'Project Runway All-Stars': A dress speaks 1,000 words

November 15th, 2012
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higaLifetime photos
Ivy Higa works on a monarch butterfly inspired design in Episode 4 of "Project Runway All-Stars."

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 4: "Made in the USA Today" recap

This week's episode hit close to home with the involvement of USA Today and the intersection of new media, marketing and popular culture.

I spent three months at the paper in Washington, D.C., as a feature department loaner in the 1990s when our former Star-Bulletin was part of the Gannett empire.

In this case, "Project Runway" fans from around the world were asked to tween inspiring photographs, and the designers were challenged to turn the picture into a headline fashion story on the runway. Just like a photo, the things we wear can speak a thousand words or volumes about how we view ourselves, our place in the world, our likes, dislikes and fantasies.

Our girl from Hawaii, Ivy Higa, chose an image of a monarch butterfly, as a symbol of transformation and change.

Working in hues of orange and black, she created a solid cropped top with dark short and chrysalis-like flowing diaphanous long skirt.

Entering the workroom, mentor Joanna Coles was assisted in critiques by USA Today style editor Allison Maxwell, who reminded designers that photos convey powerful emotion and that they "want to make sure that translates to garment."

ivydressIvy's monarch butterfly photo-inspired design.

In speaking to Ivy, Joanna said, approvingly, "You seem energized by this competition."

For the first time since the new series aired, however, Ivy didn't make it into the Top 3, but was comfortably safe

Assisting the show's regular judges were Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie and Charlotte Ronson.

As the winner for his design capturing the lines of a bridge, Anthony Ryan Auld won a feature spread in USA Today.

Sadly, affable Andrae Gonzalo was sent home for a shapeless dress that was a too literal reproduction of a dress in a fan portrait. No one really understood his inspiration or explanation. It was one big questionable moment all around. He just seemed out of his element during the entire competition and said he didn't understand any of the other designers. In his original Season 2, he was surrounded by fellow Los Angelenos John Wade, Kirsten Ehrig, Raymundo Baltazar, Daniel Franco, Guadalupe Vidal, Nick Verreos and Santino Rice, with whom he was more simpatico

arAnthony Ryan Auld's sleek winning design was inspired by the lines of a bridge.

andreAndrae Gonzalo was sent home for this design inspired by a fan, but all he did was literally reproduce her look.

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