Project Runway All Stars Season 6 Recap: The Comeback of Betty Boop
Project Runway pulls a Roger Rabbit and brings in someone who’s had trouble finding work since cartoons went to color.
Ever since Zac Posen announced last year he was teaming up with Betty Boop to be the inspiration for his new collections, it’s only been a matter of time before she showed up on Project Runway. Since Posen is a regular judge on the flagship edition, I assumed it would be there. but no! Instead, it’s All Stars that gets the CGI money thrown at them to do a reality show version of what Who Framed Roger Rabbit? did by hand back in the 80s. Technology, always marching forward.
Boop is on hand to announce the next challenge: a young chic Hollywood outfit inspired by her old school look. I’m, amused to note the extra prize for winning this week is for the designer to create a collection to be released via Torrid, which is the plus sized girl’s half of the Hot Topic brand. (Also, my favorite place to shop.) A silent acknowledgment that Boop’s figure is not a Size 0, though sadly, the models still will be. She’ll be drawn wearing the winning design.
They get $200 for a Mood budget (they’ll sketch there too) and have one day for their design. Joshua is already getting a bad edit, with claims of not needing anyone, even though, of all the challenges so far, this one should be his to lose. The workroom has a boop statue (in the Marilyn Monroe subway grate pose) as a reminder of who their client is. Helen is also getting a grumpster edit, but that’s becoming par for the course. Meanwhile, the bulk of the room seems to have gotten tighter and play consultant to each other’s looks before Anne comes through to rip them to shreds.
Speaking of which, let’s check in with Anne and see if she needs more coffee to deal with this. Because even before her walk around she sounds badly bored.
- Char: She’s thinking young, she’s making middle ages, and Anne calls it sockhop. There’s nothing good about this.
- Merline: Anne pushes her to dump her floral fabric and just stick to her solid because that will show her weaknesses in construction most.
- Stanley: He’s making a 40s romper. Anne is like “what challenge are you doing?”
- Fabio: Anne wrinkles her nose that it’s not sexy in her eyes. He doesn’t care.
- Kimberly: Anne rolls her eyes: “Bathrobe!”
- Ken: She looks at a single yard of fabric, badly draped, and announces “classic!”
- Anthony: She calls his chiffon “Trampy” He tries not to look offended.
- Edmond: He’s scrapped his trippy fabric for something more boring. Anne looks perplexed.
- Joshua: He’s making streetwear, and it’s obvious Anne hopes this is the end of him.
- Helen: Anne hates her fabric choices and tells her to go polka dot. Helen tries not to laugh hysterically.
Anne tells everyone they are all way too old and then throws them a twist: Popeye shows up (on TV this time, not in the room) and reminds them that Betty is, above all, sexy. So they all start accessorizing as sexy as they can… Until Ken asks the question Anne did not to Char “Why are you making maternity wear?” Char gets offended. It’s a bad sign when the designers critique each other better than the mentor.
The model fittings make everyone feel better about their directions, even the ones who shouldn’t. Edmond even decides to go back to his original fabric, with only a couple hours left. Day of runway, he’s still struggling, but at least he has a dress. Joshua spent so much time on the top he doesn’t have a bottom. (The top is a stunner though.) Helen pulled a skirt out of polka dot fabric. And Char’s neoprene is not getting better.
Let’s go the runway and see what the judges think.
Alyssa is dressed in her Betty Boop finest, and it’s pretty damn good looking on her. Georgina is wearing Marchesa because no one else will anymore. Isaac is here and did his hair for once. Rebecca Minkoff must be a personal friend of Georgina’s because she’s here as a guest judge again and probably for emotional support.
Fabio: It’s an inkblot challenge. Which fictional character do you see in this dress?
Ken: Great dress, but not the challenge at all.
Kimberly: Betty Boop wouldn’t wear it.
Anthony: A dinner napkin come to life!
Helen: Betty Boop as Office Manager. Georgina likes the polka dots but isn’t thrilled with the top. Neither is Rebecca. Isaac thinks it’s well balanced though, and Alyssa is impressed with her craftsmanship.
Stanley: That’s not a dress for Betty Boop, that’s a dress for Peggy Olson in Mad Men Season 1. Georgina calls it quirky and means that as a compliment. Rebecca loves the collar, which no, but whatever. Alyssa doesn’t see sexy, but she does get young and chic. So does Isaac.
Joshua: Yes we can see her underwear, as always, but the top is so fab I don’t even care. (And besides, Betty Boop was playfully slutty like that.) Isaac says it’s racy but non-vulgar. Rebecca calls it “luxe.” Alyssa is the only one not thrilled with the crop top. She’s wrong. Joshua finally has a win.
Merline: It’s a really great dress, for a sci-fi challenge. It had zero to do with Boop. Georgina asks if she even knows who the character is. Isaac is like this is neither young nor Hollywood. Rebecca asks if she forgot there was a back.
Edmond: The dress cut is all wrong, but I love the fabric. They hate the fabric. Alyssa says “Alexander McQueen ten years ago” and “saggy balls.” Georgina demands contour. Isaac is just mad about this, this is not young and chic and what even are they delivering here?
Char: Betty Boop’s Maternity Line, Alyssa volunteers that at least she likes the color. Georgia is like “where is all this draping come from? What is wrong with them?” Isaac is mad about the fabric choice. She should have known better. And for that, she’s out.