Project Runway All Stars recap: The designers head to Broadway, Isaac and Austin have a catwalk catfight, and Kara gets the boot

In a surprise that really wasn’t a surprise, this week’s episode of All Stars saw the gang contending with the best, most All Star-ish challenge yet. I can’t lie, this challenge got my heart a-racing and my feet a-tapping, because I, like Austin, love Broadway: the marquees, the plush seats, the promise of grins that won’t quit.

We feel our way through episode 7 »

Next stop, Broadway!

Angela begins by rhetorically asking “Who doesn’t love a good Broadway show?” and to that I say… most of the world. Also, could Angela look any less comfortable? Whatever she’s feeling in her soul right now is the diametric opposite of what’s going on in Austin’s.

Not to be nitpicky here, but that overdub of Angela loudly describing Godspell as a musical involving Jesus and his apostles could’ve been integrated with a little more finesse. What She Lacks in Charm, She Makes Up For in Condescencion -5

To help present the challenge, out comes multi award–winning composer and bronzer addict Stephen Schwartz. I’m happy to see Schwartz continue the tradition of seriously over-tanned guests (see: Valentino; Mark Badgley).

The challenge is an excellent one, because it very clearly states who the woman they’re designing for is (always a sticking point in the judging process) as well as giving the designers a really clear context for the look. I love a separates challenge —it’s a good way of seeing how a designer can piece a whole look together.

After Schwartz and… the actor? explain the challenge, they both disappear, I expect never to be seen again. What a revolving door this episode is!

In case you missed it, the character they’re designing for is rich. Rich. She’s rich.

As he’s sitting down to sketch, Austin casually says something thesbians, which should just be added to the dictionary at this point. It’s Already a Thing +1

In the Workroom

Resident sourpuss Mila has a point about the gloppy lovefest that is Kara and Kenley’s dealings. They’re not helping each other with all that giggly flattery.

Austin’s little Broadway! ejaculation, followed so closely by his use and pronunciation of the word ensemble makes me want to turn into a gossamer  brocade just so I can feel the heavenly touch of his ivory fingers.

Joanna Coles, in a typically useless appearance, relays one very important piece of information: she was once in an amateur production of Godspell. Mondo seems nonplussed, but it lends Joanna a new, vaguely human sheen.

Kara’s advice is excellent about tizzies not helping. She’s so wise, Kara. Bringing us further into Mondo’s dark spiral, there’s a shadowy flashback to Cynthia Rowley looking evil and making poor Mondo cry. God, this is dark! Gripping Sympathy for Mondo +10

This episode has a couple of good B-stories. One is Kara’s emotional confusion and the other is Mondo’s push to make his outfit good. Historically, some of the best moments in Project Runway come when a designer shifts into some hitherto undiscovered genius mode that allows them to exceed their own expectations.

It’s Sutton Foster! Who is totally adorable and here’s a video of her tap dancing with a bunch of nautical types. Listen to that vibrato! I like Sutton for several excellent reasons, and here’s one of them: Love You Sutton +8

On the Runway

You gotta love this week’s extra sleazy–sounding “Hiiiii Angela” from Jerell. She’s a supermodel, guys, it’s time to get over the fact that she looks good and can walk.

Every week, Kenley surprises me. I liked her romper last week, but this is one of the dumbest-looking ensembles I’ve seen on All Stars.

Minus the leggings, Austin’s is a total dream.

Good gravy! Mondo’s is incredible. She looks like she walked out of a Klimt painting.

The jacket on Mila’s model looks like it was made from a plush polar bear.

And Then…

The infamous “Oh, did I say starlet?” moment, where due to skillful editing, we’re made to think that Isaac and Austin are having a runway catfight, when in fact it’s just the two of them being cute. I Feel Manipulated -3

Why does Angela persist in calling Mondo Meughndo? Does she know something we don’t? I for sure thought it was the end for Mila when Angela said “Mila: you are a master of geometrics,” but that turned out to be high praise, and Kara was shown the door, poor dear. Kara was one of the truly sweet contestants on Project Runway, in both season two and in All Stars. People always doubted her competence, but she brought a lot of heart to the sewing room, with her artfully braided hair and luminous smile. Perhaps Austin put it best when he consoled her by saying “You are an artist. You are a loving mother.” Thank you Austin, thank you Kara.

This episode downplayed the interpersonal drama and highlighted the talent. The designers answered the challenge with loads of imagination, and it was (I thought) one of the better runway shows thus far. Still, I have no desire to see Godspell, unless it stars Joanna Coles.

Total: 11 Jazz Hands