The top 5 designers team up with Candy Crush in an intense challenge

By Ernest Macias
March 22, 2018 at 10:00 PM EDT
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We’re down to the top five designers on Project Runway All Stars season 6, and although it is an all-male competition at this point — Anthony, Edmond, Stanley, Fabio, and Ken (R.I.P. Helen) — I’m not too mad about it. We meet the remaining designers in the most traditional Project Runway set-up: the runway. I almost wish all episodes started here; it’s iconic and familiar.

Alyssa appears from backstage dressed in a cute green dress that looks great on her. All five designers gasp and agree that the host is rocking her look — props to her stylist (and my prayers, TBH). She asks the designers to explain their experience on All Stars, and Anthony sums it up for all of them, saying, “Project Runway is where you find out who you are as a designer, and Project Runway All Stars is where you show who you are as a designer.” Amen, an answer fit for a future All Stars winner.

Alyssa then welcomes a Project Runway OG, and personal hero, Nina Garcia. The designers feel her presence even before she steps on the runway. She’s known for her keen eye and straightforward advice, so I know the designers are going to step it up for Nina.

Nina delivers an eloquent li’l speech about gaming and fashion, and Alyssa tells the designers that this week, All Stars is teaming up with Candy Crush — yes, the addictve game app — for the challenge. Yonna Ingolf, a designer for Candy Crush, talks about the worlds of the game, and Nina reveals that the challenge is to create resort looks inspired by a land within that world. The budget is $200, and of course they have one day. Yonna reveals that the winning designer will also have the chance to collaborate with King, the company behind the app, for an exclusive fashion design. I’m not sure what the point of that award is, but go off.

The designers head to the workroom for some competition. They must play one level of Candy Crush, and the person with the highest score gets to choose their inspiration land first. Ken beats everyone and picks Brûlée Bay (beach resort wear) as his inspiration. Fabio goes for Taffy Tropics (tropical resort), Stanley gets Lemonade Lake (lakeside resort), Anthony picks Sticky Savannah (safari resort), and last but absolutely least, Edmond gets stuck with Marshmallow Mountain (mountain resort?). The five designers get to sketching and then head straight to Mood to hunt for fabrics.

Anthony decides to go for a white eyelet fabric for his safari look. Edmond is searching for a tech fabric, and right away we all know he’s never been skiing. Bless his heart. Back inside the workroom, the designers are feeling the pressure of the finale looming over all of them. As it turns out, all five of them are designing pants; my blood starts pumping and my Project Runway fan brain activates. I love when talented designers push each other to create beautiful clothes, especially when they’re being judged by Nina.

Guess what? Anne Fulenwider is back, back, back again to offer some dry feedback. She knows Nina, as they both worked at Marie Claire for a long time. Anne tells the designers she’s the Nina Whisperer, and I hope Lifetime is paying attention because I smell a spin-off.

Anne questions Edmond’s tech-y skiing jumpsuit and directs him toward a more aprèsski look, but the designer has no idea what that means. Like, who doesn’t know what aprèsski is? It’s called Google, Edmond. She then decides to challenge Anthony to create the perfect safari jacket, and he’s up for the challenge. Anne has a lot of questions regarding Fabio’s resort design. Before she leaves, she encourages them to step into the “resort state of mind.”

Anthony thinks Edmond is “struggling,” but Edmond is convinced that he can make a scuba suit work for his mountain resort. When the models come in for their fitting, all five designers are content with the looks they are creating. Ken’s yellow fabric is heaven on his model’s skin; at this point, I’m already guessing he wins this week. Everyone else is rushing to do as much as possible before the day ends. It’s refreshing to see the designers bouncing ideas off each other and trusting their individual skills and talent on this challenge.

It’s resort runway day! All the designers are in the Brother sewing room tackling the last touches of their Candy Crush-inspired looks. Edmond’s confidence regarding his scuba suit is impressive. He really believes in it, so that’s cute. Anthony, on the other hand: “A scuba suit is a scuba suit. A scuba suit is something you should wear to the damn ocean, not the mountains.” I honestly lost count of how many times “scuba suit” was said during this episode.

The designers send their models to the hair and glam room and accessorize their designs using the Intermix wall. With that, it’s time to hit the runway and pretend vacation time is here. (Recap continues on page 2)

Alyssa appears once again, dressed in a blue lace dress that, honestly, looks good on her. Nothing groundbreaking but just meh. Better safe than sorry, right? She welcomes back regular All Star judges Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi and proceeds to introduce the two guest judges of the week: the iconic Nina Garcia and a friend of the Project Runway franchise, Kelly Osbourne.

The five models sashay down the runway while Nina and Kelly serve their best poker faces. I live for the close-ups on their faces. With only five designers left, they all receive critiques.

Project Runway
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Ken explains his bright Yellow Hamptons party look. Georgina really likes his look, especially his modern take on the jumpsuit. Nina calls Ken’s look “juicy.” Isaac loves the color but questions his fabric choice. Kelly wishes the sarong were removable.

Project Runway
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Edmond tries to explain his scuba suit look, and he fails. Georgina doesn’t like it at all. Isaac likes the fitting and sort of enjoys the fur scarf. Nina wants more, so basically she hates it. Kelly likes the black but doesn’t love it. Alyssa really likes it and wants to drink a hot toddy in it, but has issues with the crotch area.

Project Runway
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Stanley tells the judges his inspiration was Lake Como. Georgina tells him there’s a lightness to his dress but isn’t a fan of the trouser’s proportions. Isaac does not like the print (neither do I). Kelly likes the sleeves of the dress. Nina thinks there’s too much going on with his design. This look is Alyssa’s favorite from the entire season, because of course it is.

Project Runway
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Fabio explains his look as a design for a cool NYC girl, like for Alexa Chung. Alyssa loves the back of his design; her mouth started watering, literally. Georgina enjoy his color story and his proportions. Isaac isn’t a fan and thinks the design looks heavy. Nina agrees with Isaac. Kelly loves it and wants it for the Fourth of July.

Project Runway
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Anthony stumbles on the word safari, yet again. Isaac “likes” it and calls the eyelet “a bit naughty.” Nina thinks the jacket is “tricky,” and compares his look to a nurse uniform. She’s not having it. Kelly enjoys Anthony’s boldness to not use color. Georgina calls his design basic but with gentle words. Alyssa tells Anthony that it looks like an editorial apron.

Winner: Ken, for designing a juicy jumpsuit.

Out: Edmond, because he gave up.

Stanley, Ken, Fabio, and Anthony are the All Stars season 6 final 4. Do you agree with the judges? Let me know your thoughts about “Nina’s Crushing It” and what you think of All Stars season 6 so far. Sound off below!

Past Runway designers compete for the top prize.
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