By Nadine Kam
Casanova helps Ivy fit her model before the fashion show.
"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 6: "Green Dress For the Red Carpet" recap
Just as Hawaii tourism scores points for every TV series or feature film set in the islands, New York is also a star of "Project Runway All-Stars," and this week's episode took viewers to the elevated tracks of the High Line.
There, the show's host Carolyn Murphy told the designers that they would be going green by using AirDye fabric made with virtually no water or power, to create a design that she would be wearing on her next red carpet appearance. They would also have access to some of their old notions and trims, recycled from past competitions.
Hawaii's Ivy Higa chose a gold satin looking fabric, which is rather unforgiving to work with, but her sketch was beautiful, with a cinched waist and multiple pieces angling outward like rays of the sun.
She recalled being eliminated in Season 8 during another red carpet challenge in which she was unable to finish her gown, and she said she didn't want history to repeat itself. But to be in that situation again can lead to overthinking and overcompensating, and it certainly looked like she set herself up for trouble in going for such an ambitious design, given the nine-hour time frame.
While others were draping and sewing, she was still working on her dozen or so pattern pieces, and realized she was in trouble when the models came in for their fittings, and all she had was pieces of fabric. She told the cameraman, "I spent too much time working on the pattern. I feel so screwed.
When they left the studio for the day, she had nothing, and would have two hours the next day before the runway show. I thought she was a goner, but in my interview with her earlier in the season, she said she had made it further in the competition than she thought she would, so I felt it would have been too easy if she left at this point.
During her model fitting on Day 2, she told her, "I'm so glad you're not naked."
But her dress was rough. She had gone from wanting to show a gown to cutting it down, and the fabric and seams looked bunchy and puckered, which is unusual for her. Even so, you could see a thought process in it, which ultimately helped her win over Althea Harper when they ended up in the bottom two.
Ivy's design nearly got her sent home.
Althea's dress was well made, but it was a mess with a boring print that looked as exciting as calico, and too much going on with insets, cascading fabric and a little cape/ruffle in the back. The judges were calling it "Marie Antoinette," but I'd call it "Little House on the Prarie."
Laura Kathleen is so bitchy I didn't want to see her win, but it was really obvious that guest judge Diane von Furstenburg really loved her chiffon jumpsuit design, which had her rhapsodizing about her 20s, when she had met and married her prince and traipsed around Europe in sexy, romantic pajama palazzos.
Laura Kathleen set out wanting to impress the designer she admires so much, so naturally gravitated to a print that looks a lot like what DVF might use.
Laura Kathleen's winning palazzo jumpsuit design.
I was surprised that Casanova didn't make the top three. His gown looked beautiful coming down the runway, and the flash of red lining was like a play on Christian Louboutin.
Anthony Ryan had high marks, but there was too much fabric in his design. No one wants to look wide on the red carpet.
Uli Herzner was one of the few designers who made use of the embellishment, which she recycled from the last competition. As Anthony Ryan said at the start of the competition, most red carpet looks are clean and sophisticated, without a lot of frills. Uli said her fabric looked like a rainy day, so she had to lift it somehow. Judge Isaac Mizrahi said he liked it more than he should, prompting DVF to refer to it as "forbidden fruit." I would wear it.
I'm certainly not averse to frills. I just picked up this Sass & Bide mongolian lamb capelet/epaulet.