Project Runway All-Stars: The United Nations Challenge

This week on PRAS: Kara's departure has the designers chattering about who does and does not "deserve" to be an All-Star, and the design gang visits the United Nations where they are assigned a challenge based on and inspired by international flags. Anyone else want to see the challenge where the designers were tasked with inspiring peace solutions by creating ensembles that join two or more flags of enemy countries to create one, harmonious look? Until then, the designers are simply asked to take their inspiration from one of six flags: Chile, Greece, India, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and the Seychelles. They are granted a $200 budget and some time to sketch at the UN, and this week's guest judge is designer Catherine Malandrino.

The designers do their little pick-and-choose thing and end up with the following inspirations: Mondo/Jamaica, Michael Costello/Greece ("Because I'm Greek!"); Mila/Papua New Guinea; Jerell/India; Austin/Seychelles; Kenley/Chile. After reviewing their country's dossier, Mila muses: "The indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea are extremely tribal-looking. I didn't want to bring too much of that into my look; I'm just going for a touch of it, so that it feels really runway and so there is a little nod to it."

Don't you just love a tribal-looking people who can translate to runway? SO awesome when that happens.

On Day Two Joanna Coles charges into the workroom wearing a pair of bold yellow pants and a smile on her face. Her frustration is hilarious this week as she takes issue with Mondo's design, which doesn't allow a woman to wear a bra, and Jerell's design, which she says looks like a national costume. Ouch. More "indigenous" than "runway," Jerell -- you overshot.

Joanna compliments Michael's Greece-inspired look, which is a flowing, white, draped column dress. Wow, creative. Joanna loves the look, but laments designers who forget about bras. "We want to wear underwear with our clothes!" Mila thinks Michael's dress is looking a little "pageant-y," but she's making a half-LBD, half-floor-length red gown, so Michael's probably going to be okay as long as he skips accessorizing with tiaras or grape leaves. Joanna doesn't seem overly concerned that Mila's dress is really two half-dresses, but she is happy Mila's dress allows a woman to wear real underwear. Respect the bras, designers -- so says Joanna Coles. You can wear a dress that is short on one side and long on another as long as you can wear a bra with it!

Finally some of the claws come out when the designers talk about the other looks in the workroom. Austin calls Jerell's India costume design vulgar and tasteless, Mondo mocks Michael's (his best friend!) Greek dress and everyone hates Austin's chiffon disaster.

Top Three

Mondo: His gorgeous black, backless dress references Jamaica with a yellow and green chevron panel that goes down the middle of the model's back. It's a dramatic dress which all the judges love, although Isaac Mizrahi says he hates the chevron panel.

Kenley: All of the judges love the youthful feel of this dress -- I guess if you say "fresh and youthful" long enough, it can happen. Catherine calls Kenley's use of ruffles restrained, and Angela says Kenley won her over. Isaac Mizrahi interrupts, calls Kenley "darling," and then asks her to try next week not to make the same dress she keeps making. Kenley is flustered -- score one, Isaac!

Michael: The word "pageant" comes up right away, although the judges have no real quibbles with design or execution.

Bottom Three

Jerell: The judges actually love a lot of elements of this dress, but feel Jerell included too many ideas. Had he edited he could have executed a few ideas exceptionally well and not ended up with such a costume-y design.

Austin: Bad colors and tortured chiffon are the story on Austin's Seychelles dress. Angela points out, "It's not the worst dress I've seen on Project Runway All-Stars," and everyone -- including Austin -- nods appreciatively.

Mila: Mizrahi says the dress looks more Communist Russia than Papua New Guinea -- channel your inner Michael Kors, Isaac! He continues, "It's almost disturbing to look at, and I think that was your intention, so, in that way I think you've really succeeded." The look on Mila's face is priceless, and clearly communicates that "disturbing to look at" was not her intention. Look:

Winner: Mondo, who just knows how to make clothes, dammit!

Out: Mila, for being too stupid to know that two half-dresses is a terrible, terrible idea.

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Christina Uticone