'Project Runway All Stars' recap: '4 Seasons in 1 Finale'
Each time the cast of Project Runway All Stars is announced, people are always outraged when past winners are included. Yes, they already had their moment, but an argument can also be made that All Stars is the best of the best—winners should be included. And from that argument, it follows that a winner should win again. And that’s what happened here: Dmitry, season 10 winner, was crowned winner of them all tonight. Let’s take a look at how he did it…
The episode starts with the remaining three contestants lounging on the Gotham West patio when Alyssa comes to deliver the challenge. Most fashion collections are tied to one season, she says for the purpose of informing the audience. No one has ever tried in include all four seasons in one collection—but that’s exactly what the designers must do for their final challenge.
The final three will each create an eight-piece collection—two looks for spring, two for summer, two for fall, and two for winter. But Alyssa loves her All Stars twists, and she has a doozy of one for the last episode: The designers get four days. Sonjia immediately sits down and has to fan herself.
But one bit of good news: They each get $3,000 for their final collection. So after a bit of sketching on the rooftop, Sonjia, Helen, and Dmitry head to Mood. They only have an hour to buy all the fabrics for their eight looks. Sonjia starts grabbing up ruby reds and golden yellows in a variety of patterns and textiles. Dmitry also goes for the variety route with assorted weighted wools, lace, sequins, etc. Helen starts with a black lace and builds from there. She really wants the designers to see she knows how to buy fabric, which—correct me if I’m wrong—does not seem like the point of this show.
Nevertheless, they get back to the workroom, where they start talking strategies. (I’m assuming the producers had to ask for lots of commentary with so few designers left and very little drama.) Sonjia and Dmitry are taking one look at a time, but Helen thinks she has an upper-hand by doing draping on all eight looks first. But as Day 1 draws to a close, every single one of them is behind.
Day 2: “Creating a collection in four days is batshit crazy,” Helen says. And she’s not wrong, but that’s what makes this show so fun to watch. There’s just the tiniest hint of drama today when Sonjia mentions Dmitry’s fringe and he sasses back, “Are you doing lace again?” But then they all quiet and get back to work. (Helen is working so hard she has her hair up, which I don’t remember seeing all season.)
Zanna comes in for her critiques. She’s very into Sonjia’s fabrics and her idea to use a knit for a final gown. She tells Dmitry not to let his perfectionism get in the way of producing complete looks. And she advises Helen to pump up the drama because her black and white lace pinafores are a little dull.
Day 3: The cavalry has arrived! As the designers enter the workroom for the third morning, they see Fabio, Kate, and Jay. The designers scream and hug their respective friends before getting straight to work. They’ll have the assistants for 18 hours.
Later in the day, about a million models enter the room for the fittings. Right about this time is when I started realizing just how much work the contestants actually had to get done. Checking the fit on one model is tedious enough, but these designers had to do it for eight.
Day 4: The assistants are still there. The designers have to do hair consultations with Chi and makeup consultations with Mary Kay. Dmitry worries about dying from exhaustion. No one dies.
NEXT: Runway Day
Despite every one of the designers being behind on their designs every single day, they somehow pull out all 24 looks and take them to the Diamond Horseshoe. I have never heard of this place, but it looks absolutely terrifying.
The judges are joined there by actress Mira Sorvino (this runway show must have been filmed during the hot second that people actually knew what Intruders was) and Runway Regular judge Zac Posen. Alyssa introduces the audience and kicks off the show…
Sonjia‘s collection is Urban Egyptian, inspired by herself, a bold, sexy, edgy woman coming into her own. Sure, it’s a tad conceited, but it works. The looks are bursting with color and pattern. The seasons transition seamlessly, but some looks are eerily familiar. Isaac praises her for being able to redefine the proportions of a woman’s body; all of the judges rave about her coat. Isaac thinks it redefines the idea of a winter coat (and once again I have to take issue with how lightly they throw around the word “coat” on this show). All five judges give mostly compliments, Zac even tells Sonjia her red lace dress is market ready—which is Runway speak for perfect.
“The Art of Fashion,” Dmitry‘s collection, is for the ageless, modern, and cosmopolitan woman. However, his agelessness relies on an ’80s look. He has boxy silhouettes with padded shoulders and slouchy sleeves. In theory it’s something I would hate, but it somehow feels interesting. The judges note hits and misses (they love the weed dress, hate the white skirt suit and his ill-fitting pants), but they also acknowledge that he took risks and showed his voice.
Helen started with the idea of a couture Wednesday Adams, which led to her collection, “Coco on Wednesday.” Her four seasons seem a bit disjointed, and the final look has zero wow—which is not the last image you want to leave in the judges’ minds. Zac begins Helen’s critique by saying he knows her, and he doesn’t see an evolution from her in this collection. Isaac, similarly, says she didn’t choose her battles well, and he rails on the last look. She does have redeeming items, like the heavy wool skirt and the “Alexa Chung” dress, but that’s not enough. When the judges deliberate, Isaac suggests they pull her from the running, and they all agree.
So of the two left, our winner is … Dmitry. He stayed true to his voice all season and because it has a “polished confidence,” he comes out on top.
I think this is a win that most of saw coming, but maybe not … were you surprised? Was Dmitry the right winner? Or are you just glad it’s over so the real Project Runway can come back? (Be honest.)