Barbara Nitke/Lifetime
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October 31, 2014 at 02:01 AM EDT

These vets seem like pros at Mood—selecting and purchasing fabric with lightening-quick speed—until they get back to the workroom and realize Fabio’s fabric is missing. Now, that’s just a rookie mistake.

At the beginning of the competition, with this many designers still in play, it’s pretty obvious based on workroom edits who have the high and low looks. During critique, Zanna Roberts Rassi only reinforces those impressions. (As far as Zanna stepping into Tim’s shoes: She stands up well. True, she’s not a design teacher, so her critiques seem a bit more commercial than technical, but she’s direct and tells the designers what they need to hear.) Despite her advice, there aren’t any crazy workroom woes or last minute reworks—these designers have a vision and aren’t as easily swayed by the competition aspect of being there; they’ve been to this rodeo before.

So remarkably when the two collections walk down the runway—despite being a quick one-day turnaround—they look really strong. The women’s collection is very one-note, muted colors with touches of green in similar silhouettes. The mens’ collection is a nicer, varied collection. And host/judge Alyssa, judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, and guest judge Ivanka Trump agree: They pick the mens’ collection.

Sidenote: What was up with all those crop tops? At least half of the whole runway show was crop tops. Do the designers just love their models’ stomachs?

Justin, Jay, Gunnar, Dmitry, Sonjia, Sam, Alexandria, and Helen are all safe. By the nature of the team challenge, all top three looks are from the men and all three bottom looks are from the women.

A jumpsuit could be incredibly simple, but the way Fabio worked with color, lines, and shaping—this look jumped out of the collection (pun intended). It got an “I want this on my body” from Alyssa. You know that’s good.

I’ll admit—I was concerned when Chris said he was inspired by a man wearing a kilt he likely found in the garbage, but it turned out nicely. It’s got the ’90s grunge feel that perfectly captures “downtown,” but it still feels fresh. Yes, there are fit issues with the corset and maybe it’s a tad cliché (I hear you Ivanka), but it still works.

Benjamin‘s dress could have been too uptown—his fellow teammates were definitely concerned about that—but he pulled it off perfectly. The shape, color, and fit make the look decidedly downtown. Plus, his flawless technique makes this look like it was effortlessly made.

There was so much said about this dress on the show that I don’t even need to say anything unique: “Kate‘s going bridal or Eastern European hired hooker,” Michelle says. Benjamin says: “It’s like the Little Mermaid came out of the sea and started living uptown and now she’s going to a cocktail party.” The judges’ panel weren’t fans either.

Michelle described her client as a woman with money in her pocket to burn. (Burning is one thing you could do with this dress.) In my notes I wrote, “a fancy paper bag.” It’s not great that one of the winners is already starting out on the bottom, but the dress is very well made, so that saves her.

Patricia was originally working on some “pomegranate” leatherwork to add to the dress. I’m not sure if that would have helped or hurt, but this look is rough. The breast darts make it look more sci-fi than uptown.

Winner: Fabio

He doesn’t get immunity (it’s make it or break it in All Stars) but he will get to see Ivanka Trump in his look.

Eliminated: Patricia

The judges felt Kate’s mermaid parade look was more out of the box and that pushed her above Patricia’s safe A-line dress.

As a runner-up in her season, Patricia being eliminated just goes to show that All Stars does not mess around. All these designers have what it takes; they just have to bring it every week.

After watching a whole season of hour-and-a-half episodes, it was nice to have back the fast-paced hour of design, a runway show, and an elimination. It gets to the good stuff without spending too much time on unnecessary bits (cough, cough product placements). First episodes of reality shows are hard because we’re just getting to know—or re-know the contestants—but I have a good feeling about this season. What do you think? Are you happy with the cast? Surprised Patricia is already out? Let’s talk about it here or here.

And if you haven’t yet, be sure to read host Alyssa Milano’s thoughts on season 4.

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Past Runway designers compete for the top prize.
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