Project Runway All Stars review: Confusing corsets


This week’s Project Runway All Stars saw the designers letting the corset inspire this week’s looks. But should these designs have stayed under wraps?

Project Runway All Stars tackled a fashion trend that has seen a resurgence this week Although the corset has been around for ages, more designers are using this undergarment as part of a fashionable design. Beyond the structure and fit that a corset provides, it can also provide inspiration for a feminine or edgy look.

In this week’s challenge, the designers had to create a high fashion look that celebrates a woman’s figure. Most important, the corset had to be incorporated into the silhouette and be visible. The key to this design is more than just boning and support. These looks should have pushed the designers’ aesthetic in a different direction. The key is “should.”

While this fashion trend is new again, the idea of showing off a corset in a design has been around for centuries. From Edwardian gowns with wasp waists to Scarlett O’Hara holding onto the bed post for lace up support, the corset is an integral part of women’s fashion. It creates an hourglass silhouette, which is considered very feminine.

For any good corset to work in a design, the fit needs to be impeccable. No woman wants to feel that she is falling out, spilling over, or being stabbed by boning. To do this type of design well, the designers needed to have a deft hand. Some did, and others might need to take a few technique courses.

One aspect to this challenge was quite surprising. All the designers were given a standard corset. Sure, there was only one day to create this look, but it is Project Runway All Stars. Shouldn’t all these “winners” be able to make a standard corset without this huge piece of assistance? To me, it seemed a little like authorized cheating.

Looking at some of this week’s designs, the designers might have needed more than just a standard corset to make these looks more intriguing. Some looks were bland. Other looks were shabby. And, at the worst, some looks appeared to be a boudoir photo shoot gone bad.

While the judging on this season been more biting, this episode saw the judges pull back on their harsher criticism. The comments weren’t scathing. It seemed like everyone was just a little underwhelmed, similar to the fashion on the runway.

The top three looks were incredibly confusing. The top designers were Dmitry, Christina, and Irina. While each look had some good qualities, all three had aspects that wished the design was still under wraps.

Designer Dmitry’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

First, Dmitry’s look was absurd. Even if the design was supposed to create a visible corset, this look was lingerie gone bad. The corset looked like something from a bad ’80s hair band video. Corsets can be feminine and even romantic. This one looked like a cheap mall knock-off.

Beyond the black corset, the one shoulder tulle piece looked like he stuck a giant loofah on her shoulder. There might have even been a tassel tangled in that monstrosity. This embellishment went completely off the rails.

However, the judges commented that this look was modern yet raw, feminine and not dated. Maybe there was something missing in person. Watching at home, this look should have scored much lower.

Designer Irina’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

Irina’s corset jacket was lovely. The structure and shape of this jacket was lovely. It had volume, yet it was still feminine. More importantly, this look was creative.

Unfortunately, there were other issues with this design. First, the jacket length was incredibly short. It is a good thing that these models have long, skinny legs. A normal woman would have difficulty pulling off this length.

Also, the lace bodysuit under the jacket and lace mask were both disturbing. It was 50 shades gone wrong. A simple black pant, or even a plain black jumpsuit, would have been far better. That lace jumpsuit needs to find its way back to the red room.

Designer Christina’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

Lastly, the third top designer was Christina. This look was impressive for several reasons. The structure and fit was strong. From the lattice work on the skirt to the peplum, each piece had a purpose and was well made. This design showed that she had a clear, strong vision. Going monochromatic was a really smart choice, because this dress stood out on the runway. The cream color was a visual beacon in the sea of chaos.

Christina ended up winning the challenge. In all honesty, it was clear that her design was the best.

As for the bottom three designers, these looks were equally confusing as the top three looks. The bottom three designers were Django, Jasper, and Cynthia. Truthfully, many other designers could have been in the bottom, too.

Designer Django’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

First, Django’s design was quite unusual, particularly in the color choices. Pairing shiny satin green pant with a silvery gray corset confused the eye. While the corset was well made, the combination of textures and colors was overwhelming.

While Django wanted to entice confusion, the competing concepts didn’t work in a good way. Although the judges applauded his creativity, he landed in the bottom. Which leaves an interesting question unanswered: should he have played it safe and stayed in the middle? While he didn’t get eliminated, it might be too early in the competition to go big or go home.

Designer Jasper’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

Jasper’s look was just weird. The cutouts in the skirt looked more like mistakes than deliberate. If they were meant to be edgy and fashion forward, they missed the mark.

Additionally, Jasper glued lace onto his corset. In a Project Runway All Stars competition, the designers shouldn’t be using glue. Cutting corners is wrong, and the judges called him on it. They noticed that the lace wasn’t done correctly. Maybe he should have worked hard on his look versus insisting on coaching his model’s walk.

This look was frumpy. No one ever wants to have that label. Even bad or outrageous are a preferred adjectives to frumpy.

Designer Cynthia’s final look for the fourth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

Lastly, Cynthia’s look earned her a bottom spot because the judges felt her look had no passion. While it was pretty, it was pretty to a fault. It was predictable.

Personally, this dress was better than Dmitry’s black, asymmetrical disaster. More women would feel pretty in this dress. The judges’ comments about a haphazard design were strange, although the headpiece accompanying this dress was horrendous. Who would ever wear that gigantic mess on her head? Princess Eugenie’s fascinator from Prince William’s wedding would look boring next to this head piece.

However, Jasper ultimately went home. While he is an amazing designer, he was a little too scattered for this competition. His focus wavered, and he became fixated on parts that weren’t as important. A model’s strut is never as important as the look she is wearing.

9 essential fashion trends for 2019. light. Related Story

What do you think of this Project Runway All Stars challenge? Would you wear any of these looks?