The Project Runway All Stars were sorely mistaken if they thought their second foray into the reality design world would be a cakewalk. The judges — including guests Mark Badgley and James Mischka — tasked the gang with creating "show-stopping ball gowns for a night at the opera" with just 24 hours and $350 to do it.
Naturally, the designers freaked out — especially even gown impresario Austin Scarlett.
"When we first received the challenge I was extremely excited," Scarlett mused in a video diary. "I was also extremely nervous when I recognized that all of the other designer knew that this was my forté."
Anthony Williams was a little more blunt.
"We're insulting the world of couture by even using that word to describe this challenge. We just gonna say 'really, really, really pumped up prom dresses,'" he said.
How'd they end up? Um, it wasn't pretty — we're not even sure we can call some of them pumped up prom gowns.
Austin took the lemons the judges threw at him and squeezed them into gold with his winning gold lamé creation (left). Judge Isaac Mizrahi called this dress "fresh and classic." The model's pose doesn't do it justice — it's a gorg gown (considering the time he had) and we can totally picture this on an opera fan. On us? Not so much.
Anthony made the top three as well — his dangerous — yet gorgeous — white gown was a hit with the judges. Mischka called it a "showstopper" and we agree. Any woman who wears this to the opera definitely has to have the cojones to wear it.
Michael's sophisticated gown should have been the winner (in our opinion.) Mizrahi, adding that he could see Kim Kardashian wearing it, called this high-necked piece "shockingly good." Maybe she'd go to the opera, only if they let her bring her iPhone.
Call us boring, but we love, love, love Milla's simple homage to the little black dress. Was it too safe? Probably, but staying safe kept her from the bottom three.
We're loving Rami's take on the opera couture look with the design, but the color and fabric combo has got to go. We'd totally dig this in black (we like black, deal with it.)
Mondo's vintage gown is perfect — we absolutely adore it. It seems like something Audrey Hepburn would have worn to the opera back in the '60s. Does it fit for 2012? Not really, but maybe without the train and long gloves. Still, beautiful.
Oh good lord, where do we start? Kenley's polka-dotted and taffeta nightmare looks like something our moms wore to the prom back in 1980. No self-respecting socialite would wear this to the opera, so we're not sure how this monstrosity didn't warrant the bottom three.
Next, we have this Hot Topic reject dress, courtesy of April. The dress concept: Gorgeous; the color combination: Scary. She was deservedly in the bottom three.
And now, the drapery collection. The dress on the left — courtesy of Sweet P — was compared to both a swimsuit and dirndl. This monstrosity earned Sweet P a ticket out the door.
Kara earned a mixed reaction from the judges — Mischka liked it. Again, we love the design, but the fabric is all sorts of wrong for the opera — or anywhere outside your grandmother's living room.
Gordana's purple creation has potential, but the asymmetrical look doesn't work with this color and fabric. We give her a C for effort, but there's still work to do.
On the other hand, nothing about Jerrell's shapeless dress makes us think "couture" or "opera." Instead, we think "what's with the random feathers and sequined bodice?" Just... no.
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