November 19, 2012

Project Runway All Stars Season 2: Episode Virtual Insanity for Made in USA Today

Emilio's look and the judges (Carolyn Murphy, Georgina Chapman, Issac Mizrahi, Tavi Gevinson, Charlotte Ronson)
Project Runway All Stars judges seem more enthusiastic about their task and less caustic than the  regular crew, are therefore fresher to watch. Alongside Issac Mizrahi, Caroline Murphy and Georgina Chapman, Tavi Gevinson, the child wonder blogger and Charlotte Ronson, designer and cool gruff chick extraordinaire were the guest panel members. The challenge, such as it was, was called interactive (when really it was about as interactive as sending in a postcard with your name on it) Fans of the individual designers sent in - sorry - tweeted inspirational photos, then in twos (didn't quite get why? or why it made a difference who went first, last, or second) the competitors scrolled through the photos and printed out their fav. USA Today - that beacon of serious journalism and fashion forward iconery- sponsored the challenge with the winner getting a spread accessible deep into the cornfields of the heartland.

Off the designers skipped with cameras merrily following them through Moods; the usual schtick.  Project Runway has long ceased to be about the designers' skills but their ability to entertain, speak coherently in front of the judges i.e. selling their look and engaging in on-camera therapy sessions. Gimmick over craft. Why we keep watching is for the stories of the downtrodden star-gazing designer hopefuls (and honestly, I do wish them all well. It is such a tough business. Without the jewelry-laden touch of someone famous, success is nigh impossible) because well, we find them inspirational. Some of them overcome so much shit, we hear kindred spirits talking to us. From that aspect, the show has merit, is heartfelt and continues to have its raison d'etre although the producers might consider a slight overhaul with the challenges. It just gets boring over time.

To the episode itself: Emilio should have won, Anthony Ryan did win for the same thing he does over and over again. Why do "body con dresses" (as Miss Gevinson quipped) always win? Nobody except the skinniest girls can wear them. Honorable mentions to Uli, Casanova and Laura Kathleen (notice how Joanna Coles makes a point of bubbling forth with their two-toned names?)

Andrae was out but really, Joshua's rubik's cube look was much worse. But Joshua, bless him, will be there for a while because he has such insightful offerings

Emilio totally captured the spirit of his fan photo and made a really sweet look. He should have won but came in second
the winning look of the Made in USA Today challenge
Anthony Ryan's design back view
Andrae's losing design
A brief word on the phenomenon Tavi Gevinson: she reminds me of a fashionable Chucky doll - very "altklug" (semi-wise insights coming from a kid you'd usually call a precocious brat). Ricki Ticki Tavi seems nice enough and obviously is much cuter than Chucky. However we always find kids with the demeanor of a sixty-year old faintly creepy).

We have figured out why the fashion world is so in awe of cute young things: first of all, because the fashion industry is innately insecure and secondly, it is so astonished when somebody can speak eloquently, they bow and scrape in subservience. It was quite funny to watch the expressions on the designers faces as they listened to what a 16-year-old girl had to say about their designs. You could so tell the producers invited young Miss Gevinson onto the show to be hip and fashion forward but didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing. Ms. Ronson we thought was way cooler.

We look forward to next week's show: androgynous (what ever is Laura Kathleen going to do?) and some hot male models.

for more on Project Runway All Stars, go to lifetime.com 
links to the guest judges: Tavi Gevinson's blog here
Charlotte Ronson's page here

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