January 05, 2012 9:53pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'Project Runway All Stars' Premiere: 5 Hot Dresses, 5 Hot Messes
With Thursday’s Project Runway All Stars premiere, Lifetime brought back 13 designers who all believed they were eliminated before their time and now believe they're the ones to beat this time around.
But this time, the title brings with it about a half million dollars in prizes including a designer boutique in select Neiman Marcus locations and on the store’s website, $100,000 dollars in technology and office space from HP and Intel, $100,000 cash from L’Oreal Paris, a feature spread in Marie Claire, a guest editor position at the magazine for one year, and a sewing and embroidery studio provided by Brother International.
Model Angela Lindvall takes over for Heidi Klum and the judging panel now consists of fashion heavy hitters -- designers Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman with Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles stepping into the mentor role.
The show did a good job of balancing designers who competed while the show was on Bravo (Pre-Season 6) with the Lifetimers. For some, it may not feel that balanced because the biggest personalities seemed to have come out of the series’ earlier seasons.
The show decided to break the designers back in with a challenge that first-timers just hate, the unconventional challenge. But, these designers have been around the block before and seemed to expect something like that. They were given $100 to buy anything they wanted at a .99 cents store before they were sent to make it work.
Five hot messes.
1. Michael Costello says his model made question his sexuality. Of course, I think the Season 8 alum was in love with his dress more than his model, but got confused. I’m happy to see him, because he always has something to say. He’s good TV.
2. Anthony Williams’ taste level is still very low. I don’t believe he ever keeps his thoughts to himself. He’s just the kind of guy who constantly thinks out loud no matter how bumbling he may come off. Again, good for TV. If I remember correctly, his low taste level was a constant barrier for him and the time away hasn’t changed that. There is a market for what he does. They’re called Bravo’s Real Housewives.
3. Sweet P’s dress should be color blocked. The fourth season designer chose washcloths for her dress and it looked like it. While others used more inventive materials and manipulated them, Sweet P created a dress that looked like a party on top and your grandma’s backyard clothesline on the bottom.
4. Austin Scarlett puts the star in “All Stars.” Just ask him. The truth is that he’s right. He’s one of the most memorable Project Runway alums ever with his androgynous style and desire to make everyone look as if they’re living in Gone With the Wind. But, he earned the hot mess honor after burning a hole in his plastic dress and proceeding to make a very big scene about it. Austin, it’s made of plastic. Move on.
5. In Elisa Jimenez’s world, angels wear hot pants. I decided she was a hot mess once she decided to take her work to the floor. But, then she kept giving us more. The woman who imbued her essence on her clothes by spitting on them in Season 4, marked her bed with a lipstick kiss. Then, she created a final look reminiscent of a bat going to a rave, which marked her for elimination.
Five hot dresses.
1. Rami Kashou’s architectural tweed dress made from laundry bags, Christmas tinsel and umbrella liner. Known as a draper, the fourth season designer wanted to make sure these beeotches knew that wasn’t the only trick he had up his sleeve. He ended up winning the challenge.
2. Mondo Guerra’s still electric. Season 8’s runner up was a fan favorite in his year. He didn’t seem very excited to be back at first, but that didn’t show in his dress. Made of binders and electronic tape, his dress could have been worn out to a cocktail party that night.
3. Michael Costello mops up. Using mop heads, the Season 8 alum pieced together a dress that could go right out to a fancy dinner date. And if her beau’s reservations fell through, the model’s dress could make the floor clean enough to eat off of.
4. Jerell Scott knows his place. It’s right at the top of this episode’s fashions. Though he wasn’t very creative when choosing materials (scarves and placemats), he made something that had some movement on the runway and looked as if its fabric came right from Mood.
5. Mila Hermanovski’s geometrically cut separates were made from gift bags and curtain liner. The seventh season designer didn’t do a great job of making the materials look more like fabric then plastic, but she did create something with visual interest – like a futuristic mail carrier’s uniform. The U.S. Postal Service wishes it were that chic.
Who do you think was a hot mess and which was your pick for the hottest dress? Tell us in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro