Project Runway All Stars: The Prince of Prints
April 29, 2016 8:28 AM - Season 5, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Four surprise guests return to advise the All Stars as they create print-on-print looks for Nina Garcia. A shock challenge on the runway has two designers battling to make the finale.

In the penultimate episode, it's the Digital Prints Challenge. The four remaining designers create their own prints and then get $150 to buy a coordinating print at Mood to complete their look. The winning print will also become a new design for an Otterbox case. To help them, four previous winners briefly show up to give advice.

Final looks... not up yet but will be posted here. The EW recap has all four of them here.

Top Two: Kini and Dom; Dom wins.
Bottom Two: Ken and Sam, leading to a Design-Off since the judges can't make up their minds. They both have one hour to create a new outfit from two previous runway garments (photos included in the EW recap). Sam is voted off.

Next week: The three remaining designers have 4 days to create an 8 piece collection.
posted by TWinbrook8 (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thank god Isaac's blindness to Sam's many faults did not win out this week. I wanted to stab myself in the eyeballs when I saw him grabbing mesh again.

I just do not like Kini's matronly clothes. I like a lot of what Ken makes but Dom is so obviously the winner. She did win the regular season of PR that she was on, and deservedly so. I would not mind one little bit if she did win this although as I said the very first episode of this, I do love a good redemption arc and I think Ken's come such a long way that it would be so feel-good for him to win it (even though, apparently, all four winners so far have been men....what is up with that). He has really matured and has more of an aesthetic this time around. But really, this is Dom's to win and she clearly has the talent. I would love to own one of her pieces.
posted by the webmistress at 9:27 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I thought this was a good episode. I love the design-a-print ones because a) I love prints and b) it's not something at which designers are necessarily adept. I seldom like geometric prints of the type Dom did but I loved the colorway and I ended up really liking the repeat. Sam's, I liked his concept a lot, the pixelation was modern, and I liked that he chose a bright color for the background. Ken, the problem with his print was that the scale was too small. Kini's original motif was lost and I was disappointed that they both played it safe with black and white.

The various comments about how this was Dom's type of challenge worried me because usually that's the kiss of death but she came through. Loved her painted leather coat, it also hid some issues with that sundress which just *hung* on the model. The high-lo hem was horrible. It looked like the model had lost half her skirt in an industrial accident.

Kini, well, what I liked was how he used the stripey-ness of the fabric in the skirt. Each panel became a darker gradation, that was clever. The construction as always was impressive, just not very modern. He seems to be caught in a Dynasty time warp.

Ken. I don't know what the hell happened with him. The print thing threw him completely off, I get that, but he was running around frantically for the whole show and all he ended up with is that simple uninspiring dress.

Sam had the gist of an idea. I actually could see how the coat would work... if he'd used more of the flower print and less of the mesh in the front panels. The sleeves were way too wide and now that I realize it is neoprene mesh, he could've made more slender sleeves. Re: the jumpsuit underneath--he's only done two I think, because the third one was half Kini's--I thought the b/w print was a good choice but the loungey-ness of the jumpsuit combined with the oversize coat on top just looked too sloppy, too out of proportion.

I'm sure the "last minute twist" was planned far in advance but this time it was appropriate. Ken is a good designer who flailed this challenge, Sam is well, whatever he is, but this week his look was more interesting than Ken's.

This carried over to the twist. Ken was smart and experienced enough to keep the alterations simple and he had the advantage of using one of his own gowns so ended up with an outfit that looked very finished. Sam was stuck with two terrible garments but he went all out. He ended up with a mess on the runway but he did alter it quite a bit and used both designs. I still thought they'd keep him and have a final four but with the ridiculously short design period (did I hear that right, it is four days?), he could never finish anything enough to show so this was a mercy elimination.

Dom, definitely.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:17 AM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wasn't that the third time Sam got some sort of reprieve? The live face-off with boxes annoyed me because...damn. He had way too many dips in the Lazarus Pit for someone who is just not that good yet.
posted by the webmistress at 11:02 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I sort of think that was a reprieve for Ken. His look in the main challenge was the most uninspired. I didn't like Sam's at all. Like, nothing about it. But it had more potential than Ken's did. I didn't like any of the fabric designs made this episode. It did not feel that much thought went into any of them. Remember when the designers would try to tell a story or make a logo or something other than basically doodling for a while?

Meanwhile, this was not the first time they did a one hour design-off with the bottom two contestants. And I suppose Nina may not have been there because I can't remember which season or version it was, but her comment that she had never seen anything like that felt off to me.

Also, how much do you think the designers grit their teeth through what must be required line readings about how great the accessory wall or Chinese Laundry shoe wall, or the salon is. Yuck.
posted by Glinn at 2:41 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

All POC in the finale!!
posted by likeatoaster at 5:38 PM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also, great episode. I really really truly did not know who was going to get cut at the end, although obviously I hoped it would be Sam.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:39 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought Dom's outfit was fugly, absolutely hideous. It also didn't seem to fit the model properly either. But Kini's was more of the same 80s-inspired power jackets he's shown so many times before. The way he shaded the skirt using that fabric was very adroit though.

I'm loving Ken this season. I don't know his background, but he seems to really, really want to win. I don't think he will - his designs haven't been terribly original, and Dom is flying - but he's definitely grown (or been edited more sympathetically) since his PR season.

Thank goodness sense prevailed, though, and Ken stayed. I was convinced Sam would go through to the finale.

The most surprising part of this episode for me - Swatch walking! I've only ever seen him lying on the floor!
posted by essexjan at 5:53 PM on April 29, 2016

I think it was really telling that they brought back all the previous winners of PRAS and lined them up a couple of times. All male, mostly white, and then we have an all-POC Final 3, which is nice.

I think that Dom is the person who should win, who has deserved to win from the beginning, and I think the show wants her to win, given that this penultimate challenge is a print-matching contest. I know there are some people who didn't like her in her initial season (and some don't like her now), but I find her just really happy, self-confident, commercial-yet-interesting, and a great winner to cut the streak of MENMENMEN we've had for the last four seasons.

Also, Isaac couldn't look sadder when Sam left, which was just perfect.
posted by xingcat at 6:00 PM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I didn't think any of the four garments were great (and 4 days for an 8 piece collection strikes me as a distinctly non-promising omen). That said, I thought Dom should have won just for the colorways of her print. The repeat was interesting, and the resulting print wasn't OK. It was at an appropriate size in the repeat, unlike any of the other 3 patterns, but the dress was not right. It's a good thing she finished that jacket.

Kini's treatment of the print he bought at mood was the best part of his outfit. There was a clear Japanese influence in his print and the treatment of the top, but that influence was muddled and then he went "extra-fancy" in his matronly way.

Ken got in his own way for the main challenge, but he was really smart in how he used his two pieces in the after challenge. (Random, my ... butt, though. He got a MUCH better box than Sam, including one of his own winning looks).

I was delighted Sam was offed, even before seeing the final challenge be something he'd have crashed and burned at. If you are going to create a pixelated print, you can't settle for the computer-ized pixelation. You need to fine-tune the pixelation shades to highlight the borders, and strengthen the graphic nature of the image. I also think his flower was 15% too big, and he didn't allow enough blue into his repeats to allow for the blue to really pop/set off the flower.

I never want to see that mesh again. And I LOATHED how the bodice-on-the-back looked. It made the post-challenge dress look ill-fitting, and stitched together like Frankenstein. I think he was too clever for the challenge, as if he was saying "Look! I can make pant legs into sleeves! I can put a bodice on the back! I'll use everything equally! Behold how thorough and clever my choices are!" In contrast, Ken went in with "I want to make the model look great. I'm going to use most of my dress, with small pieces of the other to make it look like it could be in the same collection as my winning outfit." His result was better.
posted by julen at 9:01 PM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

It mystifies me that there are people who dislike Dom because she seems to be a charming genius imho, but hey, that's the world I guess.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:41 PM on April 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Good point about the pixelation, julen! I was trying to figure out why I didn't like it, since it's the kind of thing I'd expect to, but you're totally right, the contrast was kind of neither here nor there.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:45 PM on April 29, 2016

I think my favorite part of this episode was the flying eyeballs on Dom's print.

Was Nina Garcia's presence all it took to chasten Mizrahi from gushing about Sam's work?
posted by sciencegeek at 5:14 AM on April 30, 2016

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