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Project Runway All Stars: “A Night at the Opera”

Austin wins the second challenge.

Creating a gown for a night at the opera is the perfect challenge for this group of designers. Many of the All Stars are used to creating couture gowns, but as Anthony points out, this is not couture. It is instead, “pumped up prom dresses.” The biggest obstacle our designers will face for this challenge is the time limit. “Couture in a day!” is not possible and the designers will have an uphill battle creating a gown fit for the opera in only twenty-four hours without looking cheap or bridal. The judges were looking for style, elegance, and detail, and called on designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka as guest judges for this challenge.

Austin, Anthony, and Michael were the stars this week, while Sweet P, Kara, and April were the bottom three. Sweet P fell into the prom dress trap. April tried to dye her red fabric, and wasted precious time, which could have been used for construction. Kara’s floral pattern failed to make an impression. 

What did you think about Project Runway‘s 24-hour couture?



























Sweet P:


The All Stars (* = eliminated)
Anthony Williams
April Johnston
Austin Scarlett
Elisa Jimenez*
Gordana Gehlhausen
Jerell Scott
Kara Janx
Kenley Collins
Michael Costello
Mila Hermanovski
Mondo Guerra
Rami Kashou
Sweet P 


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    Once again, I agree with the judges as to who should have gone home, sweet pea is better than that abomination she put on the runway and I would have been embarassed to say I had made that hot mess.
    I don't think Austin should have won, I've seen his dress a million times, just not with a piece of tulle thrown over the top. I think he won because it was expected.
    I thought Michael should have won but that being said, I think he went overboard with the belt, I guess he was trying to balance the look but it was too much IMO and the costruction of the dress was so good, it didn't need that belt. My guy Mondo surprised me with his dress, that long train with a short dress was just....strange, I half expected Jackie O to peek out somewhere. Kara reminded me that I need new curtains and I think Jerrels dress was just ugly, which surprised me coming from him. Kenley's was the usual forties prom gown and April was her predictible self also.
    I hate to say this because I like to see women win, but I think this year, the last three standing will all be men. The competition is so fierce, I wouldn't want to be a judge. I think the last four will be Mondo, Michael, Austin and Rami. I think Michael's talent was overlooked last time and he may just be a real contender this time around. In any case, I am looking forward to some exceptional work from these designers, they are the true talents of the runway.

  2. User avater
    Stitchy | | #2

    I loved Mondo's dress. Michael Costello and Gordana made dresses for the AVN awards not the opera. I do think the last three designers will be male. The females are weak.

  3. deirdrew | | #3

    I would love to have seen a fabulous opera coat over a sheath dress. Matelase maybe. Lame is in no way rich or flattering in my opinion.

  4. TJSEWS | | #4

    I too have agreed with the judging thus far. I loved Austin's dress. It was beautiful.

  5. Bouqqia | | #5

    I think they should have somehow made an exception and called it a tie! Both Austin and Michael did a fabulous job. Their gowns simply showed two different types of women going to the Opera! However, since only one could win, it should have been Michael. His dress was fabulous -- they really underestimated Michael. The others were just so, so. April and Sweet Pea were the worse.

  6. User avater
    oregonrose | | #6

    I loved Mondo's gown. It was elegant and refreshing. I though Michael should have won instead of Austin but they were both good. I am sorry to see Sweet P go. I know she can do better but her gown was a mess.

  7. User avater
    Soli | | #7

    I'm so happy to see this iteration of PR, although I have to say how much I miss Tim and Heidi. It is refreshing to have a different set of judges so that we don't expect or predict the comments in the critiques. I was a bit disappointed that Austin ended up winning, because the editing made it appear that Michael had it sewn up. I think that Austin's sheath was very well constructed, but also expected. There was nothing surprising about it. Perhaps it was the difference between an East Coast wow dress and a West Coast wow dress. I could easily imagine Michael's dress on some tall, thin actress for an awards ceremony. Not a Kardashian, as was mentioned during the judging, because the dress had no support, but I think it was a wonderful, attention getting sort of va-va-voom dress. I loved Mondo's dress - could imagine seeing Audrey Hepburn wearing it. It would have fit into the runway show in "Funny Face." Completely agreed with the curtains comment about Kara and SweetP's dresses, although I could also imagine the print Kara chose on a sofa. I think that if she hadn't included those sheer panels over the legs, Geordana's dress might have qualified for the top three. Anthony's dress was lovely, but he should have edited the accessories a little bit better. April's dress was so horrible I think that perhaps she should have been eliminated along with SweetP - the construction was atrocious, and frankly, I don't see how her little Goth girl aesthetic fits into what is in essence a couture contest.

    I am really looking forward to the rest of the season - it's been such a drag seeing the original PR go downhill. With all the talent in the workroom, I'm remembering what originally made PR so compelling.

  8. User avater
    lauriepie | | #8

    I'm really enjoying this PR. I'm late to the show (watched only the last 3 seasons) and its good to see some of the great talent I've missed. Austin's dress was beautiful, as was Michael's & Mondo's. I don't think any of the ladies will be making it to the finals. I guess I'll have to look into the video archives to see what they're capable of.

  9. Cerdanya | | #9

    I agree that Kenley's dress was very prom-like. That tiered skirt was it's downfall. I expected more from her. And Jerrel's dress was hideous. He's lucky that April's construction was so bad, because he easily could have been in the bottom.

  10. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #10

    Thank you for repeating this episode, now I know what Jerell's dress looks like, a monkey's maternity dress! And Mila's...snore.
    I think Kenley's dress was adorable. But out of all of them, I think the best should be those gowns that a woman could actually sit down in the audience and enjoy the opera! Come on, would you enjoy sitting down in Mondo's or Kenley's? That should always be a consideration when designing for a night at the opera. Or do some of these people forgo the actual performance and stay out in the lounge to be admired? Never having been a gala attendee, I wouldn't know!

  11. User avater
    Kukana | | #11

    I am totally loving this All Star PR. I was glad to see the spit lady go, not sure what she was doing there.....Sadly, Sweet P just didn't get into the groove soon enough, but there are some really talented folks remaining. I loved the challenge, and the dresses were fab! Can't wait for this week's show!!! I hope they keep the challenges interesting and not so difficult that the contestants actually make some great garments....

  12. User avater
    kayle9 | | #12

    I'm so glad to see a PR without the emphasis on Drahma! Now if only we could see more of the mentor's critique. Personally, while it's good to get a fresh take with new judges, I miss Tim Gunn.

    The dresses for episode 2 were interesting, some in a good way, some in a not so good way. My picks were: Michael, Mondo and Gordana -- with a side of Mila. Jerell and April were my bottom two designers this go around.

  13. Miminator | | #13

    What a wonderful show! I did not like Jerrell or Kenley's dresses. Burt I loved, loved, loved Austin and Mondo's. Michael's was nice, but it looked like a dress the Kardashian's have worn for years! Thank goodness spit girl is gone. Please, send Kenley home next!

  14. Flanerie | | #14

    So far, so good with PR all-stars. Finally, a runway with multiple garments that could have won, not just one or two obvious choices! In recent seasons there haven't been enough real contenders. I loved Michael's dress, but agreed with the judges on Austin's - it fit the criteria for the challenge better and was gorgeous.
    Poor Sweet Pea - what happened to her? I liked several of the things she did in "her" season, but both of her looks this time around were just bad....I thought Kara's was just as bad, though, and don't know why the judges liked her black sash (with pastel flowers?) I thought either her or Sweet Pea bottomed out here, so either one was the right choice to send home.
    One more vote for missing Tim Gunn here. . .altho I get why they started fresh.

  15. Belair108 | | #15

    I agree with the others who wish we could have Tim Gunn back. Not so sorry to see Heidi Klum and Michael Kors go. The new hostess ( her name escapes me) is much more real. I wish she would not try to be an imitation Heidi Klum though.
    (hint: lose the pigeon-toed pose)
    As to the designers, I think in the end, the guys will be in the final group.

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