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!