Project Runway All Stars: Versatile Tops and Bottoms
January 23, 2015 12:40 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Or the QVC Challenge in which Dmitry's sneer almost took over his whole face.

I thought the clothes this week were mediocre, except for Michelle's outfits which were beyond fugly. Both looked like something from the bargain bin of Biba in 1969. The winning outfits were okay, nothing special. I thought the losing designer's clothes were atrociously made. How could anyone think that dress was 'fashion forward'?

For me this was a 'meh' episode - little drama, no outstanding clothes, and a print that made me want to stab my eyes out.
posted by essexjan (17 comments total)
I loved Sonjia's looks but she ruined the impact of that yellow dress by making the little gray coat/shawl thing over it. It looked much better without it.

Dmitry's work looked like it would fit well on an ice skating rink, as usual. I was glad to see the losing designer lose, but yeah, a lot of meh looks this week.

I hope the finals are good since there only seems to be a couple great designers left amid a bunch of people always on the bottom.
posted by mathowie at 1:40 PM on January 23, 2015

Oh my God, I feel worse and worse for Alyssa every week. She sounds like she can barely catch her breath.

And holy butts, Michelle's was so ugly! It wasn't that she used a print, it was . . . That print. So much of that print.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:06 PM on January 23, 2015

I liked Michelle's print, but not all over like that. If she'd made a solid-color skirt, I think she would have been the winner on QVC. The "fashion forward" dress she made with those weird Popeye

Helen keeps getting by creating totally simple looks with capes and weird sleeves. I don't get the judges' love for her.

Dmitri just doesn't do it for me as a designer. Neoprene for QVC? Also, his yellow dress looked exactly like his swimsuit from the last challenge. Apparently, he only likes one-shoulder things and skating costumes.

It was time for Jay to go quite some time. He just didn't seem to have his heart in it anymore, and Fabio's not far behind him. I wonder if this year's winner is going to be someone who already won again, or if Sonjia is on the path to being crowned?
posted by xingcat at 5:19 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh my God, I feel worse and worse for Alyssa every week. She sounds like she can barely catch her breath. No kidding! I have PR on in the background these days and every time she spoke I felt terrible.

It was time for Jay to go, but nothing was great. Dmitry's was spectacularly well made, as usual, and that's worth seeing. Even if yes, it looked like a cross between an ice skating and a ballroom dancing costume.

The funniest moment for me was immediately after Helen said of Dmitry's : "Yeah the Midwest housewife is gonna wear a neoprene street fighter wetsuit with lace applique", I heard Welcome to the Cheese Salon. (The Chia Salon, but I was listening and not watching.)

Also I love that mathowie watches Project Runway lol.
posted by Glinn at 6:32 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

The side by side looks.

But for once, they are all seared into my brain.

Loved Sonjia's. Although I don't see that eyelit top being paired with anything else as a separate and I wish the model had worn the jacket with the YOLO gown; it looked stupid and stiff hanging off her shoulders. She is an inspiring designer and I always like her personal look.

The conundrum of ready-to-wear is minimalist meets least-common-denominator design, this is where Fabio and Jay ended up. It was obvious that Jay was leaving (at one point he said that he didn't have a consistent aesthetic or something like that... not good) but I was really disappointed in Fabio. The pink and blue pastels, which the judges do. not. like. and he keeps going back to it. His created fabric was dreary and uninteresting. His leather top was pulling across the bust. This challenge was his to lose.

Helen's r-t-w was too boxy, top and bottom, so they actually work better when paired with something else. And she did another cape dress. I was predicting that she'd be the next to go but Fabio is on the down slope too.

Michelle... Biba is right! (I got as far as Sarah Moon) I love prints but I hated this one and hate the color as well BUT I think she used them successfully. I like that she used the positive/negative versions together and that she went in a different direction than the rest of the designers.

Dmitry (sigh) Such great beginnings and the end is so tarty. Rip off that lace from the r-t-w look. The yellow gown used the lace better but it was still too much. Take the lace off the shoulder, eliminate the goddess one shoulder which is inevitably cheap-looking, and maybe change the proportions of the neoprene-lace skirt. The lace itself was fabulous; gorgeous motif.

I don't have a problem with the neoprene not fitting the brief because it's more important that it looks good to the judges. Whenever a winning design is actually going to be produced, it has always been altered for manufacture. Designers who've self-limited themselves to sensible or logical designs get dinged for not being creative.

I'll say it again, Sonjia's was great. I don't remember her from her first season but I really like her stuff this time around.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:24 PM on January 23, 2015

Who on earth designs a neoprene, stomach peek-a-boo, skin tight conundrum for the average QVC shopper?! Good god. I approve of Dmitri sticking around, though, because his dry wit is hilarious.
When Michelle spoke on how she can design for the average American woman, but would enhance that idea with volume for a fashion-forward look, I was sure this was her challenge. Then on the runway I thought her look would burn my eyes out of my head.
posted by missmary6 at 9:42 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I don't think the neoprene was really thought out as a ready to wear fabric. You can't even ship it or store it well because it will crease! (On Preview) Now that I'm looking at it more, his wrap top reminds me of a post-breast-surgery wrap or something else medical.

I cannot tell you how much I HATED Michelle's print. I figured out what it reminds me of though! Yellow and red always remind me of a) an out-of-date Burger King with mustard and ketchup colored vinyl seating or b) clowns, horrible creepy clowns.

I LOVE prints, but that one was just bad and all over the place. Yuck.

That jacket with the yellow dress totally should have been worn! Those arms were so weird! Either wear the sleeves or make it a vest. The model looked so uncomfortable because of that too.

Also, I think Jay's quote sums up project runway in general for me: "I'm excited to work with red, I've never worked with red before." It's a mother-effin primary effin color! How have you NOT worked with it?!?!? The lack of colors, prints, and textures overall makes me crazy. I think that's why I like lots of Sonjia's looks. She actually uses color and texture.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:47 PM on January 23, 2015

No love for Sonjia here, she currently works with fur - unacceptable. Here is what QVC did with her design from this ep (spoiler: pretty boring).

I want Michelle to win - she is the only one who dares to create fresh pieces. Sure, the colors, shapes and prints might not be for everyone, but her designs are at least exciting. The print skewed 60s/70s - which means it is new and different for younger people! Particularly her pieces from this ep would fit into Boden, Gudrun Sjöden or Anthropologie. Go, "girl"!
posted by travelwithcats at 3:21 AM on January 24, 2015

I also heard Cheese Salon and will forever think of it as the Cheese Salon. Can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. I hope there is a cheese shop out there called the Cheese Salon, but I'd want some charcuterie as well, please.
posted by provoliminal at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I too liked Michelle's looks. Those giant sleeves were giving me life. I didn't especially like the print but did love that she took risks, went a little crazy, and tried something different.

Sonjia's separates were wonderful. Loved the shape of the top and it's soft feminine look paired with the geometric look of the skirt. Hate HATE what QVC did with it. Just horrible.
posted by the webmistress at 12:17 PM on January 24, 2015

I think the qvc win was only for one piece of the separates to be produced and sold, so I'm taking it that they did the skirt and had her design something more "mass-produceable" for a top.

I loved Michelle's outfit also - it was fun and different.
posted by double bubble at 2:31 PM on January 24, 2015

Wait, the name of this episode was really "Versatile Tops and Bottoms"? I wonder how that got through. For your enlightenment: Wikipedia article [contains NSFW drawing]

I really liked Sonjia's top, but I can see why QVC would rather do something else than a crop top for a mass market piece. The skirt they made did didn't look too great either. But the real horror is in the face of the model with the top, those eyes and that frozen smile... it looks like she's modeling at gunpoint.
posted by bjrn at 3:12 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

"But the real horror is in the face of the model"
Please, let's just stick to judging inanimate things. People have feelings. Thanks.

"Versatile Tops and Bottoms"? I wonder how that got through."
In the past, Alyssa has made some remarks on All Stars that suggest she's into kink - about bondage and hoods IIRC. Maybe that was a deliberate wink in that direction (that would still sound innocuous to many (if not most?) people)? Or Alyssa had better things to do with her pregnancy/baby than to police the titles. Not that this is actually part of her job...
posted by travelwithcats at 5:32 AM on January 25, 2015

I liked that print Michelle was using and of everything on that runway, it was the closest to what a QVC person might buy. I think she should have used it more judiciously, perhaps pairing it with a solid so that it wasn't such an assault, perhaps a yam colored wrap skirt with the print as an accent in the waist/tie.

And Isaac, Pot, Kettle, Black. If we're talking about ugly prints.

Dimitri as usual was designing from the Ukrainian point of view. Neoprene? QVC? It makes no freaking sense. I think secretly the LAST place Dimitri wanted to sell his designs would be QVC. He did it on purpose. He knew exactly what he was doing.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:08 AM on January 25, 2015

> > "But the real horror is in the face of the model"

> Please, let's just stick to judging inanimate things. People have feelings. Thanks.

I'm judging the outcome of that shoot, not the model.
posted by bjrn at 10:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would watch a whole show about Dmitri.
posted by Flashman at 7:36 PM on January 28, 2015

> Maybe that was a deliberate wink in that direction (that would still sound innocuous to many (if not most?) people)?

I think it worked well. I have the impression that show titles which are supposed to be clever or have some dual meaning often feel forced. But here even if you don't know about this sexual meaning then the title will still make sense because versatile tops and bottoms was literally this week's challenge.

I always imagine that show & episode titles at big networks always have to go through legal and standards & practices departments where fun things like this would be mercilessly scrubbed. I'm glad it got through.
posted by bjrn at 3:34 AM on January 30, 2015

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