Project Runway All-Stars Recap: Episode 7

Managing Editor

We’re back again with more Project Runway All-Stars, and this week my hackles are already up. My dream lover Rami is gone, and they’re doing theatre. Here’s the thing – I’m all for exposure to the arts and getting Godspell a little press prior to opening. But what really rankles me is the idea is that one designer will contribute one look to another costume designer’s entire show. The idea is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I haven’t seen anything yet, but GAWD I hope the costume designer is present and accounted for during this whole fiasco.

StraightColin says: Have you noticed Austin is nearly falling in that title shot? “Sorry, I did a lot of squats earlier. I was on the stairmaster for an hour and a half.”

Hold. The. Phone. Austin is doing Kenley’s hair. I don’t know what to think about this, especially considering his shirt looks like one of those hair smocks they throw over you before they get to cutting. If he starts talking about blow outs and a mani/pedi package, I’m out.

So, they’re off to Circle in the Square, where Godspell is in rehearsal. Or performance? I’m not entirely sure – they show production images, but this was of course filmed some time last autumn. Anyway, Angela introduces Stephen Schwartz to lay it out for the designers. The winner of this week’s challenge will have his or her design featured in the show and a bio in the program.


Again, I’m pretty damn concerned. We have a sit-down with Stephen, the director, and the actress playing the role. She’s talking about the character being a very rich woman, but doesn’t give a name. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Godspell, but I’m thinking it’s one of the minor characters from the parables. Which… I think I’m okay with. Even if they screw it the hell up, it shouldn’t matter too much. At least they had some input from part of the artistic crew of the show, though I sincerely wish the costume designer was one of them.

Austin wants a fabric that speaks “luxury, opulence, conspicuous consumption, richness,” so he’s going for some furs and a brocade. Something that doesn’t sound at all like it would stand up under stage lights, and would look dull compared to what we’ve seen of the rest of the show. Here’s where I think the designers may well be at a disadvantage – if they’ve never designed for the stage before, they have no understanding about the effect of different lighting aspects have on fabric. It sounds like the designers are approaching this as a real woman on the street rather than a character in a theatre space.

Meanwhile, Mila is still cranky that people are friends.

Joanna joins the designers for what she thinks is one of the most exciting challenges yet. We start with Austin, who looks terrified to see Joanna at all. He again says something about conspicuous consumption, and somehow got Marie Antoinette out of this whole set-up. Joanna says it’s currently hideous, but that she trusts he can make it fabulous. With Kara, Joanna doesn’t think she’s ambitious enough with this look for this challenge. And the poor dear is exhausted and frustrated. She gets teary and so do I. I want to hug her right this second.

Mila’s doing a blouse, and a little chubby. I… I don’t know what this means. And… jerndel? I don’t… what are these words she’s saying?!

And then – wait, Joanna was in an amateur (community?) production of Godspell? Holy crap – someone find me a video. Joanna shares this with Mondo while showing concern that his fabrics won’t read from a distance. So glad she brought that up. Jerell’s look is almost entirely metallic and jewelry. It’s definitely opulent and very dazzling. Off to a good start.

Apparently it’s the first time Kenley isn’t using polka dots, which makes me want to review. I feel like I should know for certain whether or not that’s true. Kenley’s going for signature thrift store pieces, but I’m not entirely sure they read as rich. The coat is nice but… I don’t know, I feel like I’m missing something. Like maybe part of the explanation of the character design was missing from the final episode.

Austin says something about a cat suit that fits like a glove… but the challenge was for seperates. Michael’s look is not terrible, but I don’t know that it reads for the production. Mondo’s looks like it belongs to a different bible musical.

Back in the workroom, everyone is focusing and regrouping and getting their shiz together. Meanwhile Jerrel and Austin are having an argument about the sewing machines. Other than that, this feels like a rather drama-free episode. I wonder if there’s not a big crazy runway coming up. Most of the designers have just been attempting to grasp the concept, and the more I think about that the more I think the runway will absolutely be amazing.

StraightColin says: I mean, isn’t the look for Godspell pretty much just a circus? It’s like the John 3:16 guy? So really, anything goes.

We’re off to the runway, and Angela comes out in a dress that more or less screams, “It should look like this, bitches.” We get a recap of the challenge, and then we introduce the judges, and then we find out Sutton Foster is the guest judge. And I lose – my – shit. I hit octaves I didn’t know I have. I startled StraightColin, my roommate, and the cats. Ok, I’m sorry, Jerrel has no idea who she is.


Michael – She looks like a character from Parappa the Rappa. Or one of the extra random Muppets at the back of the van in The Muppet Movie. I don’t dislike the shirt, or even the skirt, but that hat is weird and I don’t see the character there at all. There’s a bunch of bows, and I feel like she’s going to try to sell me a diamond tennis bracelet on the QVC. Will actors be able to dress an actress in this on stage?


Kenely – The lines are too plain, and I’m totally missing the opulence here. The fabrics are elegant, I guess, but the execution isn’t. It looks more like Mrs. Meers from Millie. It’s pieces, though, and constructed pieces at that. It’s just not very cohesive and doesn’t read as the character was described.


Austin – Yeah… I don’t know. I see Marie Antoinette, but again – it’s the wrong show. The look on Sutton’s face really, really says it all. Complete and utter bewilderment. The shawl is nice, the top is nice, but what the hell is that Jiffy-Pop skirt? Again – will actors be able to dress a woman in this on stage? I just don’t know. We get some nice movement out of the metallic, but under stage lights everything else would flatten out. You wouldn’t even really see the pattern on the textile, just the light reflecting off of it.


Jerrel – Downton Abbey chic. I feel mildly scandalized that we’re seeing her ankles. StraightColin thinks it’s Mrs. O’Brien out on a bender. And what the hell is that hair? And why did everyone seem driven toward the Victorian route? I’m so confused. Up close, that coat fabric looked interesting, but on stage it will read more or less as it does on TV – grey on grey. Even in the picture here you’re seeing some shine and some texture, but it almost looks like static. It’s constructed well and seems to fit the character design, but it doesn’t pop enough for this show.


Kara – I like the finished look much better than the progress. We’ve got a 40s night life look that I could see working for the show. In the context of the other costumes we’ve seen, I think this is the most perfect look so far. I dunno about the blacks, because again the lights may flatten it; but the black/silver/red is so nicely high-contrast that it will catch the eye regardless of the dimensionality. She’s Nouveau-Cruella. Love it.


Mondo –  For something he kind of threw together, this is pretty rad. It’s like a Klimt painting come to life. Florence would feel right at home in this, but I’m not sure it’s very Godspell. It looks well constructed, it’s visually striking, and it appears well thought out. For almost any other challenge this would be a strong look, but I don’t see the character in here at all. I’m willing to admit I’m totally wrong.


Mila – Ohhhh… she looks like a straight – up – ho. What is this skirt? I don’t understand. It sucks because the print of the shirt could have been good, but everything else here is mildly laughable. I think this look was used in the opening scene of Pretty Woman. Yes, Mila, one would certainly get noticed wearing that outfit.

And Jerrel is the only safe designer. I can understand that.

Georgina wishes Michael’s look was a little more eccentric. Sutton sees a rich party girl that would be a little wild. Isaac likes the color, and the overall reaction is positive. They love the construction of Kenley’s coat, but Georgina and Isaac both sees that there might be a little too much going on. Angela doesn’t think the look is rich enough.

Austin’s look gets praise from Georgina, Sutton, and Angela. Isaac says it borders on too young, but that he likes it. I still think it would be so flattened on stage. When Mila says her model would shop on Rodeo Drive, I nearly peed myself. So very Pretty Woman. Sutton agrees that it’s just a bit ho. Mondo’s going on about some old smoking jacket, and items from her travels, but I’m so confused. I don’t see the show in here at all, and I don’t know how it would read on that stage. The reaction to Kara’s look is positive and complementary, but I feel there’s some hesitation.

Sutton Foster and I think just alike. I can die happy.

Mondo takes the win! Hot damn. Mila is safe, which is ridiculous. Her look was straight up street walker. Meanwhile, Kara put some opulence and wealth on the runway and she gets kicked to the curb. I’m really not understanding some of the judging on this season. But hey, what do I know?

What do you guys think? Should the Mila’s street walker design sent her steppin’? Did Kara’s look write a check it couldn’t cash? Let me know in the comments!

  • 19yearslater

    Once again, Mila should have left. I’m always slightly gleeful when she does a crap look because I don’t like her personality, but it doesn’t seem to deter the judges. Kara probably had the second worst though, so not too surprised. I WAS surprised, however, at the fact that Joanna had been in Godspell, as I was unaware she had the ability to move her face. I squee’d when Stephen Shwartz came out, but I don’t like Sutton Foster. I think Mondo deserved the win. I’m from Colorado, and he’s done costume design for Hairspray here.

  • Angela

    The characters in Godspell don’t have official names, except for Jesus, and John the Baptist/Judas. The way she described her character, I thought she sang “Turn Back O’ Man,” but she’s actually the character that sings “Oh Bless the Lord My Soul.” They should have had her sing and dance to show the designers what she had to do in the outfit. I don’t think you’d be able to dance (or want to dance) in some of those outfits. They should have at least, like you said, talked to the costume designer or checked out photos of the production with the actors in costume. However, I’m glad Mondo won; his look was definitely most Godspell. Lifetime has a picture of the Broadway version of the outfit online:

    On a different note, I just want Mila to go home now! Also – I miss Rami too!

  • Carbon658

    Mondo’s looks like something out of Lemony Snicket, which is definitely a good thing. He should have won his original season, and I really hope he does for the All Stars.