Project Runway All Stars: What Makes an All Star?
February 12, 2016 4:01 PM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

13 designers from previous seasons return, the usual mix of talent and drama. In the first episode, the designers must tap into their past to create a look inspired by a moment that kick-started their fashion career.

Designers get $200 and a trip to Mood and "one day" to sum up their careers.

Last season's winner Dmitry was the guest judge.

Here are the final looks.

For the "toughest season yet", there seems to be little in the way of recaps. EW here.

Winner: Valerie
Loser: Daniel Mitchell Nobody
posted by TWinbrook8 (13 comments total)
I liked Valerie's dress but it was ironic that Dmitry was a judge as she used his favorite technique of geometric shapes over mesh. It was very cute however and I liked her use of color.

Ken's fabric was *gorgeous* but a peplum? Seems very passe. As usual, I preferred the also-rans, Dom's oversize pieced striped coat and Fade's colorful casual outfit. Fade does such wonderful unique (as in difficult to mass produce) work and he never got any recognition in his original season--wonder if Tim Gunn was manipulating behind the scenes there too. He needs to up the glam quotient. The judges always prefer something dressy and expensive-looking over well-made separates.

That kid, Sam? deserved to be in the bottom for that unflattering jumpsuit. Was Daniel always this annoying? His garment armholes were ragged when they called time, did he just tuck them in? What a mess. He and Mitchell deserved to be auf'd together but apparently--I didn't watch it all the way to the end--Asha's pleather dress was considered the worst?

So already the fuckery begins.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:21 PM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

No, of the three in the bottom, Asha's was considered the best, and she was saved, and then they didn't send either of the other two home. I call bullshit. Daniel's dress wasn't finished and didn't meet the basic criteria of the challenge.
posted by QuakerMel at 5:34 PM on February 12, 2016

For supposedly being all-stars, I don't remember a lot of these people. Although I never watched Under the Gunn (were those the kids? I hate watching kids on reality shows because I worry about the judges being mean to them.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:05 AM on February 13, 2016

I wonder if anyone's run a statistical analysis if model selection influences winning/placing.
posted by sammyo at 7:12 AM on February 13, 2016

I didn't even know this was on until seeing this post. Just watched it. I am so sick of Daniel. He isn't any good, why do they keep bringing him back? Is it his One Direction hair cut?

I was chuffed to see Dom (she's local) but you know? She won already. I want to see someone else win. Right now I am totally #TeamKen because I loves me a good redemption arc. If he starts acting like a shit again I'm off the team. I hope they don't manufacture some drama with him and the guy from the other season....Alexander? Not sure if that's his name. I thought he was shitty to Ken several times. Ken's design was beautifully rendered but wasn't anything I haven't seen before. There was way too much black, and also too many peplums, on the runway. Dom's outfit was my favorite by a long shot. Very chic.
posted by the webmistress at 9:11 AM on February 13, 2016

I'm glad to see Alyssa's channelling her inner frump. Actually, no, that's her outer frump, I don't think she has any other style. The high-waisted denim and pussycat bow blouse at the start, and the shapeless, black, one-shouldered monstrosity she wore for the judging. Who the hell styles her?

But, OMG, DMITRY!!! He's my favourite PR contestant ever, and they should make him a full-time judge.

But what's with all the black fit-and-flare dresses on the runway? Alexander, Asha and Kini all made the identical silhouette.

I could see the quality in Ken's dress but it looked very 1985 to me. I LOVED Fade's outfit and I thought he went out far too soon in his season. I hope he's more successful this time. Dom's outfit was also great.

Sam's model was showing some serious sideboob and I thought she was about to fall out of her dress. Mitchell's dress was hideous, but at least he could tie it back to his story, the fantasy he retreated to as a kid to block out what was going on around him.

Daniel Franco. I have no words. He should go home now but the producers will keep him in far beyond his use-by date for the drama, at the expense, probably, of Fade.
posted by essexjan at 9:52 AM on February 13, 2016

> His garment armholes were ragged when they called time, did he just tuck them in?

I remember from olden days PR that sometimes they would show the contestants bringing needle and thread and do hemming and last-minute fixing while they were waiting backstage at the runway. I'm guessing he did that, but poorly; the hole under the arm was still completely unfinished. And even if he would have fixed that I still think that look was terrible: ugly fabric and color, poor fit, blah silhouette. And I didn't like Mitchell's either.

The double save because "we don't know who you are as designers" really annoyed me. These contestants have all been on PR before and have had a chance to show what they do. So now I hope Daniel & Mitchell will get a double auf next episode.

Anyway, there were some positives too. I'm glad to see Fade and Dom back. Fade, who I was so ready to hate based on his name when he first was on the show, really grew on me, and I usually liked Dom's look in her season. I really liked both their looks this episode. And I'm so glad that Alyssa doesn't have to go through this whole thing in late pregnancy again. I felt so bad her for last time round.
posted by bjrn at 11:57 AM on February 13, 2016

A double elimination was a far more appropriate outcome for that round than a double save. Daniel's fabric was inappropriate for tailored anything, and pulling a Hardingesque excuse (my laces broke! I sliced my finger!) for a shoddy whiff at the challenge (against advice!) was sucktacular. And the other ... doing that standard design so incredibly poorly should be an automatic ejector seat exit situation.

I liked Ken's fabric, but anyone who thinks his signature revolves around a peplum is automatically suspect. And it wasn't even an interesting or innovative peplum - or even the best peplum on the stage!

I really liked Fade's piece - it looks like he's evolved and refined since his last time on the show, and I really respect that. Kini, on the other hand, looks like he's just bathing in the same old pool.
posted by julen at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

One of the MANY improvements suggested by viewers over the years was not to have eliminations until the 2nd or 3rd show (and then have a double or triple elimination) in order to let the designers settle in and to get a better sense of their abilities.

And the producers finally utilize it. On two designers who are not fledgling participants, who we already know too well that they are not going to be contenders.

Why can't another production company come up with a workable, better alternative to this crapfest??
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:24 PM on February 13, 2016

I pretty much agree with everything that has been said above but there is one thing I wanted to get off my chest: I hate the way they're shooting the runway portion of the show. The camera pans up and down the outfits so quickly and the editor is too quick to cut between shots. I don't think the audience is really given enough time to actually see the dresses and take in their details. Now if that's the way they want to shoot the runway, then there should be more and better shots of the full garments in the workshop. There are pieces I felt I really didn't get a chance to view or to properly judge.
posted by sardonyx at 6:39 PM on February 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes! Too much cutting back and forth in the runway show. Couldn't really see anything!

Bonus: my challenge idea: give all the designers a prompt like "dinner party hostess" or even "red carpet look", have each designer write or say a description of their idea (possibly with help from the mentor or another designer), then _switch_ descriptions and have a different designer realize the idea.
posted by amtho at 4:19 PM on February 15, 2016

Holy cow just realized this was on again. Appalled they brought back Ken (not just a jerk, but explosive. and mean), Sam and Asha the jerkbags from UTG (oh yeah, I recently read that Asha was an intern with Georgina's husband or something, so that's how that happened), and Mitchell who never made anything that anyone would ever wear ever. So yeah, your basic expected group for an "All Stars" season. My goodness. Why can't I look away?
posted by Glinn at 8:25 AM on February 21, 2016

OH BUT ALSO. Yes please for Dmitry as a regular judge or just somehow on every episode. Or wait, let him be the mentor! I mean can we all agree that Zanna is well, pretty bad at the mentor thing. Tim Gunn. Dmitry. Oh my gosh, bring back Joanna Coles. She is the best of all of them.
posted by Glinn at 8:28 AM on February 21, 2016

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