Project Runway All Stars Recap: Finale Part 1
Mar 16 2012 08:22 am CET

Last Week: It was finally time for Kenley to go. While she made really well tailored clothes throughout the whole season, she never pushed herself too far. Outside of the black light/lighting challenge, most of her dresses consisted of circle skirts and tops with a round collar.

Morning hit as the final three contestants talked to Angela. Austin finally shaved off the caterpillar growing on his upper lip as a new "renaissance." Angela explained that the three made it to the final runway challenge and with the help of Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi; they explained that the contestants have to make a high end fashion show. Instead of having the three months that Project Runway would normally provide, this season the contestants would have to make a mini (five look) collection and four days. The contestants have a budget of $3000. They will all have a model casting in a few days.

The next step for the designers was to visit Joanna Coles at Marie Claire's offices. The three were awestruck as they entered and were welcomed by Sergio Kletnoy. The three gawked at the atmosphere as they patiently waited for Joanna to show up. Joanna explained that normally a collection would show a shift from the previous fashion season, running themes, and real talent. Mondo wondered about theatrics; Joanna pointed out that it was all about the designer. The guest editor position would help out how to interpret fashion in real life. This almost sounded a bit too realistic for Austin, who I imagine having everyone wear taffeta out the wazoo. Joanna also mentioned that the guest editor would be working under Nina Garcia. Wow, haven't heard that name in a while.

The designers spent some time to sketch at Central Park. Michael was inspired by green. Austin wanted to make a wedding dress, because it was the ultimate fashion.

The contestants had an hour to shop at Mood, which I kind of find unfair for the designers since they normally have 30 minutes to shop for one look and if they have one of those mini (read: three) look challenges, they have an hour. Come on producers why not an extra 30 minutes? Austin was frantically running up and down Mood. Michael was inspired by an African safari; maybe we should just call him "Mychael" after this season. Mondo had commitment issues, pulling out fabrics that he's attracted to. Austin's design was apparently part "Rock Star" and "Hasidic Gentleman."

The designers returned to 1407 and the workroom got redesigned into a three room oasis for each of the contestants. The three designers talked over dinner, Austin trying to talk to Mondo. Mondo was a bit too stressed as he closed his door. He looked at his fabrics and wasn't happy. Austin taped his designs on a wall, but I could have sworn he taped six sketches. All of his designs had that Austin whimsy. Michael wanted the fun and adventurous nature and I could have sworn that there were some fabrics pulled by Jerell earlier this season.

Michael talked to Mondo and tried to see what was up and Mondo was under pressure and had no motivation left. Austin and Michael tried to talk to each other and both were upset that Mondo was being immature.

While Michael and Austin continued to work, Mondo sat there as Georgina Chapman arrived. She wanted an update of each designer and both Michael and Austin were positive. Georgina was looking for an idea and a vision. Mondo was stressed and Georgina explained that she was in his shoes before.

There were too hours left and Mondo decided not to do anything and lounge as Austin dealt with poofs and Michael finished one dress. The contestants had a nice dinner as Mondo was convinced that he was done with the whole competition. Michael reassured Austin that Mondo gets the best of his work done when he's under this stress.

Three days until runway. Michael needs a miracle that wows the judges. Mondo finally started to design clothes and called his collection "Therapy." The contestants had a model casting. Austin decided that he wanted to throw a skirt over a model. Mondo and Austin had to flip a coin to pick their models.

Mondo's inspirations came from acupuncture and shock therapy. He decided to try Rorschach ink blots, which again since this season was pretty much taping during last season of Project Runway, he didn't see that Viktor was also doing an ink blot inspired piece. Austin wanted to make sure that his collection was cohesive.

Isaac Mizrahi arrived and gave the contestants CDs for them to pick music from. Sadly there were only three tracks. Couldn't they at least have four? Is the world of music copyright that hard to deal with? Isaac decided to talk about how a show was supposed to work: the newest thing was first and the grandest thing was last. Isaac talked about how there's always one look that only he trusted.

The three contestants started to pick music, and Michael and Mondo picked music without Austin but I think it turned out for the better as the last track left had rock music.

Another morning hit and clothes were finally being produced, with eight hours to go. Angela showed up and arrived with a twist: they needed to make one more look. The contestants’ actual models from the season (including ANTM alum Leslie) arrived with baskets of all the old fabric from previous challenges. They have to use scraps to match the overall theme of the collection. Michael was worried because he didn't have anything safari.

Angela allowed previous contestants to come and help the designers. Mondo generally felt uncomfortable, but each picked one contestant.

Mondo - Mila
Austin - Anthony
Michael - April

The helpers had 24 hours of designs. April was worried because the two had different aesthetics. Anthony was laughing hysterically watching the Austin explain the collection. Mondo and Mila talked about fabric from Nanette Lepore, which I find a bit unfair generally that all of the contestants technically got to pull fabric from Nanette Lepore's personal collection a second time.

The eighteen models arrived for fittings and Austin decided to make a leather tuxedo jumper from the street look challenge. Michael's fabric came from the flag challenge and leather from Miss Piggy. Mondo used the black fabric from the Jamaican flag and the zigzag from Nanette Lepore, vinyl from the lighting challenge, and silk from the opera challenge. Anthony was being truthful and called one of the lace tops "Dead white lady."

There were only six hours left and Mondo continued to become scattered as time went on. We flash forward to an hour left and Mondo was stressed out. Austin needed to make sure his last piece was a true finale piece.

With one day until the runway, the assistants still got to help but only for two hours. While the contestants were grateful, the stress was high. Joanna arrived and had to dismiss the assistants.

Joanna talked to each contestant for some evaluations. Starting with Austin, she liked the concept of a wedding dress, but was more intrigued by the petticoat. Austin was convinced that his looks were never seen before. With Mondo, he explained the therapy theme. Joanna liked the humor in Mondo's collection. Joanna understood Michael's aesthetic, keeping both safari and resort wear. Joanna thought it was commercial.

The contestants then had their hair and makeup consultations. Michael was intimidated by Austin's collection because they look really finished. Mondo called a lot of the collection a bit too far. With time up the contestants went back home and all distressed. We were given a montage of the contestants’ previous successes and we ended with a big toast.

Next Week: It's finally the last challenge. While Mondo will probably win, both Michael and Austin are fighting hard.

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