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Project Runway All Stars, Episode 9: “There’s No Business Like Sew Business”

The five remaining designers await instructions at the Elie Tahari showroom in New York City.

This week, the Project Runway All-Stars designers met with legendary designer Elie Tahari. He presented them with the challenge of creating an affordable, ready-to-wear look from his fabrics, a design that he could sell in his boutiques for between $300 and $500.

The five remaining All-Stars were raring to take on this challenge. It offers a lot of exposure to real customers. Elie counseled them to create garments that had a “wow” factor, while also meeting a retail budget.

Elie Tahari was one of this week’s guest judges and he acted as workroom mentor. The other guest judge was actress/model Stacy Keibler, George Clooney‘s girlfriend. 

On to the producible-for-a-reasonable-price designs!

The winner

Anthony Ryan Auld won again! And again, he just beat out Uli. The judges praised Anthony’s use of this print and the sleek design – it even had pockets!

Anthony Ryan Auld's dress.

The loser

Ivy Higa went home.

Ivy Higa's design.

The rest of the designs

Uli’s design. This was a very close second (and my personal, “May I buy this?” favorite). Uli listened carefully to Elie’s criticism of her original design and streamlined the cut for this result. She also used the selvage on her fabric as embellishment.

 Uli Herzner's design.

Emilio Sosa’s dress. Emilio is such a strong designer, and he seems to have an excellent grasp of construction. The judges questioned his color choice as difficult for many women to wear. Otherwise, his brown-grosgrain-trimmed dress just didn’t seem to have that wow factor Elie was looking for.

Emilio Sosa's design.

Joshua McKinley’s design. Joshua was on thin ice with this one! He appliqued or overlayed lace on a wool knit. The back of the dress was a disaster, with a center-back exposed silver zipper that rippled and bumped its way to the hem. The judges chided him for inappropriate use of beautiful fabrics.

 Joshua McKinley's design.

What did you think?

Elie Tahari told Ivy in the workroom that her dress was too long. She didn’t pay heed. What do you think?

Who’s next to go? Is it just me, or did Ivy just manage to escape being booted off each episode for as long as you can remember? I checked the Project Runway All-Stars scorecard at MyLifetime.com, and Ivy finished in the top three for the first three episodes. Oooo, but you know what else I noticed? Joshua has not placed in the top three or won a challenge this whole season! Way to coast to the finals!

Right now it looks like an eventual showdown between Uli and Anthony. Whom do you favor?

Do you think Emilio can rally to take the grand prize?!

Does Joshua have a real chance?


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  1. Ceeayche | | #1

    I think it is high time for PR to dispel the myth that "designer as god" behavior will make you successful. Ivy was coached to shorten the dress and she refused because the "fabric is pretty." Successful design requires creative talent and vision, yes. But it also requires an ability to convey that creative vision though collaborating with others. That is why Gretchen's ascension a couple of seasons ago was such a miscarriage of justice.

  2. DMBDMB | | #2

    Great! These pics are probably twice as big as the ones I saw last time, so I think that some effort was made to address the interest in actually examining the work of the work but PLEASE!!!! Bigger!!! All of the descriptive text is absolutely lost because we can't actually SEE the work!!

  3. KarylC | | #3

    Why are you a week behind? Last Thursday was episode 10. I won't say who won but it may surprise you!

  4. rkr4cds1 | | #4

    I so agree with the previous 3 posts: we are one day short of Episide 11 and you haven't posted Episode 10 yet. This tardiness is so very unusual that I keep feeling that I'm out-of-step and it's me who's missed one of your columns, instead of the other way around.
    What's happening with the PR All -Stars version?
    And the images are giving us no detail (shot from too far away with no cropping of the photos); even though I have watched the show, for those who aren't able to receive the show on their TV broadcasts, they look to this column to 'see' the garments. These images show nothing of the details you're describing.
    Finally, Ivy is nothing but Ms. Excuses. Her final garment was a muu muu. She counted on the patterning in the fabric to carry her through and "didn't want to cut into it's beautiful artistic placement." It wasn't just the shortening; she didn't want to cut into it at all.
    With those elements in the fabric, even I know any number of effects I'd've used to design and create a beautiful dress or summer suit with that fabric!

  5. User avater
    RevDi | | #5

    I hated Ryan Anthony's dress, largely because I thought the fabric was so unattractive. It reminded me of auto upholstery - the kind you find on truck seat replacement covers. I thought Uli was the clear runner. Her dress was so wearable, by a large number of body types and ages, and she worked wonders with what appeared to be a very difficult fabric.
    I was torn about who should have been sent home. Yes, Ivy didn't listen to Elie about the length of her dress, but Joshua's dress was a train wreck - droopy boobs and a very unattractive zipper (and who decided that an exposed zipper was fashionable? To me it says you don't have enough skill to sew it in properly).
    I don't think Emilio is performing as well as he did during his season, but I'm so tired of the other designers putting him down as a "costume designer." Are they jealous because he's a Tony winner? Envy will get you nowhere!

  6. Mariesainte | | #6

    Let's talk about something other than Project Runway, please. Most of these styles are aimed at young, rich, urban women. Young women I know are college students; they are not rich; and they are living very physically active lives. They are not likely to have money for this kind of dressing in the near future, and they are taking a new interest in long term economy: classics!

  7. User avater
    FineTexan | | #7

    It was way past time for Ivy to go home! Her 'designs' have been simplistic and amateurish. Uli's designs are simple too but deceptively so. They are well made and well designed. She makes clothes that real women can wear. Uli is disciplined and paces herself well. She has a good eye for fabric and colors. I have always liked her on Project Runway. Joshua's dress was almost good but he really messed up!! Often he has been on the edge of being released from Project Runway but someone else was worse than he was. He is a good designer but pulls boo boos too often. Ryan Anthony is clearly the front runner with Uli and Emilio who is VERY talented. I don't care for his personality and I would like to see a straight person win for a change. ULI,ULI,ULI...she is so talented and her clothes are not so far out.

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