[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday’s episode.]
For the three remaining all-stars, it’s the biggest runway of their lives. But only one can be the winner. See which designers snapped — and even napped — competing for the largest prize package in Runway history.
It’s the season two finale of “Project Runway: All Stars,” where it’s go big, or go home.
In the Workroom
Emilio, Uli and Anthony Ryan learn from Carolyn Murphy that they will each get four days and a budget of $3,000 to create their dream mini-collections. But they won’t have to do it alone. The eliminated designers return one last time to offer their skills.
Since Anthony Ryan won the last challenge, he gets first pick and chooses Joshua. Joshua, however, says no. He says he’s too tired to help, so Anthony Ryan recruits Kayne instead. I wonder why Joshua stayed on the bench? I smell a story.
Uli pairs up with Casanova and quickly learns that she has a very different design approach than her helper. Casanova’s by-the-book behavior clashes with Uli’s free spirit. He’s quick to point out that she has no tools but on day two, Casanova napped during crunch time.
Casanova says that sewing is like having sex — he needs to be in the mood to be motivated. During season one of All Stars, I took an entire day off from the workroom, so I don’t judge him too harshly.
Across the workroom, Emilio and Althea bond over the inspiration of his collection. But Emilio is lagging behind his two competitors. He didn’t have anything to show Joanna Coles during her critique. Emilio will have to dig deep and finish strong if he’s to stand a chance.
The top three only get a few hours to refine their designs and send their models to hair and makeup. It’s game time!
On the Runway
Guests judges Liv Tyler and Margherita Missoni grace the finale runway, and yours truly makes a few cameos too. I was thrilled to watch the show in person.
Here’s what I thought about the collections:
Emilio Sosa — “Urban Plantation”
I was really intrigued by Emilio’s Aunt Jemima 1840s meets Rosie the Riveter 1940s inspiration and thought his looks really told a story. I also thought his use of the lunch pails as handbags was a clever detail — a little wink to the audience.
Emilio delivered some exciting new silhouettes as well. I especially liked the red jumpsuit and the printed skirt and bodice paired with the voluminous black shirt. One of his less successful designs for me was his opening look — the strapless cocktail dress. It had some fit issues and needed some more special details.
Anthony Ryan — “The Thin Line”
This collection was very graphic and felt modern. While the color-blocking kept everything very cohesive, I think it also became repetitive. But I get his girl — Anthony Ryan designs for strong, confident women.
His opening look was strong. The sheer-paneled sleeves, pockets, proportion of his color placement, the collar and the cutout back all came together well. The yellow color-blocked dress was pretty good, too. His closing look was off for me, though. Maybe it was the flouncy hem or awkward bib? Aside from the yellow skirt and peplum top, this was a collection of dresses.
Uli Herzner — “Mystical Winter”
Uli invited us to follow her on her dream, which included a lot of what we’ve been seeing from her all season. Playing to her strengths, she chose white and metallic fabrics with plenty of faux-fur and feathers.
Uli has come a long way from her beginnings in East Berlin. This collection had great drama and visual interest. I liked the opening white dress — the combination of textures was nice. Uli’s point of view is very clear. For me, the scarves or capelets or whatever weren’t always a hit. But I really appreciated that she did so many separates in her looks.
The Judges’ Decisions
Three finalists, three distinct points of view, but only one winner. Drum roll, please…
Congratulations to Anthony Ryan! His consistent performance and strong final collection have earned him the biggest win in Project Runway history. A job well done. I will now pass down my crown … just kidding!
Did the right designer take home the victory? Which looks were your favorites? And can you believe that Project Runway season 11 premieres next week? With new judge Zac Posen and an entire season of team challenges, I’m sure there will be plenty of drama. Are you tuning in?
Denver fashion designer Mondo Guerra earned a runner-up finish on Project Runway season eight, then went on to claim victory on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. In addition to an upcoming guest editor position at Marie Claire, Mondo has launched I Design, a new HIV/AIDS education campaign with Merck. To learn more about Mondo, visit mondoguerra.com.