Project Runway All Stars episode review: Metallic and texture on the red carpet


On week’s Project Runway All Stars, the designers’ take on a memorable red carpet look might sparkle and shine, but are these textures and metallics a fashion don’t?

Metallic colors are a huge red carpet trend. So, on this week’s Project Runway All Stars, the designers had to take the metallic trend and add texture to create a red carpet look. While the look was somewhat inspired by the metallic makeup looks from the show’s sponsor, Butter, the designers had free rein in their design inspiration. In some cases, the red carpet looks landed on the best dressed list — and others are definitely not getting a return invitation.

Before looking at the top and bottom looks, this challenge is somewhat concerning. The concept of red carpet is extremely broad. Not all red carpets are equal. A celebrity attending the Oscars would not wear the same style design as someone going to the Grammys. While the idea gave the designers more freedom, it also created a jumbled runway.

Of course, the runway shouldn’t be a sea of sameness. Still, a little continuity, beyond the metallic fabric, would make for better comparisons. A full gown is not, nor will be the same, as a minidress. One look is right for one occasion and the other for another event. It seems strange that the judges were comparing apples and oranges, to use an old school phrase.

Looking at this week’s top three designs, the three looks were completely different approaches to the same challenge. The top three designers were Biddell, Irina, and Sean Kelly. Granted, all three looks had a more high fashion/glamorous approach, but the looks were very different.

The most feminine look was clearly Irina’s gown. While the sequenced gown was reminiscent of those brush away design pillows, the texture that it gave the gown was lovely on camera. It could be a little concerning to swipe up and down  to create a different textured look, though.

Photo: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

This look, both the metallic and texture, worked because of the muted color palette. If the color was dark or bold, this design would fail. As it was presented, it was very soft, almost romantic, but also came with a strong feminine statement.

The leg slit for this dress was slightly concerning, although the judges didn’t comment on it. The slit was very, very high. It was fortunate that the runway camera had the right angle for this dress.

Biddell’s look was quite curious. While it was beautiful from all angles, there was something familiar about this dress. Maybe it was the color choice or the textured top, but something is nagging at me, though the judges were impressed by this look.

Designer Biddell’s final look for the sixth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, Season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

There was an elegance to this particular gown. It would make for a wonderful red carpet look, especially for a tall celebrity. Maybe the look just reminds me of a Dior ad because of the color choice.

The last top look was Sean Kelly’s design. Since this challenge involved texture, he brought back the fringe. It is quite annoying that his designs have to have so much fringe. In this case, the skirt was fringe overload.

Designer Sean’s final look for the sixth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, Season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

The judges appreciated this design because of the color choice. The bold coral made a huge impact on the runway. It was curious that this color was also metallic. In some cases, it seemed less metallic, but that issue could just be the lighting.

Additionally, the origami structure to the top part of this design was intriguing. The manipulated fabric looked almost like Japanese armor. That structure added to the design’s impact. Still, the fringe was so bothersome.

The winning designer in this week’s Project Runway  was Sean. While the judges loved this look, I would have picked another look.

Before tackling the bottom three looks, have you noticed that many of these winners on this season’s Project Runway All Stars keep going back to a particular look or style? Sean has his fringe. Dmitry has his cutouts (except for last week). Why won’t the judges celebrate the designers who are pushing beyond their comfort zones? Repetition can create fashion boredom.

The bottom three designers were both expected and slightly surprising. The designers were Anya, Django, and Michelle. What fans didn’t guess that Django would be in the bottom again?

Michelle being in the bottom after winning last week is disappointing. While she took a different approach to this challenge, that risk didn’t pay off. She described the look as a gallery opening, but it seems unlikely that an artistic type would wear this dress.

Designer Michelle’s final look for the sixth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, Season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

The color choices were strange. Sure, that mustard-ish yellow can be dramatic, but it didn’t combine well with the other fabrics. The created pattern was forced, and her dress featured horizontal stripes. It is hard to imagine anyone looking fabulous in horizontal stripes. This design was definitely troublesome.

Django definitely marches to the beat of his own drum. This design was probably one of his more understandable looks. While the color and fabric could go a little “granny,” it wasn’t as bad as previous weeks.

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

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

The cut out in the front was very troublesome. The midriff needed more tailoring to make it a better focal point. More importantly, the dress needed to be light and flowy. Instead, it was heavy and stiff.

Lastly, Anya’s dress was beyond confusing. While she deserves credit for pushing outside of her comfort zone, her look was a disaster. The long, immensely long, sleeves were almost impossible to wear. Sure, an exaggerated sleeve can be interesting, but these sleeves were beyond that idea. The judges made a comparison to a straitjacket.

Designer Anya’s final look for the sixth challenge of Project Runway All Stars, Season 7.

Photo by Barbara Nitke

Copyright 2019

Beyond the absurd design choices, Anya couldn’t finish her garment. It took several of her fellow designers’ help to get this look down the runway. While it is important that she admitted to construction issues and needing help, this situation shouldn’t happen on Project Runway All Stars, especially the all winners season.

This scenario is quite concerning. How can a “winning” designer not know how to construct a garment correctly? Sure, designers will always have their specialties. Also, there is a time management issue to these competitions. Still, Anya’s issue goes beyond these scenarios.

The only decision, and the one rightfully made by the judges, was to send Anya home. This challenge was not for her skill set, both aesthetically and construction wise. While Anya can conceive some lovely looks, it was time for her to go home.

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Next week’s Project Runway All Stars should be an exciting episode. The designers will create avant garde looks based on the Broadway musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Will the runway be a sweet treat or a melting disaster?