Django Steenbakker‘s elimination from “Project Runway All Stars” was a long time coming. He spent three weeks in a row in the judges’ bottom three, but the avant garde challenge in “Pure Imagination” was the last straw. Did he really deserve to be sent home instead of Sean Kelly, who was convinced he would be axed after he had to scrap an idea and start over mid-challenge. Scroll down to vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
The avant garde challenge this week was inspired by “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” It was the two-time Tony-winning star of that Broadway musical Christian Borle who told the top nine designers that they had to create a new fashion invention for their bold designs. But Steenbakker struggled with both directives. He seemed to think inventing was fundamentally inconsistent with being a designer. And he appeared not to understand the spirit of avant garde either. He clashed with mentor Anne Fulenwider (again!) after she told him he wasn’t pushing the envelope far enough. He even criticized other designers’ looks for not being realistic.
He ended up settling on an idea for an invention: netting to protect someone who works in the fields. And he picked an avant garde element too: a big hat. But it wasn’t enough for the judges. Isaac Mizrahi was especially disappointed; given Steenbakker’s past designs Mizrahi thought this would be his opportunity to go hog wild. Instead, the look was “neither avant garde nor an epic fail, just bad.” And there’s nothing worse on “Runway” than boring the judges, so his ouster was no surprise.
This time it was Kelly who delivered the epic fail. His original idea to create a look with pieces that could be mixed and matched like Lego bricks didn’t quite pan out. Guest judge Anna Camp was “confused by it,” while Mizrahi liked the idea more than the execution. Perhaps the judges spared him from elimination because he won last week’s challenge, but Kelly has now gone from the bottom two to a challenge win and right back to the bottom two, so his wild creative swings may give the judges pause in the future.
What did you think? Was it finally time for Steenbakker to be sent home, or should Kelly’s inconsistency have gotten him canned? Vote below.
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