Project Runway All-Stars Recap: The Days of Swine and Poses

This week’s episode of Project Runway All-Stars was like a jaunty party balloon that never got fully inflated. The 11 remaining designers were tasked with creating flamboyant movie-premiere dresses for the legendary Miss Piggy, but while the assignment sounded like a hoot and a holler on paper, the one-day challenge ended up yielding mostly ho-hum work that begged for the patented bitchery of the franchise’s own answer to Statler and Waldorf (Nina and Michael, of course).

There was some minor drama in the runup to the big show: Kara and Mondo coveting the same pair of hot-pink gloves; Kara accusing Austin of stealing the shoes she’d thoughtfully considered using from the Neiman Marcus accessory wall; Mila scoffing at how Kenley and Kara displayed an unsavory need for each other’s approval. But it all tasted like cold oatmeal, especially in comparison to the jalapeño-hot rage of Joshua Vs. Burt during Runway‘s last go-around.

Anyhow, in the absence of riveting fashion and riveting drama, let’s jump right into a quick assessment of the judges’ three favorite and least-favorite looks, and also determine who got robbed from a “best of the week” slot, and who was lucky to escape a stiff farewell handshake from host Angela Lindvall.

Judges’ Faves
Michael: Austin may have tried to make Miss Piggy look like she’d been processed by the gift-wrapping station at the local department store, but Michael — using a black-and-burgundy palette that didn’t exactly invoke the Muppets’ haute hog — was the designer who created an appealingly avant garde package. I’m not 100% convinced Michael’s construction was on-point — the back of the dress and the nifty zipper detail looked a little bunchy to my untrained eye — but the curlicue rollercoaster busting off the bust was pretty groovy. Plus, dude got so robbed in last week’s opera challenge, I can’t argue with the judges giving him a victory lap, even if it was a week late.

Rami: I agreed with Georgina Chapman that the pleated front wasn’t a great idea with the polka-dotted pattern, and yet while Rami’s flirty garment read more Charo than Miss Piggy to me, it certainly did the best job of capturing the spirit of the swine in question. Then again, nobody said the assignment was to produce a dress that Her Royal Moi-jesty might already have in her closet, was it?

Kenley: Yes, the construction of the bodice was dreadful — also: they make pink-giraffe upholstery fabric??? — but Kenley’s frosted pink tulle headpiece was truly a thing of beauty, even if it was quite possibly only a mound of fabric and a bunch of bobby pins. I’d have probably handed her the win on haberdashery alone.

On the Chopping Block
Gordana: Joanna Coles wisely warned Gordana that her look was reading “nightgown,” but the designer wouldn’t be swayed from her vision. Even worse, though, was the way Gordana kept talking about the fit and movement of her garment, when the multiple layers and slightly drab shade of pink made it look heavy and borderline cape-like.

Mila: I dunno, I’d have loved to see Piggy rocking that mod ’60s number with the shower-curtain fabric and the stripey sleeves. Does this make me a slave to Mila’s black-and-white aesthetic? A total idiot? Or wisely in opposition to the judges’ total lack of imagination? Joanna Coles sure seemed to like it.

Austin: The front of the gown looked like it came from the Dr. Frankenstein Collection — a patchwork horror-show of aggressive boning, a weird violet center panel, and exposed stitching. Perhaos Mr. Scarlett’s participation in On the Road with Austin and Santino guaranteed him a certain number of weeks on All-Stars, but I say he’s lucky he didn’t get auf’d.

Totally Robbed
Jerell: That hot-pink stunner with polka dots and black lace had the whimsy of Rami’s dress, the sophistication of Michael’s, and a movement on the runway that was second to none.

Totally Lucky
Mondo & Kara: Mondo worried his dress was looking heavy and overthought at the end of Day 1, and as much as I love the guy, his end product still looked like something Miss Piggy would only wear if she was guest-starring on a live-action version of the Jetsons set at Studio 54 in its heyday. (OK, that metaphor went too far, but someone has to try to keep Michael Kors’ flame alive.) Kara, meanwhile, offered up a braided black houndstooth bikini top that was as hideous as it was inappropriate for the occasion. I’m not quite sure how Piggy restrained herself from serving up a karate chop right there on the runway.

What did you think of this week’s Project Runway? Would you have given the win to Rami, Michael, or someone else? Did Gordana deserve to go home? Did you think anyone in particular got robbed or managed to dodge a bullet? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Vivi says:

    I was so sure the win was going to go to Rami considering his dress was vibrant and fun. I mean, I loved the print but not the design. Still, it did scream ‘Miss Piggy’. Michael winning this challenge…hmmm. Not convinced. Nice dress, though.

    Kara should’ve been in the bottom 3, taking Mila’s place. Easily. Her work was atrocious.

    Finally, I just couldn’t take this episode seriously. Miss Piggy is an icon and all but next time, “Project Runway” should just stick with human judges..

    • Anna says:

      I guess Kara didn’t learn much from Joe Zee when she guested on All On The Line last year.

    • Lauren says:

      Really? Miss Piggy isn’t enough of an icon for you? In 20 years do you think that anyone is going to know who any of those people in the runway room with her are? Yet, there she will be still going strong. If Gucci can take dressing a pig seriously then the designers damn sure should. The scope of a challenge isn’t in the object. Miss Piggy comes from a legacy of entertainment and she has always worn fashion, she has done covers and layouts and she wasn’t wearing costumes when she did. Not to mention, if you can dress a pig you can dress anything. This challenge was about exposure and taste and most of the designers failed.
      Rami’s looked a little too costumey and Kendal might have wanted to keep in mind that a Muppet probably doesn’t have anything to show off in a plunge neckline but they were at least trying to dress the client. I liked Michael’s but I’m not sure he deserved the win. I could totally see Miss Piggy in Mila’s look, rocking a short blond bob wig but that’s their call. I thought the bottom three should have been Jerrel, Gordana and Austin. Even though Gordana made a night gown it was still better than that tortured thing of Austin’s. To quote Miss Piggy “The BOWS!”

  2. Iolanthe says:

    I think it was a shame that someone had to be eliminated given the profoundly un-serious nature of the challenge.

  3. Mandy says:

    This challenge was kinda stupid. I can’t believe Austin almost got eliminated cos of this.

    He better win this cos tbh he deserved more than others. Mondo kinda deserved too but he was on the 3 final of his season while Austin was totally robbed on one of the most ridic eliminations of PR and he wasn’t in the final when he deserved that

  4. Jenny says:

    I don’t know how the designers could keep a straight face talking about how they hoped Miss Piggy would loved their outfit. They talked about her like she was a real person.

    So far very disappointed by this season.

    • KevyB says:

      Miss Piggy IS a real person… just look below where her legs should be. Everyone that’s complaining that this was a “ridiculous” challenge should just stop watching the show, considering in the past they’ve designed dresses for Barbie (much less real than Miss Piggy, no?), for dogs and their owners, for stilt-walkers, for female wrestlers and they’ve allowed a Spice Girl to judge a finale! As far as I’m concerned, designing for a Muppet was far more entertaining than designing for any of the “human” celebrities they’ve had in the past, most of whom have far less taste than the pig whose been around for THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS! Furthermore, if REAL designers can make outfits for her, then why should it be beneath a bunch of wannabe designers?

      • D says:

        Agree with your last sentence 100%. A comment on EW said that it was “demeaning” to the designers to have to design for Miss Piggy. Ridiculous! Miss Piggy is more famous than any of these designers will probably EVER be.

  5. marla Dean says:

    I don’t know what has happened to Project runway. I was so excited about All Stars, but the projects are so over the top and silly, the camera work is so bad and jumpy, the judges are not entertaining, the models (once such an important part to the show) are unimportant and awkward. Choosing the models used to be such an exciting part of the show. Even the lighting is bad. It seems all the funds were pulled on the production. It is really bad and I have been wartching the show since the first episode and this is not the show I was used to. It reallly looks low budget. What happened?

    • D says:

      I really miss the role that the models used to play in the show. Once they got their own show, they were not given any kind of a role in the main show. Then they cancelled MOTR, and the models remained without a role in PR. If you watch the first season, they were even more involved.

  6. Shark says:

    This episode was embarrassing and almost unwatchable. The interviews every 30 seconds touting miss piggy?! They don’t even do that with real style icons. Big cross promotional fail, project runway.

  7. Louie says:

    I guess it’s best I’m not in the fashion biz because when I saw Rami’s design it looked like a flamenco dress from the Jem & the Holograms collection. Tres tragique’! And while Gordana’s was best suited for a sexy slumber party, I don’t understand how Mondo escaped the bottom three after making that dress with one of those deflectors you put in your windshield to keep the heat out.

  8. Ashlyn says:

    Of course Mondo wasn’t in the bottom. This whole season is fixed for him to win because of all the negative press the show got when he lost to Gretchen. Just you watch…..deserving or not, Mondo will win All-Stars. I love him and all, but I would rather that the best person win.

  9. Lana says:

    I loved Kenely’s pink giraffe dress and I thought the top was great and I didn’t see the model having trouble keeping her boobs in place so I imagine Miss Piggy would not have any trouble in that department. I love Miss Piggy so I did not have any problem with the designers acting that she was a “real” person and it was more fun than designing for stilts. I did love Mila’s dress and didn’t see the problem with it being in black and white, I adore Mod, though I would have put the model in white boots so I really don’t know why she was in the bottom two as Austin’s dress was hideous, I mean big bows on the side? I didn’t start watching PR until the second season so I was not familiar with Austin but so far not impressed.

  10. Tee says:

    This episode felt more like the feelings I’ve had watching the last couple of seasons of PR, though more because of problems with the challenge than the designers. There were elements I liked here and there of a couple of dresses, but nothing I genuinely liked. I had a hard time guessing which would be the top 3, and a hard time limiting the bottom 3 to just.. 3.

    Can’t say I disagree with Gordana being gone though as much as I liked her the last time she was on PR. She’s seemed a little out of her element on all-stars in general. The minute she pulled out a very simple, casual fabric for a “flamboyant cocktail dress” and started talking about comfort… for a muppet… I had a feeling she was going to be the furthest off the mark.

  11. Brigitte says:

    If we had to go with the top and bottom, i think any of the top 3 could have taken it. I do think that Rami’s was the most flirty fun, but I love seeing Michael win. He was really appreciative. As for the bottom, Mila refusing to do something for her client but just to her asthetic should get her automatically eliminated.

  12. djm says:

    Sorry, but Jerell’s dress was just HEINOUS! It was by far the ugliest dress on the runway last night.

  13. LisaM says:

    I didn’t care for Jerrell’s dress at all and I have to agree that everyone gushing over Miss Piggy as though she were a real person was very bizarre for me. I’m not usually a fan of Mila but I loved her dress…I would wear that in a heartbeat. It was very cool.
    I had a feeling this all star season was all about Mondo too. I adore him, love his designs and I want him to win but it should be on merit. Didn’t care for his Miss Piggy dress but I have to say I loved both his dresses from Episodes 1 & 2. Thought his opera dress was especially sweet. Here’s hoping for better episodes to come.

  14. Gretchen says:

    Although I am TiVoing All-Stars, it isn’t what I thought it would be. How can any Runway that doesn’t have Chris March, Andre, Daniel V., etc. be truly All-Star?

    Many of those on All Stars were middle of the pack at best.

    I think a season with all the winners competing would be amazing.

  15. allison says:

    Man, i cannot finish watching this episode1 They are not acknowledging the fact that Ma. Piggy is a fictional character and a Muppet. They are talking about her “comfort” and what kinds of clothes she “likes” to wear. It’s just too bizarre for me! It’s just such an odd decision to have made. i actually think it was a bad decision and has kinda turned me off because it’s supposed to be a “Reality” show and they made unreality look like reality so I did not trust what I was seeing and it made it less exciting.

    Bad decision on the editor’s part or producer’s part or someone who thought that it would be funny.

    It really confused me especially when they spoke as if it was the “best project runway ever!” I mean really? I didn’t get it,… was it a joke? Or were they serious? I hate it when you can’t tell if it a joke or are they playing a joke on you, or are they just a joke because they are so deluded…? i hated the feeling of not knowing whether what i was seeing was “reality” or whether everyone on the show had truly drank the cool-aid or what.

  16. allison says:

    They should have at least given a wink or a nod or something,… or had people breaking up into laughter about it or something…. it was weird.

  17. SteeVee says:

    LOVED Mila’s look! Miss Piggy would look fantastic in black and white mod with a geometric blonde wig and big hoop pigs-ear earrings. You’re right, Michael–the judges have very little imagination so far.
    ALSO… Anyone else notice how much Mila looks like Judy Garland in meet me in St Louis?—the bangs and the brows?