PR All Stars: Runners-Up

Posted on January 13, 2012

 

Oh, did Lorenzo seethe when Michael’s dress got praised by the judges.

When “Kim Kardashian at the Opera” and “It’s just enough Vegas” got thrown out as compliments by Isaac, he’d had enough. “I DON’T THINK,” he thundered at Tom and 3 startled cats, “most people looking for an opera gown are throwing around the words ‘VEGAS’ and ‘KARDASHIAN!!!!!!”

Later, when Badgley and Mischka said they hadn’t seen anything like it in a long time, he could only work up a feeble, “Maybe they need to start attending some fashion shows” mutter.

Credit where it’s due: it’s a dramatic, unique gown. You can’t say it’s un- or under-designed and you can’t say it’s just standard.

The most interesting part was the treatment at the neck of course. Dramatic, but we didn’t love it as much as the judges because it really swallows her neck and takes the focus away from her face.

 

And we thought the back of it was tacky.

 

The dress is dramatic, and would work very well on a red carpet, on the right kind of gal, even if portions of it aren’t to our taste. What set Lorenzo off (if it wasn’t obvious) – and Tom agrees – is that this is not what one thinks of when one thinks of an opera gown. It’s just not. It’s loud, sexy, and attention-seeking and that’s just not the brief. Otherwise, why call it an opera gown at all if you’re going to use such a broad definition that it could encompass something like this, which has more than a whiff of showgirl about it?

To be clear: there’s a lot about the dress we like, but it’s silly for a bunch of people in the fashion industry to praise this as an opera gown.

 

Oh, APRIL.

HONEY.

 

 

We can’t even.

 

Words have failed us.

We think it was time for Sweet Pea to go, but April can count herself among the luckiest of the bottom 3 survivors ever seen on this show. This was truly disastrous and seems to have come out of a need on her part to go against the judges’ expectations. Frankly, we have no idea why so many of the designers seem hung up on what a bunch of other judges said about their work. Not that there weren’t good critiques made at the time, but they’re facing an entirely new set of judges. Let go of the past, All-Stars. It’s going to trip you up if you don’t.

 

There’s little else to be said about the dress. The dyeing was a terrible idea, the choice of fabrics was bad, and it was an over-worked mess. Ironically, these are similar to a lot of the criticisms she’s gotten in the past. The complaints weren’t just that your clothes were black, April. They were about your need to edit and focus, more than anything.

 

 

[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • http://nerdgirlms.wordpress.com/ Nerd Girl

      ” Frankly, we have no idea why so many of the designers seem hung up on
      what a bunch of other judges said about their work. Not that there
      weren’t good critiques made at the time, but they’re facing an entirely
      new set of judges. Let go of the past, All-Stars. It’s going to trip you
      up if you don’t.”

      I said the same thing last night!  Clean slate – they’d better use that to their advantage.

      That red dress was horrid.  I loved the black dress but agree that it is not an opera dress.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Michael lives in Palm Springs and I’d bet he has never been to opening night at a New York opera. I don’t know why I’m defending him except that his references are probably limited. To him, an opening is the Palm Springs Film Festival and we saw what people wear to that. Perhaps he needs to expand his frame of reference.

        • Tanya Arand

          I was thinking the same thing last night.  The West Coast based designers seemed to have a different take on what makes an opera gown than the NY based designers. 

          • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

            Design does seem to be regional. Compare the dresses on Say Yes to the Dress from New York and Atlanta. Completely different taste in each city. Throw in Renee Strauss on Brides of Beverly Hills whose bridal is much more Michael’s aesthetic. 

          • leilah

            I agree, in general, except that I think that San Francisco opera gowns and NYC opera gowns maintain a very similar standard — incl. young vs. not-so-young….

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580241410 Iyad Hilal

          But…but Michael loves the opera, he listens to Pavarotti and Bocelli and those other fat guys.

        • Lisa

          That’s true – never thought of it that way before, but it makes sense.

        • Anonymous

          Michael has a West Coast aesthetic.  Much more showy and flashy that then East Coast, even for opera events. 

          • Anonymous

            Michael Costello has a gypsy aesthetic…which he has reigned in fairly well, I think.  Did you *see* My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding?  It was AWESOME.  I love Michael Costello. 

        • Anonymous

          Aesthetic and references aside, these designers also needed to be thinking about what it would be like to navigate a crowded lobby with a train, sit in an auditorium seat in an open-backed dress (with crystals across the back!), sit for hours in satin and then go to dinner … you get where I’m going with this.  It was such a specific challenge, that it seems like function would matter.

        • Anonymous

          Didn’t he say “I grewed up liddening to da Oprah! Loochy-ano and Boodalina.”, so funny. I said to the TV “Did ya, now?” 

        • Anonymous

          Austin was right when he said that he was going more for celebrity than socialite. I don’t think that Michael or Anthony realized that there was a difference. To them a socialite is a Kardashian or a Hilton, not a Hearst or an Aston.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Morris/1076502799 Jane Morris

      I thought the idea for April’s dress was pretty good. If it had actually been sew well and not dyed (the guy who said it looked like she stopped to put oil in the car and stood in a puddle that the dress wicked up…the wicked up part being a gesture he used…was dead on), it’s a pretty interesting dress, unlike that old swimsuit/sheet set from the 70’s that Peach floated.

      • Anonymous

        PEACH? Gurrrrrl – you having flash-backs?!

      • Anonymous

        Her model looked like she’d just walked away from a car wreck… or the set of Carrie.

    • Anonymous

      The neck treatment was nice, but after all the Black Swan references and McQueen rip-offs I’ve seen in the past year, this didn’t feel fresh.  Also totes agreed that the back is really tacky.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRB4WLBH3SHWTIN3GOND3ES76Q Kim (azshadowwalker)

        You know what’s tacky?  “Totes.”  Is the word really that hard to spell out?  What’s with the need for cutesy language?

        The other thing that was tacky was Austin’s freaking gold lamé.  Nothing screams tacky Hollywood or Vegas more than gold lamé.  He only outdid the tackiness of his fabric by the tackiness of his acceptance speech.  Jesus H., but the pretense of that creep is off-putting.

        As for the judges, the Kim Kardashian statement was just stupid.  In general, the judges are very good.  That was a stupid, throwaway line that wasn’t relevant to Michael’s dress at all.  It reminded me more of something that Kors would say, except Kors would say it thinking he was making a wonderfully witty “cultural” remark.

        • Anonymous

          Wow, drink some coffee and relax. It will be ok. 

          • Anonymous

            psssst – change that to a warm milk…

    • http://twitter.com/SophiaPehawkins C. Bazurto

      Michael Costello’s was very tacky, although well made. As soon as they said Kim Kardashian at the Opera (as a compliment!), I didn’t think he’d win. Mondo should have been in the top 2 with Austin.

      • Anonymous

        Mondo’s was even less suited for the opera than Michael’s.  Mondo made a dress in which you can’t sit for 3.5 hours and whose train would be destroyed in any sort of opera crowd.  It was a red-carpet dress.

        • Anonymous

          You’re not wrong, but it matched the effect I was expecting from the assignment of “Opera Gown, but Couture”. It was almost like a futuristic opera dress, like something they would wear in the “Opera” Scene from the third Star Wars Prequel. It was a little Jetsons, but I liked it.

          • Anonymous

            I get liking it, but Mondo’s didn’t fit the brief–wasn’t a gown and would never be worn to the opera for practical reasons.  So, the middle’s where it belonged.  It was more costume than gown–and that’s Mondo’s weakness–like Chris March, his background is costume design.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

          Yeah, but Mondo’s still looked “high society”, while Michael’s looked “Kardashian” (translation: TACKY). 

        • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

          Yeah, but Mondo’s still looked “high society”, while Michael’s looked “Kardashian” (translation: TACKY). 

          • Anonymous

            I think the neck on Michael’s was a problem–it looked overdone.  But Mondo’s had major problems that made it middle-of-the-pack.  There are other gowns I would have ranked over Mondo’s–Gordana’s was beautiful and Mila’s was fitted beautifully–and neither of them had the problems Mondo’s had of being more costume/red-carpet than gown for the opera.

    • Anonymous

      Michael’s gown is totally Shanel from season 1 of drag race. That mess of feathers and glitter would fit right in with some drag juggling and magic tricks. 

      • Pinup Ghoul

        I read ‘drag juggling’ as ‘drag jiggling’ thinking back to Shannel’s fully-exposed boob plate in that one runway showdown. Still appropriate.

      • Anonymous

        Well, opera does have a strong gay following–maybe Michael was going for drag-queen ticket holders .

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

      Having had season tickets to the opera for many years (albeit the Dallas, not the Met), I whole-heartedly agree on the Michael dress being over the top.  I actually thought that Austin’s was a bit much, too.  I mean, I know one is having one’s photo taken in this imaginary world, but then you have to go on inside and sit for 3-plus hours, not to mention dinner beforehand, etc.  I’m interested in what you thought of Mondo’s and Mila’s myself.  Those I could actually see someone wearing to an opera.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

        Mondo’s had a big puff on the back. No one could sit in that dress.

        • Anonymous

          Also, it wasn’t a gown and they asked specifically for a *gown*.

        • Pinup Ghoul

          I have seen so many young women at the opera wearing gowns and dresses with gee-gaws stuck on the back like that. It’s eye-catching and interesting, but why do that to yourself? Especially if you’re seeing something Wagnerian. Just don’t do it! I made that mistake only once. I can see doing a large bow out of something like satin, because it could potentially lay flat enough that it wouldn’t interfere, but anything beyond that, just… ouch.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe it was a removable pillow, in case you get sleepy…….

            • BerlinerNYC

              I thought it looked like a lumbar pillow! :-)

            • Anonymous

              Now THERE’S a fashion statement, an opera gown with a built-in lumbar pillow. It’s practical AND shiny.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            I think they make the most sense at Wagner — if you’re willingly attending Wagner, you are clearly into self-flagellation:)  

            • Anonymous

              It’s the pleasure and pain thing.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you!  I feel like there’s such Mondo love that his fans think he’s above criticism.  Mondo hasn’t been the only “wronged” designer on this show.  Both Austen and Kara should have been in the finale and Kara would have clearly won with her collection.  

          • Anonymous

            I am a pretty rabid Mondo fan, but I have to agree that he didn’t earn a win in this challenge.

        • Anonymous

          But is “Couture” necessarily supposed to be wearable? 

      • Anne Flounders

        That’s 

      • Anonymous

        Mondo’s dress doesn’t sit well–narrow with the long train.  I agree about Mila’s.

        I assume this is all meant to be opening night and box seats.  I actually thought Anthony’s worked quite well minus the gloves and I liked Mila’s as well.

        • Anonymous

          I a strange way, I think I liked Anthony’s the best – I keep coming back to it.  So chic and yet different.  Looked like it was actually very wearable as well.

      • Anonymous

        I liked Mila’s better than Michael’s. I liked the idea of Mondo’s, but it wasn’t very realistic.

      • Anonymous

        Mondo’s dress wasn’t appropriate.  Walking through a crowded mezzanine, slipping off to the lady’s room, with that train?  No.  Maybe as a novelty wedding gown or a red carpet dress yes. 

    • Call me Bee

      I has such a sad for April.  Damn right you’re lucky, girl!  This was the biggest non-auf-ing mess since that paper dress with the crap all over it that Vincent made in S3!   THe idea of ombre dying the red seemd like a good idea, but there just wasn’t enough time.  Even if the hem weren’t dyed, the bodice and that hip thing are just awful.  April, dear, please step it up–I don’t want you to go home so early!
      You are so right about Michael’s dress.  I saw a person wearing a dress kinda like this to the Lyric Opera in Chicgo years ago.  It was a guy in drag. 
      Again–like you, gentleman, I really like this dress and the cool details, but it’s not right for the Met at all!!

      • Anonymous

        “This was the biggest non-auf-ing mess since that paper dress with the crap all over it that Vincent made in S3!”

        Ahhhh….  That reference to crazy old Vincent takes me back…  But not in a good way!    

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          You know, I’d kinda like to see another “All-Star” special with all the truly psycho people like Vincent back — not a full season, but a one-off.  I’d like to see who’s still working on fashion and who has been institutionalized, etc…

          • Anonymous

            I’d watch that for maybe 6 episodes.

          • Anonymous

            Project Runway: The Crazies Strike Back, hosted by Naomi Campbell. Any ideas for judges?

            • Anonymous

              Courtney Love, Miss Jay, and John Galliano of course.

      • http://twitter.com/rgmx Mercy

        Yes, I love April – stick around for a bit honey!

      • BuffaloBarbara

        This was the biggest non-auf-ing mess since that paper dress with the crap all over it that Vincent made in S3!

        What about Emilio in the the hardware store challenge,giving a new meaning to “string bikini”?

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, Emilio’s model saved his ass by showing hers on that one and then he dumped her a challenge or so later.

          Hmmm, maybe that’s why Emilio’s not around on All-Stars.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRB4WLBH3SHWTIN3GOND3ES76Q Kim (azshadowwalker)

            Emilio was a jack-ass for doing that to his model.  I’m glad he’s not back.

    • Anonymous

      I actually think the neck and shoulder detail on Michael’s dress frames and draws attention to the face nicely. I do think the dress was edging up to the tacky line without fully stepping over it. I like the dress, agree that the back is borderline tacky, and feel the celebrity red carpet element is what kept it from winning the challenge. Overall, though, an impressive entry from Michael.

      April’s was a hideous mess. I kind of see what she was going for, but good god that is some tortured fabric. That third picture of her modeling had me laughing out loud. She looks like she just freed herself from a marauding pack of wolves after an all-nighter and she is ready to CUT a bitch!

      • Anonymous

        Ha! Too true about April’s model. Also, I can’t take my eyes off the huge titscrepancy. It’s bizarre.

    • Anonymous

      I missed the beginning of the show, and when I came in the designers were talking about the challenge being “couture.” Was that in the instructions – that it be couture?  If so, I can see why some (like Michael) went as outré as possible, as opposed to impactful-but-tasteful.  I did really like the high neck on Michael’s gown.

      • Anonymous

        And in his defense, Michael said something like “calling this dress couture is an insult to couture.” Can’t remember the exact phrase he used but he made a hilarious simile.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4AZYKFDGYZTFQJML25GU4RJBUQ Anh-Thu

          Anthony made the statement that they were making “really really really pumped up prom dresses.”

      • Anonymous

        The high neck won me over as well. I don’t like feathers or anything sparkly, but I am always drawn to high neck collars. I blame my best friend in sixth grade. She teased me with the nickname “Giraffe”. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          How can you dislike feathers or sparkle?  They make the world so much more interesting:) 

          I love a high neck too — because if you’re one of the lucky few (like us:) who can pull them off, they almost always look fabulous and so hard to wear…

    • Anonymous

      Once more with feeling:  SO glad Austin won this challenge.  I want to like what Costello makes, I really do, but he loses me every time.  It is amazing that he was able to create this look in a day and it does look well made but there’s his trademark vulgarity written all over it.  It appears that he’s learned how to perfect his sewing techniques — I’d love to see him bone up in the taste department.  The embroidery, the feathers, the side boobage, the naked back, the tummy views — La Cage aux Folles!

      April should absolutely have been given her pink slip for this WTFness of a dress.  Atrocious.

    • http://heartprintandstyle.blogspot.com Vivi N

      April’s model was just horrible on the runway. I was cringing the whole time. Eek!

      I still think Michael’s dress is beautiful. I loved the cape solely because of the way it covered the whole neck. Anywho, I can also understand why some folks don’t think it’s opera appropriate. But hey, I would wear it to an opera! (Gotta lose a ton of weight first. lolol.) 

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        I don’t generally go to the opera.  I’d wear it grocery shopping… because imagine the hilarity that could ensue…

    • Anonymous

      I did not think that Michael’s dress was top three material. And I think that IM’s remarks were not meant to be complements. It is Kim Kardashian. It is Vegas. And the belted low “v” back has been done to death. What is up with the knot of fabric that disappears into the butt crack. At least it didn’t win.  I also think the straight of the  spool beaded trim ends a little abruptly at the armpits. Middle of the pack effort.

      April dodged a bullet. Although I could see Helena Bonham Carter wearing it.

      • Anonymous

        That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it – if it had been sewn properly, it would be perfect for HBC.

        • Anonymous

          Well, April did say Corpse Bride–and that’s the animated puppet version of HBC.  I liked April’s idea well enough, but what a mess–terrible dye job.  I’d rather she’d done some sort of sheer black overlay.

    • Joyce VG

      Yikes…April…OMG

    • http://twitter.com/jennawaterford Jennifer Ford

      I was so glad Michael didn’t win. He does not need any more encouragement for his big head. Ugh. And I was so glad April managed to stay. Love Sweet-P but she needed to go. That dress was FUGly and wrong.

    • Anonymous

      While I appreciate April’s idea to go counter to the expected ideas of pretty and glamorous, she ended up with a case of the mean reds. Between the dress, the tragic styling (that lipstick!!, that hair!!), and the way the model’s holding up the skirt, ir really does look like the poor thing is leaving the scene of a distaster.

      • Anonymous

        April was designing for the Cinderella who missed her pumpkin coach.

    • Anna Maria Diamanti

      I love you guys, but I totally disagree about Michael’s dress. I think it’s a (very rare) example of a dress showing skin but not crossing the line into tacky/vulgar. I think it works because the front is so modest AND the front still manages to be more attention-grabbing than the back. I don’t think it’s a standard opera dress by far, but I do think it pushes the boundaries of one in a good way.

      I do wholeheartedly agree though that “Kardashian” and “Vegas” are not compliments. In any context. Ever.

      April’s dress was so bad she should have apologized to Michael for using red.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1043171034 Tadiana Walton Jones

        And Michael should then thank April for motivating him to switch from red to black.  Can you even imagine his dress in red?   My imagination fails. 

        Also:  topknots.  Can I just say how much I hate them?  They are by definition ugly.

    • Emily Myers

      I liked Michael’s dress, but not for the opera.  The neckline was dramatic, but only a woman with a long neck could pull it off.  And is it just me, or is his model Leslie from America’s Next Top Model?  Season 6 I believe?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1414091387 Florrie Brafman

      This is where we miss Nina.  Who can we count on to question Michael’s “taste level”?

      • Anonymous

        OMG!!  You just made me realize there will be no Nina Caps for this All-Star season!  Boohoo!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      April looked like she was going to cry any. second. through the whole thing. 
      Isaac really needs to start wearing socks and stop that thoughtful squinting. KK at the opera – spare me. 
      Glad Austin won. 

      • Anonymous

        The thing that’s bugging me about Isaac is his colorful t-shirt under a shirts w/ one too many buttons unbuttoned.  He looks like a slob.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

          Definitely. If I didn’t know who he was I’d think he just stepped out of a bar to go pee in the alley.

        • Anonymous

          I have to say, though, that IM as a judge works much better than IM as a mentor.  It’s a more limited time span and he does understand clothes–in fact, that was one seriously expert set of judges when it came to evening wear, excepting faux-Heidi.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P5HNP4MUD3ZNKTM5F2WQDDLZ4U BarbaraW

      I’m glad Michael’s didn’t win – way too much Vegas/drag getup for the opera. Plus that belt looked like it would make it uncomfortable to sit through a 3-hour performance. 

      April is definitely lucky that it was Sweet Pea’s turn to go. With the off-kilter “asymmetrical” way the neck is, I thought it looked like she had been attacked by zombies on the way to the theater. They obviously tore the one side off her dress and dragged her through the mud before she escaped. Her messy hair is also contributing to the “attacked on the way there” effect. She could be a character in movie. The whole effect is costumey, and not in a good way.

    • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

      I was seething too! I really don’t like Michael, so I’m probably a little biased against him, but when I saw he was in the top three all I could think was “oh shit, here we go again.” I liked Gordana’s dress much more than Michael’s but maybe that will change when I see the stills of it.

      Poor April, that dress is awful.

      • Anonymous

        I liked Gordana’s better than both Anthony’s and Michael’s. And I thought Kara’s was not nearly that bad, and more likely to actually be worn at the opera.

    • https://profiles.google.com/104791269167429064986 Judy S

      When April’s dress came out, I thought, Tosca! Tosca just before she jumps into the river! Unfortunately the more I look at it the more I see it as Tosca just after some local fished her out. There is a photo on the website that shows the dress with two shoulders, and a lot of the horror of the bodice may come from the decision to amputate a sleeve. But it is horrible.
      I could see Michael’s dress, but as the previous poster noted, only on someone young, slim, and VERY long in the neck. 

      • foodycat

        I was thinking Carmen! Not a dress to wear to the opera, but a costume for opera.

      • foodycat

        I was thinking Carmen! Not a dress to wear to the opera, but a costume for opera.

    • Anonymous

      I liked Michael’s but I agree that it’s not exactly appropriate for the Opera.  I liked his choice of materials,though.  If he had may used the feathers and embellishment in a different way, perhaps in a capelet it would have given it a retro look and it might have been more venue appropriate (but then it would also be a different dress, wouldn’t it?) 

      And I was never an April fan and thought she was an odd choice for an “All Star”. This is why.

    • http://twitter.com/wonderdivaEtsy wonderdivaEtsy

      What slayed me last night was the way the model wearing April’s gown barely broke stride before she vanished around the backdrop.  She also had a very “get me the eff out of here so I can take this thing OFF” look on her face.   It made me laugh, although the bitch could have tried to work it a bit, she is a model after all…

      And Michael’s gown kept making me think of Chris March in his crazy “Black Swan” getup.  I would also hate to sit behind someone with that giant ball of hair on top of her head.

    • http://twitter.com/wonderdivaEtsy wonderdivaEtsy

      What slayed me last night was the way the model wearing April’s gown barely broke stride before she vanished around the backdrop.  She also had a very “get me the eff out of here so I can take this thing OFF” look on her face.   It made me laugh, although the bitch could have tried to work it a bit, she is a model after all…

      And Michael’s gown kept making me think of Chris March in his crazy “Black Swan” getup.  I would also hate to sit behind someone with that giant ball of hair on top of her head.

      • Anonymous

         April definitely needs to change models when they get a chance. Her model is not on  Team April, in fact it looks like she wants to  kill  April for putting her in that dress and hair style.  It didn’t look to me like she liked the mop dress either.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

        I noticed the same thing! Gee who put a gun to her head to take this job? She’s a model, not one of the freakin’ judges! April  needs another model ASAP! The last picture says it all. They both look miserable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

        If you’re wearing a Couture Gown at the opera you sit in a box

        • Anonymous

          Not necessarily.  You wear couture gowns to opening night, and there aren’t enough box seats for everyone to sit in one!

    • Jordan Brodley

      I just assumed April was making a dress for an Opera character. Would be great on a Medea or a Carmen.

      • Pinup Ghoul

        Lucia during Il Dolce Suono! Except Arturo had been filled with Mortal Kombat-amounts of blood.

        • Anonymous

          Okay, that’s the first time I’ve ever even thought about a Donizetti/Moral Kombat crossover. How do I get it out of my head now that it’s in there?

          • Pinup Ghoul

            Just one answer: it must be done.

    • Jordan Brodley

      I just assumed April was making a dress for an Opera character. Would be great on a Medea or a Carmen.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Lo for having some “taste and sensibility” . I thought Michael’s dress was a tacky choice for the opera. You don’t go to the opera to “get attention” as he stated. You go to the Tropicana stage for that. As far as April’s dress, the model looked like she just used the same escape route Tim Robbins used in the movie “Shawshank Redemption” to get to the catwalk.

      • Anonymous

        To be fair to Michael, some people do go to the opera to get attention–opening night at the Met say.  Once upon a time I ended up as a student at the opera in Vienna on New Year’s Eve (terribly underdressed, most of my luggage was missing) and in Vienna there’s actually a side room where people promenade in a circle at intermission.  Fortunately, I don’t speak German, so I just noted the sneers in my direction . . .but it was definitely see and be seen.

        That said, Michael’s is okay, but too drag-queen for me.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Lo for having some “taste and sensibility” . I thought Michael’s dress was a tacky choice for the opera. You don’t go to the opera to “get attention” as he stated. You go to the Tropicana stage for that. As far as April’s dress, the model looked like she just used the same escape route Tim Robbins used in the movie “Shawshank Redemption” to get to the catwalk.

    • Anonymous

      I liked Michael’s dress, the fit was excellent and it had a dramatic quality to it that made me go ‘ooh!’ when his model stepped out on the runway. But I can see that Austin’s was more suitable for the opera. As an aside, I just judge the clothes, I don’t care whether I like the personality of the designer or not, I’m not trying to be their best friend, I just might want to buy a product they design.
      April’s wasn’t her best, was it?  

    • Anonymous

      Wow. That bodice on April’s dress is hideously wonky. I dunno. Maybe it’s good for listening to some crazy Rhinemaidens.

      • Anonymous

        While the front bodice of April’s dress was wonky, the back was just totally WTF.  There was a huge lumpy block in the middle of it that stuck out awkwardly, and I haven’t seen a clear enough photo to figure out what it was even intended to be, let alone how much worse it looked close up than far away.  The whole dress really was a massive failure.  April’s just damned lucky that Sweet Pea was there, or she definitely would have been gone, and deservedly so!

    • Joan Roseman

      Oh, T.  Oh, Lo.  The real issue is, none of these gowns is an opera gown.  Simply because no one wears a gown to the opera anymore.  Perhaps for Opening Night, Ie., once a season,  but more likely that Opening Night would be at the Paris Opera, not the Met.  I attend the opera frequently, and what I see ranges from business casual through business festive to cocktail-dress-level at the top end.  Austin’s gown would be just as out of place as Michael’s, so outrage is not really called for.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

        EXACTLY. No one goes to the opera in gold lame and tulle either. Mondo’s had a big puff in the back– how would that woman sit for two hours in that dress? The problem is none of these designers has ever been to the opera. The pathetic sundress offerings of Kara and Sweet Pea would have been grotesque as well.

        • Anonymous

          I’m just not buying this argument.  I’ve been to the opera in a number of cities in which I’ve lived and visited, and the range of attire–as someone else (Lilithcat, I think) pointed out is vast. I have seen tuxedos and khakis-with-tee-shirt at the same performance–in the US, of course, not in Europe.  

          When Badgley and Mischka were presenting the challenge to the designers, they used words like “couture” and made it clear that this was a kind of fantasy challenge.  And if you’ve ever been to an opera gala, you know that most men wear black tie and most women break out the serious gownage and the safety deposit box jewels.  I don’t think the designers were encouraged to think about practical matters–like comfort–in any way, shape, or form.  So whether any of the designers had actually been to an opera performance didn’t seem to be a factor.

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        Oh, Joan. Seeing as how we’ve actually covered some Metropolitan Opera events here on this site, we’re pretty secure with the stated idea that attendees of Operas in cities other than Paris do still wear gowns to certain events. Do a search on this site using the term “Metropolitan Opera” to see some of them.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        Well, let’s be honest–this is about a fantasy of a night at the opera… a fantasy-land where people still have some sense of the formal.  Austin’s fits the fantasy better.

        • Pinup Ghoul

          I attended the Chicago Lyric’s gala in 2009, and the styles ranged from business casual to over the top glam. It was spectacular. There is no ‘true style’ for the opera anymore, it’s an invitation to dress like you would at your very, very best. For some, it means a light, girlish gown. For others, a vampy showstopper. Some men wear suits, some wear tuxes, and one gentleman wore a red and black kilt with a tuxedo jacket, sweater vest, beret, and matching red and black arguile socks. And he looked amazing.

      • Elizabeth Ocon

        I am a season subscriber to Chicago’s Opera, and I wear jeans and comfortable tops! I’m not the most casual person there even…I don’t see anyone really dress up…of course I go to the Sunday matinee where it would look ridiculous to come in evening wear, but I’ve been occasionally to evening shows and if someone has come in a gown I haven’t seen it.

        • Anonymous

          Elizabeth –

          I have the Friday night series at Lyric, and gowns are very rare, and never as fancy as these.  Interestingly, when I do see them they tend to be on women in their early ’20s who seem not to be regulars (you can always tell, can’t you?), but out on a special date.   Otherwise, cocktail attire is about as dressy as it gets.

          • Pinup Ghoul

            It’s true… a lot of the people sitting at the ground floor at the Lyric are older women in slacks and comfortable blouses, maybe with some jewelry. There isn’t a set style for the opera anymore. A lot of us are also students, so in the balconies, it’s mostly business casual with some cocktail thrown in!

      • Anonymous

        http://operafresh.blogspot.com/2011/09/fashion-at-opening-night-of.html

        Not hard to  find gold lame or even gold sequins. They were clearly (although the briefs never really are clear) looking for opening night type gowns.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dalca4 Denise Alcantara

      April’s dress kinda reminded me of Zulema’s Inspiration dress…ugh, just tragic.

    • Anonymous

      The funny thing was that April’s dress looked like it could have been REALLY good when it was on the dress-form.  In terms of the dying… in ALL of mood, was there not a fabric that had a blend of red into black? In the ENTIRE store? It looked like the dress fell into the mud before the model put it on….

      I didn’t mind Michael Costello’s dress, I thought it was definitely interesting and surprisingly well made, based on some of the issues he had in his season.

      P.S. I love that Michael & Mondo are, like, BFF’s now. It’s so sweet :)

    • Anonymous

      I honestly think that Michael’s ranked as high as it did because the judges didn’t quite succeed at their attempts to judge by the standards of the event.  They couldn’t get “red carpet dress” out of their heads.  When Michael said that he wanted a dress that everyone in the room would notice, that should’ve been a big red flag that his entry wasn’t a good choice for an opera dress, but I think they just couldn’t get away from the vision of his dress walking a red carpet.  Tacky or not (and I think it landed right on the line), he made a great red-carpet dress if you want to get press the next day.

    • Anonymous

      Oh my.  
      Michael’s – I loved the way the “collar” looked from behind and how it framed her shoulders.    If you don’t have a great neck or chin and want to highlight your face, this would do it.    I thought it was great. 
      BTW a LOT of people have not been to the Opera and as others have posted the attire can vary greatly.    Since Michael is not the only one who went more red carpet, it would not seem fair to single him out on that point.    (Just because someone says Kardashian, does not mean that the designer should suffer.)

      April.  Oh April.  The bottom was the better half of that “thing”.  Tragic. 

      Is Michael’s model Leslie from ANTM?
      And speaking of tragic. .. WTH was with that model??  The clodding, and dismal facial expressions??  And the HAIR?   Nothing good.

      I did kind of like April’s leggings, though

      • Anonymous

        I am pretty sure it’s Leslie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/djkomisar DeDe Jacobs Komisar

      April’s model totally looks like a hooker from Les Miz.

    • Anonymous

      Michael’s looks more “Kim Kardashian on Oprah” than “Kim Kardashian at the opera.” And the only way that vulgarian is going to discover culture is to fall into a vat of yogurt.

      And sadly, April’s may be one of the worst dresses to ever be shown on Project Runway. If she had done a beautiful ombre, perhaps with navy dye for a purple sheen and kept the tailoring clean and simple, she could have been a contender. This tie-died mess with an overworked bodice was the express lane to a schmauff.

      • Anonymous

        Keep bringin’ that funny, Stubenville!  Never, ever stop!

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I think it’s more that they thought they knew what they’d need to do for the judges and they’re holding onto those ideas no matter how wrong they are. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I really love Micheal’s dress because it’s just the right amount of drag queen for me… but not for the opera. 

      April’s is… tragic.  I cannot imagine how horrifying the accident that caused that must have been and I truly hope the wearer is seeking treatment for PTSD.

      • Anonymous

        Word. The queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race are probably ringing Michael’s phone off the wall today!

    • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

      April’s dress looks like she farmed the bodice construction out to me. That reminds me, I need to have the tension in my Singer zig-zag attachment looked at by a professional…

      Michael Costello. It was good, like a Night at the Opera if the opera took place at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. But, oh, I hate to praise him. Why does he grate on my nerves so? WHY?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

        Is it perhaps in part because he makes inappropriate sexual comments about his models?  And he doesn’t get a pass from me on that just because he makes sure when he says it that everyone knows he’s gay.  It’s still creepy.  I had completely put it out of my mind that he did that until I watched last week’s episode.

        • Anonymous

          I liked his comment – how fun would it be if a designer actually ended up “switching teams” because of how his dress fit his model.  Very Pygmalion!

    • http://korilian.livejournal.com/ korilian

      I rather liked the dye detail on Aprils dress, but nothing else. Michaels is absolutely stunning on first view, though he effed up by making the back too sexy. 

    • Anonymous

      http://www.marshu.com/articles/images-website/articles/project-runway/project-runway-season-1/jay-red-dress-final-show-project-runway.jpg

      Not implying anything, but I just find the [small] similarities between both of these gowns and Jay McCarroll’s funny.

      • Anonymous

        That’s so funny, because I had the same thought when I saw Rami’s gown with all the pointed triangles – total attempt at the Chrysler Building dress in hot pink charmuse.

    • Anonymous

      I was looking forward to April’s “corpse bride” entry, but EEEKS this was horrible.  How could some of these people come on All-Stars and not bring their A game? 

    • http://twitter.com/thelilerin erin l.

      I’ve almost always been a fan of April’s design aesthetic, so I liked the color and ombre-ing of the dress. Do agree that the top was unfortunate.

      I’ve almost always hated Michael’s designs. Hated it. Screamed Kim Kardashain… which is never a compliment.

    • MilaXX

      I liked both Michael and Anthony’s dress, but really didn’t see either of them as opera dresses. Both were nice, dresses but much more suited to the RC than the opera.

      April made a hot mess. Badgley and Mischka termed it appropriately when they said it looked like she got stuck in an oil slick. The hair and makeup were equally heinous.

    • Anonymous

      Hilarious. Lorenzo, don’t scare the poor kitties! It’s not their fault!

      Ok, April’s model looks insane. She ran through a swamp while escaping from the insane asylum.
      April is lucky that model didn’t kick her ass for doing that to her on national tv.

    • Anonymous

      why did they think the back of the michael’s dress was so special?  i swear i have seen it many times.  as i said before i was holding my breathe hoping he didnt win over austin cause i did NOT want to hear him going on & on about himself.   as for april, damnit girl you are so lucky that sweet pea just didnt get it.

    • Pennymac

      “Couture” was the word the judges threw out I think that justified Michael ‘s trip into the over the top impact that this dress had. I like it. It looks well made, that jersey is draped extremely well, and that feathered, sparkly shrug is very interesting. If the back had been a shade less, well, skanky, I think it would have been a winner.

      April, that bodice looks like your miserable model put her neck through an armhole by mistake. And she should never, ever, change her oil on the side of the road before heading to the opera.

      • Anonymous

        Bwahahaha (I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that last line ;))

    • Anonymous

      I think your comments about how April, and perhaps some of the other designers, are still operating as if they’re facing Heidi, the Braying Tangerine and Don’t-Bore-Nina are right on.  And thus making bad decisions for *this* competition.  Old habits die hard, I guess, and it’s a good explanation for why April went completely off the rails on this challenge.  There are really no words that adequately describe the pure horror of that dress.  She is very lucky.

      And her model should be kicked off the show for doing such a dreadful job in every way.  I don’t care if you’re given the Santino Fallback Outfit–a maxipad and two pasties–to wear; if you’re a model, you slap it on and make your face fierce and strut to beat the band.  This model was either drugged or suffering from a severe case of the flu–or she just didn’t care.  Whatever–she should be yanked.

      • http://twitter.com/MissAmynae Amy Putnam Ellinger

        April is one of my favorites, and yes, I think she took the previous critiques too much to heart. But, I’d be traumatized and self-doubting if I had been a part of that season, as well. So many horrible attitudes and inconsistent judging!  Giver her three days, and that dress could have killed it.

        The model should have been rocking it out, bringing the edgy attitude that April was going for.  I would not be surprised one bit if she’s gone after this week.  Can you imagine how she’d bring down the fun and playfulness of a Mondo or Kenley design? (and i don’t even like kenley!) 

    • Anonymous

      I loved Michael’s dress & initially thought he was robbed of the win, but after reading your insightful review, I think the judges made the right choice.  Austin’s was more “opera” and Michael’s was more “red carpet”.

      And April is lucky that Sweet P’s was exceptionally hideous because her dress was a red hot (heh), buttered mess.  Yuk :p

    • Anonymous

      Can you believe the stink face on April’s model? jeesh, sell it girl!

    • Anonymous

      April’s model looks like a crack whore on prom night. The hair, the dress, the muddy mess at the bottom looks like she was in a Broadway version of Carrie. Tragic. You don’t take this much of a risk when you have such a short amount of time to produce something spectacular and couture looking. April is so much better than this.
      Now, I do agree with you that Michael’s gown was not an opera gown, but it was striking and dramatic and well made. Saying Kardashian and Vegas was not a compliment, and yes, it was not the most original idea out there, but taken at face value, it was a gorgeous dress. You have to give him that.

      • Anonymous

        Okay… why must the model be a crack whore? I got more of an angry princess of the damned vibe (her mother the queen made her wear this dress as punishment for something).

    • marilyn

      Comments about Michael’s dress were spot-on.  I thought the only good thing about April’s dress was the dyed fabric.  It was dramatic, and interesting.  However, the rest was a mess.  The bodice was puckered and overdesigned.  The ruffle (romantic) and the L-shaped inset (geometric) had nothing to do with one another.  Neither had anything to do with the dyed skirt.  It was shiny satiny fabric.  Whew!!  The dress might have actually been more successful if she had picked one idea and stuck with it.  If the idea had been the dyed tiers of fabric on the skirt, then keeping the rest of the gown sleek and understated might have been smashing.  If she wasgoing for Gone-With-The-Wind shiny satin ruffles, then she needed to lose the dyed skirt and the geometric inset in the bodice.  The L shaped piece in the bodice went with nothing.  Too many ideas in just one dress.

      • Anonymous

        The dyeing would have worked for me, except that the execution was crap. She should have known that she wouldn’t be able to do an exquisite job of it in the limited time frame.

        • marilyn

           The tiers of color were too bold.  There were just 3 gradations of color.  The color change was not suble enough.

    • http://twitter.com/RobertSanchez36 Robert Sanchez

      Glad you guys are recapping the All Stars, because I just can’t watch the show itself anymore. That said, your critiques are so on point. “Opera gown” doesn’t mean “Kim Kardashian on red carpet,” and nor does it mean “Sylvia Plath dragged to party in middle of suicide attempt.”

    • http://phantomminuet.blogspot.com/ MinAgain

      I like Michael’s dress.  But then, I like pretty much every costume Bob Mackie ever designed for Cher, too.

    • Anonymous

      These are the runner’s up? I thought Anthony’s and Michael’s were the runner’s up?

      • Anonymous

        TLo review the next best and the next wort together until they get to the safe designers. Trust me, if April had been a top 3 contender, Gordana, Milan and Kenley would have snatched Isaac and Georgina out of their chairs and put them into a figure four leg lock.

    • Anonymous

      Michael is the second major reason I wasn’t going to watch this (#1=Anthony) because I am so over his dramatics. He excels in tacky so I’m sure he thinks Kim Kardashian is the epitome of class. He certainly styled the model to look as much like her as possible.

      April is damn lucky Sweet Pea was still in this round. What a hot mess.

    • Anonymous

       Any dress that shows as much skin in as many strategic places as  Michael’s did, would drop more than a few jaws down through the trap door in the pit. Point being, whatever other merits it might have, this is not an appropriate dress to wear to the opera.  On the other hand, I could easily see Mondo’s dress wafting up the grand staircase on the arm of some esteemed gent.  It might be uncomfortable as hell to sit through the complete Ring Cycle, but that could be said about a lot of gowns worn to the opera. 

      I’m really enjoying the All Stars.  And so glad they’ve upped the budgets, upgraded the accessories wall,  and cut the crap.

      • Anonymous

        I agree, this level of attention-seeking would not sit well with the old-money crowd at all. 

    • Anonymous

      I think April is so cool (go SCAD!) but thing she called a dress was just grotesque.

      As for Michael, once he shuts up with the whining, he can make a great gown… for the Golden Globes.

    • Judy_J

      April’s model looks depressed, and no wonder!  Who in the world could feel happy about wearing a gown that looks like it was hit with muddy water on the way to the event?  And the bodice…..I don’t even know what to say.  Reminds me of that scene from “I Love Lucy” where she and Ethel show up in the same gown and start ripping them apart.  Looks like April’s model lost a sleeve.

    • Anonymous

      I posted below in a response -but cripes just because some judge (or no offense, T) says Kim Kardashian – is no reason to slam the dress as a “Kardashian”

      Google images Backless dress awards ceremony:
      Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Diane Kruger, Christina Ricci (J Lo, Annalynn McCord(sp?))  some lower or more “tacky”. 

      I think that the disdain for Michael has influenced some of this (in the lounge there was far less of this) – and if this dress was sent out by Rami or Kara or Gordana, etc there would be less of this.

      IMO

      • Anonymous

        Google images Backless dress awards ceremony

        But that’s the problem. It’s not for an awards ceremony. It’s for the opera. I’ve been to the Met on opening night, and even though there’s a wide range of wardrobing there, that gown would stand out like a sore thumb.

        • Anonymous

           GT  I used Backless Dress Awards Ceremony … because I was trying to find celebs to use as examples – other than KK.

          I don’t imagine that if I had searched for Celebrities at the Opera, I’d have had the same quick hits.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277204672 Barbara Harris Morgan

        agreed

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1248212910 Jessie Melcher Brown

      I’ve listened to opera music, but I’ve never been to an opera.  If you tell me opera gown I am going to think Cher in Moonstruck.  I guess the designers didn’t know anymore than I did since they seemed to be all over the place,  Vegas showgirl, garden party, debutant ball (polka dots?) and red carpet.

      • Pinup Ghoul

        You should go! There’s nothing like live opera at all. It really is a magical experience. If you’re not a huge opera buff (and if you are), I highly recommend Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’. It’s a spectacular experience, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great introduction to live opera… the nature of it demands some really creative special effects, and I’ve seen it performed by three different companies, and it’s incredible every time!

        • Anonymous

          It’s my favorite opera–and the only one I have on CDs and actually listen to!

        • Anonymous

          I agree, “The Magic Flute” is the perfect “starter” opera. It doesn’t have any of those boring chit-chat parts that tend to bring other operas to dullsville at times — it’s fun, funny, and packed with splendid music all the way through! “Carmen” is another good one. 

          • Anonymous

            Speak for yourselves, guys.  As a teenager, I was once subjected on a school trip to a three-hour performance of “The Magic Flute” — done by PUPPETS.  To this day I cannot listen to so much as a single note of that opera without remembering that afternoon torture of the damned.  Three hours of puppets bouncing around to recorded music.  Yay, opera.  (As an aside, why do schools subject students to such things, knowing that they’d turn even the most diehard opera fans into opera-haters?  It took me YEARS to recover enough to enjoy ANY operatic music after that!)

          • Anonymous

            Agree “Carmen” is an excellent starter as so much of the music is familiar to many people…also think “La Boheme” is very accessible….

    • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

      Michael’s dress was cool but, as you pointed out, not quite for the opera.  Kardashian should never be taken as a compliment.  And April?  That dress was horrid.  She is fortunate that dear Sweet P was there to take the fall.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Lo, I stand beside you. MC’s dress was stunning, a show-stopper – but certainly not an opera gown. It was both fabulous and vulgar. Pefect for an attention-seeking starlet, not so much for a patron of the opera.

      April had a hot, buttered mess on her hands. Girlfriend needs to pull it together.  

    • Pinup Ghoul

      A young mezzo making her debut could wear this to the gala. It’s attention-seeking without being obnoxious.
      I would wear it, if I were roughly 10″ taller. And a mezzo instead of a lyric coloratura. Or attention-seeking without being obnoxious. I am INCREDIBLY obnoxious when I’m seeking attention.

    • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

      I do find it amusing that, back in their season, April was one of the Gretchen and Ivy-led ‘mean girls’ dissing Michael’s ‘construction issues’…

      If only he’d the cut the back to the jewelled belt and no lower, I think his dress would have been as appropriate as Austin’s.  The boy really does need to move out of Palm Springs. As for his personality, I think he genuinely feels unsure of himself because he’s pretty much self-taught and had to put up with a lot of criticism of his skills from the college-educated kids on his season.  The fact that Mondo likes and respects him so much speaks volumes to me.

      • Anonymous

        I completely agree, Paola Thomas.  The fact that Mondo thinks so highly of Michael tells me that most people truly misunderstand who he is; Mondo strikes me as a pretty good judge of character.  And no matter where he lives, Michael is fighting a huge uphill battle coming from a gypsy culture; having quite a bit of up-close experience with one branch of gypsies in the U.S., he’s truly come light-years in the direction of good taste from what would be considered beautiful in at least the group I’m familiar with.

        Plus I think he genuinely has a gift for draping fabric in a way that moves truly beautifully.  Rami may be known as a draper, but I’ve always felt his designs were overworked and aimed at mostly old ladies.  Michael’s gowns are for the young and beautiful.  And while they’re often very dramatic, they still flow on the runway like few other designers can pull off.  I think the kid has tons of talent; now he just needs refinement — and self-confidence.

    • Cathy S

      April’s model is the saddest looking woman I’ve ever seen. As if the whole time all she could think about was being anywhere else. Poor thing.

    • http://orangtunes.blogspot.com BIG MAC

      I loved Micheal’s dress. I think it was perfect for a opening opera, and I’ve seen women with his aesthetic at the opera. Like others have said there is a wide range of at opera. Everything goes. Also Kim Kardashian would also wear Austin’s dress, so Its a shame the idea of her wearing Micheal’s cheapens his dress.

      April’s was the worst on that runway, but Sweet Pea made two horrible dresses in a row. I think she would have had a third disaster next week anyway. And besides, April seems like she is going soon anyway. Looks like the judges are really knocking off the weakest links already. 

      • Anonymous

        The judges announced ‘appropriate for the opera,’ and I told the screen that doesn’t mean much any more.  Yes, some opera companies hold Black Tie evenings, but that’s a rarity.  I’ve seen people go in just a step up from jeans and a t-shirt.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          I’m sorry, but I think jeans and a t-shirt to the opera is right up there with jeans to church — unacceptable.  Call me old-fashioned but as much as I LOVE my denim, it shouldn’t go everywhere.

          I don’t think you need to wear a gown, or even a cocktail dress, depending on the event and location. But something a bit more polished than jeans.

        • Susan Crawford

          I go to the opera a lot, but never in a step up from jeans or a casual Friday look. Most of the women (other than the first-night patronesses) tend to wear a good dinner suit or a great cocktail dress. I have my favorite Tadashi Shoji black dress that I can doll up in a million ways depending on my mood and the opera. (I always wear my antique velvet and beaded shawl for “Carmen”, and an amazing antique scarab bib necklace for “Aida” – opera can be FUN!)

        • Anonymous

          I said ‘a step up;’ I would call what she wore dress jeans and a jacket.  I agree that tshirt and jeans is unacceptable, and I thought the person in question was too casual, but I’ve seen it.  When I rope my friends into going, they always ask what the dress code is, and my response is to wear something you’d wear to a concert or a play, or a nice dinner.  Then I go through the schpiel that people wear a whole range of clothes to the opera now.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            People make me sad….  there are so many WONDERFUL pieces in the world and so many people keep wearing the same jeans and t-shirt….

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karen-Stephens-Bassett/1503492602 Karen Stephens Bassett

      Another season of pouty April.  Did you notice Michael was the first one to hug her after the judging?  April’s dress was wrong on every level.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you…the expressions on April’s face makes me want to slap her.  Looking sorry for yourself doesn’t garner sympathy votes from the judges.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNMVM2GPVUEIOJXBOSLCXKAW4U judy brown

      Michael’s dress made my neck itch.

      I can’t believe that anyone classy enough to go to the opera wants both an itchy neck and a cold breeze down the back crack to distract from the music.

      Or to wear a dress that shouts “former-showgirl trophy wife”.

    • Anonymous

      “Tlo said: this is not what one thinks of when one thinks of an opera gown.”

      Yep. This is actually what the RHONJ Housewives would wear to the opera. If they were completely flat chested.

      –GothamTomato

    • http://twitter.com/diehimbeertonis Die Himbeertonis

      I really think April should`ve been schmaufed for that ugliness on two heels. This is beyond hideous. She was sayin to her mentor, that she war used to using the ombre-dying stuff, but this just looks awfully bad made. Plus the puckering of the seams and the whole styling of the thing – it just doesn`t work as long as her model isn`t the phantom`s bride hiding in the opera`s cellar. Yeah, Sweet P´s was bad, too, but this is one of the a) ugliest and b) worst made gowns ever sent down the runway. 

    • Anonymous

      Something tells me you’re going to get a turd mail from Michael for your critique! :)

      There was a whole lot of what-the-fuckery going on in the gowns last night. I actually think I would have picked April over Sweet Pea for the auf. Both bodices were horrible, and April’s skirt looked like it had been dipped in an oily pond. Yes, April got really, really lucky last night.

    • http://twitter.com/VicksieDo VicksieDo

      I would wear Michael’s dress once a week if I had a place to wear it, and I had a great body.  Guess I’m “showgirl” at heart~~!

    • Anonymous

      That poor model in April’s dress looks miserable,  like she just wants to crawl in a hole, curl up in a ball, and eat ice cream. 

      • Anonymous

        she looks like a wet puppy just standing there.  and the hair is not helping.  she could have tried harder to sell it, though. i wonder if the designers will have a chance to change models.  i don’t know why they’ve eliminated that part of the format.  it’s such an important element in the mix.  the model can make or break a look.

      • Anonymous

        she looks like a wet puppy just standing there.  and the hair is not helping.  she could have tried harder to sell it, though. i wonder if the designers will have a chance to change models.  i don’t know why they’ve eliminated that part of the format.  it’s such an important element in the mix.  the model can make or break a look.

    • Anonymous

      I liked Michael’s! I though it was pretty, in a very dramatic way, but do agree that it is a little much for the fictional opera….April’s was Terrible with a capital T, I am amazed she is still there….My boyfriend watched basketball and so I missed the show (somewhat bitter, but there must be compromises in a relationship) and as always, you guys keep me up to date and make it very entertaining, Thanks!

      • Anonymous

        PS..where’s Scotty F? I haven’t seen any posts from you in a while….I miss your witticisms and hope you are well….

      • Anonymous

        PS..where’s Scotty F? I haven’t seen any posts from you in a while….I miss your witticisms and hope you are well….

    • Pam Winters

      The problem with Michael’s dress, for me, wasn’t that it was terrible; it was good enough (although there were “vast middle” dresses that were more interesting, IMHO). It was that the proportions seemed off. I didn’t understand the love for the neckpiece; it seemed like it was smothering the model.

      I don’t think that April’s instincts were bad, but her judgment sure was. The skirt might have been improved with time and care. But WTF about that bodice? That was a mess. I still have high hopes for her, though.

    • Anonymous

      Still smiling at the “startled cats” visual.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, and as for April, her model looks like the victim of some sort of tragic prom-night accident, right down to the blood-soaked skirt.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kjarnsaxa kriselda jarnsaxa

      Sweet P’s dress was fugly and inappropriate for the opera, no doubt about it, but it could potentially have been worn SOMEPLACE (even if it was just something like Awards Night at the State Fair) but April’s dress was so bad it would be completely unwearable. The bottom really did look like it had been dipped in oil or something, and it’s OBVIOUS the fabric was dyed as you can still see so much of the red showing through at the bottom. And while asymmetry can add some wonderful dynamics to a dress, it needs to look intentional.  They way April did the top of the dress, it ends up looking like the dress was just a bit too small for the wearer, so the added some extra fabric, but only on ONE side of it, pushing the centre of the neckline and the “V” trim beneath it off to one side.

    • Anonymous

      i am glad to see april move away from her usual morose pallet, and i understand her concept with the ombre dyeing.  it would work at the san francisco opera, but not at the met i’m sure.  and it would only work in SF if it was done impeccably.  a big IF in april’s case.  that bodice……asymmetry only works when it looks deliberate.  here, she could have been making a traditional neckline and something went catty-wampus.  and the back is just sad.  pull it together, april.  cheer up, plunge into color, and finish something.  wrangle those ideas (like putting cats in a corral). 

    • Anonymous

      Well, it was difficult dealing with the hostility toward and extreme bias against Michael during his own season and that’s carried over to the blogging about All Stars (all the preemptive attacks on him as whiny, and tacky, and everything else in the book). I love this place and will keep coming back but I do have to just say it’s sad, he’s always been my favorite, I’ve wondered on several occasions over the years whether he pissed in someone’s Cheerios here or something it seems so personal. 

      • Anonymous

        Whoa.  I think people say Michael is whiny because he IS whiny, not because of some extreme bias.  The same way we talk about how Kara becomes an emotional mess and self-doubting.  It’s an aspect of who they are that’s displayed on the show.  And he isn’t the only designer in the history of PR who has been called tacky.  A lot of us think he leans that way sometimes.  if you read all of the comments though, there are commenters who think his design isn’t tacky.  Different viewpoints, each of them valid.
         

        • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

          Last season we called Josh a sociopath. The season before that we said Gretchen had Borderline Personality Disorder. Michael’s not only not getting singled out; he’s getting relatively mild treatment.

    • Anonymous

      Well, it was difficult dealing with the hostility toward and extreme bias against Michael during his own season and that’s carried over to the blogging about All Stars (all the preemptive attacks on him as whiny, and tacky, and everything else in the book). I love this place and will keep coming back but I do have to just say it’s sad, he’s always been my favorite, I’ve wondered on several occasions over the years whether he pissed in someone’s Cheerios here or something it seems so personal. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/luv2birdie Elana Bryan

      April’s model looked so sad….that dress was unbelievably bad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/luv2birdie Elana Bryan

      April’s model looked so sad….that dress was unbelievably bad.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I thought she looked sad, too. Not sure where the “angry/pissed” interpretations come from…

    • Lattis

      Michael’s gown looks fabulous on his model . . . who is, herself, fabulous. I don’t know if it was chance or intentional, but what he made looked like he made it for her, like she was his muse. 

      I haven’t kept track of this – do they have the same model each week? Do they know when they are designing and buying fabric who their model is? 

    • Lattis

      Michael’s gown looks fabulous on his model . . . who is, herself, fabulous. I don’t know if it was chance or intentional, but what he made looked like he made it for her, like she was his muse. 

      I haven’t kept track of this – do they have the same model each week? Do they know when they are designing and buying fabric who their model is? 

      • Anonymous

        Michael’s model is totally selling his stuff.  I noticed that last week too. 

    • Lattis

      Also, I have to chime in about April’s model. She really has that teenager’s “total disdain” thing down pat. Too bad, because she is so dramatic looking she could be a good match for April’s design aesthetic. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but holy moses, I never would have guessed how much difference a good model makes to a designer’s clothes.

    • Lattis

      Also, I have to chime in about April’s model. She really has that teenager’s “total disdain” thing down pat. Too bad, because she is so dramatic looking she could be a good match for April’s design aesthetic. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but holy moses, I never would have guessed how much difference a good model makes to a designer’s clothes.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with your thoughts about Michael’s dress except I think the neck treatment draws the eye up to the face rather than takes away from it.  If he could have just done that on an otherwise simple gown, it would have been so much less Kardashian and could have been the winner.

      I thought the dying of April’s dress was a good idea that looked pretty striking in motion, but starts to look terrible once you can really see it.  The top of the dress and the mismatched reds were terrible.  There’s a great idea for a dress there, but it remained just an idea. 

    • Anonymous

      I thought Michael was way over praised as well. What was Sweet P. thinking….it was a night at the opera after all not the Grand ‘Ole Opry….love her but she was living on borrowed time after the dish towel disaster……

      • Mary McClelland

        I think the judges were responding to the way his dress moved and how well it would capture on photographs or red carpet. It really is striking and the wearer would get a lot of gravitas and attention. That said, it was not suitable for an event like the metropolitan opera.

        And yes, Sweet P deserved to go.

    • Anonymous

      First of all , after sitting through every season & pretty much being annoyed by many of the same annoying people that other minions dislike, I really don’t get all the Michael hate. 
      He’s never bothered me.  I’ve always liked him, his work ethic and most of his designs.
      So I think maybe he doesn’t deserve all the negative crap flung his way.  That’s just me. 
      He’s not my favorite (I like many of the designers they gathered for this) but I have a hard time thinking he’s the devil.

      Second it’s very true that Drag Queens, Vegas & people like me (not a Drag Queen in real life but would play one on TV in a gay minute) love some feathers & jewels. 
      We also Love Gold Lame & Tule.  I’m not sure I see the difference. 
       Both were beautiful Red Carpet Dresses.
      Dressed in head to toe Gold Lame is just as “Draggy” as a feather & jewel collar.
      Spliting teased hairs if you ask me.

      Most of the best dresses were more red carpet than “Opera” (whatever that means) I think.  That train on Mondo’s beautiful dress was red carpet ready, as was Anthony’s dress etc.

      I must admit I’ve never been to the Opera (a bitter fawn who is apparently in the minion minority), and I’ve never recieved a copy of the “Opera Dress Code” handbook. 
      Who knew there were so many strict dress code rules to go watch a fat lady sing!

      According to my leaders & fellow minions : Crystals, feathers, prints, high hair, exposed skin, belts, bows, cocktail dresses (to name a few) are forbidden. That may explain why I’ve never been. My sparkly butt wouldn’t fit in.
      In the imaginary Opera World of my mind both those dresses would look beautiful.

      And April’s would not.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Or you could do what I would do:  go just a bit over the top and enjoy the dirty looks…

      • Anonymous

        Darling – they are not all fat.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDI2DLE7DE3YPW2ONIHBWOVHMA ecallaw

      Whew, at the beginning of the show I thought they were editing April up for the win, letting all the other contestants talk about the risk she was taken.  Not exactly.

      I guess I really have no earthy idea what an “opera dress” really means, so I can’t comment on that, but i really thought Michael’s dress is stunning.

      Can’t tell you how much I love this.  The quality level coming out of this group of designers compared to the past few seasons feels like oxygen after I’ve been held underwater for 10 minutes.

      • Lattis

        like oxygen after I’ve been held underwater for 10 minutes.
        Amen x 1000

        Gotta say, I was worried they’d off April over Sweet P. IMO they should have sent SweetP home last week for dullness, lack of creativity, poor execution and they should have given a slight edge to Elisa for risk-taking, invention.

    • Anonymous

      i actually liked michael’s gown and i can see it at opening night.  yes, it’s a bit vegas in a bob mackie (sp?) kind of way.  but i find the neckline dramatic a la black swan.  for me, it leads the viewers attention up to the face.  too bad the hair and makeup don’t live up to the tribute.  i’m not a fan of the hair-pulled-so-tight-i-can’t-blink look.  two words for michael:  palm springs.  it’s just a short hop from there to vegas, so that’s probably a lot of his clientele.

      • Anonymous

        I couldn’t agree more.  When they said it drew attention away from her face, I wondered what dress they were looking at.  The hair wasn’t great, but with the feathered neck, there wasn’t too much option.

    • Anonymous

      How refreshing to have people engaged and debating which of several really good gowns was best. And what a contrast to the last three or four regular seasons of Project Runway, where more than a few of us could eventually not even be bothered to turn on our TV sets.

    • Anonymous

      Michael Costello’s dress is tacky.  It’s a backless, black jersey dress with a strategically placed belt and shrug.  That shrug looks like something Madame (Wayland Flowers and Madame) would have sported…and she was a puppet. 

      • Lattis

        hahahahaha Madame! shoot now that’s all I can see. :)

        • Anonymous

          The model’s hairstyle is dead on too.

          • Anonymous

            I’m glad somebody mentioned the hairstyle.  I thought Michael was going to get lambasted for it, but I guess not.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LGAKNANTSBR3YYEWLZDNT35IIY Whatever

              There were other styles he could have chosen, however I think he didn’t want to cover up the detail of the neck and show the dramatic plunge of the back. Maybe a chignon.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZBFH32YG44LIIZYLSQPMBXMYCU Sarah

      April’s sad mistakes in the dress dept. aside, wtf with that styling? Like she was trying to make this poor woman look like the victim of a combination tornado/origami/oil spill disaster. Yikes!

    • Anonymous

      April’s dress looks like my poor sister in law’s wedding dress, after the thunderstorm interrupted their outdoor wedding reception!!

    • Anonymous

      “Vegas” and “Kardashian” are two words that should never be uttered in the same sentence, or conversation, as the opera. It’s not that I didn’t like the dress but puhlease. And the length was crazy. I kept waiting for the model to trip. Honestly, I would’ve given the love to Mondo’s dress. 

      April’s dress. Hot mess. From top to bottom it’s a disaster. Some of the nicer comments the judges made were pretty silly because really, what would you compliment? I never saw her season of PR but from what I’ve seen here I’d say she’s going home very soon.

    • Mary McClelland

      I really appreciated Michael’s dress and show-stopping it was, but Kim Kardashian is right. It wasn’t subtle or elegant, but it was impeccably done with thoughtful elements. It was most definitely a red carpet dress (or a MET ball gown) that would get a lot of attention. And it photographs really well. I agree he needs to tone down the neck/shoulder treatment, but I actually thought that gave it a lot of interest. That detail would be a good editorial element that could be removed for RC. Although, I agreed with Isaac that you feel like you’ve seen it before – to me it was reminiscent of Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy.

      I really think Michael has a career with Chris March. He would do well to transition to that show, since he loves opulent over the top looks and does a good job of towing the line of tacky without crossing it.  Also, he knows how to fit a gown and has really really come a long way since his first foray on Project Runway.  And he has a fun, cheerful disposition.

      I really liked the waist treatment and the way it wrapped around to an open back and I don’t think it was tacky. I just think it wasn’t right for the opera. Unless you were the mistress who has recently become the trophy wife and has a lot of gloating to do. :-)

      Austin’s was a gown for a socialite, Michael’s for the trophy wife, and Anthony’s for the out of town mistress who isn’t sure how to read the event but is going for sex appeal.

    • Anonymous

      The styling, the makeup, the dress-all remind me of Thandie Newton in The Chronicles of Riddick. But I love it!

    • Anonymous

      So was the beaded feather thing that Michael used just one big piece of trim??  Did he actually do anything to “make” it?  I imagine there was no hand beading going on in a 24 hr challenge.  Same with the belt.  There was a lot of praise going on for a simple black jersey dress with a big honking sparkly, feathery trim piece tacked on.  Definitely could be from the Kardashian Kollection @ Sears.

      • Anonymous

        I was under the distinct impression that he made the whole thing himself.  But I could be wrong.

        • Anonymous

          I believe it was narrower strips of pre-made beaded trim sewn together. It would be an insane amount of work to encrust that entire collar with hand beading AND make a gown in one day!

      • Anonymous

        For a brief moment, Michael was shown hand-sewing beads on the trim.

        • Anonymous

          It may have happened, but I didn’t see that. I did see Michael discussing sewing narrower strips of beading together with Mondo and the camera started to show him doing it. That leads me to believe it was all a pre-made trim. Perhaps you saw Michael finishing the edges?

          • Anonymous

            Now you’ve got me questionning my memory ;-) Not a rare event around here.
            I’d have to watch it over. You may be right.

      • Anonymous

        Totally agree.  Looked like the store-bought trim sewn together was doing all the “heavy lifting” for this design. Simple well made jersey gown..with some froo frau for high drama.

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        I would hand bead in 2 hour challenge if necessary.  I was taught that ALL beading should be hand-beading. 

        My grandmother did wedding gowns, and they were spectacular.  And all of her beading was hand done, because she said the pre-made stuff always looked cheap.  She was also the one who taught me that a wedding gown could have pearls OR lace, but both was overkill:)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CNFIHGSMQO3QDBXWYV7A2OWYNU Avocet19

      Need you to post more about Project Runway. Reading these posts is the only bright spot in my life right now. Love you guys.

    • http://twitter.com/MissAmynae Amy Putnam Ellinger

      Michael- McQueen for a Kardashian. Blasphemy. Stop it- go find another designer to copy. Without the feather thingy, just a simple halter, would have been fabulous, and opera-appropriate.
      I think Anthony could have given Austin a good run for his money if his dress had not been so utterly boob-tacular. just not exactly…tasteful.  Loved the gloves, though- glad he didn’t just have her wear one glove on the more bare side.
      Austin- 20’s glamour. J’Adore.

      Thank god April is still in. Kudos for trying something different, and I agree with the others posters that have said a beautifully finished version on Helena Bonham Carter would be divine.  Would love to see HBC in some of April’s other designs.

    • Anonymous

      I actually like April’s dress. Or, rather, I would like it if it were well made, if it didn’t have the stripey thing up top, and if the top and bottom flowed better in the back. But, in theory, I like it.

    • Anonymous

      Michael’s dress reminds me of all those wonderful soapy movies and books about the wonderful gal from a modest background who snags a rich husband and buys a dress for her first big social function that leaves everyone silently laughing behind her back. 

      Then some sympathetic society matron takes the poor newbie under her wing, and tells her to buy Austin’s dress!   

    • Anonymous

      As I’ve said before, I am not a Michael fan so this is painful for me, but I love the guts of this dress.  I think the back–or shall we say lack thereof?–is what has Kim Kardashian driving this gown to Vegas.  Raise the back, probably remove the blingy belt, and this would be divine.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GFMOZFM3WT3T56EZHVZFK7UXSI Ramon

       If Kim Kardashian went to the opera (surest sign of the Apocalypse) she would wear something like this… and Brooke Astor’s ghost would rise from the orchestra pit and choke the little succubus with her pearls.

      • Anonymous

        love your description, made me giggle

      • Anonymous

        I’ve always read that Mrs. Astor needed only her position in NYC society & the chill of her freezing glance to put upstarts in their place.  Not that it doesn’t sound like fun for Ms. Kardashian to be physically assaulted by a ghostly presence. In public.

        Ahh, the t.v. special they’d spin out of that!

    • Susan Crawford

      Michael’s “Kardashian dress” – that sums up his aesthetic in a nut (and I mean that literally) shell. Even the styling of the model was pure Kardashian. Opera? No. NO! Maybe if Vegas puts on an all-nude version of “Carmen” this would work.

      April was all over the place with that red, dip-dyed, origami-draped-sagging-ass mess. Again – opera dress? Nuh-uh. And what is up with her model? She looked SO pissed, didn’t she? Of course, if I had to walk the runway with my hair looking like my cat’s typical furball, I’d probably be pissed, too.

    • Susan Crawford

      Another thought: It would have been really cool if one of the designers picked a specific opera and reflected something of that style in his/her opera dress. I know it wasn’t in the brief, but it would have been interesting. (But I have a feeling this was NOT a real opera buff group.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002673395871 Roadkill Writer’s Camp

        I thought I heard Mondo reference specific opera influences. That big obi bow on back was pretty Madama Butterfly.

    • Anonymous

      That back on Michael’s dress was very slutty. The front had some beautiful elements but did indeed go Vegas. Kardashian ought never to be considered any kind of compliment.

      April’s dress was hideous. If she  hadn’t shown any out of the box thinking, she would have gone. Absolutely horrific hairdo too. The whole thing looks so much worse in the stills and it looked like a walking disaster early on. This ought to have embarrassed her to show. True ombre is subtle in gradation. Moving from black to red would really be a challenge on a painted wall, much less from a dye pot.

    • Anonymous

      It may have been time for Sweet P to go home, but honestly I felt April should have gone home. How on earth is that ombre? I think one of the guest judges said exactly what I felt: that it’s like the woman stepped in an oil slick and it crept up her dress. It’s just bad.

      I liked Michael’s.  A bit too Vegas-y (and therefore not to the challenge…and I have a comment about Anthony’s too, when we get there) but interesting. I really liked the draping around the hips and how it flowed when his model walked. This is what Michael does. I wish he had stepped out of his comfort zone a bit and done something a bit more “modest” as Isaac said. I think the judges responded as much to how well it was made as to what it looked like.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

      I love Michael.  Please love him, too.  Ever since seeing him be bullied by Gretchen I’ve felt protective.  I think he’s got a great aesthetic.

      • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

        You know, I’d have no ill feelings about Michael if he’d stop playing to the cameras. He just doesn’t have a great personality. Most folks aren’t entertaining that way, but are smart enough to realize it. I abhor most of the Runway contestants who play to the camera (yeah, I’m looking at Gretchen, Kenley, Joshua, and Ivy in particular).

        I don’t want to hear about his competition and neuroses or how talented he thinks he is or isn’t. He can discuss the challenge and his design/technique—that part I’m interested in. I don’t hate him, but I’m looking forward to some peace and quiet when he finally gets schmaufed.

        Anyway, my 2 cents. His golly-gee-whiz-April-is-trying-to-destroy-me-by-using-red monologue took time away from actual design footage, which would have been interesting.

        • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

          I don’t mind it — some people HAVE to vent out loud, and I always assume he’s one of them.  I can sympathize. 

    • Anonymous

      These were both (in my mind) noble visions failed. Well, 1 noble vision failed and 1 skanky noble vision failed.

      Michael: great from front, a bit too much at the shoulders and a tad too blingy, but mostly because it would all interfere with the elegant wrap his woman should be wearing/carrying. If the back had had more fabric and/or a sheer chiffon back instead of all the bareness, he *might* have gotten away with the bling. 

      April: I really like the dress I believe she had in her mind. Or that I would have had in mind if i’d ended up here. She did manage to somehow miss the mark by more than I’d have thought possible.

      The dyeing was too different a color, but in a deeper red/orange/brown it would have been awesome. It should have been in a spectrum that included the color in the ‘v’ shape on the breast bone.  I have my doubts about the sleeve flap, but it is the bizarrely over-worked shaping of the bodice, back & front, that kills the dress. (Also would have liked the hair & makeup I think she was going for, but if you want to go for geometrically shaped hair it has to be extremely clean-edged & polished. Makeup also kind of understated for this look, IMO)

    • Anonymous

      As far as Michael’s dress, I am with Lorenzo. It’s well made and it has a definite look to it, but I found it tacky and attention-seeking. This is becoming a trend with his work, I’m afraid. That, however, is not my problem with it. My problem with it is that it’s only slightly drag – it doesn’t fully commit to the idea. It’s the sort of tacky, over-the-top dress that one wears, not because one chooses to embrace dressing that way, but because one just doesn’t know how to manage one’s image. So the dress ends up in an unfortunate middle: it either goes too far or not far enough.

      The less said about April’s the better. It’s a disaster all around, but, and this is about the only positive thing that can be said of it, it is an ambitious failure. She is lucky that Sweet P’s expiration date had passed and the judges weren’t looking for a double elimination. To her credit, and unrelated to her work in the episode, she at least handled the whole red dress  as it deserved to be handled – with a complete lack of interest.

    • Carolina Victory

      Disclaimer: I’ve never been to the opera in my life. However, in novels, the opera goers are usually more interested in their fellow opera goers and get out the opera glasses to check them out (with opera glasses, of course). Now that I think about it, this happened in SATC one time…Carrie spotted Big and the young wife at the opera. Anyway, Michael’s dress would be perfect when viewed thru opera glasses, no?

      • Anonymous

        You need either to go to the opera or start reading different novels!

    • Emilio Ramos

      What did Nina say about Anthony Ryan’s birdseed dress?  “Too literal McQueen inspiration”.

      Michael C = McQueen inspired feather neck = “unique”?

    • Anonymous

      As far as Michael’s dress- wannabe russian mafia princesses must want to go to the opera occasionally when they’re role playing “Pretty Woman” with their sugar daddies.  As for April’s-she is LUCKY that Sweet P was there.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LGAKNANTSBR3YYEWLZDNT35IIY Whatever

      I’m going to be of my own mind and say I thought Michael’s dress was definitely in the top three. I feel that TLo has always been bias regarding Michael Costello and would rather have him hit by a bus before they give him a compliment. They mention how “there’s a lot about the dress that they like”, but their critque clearly didn’t represent that.

      I imagine his dress as a “STFU” to an ex. Look at me, I’m gorgeous, statuesque and I don’t give an F. I’m not sure if many people are from a mormon group in Utah, but a small section in the front shows some skin and only the back is out. Even the neck is covered up, yet its tackier than a Lindsay Lohen’s crotch?

      Quite frankly, I thought Anthony’s dress was very tacky. I should have to see the serial number of implants while you are wearing your outfit.

      I’m tossed between Mondo’s, Gordana, and Mila’s as his replacement.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRB4WLBH3SHWTIN3GOND3ES76Q Kim (azshadowwalker)

      I couldn’t agree more that Michael’s dress was in no way “tacky” or “vulgar.”  Anthony’s dress was borderline vulgar, but Michael’s was not.  I didn’t think anyone did a real opera dress.  Austin’s was old-fashioned starlet, which is every bit as Hollywood as anything Michael did.

    • Anonymous

      April’s looked like the model fell in a puddle of grease at the mechanic shop.  But worse, the sewing on that bodice was just terrible.  It was crappy.  It was uneven.  It looked like something (and I really like April) a 10th grader would make in Home Ec class.  I am surprised she didn’t get auf’d except for Sweet Pea’s Disastrous Bodice Event. April squeaked by.

    • Lisa

      Michael’s dress was glamorous and beautiful, but the wrong dress for the wrong challenge – it’s just not opera.  The right designer won. 

      As for April, I thought hers was far worse than Sweet P’s, but really – how much longer was Sweet P gonna last?

    • http://twitter.com/dashaann Dasha

      I don’t know why they praised Michael’s dress so highly, the front where the fabric crosses over was interesting and the sparkly belt was interesting, but those vulture wings around her neck were dreadful. And April’s dress was so wretched that even her model was pissed.

    • Anonymous

      There seem to have been a lot of designers who went tacky for the opera and it bugged the hell out of me.

    • Anonymous

      Seeing April’s gown in the stills here, I think it is worse than I thought possible. She has created a muddy mess. She should have gone home for this. Even SweetPea’s was better. 

      • Anonymous

        Well, I dunno, at least April tried to make something, tho is was overwrought and plain awful on several levels.   But really, as much as I like Sweet Pea, as has been said here already, reality tv is not her schtick, and it was her time.

        Looking at the stills of April’s gown, and ignoring the dye and sewing issues, I feel like we need to buy a billboard across from Mood and put on it:  “(Would-be) Designers!  If you cannot sew PERFECTLY without puckers, DO NOT purchase shiny material!”

    • Susan Walker

      I see what women are wearing to the San Francisco Opera and Michael’s dress would be laughed out of that crowd so please don’t blame the west coast for him.

       If they don’t stop featuring his whiny voice, I am going to watch with the mute button on.  And, as far as I could tell,  the beading/feathers piece was purchased trim.  He didn’t fabricate it but he acted as if he did when it was complimented. 

      • Anonymous

        Michael made the trim that’s what he was doing the first day.
        One of the few moments they showed in the workroom.

        • Anonymous

          Kind of; he assembled it from narrower strips of pre-made beaded trim. He definitely did not hand bead that. 

          • Anonymous

            That is exactly right. There are two threads discussing this , and since  it would be impossible to bead that collar and belt in the time they had , I re-watched the video. at 9:33 it shows Mondo and Michael discussing how to attach the beaded trim. This kind of beaded trim is usually beaded in India and it is on a net backing that must be attached to another piece of fabric,  Michael did hand sew several different strips of pre beaded trim to fabric that he made the neck piece out of. He also added the feathers. There is nothing wrong or shady about doing this.  Susan I do recall that he made a remark about “making ” the trim during the judging (it isn’t in the extending judging clip though ), but I can’t imagine that the designer judges took it to mean that he hand beaded the whole thing himself.

    • Anonymous

      Man, even April’s model looks depressed.

    • http://twitter.com/yellowsmarties Mrs Badcrumble

      Maybe it’s just me, but I actually really like Michael’s dress. It might not be very appropriate for the challenge so it was right that Austin won, but I liked the way it was made and how it looked. It had a wow-factor and I really enjoyed it.

      But April’s dress. Oh lord XD It’s a bit unfortunate when your dress makes it look like you stepped into a knee-deep puddle on your way to the opera XD

    • Anonymous

       Give Michael a break. 
      After a whole season of April slamming Michael (along with other bitter parties) for not being a Design School Graduate. 
      Acting like he was below them because he didn’t go to school, always rubbed me the wrong way
      and the way so many enjoyed rubbing his face in that was creepy to me (even when I didn’t like his design). 
       I felt & feel like it was unfair & mean.  She still acts like that to me.  
      All the design school training in the world couldn’t save that nightmare she sent down. 
      Had Michael done a dress in red it would have been miles ahead of that.  He had no need to worry. 

       And why is commenting on the fact that they both chose the same “materials” again called being whiny? 
      You gotta admit that’s a little weird and worthy of comment especially if the other designer is someone you have a history with & is someone who likes acting better than you.
      I’d probably do pretty close to what Michael did : Say “WTF! we’re choosing the same thing again! No way!” and shift gears and do something else like he did.

      Anyway I don’t want to sound like the president of the Michael C. fan club (I’m Not). 
      I do think I’d like to be his friend, maybe but I’m not particularily rooting for him for the win or anything.
      But, I feel like there is a definite mean girl vibe with a lot of the comments reguarding him which I don’t really understand.
      It seems unfair and underserved but what do I know. 

      The Man can sew & make pretty things.  He could whip something up for me anyday.
      I think the guy deserves a break I was so happy the judges liked his look.

      • Anonymous

        Do you mind if I give you a piece of advice?

        I’m just going to assume the answer is no.

        Never say things like “I don’t want to sound like the president of the Michael C. fan club” in a comment where you also say things like “The Man can sew & make pretty things.  He could whip something up for me anyday.” This is especially true when you’ve left multiple comments defending him. Disclaimers such as that have the opposite of the intended effect – they’re pretty much the best possible way to convince people that you are just shilling for your favourite.

        A bit of free advice, worth what it cost you.

    • Anonymous

      I liked the front of Michael’s dress but from the back the model just looked trashy.  I had forgotten what a whiner Michael is and I’m sick of him already. I like April, but after this episode she has forfeited her right to ever criticize any of the other designers. The bodice of her dress was so poorly made that I can hardly believe she dared to send it down the runway.

    • Anonymous

      I’m glad we are back to talking about the clothes instead of the drama, BUT . . . weren’t April and Sweet Pea super BFFs? They barely looked at each other on “All Stars.” No parting hug when they were the bottom two — April just walked right past Sweet Pea when she was declared “safe.” What’s up with that?

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        Nope, that was April and PEACH.  Sweet Pea was from S4, while April was from S8.

        • Emilio Ramos

          I miss Peach.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            She was one who I really liked personally, but her work just made me nuts — I like in the Chicago suburbs and I don’t want to see more of that style on PR.  Stepford isn’t really a look that works….

    • Anonymous

      I soooo would have liked to have seen East Indian influence in one of the designs. I just love the aesthetic and the modern versions just blow me away. It would not only have been appropriate but comfortable for any opera anywhere. 

      I am happy with all of the all star designers this year for different varying reasons and enjoying seeing actual design ability from all of them.  The thing that I have learned from this blog, is that it really doesn’t matter who the designer is that does it but I have learned that  “Draping is not my thing”. I don’t know…. I just can’t get behind it. 

    • Anonymous

      Can we mention the hot mess of styling on April’s model? Of course we can.

      To me, where Michael’s dress was in opera territory was the Evil Queen aspect of the neck treatment. What’s more operatic than an evil queen?

      Eh, I’ve always loved Michael’s work, and have weathered the storm against me for that reason.

      • Anonymous

        But he wasn’t supposed to be dressing the Queen of the Night.  He was supposed to be dressing a member of the audience.

    • Anonymous

      May I say, I work front of house for the opera in my city, and almost nobody dresses up.  There’s one or two floor-length dresses every year, and occasionally a man will decide he needs to wear that wedding tux at least one more time.  But, this stuff?  Nuh-uh.  We see everything from loose jeans, Ugg boots and hoodies to a decent suit and Sunday jewelry, but not this, none of it.

    • http://twitter.com/ShelfAfterlife Shelf Afterlife

      I laughed when Michael said he listened to opera growing up and listed Pavarotti and Bocelli.  Who in the world doesn’t know of them?  I did like his dress, but Austin deserved the win because “Kardashian” and “opera” are just two words that don’t fit together. And SERIOUSLY please stop worrying about what April is doing!!!  You could pick the exact same materials as April and never in a zillion years make the same dress.  

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        I can understand his concern over the mop heads, because it was a fairly limiting material.  I would also get it if they both chose the same distinctive pattern.  But a solid color?  That’s not recognizable enough to worry over. 

    • Anonymous

      APRIL! That dress looked like some bodily function accident or Carrie reenactment and going from black to red for a goth heavy designer such as yourself is like going from beige to grey fro everyone else. Please. I don’t recall loving much of anything she design in her season, though SHE seemed so much more reasonable that so many other constant so much longer in the tooth than she, a good egg. She does not seem to have evolved much. I will say that if IF a Kardashian wen to the opera Micheal’s dress is def what she would wear. NO DOUBT. Lorenzo’s reaction to the dress was the best laugh Ive had all day.

    • Anonymous

      Can we call Isaac Fred Flintstone from now on? 

    • Anonymous

      He’s not my favorite & I’m not “shilling” for him.
       I’m just expressing my feelings. 
      I AM all for less nasty, mean-spirited jabbing at people,
      which to me is different than fun bitchiness.
       
      Just never saw what he did to deserve the nasty attacks.
       
      All things considered I could really give a S…! Just a curious behavior I wasn’t getting…..This Time.
       
      You assume right but thanks for sharing anyway.

    • Anonymous

      Can you imagine if Michael had done that dress in red?  It would have been a total different dress.  I kind of liked the dress, not my taste, and not opera, totally Vegas, but really well done.

      What was April thinking?  Dyeing with those time limits?  That was not opera or anything.  She looked like a prom girl in a cheap homemade dress who walked through some mud.  Deep mud.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eujoyuen Eugenia Joyuen

      I’ll just say a random thought… April’s dress reminds me of Zulema’s auf’d dress in S2. April is very much into black, as well Zulema was very into black n’ white before deciding to do a red mess…

    • Anonymous

      I can’t wait for that nasty April to take her dirty dishwater hair and go home.  Hoping she keeps making pure shit.

      Michael’s model is gorgeous.

    • Anonymous

      Sweet P’s elimination was set in stone even before the first stitch was made, simply because she deserved the first week’s ax. And her 1970 maxi-dress did not disappoint the doomsayers. Kara’s pregnant bridesmaid and April’s prom-girl-after-the-abortion were, if nothing else, a bit edgier.

    • Anonymous

      April’s dress was terrible but I give her credit for that 18th century thing she’s doing with her hair.

    • Anonymous

      The face of April’s model says it all:
      “Get me out of this thing!”

    • Anonymous

      If Michael’s dress had a full back and the belt was functioning as an actual belt rather than a device to keep the front of the dress on the model, I think it would have been much more elegant and may have won. It certainly would have been more appropriate for the challenge. I like the idea of feathery cap sleeves and I like the neckline. BTW, you have to sit for a long time at the opera. I don’t think you could make it through Wagner’s Ring Cycle in that!

      • Anonymous

        It would be easier to sit through the Ring Cycle in Michael’s gown than in Mondo’s, with that big obi knot digging into your back for hours.

        • Anonymous

          True.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

      I’ve always hated April’s designs. She’s a complete fraud and I wish she’d just become a sales clerk or something. If anyone ever hires her as a designer they’re an idiot.

    • http://promiscuouslola.blogspot.com/ Cate

      you know, initially i wanted Michael to win, but after reading this, i get why he didn’t. i love the dress and i think it’s gorgeous, but it’s a dress to be photographed in as opposed to a dress to look put together in. it’s really a dress that loses its value if people are constantly looking at it.

    • Anonymous

      Michael’s dress was beautiful and the model looked amazing.  I’ve been to the opera and I have seen all sorts of attire from men in velvet jackets and jean to women in business suits. In fact, I think the women dressed to the nines were in the minority.  The world has changed people.  His look would have worked on the right person.  And as for April, that was shockingly bad.  

    • Anonymous

      maybe it’s good that Michael’s neck treatment took away from the face when the makeup is that horrible.

      SNAP

    • Anonymous

      Courtney Love,  Miss Jay, and of course, John Galliano

    • http://twitter.com/drschweitzer drschweitzer

      West Coast cities have operas, too, folks. Big ones, with well-to-do people who go to them.  I thought Mondo’s was, as usual, really quite interesting–a much more intriguing riff on white or prints for evening than the other designers. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/ehormell Eric Hormell

      It’s exactly what Kim Kardashian would wear to the opera. That will probably never happen, but that’s OK. Seriously, I completely agree that Austin’s was more appropriate, I just thought it looked kind of inexpensive and boring compared to Michael’s.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1202234220 Corinna Cornejo

      Michael Costello’s neck treatment is a direct steal from Chris March’s Fashion Week collection.

    • http://twitter.com/yankeefoxtrot Alex McGeagh

      Umm…April’s looks like a used tampon…that is simply not good.

    • Anonymous

      I can see Michael C. dress working but I can’t see it working at the opera.  It just doesn’t.  Oscars, whatever, I can see it…Opera. No.  I really want to jump in all “Fredericks of Hollywood” but I can’t.  My biggest thing is, it doesn’t work with the venue.   Same as Mila’s. Beautiful dress…not suitable for the venue. 

      April..ugh. I’ve wanted her to get away from black for so damn long…and this is what she gives me? Go back black.

      • Anonymous

        And this after the whole thing at Mood with Michael ditching his inclination towards red. And then she backs off from it. She couldve used her time so much better than wasting it with the ruinous dye project.

    • vmcdanie

      I can’t believe I’m saying this-don’t hate me T Lo-but I really liked Michael’s gown and I thought the neck piece was gorgeous and actually swept your eyes up towards the face. I’d pick it for the winner except it seems a little too bodacious for the opera. I’m just going to ignore the “Kardashian” business.

      April’s was….really ugly, confusing and overwrought. Worse than Sweet Pea’s to my reckoning although I still completely agree with the Judges’ decision.

      I’m pretty pleased with the judging for the most part. It’s nice to see a judging panel that speaks to the contestants respectfully.

      • Anonymous

        I so agree with your last point. Really refreshing. 

    • http://twitter.com/0001909 ∆ .

      I don’t think your criticism about Michael’s dress is really valid.  As others have pointed out, there is no real ‘standard’ dressing for opera anymore, so the argument that Michael’s dress is just not opera appropriate is kind of silly in a world where people often wear jeans to the opera (in the States and Europe alike).  I would say your standard of opera appropriate evening wear is a bit dated since, well, no one really knows what the standard is anymore.  Furthermore, I think it’s a regionalist argument.  Even if you can’t see someone wearing this to the Met, I can see someone wearing this to an opera in California.  And, who knows, maybe Kim Kardashian would attend an opera in California?  In which case, I can certainly see her wearing this dress!

      Certainly, part of the blame goes to the program:  it would have been nice if they had specified who (old timer? new timer? old money? new money? age?), what, when, where (Paris? Back Swamp, North Carolina?).  But, in the absence of such specifications, I don’t see why we can’t take into account the fact that the opera is no longer an exclusive event with a rigid dress code.   I don’t see why we shouldn’t expect to see any number of gown styles–including flashy, sexy styles like Michael’s.  I think the insistence that the opera is a watering hole for a certain type of people with a certain type of taste in clothing wearing a certain style of gown is outdated.  People hardly wear gowns to operas at all anymore, after all!

      • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

        They were given the assignment of making a gown for the opera. That’s a specific style of dress for a specific type of event. Yes, people wear jeans and skirts to the opera, but that’s not what they were asked to make. We have covered, on this site, several of the formal events held at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and have a pretty good understanding of the dress style for these events. While there’s some possibility that formal opera events in other cities have wildly differing dress codes, we remain largely unconvinced on that point, no matter how many times people say it. When a bunch of NY-based fashion designers in a design competition being held in New York tell you to make a gown for the opera, it is quite obvious what that means.

        So you’ll pardon us, but we absolutely reject your statement that our critique is invalid. Disagree all you like, but the validity of it really isn’t a question.

    • Anonymous

      Aside from April’s dress being a disaster, her model sucked. She looked miserable, and not in a typical “I don’t eat, my feet hurt and this thong is chaffing my ass” way.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        I really noticed it when she turned to walk back up the runway. It was a terribly clumsy turn; so bad that I was wondering how she ever gets work as a model.

        “not in a typical “I don’t eat, my feet hurt and this thong is chaffing my ass” way.”

        Heh. I have long stopped thinking there’s anything glamorous about modeling. On the other hand, we like to joke about how pissed off the models are when they have to model crap, but it’s their job to wear whatever the designer puts on them. She should be happy she’s not on America’s Next Top Model. The things Tyra puts those women through is insane.

    • Melvis Velour

      all I could think of when I saw April’s dress was some poor woman had decided to go traipsing through the waves in Alabama after a lovely ball…right after the oil spill hit the beach…

    • Anonymous

      I agree completely with both sentiments. And I also thought the back of Michael’s dress looked tacky. I didn’t like the way it was gathered when it came down the runway (it looked poorly finished) and now, closer up, I just think I don’t need to see a tramp-stamp frame on a dress. At the opera! Can you imagine sitting in that dress, feeling the seat creep into your crack and wondering when you stand up where it will hanging and whether there will be something stuck to your butt from your seat? YUCK! Operas are LONG. You’re sitting a long time. In that? I don’t think so. Whether they’re now wearing jeans at La Scala, who cares? This was a competition. 1) Opera. 2) Gown. Somebody wants to make a jean skirt and say, hey, I saw somebody wear this to the opera, well, that person is gonna lose.

      Oh, and April’s dress is just sad. Depressed. Depressing.

    • Anonymous

      Michaels model sure is stunning, though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25500124 Eric Jacobs

      Michael’s Dress = Lea Michelle.  She could rock it in her divatastic, showgirl way.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, April, honey… There’s no defending this dress. At all. And the bipolar styling didn’t help. At all.
      I appreciated what she said about Michael Costello’s Red-Is-Mine-And-Only-Mine-Oh-My-God-April-Is-A-Menace-breakdown. He didn’t invented red, I don’t believe that she tried to sabotage him in any way. She’s as insecure as he is. She has been aufed because of what she thought was an all-black color problem so she inaccurately thought “OK, colour now. Opera = red carpet = red !!! But Phantom of the opera red”.
      In the end, Michael dealt with his insecurities in a better way than her, even if the end result was not an opera gown…   

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7JMAFJGRETO2ZRETWOH6LGH52Y Aaron

      Wow this dress is even uglier on the second viewing. I did not think that was possible. Sweet Pea saved her by not having a clue on what the opera is or what you would wear too one. The red dress is an abomination; however, it somewhat looks like a dress somebody would wear at an opera, Pea’s dress looked like it belonged at grade school summer party.

    • Allison Woods

      A little late to the party, but I gotta butt in on opera-wear. T/Lo are absolutely right about what is a dress to wear to the opera. For one thing, they don’t have opera in Backwater, MI. It costs so much to produce that it’s only in a very few places, and going to the Opera is a BIG DEAL.

      I live and work in theatre in Seattle, a notoriously casual city. I’ve worked opera, symphony, ballet, and a ton of musicals. Even in casual Seattle, and even at more-casual musical theatre, people tend to come wearing their best clothes. Now, head a mile  up 5th Avenue to the Opera House (we’ve never adjusted to the new name here), and you’ll find men in tuxes and women in beautiful gowns. Getting to the point on what we saw this week: I think there were only a few that looked worthy. Austin’s was lovely, as was Anthony’s. Anthony’s styling was kick ass and would totally work in Seattle. We’re casual, but edgy too! Mondo’s was good, as was Mila’s, though hers…lacked something. Kenley’s and Anthony’s were totally inappropriate for opera. Too “prom”, and too “Lea Michelle”. Imagine sitting through Siegfried (4.5 hours) wearing Anthony’s dress. Did I mention the seat covers are wool mohair?

      Come on, do these designers not get the opera thing? It’s a huge difference between RC and “high society/art”.