'Project Runway All-Stars': All about androgyny

November 29th, 2012
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ivyworkroomLifetime photos
Ivy Higa, with the other designers and new maie models in the "Project Runway" workroom.

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 5: "You've Got Male" recap

After a break during Thanksgiving Week, "Project Runway All-Stars" returned, challenging the designers to come up with a design both avant garde and adrogynous. After coming up with their designs and cutting their fabric, judge Georgina Chapman came in to deliver the dreaded twist in the challenge.

After announcing that she;s bringing in their models, a line of male models parade in. The designers faces drop because, in spite of their androgynous designs, male and female forms are different and their garments have already been tailored to fit a woman's form.

To their relief, they're told they will use their female models as usual, but must add a second look for the male model. So back they go to Mood to pick up $150 more of materials. Crisis averted.

As mentor Joanna Coles goes through the workroom delivering her critiques, I noticed that Ivy's current design signature has apparently rubbed off on Anthony Ryan Auld. She's been wearing her own designs with blocks of sheer and solid fabric all season, and lo and behold, his garments utilized the same techniques and aesthetic.

prauldIvy's been wearing her own sheer and solid designs, like the one below, all season. I think her aesthetic creeped into Anthony Ryan Auld's creation for this challenge.

ivydesignIvy Higa photo

In the workroom, with so many designers working on pants, there was more concern about "ball room," and when I saw Hawaii designer Ivy Higa's design on the manikin, I was laughimg so hard I didn't hear what she and Joanna discussed. It looked like she had a little too much ball room.

Pants are always problematic, which is why I stick to wearing skirts and dresses. During the judging, for a second week in a row, Ivy ended up safely in the middle of the pack instead of the top. While waiting for results, Joshua McKinley took his frustrations at never being among the top three out on Ivy. She's showing a lot of restraint in not indulging the other designers' trying to bait her into arguments this season.

This week's guest designers were contemporary designers Jason Wu and Robert Rodriguez and I agreed with their observation that Emilio Sosa's designs were so androgynous that they couldn't tell the male and female models apart when they came down the runway together. I wasn't surprised when he won, although I also liked the mix-and-match street appeal of Uli Herzner's tribal-inspired designs. Her outfits were interchangeable on male and female bodies, and would suit more bodies than Emilio's designs, which only models could pull off.

ivyworkIvy at work.

privyIvy's designs looked a little circusy, Chagall- or Picasso-like this week. Or maybe it was just the makeup.

premilioEmilio's winning designs.

pruliUli's designs.

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