Project Runway All Stars: State of the Art
April 22, 2016 11:02 AM - Season 5, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Tensions run high as designers are pushed to the limit to create avant-garde fashion inspired by contemporary art. Style icon Boy George guests.

It's the Avant-Garde Challenge. This week, the remaining five designers get $400 and two whole days to create a fashion forward unique look inspired by artworks and their artists.

Construction skills are debated and the discussion gets personal.
Also for the first time I can remember, a previous season's winning design is criticized.

Final looks here.

Top Three: Kini, Dom, Ken; Ken wins
Bottom Two: Sam, Emily; Emily goes home

Next week: Returning winners. Dimitry!
posted by TWinbrook8 (9 comments total)
Words fail me. How, HOW, did Emily go home ahead of Sam. Ah yes, Isaac has the hots for Sam. That's how.

But well done Ken, that was a triumph.
posted by essexjan at 11:22 AM on April 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

It's embarrassing how obvious Isaac's crush on Sam is, and Sam is oblivious to how this is helping him!

I did think Emily's dress was hideous. To me, it looked like a model of Veins and Arteries. But his was worse. He had to PAINT the fabric? it would be one thing if it was good, or a meaningful graphic, but what it smacked of was someone who is terrified to sew strips of fabric together to MAKE a rainbow colored textile and did, that abomination instead.

That wasn't a dress, it was a bed sheet at a gay toga party. Celebrating gay marriage? I call bullshit on that. It's just one of the many BS stories he tells to explain away his lack of realizing his vision and his sorry lack of construction skills.

I have been Ken, but what did he expect Sam to say? "I know, I should have gone home 5 challenges ago, but I keep flirting with Isaac." I don't fault him for doing it frankly. It's absolutely fascinating to watch, but the T that Ken was bringing had to have stung because anyone with connected brain cells knows it's true.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:35 AM on April 22, 2016

I'm getting pretty close to done with this because I am so sick of Isaac loving every shitty thing that Sam just throws out there. It's completely unfuriating that Emily would go before him. I have no idea how Sam and Isaac manage to sneak off to the boy's room together with all those cameras around, but something's going on.
posted by the_wintry_mizzenmast at 2:00 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Sam's would have had him lip-syncing for his life on RuPaul's Drag Race, let alone PRAS. Kini's, though, let's be real, was an exaggerated prom dress over a zentai suit. As far as I'm concerned they should have both been bottom 2 and the top should have been Ken (a well-deserved win), Dom, and Emily.

I thought Emily's was great tbh, but when I realized it reminded me a little bit of a cooler version of Fade's in the avant-garde "rainway" challenge, I knew she was going home. I did like Boy George's idea about the tubes making a big knotted train or something, or at least hitting the floor. I'll miss her clothes and chill equanimity.

Honestly I think Emily had the right take about Sam. He's talented, and I don't think he's taking advantage of Isaac's fascination with him on purpose (see also: Anthony Ryan...) so I don't think it's really fair for the other contestants to take out their anger on him. But his clothes have been really overpraised and his construction skills do seem very limited compared to the rest of the top five. Not without precedent on PR, but still disappointing.

I also have no idea why the judges are being so hard on Dom, whose garment was crazy better than Kini's let alone Sam's, IMHO. Crown her already.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:33 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's embarrassing how obvious Isaac's crush on Sam is, and Sam is oblivious to how this is helping him!

HA! Oh, please. Did you see the little twiddle-fingered wave he gave Isaac this week? He knows exactly what he's doing. If they were in a bar together, Sam would wind up the next day with a Lamborghini. He's going to have a sad fall when he grows out of his puppy paws.

The final four are just...blah. Emily was the last one with really interesting ideas, to me. Sam is talentless. Dom has really good construction skills and can match patterns like a boss, but she hasn't grown much as a designer since her win, so I think she's not going to repeat the "winners come back and win again" that Seth Aaron and Dmitri did. Kini's clothes are overdesigned and heavy. And Ken makes church fashion show clothes. It's going to be a sad slog to the end.
posted by xingcat at 4:49 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

OK, yes, the smiling and waving is bothering me a bit, too; honestly I feel bad for Sam who is probably dealing with these sentiments -- alleged favoritism -- right now as the show is being aired. He's young, so he may not even realize he's doing it. If he were a girl, and people were trying to shame him for being "friendly" toward someone who was being friendly too, it would probably be pretty upsetting.

Is there some unfairness? Maybe. However:

I think what some judges are seeing in Sam is a tendency to approach designing that often (not always) yields something that is at least a little surprising, and that usually ends up hitting the baseline of being a workable, attractive design. They must yearn for things to be surprising!

The "surprising" thing is going to be particularly valuable for the judges, who, truly, will have seen a _lot_ of attempts at "interesting" design by now, many of which will be not new to them even if they are new to their creators. Sam may make a plain old circle skirt, but there's something that he's adding that won't have been learned at whatever school all of them attended. It's not necessarily an earned gift or talent, and it doesn't make him a virtuous person, but to the judges who have seen _so_ _much_ already, it's going to be a nice change and a valuable addition to the shows.

The technical stuff is important for working designers, but probably not the most important thing for the competition. Contestants do get chided for poor construction, and really negligent construction can make the judges feel disrespected. However, I think I read that before the first season of Project Runway there was consideration given to the idea of having _other people_ do the construction of the garments -- the designers would just come up with ideas and others would construct them.

It's a design competition, not a sewing competition. Of course a successful contestant should do both well, but the design, creativity, materials selection, etc. are much more important than perfect seams.

That said, I have to admit that this week Sam's garment was not my favorite. I'd rather see more of Emily's designs than more of Sam's.
posted by amtho at 6:41 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's embarrassing how obvious Isaac's crush on Sam is

People smile and wave at children - not all friendliness is a "crush"; it could well be from a fond nurturing impulse.

...Which could still be a source of bias, but come on, let's not cast aspersions where it's not needed.
posted by amtho at 7:38 PM on April 22, 2016

Oh, yeah, that was bullshit. Not Ken - Ken was the obvious and much deserved winner. That hood was super-effective, and the outfit was slinky and off-beat enough to be a little unsettling and creepy but also a confident, gives-no-fucks standout. But if Isaac had called out sick, Sam would have gone home, as he should have.

I did not like Emily's outfit (she should have committed to a real cable (but if she doesn't know how to knit, then that would be an issue, but a running angular cable would have been a vast improvement), or made it a bigger shell or something, but there was clearly more and better thought (and construction) behind her garment than Sam's. Sam's could have been done in 4 hours, bullshit painting aside. He didn't even cut and piece the give colors together in an interesting way. He draped a sheet in a way that 8 year olds with Barbies or 14 year olds just figuring out how to make clothes do.

I also think Kini is still in the same design rut he was on his season, and hanging out on the left side of the rut isn't much better than hanging out on the right side. I don't see any growth or innovation there, and I don't care what he'll present next.

I like Dom's work a lot more, but she also feels like she's settling in a rut - her piece work is beautiful, but it feels like we've seen something similar, and I need her to challenge herself more.
posted by julen at 11:13 AM on April 23, 2016

No, Sam, using a rainbow flag is neither "making a statement" nor "taking a risk."
posted by gingerbeer at 9:32 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Podcast: StartUp Podcast: Gami...   |  Inside Amy Schumer: The World'... Newer »

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