Attention ‘All Stars’: London is calling you! This week, the designers were given tickets and were sent across the pond to draw inspiration for the outerwear challenge. Not only was there a change of location, but once they landed they were in for big surprises!
This week host Alyssa Milano gave the designers a clip of the upcoming Paddington movie. The movie was inspired by the beloved children’s book about a bear who travels around London, England. Much to the designers surprise, they were told that they would be arriving at Paddington station in London, where a special guest would be giving them details of the challenge — how cool is that?
‘Project Runway All Stars’ Recap: The Outerwear Challenge — Season 4, Episode 5
When the designers arrived at Paddington Station in London they were greeted by Zanna Roberts Rossi and another special guest — Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, aka Fergie! [Insert jaw drops from designers here]. That’s right, the designers were in the presence of royalty…and all of them were speechless. The Duchess gave the designers their challenge of designing a winter coat. The designers were given the day in London to draw inspiration for their design and 200 pounds, (or $324), to create their designs. Now, like all challenges, they need to give the designers something to work for other than bragging rights. What about dressing royalty? That’s right, the winner of this challenge would have their designs worn by The Duchess herself! Now that is the start of a strong client list!
The designers automatically felt threatened by Benjamin, because he lived in London for 10 years and they all believed that he was their biggest competition. The designers toured London on a double decker bus, (like all good tourists do!), and took in the skyline, architecture and atmosphere of the city. When the designers reached the fabric store they had 30 minutes to get whatever they needed. With the clock ticking Sonjia and Benjamin seemed to get into a tiff over a certain fabric. Long story short, Sonjia took the fabric leaving Ben to rethink his entire design!
Before they flew back to New York, Zanna and The Duchess hosted afternoon high tea for the designers in a penthouse suite. Not many people can say that The Duchess of York poured them a cup of tea.
Pulling It All Together In The Workroom:
Once arriving back to New York, the designers immediately got to work as time started to tick on their one day challenge. Dmitry ran into a problem when he unpacked his fabric to find that the neoprene did not travel well and wrinkled up. The problem with the fabric is that it can not be steamed, so Dmitry started to spiral into a creative mess.
Zanna arrived to give the designers a little critique, and not all of them were happy with what she had to say. She told Samantha that the fabric of her oversized motor jacket may get a little lost and that she really needs to pay attention to detail and exaggerate it a little more. Zanna told Dmitry that she doesn’t understand his modern design and gave him a few tips, but Dmitry didn’t like what Zanna had to say so he proceeded with what he thought was right. Benjamin blamed jetlag for his poor design but Zanna wasn’t buying it. She told him to get rid of what looked like a trash bag on the top of the coat and not make the dress look so “cartoony.” Looks like the London boy wasn’t the designers biggest competition, after all!
Before Zanna left she told the designers that she saw some really good work and some really bad work from them. She said that she is not seeing ‘All Star’ quality (yet)! Well, that can’t be good.
Strong Work On The Runway:
The designers took Zanna’s negative critiques and amped up their creations before the runway. This week’s guest judges included Emmy-winner Debra Messing and model/singer Karen Elson. As always, there were three designers that were on the top and three that were on the chopping block. Justin, Dmitry and Fabio were in the top three while Samantha, Jay and Benjamin were on the verge of being sent home.
In the end, Fabio won for his classic and modern coat that all four judges praised him on for being extremely new and fashion-forward! Benjamin was sent home for, what the judges called, a ‘drab’ coat! Turns out the guy who lived in London could not bring London into his design — oh the irony.
As a side note for this episode, why did Jay look like he was late to the frat party in his neon green cut-off shirt? I mean you are presenting your designs on the runway, at least wear a button-up shirt! Now THAT was something the judges should have critiqued.
What do you think? Did the right designer go home?
— Lauren Carr