun, but I have to say he’s been taste challenged quite often, so I’m surprised. Laura Kathleen… is out. WHOA. Ivy is in. I’m actually a little shocked. Ivy’s been in the bottom a lot more than Laura Kathleen has, and as we know, Ivy hasn’t won a challenge this season. 

I think Laura Kathleen is shocked, too. But she’s not sad. She’s so appreciative of all she’s been given in life already. She waves and heads to the door. She’s sure something else is in the cards. Given the crappy things she said about some of the other designers (and especially Uli this week), I’m 

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