Fabio, Anthony, Stanley and Ken, your Project Runway All Stars final four, arrive to D.C. looking sharp and slaying. The edit makes them look glamorous as they enter the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History to meet Alyssa.
“I’m just overwhelmed to be here. I’m just trying to soak everything in and just trying to enjoy the moment for what it is, because you never know what’s next,” shares designer Fabio during his confessional.
The Project Runway All Stars host drops some knowledge about the Smithsonian before telling the designers that their final challenge (YES, you read that right) is about making their own mark in American fashion history, by creating a six piece collection.
Everyone is shocked, including myself, but it is Anthony (of course) who steals the moment. He is literally freaking out, “this is the challenge that determines who wins the whole entire situation,” he says.
But wait – Alyssa continues to snatch the designers wigs with more details about the final challenge: instead of shopping at Mood the designers will be spending their $2000 budget at the warehouse where Mood gets its fabrics. But the Fab Four only have one week to complete their mini collection. All Stars did not come to play this season and I am ready for it. Before Alyssa makes her exit she tells the designers that their models are here for their casting, on the roof of the museum. This smells a little fishy to me, I feel a twist coming our way.
The Fab Four start to sketch their mini collection as their make their way through the museum and gag and awe at the American flag, the First Lady dresses and of course Dorothy’s red slippers. Anthony describes his collection as “Audrey Hepburn lived long enough to become Rihanna.” Girl, this is the fashion collection the world didn’t know it needed.
Turns out the rooftop model casting was just that, a model casting – oh well. The designers head to the Mood warehouse to find their textiles. They are all taken aback by the amount of fabrics they have to choose from, there’s almost too much to look at. Finally the designers head back to the workroom and they are met with bigger work areas and even rolling racks, which apparently are a big deal because they all freak out about them.
All four of the designers are talented, no doubt, which is always the case on Project Runway All Stars. In this case the final four are exceptionally good at what they do, so you know the collections are going to be exciting, fresh and nearly perfect. Watching the episode one can almost feel the pride and happiness these four designers exhumed from making it this far.
“I want to win because who wouldn’t want to be the firs gay black man to win some part of the Project Runway brand. Have you lost your mind?” Anthony says during his confessional. “Everybody wants to be the first something.”
As the first day of the challenge comes to an end Stanley shares that he’s been thinking a lot about Willi Smith, “because this is sort of a defining moment for me.” For those who don’t know who Smith is Stanley explains it like this:
“A black American designer and he plays a big part of who I am as a designer.” Smith was known for pioneering ‘street couture,’ designing affordable ‘outsized and colorful’ clothes for ordinary men and women ‘that also appealed to the wealthy and famous.’ Smith died in 1987 at the age of 39 due to AIDS complications.
As the four designers walk into the workroom for day two of the challenge they are surprised to find Alyssa waiting for them, with a smirk on her face. The first thing she tells them, “expect the unexpected,” and then proceeds to reveal a major twist in the competition. The final four must showcase a signature look during an exclusive presentation. A panel of judges will provide feedback and ultimately decide which three designers will get to show their final collection. Oh, one more thing – the designers have one day to finish their signature look. The competition just got real and ladies and gentlemen Project Runway gets to keep its reality TV crown.
This unexpected twist throws the designers into a spiral of anxiety and fierce competition, which translates to what? Fabulous fashion. Anne enters the workroom, (side note: I notice that Fabio and I have the same Frida Kahlo tote!) and the designers look stressed and tired, but this is All Stars so who cares, right? Anyway Stanley is working with leather and Anne tells him it’s a good step but to be careful. He wants to make gloves and Anne literally rolls her eyes. Her best advice: do not make a costume-y look. Edit. Edit. Edit.
Fabio is all about contrasts and his look features smocking, an old sewing technique. Anne likes his skirt (I hate it) and she’s excited to see more from his collection, she calls his look ‘a hip New York girl.’ I don’t agree but okay. Anthony is creating yet another gown. I am shaking because this is NOT the time to play it safe Anthony! Deliver some sexy Rihanna fashion, please! Ken’s look is sort of basic and Anne agrees. She tells him to make sure his look stands out. There are two designers who are ready to kill the runway and there are two who are struggling. Place your bets ladies, and may the best designer – win!
The models finally come in for a fitting and I can finally see each designer’s aesthetic coming to life. Ken is having some trouble with his signature design, so he decides to add organza (?) and I think he lost his damn mind.
It’s the day of the runway and Anthony feels good but not confident. I’m really rooting for him but he’s making me feel anxious with this blue dress, that honestly we’ve been seen before. Anyway the designers send their models to the glam room and hair salon for the exclusive presentation. Now that I can see all of the four designs, I really don’t know who’s on top and who isn’t. All four designers are representing fashion with a capital F. Time to hit the runway and I’m sweating.
Alyssa makes a grand entrance dressed in a red flowy gown. It’s not my favorite but she looks like the host of a fashion show, so I’m not mad about it. She welcomes back regular All Star judges Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi and proceeds to introduce the two amazing guest judges of the week: ‘the exquisite’ Dita Von Teese and a friend of the Project Runway family, Zanna Roberts Rassi.
The signature designs make their way down the runway and the judges critique all four looks.
Anthony explains his Audrey-Rihanna inspiration and the judges love his idea. Isaac loves the length and the fabric. Georgina doesn’t like the fabric he used and Dita really likes the color and the structure. Zanna loves the straps in the back of the dress. Alyssa loves the side of the dress but points out that the waist of the dress looks a little off.
Ken tells the judges about Harriet Tubman’s lace bowtie and how his look was inspired by it. Zanna doesn’t love the whimsy look. Rita loves the pants, but not the weird sash. Georgina wishes the looks was black and white and hates the earrings. She does love the proportions though. Isaac adores the pants and fabrics. Alyssa compliments his tailoring and sort of likes the sash.
Fabio explains his old and new contrast idea. Georgina ‘adores’ the smocking and loves the woman he makes clothes for. Isaac doesn’t like the print he used for his top. Dita loves the ‘modern 50s skirt.’ Zanna doesn’t like his look at all and feels like it needs some editing. Alyssa, of course, loves it and wants it.
Stanley explains his inspiration as the ‘black ladies going to church on Sunday’ hats and the First Lady dresses. Georgina loves the woman he presents, but the dress has too many layers. Isaac loves the simplicity of his dress. Dita loves the entire look, especially the full skirt. Zanna calls his look ‘Project Runway All Stars gold.’
Usually this is the part where I would announce the designer on top and the designer who is out, but because this is All Stars, Alyssa has a surprise A.K.A. challenge, for the final four. I love how all the judges smile and smirk with a hint of evilness. The host steps on to the runway and leads the designers through the control room as the final four look anxious, stressed and like they’re about to pass out. Finally we make our way to a pop-up workroom complete with dramatic steaming machines and four semi-naked models.
Alyssa tells the final four that they have to make a whole new look form the remnants of designers past, in just one hour. It doesn’t have to fit into the collection but it has to be good. NOW THAT’S A TWIST and I am living, with a capital L.
The designers get to work and they are really werking, honey. They get to steaming, stitching, sewing and all of a sudden there are 15 minutes left. I have no idea what the designers are making but I am nervous, excited and I can’t breathe. Once I see the finished products I am baffled because these looks are simple, fierce and most of all better fashion than what they showed on the runway. Don’t @ me.
Anthony created a delicious draping moment in under an hour. The judges love the color story and the elegance that is SO Anthony.
Ken made a chic and controlled black dress. The judges absolutely love his dress and his tailoring skill.
Fabio explains his clashing aesthetic, again, but it works. The judges call it exciting and chic. Zanna loves his aesthetic and what he produces under pressure.
Stanley creates a mini dress with leather. Isaac calls it bling-block and wonderful. The judges call his dress clever and finished.
Final three: Anthony, Fabio and Stanley
Stanley, Fabio and Anthony are the All Stars season 6 finalists. Do you agree with the judges? Let me know you what you think of All Stars season 6 so far. Sound off below!