Project Runway All Stars Season 6 Recap: Design Distress
Project Runway All Stars’ new season leaves behind the team games for their second episode and takes us to distressing places.
This week begins in the workroom, where the place has been festooned with caution tape. That’s not a metaphor for the designers’ behavior, it’s a warning of what they will be doing later. But this week isn’t an Unconventionals Challenge, and they aren’t using caution tape as fabric. Instead, it’s capitalizing on the trend you have to have noticed came roaring back from the 80s in the last two years: pre-torn clothing, aka the “distressed” look.
As Alyssa notes, that return to the pre-torn jeans era isn’t actually drawn from the original 80s trend. It’s about the post-apocalyptic phase we hit in pop culture right before Brexit happened and Trump became president and we really did head into the pre-apocalyptic phase in the real world. Since then the trend has only gotten bigger. Because of all the end of the world stories out there, Alyssa wants an explanation for why the clothes are distressed the way they are. This isn’t “where is your girl going in her outfit?”, it’s “WTF just happened to your girl on the way here?”
Twenty minutes to sketch in the workroom, $200 at Mood to shop, and then everything from fire to water to steel wool are hanging out in the workroom to ruin said purchased fabrics on their way to becoming fashionable items. Sketching suggests that all of our designers binged watched RuPaul’s Drag Race ahead of this challenge, but I didn’t say that.
Returning from shopping, the biggest challenge for the designers is the mental barrier they have about actually destroying the beautiful fabrics they bought. What if you over distress? What if it doesn’t come out the way you thought it would? And really, you want to blow torch that evening gown fabric you just spent $200 on?
Let’s have Anne kick a few asses on this subject, once everyone learns how to pronounce apocalyptic.
- Char: Her girl is a firefighter, and she wants to go all out and put “Detroit Fire Department” or “DFD” on the back. Anne tells her that’s costume.
- Merline: Anne is bored by her silhouette, but shrugs that it’s got potential
- Ari: She’s going to ombre dye her dress, she’s going to distress her silk, she’s going to bleach her wool. And for her next trick, she will leap from tall buildings in a single bound because Ari South is Superwoman.
- Melissa: Anne says the judges to need to be able to see the distressing for it to count.
- Kimberly: She hasn’t distressed anything yet, and Anne demands she prove herself able to do so for the cameras.
- Edmond: Another who is afraid of hurting his fabric. Anne tells him “rip it up a little!”
- Amanda: She asks if she’s distressing enough. The answer is no.
- Candice: “I’ve never distressed a garment in my life!” Anne: Go bold! (Or go home.)
- Stanley: Anne demands he figure out how to not wind up with a pretty prom dress.
- Helen: Anne sets her fabric test piece on fire with the woodcutter.
- Joshua: His girl is wearing a bullseye, and he’s going to hit it with paintballs. Anne drops everything and runs him to the paint room to see how it turns out.
- Kelly: She created her textile, and is promising she’ll set it on fire, soon.
- Anthony: He has no idea how to distress his stuff, but that’s because his backstory is too vague. He finally decides on fire and says a prayer to God before lighting the torch.
We’re going to guess that Fabio and Ken are safe this week since they got skipped. Anne suggests the winner this week might find their look in the pages of Marie Claire Magazine. We’ll see if that comes true. The models come and go, and laugh at this week’s challenge, especially when they learn most of what they’ll wear is still to be destroyed. In fact, for most, they’ll be distressing in the morning! Time management, y’all. It’s distressing.
Day of runway and the outfits are on fire. A lot of them are blowtorching like their lives depend on it, and because it’s a really fast way to distress in a dramatic manner. The models are shoved through the branded hair and makeup salons, and the name of the Accessory Wall is dropped like they get paid fifty bucks for each name drop. Stanely is literally burning his dress on his model. Kids don’t try this at home!
Take to put down the wire brushes and head to the runway.
I really like Alyssa’s new haircut, but her dress is upsetting me. Georgina is dressed like a pretty pretty princess because we all grieve the end of our marriages differently. Isaac is wearing a neckerchief, which I assume is the only thing holding on his head. The guest judge this week is Danielle Brookes, from Orange is The New Black. Alyssa insists the AnthonyRyan Rule is in effect, we assume for Joshua’s benefit.
Close-ups of the outfits to come when they become available.
Candice: Unpreserved outfit from an 1890s circus
Helen: She even makes capes boring.
Ken: Vampire Serial Killer Chic is the wrong challenge.
Kimberly: Mistook this for an Unconventionals Challenge.
Amanda: That’s supposed to be a phoenix right? Correct concept, wrong execution, unless the model is going to burn up and leave behind a small bird chick.
Joshua: The jacket is great. The bullseye dress is a failure to grasp the assignment.
Fabio: There’s nothing there but a zebra.
Edmond: Great sculpture, but not distressed enough.
Melissa: Silver paint on the hands is not distressing.
Merline: Now that’s a post-apocalyptic look. Also one of the few who got the distressing correct. Isaac loves her structural lines. Georgina is pleased Merline took the notes on lines they gave her last week. Alyssa loves the glasses. They are very excited by the potential they’re seeing.
Ari: The gown is *exactly* what they were looking for in this challenge. I even like the coat. Isaac loves everything about this, though he feels it’s a little too burnt, and that the burning was too regimented. Alyssa disagrees and said she made her own lace. I think she should have been second to Anothy.
Anthony: Nailed it. Georgina loves it, and Anthony squeals. Alyssa says the distressing looks like it’s part of the design. Isaac notes that unlike some dirty distressing, this is perfectly elegant, and he’s amazed that Anthony didn’t realize how much he nailed the challenge. The guest judge wants to wear it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner, but Anne must have been lying about being in the pages of MCM, because we don’t hear anything more about it.
Char: The Fire Department lettering on the back look like 8-year-old made them. The outfit isn’t even burnt. Isaac liked the pant trains, and Alyssa says the find distressing is nice, but Georgina is like “there’s no design here.” How she is sent to safety first is beyond me. How she is not out is beyond me.
Stanley: Prom dress, minor cigarette burns. Georgina sneers the top is too costume. They like the burning, but they disagree on the color and the cut of the actual garment. There’s no way he’s out which means…
Kelly: The headphones and the bodice are great, but where’s the distressing? Isaac loves her story so much he wants to have lunch with her. He also loves her fabric, but he admits the distressing did not show at all. Georgina hates it, the headphones, and her. She’s out. Sad! I loved Kelly! Booooooo.