The designers honor a fashion and cultural icon: Isaac Mizrahi

By Ernest Macias
March 01, 2018 at 10:02 PM EST
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime
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Project Runway All Stars’Mizrahi Madness” begins with the designers arriving at the Jewish Museum in New York City, where they are greeted by their host, Alyssa, in a bright blazer-dress creation. “BRIGHT!” says Fabio. Still unsure if that was a compliment or a drag. You decide.

The host tells the designers the purpose of their visit to the museum: celebrating “a cultural icon” as well as a “performer, an artist, and an entrepreneur.” Enter fashion designer and judge Isaac Mizrahi to bask in the glory of his own exhibit, “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History.” Alyssa tells the designers Isaac is known for his use of color — clock her dress — and Mr. Master of Color reveals the challenge of the week: work with color. Isaac hands out some artsy color things, giving each designer the color they need to werk with this week.

But wait, there’s more — Alyssa tells the designers they must also choose a complementary color to go with their assigned primary color and create party looks for spring. Groundbreaking. The designers throw compliments left and right about Isaac’s work, and he loves it.

Joshua asks for some sound advice from the veteran designer about taking criticism — good and bad.

“Sometimes you think you’ve done the worst work of your life and then someone says, ‘Wow, that is so good.’ Other times you think you’ve done this amazing thing and people go, ‘Yeah that’s, no,'” Isaac tells Joshua. “Trust that all of that is coming form the right place.”

After a little private tour and a mysterious hint about a special gift for the winner, the designers head out to Mood for some colorful fabrics, then get down to designing their looks in the workroom.

Anthony’s assigned color is lavender, and he chooses to pair it with yellow — an odd combination, but I trust Anthony with my life, so go off! He wants to make a yellow gown with lavender accents. Ken compliments his idea. “You know what?” Anthony says. “All the bad s— I was wishin’ on your creation this week? I’m gonna take it all back.”

As for Merline, she’s once again “letting the shapes take me there.” BORING! Even her blue-and-yellow pairing looks bad. I’m ready for her to go home. As she works on her eight shape-dress, Anthony keeps throwing subtle shade, and there’s a little too much tension, but I’m here for it. Anne, the ever-so-destructive mentor, walks in the room and heads straight to critique Merline’s architectural creation. I’m a little worried about this designer’s inability to recognize that all her dresses look the same.

“I’ve never seen this from me, so I don’t quite get what Anne is saying,” Marline explains in her confessional.

Ken is working with a red-hot color and tells Anne he wants to show off his “detail” skills. The mentor encourages him to “put all his money on the table.” Anne gives Anthony the worst critique in the entire workroom and the designer starts to sweat. I hope Mr. Anthony pulls through and has fun with this party challenge.

The models walk in and the fittings begin, along with the designer-to-designer shade. Anthony says that Edmond’s party dress looks more like a nightgown and oh, did he read my mind. It’s too simple of a design to catch anyone’s eye. “Like, I don’t see it being like, ‘Oh, let’s take this to the runway.’ No, no, no let’s take it to the bedroom,” Anthony adds.  At least Helen is super excited about her purple-blue pairing of pants and bodice after Anne complimented her “intensity.”

It’s the day of the runway, and Ken has a sudden blockage after time catches up with him. He literally sits down and enjoys his chicken dinner as everyone else scurries to get as much done as they can. I fear Ken might be having a slight breakdown and that could cost him his spot in All Stars.

At this point, everyone is having issues with their designs — from fabric not behaving, in Merline’s case, to Joshua’s afterthought-looking dress. Ken’s lost his mojo and gives up. He’s literally sitting around until the last minute, when he adds a pink strip to his mini dress. (Recap continues on page 2)

Alyssa finally emerges on the runway wearing a feathery purple skirt — a safe choice, but better than most of her other outfits. Actually, better than all of her other outfits. She welcomes back the regular judges, Georgina Chapman and this week’s honoree, fashion designer and cultural icon Isaac Mizrahi. Alyssa then introduces the judge of the week, a true icon in the fashion industry who graced the cover of Vogue at the age of 15: legendary supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice.

The designs light up the runway with color as the models strut down in their spring party dresses, and the judges decide that Ken, Merline, Helen, Anthony, Edmond, and Stanley have the best and the worst looks of the week.

Project RunwayHelen
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Helen explains the inspiration behind her eggplant and blue design. Georgina calls it playful but a little depressing. Isaac calls Helen’s design “totally great” and tells her that it reminds him of a disco look, which she loves. Carmen loves the cut-off leg of the design, but Alyssa doesn’t love the color palette.

Project RunwayAnthony
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Anthony tells the judges why he combined bright yellow and lavender. Who knew they could work together? Isaac did. Anthony’s dress made Isaac very happy but he found issues with the construction. Carmen, the supermodel, likes the dress very much, especially because it would be easy to go to the bathroom while wearing it. Alyssa loves the one-shoulder design, but Georgina points out that Anthony’s construction is rather “butchered.” Ouch.

Project RunwayKen
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Ken tells a very credible story about why he was inspired to create something playful. Georgina calls his last-minute design “perfection.” Isaac thinks his dress is fresh and wonderful. Carmen is bothered by the zipper, but Alyssa loves the “flattering silhouette.”

Project RunwayStanley
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Edmond tells the judges a little about his nightgown dress. Georgina likes the colors he used but also thinks his dress is “such a simple throwaway” piece. Isaac agrees with her and calls it “a pajama party.” Alyssa loves the dress because duh.

Project RunwayEdmond
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Stanley compliments Isaac’s unapologetic use of color. Isaac thinks Stanley’s design is “madly interesting,” including the under-garment corset that gives his model hips. Carmen simply “adores” the dress because it reminds her of old couture, but she hates the undergarment. Georgina appreciates the proportions of his design.

Project RunwayMarline
Pawel Kaminski/Lifetime

Merline once again name-drops architecture. Isaac likes the shade of blue she chose, but not the yellow. Georgina tells Merline she needs to learn, I mean find, her fabrics. Alyssa encourages her to create a collection of origami dresses. LOL.

Before announcing the winning design, Isaac announces the surprise prize: a capsule collection with Isaac Mizrahi for his collection at Lord + Taylor, which is probably one of the biggest prizes All Stars has ever handed out.

Winner: Stanley, for making beautiful and smart designs

Out: Merline, FINALLY!

I have nothing to say except that justice has been served. Do you agree with the judges? Let me know your thoughts about “Mizrahi Madness” and what you think of All Stars season 6 so far. Sound off below!

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