Project Runway All Stars: Something Wicked This Way Comes
November 15, 2014 6:00 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

With exclusive access to the Broadway musical "Wicked", the All Stars face off to design couture inspired fashion. Betsey Johnson and Modern Family's Ariel Winter guest judge.

okay, I was half-asleep and don't remember much so from the wiki: This episode the designers were tasked with creating a dress that represented a "good" or "wicked" theme. They were randomly paired to design against each other in Fashion Face-offs, with a "good" design going against a "wicked" design.

I think Sonjia won. Chris March definitely went home for a hideous outfit (although Betsey Johnson said she liked it). Results were what you'd expect from a one-day "couture" challenge.
posted by TWinbrook8 (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't watch the show anymore, but I still follow the photos. I totally liked Chris' best before I knew it was his and before I knew he went home for it. It was dated and ugly, but it felt like the work of a costume designer -- a design with thought and a sense of a character -- and I felt like a Broadway-themed couture challenge called for a costume. Most of the others reached for incredibly generic ideas of what a "good girl" or "bad girl" looks like: black lace, sleek white, a few feathers.

Was the entire group actually under orders to make something black for "bad" or white for "good"? If not, man, someone missed an opportunity to stand out through color, or an "evil winter lady" look, or something. The closest anybody got was Gunnar's gown, which achieved nothing but confusion as to which side it was on.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2014


Disclaimer: This is the first episode of this I've seen so I'm just getting up to speed. Chris March seemed pretty full of himself. I guess he has major attitude now? It almost seemed as if refused to entertain any criticisms of his work.

I liked how the show really focused more on the designs and construction of the clothes, and way less on the drama. I don't think there even was any drama, iirc? LOVED that. Total breath of fresh air! Also, overall, the designs were remarkably good. All Stars is right. I think it may have been a 2 day challenge because I seem to recall Michelle nodding and mouthing "Oooo 2 days" when they announced it but that's the very moment I discovered 'Project Runway All Stars' on my tv menu and screamed as I clicked the remote ;)

I wish the level of talent for the regular show was up to snuff like this one, right?? They need to weed out the middlings for the regular show. No way they can't get 15 or so high caliber designers but they purposely choose middlings for the dramz. Really over that. This show seems to get down to it, which I like so much more. Plus it has a shorter time slot so whatever dramz is going on might be getting edited out, thank god.

Black lace = bad and white feathers = good, apparently ;)
posted by the webmistress at 8:09 AM on November 15, 2014

Where do you guys get the photo's from the runway these days? Tom & Lorenzo used to be my go-to, but since they've quit covering the show I don't know where to turn to.

Anyway. I don't know anything about Wicked, but the intro was that the message is that the world isn't all black & white and that there's two sides to every story. Also, the challenge is good vs. evil! And much felt predicable with light vs dark looks and the assumption that couture = feathers.

I'm happy with the win though. I thought Sonjia's look was gorgeous. I'm going to do a rundown of all the looks.

Helen (good) vs. Benjamin (evil): I didn't like either here. Helen had the weird ruffle panel and the rest looked like upholstery. Benjamin's looked trashy.

Gunnar (good) vs. Dimitri (evil): Gunnar's on-screen personality rubs me the wrong way most of the time, but I quite liked this (despite the predictable shoulder feathers). It felt like he was one of the few mixing in a bit of darkness into the white. But maybe I'm thinking that because I'm usually not a fan of Dimitri's looks, and this week was no exception. I guess I'm just not into his ballroom/figure skater aesthetic.

Sonjia (good) vs. Kate (evil): Again, predictable shoulder feathers, but otherwise Sonjia's looked great. Kate's... I sort of see what she was going for, but the "hard" top wasn't shaped well and had these messy shoulder ruffles (I guess she forgot to buy feathers) and then the dark tuille just made the bottom part look dirty. Didn't work for me. Or in guest judge terms: This look confused me.

Michelle (good) vs. Chris (evil): Michelle was a total snorefest. I can't say I liked Chris' dress, but it wasn't boring. But yeah, I can see why they sent him home over this. Overall I was hoping for more from Chris not just this challenge but the whole season.

Fabio (good) vs. Justin (evil): Loved Fabio's. Loved his take on a gown with the pants. Loved the sleek front vs. the surprise of the back. Justin... eh. I guess high slits are evil (cf. Benjamin, Dimitri).

Jay (good) vs. Samantha (evil): The ripped up fabric again, Jay? The ripped up tarp didn't still your need? I don't know, it looked weird to me with that placement. But I didn't like Sam's much better, Alyssa seemed to like that it looked so unfinished (or "raw"), but I couldn't really get into it. Also the two flaps that needed to be held up were distracting to me.
posted by bjrn at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I look at the photos on the PRAS site ;) Every week just click on the current episode there (it will always be first) and then Final Looks.
posted by the webmistress at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2014

I was disappointed to see Chris go, he's always been a favourite of mine. I thought Michelle would be in the bottom this week. Clearly I know nothing about fashion, but I wasn't surprised Sonjia's dress won - it seemed one of the few outfits to have any originality. Helen's was a hot mess. The ruffled monstrosity didn't even come from the same colour palette as the main fabric. Awful.

Before Fabio said it, I was thinking that Tilda Swinton would look great in his outfit. I'm glad he survived. I'm not sure I like his clothes, but I appreciate his skill as a designer.
posted by essexjan at 1:45 PM on November 15, 2014

I loved Sonjia's the best (and she's also my favorite for the win), so I was happy to see it. I also loved Dmitry's, but boy was I surprised when Fabio was in the bottom instead of the top.

More power to Ariel Winter for unabashedly speaking her mind, I guess, but I have to say I laughed out loud when she straight up put herself in opposition to Isaac Mizrahi, who has more years of experience in fashion than she has been alive.

Also I love the fashion face-offs. More of this please, preferably instead of teams, which are always full of drama and have long-since ceased to have much of an actual point (more than maybe 1 per season).
posted by likeatoaster at 4:47 PM on November 15, 2014

What I liked about the face-offs is that the winner came from one pairing and the loser from another. So often during the team challenges, a great garment can't get acknowledged because it is on the losing team.

One thing I noticed about Helen's when I looked at the photos later, there is something black coming out of the bodice at the shoulders. It looks like black twigs/coral but I guess it is lace. I really like the idea of evil "escaping".

Jay barely gets mentioned on the show or here. This week he had that horrid front ruffle that jutted out about 2 ft. Everyone wants a crumb catcher. Justin's was a total snore (was he in the bottom 3? I don't remember). Kate's I think could've been salvaged if she'd eliminated the shoulder tulle and fitted the bodice back better. What I didn't like about Fabio's was the dangling straps in back.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:01 AM on November 16, 2014

the webmistress: Thanks for the link!

TWinbrook8: Justin wasn't in the bottom. He was competing against Fabio who was in the bottom.

The one-on-one competitions do have the advantage over team-challenges in that people can't skate by by being in a good group (or get dragged down by a bad one), but you do have the problem that two designers going up against each other can both make terrible or both make fantastic looks and only one of them gets the top or bottom spot. Say Helen had gone up against Chris then only one of them would have been in the bottom instead of both of them.
posted by bjrn at 4:58 AM on November 16, 2014

Ugh. I didn't want to say, but I liked Helen's dress the best. There, I said it. If it had had the loofah thing on both sides in a completely over the top Elizabethan way I think it would have been amazing. The asymmetrical side table threw it off. But I absolutely love upholstery fabrics used for clothes.
posted by the webmistress at 6:56 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can't believe they let Alyssa Milano fly in the Wicked bubble. I was pregnant this summer and got turned away from the merry-go-round.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:05 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I get that Dimitri is a craftsman, but is there anything he designs that doesn't look like it's meant for a Ukrainian hooker to wear? I mean, it's a freaking cliche.

I was also shocked at how everyone went to black or white. Must we be so literal?

And I really do think that anyone who's already won should be exempt. Stop being so greedy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:36 AM on November 16, 2014

You'd think they'd be able to find decent fashionable maternity wear for Milano more than 25% of the time.

I knew Chris was toast because this was a challenge in which a corset is better than implied down-at-the-heels corsetesque construct, and because his heart just wasn't in the challenge. He's gotten too used to not having time restrictions and not working with decision-making people directly.

Did not likes:
I disliked Fabio's smock so much that the big pattern pants didn't particularly bother me. There was a way to do that outfit without evening-wearing it up - and with skinny pants - but this was not it. Dmitry's slit was a little too high for my tastes. It read more Eastern European hooker than ice dancer to me, but the two looks aren't as far apart as one might think.

I agree Helen's skirt would have been improved by being ruffled all around and not using that other patterned fabric, but I had problems with the boring shape of the core dress, too. The one good thing about that dress was the little branches at the shoulder. Jay seems to think breasts are something that should be hidden from sight and disguised lest they be recognizable. Kate was so proud of her dark-colored wedding dress. I still think Michelle is coasting in a mediocrity she doesn't recognize as mediocre.

I don't remember Gunnar as being particularly talented, and this season has only reinforced that perception.

Samathana got massively overpraised for a garment she slapped together in 1/3 of the time. That said, those shiny sequins was a smart fabric choice, and her raggedlyness looked like the model'd been fighting with spells not getting her outfits artfully aged to make it seem like she was somewhat active.

Sonjia also picked fabric well, and then used it well. I hate the overskirt look generally, but she did it so well and it enhanced the holey fabric and made the back pop with its gap/high cut. She was so clearly the winner this week.
posted by julen at 10:43 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Samathana got massively overpraised for a garment she slapped together
I totally agree! Hers looked poorly made and I did not get the love the judges had for that thing. The only positive was that jeweled fabric, but it came that way!

Totally bummed that Chris is gone. His fabric sadly DID look like t-shirt material, but his craftmanship was clearly evident (whether you love the dress or not) and I do think he got screwed. He was my favorite part of this (or any) season, but I am very happy for Sonjia and I am also glad Fabio is still there.

Helen. My goodness. You'd think she was a lovely, fine person! For one thing, she isn't getting much air time, and when she does, it's not horrible! So, good for her. (Hated the dress, though it might have been really cool using the ruffles for the entire bottom). And Michelle was kind of hilarious this episode, so maybe she's not an evil witch either. Holy cow!

I didn't mind Dmitri's dress though anything over a size one would be horrible. And though he was never exactly jovial in his previous season, he does seem a bit more dour this time out.

Meanwhile, I just finished Project Catwalk Season 1, hosted by Elizabeth Hurley. (2 and 3 are hosted by Kelly Osbourne, who was a guest in Season 1). The only video I could find is a bit terrible (youtube), and each episode is chopped in five parts, but I'm a hopeless fan (plus: accents!) so I enjoyed it. Holy cow, the mentor (Ben de Lisi, a designer) can be a shit stirrer!
posted by Glinn at 3:39 PM on November 16, 2014

Oh wow, Justin should've been in the bottom 3 instead of Fabio. Fabio's didn't quite work for me but it was innovative; Justin's was just a boring black gown.

Re defaulting to white for good and black for evil, I was surprised no Evils chose red. I guess I am thinking of Bette Davis's scandalous gown in Jezebel. And in the WoOz, Glinda's gown was pale blue which would be a much tougher color to make look sophisticated.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:47 PM on November 16, 2014

I don't have much to add, except I wrote this down while watching -
Isaac Mizrahi: I love the color...I love this idea of crow black.

And I was like buh-BUH? Because all those damn wicked dresses were black, and a lot of them had black feathers, and it just seemed like such goofy praise.
posted by missmary6 at 4:15 PM on November 16, 2014

Alyssa Milano could be the worst offender of baby voice. There is no excuse. I want Judith Light from Transparent to just appear to slap her every time she wants to act wike a widdle baby.
posted by provoliminal at 4:56 PM on November 16, 2014

If I was doing evil, I'd have gone for a deep burgundy red/purple, maybe with a bit of gold as a highlight. And for good, a silvery blue.

It feels a bit like a lot of these people are saving their firepower/conserving their creativity until later in the show ... pacing themselves, as it wer.
posted by julen at 5:33 AM on November 17, 2014

Now Patricia and Chris are gone. I just don't even know how to deal with this.

Sigh. I don't hate everyone left. Some of them, in fact, I rather like. But who's left who's interesting?
posted by meese at 6:11 PM on November 18, 2014

Ugh, I am so annoyed that Chris is gone! How is he out before Helen, Benjamin, and Pancake?

I kind of like that he was so hilariously "WTF" about the whole thing, though.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:46 PM on November 20, 2014

« Older Constantine: A Feast of Friend...   |  The Mindy Project: We Need to ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments