By Nadine Kam
Ivy Higa in the "Project Runway All-Stars" workroom.
"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 2: "Put on Your Dancing Shoes" recap
The challenges on "Project Runway" and "Project Runway All-Stars" are often entertaining for TV viewers, but I wouldn't consider them fun for the designers. But this week's challenge was an exception.
The designers were sent to the Nine West showroom, where awaiting them was a dozen shoe styles. The designers were to pick one shoe to build a disco-themed ensemble around.
Last week's winner Anthony Ryan picked first, then picked Kailua Kona-raised designer Ivy Higa to go second. She chose a glittery gold sandal, that more than any other selection, sparkled like a disco ball.
She picked her follow Season 8 castmate, Casanova, to go next.
Ivy's pick of Nine West "disco" shoe.
After all had picked a shoe and they sketched their ideas, off they were to Mood, where Ivy picked a beautiful complimentary emerald green chiffon to go with her shoe. She was thinking '70s-era jumpsuit. but what she came up with was a combination romper with dress overlay, with a solid-and-sheer fabric mix that has become her current signature.
In fact, just as interesting as her designs so far, has been watching what she's wearing, which have all been her creations, and available for purchase at her website, ivyh.net, a natural method of smart product placement
But when Joanna Coles entered the workroom to deliver her critique, she worried whether Ivy's dress would come across more as day wear than club wear.
Ivy, ever the competitive spirit, said she felt that because the prize for the win would be a part in Nine West's ad campaign, she figured it was important to create something that would stand on its own, as well as play up the shoe, and Joanna raised the question as to whether she was addressing the competition or the prize. Ideally, if one lives up to the competition, one would take care of both aspects.
On the runway, Ivy made the top three for the second week, but after all was said, Ivy's dress, with a stone-studded gold yoke and beautiful sheer pleating, took second place. That makes two second-place finishes for the Hawaii designer.
East German-born Uli Herzner, who had no reference point for an American-style disco, was named the winner for a stunning white dress that was more updated American squaw than disco. Somehow, she pulled together many elements, including feathers, fringe, shiny stones and sequined fabric to create a complex, yet easy-to-wear, polished and high-impact dress. It worked out well, considering Joanna's initial criticism was that she must have been asleep because Uli's style of dress was something she'd never seen in the '70s, though she'd been a disco habitue.
So far, Ivy is showing she's capable of beautiful work, and I'm sure the industry is noticing. Hope she makes this second go at the series work for her instead of against her.
Uli's winning dress.
Wendy Pepper went home for a mall look inspired by her teen-age daughter, with too many bells and whistles.