Project Runway: All Stars “Baroque-n”
We begin at Medieval Times, or how commercialism gives cosplayers a bad name. Welcome to the 15th century indeed. At least Alyssa was allowed to dress in a flattering outfit this week. Her history, on the other hand, is a little shaky. It’s not really her fault–you try drawing a straight line from a commercial for Medieval Times to a Baroque themed challenge, and you too will find yourself skipping over that whole pesky Renaissance period.
But once the challenge is described, how these disparate threads tie together makes sense. Make your own Baroque Fantasy period couture piece. In other words: this is a Game of Thrones challenge–many of the King’s Landing outfits are Baroque inspired pieces, but because the average person doesn’t know their fashion history, it’s often thought of as “medieval fantasy.” The problem is, Game of Thrones is A) way too busy/spoilerphobic to let Project Runway come use their set as a background for a challenge B) films all over Europe, so going to the King’s Landing set would require international flights to small towns in Spain and C) not owned by anyone under the Disney umbrella, where Lifetime finds itself tucked into a small corner of a corner. Medieval Times would have to do.
At least this is a two-day challenge, and a $300 budget. One day couture is almost always a disaster–more a sketch of an idea in fabric than an actual garment. I will say I laughed my head off when Sam couldn’t find fabric that reminded him of the Sistine Chapel. I’m sorry, they don’t carry stone cathedrals in fabric format at Mood. Back in the workroom, Mitchell is still riding high at merely being in the top last week, the fact that he didn’t win notwithstanding. That’s not the only carryover from last week either. It’s time for another meeting of the Queens of the Dramatic We Hate Sam Club!
Zanna doesn’t bother show up on Day One. This guarantees that she can undermine the designers’ confidence with the minimum amount of time left for them to course correct, to ensure maximum meltdown potential.
- Ken: It’s Baroque in Bronze. Zanna calls is “costume” and “too heavy.”
- Valerie: It looks like an unfinished nightgown. Zanna demands wow factors.
- Dom: She’s made a golden angel costume. Zanna says it’s not baroque enough.
- Emily: Zanna calls it Halle Berry. She doesn’t mean this as a complement.
- Alexander: In order not to make a costume, he’s made the dress I would like to wear on my tenth wedding anniversary. Zanna says my taste in anniversary wear shows my age.
- Layana: Zanna sneers there’s no sex appeal.
- Sam: Someone promised him a rose garden. Zanna loves it.
- Kini: Alexander McQueen would like a word, sir. Zanna straight out calls it a lampshade.
- Asha: This is what a Kardashian would mistake for Klassy. Zanna looks sad.
- Mitchell: Zanna is pleased to see that after last week’s accidental Top look, Mitchell will not be doing that again.
She helpfully reminds everyone that styling could save half these looks before taking her leave. Everyone is now too busy melting down over how much Zanna hates their looks to bother with Sam anymore. In the immortal words of Alexander: “Even Kini’s not finished!” Thank heavens. Into the workroom, the models come and go. Since there’s no Sistine Chapel gown, no one is talking of Michelangelo.
Day of runway, and no one is finished. But the levels of unfinished disaster range from vaguely passable to Mitchell level horror show. Never mind with the commercials for hair and makeup or the poor post-divorce Accessory Wall. Let’s see how mean the judges are about them.
This challenge has been so good to Alyssa. She’s been given really flattering outfits to wear for the entire hour, and her hair even looks good in a braided updo. Georgina Chapman is here again. That’s now six weeks in a row. One wonders if her husband noticed bloggers like me openly making fun of his wife thinking she doesn’t actually have to show up for work on a regular basis, and quietly said something? Isaac’s husband probably doesn’t have that sort of authority over him. Oh no, Keren Craig, ie the non-famous half of Marchesa, is on hand as guest judge. Georgina had to show up this week, otherwise it would be even more awkward than usual, especially since Marchesa is offering an extra prize of the winner designing a look for their Beta line no one remembers exists, Marchesa Notte. Also, Coco Rocha is here, if anyone has ever wanted to see her in non-airbrushed-in-a-magazine-spread format.
Dom: Barbarella! All she needs is roller skates.
Asha: Kim Kardashian’s idea of dressing like a Lannister.
Kini: Did he find that in Alexander McQueen’s trash bin and put it on the runway as found?
Emily: Strategic silver roses on fishnet, with a trashbag goth skirt. How 90s.
Valerie: 1970s post flower power couture. It looks like something a a Mick Jaggar one night stand would wear. That bodice is like a mile away from the model’s actual torso. I feel like the judges must have known this one was hers, and wanted to put her in the top since she was in the bottom last week. Because otherwise there’s no real reason this is in the top over anything that’s been mushed through to safety.
Sam: Say what you will about Dom giving Sam the direction to go, this is still one of the best pieces up there. Everyone oohs and ahhs over the amount of work. Only Alyssa calls it out for being expensive fabric draped and edited well, instead of actual couture–which to me is a far more legit complaint to be made about it than Sam taking a fellow designer’s excellent suggestion.
Ken: This is a gown made for Aretha Franklin as the Wicked Witch of the Trees in a Wiz-like adaption of Into The Woods. The judges ooh and ahh over the “strong woman” appeal of the gown, except for Isaac, who is probably frightened of it for that reason. Craig notes it is the only gown that actually ticks all the boxes that were laid out to the designers for this challenge. Ken gets his first win ever on Project Runway.
Layana: Holy god, she’s made a Lannister outfit, for when Cersei loses all her money and has to wear something cheap. Tywin is rolling over in his grave for the fall of his House. The colorways are distressing the Marchesians. Isaac calls it factory made. The factory called and demands you take that back, sir!
Alexander: I think I liked it better before he wrapped it in ribbons and threw sparkling schmutz all over it. Georgina calls it Breakfast at Tiffany‘s. Isaac agrees the pearls are too much. The word “costume” is thrown around, because of course it is. I feel almost like they assumed his would be costume and automatically stuck him in the bottom without actually looking at the outfit.
Mitchell: Oh that’s a disaster. Even the Kardashians wouldn’t wear it. Ok, maybe Khloe. What can you even say about it? It’s a disaster. The judges make kindly noises about the unfinished bits, and no one is very outwardly cruel, as they have been waiting for the chance to send him home and now he has given it to them.