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Project Runway All Stars: “Finale Part 2”

Last week, the designers were asked to create six looks in four days with only former contestants as help. We rejoin Austin, Mondo, and Michael on the day of the final show. The final three designers get to work finishing their collections in the workroom at the location for the runway show, Gotham Hall.

The VIP show included some big names from the fashion industry, but didn’t seem to carry the weight of the usual Fashion Week extravaganza. Nina Garcia was in the crowd, and thought the designers had come a long way from when she was judging them on Project Runway. The guest judges for the finale were Tommy Hilfiger and fashion director for Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing.

The Collections:


“Austin Scarlett” – I couldn’t make this up. So here is the description directly from the mouth of Austin himself, “a story of a vampire from the 18th century who has lived many hundreds of years and now resides in Williamsburg and occasionally borrows clothes from her Hasidic dandy friends.”

The judges thought this was more “best of” Austin Scarlett than a cohesive collection. They weren’t sure about the red carpet dress, but loved the leather lacquered look. The final wedding dress was a big hit, but did it fit the rock and roll vibe of the collection? Finally, the judges thought Austin brought youth to a couture collection, and that as a designer he was full of ideas.


Serengeti – Taking you on a wonderful African adventure with this collection.

As usual, Michael finished his garments long before the other designers, but found at the last minute that his garments were not fitting the way they should. His final draped look is too large for his model by six inches, while another is too tight on one sleeve and too loose on the other.

The judges thought this was an exceptional collection with a cohesive attitude. They loved his draped sixth look and Isaac thought it exalted the flesh, but that overall it was too commercial with the prints.








“Therapy” – Struggled with his emotions throughout this process, but finally found his inspiration. Mondo felt like he put all of his passion for designing into this collection.

The judges loved his awesome pants suit and thought the inkblot patterns paired with polka dots were a big win. This was the most cohesive collection carrying the dots all the way through. Only his final look added a different palate, but still kept the feel. They think Mondo did an incredible job, but also thought he could have done more. 

Guest judge Ken Downing explains the differences between the designers perfectly. Do you choose someone with too many ideas? Someone with a loss of ideas, but out of that loss something emerged? Or someone with a straight idea of where the collection was headed but it lost its excitement along the way?

In the end, Michael is out first (winning a trip to Paris), and the decision came down to a fight between the two drama queens of the runway. I don’t think anyone was surprised that Mondo was named the winner. I think when the casting for this season was announced most people could have guessed this could be the end result. Project Runway needed to make amends for “Gretchengate” and this was their chance.

Did you like this spin-off version of Project Runway or did you miss Heidi and the familiarity of our usual judges? Should Mondo have won with his final collection?


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    I would have to agree with vicky North, the winner was no surprise and that was fine by me, maybe now Marie Claire will get some of their subscribers back }-)
    I still don't see the "art" in Austins collection and I think his main support in the judges arena was Angela, I think she might even have been pulling for him to win
    As IF! The whole storyline went to far and lost me.
    I liked his laquered lace dress and the petal wedding dress, good think Anthony was there to sew the petals!
    I have to say, I'm underwhelmed by Michaels collection, it was blah and uninspiring. I know he wanted to show that he can do something besides dresses and who knows, maybe he knew he wasn't going to win and may have used this chance to show he has range. I am still amazed by his quick and well done sewing skills, he is a true tailor who designs wearable clothing.
    I have some concerns about that dark place Mondo seems to need to go to find creative inspiration, how far down the rabbit hole does he need to fall before he comes out the other end?
    At the end of the day, Mondo has his pound of flesh as do all his supporters ( like me ) who were outraged at him being cheated out of his rightful win the first time around.

  2. bkryatty | | #2

    Mondo was truly ripped off last season and should have won - no doubt about it. This was better though - he could show more work and got a better prize. It was far and away the best collection by the most talented designer.

    I liked the All Stars show and the judges and Joanna Coles but I MISSED Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

  3. User avater
    mandymarie20 | | #3

    I was pulling for Austin Scarlett. I found individual pieces more intriguing. Yes, Mondo's did look more like a collection, but I just don't like most of his designs. I felt the entire season that since he seemed on the top almost the entire time, I was not surprised that he won. I do think Mondo should have won his season. Gretchen was atrocious! The whole Rorschach test inspiration is overdone. Why do I feel like I've seen this before on Project Runway?

    Michael's was uninspiring; Austin's wasn't great but there were some good pieces; and Mondo's was a collection, but I didn't like it.

  4. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #4

    Mondo, absolutely!!

  5. user-1112467 | | #5

    As soon as we knew Mondo was to be in this season we knew he would be the winner unless he grossly messed up along the way. Personally I think the judges got the finale WRONG. No one would buy Mondo's clothes. The pocket's and circles were aweful and reminded me of the 1940's over detailing. Unfortunalely I don't even the women of the '40s would have worn these over detailed clothes.

    Austin's wedding dress was one of the most beautiful I have seen in a long time no matter if Anthony sewed them or not (that is what they were there for).

    Michael's items had a few problems (fitting) but he is at least thinking commercially and no doubt most cohesive. I think he should have won over Austin by a very small margin

  6. User avater
    iris68 | | #6

    Hurray! Mondo won! I personally love the round pockets dress. Would love to make one for myself.

  7. Moonbeams | | #7

    I used to watch this show but stopped when I thought (my personal opinion) that the judges were too cruel. Critics are one thing; barbed remarks are another. This season, they tried harder to give positive feedback and I am of the opinion that this positive slant helps future designers.

    I only hope that Mondo gets over himself. As a fashion writer for the magazine and a designer, too, he doesn't work well under pressure. He'll be locking himself in the room, pouting because he can't think of something to write.

    Hopefully, he will receive guidance on what I feel could be a real detriment in the dog-eat-dog world of couture.

  8. Flanerie | | #8

    I figured it was a 50/50 shot between Austin and Mondo, with Michael there to provide the underdog aspect, so wouldn't have been surprised with either winning.

    Of the two, I think the judges made the correct choice, although I can't imagine Mondo in the working world running a business and working at the magazine. I'm familiar with creative angst, but Mondo's seems really self-indulgent to me, especially considering that nobody forced him to enter a competition like this and the pressures come with the territory.

    I liked Austin's wedding gown and the 'lacquered lace' dress, but overall his designs usually strike me as too "poufy" and not looks that a real woman wants to wear. Mondo's work usually looks like a well-made cartoon to me, (perfect for Jessica Rabbit) and in my opinion, he'd be great in costume design for theater, but I don't really read his looks as fashion-forward.

    Don't forget it's a tv show, too, "characters welcome." I would have loved to see Rami win, but he comes across as well-adjusted and just a sweet guy, and to me, clearly the producers wanted to encourage "out-there" behavior and Austin and Mondo both are such characters, so flamboyant each in their own way, I think the producers probably encouraged their 'survival' in this show.

    oh well, I'll be back to watch season 10, espec. since it'll have Tim Gunn, so maybe the next batch of designers will be interesting. And producers, if you're out there, bring us more design and less sniping!

  9. stsimon | | #9

    All three had great collections produced in what, four days? Even Michael, whose taste has sometimes faltered in the past, didn't have a single miss in any of his garments. (To me, his were the best, as a collection.) I thought that Michael Kors criticism of Mondo's collection that all black is too hard for the runway audience to see was correct, but pretty funny considering how many designers do just that. Michael Kors own fall 2011 collection has at least six all black garments, and the others are grey and beige, with two red ones thrown in.

  10. GrammysSC | | #10

    Absolutely Mondo. He made that collection in 3 days as he took one off to get his head around it. His designs are all wearable for the common figure and very sellable. His art is inherent in his very being. He knows the look he wants and is able to create it and it's not costumy nor does it look fabricated. Also he proved to be a versitile designer, not all for show but practical in design and material usage.
    Loved it!

  11. User avater
    shocreations | | #11

    I think all of them had a few that were nice. However, as a collection, I think Michael's was the best. Austin's wedding dress was very beautiful. Some of Mondo's was wearable by any young lady. But I think overall, Michael knows how to dress a woman's body. His draping is the best and figure flattering.

  12. User avater
    Kayle9 | | #12

    He lost me at his description of his inspiration. A vampire? Borrowing clothes from a Hasidic dandy? While my romantic partner loved the catsuit, we both laughed at the pick puff in the back of the leather skirt ... and I'm still trying to figure out why he thought that ice cream cone of a 'capri' was at all a good idea.

    I'm just plain lost on the idea of why a collection being 'too commercial' is a bad thing, if part of the grand prize is a boutique in Neiman Marcus. I liked his work.

    He (and the judges) whined continually about Kinley using polka dots, and yet his whole collection had.... polka dots! I was not excited about his collection.

    Final verdict on the 'season':
    Tim Gunn must come back. That woman (I was so unenamored of her that I can't remember her name) was less of a mentor and more of a crotchety nitpicker.

  13. fabricgal68 | | #13

    Just as everyone predicted - this whole season was created just so Mondo, who didn't get his 'win' last season, got his win. I believe he has moments of brilliance. But he is so all over the board. I believe Rami should have won this season. His continued work - if anyone else has been following him - has been seen and worn by many and is constantly outstanding (without the tortured artist, cry baby routine)

    Initially, I thought maybe we would see something great - but now knowing the outcome was just to give Mondo a prize, makes this season a joke. He is simply not consistent and the rainbow colored pillow case - he called a dress that won on the one episode - was the worst joke of all

    What annoyed me more than Mondo winning was the constant reminder in the work room that we were seeing the best of the best in these all-starts - BULL - best of the best means everyone on that show would have finished in 1st or 2nd place in their seasons...that was not the case. We were simply seeing the best of who didn't have something better to do in their careers at the moment. Kara crying about feeling maybe she isn't that good - get clue - you weren't that great on the first go around. She hasn't improved at all that since then.

    I won't even get started about the judges. Except to say that every other fashion design show that Isaac has been selected for as a judge has been cancelled after only one season. There is a reason for that.

    Thank God for the fashion show on regular TV where we are seeing real people win actual contracts to have their designs sold in regular department stores. People who are making clothes for real people and not some tooth pick walking down a runway.

    Project Runway since leaving Bravo is quickly becoming yesterday's news. Not sure if I can stomach another season.

  14. user-261446 | | #14

    I think it's so interesting how many people really appreciated Austin's lacquered lace dress. The round flounce looked like an open mouth to me, or a tube attached to the dress. For me it made no sense.

    I was rooting for Mondo. I thought his collection the most interesting and most wearable, though I do agree with the person who characterized his details as being from the 40's. And, in fact, they did look a little frumpy.

    Still, I was thrilled when Mondo won.

  15. beadembroiderer | | #15

    I can't get away from the fact that Mondo has the worst manners and consideration for others who are in exactly the same space, the same situation and under the same pressure. When someone acts like that, it chips away at their talent and ability.

    I didn't take this very seriously when I saw that some of the participants were not around long in their season. I think the spit-marker and the one from Ohio were a little ridiculous to be included, but I bet that some of the runners up or the third prize winner level are successfully working out there in the field.

    I think the whole thing has really fallen apart since the show was taken from Bravo. I would probably not watch this again. I never agree with the judges, anyway.

  16. User avater
    MissPat | | #16

    I believe Project Runway has been on long enough. Time for something new and fresh. Someone should tell the powers-that-be that is is time to fold the tent and fade away. Now we have the winner on tour! Mondo will be at our mall. We won't be there. Enough of his posturing!

  17. User avater
    jennyebner | | #17

    Bring back Heidi and Tim, please. This group just didn't do the show justice.

  18. user-895874 | | #18

    Austin is the ONLY "REAL" winner.
    His whole collection was so diverse as well as together.
    I could picture a hot vampire or any woman wanting to wear the most beautiful clothes EVER from his collection.
    He is the MOST creative of the three and he should have won.
    Mondo's collection was ok as was Michael's, but they are not NEARLY as creative as Austin.
    If I could afford them, I would wear ALL Austin's clothes.
    I love the diversity in his style.
    Funky, Mod, Feminine, Rock Star, you name it-Austin has it in his repertoire`.

  19. user-895874 | | #19

    I enjoyed it immensely.
    I love Tim, but did not miss Heidi at all.

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