Project Runway All-Stars Recap: Did the Right Designer Get the Boot This Week?

And just like that, we’re down to the Final 4. Thursday night’s episode whittled down the field with a peculiar/interesting but ultimately not-very-rewarding challenge: The designers were tasked with creating avant garde looks using $100 in fabric and $300 of lightning technology. Pharrell Williams popped up as guest judge, offering a rather nebulous bonus prize of promising that one of his artists would eventually wear the winning design.

Here’s my take on the week’s five looks:

* I’m honestly shocked that Kenley — with her voluminous upholstery jacket and neon-tape plaid flared dress (pictured) — didn’t take home Best in Show. As Georgina pointed out, she managed the difficult task of putting together a giant sleeve and a full skirt and managed not to make her model look enormous.

* I’m always and forever on #TeamMondo, but the way he put those light-up stripes down the sides of his model’s dress made her look downright bulky. Granted, it was constructed better than Michael’s samurai princess contraption (Georgina was right: It held up better in motion than it did standing still for judgment time), but I felt like either one of my favorite designers was eligible to round out the Bottom 2 with Jerell.

* I don’t agree with a lot of what Isaac Mizrahi’s been saying this season — sometimes, it seems like he’s actually jealous of the contestants’ successes, doesn’t it? — but he was spot-on when he said Jerell’s fiber-optic mess looked like it came from a joke store. (But then again, couldn’t that be said of three or four of Jerell’s looks this season?) In my book, he was the right choice for elimination.

* Austin’s gown was ethereral and flattering, but I agreed with Angela that he didnt really embrace the spirit of the challenge. His “night sky” look was basically a swoop of black tulle with some lights placed on top of it. So how exactly did he come out on top over Kenley?

What did you think of this week’s Runway? Did Austin deserve the win? Did Jerell deserve to go home? Sound off in the comments!

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. francesca says:

    Yes, Jerrell’s details were wretched, but I didn’t hate it as much as Michael’s. That said, Michael has designed some fabulous dresses and I would actually love to see a collection. I agree that Kenley should have won this week, though I also liked Austin’s. We know she and Mondo will make it to the final 3, but I don’t want to see Austin or Micheael go. I think it will be Austin, Mondo and Kenley. So sad … a runway full of Michael’s evening gowns would be a sight to behold … IMO.

  2. Elise says:

    How can Kenley keep finishing in the top when she keeps making the same frakkin’ dress? Seriously? I want to know. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable in matters of fashion and I understand my fave designer Queen Diane Von Furstenberg has made an empire by all things wrap-dress, but even she make every other piece in your wardrobe. I honestly don’t get it.

  3. jef says:

    Kenley should have won and Jerrell was the right choice to go home. Michael’s dress was pretty hideous too.

  4. Kate says:

    Finally! I’ve been waiting since Week 1 for Jarell to get the boot. While some of the other designers have certainly had their good and bad moments, Jarell’s have been all tasteless, all the time.

    • elr says:

      That is exactly how I feel about Jerrell. I am happy with the final four and would be happy if any of them won. Just very glad to see Jerrell gone.

  5. Karen says:

    I agreed with the win and the auf this week. Austin’s design was just more interesting and ethereal than Kenley’s and just made me smile, although I agree Kenley did step it up a notch for once. It doesn’t really need to be said that most of Jerell’s garments are joke store material, and he should have been gone long ago. I would have liked to see what Rami and Mila would make for this challenge.

  6. Penny says:

    I’m glad Austin won the challenge. His attire was beautiful. I’m especially glad he stayed away from the use of neon.

  7. Heather says:

    I loved that Austin won. He went in a completely different and I loved it, you could still see Austin in the dress.

  8. Lana says:

    I loved Kenley’s outfit and I felt she should have won. I haven’t been impressed with Austin and I didn’t have an inkling to what he does as I missed the first season so I don’t have that mad love for him. I do for Michael, Mondo and Kenley as I saw their seasons and I still have it. Jerell was the right one to go but I was scared for a moment there that it was going to be Michael. Phew dodged that one Michael. I want the final to be Kenley, Mondo and Michael.

  9. Tania says:

    I’m not a big Kenley fan but I did love her look last night. Clever use of the upholstery material and the neon tape. I am a big Austin fan, and I agree that Kenley edged him out a little. Maybe Pharrell was the deciding force, he seemed to like Austin’s design quite a bit. maybe he had a particular artist in mind? I was disappointed by Jerrell in the last couple of challenges so I agree it was his time to go. And Mondo will do better next week!!

  10. Jane says:

    As much as I love Michael, I’d rather see a Mondo, Kenley, Austin finale. Michael makes beautiful garments and ones that can actually be worn ( I’ll forgive him for the atrocious samurai “dress” he made this week.) But, his looks just aren’t as interesting as the other 3 that are left. I also haven’t liked how Michael has been borrowing ideas from the other contestants all season. He wan’t using tape on a dress until he saw Kenley’s, the Jerrel sweater controversy, etc. I feel bad that he’s probably going to finish 4th just like his first go around on P.R. I know Kenley makes very similar looking dresses, but they are very unique. Austin and Mondo both deserve a spot in the finale. So, it’s really between Kenley and Michael for the 3rd spot.

    • tom22 says:

      Don’t feel bad for Miachael, he got offered a job by a designer he absolutely admires and who ethusiasitcally admired his work.

      That is the recipe for long term career satisfaction.

      I doubt that Miachel really is the type to form and promote his own line… he could do very well in supporting his self and educating his kids and focusing on the work he likes working for her.

      I think the show has played up the copy thing a bit and especially with the Jarell week I don’t think its fair to fault him. The tape.. well, yeah maybe he got an idea there, yet, he bought the tape at the store and how else do use tape other than to make a patern on a dress with it.. he didn’t make a fabric with it as Kenely did which was pretty cool of her.

  11. Tim says:

    Kenley should have won the last two weeks in a row IMO.

    • kennedy says:

      I agree there was those 2 wins and 2 more earlier wins that Kenley was the clear winner but if they gave her those wins it would not fit the production company’s agenda.

  12. Joseph says:

    1st it is wrong to say that Kenley should have won , this all came down to which outfit the guest judge wanted one of this people to wear.

    As for who should go home , that was left in the hands of the judges , and I think they got it right when they sent home Jerell who had some good ideas but the look was wrong. Michael might have had some issues but at least his look was complete.

    The big issue with Kenley is that she has used in every single dress the same exact under lining structure which is a classic out of the late 50’s / early 60’s.

  13. betsy says:

    I want to recommend a great show called !Q Viva! with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. it’s REALLY GOOD! Slezak, I hope you’ll consider recapping it for

  14. Melissa says:

    I am glad Jerell left… gosh his clothes were horrible! dont’ remimber him being that bad the first time, or that annoying… i remember liking him.
    yes Kinley’s dresses are simliar, but they are all pretty, and different than everyone elses…
    but unlimately as long as Mondo wins, as he is the best out there, i will be happy!!

  15. Mara says:

    The top four should have been: Michael, Mondo, Rami, and Austin.

    How Jerell was still there was unbelievably bad judging. I like Kenley’s style, but no way is she as creatively talented as those four.

  16. Tom22 says:

    I thought Austin’s looked like a very average Disney electrical parade gown.

    Kenly’s was truly exotic and would have been very interesting to see a number of back up singers wear on stage. The bulk was a bit off-putting yet, you put it right ms that somehow the shape of a more shapely woman within came through. I didn’t love love love it , but it was intriguing and in a way that said something like cubist art says something.

    Michael’s was accurately described as a fierce ninja warrior, and I think the judges were generally on the mark questioning the purpose of a ninja warrior… just too specific a costume to create a general excitement.

    Mondo’s was exotic but, the boobs just were a bit jarring in the wrong way. I couldn’t help but think of the big busted woman in the “BC” comic strips pounding on snakes with clubs.

    Jarells, to be hones I’d have put him above the Disney austins but the joke shop thing really was too true and I really don’t feel he’s got a lot I want to see in the future from his past work (didn’t suck but didn’t really inspire me either…although I could say the same of kenely outside of this week)

  17. Courtnee says:

    Does anyone have any idea where I could find ANY info on the gorgeous white, ornate dress the judge Georgina Chapman was wearing??? I have to have it!