What’s one way to amp up the drama on a runway? With lots and lots of billowy fabric and lots of wind. And that’s exactly what Project Runway All Stars does in “Let It Flow.”
Alyssa meets the designers at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to present the challenge. She says fashion and dance both rely on movement, kinetic energy. And to that end, the designers will be creating dramatic designs incorporating how fabric can move on the body and through the air.
After the Alvin Ailey principal dancers put on a mini-show, the designers start to sketch. Alexander says he has worked as a costumer on a ballet before, so he doesn’t have any worries. (The fact that the producers are showing us this clip means he should be very worried.) Only making this challenge more difficult is the fact that a giant wind machine will be at the end of the runway, so the designers have to be very intentional about how their designs will move. Some elements — such as pleats, which Valerie had in mind at first — will be completely lost in the wind. But Sam has got this: “I want the judges to be blown away… Sorry.” (What did I say about the sound bites with this guy!?)
The designers are given 30 minutes and $300 at Mood. They’re flying around the store snatching up silk, silk chiffon, and other lightweight fabrics. And to make sure the fabrics move the way they should, the producers have placed a wind machine in the workroom for testing.
Also in the workroom: lots of ego. Mitchell and Sam haven’t quite worked out their issues with this “blog.” (This is starting to feel so much like a Real Housewives quibble.) Mitchell says his feelings are hurt about Sam’s season 13 blogging. I did a bit of investigative journalism and found said blog: It’s Samisblond.blogspot.com if you care. I don’t think Mitchell needs to worry about the masses reading Sam’s thoughts — and Sam agrees with me: “Nobody else cares about what I said.” (Okay, yeah, he’s talking about the other designers, not his blog audience, but he’s close enough to agreeing with me.) Instead of apologizing, Sam launches into a tirade about how the fashion industry is tough and Mitchell needs to get a thicker skin.
Mitchell goes to the next room, and the other designers want to know why he’s so sad. I about fell out of my chair because of the way Stella delivered, “It’s about some blog gossip.” She has no time for this drama, and I’m here for it. Stella then says Mitchell should stand up to him and be done with it. He doesn’t, but we’re done with it …for this episode.
With that out of the way, Zanna can come and give her critiques the old-fashioned way (in person, not via a blog). Her biggest concern with this critique seems to be “elegance.” She’s obsessed with telling the designers if they have it or not.
Has it: Asha
Maybe have it: Layana and Kini
Doesn’t have it: Daniel and Stella
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However, she’s also big on drama. She tells a lot of the designers — including Dom and Asha to amp it up. But no one gets such a brutal critique as Daniel. Zanna tells him, “This is not dramatic; this is not elegant; this isn’t sexy.” Tell us how you really feel, Zanna.
She leaves the room telling the designers to “be bold, be brave, and be dramatic.” Someone should stitch that on a pillow and sell it on Etsy.
The biggest post-critique change comes from Emily, who decides to add shorts under her caftan. She felt like she was losing her voice anyway, so this is a perfect way to add a touch of her signature streetwear. Not everyone agrees. When Mitchell sees the shorts, he says, “What the hell happened on the scene here?” — which is, incidentally, the name of my new blog.
The only other memorable moment from the workroom is when Kini takes his beautifully tailored dress and drops it in dye…intentionally. Daniel has apparently never heard of dyeing fabric. He’s so completely confused by the concept: “Die it? Diet?” Layana knows what it is, but she’s terrified for Kini. As he says, if you get even a drop anywhere where it’s not supposed to be, the dress is ruined. But Kini is a master at dying, in addition to sewing, and the next morning when he comes back to the workroom, it’s a gorgeous sunburst.
NEXT: A blustery runway