We’re in the home stretch for “Project Runway All Stars” season six. On Thursday night, March 29, the final four designers competed for the penultimate time before the champion is decided in the April 5 finale. In “History in the Making” Stanley Hudson, Fabio Costa, Ken Laurence and Anthony Williams visited the Smithsonian in Washington DC to create six-piece collections. So who advanced to the finale, and who was history? Find out below in our live blog with minute-by-minute developments and commentary.
Going into this literally “historic” episode all four designers seemed evenly matched. They had all won multiple design challenges over the course of the season: three for Stanley, and two apiece for Fabio, Ken and Anthony. And all of them had stumbled at least once with a low score from the judges: Fabio was one of the bottom designers in one previous challenge, while Stanley and Ken each scored poorly twice, and Anthony had had three low scores in the last four challenges. Did those recent struggles mean Anthony was a goner?
This season of “All Stars” was also unique for pitting veteran contestants against rookies. That meant 8 of the 16 designers had competed in a regular season of “Project Runway” and a past season of “All-Stars,” while the other 8 had only competed in the regular “Runway” series. So the question going into the season was whether the extra experience of the veterans would give them a competitive advantage. That seems to have been the case when you consider the final results. Three of the final four designers were veterans, with Stanley being the last remaining representative for the rookies.
Did that relative lack of “Runway” experience finally catch up to Stanley in “History,” resulting in an all-veteran sweep of the finale? Find out below in our live blog. (All times listed are Eastern.)
9:00pm — It’s time for the final four designers to design six-look collections in Washington DC in their attempt to make fashion history. So let’s make fashion great again!
9:04pm — The designers arrive in their Sunday best at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and when Alyssa Milano announces that they will be designing six-look collections, they’re all shell-shocked. They have $2,000 a piece to put together their collections, but only one week to complete their looks.
9:05pm — As the designers tour through the museum, I’m wondering if we’ll see some red, white and blue collections from the designers. I kind of hope not — that would be a little on-the-nose for an American history collection.
9:06pm — Fabio will be inspired by his grandmother, and Stanley intends to explore snippets of American history through an African-American lens. Ken is inspired in part by Harriet Tubman, while Anthony wants to do nontraditional evening-wear from Audrey Hepburn to Rihanna. I’m encouraged. It sounds like they’re thinking outside the box.
9:08pm — The designers went onto the roof of the museum to cast the models for their collections. The models were right there in front of them waiting to be called, and I couldn’t help but get flashbacks to gym class and hoping your not called last. That’s cold, “Runway.”
9:10pm — Instead of shopping in Mood for fabric as they would in New York, they’re in the Mood warehouse, which looks like the Costco of textiles. I’ve never made a dress in my life, but even I would be excited about that much fabric variety.
9:12pm — “Who wouldn’t want to be the first gay black man to win?” says Anthony about what a victory would mean for him. He has already made it farther than ever. Before this season his best performance in a “Runway” competition was fifth place.
9:13pm — “You should expect the unexpected,” says Alyssa, who has surprised the designers in their workroom on day two.
9:20pm — It’s like “the knife twisting in your heart,” says Fabio about the twist that Alyssa reveals: the four designers will have to present one signature look from their collections. Those looks will be judged, and one designer will be sent home without presenting their collection in the finale. “Sh*t just got real real,” Fabio adds.
9:24pm — Time for dreaded consultation with mentor Anne Fulenwider. “I don’t want you to panic. I’m really here to help,” she says. She’s worried Stanley’s idea of gloves could be costumey, and he needs to watch his tailoring to stand out with simple colors. She thinks Fabio’s early work is “fascinating,” and tells him he’s on the right track to leave the judges wanting more. She loves Anthony’s specific idea of evolving from Hepburn to Rihanna, but she thinks Anthony’s signature look might be too much like a red-carpet look. And Anne thinks Ken’s look needs more drama — that’s when he tells her about the train he’s adding to it.
9:25pm — After Anne’s visit, I’m the most excited to see Fabio and Stanley’s signature looks. They seem unique and idiosyncratic.
9:26pm — Uh-oh, Anthony is working with neoprene, which is outside of his comfort zone. I’m reminded of Char Glover‘s neoprene dress that got her eliminated in the “Betty Boop” challenge, and Edmond Newton‘s “Crushing It” wet suit.
9:28pm — Ken is struggling with his design. He needs to stand out as Anne advised him to, but he’s not sure how to find the middle ground between bland and costumey.
9:34pm — “This morning does not feel good,” says Fabio on the morning of the presentation to the judges. This is undoubtedly a make-or-break runway show.
9:36pm — “Fabio’s design looks frumpy. She looks like Crisco in a can,” says Anthony about his competitor’s look. Anthony is feeling confident about how much drama he’ll be bringing to the runway, more than the other designers in his estimation. He’s definitely got the boldest color, and I’m personally a sucker for that deep shade of blue.
9:43pm — “Don’t f*ck it up,” says Isaac Mizrahi. And joining the panel as guest judges are Zanna Roberts Rassi as Dita Von Teese.
9:45pm — Stanley’s look is simple with a white color, but I love the design of it, very clean and polished.
9:46pm — I like Ken’s pants and gold-detailed top, but it looks like he just stapled a big ribbon down the side of it to give it drama. I’m not sure it works.
9:46pm — Fabio’s look is unusual, but it’s Fabio to a T. I like its uniqueness. But I’m ambivalent about Anthony’s blue neoprene gown. It’s well made, but doesn’t wow me.
9:48pm — I’d say Ken and Anthony have my least favorite looks for this particular challenge. I highly admired what Stanley and Fabio brought to the runway.
Anthony — “The best part for me is the length,” says Isaac, who thinks it’s “flawless” from the back. But Georgina Chapman doesn’t like the fabric, even though she loves the length. Dita agrees with Isaac that the waist has problems. Zanna likes the neoprene too. It seems like the neoprene was fairly divisive.
Ken — Georgina loves the proportions. Isaac loves the fabric, and the pants are the perfect length. Alyssa thinks the tailoring is “impeccable.”
Fabio — “I adore the smocking,” says Georgina. Isaac advises him to approach his models the way he approaches his own fashion sense, fearlessly. Dita also loves the smocking of the skirt, but she didn’t like the blouse and skirt together. Zanna feels there were too many things happening in his look and that it’s “discombobulated.” But Alyssa says, “I love it. I want it. You have such a unique perspective.”
Stanley — “I think you did a wonderful job,” says Georgina, though the skirt feels “a touch heavy.” Isaac loves the white dress with black lining, though he’s not a fan of the leather collar. Dita loves the look too, though she thinks the leather collar could have been toned down a bit. Zanna calls his look “‘Project Runway All Stars’ gold.”
9:59pm — The models leave the runway while Alyssa addresses the designers on their own. “I have a surprise for you,” she says. Another twist! This episode is the M. Night Shyamalan of fashion design competitions.
10:04pm — “Where in the hell are you taking me?” Anthony wonders about the new surprise twist in the competition. Stanley is afraid he’ll soil himself.
10:06pm — It turns out the designers have one hour to make one more look to create a brand new look unrelated to their collections that will make use of the scraps of fabric left behind by previous eliminated designers. It looks to Stanley like where fashion “goes to die.”
10:10pm — Much to the surprise of the designers, they’re all happy with how their one-hour designs turned out. I honestly have no idea how this is going to turn out. My initial impression was that Anthony and Stanley might have had the best of these quickly assembled designs, but I might think differently of them when they’re on the runway.
CRITIQUES, PART II:
Anthony — “I think you hit it on the nose,” says Isaac. He loves Anthony’s use of draping. “I think your color story is fabulous,” says Georgina. Dita is “so impressed.” Zanna also loves the color combination. Everyone loves the color combination, so Joshua McKinley should really get credit on the assist since those were his exact colors in the “Mizrahi Madness” challenge.
Stanley — “It’s so good,” says Isaac. He loves the color-blocked dress. Alyssa thinks his design is clever, and Georgina feels the look is very “finished.”
Ken — “No one would ever know it was done in an hour,” says Alyssa. Georgina loves the tailoring. Dita loves the seams. Isaac loves it too. And now that I’m looking at it again, I kind of love it too, more than Anthony’s even.
Fabio — “This is what I want to see from you,” says Zanna. Isaac just wishes the shorts were shorter.
10:20pm — Interesting, it seems like all the one-hour designs got mostly rave reviews. Not sure how the judges are going to make this decision. It might just come down to the signature look they showed originally.
10:29pm — There is no one winner this week. The prize will be making it to the finale. Oh, and one more twist: The designers who make it to the finale have to design a seventh look for their collections.
First Designer Going to Finale: Stanley
Second Designer Going to Finale: Fabio
Third Designer Going to Finale: Anthony
Eliminated Designer: Ken
10:35pm — There seems like such camaraderie between these designers. They all seem to have bonded in a way that seems genuine. I much prefer this to reality competitions that are all about conflict and back-biting. Even in the arguments on “Runway” sometimes make me want to hide in my room until mommy and daddy stop fighting.
FINAL PREDICTIONS CONTEST RESULTS:
Who was eliminated? Ken Laurence
Who will be in the bottom two, but safe? No One
Who will win the challenge? No One
Who will be the challenge’s runner-up? No One
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