Project Runway All-Stars: Naked Strangers in the Park

Michael is the life of the party, right?
Michael is the life of the party, right?
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This week on Project Runway All-Stars: The designers attack strangers and ask for their clothes in the middle of NYC, Anthony entertains, Mila hates real people and outside.

As the episode opens, the designers head out into "nature" (Central Park) and meet Angela to receive their next assignment. This week is all about "designers and their muse," and they must find someone in the park to inspire their look. Mila is concerned that there won't be much to choose from amongst the unwashed masses in a casual park setting. Apparently Mila never heard of a little show called Sex and the City! There must be a Carrie Bradshaw somewhere in Central Park, right? But wait! Angela says there is an "All-Stars twist"! What could it be? The designers must persuade this unsuspecting muse to give the designer the clothes off their back. Anthony notes that he's "taken daggers" for his outlandish personality but thinks it will work to his advantage in this challenge. Question: Are there people who don't like Anthony?

The designers have a $150 budget which they can use to bribe their victims into giving up their clothes; any leftover money can be used to purchase fabric at Mood. At least half of the finished look must come from the muse's clothing. The designers have two days to finish their look. This week's guest judge is New York Rangers hockey player-turned Vogue intern and "GQ trend-setter" Sean Avery.

Anthony is getting a lot of play in this episode and he works his bubbly personality to full advantage. In a snooze-filled season, Anthony brings a lot of life and energy to the show; I wish they would show more of him. Neither Kenley nor Michael enjoy this challenge much, but they act really uncomfortable when they approach a potential muse, so naturally they don't have much success. Eventually everyone finds a muse and takes (or buys) their clothes, but before leaving the park Anthony goes in for a bonus: a pair of hideous denim shorts that just happen to be worn by a super-sexy shirtless guy (SSSG). SSSG hands over the shorts and then stands there in his briefs while the PRAS cameras linger on What God Gave Him. Anthony has a good eye, and not just for fashion.

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After a little financial wrangling at Mood -- several designers come up a few dollars short -- the designers return to the workroom and start pulling apart their clothing. Mondo and Austin love this challenge; Mondo learned to sew by pulling clothes apart, and Austin is truly inspired by his punk rock/artist muse. Michael, who is usually very fast, struggles with a lack of inspiration.

On Day Two, Anthony starts having a freakout and kicks off a reworking frenzy while Jerell begins working on a "not slutty" bandeau top because he wants to show off his ability to construct separates. Bandeau tops are only not slutty when they are swimsuits, so...we'll see.

Enter mentor Joanna Coles! She says that Central Park is her favorite place to find inspiration. So, take that, Mila -- sharp-dressed people and schlubby, sweaty regular people hang out outside. Joanna tells Mondo that a street wear challenge is in his wheelhouse, and points out he doesn't have a win under his belt yet -- ouch. Moving on, Joanna plays peek-a-boo with Jerell, so I officially love her now; Joanna Coles has a whimsical side, you guys! Anthony is in the weeds, at one point asking the clothes on the dress form, "Why aren't you as chic as you were in my head?" Michael is making some sort of crocheted cotton cape on a satin baby doll. Hot mess in the workroom!


Day of Runway Show

On runway day the designers are extra-hilarious in their panic to finish sewing and styling. The two best lines of the show -- hell, the season:

• Anthony: "Kenley is loud! If a black person says you are too loud? You are too loud!" (How about Project Runway: Just Anthony All the Time? I'd watch that all day long.) • Michael, giving styling directions: "Very Sarah Jessica Parker 1999-meets-2002...but futuristic! [Stylist nods in solemn agreement.]

Top Three

Rami: All of the judges like the look, and compliment his vision; they can see who the woman is who would wear the outfit. His shorts impress Isaac, who points out how difficult constructing a pair of women's shorts really is.

Mondo: Angela says she would die for the outfit, and Mondo's intricate jacket. Isaac likes the "in-control girl" who would wear these clothes.

Back to screen grabs next week.
Back to screen grabs next week.

Austin: There are a few quibbles about editing -- always a problem for embellishment-happy Austin -- but the edgy look he created is a hit with the judges.

Bottom Three

Michael: His short-shorts don't impress. Angela thought it was a swimsuit, while Isaac hates the saggy, strapless top.

Project Runway All-Stars: Naked Strangers in the Park

Jerell: Isaac calls it a Lion King costume. Sean Avery calls it Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani at Burning Man on acid. A few judges like individual pieces, but the overall look is deemed too busy and definitively unsexy.

Anthony: Everyone loves the look; Sean Avery says he would double back to check that woman out. The judges don't think he used 50 percent of his off-their-back fabrics, which is why he is in the bottom.

Project Runway All-Stars: Naked Strangers in the Park

Winner: Mondo

Project Runway All-Stars: Naked Strangers in the Park

Out: Anthony, who tells Michael to stop crying because he (Anthony) is smiling and has cute shoes! This show just got 60 percent less entertaining, which is not a percentage they could afford to lose.

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