Project Runway All Stars Finale Recap: Did the Right Designer Win Season 5?

Three designers remained atop Thursday’s Project Runway All Stars season finale, but only one would be named the boss… by the Boss herself, Alyssa Milano.

Ken Laurence (from Project Runway Season 12), Dom Streater (also Season 12) and Kini Zamora (Season 13) went thread-to-thread in the season’s final challenge: to create collections inspired by New York City.

Dom’s collection, inspired by the “shock to her senses” she experienced when she first came to New York, received mostly positive reviews from the judges; Isaac Mizrahi even admitted to getting “emotional” over her work. The majority of the panel, including guest-judge Debra Messing (Smaaaaaash) felt her finale piece wasn’t quite finished, though Milano threw it some love. (Thanks, Phoebs!)

For his collection, Ken pulled from the “elegance and architectural elements” of the city. Mizrahi fawned over several pieces, calling Ken’s overall presentation the most cohesive, most chic and — arguably most importantly — most commercial collection of the final three.

But the most unanimous praise went to Kini’s collection, inspired by the city’s grid system. Milano was wowed by the “ballsy” sleeves, Mizrahi called the work “refreshing” and “divine,” and Messing practically ripped the clothes off the models and ran away with them herself.

After awaiting the judges’ deliberation — and squeezing in some final moments of bonding — the finalists returned to the runway for the big reveal. Third and second place went to Ken and Kini, respectively, making Dom the winner of Project Runway All Stars‘ fifth season.

Are you satisfied with the outcome of Thursday’s finale? Cast your vote below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on the results.

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. mopcambm says:

    Yay for Dom. She was my choice. I always thought the finale should have been Dom, Emily and Valerie.

  2. AngelWasHere says:

    I wasn’t really rooting for anyone, but I think they got it wrong. I usually like Dom’s stuff, but I thought her collection was kinda ugly. Especially the painted striped pieces with the red, blue, and yellow color scheme.

    • gemapet says:

      Agree – wasn’t really leaning towards any of the final 3 designers so okay with the win, except judges didn’t like her fabric design and complained about that one look so a little perplexing….

  3. Wendy Dobson says:

    The judges decision made no sense to me at all tonight. Dom’s comments were quite negative and I think the judges made their decision more on who their favorite designer was. As they all disliked her second pattern or outfits. Ken and Kini both had better comments. I think Kini should of won. His overall comments were much better. I think next season they need to get some better judges.

    • lisa says:

      new judges would be great because I just don’t understand how they picked Dom when you look at her last runway show. she is good but if you using what they did at the end to pick the winner it should have been KIni. they should have been judged on what they did the last runway show not what they have done the whole way through.

    • Noelani says:

      I absolutely agree! I thought Dom should have been third, Ken second and Kini first. Judging by the judges’ comments, that was what it sounded like they thought, too. I just hope the exposure will be good for Kini’s business.

    • Ro says:

      No way! Kini’s stuff was perhaps the most well crafted (because he is a seamstress more than a designer) but his collection had a number of taste issues. A lot of his designs are just plain tacky and outdated.

      • Van says:

        very much agreed. like the judges and other designers have already stated, Kini does have some taste issue. I don’t he placed exactly where he should be. I’m okay with the ending. Ken did deserve to be 1st or second, but I see why they put Dom as the winner.

    • Marcie says:

      They were looking to pick the first female designer as All Star winner. This was first mentioned a few episodes ago, and Dom repeated it on this episode. I knew when I first heard it that Dom would win unless she really screwed up.

      • JM1 says:

        Um, NO. Dom won for a clear reason: she is, indeed, an artist. Her designs have an artfulness about them that is fresh, surprising, and have a huge wow factor.

        Bummer to hear a female put down another female this way.

    • Cris Yang says:

      Totally agree. Kini should have won. His collection was cohesive, chick, creative and sophisticated. I like Dom and I liked some of her designs, but those painted creations were messy looking and just not put together sufficiently for a win. With all the judges’ comments why didnt Kini win?

  4. Noelani says:

    The previous winners are now 3 for 3! What a shock! I think it’s beyond ridiculous that previous winners are even included. They have had SO many advantages, that they SHOULD be better than the others. Why on Earth do they need more? It makes me wonder if it’s all fake and they’ve made a deal with a previous winner, beforehand.

    I think Kini’s collection beat the crap out of Dom’s. I rooted for her on her PW season, and I like her, but I didn’t like a single one of her pieces in this. It didn’t sound like the judges were that crazy about her collection, either. I think Kini was robbed. I doubt that I will watch it next year. Whatever previous winner they have on it will win it.

    • cissy969 says:

      I agree previous winners had their chance. That leaves a designer who needs the finances to start their business out in the cold so to spdak

    • Molly says:

      Every time there is a Winner on Project Runway All Stars that has Won on Project Runway they always win. Why? I think PRAS are so afraid of offending PR judges and producers by suggesting they might have made a mistake they all vote for the returning winner I don’t thing the winners fro PR should even be on this show. I love Dom to death and she is so talented but Kini should have won. Sonjia should have won, And everyone should have beat Seth Aaron

    • LaDonna says:

      I agree with you that it seems a little rigged for previous winners. In other seasons, there were multiple winners who competed on All Stars, but one of them always came out on top. I’m not sure what’s worse, knowing that the previous winner is going win All Stars, or knowing from episode 1 that the whole set-up for All Stars was just to right a wrong (a la All Stars Season 1, Mondo winning because he SHOULD have won his season in the first place).

    • Pegalicious says:

      I absolutely agree that previous winners should NOT be included in PR:AS! If the producers are so h*ll-bent on including them, then have a season with nothing BUT previous winners.

      As to the final three, although I love Kini, he does indeed have taste issues, so I was rooting for Ken.

      • Jenn W says:

        This is *exactly* what I’ve been saying:
        PR:AS for contestants who didn’t win their season.
        PR:Champions which is *only* past winners competing against each other (and heck, let them have won either PR or PR:AS to be eligible).

    • Leslee Ganss says:

      totally agree! SHE ALREADY WON – didnt her career take off with that win?? Kini had it, comments by judges proved it- sounds like a fix (and believe me, i love Dom! just not that collection)

  5. Linda Kelsch says:

    Ken collection was basically pencil. Dresses expect for ivory jacket should have had straight leg pants…..Kini should have WON his collection were designe were quine 1of a Kind perfectly sewed. They said all bad things about Dom then they picked her as the winner.

  6. Inked Barbie says:

    I think Kini put in way too much time & effort for the finale & throughout the entire competition not to win !

  7. Melanie M says:

    I absolutely think the wrong designer won. I usually like Dom’e stuff but I think her finale collection was the ugliest, most poorly constructed collection I have ever seen in all my years of watching both Project Runway and All-Stars. Kini’s collection was far superior and there were a couple of pieces in Ken’s collection that I absolutely loved

    • Noelani says:

      I think Kini should have won, but I agree that Ken had some very nice ones. My favorite individual look was Ken’s yellow gown! It was on the right model, too. Yellow goes SO nicely with dark skin!

  8. napkinbob says:

    Dom was the only clear choice to win. Her collection was unique and forward thinking. Ken’s was extremely boring. Yawn. I haven’t liked any of Kini’s designs the whole season. So ugly and over the top with the hideous ruffles. Ugh. This clearly goes to show how subjective art of any kind really is.

    Dom may have seemed to get worse comments because it’s edited to throw you off and cause suspense. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any tension as she clearly won.

  9. Congratulations to Dom! All three designer had great collections. Great season! Kini’s collection was awesome, he truly gave Dom a challenge. Hope to see more of him in future shows.

  10. lisa says:

    Kini should have won. each outfit was executed very well, specially with just four days to complete this task. they can be worn by a variety of people of different nationality and for different events. The colors were great. there was nothing bad about any of the items he put on the runway. even the judges couldn’t find anything bad to say. Ken’s line was boring and can be found in the stores already so there was nothing new and Dom’s line, they didn’t even flow right, patterns didn’t go together at times and some were just not great at all. did they pick the winner from what they did all season, their wins. because if you were picking it from what was done that last Runway Fashion show it should have been kini. is the show fixed. do they decide the winner before the last runway show because that’s what it has seemed like they were doing on this one and on the last few shows I’ve watched so it’s not worth watching because they pick who wins before the end of it that is only way to explain how Dom won. why have the last Runway show if you’re not going to use it to pick the winner

  11. lisa says:

    I definitely won’t be taping the show and staying up late to watch it anymore because they cannot be using the last runway show to pick the winner because Kini should have been the winner

  12. sp says:

    I love Dom but I was disappointed to not get to see a collection from Emily.

  13. Marta Daniel says:

    Kind should have won, Ken was second best and Dom was not even close to the top! I am so disappointed in the judge’s decision yet again this season.

  14. Marta Garza says:

    Kini should have won, Ken was second best and Dom was not even close to the top! I am so disappointed in the judge’s decision yet again this season.

  15. Ilea says:

    Messed up! That describes the finale this season. They didn’t even like Dom’s. Only one called Kini’s schizophrenic, which I didn’t agree with. That was Dom’s. Hers was all over the place. I think they just decided to have a woman win this year, because it’s never happened before. Why even bother to have a finale show then? Kini, you clearly are the “people’s project runway winner” this season. The fans so far seem to think you should have won. Hopefully that makes you feel better. Judges, I personally think you got it right last time, but you so messed up this time. And the craziest thing of all is…I’ll be watching next season!

  16. Jean Hoshauer says:

    Kini should have won. Do m’s collection was ugly. King was consistent almost every week with his designs. He was the best, Ken second and Dom last. The judges praised his fashions, then gave the win to Dom, all wrong!

  17. Rod says:

    What are those judges thinking? Kini was the top. Sorry to say, but, that hand painted fabric was not good. Not good at all

  18. Sandy Duncan's Eye on Network TV says:

    I pulled for Dom all season but I think she dropped the ball with the horrendous hand painting and the high-low skirt. Kini is an excellent seamstress but his design sense is tacky. The color fabrics looked like candy wrappers. Ken’s attitude drives me nuts but I feel like he had the best final collection.

  19. liame says:

    I believe the right designer won. I enjoyed Dom’s artful designs. What’s pleasing to some isn’t pleasing to others and that’s okay. Congrats Dom!

  20. Jss0058 says:

    It’s incorrect to say that the judges said mostly negative things to Dom. The truth is most of the comments are edited out so I’m sure the judges said more negative and positive things to all the designers. I think Dom was the most innovative. I like parts of Kini’s collection but I agree with Debra Messing that the same girl isn’t wearing the first look which was dark to the last look which was brite & shiny. Also agree that his collection was too 80s. I really liked Kens but see that it wasn’t the most forward thinking

  21. G says:

    Dom? Are you kidding me? Kini was the winner by far. Eight of us watch Project Runway All Stars every thursday night, but this is the last year. The judges need to be REPLACED. Eight viewers are done with this show. BYE.

  22. Linda Kelsch says:

    No it should of been Kini his clothes were beautiful. And well constructed I wouldn’t were any of those weird things. They all said they didn’t like it.I thought. It was a design show
    Ken stuff just look like they were off the rack.. Why didn’t Kini get 2,nd place

  23. rachelarbeit says:

    I liked Kini’s stuff, but it did look a little like gift wrapping, no?

  24. Jackie says:

    Every time there is a Winner on Project Runway All Stars that has Won on Project Runway they always win. Why? I think PRAS are so afraid of offending PR judges and producers by suggesting they might have made a mistake they all vote for the returning winner I don’t thing the winners fro PR should even be on this show. I love Dom to death and she is so talented but Kini should have won. Sonjia should have won, And everyone should have beat Seth Aaron

  25. Molly says:

    Every time there is a Winner on Project Runway All Stars that has Won on Project Runway they always win. Why? I think PRAS are so afraid of offending PR judges and producers by suggesting they might have made a mistake they all vote for the returning winner I don’t thing the winners fro PR should even be on this show. I love Dom to death and she is so talented but Kini should have won. Sonjia should have won, And everyone should have beat Seth Aaron

  26. Missy Kelly says:

    The one thing I hate about all stars is bringing former winners back both Dimitri & Dom stated that they came back because they went through the money too fast and it didn’t last – well too bad. Be smarter. Winners can come back to be mentors, they can come back to be judges, but they should not be back as contestants – they’ve already graduated from that class.

  27. Conniecappadonia says:

  28. Patricia says:

    Dom was bubbly, with lousy taste, but knew how to play the game! Ken should have won! Truly classic collection! In a year or so, he will be the only successful designer of the 3

  29. fiona says:

    I think Kini should have won. Most of Dom’s stuff was great, but all the Kini’s was. Ken’s collection was the most wearable. I hope that he sells it all to either stores or patterns. Totally agree about the previous winners status…they already got the boost up. Wish them all success and hope to see their work in the future.

  30. lpod says:

    I agree with the judge’s statement that Dom is an artist. She is really passionate and carefree about her work. I wasn’t crazy about the entire line b/c they’re not my style, but you can see she really puts her heart in her work and she can evolve. Thats a reall designer! Kini’s looks are very well crafted, but I really hate his choice of fabrics. I loved the blue plaid bow dress, but even that looks more like a Kate Spade dress I’ve seen before and I love Kate Spade. The mens glitter jacket was ridiculously ugly and cheap and the pants had his signature grandma/grandpa cuff like those horrible jeans he made before. He designs for the Golden Girls, I would never wear anything he has designed. Ken is ok, I was surprised I liked so many of his, but like Kini said, he still has more to learn. He’s young so he can really be big if he works on his techniques and evolve a bit more.

    • Naomi Ashby says:

      I am so disappointed again! I am not going to watch this anymore. Kini should have won. Dom’s painted stripe design was awful. I would never wear most of what she made and I don’t think the judges would either. It baffles me. But they finally got rid of Sam. I thought maybe it was fixed for him to, at least ,be in the finale. Several of his outfits were hideous. I wonder sometimes if the judges are color blind.

  31. AngelWasHere says:

    After last night, I think I may skip the next season of All Stars. They need new judges. I’ve said this since season 1. It also isn’t fair to bring back previous winners.

    • AngelWasHere says:

      Also the favoritism they showed towards Sam drove me nuts. If it wasn’t for Nina guest judging he probably would have made it to the finale. smh. I really hope they replace the judging panel. The judges are what ruin this show for me.

  32. joni breault says:

    I liked most of Dom’s collection but was very disappointed with her collection last night. I think it was a political statement. Very sad to see a woman win that way. Ken & Kini were more deserving.

  33. MyMarie says:

    Kini got robbed!

  34. JM says:

    Absolutely the best designer won. I have to admit that I did not agree with her winning the first time on PR, but she has really grown, and I respect her artistry. Yes, her plaid print wasn’t as successful as her other designs, but so was Kini’s choice of tasteless pink and purple plaid prints with gigantic ruffles that he’s been doing all competition. (And mind you, I thought he should have won his season of PR, so I was fully prepared to root for him). I respect that Ken has matured and learned to control his anger. He had some beautiful designs, but unfortunately, he had too many boring basic ones. I agree with other posters who said that they edit the judges’ comments so the audience is mislead on who will win, so we really aren’t shown their true opinions. We should also keep in mind, that forcing the designers to create 8 designs in four days is beyond ridiculous so, of course, all of the designers had missteps. I will never understand why they have to put such enormous pressure on them. They have to know that the final designs can’t possibly be their best under these circumstances.

  35. Ambassador says:

    Sincerely, whomever our own personal choice was, matters not, we weren’t the judges… Being in the industry they know what exactly is it that’s fashionable and upcoming, however, I believe they made the right decision!!! I refuse to be a hater! Congratulations to you Dom

  36. The_Right Soutce says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if we can only remember, that is just what they are opinions! What a person feel, think or believe does not necessarily mean is based on fact or knowledge!
    What is; Shall be – What shall be;
    Is already ~
    Congratulations Dow / You got exactly what is supposed to be yours!

  37. cassie mari says:

    The winner is based off of the entire season not just this collection so I think it made sense.

  38. Belle says:

    NO WAY! I love Dom, but this collection was just so boring…her stuff usually is awesome, but this just seemed like some finger painting project my kid brings home from school. I personally loved most of Ken’s stuff, and some of Kini’s too. Art is subjective, so for whatever reason the judges thought she was best, but this will go down as another miss on picking the right winner!!

  39. Patty addis says:

    Oh my God I watch every year those judges have not a clue what fashion is all about they pick the ugliest looking clothes Kini should have won this by a long shot he was in great detail always Sosophisticated and All Dom did was paint a two-year-old could have done that I think they need some new judges!!!!

  40. Terry says:

    I am a faithful watcher and fell asleep, please re run that night

  41. Afm says:

    Are you kidding me? Kini hands down was the best representation all around for design and execution. He should have one.

  42. Danielle says:

    #1–these were the worse judges on any panel I ever seen- they need tough critics–
    #2–the young Sam should have been shown the door right away- fact is he may be a designer but has a long way to go-and the judges -had they been more critical with him he might had learn a thing or two-
    #3–the bickering is pure juvenile- yes-they are working under pressure-but no one forced them to return-welcome to the real world- if one wants to make a living one must be able to work under pressure-
    #4–as far as who the winner should have been– your guess is as good as mine-the judges through out the season were not performing as such–and neither was their so called mentor-
    Thank-you DL

  43. Summer says:

    Dom’s were just fugly items, I agree. Kini should have won. Ken’s were nice and yes he deserved second to Kini. Dom just fugly, fugly, fugly. Who would wear them? Clowns would.

  44. pandora says:

    I love Dom: she’s creative, upbeat, and flexible. But I really only liked her first “Impressionist” dress and I didn’t like the striped fabric or the assymetrical skirts. I also found the looks a little too androgynous and shapeless. However, I think she was chosen because her approach fits a younger and hipper clientele and that’s what the judges were looking for, which may be why Sam survived at least 4 shows longer than he should have. Ken’s collection was close to flawless: his woman is older, confident, and powerful. But, while it was elegant, and had original design elements, it was conservative and derivative. Kini’s collection was the best, in terms of finish, surprise, whimsy, and originality but it’s hard to figure out what girl it was for. So I think, in the end, the judges picked the winner they thought represented the young, fashion-forward trend and that was Dom. Really, all three did good work I think.

  45. Victoria says:

    The judges picked the wrong person to win!!! It should of been Kini or Ken period. Dom while a good designer was way off with her collection, the shapes and colors were horrible,way to boxy and strange. They missed the mark again.

  46. LAR says:

    Dom won because she has a great eye to the current and kini and ken were absolute bitches this season. Kini was always a favorite of mine—but this season he just made me angry. I really hated this season. There was such a bias against the Under The Gunn contestants. And even though I wasn’t necessarily a fan of Sam, the way Kini and Ken treated him made me want to throw up. I think they both lost because they were despicable. Sorry to say it, as again, I loved Kini. I’m just sorry the two of them made it to the final three.

  47. this is the last time for me. tired of the unfairness,

  48. Andy Davis says:

    Where is the none of the above choice. The whole final runway was a disaster and I didnt see any fashion at all. I give up on this show until they replace Alyssa Milano.

  49. Lynnette Masuda says:

    I don’t know what the judges were thinking. I personally hated Dom’s collection. They weren’t even nice. I wonder about the tastes of your judges. They praise Kini and criticizeDom but give the win to Dom. Maybe Project Runway should change judges — I really kinda lose fight watching if the results are so bad.

  50. Dom’s collection was kind of ugly. Ken was simple. Keni should have won for thinking out of box and doing outrageous outfits.