Since opening at the Gershwin Theatre in 2003, Wicked has won numerous awards, broken tons of Broadway records, and gained worldwide fame. When the trailer for All Stars season 4 released and showed Alyssa Milano dropping down in Glinda’s bubble, my first thought was: This is going to be a great challenge. The musical is amazing, so how could it not be?
When I interviewed Milano ahead of the season and she mentioned it was a couture challenge, I thought: This is going to be Chris March’s challenge. And I wasn’t the only one who thought that. However, the judges, the other designers, and probably most of the audience was shocked at what he turned out tonight. After all, this is a couture gown challenge with a Wicked inspiration—it’s right in his wheelhouse, but he seemed to be on an entirely different road than everyone else from the beginning.
The current Broadway Elphaba and Glinda, Christine Dwyer and Jenni Barber, explained the challenge along with Alyssa: The designers would be doing a fashion face-off, good versus wicked. (Clever.) They must each create a couture look with two days and $250.
Last week Jay mentioned the only way Kate would get pulled out of her wedding dress rut was a funeral challenge. This wasn’t exactly that, but as she was saddled with “wicked,” she did have to do something other than white. But don’t worry, she said her look will be “wickedly pretty.” But like all first day designs on two-day challenges, it’s hard to tell what that will turn out to be.
With a slower production schedule, the designers are able to spend more time on their looks and even help one another out by critiquing one anothers’ looks face to face (rather than on camera after the fact like usual) and offering advice. Dmitry does not approve: “It’s called the workroom, not the talkroom.” But I disagree with him. It’s nice to see the designers collaborating and supporting one another—even if they do make sassy remarks to the contrary in the confessional later.
By the way, is it just me or is this season bursting with great one-liners from all the designers? Michelle’s line about Dmitry’s gown being “cooter-ture” was definitely this episode’s winner.
Zanna Roberts Rassi comes for the critique on the second day and has a lot to say: Fabio’s pants-plus-harness-gown look has too many ideas; Sonjia’s dress is “regal”; Helen’s ruffle stuff looks like a shower loofah; and Sam’s look is “dulls-ville.” She might not have the rapport with the designers like Tim Gunn, but she knows how to get straight to the point with her critique. She leaves them with one overall rule: Get rid of anything crafty and replace it with “exquisite details.”
NEXT: “Bye couture, see you tomorrow”