Project Runway: All Stars recap: Insta-Couture

The designers get the near-impossible task of creating red carpet-ready couture evening gowns in just 24 hours.
Ep. 02 | Aired Jan 12, 2012

WHERE'S OMBRE? This week's looks included some high highs and very low lows.

David M. Russell/Lifetime

Quick poll about our host -- Angela Lindvall: robot or marionette? Is she more metallic or wooden? She didn't bother me as much this episode. Maybe it's because she had fewer hosting duties. She still spoke so slooooooowly and almost dozed off mid-sentence a few times, but I think she may be getting better. In any case, she got the job done introducing the challenge, which was to create a glamorous, high-end evening gown designed for a night at the opera. I like straightforward challenges like this because it frees the designers to do what they do best. But of course, there was an "All-Star twist": They only had 24 hours to create their gowns.

I have a problem with this kind of Project Runway twist -- the kind that hurts the designers' ability to make good clothes but doesn't make the challenge any more fun to watch. Austin, the All-Star best known for making couture gowns, explained that couture can't be made in a day; it typically means months of work. Mondo, Rami, and Kara all admitted that couture evening wear was their fashion blindspot. I love how Kara calls it "evening-WAY." If an actress spoke like Kara in a movie, I'd think she was overdoing the accent. (Speaking of accents, I enjoy imagining Arnold Schwarzenegger saying "couture." "Kah-TOO-wah.")

It's off to Mood, where April and Michael once against bumped heads over materials. Last week, they went head-to-head over mopheads; this week, they both wanted to use red, which as a color and concept apparently wasn't big enough for the both of them. Michael bitched and moaned a little bit and switched to black matte jersey. April stuck with the red because it was a big deal for her to do something that wasn't black, gray, or diaper-like.

I wish Joanna were on hand for the Mood visits as a fabric consultant, but she met the designers back at the workroom with a big SMILE on her face! First she set her sights on Michael and noted that his dress didn't have cups for a woman's breasts. "I'm always thinking, 'How is my body going to look in this?" said Joanna. I'm always wondering how Joanna's body will look, too. When Michael admitted he didn't think about women's bodies enough, Joanna had an visceral, full-bodied reaction, as if someone had offered her a free session at a tanning salon. "Shock! Horror!" she sputtered while accurately conveying pure shock and horror on her face:

Joanna, please start mentoring acting workshops as well. Also, love the whole Austin Powers look.

NEXT: Are we going to the Metropolitan Opera House or The Phantom of the Opera? Not all the All-Stars seemed sure.

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