A metal-themed challenge on Wednesday’s episode of Project Runway All Stars took one designer a little too far out of her element. The remaining 10 contestants were instructed to create an “elegant red carpet carpet look using metallics,” one that also includes a “unique texture.”
For the most part, the designers seemed pretty confident going into this challenge — perhaps too confident. Michelle Lesniak, who prides herself on her work with metallics, was the first to brag, declaring this the “sparkle dazzle challenge.” Irina Shabayeva, meanwhile, gave us a full rundown of the stars she’s dressed on red carpets: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Selena Gomez.
In fact, the only designer who seemed even slightly concerned was Anya Ayoung-Chee. The winner of Season 9 spent the whole episode worrying that she wouldn’t have enough time to construct her outfit, and when that fear eventually became a reality, she leaned on several of her fellow designers for support in finishing the look. Nearly every judge pretty much hated her finished product, which Georgina Chapman likened to a straight jacket. Guest judge Wendy Williams was the dress’ only supporter, which should tell you everything you need to know about how trashy it looked.
For all these reasons, it was hardly surprising when Alyssa Milano informed Anya that she would be leaving the competition this week — though I doubt Michelle expected to be standing next to her in the bottom two, especially after the big game she talked earlier in the episode. (And speaking of talking smack, I love that Sean Kelly’s look ended up winning even after one of his fellow designers judged him for overusing fringe.)
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to push myself because the level of talent and skill in this competition is extremely high,” Anya said. “To go home over something where I took a bigger chance feels OK. When giving up is not an option, we are capable of so much more than we realize, and I am so happy that I was able to show myself that I have that in me.”
Do you think Anya was the right designer to go this week? And are you glad that Michelle buried the hatchet with Dmitry Sholokhov, even if he turned right around and referred to her copying as “flattery”? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.