PR All Stars: Wrap This Sucker Up

Posted on March 09, 2012

Thankfully, we’re at the point where we can wrap up our coverage of an episode in one day.

Can you tell we’re, how do you say? Over it?

Oh, Austin. Sweetie. We just don’t understand.

You are an experienced designer. You would know, better than any of the other designers participating, that the more seaming and pleating you put into a garment, the more the manufacturing costs skyrocket. No matter how it turned out, there was simply no way he was going to win with this design. Very frustrating.

Having said that, it’s a good (but not great) design. It would have been greatly improved if he’d just put in belt loops. Having an unattached sash calls to mind a bathrobe too readily. Rendeirng it in this heavy, wrinkled fabric only exacerbated the problem. With the right material and given time to execute it perfectly, this would have been a fantastic garment.

It is RIDICULOUS that this garment did not lead to an elimination, let alone that it got high praise from those puppets sitting on the judging panel.

We don’t really have a pick for the winner. Mondo won and we’re all “Whatevs” about that, but our issue with his win was not that he didn’t deserve it, but that he won by default and the judges acted like they’d never seen such a brilliant dress before.

With Michael, the scripting couldn’t have been any more obvious. He eagerly eats up any praise sent his way and crashes to the floor at the slightest criticism. He’s been kept in this long because they want to see him cry again when he doesn’t win a second time. This dress was pure crap – from the outrageously ugly fabric to the bare minimum of technique, to the fact that only a flat chested size 2 could wear it – and even then, she’d have to be model-tall to pull it off.  At least Anya had relatively good taste in fabrics and understood that not every woman wants to show her sternum and her ass-crack at the same time.

Oh, god. We’re defending Anya. Time to start drinking in the morning.


[Photo Credit: – Screencaps:]

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  • BethR52

    Also, few women want to trip over the hem.

    • LesYeuxHiboux

      Seriously, the dress is like a practical joke waiting to happen! Just try to wear it without stepping on the hem and becoming instantaneously nude!

      • It’s like the caftan version of JLo’s infamous Grammys gown.  Except that Grammy could wear this one – in her wheel chair, so she doesn’t trip on it.

        • EXACTLY! I thought J Lo the moment I saw it! Thank you!

    • SewingSiren

      The dress was finished when Nanette Lepore came in for the critique. I can’t fathom why he could’t put a proper hem in it. He’s been using the same model since the beginning. Did she shrink?

      • DinaSews

        It’s a knit so maybe it already started stretching.  Another 3 or 4 hours and it would be even longer!

        • And a truly experienced designer plans the amount of stretch into the design, so that the finished work it correct. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      seriously, i was just waiting for his model to take a tumble.

      and may i mention my frustration with the low status awarded now to the pr models.  we don’t even know their names.  no wonder most of them suck.  i was reading in the archives when t-lo named the top ten models in pr history.  not an option now.

      • Yeah, remember the model-picking and the drama when someone stole someone else’s model?  I loved that.  Ah, the good old days.  That Project Runway Models show (or whatever its name was) was a complete and utter waste of time and it’s like, once they decided that didn’t work, they swung the pendulum to the other end and decided not to focus on the models at all.

        • Derek_anny

           They should bring that back with the stipulation that you can’t have the same model twice in a row, unless you’re the last to pick.

        • o I hope they don’t go back to that. The model-drama was a waste of time that could be spent sewing. And if they switch up models, it is just more manufactured drama that gets in the way of the design. 

          The allotted time is already so ridiculously short, I don’t get any pleasure out of seeing someone rip up their seams to fit a new model who has fudged her measurements (as has happened).

          •  Time spent sewing? I don’t know what PR you have been watching, but the one I’ve been miserably tuned in to has replaced model picking drama with my-relative-died-and-a-bitch-sole-my-design-and-broke-the-sewing-machine drama. Seems like they spent a lot less time crying in the bathroom, on webcams and stabbing in the back in the greenroom when the show manufactured a little model drama instead of the producers prodding every last piece of emotional baggage out of the contestants.

      • Jordan Brodley

         Well I happen to know that Leslie is Michael’s model because she was on America’s Next Top Model.

        •  Exactly. And she’s so good, and such a good sport about all the designs he’s put her in. It’s a real shame, because she’s a very interesting woman, and actually a bit older in model terms, and she’s working the shit out of those garments. I hope it leads to something for Leslie, because I very much liked her on ANTM and being stuck with Michael Costello for a whole season shows that she’s a true professional.

          • I have a girl crush on Leslie, and have since ANTM. She’s so damn beautiful. I agree she’s working the hell out of everything Michael’s put on her. Whatever “it” is, she has it.

          • She is selling his clothes; I think that is why they gave her to him.  It allows him to stay in this competition; the other models are okay, but she kills it.

      • LANDRU3000

        The whole credit thing is weird.  We barely heard Angela’s name.  Only Austin uses it, and it only shows up in small type in the credits after the show.  And when they did the Broadway challenge, they questioned the lead actress on her costume needs, but I don’t think they ever identified her – just called her the “lead actress”.

    • BuffaloBarbara

       I was totally convinced that the model was going to do just that.

    • stardust462

      The fact that the judges skated past that fact was ridiculous. I don’t understand why Michael was complaining about not having enough fabric for sleeves, but the fabric pooled at the end. Why didn’t he just make it knee length and have sleeves?

      • BethR52

        Now that you mention it, Michael allocates fabric quite oddly. 

      • ampg

        It was because the print wasn’t wide enough for sleeves. He wanted the sleeves to be all of a piece with the main part (the way it is now, but longer), but couldn’t cut it the way he wanted because there were big swaths of white at either end of the bolt of fabric.

  • And while Micheal’s does have sleeves as opposed to Anya, they aren’t set-in sleeves, they’re just an really long shoulder, essentially. 

    • megohd

      yes, that’s why I couldn’t understand his self-congratulations for how well made the garment was. And … it didn’t really fit, for crissakes!

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

         It looked like it was tight across her hips when she walked which just didn’t compute for me when it’s a DAMN CAFTAN!

      • Hey, it’s a very well made, super long pillowcase — as the process for making this and the process for a pillowcase are disturbingly close together.

        • JDreesen

          oh come on, let’s be realistic…pillowcases are a *lot* tougher to make than this dress.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Michael just goes into his usual incantation of how beautifully construced his design is-it’s part of his SOP, I think, to bolster his own lack of confidence in his work.

    • Susan Crawford

      Yes! Michael just ended up doing a dropped-shoulder “sleeve”. Also, there was a really odd bunching of the fabric at the hip. One hip seemed to have a bigger bunching of material than the other, and that back seam was somewhat puckery. Bad fit? I would say NO fit.

    • Moondancer5

      And in spite of Michael’s “fix” for the bra issue to be hooks and eyes front and back to modify the plunges, it was totally ignored that once a woman raises her arms in that dress you’ll see a LOT more of a bra, if worn. And if not worn, a very unflattering side-boob exposure. If you have boobs, that is.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    I did not watch the episode, so this is the first I am seeing of this “thing”. 

    Michael should have gone home.  Bad fabric, bad design, poor fit.  What the hell else would it take to “schmauf” him?

    • I like the fabric.

      • annieanne

        So did the judges. I’ll repeat what I said in the earlier post — I think the auf came down to Kenley’s print vs Michael’s print. And Michael’s print won. It worked better with his design than Kenley’s did.

      • I like the fabric, too.  Great for a Hawaiian vacation.

        • AnaRoW

           I was thinking Jamaican vacation but I agree. It’s a pretty fabric.

      • I was mesmerized by the necklace.

      • I do too.  I actually really love the fabric and agree with everyone who said that Kenley’s fabric was what got her the schmauf.  And I felt that they addressed Michael’s redundancy, although Nanette really can’t comment on that, seeing as she was a first-time judge and was not subjected to his drapey two-seamy schtick.  But both Kenley’s and Michaels were poorly fitted, it’s just that Kenley’s seemed much sloppier than Michael and her redundancy is more obvious than his.

        Also, I like Mondo’s dress.  It looks like a mantel for tortillas and other stuff.  If Jerrell had been around, he would’ve said Mondo’s dress was very “ethnic.”  Especially with the cha-cha ruffle.  I could never wear it though, I have hips.

        Oh Austin, really?  You’re better than this.  I hope he really steps it up for the finale.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Well, I guess I am in the minority re:  the fabric and print.  It just reminds me of reptile scales for some reason…..

      • BuffaloBarbara

         You may be in the minority, but you’re not alone.  I thought it was completely fug.

      • bondsinseconds

        apparently reptile scales are the magic ingredient for getting into the finals. we all remember kenley’s insane dinosaur costume that somehow kept her for the final four showdown at fashion week.

  • Michael’s “dress” looks even worse in the still shots.

    • agreed. his was actually my favourite, and I loved the print (don’t stone me!) but looking at these pictures I see why everyone was so outraged. it looks so… SHODDY. just really shoddy all round.

  • Project Runway: The Search for America’s Next CAFTAN! 

    • Funkykatt

      Good on, Alison!  Maybe instead of that awful Project Accessory, they’ll give us Project Caftan. 

      • 3boysful

         Well, we all know Anya and Michael will be the favorites in THAT season.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Can you even begin to imagine the horror that would be?  I don’t know what would be more cringe inducing: Anya’s fluttering her eyes as she talks about “just learning to sewwwwwwww” or Michael threatening to have a full-scale emotional breakdown at the slightest hint of criticism.

          • 3boysful

             How gleelful would the producers be over more drama potential:  She/he saw my caftan and copied it!!

            And how would the poor judges choose between them?  “For the first time in the history of Project Runway”, we have to crown two winners!  Yikes.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Yikes, indeed! Who would cry more? MIchael or Anya? My money is on Michael.

  • Jasmine Moten

    Re: Anya,
    99% of her glorified miu miu’s looked exactly like this. I can only think of that dress thing that Bert “helped” her with that wasn’t made for a titless mannequin.

    • leave_Blake_alone

      Only her stuff looked way, way better. Seriously.

    • miatamam

      Sorry, can’t go there.  I still have to spit after saying Anya’s name.

    • angryparsnip

       I so agree with you.
      And I  have to disagree with TLo, Anya was always showing the models ass, sternum  and the tits were barely covered.
      I can’t believe Michel got through on this dress, or lack of a dress.
      Kenely should have stayed.

      cheers, parsnip

      • Actually, during the competition, Anya rarely designed anything with a low neckline. High necklines were an essential part of her aesthetic.

        • angryparsnip

           Maybe it was just the shows I watched but even in the photos you showed several were slit down to the waist I remember (?) hey I’m old and on Social Security…. the slit was so wide in front that I thought the model flash when walking.  It was green and maybe in the finals ? But as I really don’t want to review more of her non=clothes than I have to so I doubt I will look it up.
          Anyways what I come away with that being what I think her clothes look like, small triangles of fabric sewn (?) to a waist. True or not that is the impression her non-clothes made on me.

          cheers,  parsnip

  • Clueless_Jock

    Everyone produced such dated looks.

    • It was rather a race for the bottom, wasn’t it?

      • Clueless_Jock

        Yes, and I thought Mondo would end up in the bottom. Kinda shocked that he won.

  • I was certain that Michael’s time had come for the auf, but I knew the second they started praising this atrocity on the runway that Kenley was a goner.  I actually rolled my eyes at the TV.  Kenley’s dress had its issues, but this?  is worse than Anya’s bad days. 

    I’ll watch the rest of this season but my heart isn’t in it anymore.

    • blogless

      That was when I realized it too!  I thought for sure Michael was going to be auf’d but when they praised him, I knew Kenley was the only “disposable” one left. And I thought she should’ve won for the purpose of the challenge. 

      I guess Michael’s strategy of making the same dress all the time was a good one.  

  • *Oh, god. We’re defending Anya. Time to start drinking in the morning.*

    Make mine a double…

    • tinyredlocks

      Just pass me the bottle and a long straw…

      • AthenaJ

        Oh honey, we’re way past even that. Just inject the tequila into my veins and we’ll call it a day.

        • Susan Crawford

          I’ll send you my IV pole and a bag of tequila as soon as I finish my infusion of single malt. Cray-cray episode, wasn’t it?

        • CozyCat

          Yes, intravenous is definitely the way to go (the lime and salt may hurt a bit, though…)

        • Kris Zwack

           Clearly you’ve never seen the Motley Crue behind the music, or you’d know what a horrrrible idea that is. 😀

  • ShivaDiva

    I’m not surprised that they played up the winning look.  I’m sure Nanette Lapore didn’t want to be like, “Meh, they all suck, but this one is the least offensive.  Hurry to our website and order it now!”

    Austin wins the personality contest hands down, but he’s been almost as wacky and inconsistent as Jerell was:  great look one week, laughable kitsch the next.  I don’t really see the praise for this look.  “A good design, if it were in a different fabric and with less pleats” certainly doesn’t sound like something that is going to win PR.

  • SewingSiren

    I liked Austin’s alright, but I wonder what made him suddenly interested in doing outerwear. For a challenge like this especially.The neck looks a little to open to be high, and little to closed to be low. I do love the three way conversion , Watteau , tent, or belted. He seemed really disappointed that Kenley would not be in the finals. I wonder why.

    I don’t know the words to describe Michael’s mui-mui. It’s like the one for the aging directors wife in Palm’s Springs, but downscale. It looks like something LaVern (remember the Sonny and Cher sketch) would wear to the washateria , she wears rhinestone studded glasses and smokes ValuePak cigarettes. The dresses smells like sweat is its hot in here and there are numerous cigarette burns because sometimes she falls asleep while she waits for a dryer to open up. Oh yeah, she’s not wearing a bra, but she should be.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      In answer to your wondering why Austin was disappointed, Kenley, Kara and Austin formed a tight knit little group and Michael and Mondo were already good buddies from their season.  The producers showed Kara and Kenley yucking it up with Mila commenting, but didn’t show Austin.  They talked about their little clicks on After the Runway Show.  But did you know that Anthony and Rami have become good friends while on the show?  I read that in their interviews.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Hmmm. How about a sitcom featuring Anthony and Rami?  Anthony can do the quips and Rami can hover shirtless in the background?

        • You, my dear, are a TV programming genius.

          I can imagine the wacky scrapes Anthony will get into. Rami will have to bail him out every week (literally, when he gets arrested over a crazy misunderstanding in Central Park, most likely involving him trying to buy the shirt of some guy’s back). When Anthony tries to explain, Rami will roll his eyes, then everyone makes up. Somehow Rami will do all these things while never, ever wearing a shirt.

      • Sweetbetty

         Ah, that explains Rami massaging Anthony’s hair while they were sitting on the sofa.  Yes, I’d watch a show with those two anytime.

    • Also a perfect muumuu for Helen Roper (Three’s Company, back in the dark ages of the ’70s – ’80s).

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      I can picture the Maxine line of greeting cards featuring MIchael’s caftan, with the punch line that it’s great for hiding her catheter….

  • granddelusion

    Definitely shmauf-worthy. So tired of seeing this rag from him. Was it Austin who said (irony #1) that only a model could wear Michael’s dress?

  • Frank_821

    The funny thing is during After The Runway, Kenley stated how no one did their best work in this challenge and Michael interjected that he felt he did his best work. And she replied very flatly “Oh, Okay”. It was very telling that she just left at that and moved on.

    • amywinns

      Seriously. When you say something so stupid it shuts Kenley up cold, then that’s quite a statement.

    • Scarlet39

      And she was right!  But really, in every season hasn’t the last challenge been somewhat of a disaster for most of the designers?  This was really no different, except that maybe these garments (as a group) were the worst that were ever churned out in a final challenge.

      • It is always a disaster. They usually end up with a challenge that asks them to make something really fabulous, and almost everyone produces something boring – mother-of-the-bride, prom dress, ladies who lunch, etc. They’re too tired and burned out to do anything but go through the motions.

      • Sweetbetty

         Yes, I did catch that little exchange, and it made me literally LOL.  Maybe the final challenge garments are the worst of each season but Michael always thinks that what he just did was his best work.  In his eyes he just keeps getting better.

        • kentiesgirl

           Hmmm…I think that’s just part of his process. When he starts doubting
          himself he makes four different outfits, and he couldn’t b/c of limited
          fabric, so he was just psyching himself up. I don’t like the piece, but I can see why he says that. It reminds me of athletes before they start a game/match.

  • If that necklace wasn’t there, I feel like the judges wouldn’t have been able to overlook the lack of taste.  The necklace helps hid the fact that the model is dangerously close to exposing her belly button.  And as a woman who is tall and a size 4 (with a very small chest) I could never in a million years wear that dress.  I think my lack of a bust would allow for that fabric to just sliiiiiiiide on off of me.  After all, the model could barely wear it in the workroom, one of her breasts kept trying to come out and join the party.  (my guess is that is why that stupid string was added in the back)

    • EditKitten

      YES. Totally agree. “Throw on a necklace, and you don’t need a bra!!!”

      • DinaSews

        Maybe that’s what he should have told Joanna Coles ‘You don’t need a bra, just throw on a necklace!’.  Can you even imagine?  I would have paid to see that response. 

        • CozyCat

          If he wins he should make that the topic of one of his articles as a guest editor at Marie Claire…

        • Sweetbetty

           Throw on a necklace AND let your hair grow down to your waist.

      • Hair extensions in the rear and voila! Hides the back of the bra if you really can’t stand the thought of going without.

    • If it had a foundation built in, that wouldn’t be a problem.  But it doesn’t as shown, and it would seriously increase the price/point or decrease the margin if it were altered to add one.

      • Sweetbetty

         I don’t know how you’d even build a foundation into that dress.  There has to be a place where it can anchor to the body and there’s nowhere above the navel to do it.

        • I’ve done jewelry wire into the lining at the neck so it can be shaped to the body without being uncomfortable for a few things.  I always use tape as a backup, but it helps stop gaping.

    • Kimbolina

      Honestly, I don’t know if ANYONE could wear this.  I mean, if you’re tall and a size 4 with small bust, it would absolutely slide off.  But if you’re a tall size 4 with a large bust this would also fail.  It’s a long overused phrase, but “wardrobe malfunction” is really the only way to describe it.  Imagine all the tape you’d need to keep it from going X-rated.

  • You know, it’s not even that it’s unflattering — there are plenty of (traditionally) unflattering garments (boxy shapes, tapered pants) that are still great clothes and one wears them because they create an interesting silhouette or are sculptural, or whatever. But Michael’s dress is not only unflattering but it is also ugly, and there is nothing interesting about it. And if a garment is  boring (like Kenley’s), it has to at least fit well and look decent on a variety of bodies. This thing has nothing redeeming about it, yeesh.

  • I was really enjoying this season until last night. Then we all got BITCHSLAPPED by judges who were smoking whatever the producers were passing around. IMO, Kenley made the only garment that looked like it could be worn by a sane person. Is Mondo pattern-blind now? I get pattern mixing in design, but that tin can with a string that he made was just RIDICULOUS.

    And shut up Michael. Holy, JLo Grammy dress from a hundred years ago.

  • chatenoeuf

    I wouldn’t have thought that Michael was old enough to know who Mrs. Roper was, let alone design for her!

    • Sweetbetty

       She, and her caftans, live on in re-runs.

  • Carey Cauthen

    I obviously need some of the drugs the judges were taking (especially the guest judge!) that makes them think even the ugliest fashion atrocities are beautiful works of talent and skill. I could use that this week!

  • My initial thought when I saw Michael’s dress on the runway was “oh good lord, it’s a k-mart version of that damn thing JLo wore to the grammys all those years ago….”

  • mjude

    i thought i was missing something when they were loving michaels dress. thank you for letting me know i was not.

    • EditKitten

      I kept yelling at the TV, and then my mouth just fell open when the judges started praising this sucker. Even my husband was flabbergasted (and he wears jeans with holes in them to work).

  • I forgive you for defending Anya just this once.  At least she didn’t make hoochie mama meets golden girl crap like this!

    • EditKitten

      Excellent point — I thought last night, too, that Michael was channeling Anya. Except I can see a lot of us actually wanting to wear some of Anya’s stuff (admittedly).

  • MilaXX

    Austin’s dress, or coat as he called it, had a germ of a good idea but was the wrong fabric and was too ambitious for the parameters of this challenge.
    Micheal’s was a joke straight up. It’s too long by a mile. The admonition for a woman to actually be able to wear a bra was completely ignored. Where’s the hooks they discussed? And really is a hook closure going to help a dress that plunges down to the ass?

    With Michael, the scripting couldn’t have been any more obvious. He
    eagerly eats up any praise sent his way and crashes to the floor at the
    slightest criticism. He’s been kept in this long because they want to
    see him cry again when he doesn’t win a second time. This dress was pure
    crap – from the outrageously ugly fabric to the bare minimum of
    technique, to the fact that only a flat chested size 2 could wear it –
    and even then, she’d have to be model-tall to pull it off.  At least
    Anya had relatively good taste in fabrics and understood that not every
    woman wants to show her sternum and her ass-crack at the same time

    Sad, but so very true.

    • EditKitten

      He’s been told multiple times this season by Joanna to consider the bra issue, and he refuses. He’s as stubborn as Kenley, but because he didn’t come across as a violent, cat-throwing bitch — just a crying one — he sort of sneaked on by.

  • RroseSelavy

    The truth is, all of these looks are sort of cute, but I wouldn’t spend more than $60 on any of them, maybe $80 for the coat.

    • Spicytomato1

      I know, I was a little shocked at the price points Nanette’s “coster” came up with for each garment.

      • Jessica Parker

         We’re very conditioned to the price points that cheap, foreign labor allow us to buy anything and everything at…

        • Spicytomato1

          So true. But unfortunately many budgets don’t allow for many $350 dresses or $500 raincoats. I am glad to see that 100% of the proceeds of the winning dress are going to help save the garment district. I think originally they said only a portion would be donated.

        • RroseSelavy

          True, but since that is the case, I expect a better quality of finishing and fabric for a $300 dress.

  • minnye

    I laughed out loud at Nannette Lepore’s face when Michael showed her his sketch and said it was “very chic” – she looked like she stepped in dog poop.

    • SewingSiren

      Something was definitely funny , because she didn’t like the original sketch . Then he had to undercut the dress because the width was much less than he thought and he did not add the option of closing the neckline which they discussed in the workroom. So it was down graded several times and had a too long hem on the runway, and she says she would wear it. Odd.

      • And that option at the neck was an important one.  I love pieces that can be worn in different ways or styled in different ways to make them more versatile.  Most of us don’t have unlimited budgets or closet space.

      • And one does wonder why Michael, who chose the fabric himself, failed to notice the huge, blank selvedge edge on this choice. I mean, really now. Is he that clueless? Astounding.

        • Shoot.  Now I’ll have to watch the ep again.  Got home after fabric selection was made; selvage considerations are part of Sewing 101 and I have to see that.

        • Yeah, I NEVER take their word for how wide fabric is — I always check the fabric myself, just in case.

          • kentiesgirl

            It is kinda a no-brainer….I think it was about the budget, he
            literally said as many yards that $60(?) can get me, and I figured that
            the grain of the fabric was an issue. He would have to cross cut (I assume), and with minimal seams, he really didn’t give himself much wiggle room. Just a guess as too why it was a problem for him and why he altered the sleeves instead of the length.

            I have very rarely used draping or created any clothing
            without some kind of pattern (although I can whip up a mean valance, lol), so I don’t know…

      • And one does wonder why Michael, who chose the fabric himself, failed to notice the huge, blank selvedge edge on this choice. I mean, really now. Is he that clueless? Astounding.

      • Sweetbetty

         I wonder how the dress would have looked if he had used more of the width and let the white edges work as a border.  I can’t remember, did the print just stop and the white begin or did the print trail off gradually into the white edges?

        • I’m almost certain it just stopped. I can’t imagine how he missed it. Am I wrong in remembering it was on all four sides? At any rate, it’s not like it was a half inch. As kiltd mentioned above, it was huge. I get feeling rushed and frantic, seeing as how the designers have about five minutes to do everything, but WTH?

          • MagsRagsVintage

            You can’t have selvedge on all four sides – fabric is woven and printed in a long length with tightly woven margins aka selvedge, then rolled up on a bolt from which is cut yardage. So when you buy fabric to make something, you always have two sides with selvedges and two with raw fresh cut edes.

          • Thank you. I don’t know from selvedge. 🙂 If I think about it for even a minute, that makes total sense.

  • I agree that Michael’s dress was WTF. Seen it before from him, and better too. And Austin’s coat is cute (I’d buy it) but it did seem like he hit his head or something when he made the fabric choice.

  • Cathy S

    Amen. To all of it.

  • shopgirl716

    Michael’s dress also requires really broad shoulders so it doesn’t fall off completely.  It looks more like a bathing suit cover up than a dress.  I don’t get the love for him at all.  It’s one diaphanous gown after another.  As you all wisely pointed out, whatever.

    • kentiesgirl

       Bathing suit cover up. Exactly what I had to use two paragraphs to say.

    • julnyes

      … if you spend 300+ dollars on a cover-up and like for it to promptly fall off your body every time you put it on.

      The fabric would be fantastic as a set of sheets, but hardly wearable.

  • shiftercars

    The necklace is covering more of her tits than the dress is. They should have made him take it off and revealed the absurdity of it all.

  • nancymae

    Michael clearly only designs for Barbie. I don’t think Robert Best has much to worry about though because this ish is hideous!

    • rab01

       Barbie has too many curves to wear one of Michael’s designs.
      How’s that for odd? Barbie looks too much like a normal person to wear his clothing 😉

      • nancymae

        Wow. Now that you mention it, it’s positively twisted. Barbie has permanently prepped high heel feet but she’s not plastic and tortured enough to wear a piece from a Michael collection. Luckily, I think the marketplace will prove to be the great leveler; if he ever actually tries to sell something.

  • sockandaphone

    My mom said the same thing about the dress – oh look, Anya’s back on the runway! 
    And also that dress looks so freaking uncomfortable. Anyone not a flat-chested size zero would spend the entire day tugging and pulling to avoid overexposure.

  • MzzPants

    So, this whole ‘All Stars’ thing (which I no longer view) has been a ploy to undo the injustice of Mondo losing regular PR?  Are you fucking kidding me???  What?  Is he sleeping with someone on BM’s top floor?

    I, for one, will still read TLo if you decide to drop PR from your rounds.  TLo, you are my one-stop blog for fashion weeks, red carpet, and magazine shoot reviews.  And ‘Mad Men’ + ‘RuPaul’.  Love ‘Man/Gal on the Street’ and am always willing to vote for ‘In/Outs’.  I do follow some, not all, of the shows you review and have picked up some tv because of you.  But I just can’t anymore with this PR crap.  They’ve made a mockery of great design and have ruined the franchise.  Can’t tell you how disappointed I am.

  • EverybodysStarling

    Oh come on, Anya won the competition with nearly the same dress(es). Well, having that said, it explains why he is still on. 

  • TheOriginalLulu

    OMG, thank you TLo. I yelled WHAT?? at my TV last night. Almost threw my drink at it, but then I remembered how much it cost.

  • “Oh, god. We’re defending Anya. Time to start drinking in the morning.”

    LOL I hear ya!

  • Glammie

    Wow, you *are* over it.  It’s a tough season for you guys–first Glee and now Project Runway.

    Don’t hate Michael’s schmatta, but it belongs on a beach over a swimsuit.  Otherwise it’s unwearable–if you’re thin enough to go braless you’ll wear something more flattering and if you’re not, you’re never going to wear something with that kind of cut front and back.

    It’s a silly piece of clothing and a total Anya rip-off–and Anya was just doing beachwear.

    Austen’s is kind of sweet and looks like a bunch of my mom’s dresses from the seventies.  

    Man, Kenley’s was the most wearable/salable dress, but needed work.  The rest of these–wow, the designers must all be seriously depressed.  

    I’d have loved to have seen what Mila would have done or Kara, who’s strong with real-women’s clothing.  Sigh.

  • Eek, I actually like Michael’s fabric, so again I guess that shows my fashion expertise.  I wouldn’t mind the dress if it  only picked boobs or ass to show, not both, and if it wasn’t such an Anya knockoff.

  • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

    My biggest critique of Michael’s garment is that it’s a $350 swimsuit cover up. He essentially said so himself. Other than a cocktail pool party at a resort, where on earth would you wear that thing?

    • alyce1213

      Not to defend it, but there are many many many wealthy women in Palm Springs, Palm Beach, etc who wouldn’t blink twice at a $350 (or more) swimsuit cover up.

      • kentiesgirl

         Agree. And it is not an Anya rip off, come on. Weren’t they shooting at the same time, or close, I mean this was shot last summer…and MC has been making these looks since his season and before. I hate being a MC defender, but I think the anger over production interference is making people pick on the wrong people. Get mad at the producers, or the judges, not MC.

        • MoHub

           It’s impossible to rip off Anya, as what she did was already derivative. In fact, her work was similar to Uli’s, if Uli had forgotten how to sew. And Uli later showed a variety of non-beach-dress silhouettes and proved she wasn’t a one-trick pony.

  • The spanning in the back to keep the shoulders on cracked me up. So elegant, Michael! Man, do all these PR judges just love the “effortless schmatta”? Again, another Golden Girls entry pulled from the trickbag. Even Mondo called it a gelato retread, which had been in Michael’s runway show. Booo. And… when Nanette and Joanna started talking about modifying his front and back with hooks and eyes, he never actually added them, but then added more length for taller girls (as if the actual runway garment was going to be sold and not a factory copy). Weird.

    Austin’s fell flat. It was a germ of a good idea, but the sleeves are too skinny to be for a functional jacket (unless you’re only wearing it over a tank top). Trussed, it looks like a shirt dress; and untied, it looks like a Lucy Ricardo maternity dress. I still don’t see the jacket in there and the fabric is wrong on many levels for either a dress or jacket. I’m just not wowed by much of his output this season, and probably haven’t forgiven him for those awful slacks he made for the Seasons challenge. New rule: If you design pants that come out like slacks—automatic schmauf.

    • BrooklynBomber

      ” a Lucy Ricardo maternity dress”


    •  Lucy Ricardo! I knew I’d seen that dress somewhere!

  • AthenaJ

    Austin’s coat-thing is just so sad and cheap looking… and it makes it even worse when you compare it to the opulent (though slightly cray-cray) looks that he’s capable of. Apparently Mikey was channeling Anya once again. They both should own a clothing shop called No Boobs R’ Us. As said before, his look only works on models. Put on a woman with average to large curves, that dress would turn into a risque muumuu.
    Kenley’s look at least fit well, but the pattern was kinda meh. Like you could find it on a shirt at Wal-Mart. Mondo won by default, plain and simple. Though his dress did still look like a Tex-Mex tablecloth.
    I am once again saddened by what this season hath wrought… Before, Mondo would have taken that concept and gone over the top and fabulous with it, and who cares if it doesn’t work for the guest designer’s line? Last season’s Mondo would have been like ‘feel the wrath of my awesome pattern-coordinating, bitches!’ (though in a more low key manner) This season’s Mondo pretty much half assed this round, and it shows.

    •  Mondo didn’t win by default. They gave it to him. Michael might have won by default, but Mondo’s dress was NOT the best of a bad bunch. It was one of the “bads” in the bunch. And I like and respect Mondo.

  • kentiesgirl

     “Rendering it in this heavy, wrinkled fabric only exacerbated the
    problem. With the right material and given time to execute it perfectly,
    this would have been a fantastic garment.”

    Too me, that was everyone’s problem, expect Mondo’s, last night. The wrong fabric choices. That being said, I liked Austin’s when it swung out, but unless I have an unforeseen event that causes me to need designer coats in which to twirl in public constantly I can’t imagine buying it. Way to heavy looking, it seems like it would make me look bigger, and unless it’s a winter coat (where that can’t be helped where I live), that is not something anyone wants from their clothes.

    • Shoelover1512

      I wish I had events to go to where I could wear designer coats and twirl around in them…sigh

      • Don’t we all. Everyone should have at least one event like that per season. And if I had one to go to, I’d be wearing Austin’s swing coat.

      •  I’d be flinging Austin’s coat on the ground to spare my shoes.

    • Shoelover1512

      I wish I had events to go to where I could wear designer coats and twirl around in them…sigh

  • nancy

    I didn’t watch the episode, but was the challenge to make something that looks “cheap”? Everything I’ve seen this morning looks awful, cheap and ill-fitted.

  • While impossible to wear a bra with, I couldn’t help but think with all that unpleasant gathering in the wrong places, it also looked like she’d hastily tucked the dress into her panties.  Didn’t Helen Roper have 50 of these with that exact same print but in purple?

  • Qitkat

    I’m done. Can’t make fun of the producers apparently.

    • No, you can’t make fun of everyone who has a different opinion than you.

      • Funkykatt

        I find it hard to believe that any of those designs would cost so much. I think everyone associated with PR shops at the wrong stores. 

        • Those price points were calculated to allow for a high margin.  It’s not that a 300 dress would take 270 to make — it’s that a 300 dress has to have a large chunk for profit and then the labor and materials cost comes out and what’s left after that was the fabric budget.

        • kentiesgirl

           I thought the price point on Mondo’s was accurate. It’s about what I pay for a BCBG MA dress, and that’s what I thought of when I saw his, cute vacation, summer dress, for an occasion…that’s where my favorite’s are from. Kenley’s as well. Austin’s if fixed, I would expect to be the most expensive of the bunch. MC’s is just no…too many problems to guess the cost.

      • Qitkat

        That’s a pretty broad accusation. That wasn’t my intention. I wrote an imaginary producers meeting. Who else was I making fun of? I was mocking the reality show process. Talking about the manipulation.

        • You ended it by noting that you were “laughing your ass off” at all the outrage.

  • Synnamin

    with the possible exception of Austin’s, these were all garments we’ve seen before. I know off-the-rack does rely heavily on fabric choices, but c’MON designers! Stop acting like you just designed for McQueen!

    Gripe aside, I was surprised that Austin didn’t go home. It was the most difficult piece to produce and had the worst finishing. Austin also seems like the most inconsistent designer. He goes for “romantic WASP matriarch,” but it’s never been clear to me that I’d be able to identify an Austin dress, the way I can Mondo or Seth Aaron or Christian.

    • kentiesgirl

       I think MC should’ve gone, but agree about Austin, kind of, in that it was the wrong piece to make for this challenge.

      Definitely agree we’ve seen all these looks before, but that’s been like that all season for me, for the most part. Nothing about this has been design, it’s a race for Neiman’s, and that’s a whole nother arena. People don’t shop at NM for avant garde, they shop for elegant, expensive, designer clothing-I honestly think Kara, Bert, Rami would be the one’s I see there (well that’s a cheat, cause Kara already sells there).

      I think this particular prize package is so specific that they have to do ‘their’ looks…it wasn’t a season to push yourself-see Mila. That being said, I think NM wanted Mondo and they’re gonna get him, no matter what. I love Neiman’s and can’t imagine them agreeing to a boutique unless they had an idea of what to expect.

  • totally agree with you t & lo … and i have been tired of michael’s face since, like, the 2nd episode.

    also, what is up with austin’s model? i know she’s tall and thin, but … how is she a model again? there is not a drop of joy or fierceness in her face, ever.

  • rab01

    The designers pretty much always put out crappy clothes in the episode before the finale.  Why should this season be any different?  They’re running on fumes at this point.  At least this time, the show made them design for a particular client and at a particular price-point, which switched things up a little bit in the workroom. The only decent penultimate garments I can remember were the ones that Bert made for Anya.

    While we are all (rightly) condemning B-M for scripting the show, I’d like to put in one kind word for the editors.  The editors left in tape of the host saying that this was her least favorite design from Mondo; the editors spliced in an image of an earlier Michael design that was identical to this look except for color and not being quite as navel-baring.  They even showed us Michael’s model commenting on his clothes constantly coming close to exposing her breasts.  The fix might have been in but someone in the editing booth decided to let some of the truth show.

    • kentiesgirl

       Agree about the episode before the finale, and am scared that it looks like they don’t have a break. I think they’re priming us for a Micheal lose with that stuff. Not like anyone thinks he’ll win. But if I was a first time viewer with no knowledge of the show or fashion, I would need justification of why he lost if I was rooting for him.

    • kentiesgirl

      Also so much love that you said the clothes “Bert made for for Anya”, not Anya’s designs. Agree times a thousand on that sentiment. I don’t care what Bert said in his interviews, that would have never been without him. Anya is just, um…she can pick out pretty prints and she’s really pretty? That’s all I can muster up for her as a PR contestant.

  • kentiesgirl

    I agree about MC being the loser here (though I can’t get over Kenley not adding trim to the bottom of that dress). But he does have a very narrow market that his clothes appeal too-not me on a daily basis, but I can see it. If the back was closed, the hem was fixed, and the clasp was on the front, and it didn’t have the puckering around the belly button, AND it was in a different color/pattern, this is exactly what I would throw on over a bathing suit in Jamaica. Heck I have thrown that dress (with all the changes I mentioned) over a bikini. But I sure as heck didn’t pay over $500 for it, and it wasn’t fashion to me, it was just the kinda thing you throw on for drinks or dinner on vacation.

    That being said, his style (not on display here at all except the vaguest reference) is what I have seen in resorts in the caribbean, the gulf, and the pacific. So I don’t think it’s original, or day to day wear, but I see it selling, and understand where his market is, imo. Anya had the same market, but had no idea what she was doing and nothing she produced could be worn by anyone who wasn’t a size zero with no chest.

    So this dress sucks…but MC is not Anya. I just think that’s unfair. He can at least sew.

    • alyce1213

      I agree.  Michael has not been consistent, but he’s made some spectacular clothes. 
      He is NOT like Anya, he CAN sew and design something other than a caftan.

      • Violina23

        Remember during Michael’s season that HE was the one who couldn’t sew?   I guess this is more of a comment on how far Project Runway has fallen than anything aelse…

        • kentiesgirl

           Totally remember..and the cheating with tape thing made me laugh last night…did you catch where he said “I am NOT using tape”?

          To be fair, though, he’s had a while to work on his technique.

        • alyce1213

          As I recall, those were OPINIONS by a couple of other designers — that Michael couldn’t sew.  He was draping a lot and the “can’t sew talk”  was workroom sniping.  Mondo was one who said that, and he reversed his opinion.  
          Michael has sewn since the age of 10, and makes garments that are sewn.  Unlike Anya.

          • Violina23

            Fair enough! I have ZERO sewing ability, so I certainly can’t judge. I just think it’s funny how the “narrative” changes so fast, depending on who is getting what edit.  Which, again, falls to the producers.
            I have a tendancy to believe that Michael is probably a REALLY nice person in real life. I think he’d be fun to hang out with and talk about clothes.  But I really don’t want to watch him cry again…

          • alyce1213

            I’m with you on that, he’s probably a nice guy, but .. enough weepiness, although I guess the stress does get to them.

          • kentiesgirl

             It was Ivy, right? Wasn’t she the one who also made the cheating accusation?

          • Yeah, it was Ivy on both counts. She was a real piece of work, that one was.

          • alyce1213

            Yes, it was Ivy!  Nasty, nasty girl.

          • BrooklynBomber

            Good point.

        • BrooklynBomber

          That’s right – I’d forgotten. And yet now everything he makes is meticulously finished??? I don’t get it.

    •  For my own information–has Michael ever made a set-in sleeve?

      • kentiesgirl

        This was the challenge that Mondo reversed his opinions on MC’s skills. Two sleeves. Good sewing. He can sew, he’s just all about that breezy easy rich resort world he lives in. Which TLo said better than I can here (I may have even ripped off a sentence there, if I did, sorry guys):

        Don’t know if those will show as live links, but I tried. 🙂

        •  Thank you! So–he can but only when he absolutely has to…. hmm.

      • kentiesgirl

        I’m not trying to be a fervent defender here, I just don’t think the Anya comparison is fair. I would rather see Mila or Rami in his spot, honestly.

        • I have defended Michael pretty consistently since his season. He has a distinct aesthetic, which I sometimes like and sometimes don’t. I think he’s more talented than most people give him credit for, although he’s, IMO, more a dressmaker/tailor than he is a designer with ideas of his own. That’s OK. He can make nice living that way. But it’s not enough to justify his spot in the final three.

          All that to say I agree the comparison to Anya is unfair. Anya gets by on her wits, charm, and charisma. I wouldn’t call her a literal con artist, but she’s damn good at talking her way into whatever thing she sets her little dilettante sights on. Michael can sew circles around her, and probably could expand his narrow aesthetic if he wanted to. He’s made a couple of caftans this season, but that not enough to convince me he’s just another no-talent who faked his way onto the show.

          I would also rather see Mila or Rami in his spot. I’m still pissed off about their aufings.

  • kirkyo

    I *love* all the inconsistent judging. Michael needs to just commit himself 100 percent to his design and not care about what other people think. Kenley needs to not do that and listen to other’s input. Huh.

    Do they still show the extended judging online? I felt like the show was setting Michael up for fourth again, but maybe  Nannette Lepore saved him? She seemed genuinely disappointed with Kenley’s effort and how far off the final product was from her initial design.

  • NCDFan

    I wouldn’t have been heartbroken to see Michael sent home for this. Both he and Kenley did repeats of previous outfits. I hate the bunching up in the middle of the stomach and back for this dress though I do kind of like the fabric. Kenley’s creation was probably the worst of her same dress presentations and she took out the detail that impressed Nanette and did not improve the fit though both Nanette and Joanna indicated that the fit was a problem. This is probably the only reason Michael made the final.

    • kentiesgirl

       Agree, but I think there is only one winner and he was picked out before they even cast the other designers.

  • *raises hand timidly* I, um, like the fabric? I think it’s fun and would be rather adorable in a SMALL dose, like a high-necked halter top.

    The cut, on the other hand, is pretty terrible.

    • Sally Brownson

       I kind of agree with you there- I can totally see it as a great lining for a jacket, or a panel in a skirt or shirt, or a pair of shoes. Admittedly, I still wouldn’t wear it because I’m super-white and look horrible with lime green, but that’s not the fabric’s fault.

      • kentiesgirl

         Lining for a jacket…that would be fun. But I see it as a junior dept. thing more than the customer for the dress.

  • CarolinLA

    When will B/M learn that you can’t continue to do one-day challenges this late in the game?  It does not foster any creativity.  I’m sure we would’ve seen some wow looks earlier in the season when everyone wasn’t so tired.

    • kentiesgirl

       They all flutter down at the end…I think most seasons the challenge before the runway is pretty disappointing since they are worn out. Which makes me fear the finale, it looks like they don’t get a break, which means it will probably be way worse than if they were allowed to go home to work on their collection for a couple months.

    • kentiesgirl

       And I think we only had one 2 day challenge this whole season? That makes it pretty boring, imho. If I wanted to watch 24 Hour Runway, I would.

  • Judy_J

    *shakes head*…..I have nothing to say.

  • CarolinLA

    One of the differences between Kenley and Michael is that he listens to a critique and if he feels the idea can be incorporated while still fulfilling his vision, he will at least try it.  That does lend itself to a certain maturity about the business.  I’m rooting for Michael to do well in the finale as I am Mondo and Austin.  I can hardly wait to see what they create with time on their side.

  • nannypoo

    I was reminded of Anya too. It looks like many of her dresses but with less visible boobage and more sewing skills. Truly hideous. 

  • PhillipWilde

    I screamed at my TV set when Kenley got the Schmauf instead of Michael. Her dress had some issues, but his dress is one of the ugliest, most half-assed things I’ve ever seen on PR.  At least in the top 10.  I’ve just never seen why the producers keep saving him.  It’s not like he has a good TV personality.  But enough of the Michael-bashing.

    Austin’s coat was nice, but I understand why Mondo won this challenge.

  • alyce1213

    I have to weigh in that I like Michael’s fabric, and I’m guessing that since it’s a Nanette Lepore jersey, it’s nicer in person, feels good, and hangs well.
    I also like his color choice for the necklace/boob cover.  
    The problem was predictability, wearability, and his obsession with low cut neck- and back-lines.

    Austin’s was a good idea so poorly executed in so many ways (fabric, seaming, pleating, crazy collar, losable belt, workmanship), that it was a complete fail.  I was curious to see how they would justify not sending him home — not that I wanted to see him go, I really like him and look forward to his work. But this is B/M and Austin was meant to be in the finals, and so it is.  It’s fixed, it’s crooked, but I’m not unhappy about it.

    I think they picked the right three last night.  I’m not so jaded to say I’m over PR; I’m looking forward to the final collections.

    Hope springs eternal.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I’m so glad not to be alone. We can be shunned together, Alyce. I like that print, too, and I thought the model looked great (acknowledging this wouldn’t look great on most other people) and for once it seems he got the styling right. And I like beachy-caftany dresses; what I think should have gotten him into trouble is not showing it with the (mythical) hooks that would allow a bra. Actually, I don’t think the hooks would really work; this was cut to be worn exactly as it is, and pulling the front and back together would change the lines.

      • alyce1213

        It’s not a bad garment by any means, a few problems, but not hate-worthy.

        BB, I’m right over the W’burg Bridge on the LES.  Happy to be shunned with you about this.

        • BrooklynBomber


      • Pennymac

        Can I hang with you guys? Other than the butt crack peekage and the overly long hem, I liked Micheals entry, especially the fabric.

        • BrooklynBomber

          We’ll be in the church basement. I’ll be saying, “My name is Brooklyn Bomber and I kind of liked Michael’s shmata.”

        • calimon

          Phew! Glad I’m not alone…hold me!

      •  Is there room for one more? I liked Michael’s dress. I wouldn’t buy it, but the print was OK, and if you like caftans..well, it was a caftan.

        As for Austin, that “coat” was tragic. The color was…drab and washed out; the cut was disastrous; the fit was nightmarish; the the construction was horrifying; and the fabric was just wrong.

        Austin, what, what, what has happened to you? I know you know better! What could you have been thinking to send that eighth-grade home ec project down the runway?

        • BrooklynBomber

          Is there room for one more? 
          For you? Of course!

    • I’m with you. I wasn’t crazy about Michael’s dress, but I wasn’t thrilled with any of ’em. Of them all, I did think Kenley’s was the worst, mainly because it depended on that huge-ass print for interest and she blew that with crappy pattern matching. The result was ordinary with a side of slightly dumpy. 

  • I have always lived for PR but man the longer it goes on the worse it gets.   I want to see something eye pooping walk down that runway.  I am not a fan of Kenly but to send her home over Michael was a gross mis-justice.  His “caftan” was horrible.  I am so over it.  This is PR All Stars… wonder what the powers that be considered when choosing these All Stores been a pretty tacky mess most of the time.

    • Lilithcat

        I want to see something eye pooping walk down that runway.

      Normally, I don’t comment on typos.  But, oh my, that one is a perfect description of some of what’s been praised in recent episodes.

  • Susan Crawford

    Austin had a terrific concept – the idea of doing a swingy coat with an option to be belted is something that is not only wearable by women of many sizes and shapes, but is also the kind of wardrobe staple that a designer like Nanette LePore would promote to her clientele. But as soon as I saw the material Austin picked – I groaned.

    The color was muddy rather than bright, and when he finally commented that the fabric was wrinkling more than he thought, I wanted to shake him! If he had sketched a less detailed, shorter swing coat, with fewer tucks and seams and so on, he would have been able to afford a fabric with more body. Also, I wish he had gone with a true red instead of that wine-color, which plays a little dated, IMHO.

    Michael should have gone home. Period.

    He chose a deeply ugly fabric that looked cheap and sleazy. Kenley got reamed for her poor pattern matching (and she DOES need to improve in that area), but the back seam of Michael’s schmatta revealed the same problem.

    In addition, I cannot imagine many women walking around in this design while worrying that their left boob is going to make an unexpected appearance at any moment. Nor do women enjoy walking around in a dress where the hemline is dragging on the floor, and every step could trip her up.

    “Impeccably made?” Michael, really? You honestly believe that? Oh, you delusional little sad Pagliacci.

    I am thrilled for Austin, and I look forward to his final pieces.
    Will Michael once again get to stage one of those sobbing-with-no-tears, fist-pounding-the-wall breakdowns? God, I hope so!

    • Spicytomato1

      “Austin had a terrific concept – the idea of doing a swingy coat with an option to be belted is something that is not only wearable by women of many sizes and shapes, but is also the kind of wardrobe staple that a designer like Nanette LePore would promote to her clientele.”
      Exactly what I thought. The concept was inspired and more ambitious than the others. I thought it was a slam dunk. Iw as looking forward to something fresh and breezy and chic…I so wished it had ended up less tortured.

      • Susan Crawford

        Sigh. I SO wanted Austin FTW this week, but his own obsession with la couture did him in. I just loved his sketch, but as soon as I saw some of his details (the high, ruched collar; the seaming at the neckline and shoulders, and so on) I knew he was headed for trouble. Then came the fabric choice – and I forget exactly what it was, but if it was taffeta it had to be the bottom line, discount-level taffeta.

        And there went all the glory of his concept. Austin, simplify, my darling one! Bring your innate sense of line and flow to the last challenge, and WERQ it for all it is worth. Couture details are fabulous, but you do not have the luxuries of time, budget and team of assistants to pull off those details. And Auntie Susan wants you to win!

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      “Impeccably made” is Michael’s mantra to himself.  I think he’s probably said that about everything he’s ever sent down the runway.

      • Susan Crawford

        I know! Considering how minimal his skills were during his season, I DO give him a lot of credit, because he has come a long way, and is obviously a pretty fast learner. But I have not seen a single design of his to which I would apply the term “impeccably made”.

        In no way was that caftan impeccable: the fabric choice, the color combination, the draping, the seaming: it was pretty damned peccable in my book, my dear bitter kitten!


  • BuffaloBarbara

    Given the weird love for this shape over the last two seasons, I have to wonder if there’s something being mixed into the distilled water bottles at New York’s finer fashion houses.  Because… really?

    I liked Austin’s idea, but yeah, the execution failed, and the complexity of the design would have made it hard to manufacture at the desired price point.  (Though if I were to spend five hundred dollars on a raincoat, the designer best come along with it to personally line it with silver.  Those price points are so high above what I could spend on clothes that they might as well be couture.)

  • rainwood1

    I said in my earlier post that Austin is a sweetheart who designs for a bygone era of ladyhood that never actually existed.  This is another example of it.  Michael is a whiny shit-stirrer who goes to the finale with a dress from the Anya for Mrs. Roper collection.  Project Mondo just isn’t any fun to watch so I’m out.  I’ll be back for your blog post, T Lo, but this is the third PR finale in a row that I have no interest in watching.  My relationship with PR is irretrievably broken. 

    • CarolinLA

      Austin belongs in “Midnight in Paris”.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    it’s the worst thing michael ever made on PR, maybe ever made anywhere. it’s not even his own aesthetic, his thing tends very much towards the wearable. & it certainly isnt in the style of nanette lapore. it’s in the style of, yes, anya &, yes, this is anya’s aesthetic. i have no idea why he made this dress. it’s possible, i think, that he was told to put it out there just to get the people who hate anya hating him by proxy in advance of his third place showing. too high a showing, quite obviously, in a line up that also included the long gone rami. & i am someone who almost always defends michael, at least to a degree.

    i mentioned this last night but it bears repeating: mondo’s dress really looks like the stuff more recently made by jay mccarroll. more expensive–mondo’s working on PR’s budget not jay’s own money [when he can scrounge it up]. but, hey, if anyone wants something very similar now that mondo’s lapore is sold out, he or she can buy something for almost no money at all from the original:

    • kentiesgirl

       I am liking that stockholm dress in green. Thanks for the link!

      Agree with most everything else you said. I am also a MC defender, I get his aesthetic, even if it’s not mine, I get sad when people rip others to shreds. I also think the edit is priming us for 3rd place.

    • kentiesgirl

       I am liking that stockholm dress in green. Thanks for the link!

      Agree with most everything else you said. I am also a MC defender, I get his aesthetic, even if it’s not mine, I get sad when people rip others to shreds. I also think the edit is priming us for 3rd place.

    • Wow, Jay’s price points have really come down, haven’t they?  That’s refreshing after last night’s price discussions.

  • 3boysful

    Cheers!  I’m buying, fellas!  (Because you consistently crack me up.  xoxo)

    If B-M has their way, “fashion” will now have us chicks all dressed in Anya-Michael bright-colored caftans.  


  • BrooklynBomber

    Mondo won by default and the judges acted like they’d never seen such a brilliant dress before.

    And that sums it up.

  • Lilithcat

    That coat needed to be a bright-colored stiff taffeta, with a more dramatic collar (or a mandarin collar).  I thought it looked like a good idea, drably executed, when I saw it on the runway, but it looks even worse in these stills.

    I thought Michael was a goner when he picked that fabric.  Yuck.

    It’s sad, really.  I enjoyed the first several episodes of this show.  The judging was pretty decent.  But the last few episodes, which seem to be directed to a pre-determined end, have made me just as cranky as you guys seem to be.

    • idk…  i mean, is it really so odd that Kenley is out, after making a much worse version of the same dress she’s made all along? the mismatched seaming and the fit issues–along with her stubbornness–marked her as the least likely to be forgiven after such a screwup. Michael’s isn’t great (as many said, it was a lackluster effort from all), but i think Kenley shot herself in the foot for not at least pretending to listen to feedback (and by feedback i include Georgina Chapman’s warning her about matching up the print a while ago…)

      • SimpleSins

        The “I know better than you” attitude has always been an issue with Kenley.  I have never forgiven her for rudeness to Tim back in her original season, and to this day she has not learned to at least show a little respect to those that are where she wants to be.  She doesn’t have to take their ideas, but she should be respectful enough to listen to them without arguing with them.  And I agree that every dress was the same- even the one TLo liked from the lighting challenge was pretty much the Kenley dress with snow fencing over top of it.  It was starting to remind me of one of those parents with the “this is the last time I’m going to tell you, young lady” things because every week they have told her to do something different and she didn’t, and they’d tell her this is the last time they’re going to tell her, until the next week when they tell her again.  So, while I do think Michael’s was a particularly hot mess this week (I don’t know what he was thinking with that pattern), I shed no tears watching the door hit Kenley in the ass.

        • Susan Crawford

          Absolutely spot on, SimpleSins! During her season, Kenley had me literally grinding my teeth in frustration when her Miss Know-it-All attitude was aimed at my beloved St.Tim of Gunn.

          She definitely lost a lot of that egotastic attitude on PRAS, and didn’t snipe and snap at others – and I give her props for that! But she retained that bullheadedness and inability to really listen to her mentor/advisor, Joanna, and the guest mentor. And guess what? She paid the price.

          When someone who has been in the business longer than you have been on earth suggests that your design needs some modifications to make it fit better, look better on the runway, and make it more marketable to a wider clientele – – – honey child, you are mad not to listen and learn. And implement what you can.

          So, when the schmauf came, I have to agree . . . I shed not a tear for Kenley.

          And just think: the final episode will be so delightfully serene and quiet as Kenley’s voice fades from our consciousness. She sounds like the oboe that plays the “voice” of the Duck in “Peter and the Wolf”.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Oh, Austin, Austin.  A ruffled pink coat? As Macy’s INC, or Lord and Taylor (before L&T got its groove back), as anything.

    Whither my fair haired cornhusk lad?

  • dress_up_doll

    Is it me, or does Austin’s coat look worse in these screenshots and in the light of day than last night? It looks terribly wrinkled, drab, unfinished and not exactly current. I’ve been thinking Austin’s work this season paled in comparison to his work in season one.

    • Pennymac

      Not just you. I grimaced when I looked at the screen shots. It’s pretty horrid.

      • guest2visits

        Yes, – it was tons prettier moving down the runway.

  • sweet_potato

    The fabric of Michael’s dress is pretty but the dress itself is a joke.  I mean, it’s barely a dress.  It’s as if he held up the fabric tacked it in a few spots and off the runway we go.  I really hate that style of designing.  It’s something I would have done with my Barbie dolls before I could actually construct a garment.

  • butter nut

    i was dreading that he’d be auf’ed, solely because i didn’t want to have to sit through another cringe-worthy, over-the-top, melodramatic-for-the-cameras meltdown, like last time.  but now that he’s made it to the final three, i feel cheated.  he’s a lousy designer & he doesn’t deserve it.  this dress was ridiculous & stupid & no woman would buy it.  

  • butter nut

    i was dreading that he’d be auf’ed, solely because i didn’t want to have to sit through another cringe-worthy, over-the-top, melodramatic-for-the-cameras meltdown, like last time.  but now that he’s made it to the final three, i feel cheated.  he’s a lousy designer & he doesn’t deserve it.  this dress was ridiculous & stupid & no woman would buy it.  

  • Argggh… seeing Michael cry isn’t exciting. He’s so phony I just roll my eyes no matter what emotion he expresses. I was hoping so very much that this season would be more about the talent than milking drama. 

  • Jessica Goldstein

    Austin chose the wrong fabric, and his design was too complicated to be the winner unless Nanette wanted an $800+ coat in her line that she didn’t design. But I think what hurt him the most was not being able to send the coat down the runway with pants or a dress underneath. It was harder to understand the design when some key visual clues were missing. I also think it would have been smarter for Kenley to keep the keyhole and center piping even if it wasn’t great with the print. In the history of PR, “failed element” has consistently outscored “no element”, and Nanette was correct that the dress needed something special to make someone shell out $300+ for it. I also think she got dinged for not taking the advice of an experienced and successful designer.

  • golden_valley

    Are we sure Michael didn’t crib an Anya sketch to make his dress?

  • PastryGoddess

    When TLo defends Anya, you know the end of the world is nigh.

  • cleep1000

    Kenley was robbed! Was it Georgina who said she could picture Kenley having a shop and selling her dresses left and right? Would you rather shop at Michael’s Caftans R Us?

    • alyce1213

      I like Kenley’s style, but she has a very limited clientele — a small, specialized boutique would be perfect for the 16-29-year-old YOUNG woman who could wear her designs.

      Michael has shown significantly greater range and versatility.  He has NOT just made caftans.

      • kentiesgirl

        Just sending some positive vibes your way. I like reading everyone’s opinions, but the Anya/caftan comments are pushing the boundaries of reality. Micheal can sew…at the very least, if people really don’t like him or his output, they can at least admit he can sew, right? I’m with you on the frustration. 🙂

        • alyce1213


      • “Michael has shown significantly greater range and versatility.  He has NOT just made caftans.”

        Yes, thank you. It’s getting a little hyperbolic in here regarding Michael’s output.

  • Kenley’s dress definitely had problems with the fabric, but it’s a much more wearable item than Michael’s schmata. How he made it into the Top 3 of All-Stars is insane. He hasn’t really produced anything that a normal can or would wear. This show is dreadful.

    • CarolinLA

      That’s not true.  His opera dress could be worn by many women, although it might be backless.

  • CozyCat

    I wonder if part of the problem last night wasn’t the structure of the challenge.  They all had to committ to designs before they got to see the fabric selection.  And while the fabrics available were undoubtably wonderful, there was probably a much smaller selection than they would have had at Mood.  Austin’s design was particularly dependent on the right fabric.  Kenley fell in love with a fabric and then couldn’t make it work with the approved design’s details.  And isn’t Mondo one of those “I pick the fabric and then decide what to do with it” type of designers?  In effect he did the only design he could, a straight dress with a lot of strips of different fabrics to be chosen later.  The quality of the work might have been better if they had been allowed to see the fabric stock first.

    • Stubenville

      I think that the Nanette Lepore angle was dumb too. Niemans undoubtedly has a New York buying office; why not sell the winning garment on and get cost feedback from the Niemans staff? Then there’s no hidden agenda if a winner appeals to a Nanette Lepore client and fits with the Lepore brand image.

  • jw_ny

    I like the fabric that Michael selected…that’s about it.  I’m sick to death of caftans and resort wear, thanks partially to Anya 😉  I just don’t see this as an item that is as marketable as Kenley’s would be…for this shop/client. 

    Austin’s coat is just a big rumpled and overworked mess imo.  The concept is ok…not the result.  Wrong fabric.  That tie…ugh!  He was safe no matter what, so it really didn’t matter what he threw down the runway. 

  • leave_Blake_alone

    My thoughts exactly. Say what you will about Anya, but even her worst looks could wipe the floor with what Michael put out this week. This dress is wretched.

  • I admit I liked Austin’s coat–I thought it could have won, except for the sad material. Didn’t they show Lepore telling him to use taffeta, and then him finding miraculously “raincoat taffeta” to use?  The coat was ambitious but supposedly the number-cruncher had given him the go-ahead to make it that way. Very 50s but I was tickled at his comment on the “Watteau back.” Dear Austin.
    Mondo’s was not universally praised–in fact it was faintly damned. Isaac M. said that it looked like a potato (maybe he meant potato sack), there was the tin can analogy, and Angela (?) said she’d never wear it. Someone also said it was not his best work. I thought the judges emphasized that he won by default. And they did edit both shows to emphasize Mondo’s own comment that it was gonna be an ugly dress.
    Michael’s was appalling. It IS worse than Anya. I will accept the guess that they are saving him for an extreme breakdown, because I can’t figure out what else is going on. Is it possible Isaac actually likes what Michael does? It was the praise of him (Didn’t they say that he was a true designer, as opposed to Kenley?) that I couldn’t digest.

    I just checked and Muumuu is actually a Hawaiian word. Not Miu-Miu (seh might sue-sue) or mui-mui. Michael’s dress is not a muumuu, though–modesty was key to the shape of that garment (actually, Mondo’s is more muumuu-shaped).

  • AngelaGreen

     That caftan looks like another version of that shitty muumuu that got Zulema bumped off back in (awesome) season 2.  Over it.

  • Stubenville

    Time to start drinking in the morning.

    Why Bloody Mary’s were invented. Mimosas, too.  =)

  • Presumptuous Insect

    I agree that Michael’s wasn’t that great, and I wish he hadn’t done another caftan.

    Buuuuuttttt . . . .

    The thought of Ivy’s head exploding over this is sweet, sweet, schadenfreude.

  • EverybodysStarling

    I hate Austin`s model`s look on her face every frikkin time. Girl, you`re not looking fierce, but utterly bored. That said, I didn`l like the coat because of many reasons. If a coat would only be good if you change the color, the shape, the belt, the fabric and the fit… well, then it is not the same coat anymore. 
    Michael`s was horrible and I really don`t know, where someone could wear that exept the beach and the pool. And that someone would have to be a model or someone who really doesn`t care, who sees their boobies or buttcracks. How do you SIT in that thing for god`s sake?
    Kenley has been constantly told two things: 1. Line up your prints and 2. Stop making the same dress all the time. Michael got mostly praise for his garments, wether earned or not. So it is kind of logical for me, that she got the schmauf. Even though I think Michael should have been gone. I would have loved to see the same dress in mismatched prints for 10 times. 
    I also don`t seem to get all the Mondo-Bashing now. Yes, I do think he is less creative and less “into it” than last time – but if you think about it: he must be under huge pressure fulfilling all the expactations. Cause people tend to see his designs from season 8 in a very glorified way, transfering the rage about him beeing robbed last time on his designs. He isn`t much better or worse than last time, but people have in mind, that he was “spectacular” in a way that he wasn`t. Hope I could explain myself clearly. I do love Mondo and his designs, but I see him cracking under the pressure. 
    Edited for spelling reasons. Even though there might (must) be more 🙂

  • loverungay

    I agree.  This dress was awful.  And proves that Michael makes wearable clothing as an exception whereas Kenley makes wearable clothing most of the time.

  • SapphoPoet

    I saw the picture of Michael’s dress and thought Anya had snuck back into the competition. 

  • siriuslover

    I really like Michael, and I get he has a niche, and is very successful with his market. However, last night my son and I groaned audibly when he settled on this look. This was just as aufable as Kenley’s (I’m not walking back on my statement that I’m glad she’s gone) and he was just as stubborn on the design. I guess the only difference was that Kenley made her keyhole a selling point and Michael didn’t. But would it have killed him to add the buttons? And isn’t tape not allowed in PR?  So, MC, much as I support you, you were the shouldabin for going home last night.

    Oh, Mr. Scarlett, I love you too, and you and Mondo have been long vying for my heart, but what the hell was that monstrosity? I agree with the judges that it’s not at all clear that it’s a coat until you say it’s a coat, and then it’s an ugly coat.

  • rorschach1992

    Michael’s is basically a nightgown that my grandmother used to wear. The back is dreadful, it all just hangs, terribly unflattering. He’s lucky this was all planned out from the get-go. As soon as I saw him and Mondo were competing, I had a lingering thought that I knew there was no way both of them weren’t going to make it to the finale. Now if either of them wins, its all rigged. And I never thought I’d agree, but it would indeed be time to put PR out to pasture.

    Austin’s I would have picked as the winner. His was easily the best for me.

  • judybrowni

    “And then there’s MAUDE….”

    Or Mrs. Roper: the only two (and they’re fictional) characters I could imagine in michael’s schmatta.

    It’s a coat/it’s a dress/coat!/dress!/coat!/dress!

    It’s wrinkled! And no one would wear either wrinkly mess: plus what TLo said.

  • “Mondo won and we’re all “Whatevs” about that, but our issue with his win was not that he didn’t deserve it, but that he won by default and the judges acted like they’d never seen such a brilliant dress before.”

    He may have won by default, but I disagree with your assessment of the judges’ reaction. Didn’t Georgina or Angela say that this wasn’t his best work? Yes, Isaac was all about the pattern mix and gushed a little more than necessary but I don’t think they thought it was brilliant. And on the after show didn’t Joanna Coles call them out and say it wasn’t any of their best work? Only Michael was naïve enough to say that it was one of his best.

    • CarolinLA

      Angela said it was her least favorite of Mondo’s looks.

  • miatamam

    Didn’t J Lo wear that to the Grammys or something in like 2003?

  • Snailstsichr

    Kenley got dinged for not doing a keyhole neckline, but  no one mentioned that Michael left off the sleeves. His drawing was so much more attractive than what he sent down the runway. Now that I’ve seen the still pictures, it looks like a puckered mess around the middle with too much length. I didn’t like it on TV, but now I really hate it.

    I’ll say one thing for Michael – he made me like Kenley!!

    I thought Austin’s coat looked very pretty when worn down the runway. It had sass and personality.

    • CarolinLA

      He had to take off the sleeves because the print only covered a certain portion of the fabric width.  I think he did a really decent job of making it work when he discovered that flaw.

  • BrightsideSusan

    Michael makes a down to there shapless dress and stays and Kenley makes a somewhat more shaped dress and goes – so it must be either the fabric choices or the fact that Kenley is more overtly resistant to criticism, where Michael just gets all weepy.

  •  I don’t know any women, including me, who would wear what is the equivalent of a weirdo combo of revealing and frumpy bathrobe out of her bedroom, let alone the house!

    • Montavilla

      I have to disagree.  MIchael’s design wasn’t stellar, but I can clearly see that being worn by a cougar as she tries to seduce the pool boy with her smokin’ bod.  Also, honestly, although I have no interest in seducing pool boys, I would wear it around the house.  (And I do believe that Michael called it a “house coat.”)  I would appreciate some kind of closure in the front and back, so I would have the choice to close it, but I think it would feel sexy to leave either side open once in a while — with nothing underneath.

      And I am NOT a size 2.  It’s more like 22.  

      As far as I can see, both Kenley and Michael stayed in their comfort zones for this challenge.  And I can clearly see the woman who would wear each dress.  The difference that I see is that the woman Michael is designing for would actually want to wear his, while the woman Kenley is designing for would look at the way the print didn’t match up at the seams, wrinkle her nose, and shove it firmly down the rack on her way to the next cute dress.

      As far as staying in your comfort zone, it only makes sense to do so on this challenge, which is about creating a look that can be easily grasped in a photo, and easily manufactured on a budget.  Both Austin and Mondo were more ambitious in their designs, which is why I think they were the top two, but Mondo’s was clearly an easier sell than Austin’s, and probably much, much easier to sew and size.

      • jw_ny

          well…Nanette Lepore did say she liked and would wear Micheal’s…so I’m guessing she’s a cougar seducing the pool boy type of woman, and that’s her target clientele too.  😉

        • Montavilla

          Or she’s like me and just likes wearing something that makes her feel good. 🙂

  • miatamam

    Michael’s dresses always make me think of the Morning-After knock-off designers who instantly copy Oscar fashions.  He’s so very pedestrian but makes excellent, fast copies of other people’s design work.

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, and ladies and gentlemen, THIS is why we love T LO!!

  • TSkot

    This may be my favorite challenge on PR, certainly for the All-Stars, as it forced the designers to think as business folk as well as artists.  The results were ho-hum, but would love to see more of this.  I’m happy Kenley was sent home with her bad attitude and not realizing that print would never work with her original sketch.

  • JustJenn142

    I said it on the last review and I will say it here.  The judges have to keep Michael around to justify their decision to give Anya the win last season.  If they say that this kind of thing is bad and all the other crap dresses that he did, then it undermines their decision to give Anya the win.

    • CarolinLA

      I disagree that Michael sent down crap dresses.  I think most of his stuff this season was pretty good.  Not consistent necessarily but the long black dress for the opera was stunning, loved his winter coat, thought the Miss Piggy dress was decent even though I hated that fucking challenge.

      • blondie65

        Agree.  I don’t think Michael should have gotten as far as he did in All-Stars (I still think Rami or Mila should be there),  but I don’t agree that when comparing him to Anya that she in anyway comes out on top.  I do agree that this last dress of his was not good and a couple of Anya’s were better than this particular dress of Michael’s.  However, while he’s  done a couple dresses that are similar to Anya’s, the majority of his PR work was far better than hers and, the main sticking point for me is  those kind of dresses were ALL Anya did.  Except when she made pants that split.  Michael’s technical skills are far superior.  And based on what Anya did on the show, his design skills are better, as I never saw anything from Anya but basically variations of a sleeveless dress in different patterns and lengths.  Michael showed much more of a range than Anya ever did.

        • guest2visits

          Michael’s definately more capable than Anya; and this last caftan he made was very attractive too,
          (he should thank a very hot model). But it was extremely repetative, as was Kenley’s. And his didn’t
          look or feel like a RTW item. It was runway glamour that would only work in a limited environment.
          I thought his design fit the challenge the least.

        • “Except when she made pants that split”

          And a dashiki that she totally screwed up, even though it was just a shorter version of what she usually made.

          • blondie65

            Too true. 
            Oh, how it pains me how far this show has fallen.

  • guest2visits

    It’s very hard to tell what color Austin’s dress is, I hope it’s pink. I also think the entire front is over-worked for the type
    of fabric used. The hem is lumpy. But I still like the design over-all; and that he thought of doing a coat.   Kenley’s pattern
    match at the back bothered me last night; but the rest is perfect,- to me anyway. I thought it worked much better without
    the keyhole; and you just know if she had used it; they would have found something wrong with it.  Is it me or were Nanette
    and Joanna less helpful and more prickly to Kenley than the rest,?
    Mondo’s was fun and pretty but very simple. Close-up; I didn’t think the little ruffles were as cool a treatment idea as something
    else might be. From a distance I thought they were totally something different.
    Michael’s was too long; like he had an afterthought that sandals would make it look less like previous caftans. Also his was
    the only design that was difficult to translate to ready-to-wear; since the client would have to forgo undies. And how funny
    it was to try and hide the extreme plunge behind a large necklace. Apparently it was enough to completely convince Isaac.
    Once again, I pretty much had it with the caftans whether it’s Michael or anyone else (she who shall not be named).
    Anthony could both drape and cut a pretty unique dress design (Miss Piggy) without falling into the caftan pool as
    many of Michael’s looks do.
    None of the designs were stellar; I expected alot more inventive-ness and creativity at this stage. The whole show
    has been stuck in neutral almost from the start.

  • Lattis

    This is definitely in the realm of “too much information,” but, I’ve always disliked the look of puckered, droopy fabric falling away from a seam (like the center seam detail on Michael’s caftan). My mom (god love her) had 3 caesarean section births in the late 50-early 60’s. The operations left a seam up the front of her lower belly which, as she grew older, heavier, looked like well, like puckered, droopy tan fabric falling away from a seam. 

    So –  Michael’s dress looks to me like an old lady-gecko’s belly with old caesarean section scars. 

    • SewingSiren

      god help us all. Its true though.

  • Deborah Solomon

    Ah T-Lo,  the only thing keeping me watching is so I can understand your commentary.  I am really disappointed in all the remaining designers.  I was sure Michael would be auf’ed and was already feeling sorry for him, and preparing for the waterworks.   I don’t understand why Kenley couldn’t still make the keyhole and why she couldn’t line up her print and make a fitted dress.  That said, I think she was auf’ed for being stubborn.  I was disappointed in Mondo and Austin this week, and I’ve been an Austin fan since season 1.   I know they’re tired, but everyone seems to be phoning it in.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    While I liked Austin’s coat, I understand the criticisms of it, and why it would have been a more expensive item to produce.

    I almost shrieked when the judges started praising Michael’s design, and my husband quickly ran from the room before I launched into a tirade; but then, Michael isn’t worth a tirade, and neither is PR at this point.

    Furthermore, any episode that has TLo defending Anya is really bad news. Let us all now begin drinking in earnest!

  • I agree about Michael’s entry. I couldn’t believe he didn’t get slammed for doing the same old thing. It looks like some old lady’s housecoat.

  • Michael’s dress looked like it was from the Dorothy Zbornak Stripper Collection.

  • aelizabethpm

    “Oh, god. We’re defending Anya. Time to start drinking in the morning.”Thanks for a laugh out loud moment!  Sorely needed after all that yelling at the TV last night.

  • Horacio Lom Bonilla

    I haven’t watched this since Rami got the boot. That Michael is a finalist but Mila and Rami aren’t is plain stupid. It’s offensive when one consider that their worst designs were better than the bulk of Michael’s output. And I’m sorry to say it but Austin is not much better. Even in season 1 he sucked most of the time. It’s a shame. All-stars had great potential, and to be honest it is still better than the last couple of seasons of regular PR, Michael and all, but it could have been great.

  • Austin: I did not like the color. It exudes a certain fatigue at odds with that swirling outward he was going for. It’s a versatile piece, I’ll give him that. It could have done with some pressing. Execution issues aside, this was the most ambitious and designed garment.

    Michael: You know what, I’d gotten so tired of Joanna bringing up the bra issue in every critique (Since when does a garment designed for the runway need a bra?), but her bra comment this week was highly relevant. The average woman may want to wear a bra under her dress. The average woman would probably not wear clothes plunged down to her navel (Yeah, Michael, slap her sternum with that necklace) and down to her ass-crack. That’s not my greatest complaint with this look. The bottom line is that Michael needs to learn how to sew and how to construct. He was committed not to use tape for this challenge. The bottom line is that the producers find him dim-wittingly entertaining and want to drag him through. The sad thing is that the range of his technical skills is quite narrow. Not Anya-narrow but damn close.

  • Horacio Lom Bonilla

    On an unrelated note… I just remembered the Virgins vs. Vixens series of posts that TLO used to do. The last I remember was I think the finals with Marilyn Monroe vs. Sophia Loren. Whatever happened to that? I was kinda expecting a final post with a photo tribute to the winner but I don’t think I ever saw it. Did we get and ending for that series and I just missed it? It was a great and funny feature…

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      yes you are right. & it would be way more fun at this sorry media point in time to pay attention to people who were important before almost any of us were born rather than fixed reality competitions. or, should i say, celebrities of both internal & external interest in the days surrounding the quiz show scandals, scandals that should repeat in essence now but which never will.

      as an aside, i get to the end of ends: sophia loren vs debbie reynolds & never find a victor. was that the end of the whole shebop shebang? how did brigitte bardot get eliminated so quickly? where are mamie van doren? i joke, here. but maybe there could be another contest, one that gathers from both of the spectrum’s ends, ie: one one, mamie &, say, on the other, maybe giulietta masina, etc & ect? i dont know how to work this but it might be fun if someone figures it out. oh, & isabelle adjani. maria schneider. you know.

      edited for grammar. which really sicked the duck of the dog this time.

      • Horacio Lom Bonilla

        I always wished that if one italian diva was going to make it to the finals of the Virgins vs. Vixens contest, that it would be Anna Magnani. Sadly she wasn’t even in the running.

  • pdquick

    Once Kenley chose that print, there was no way she was going to win. The amount of fabric that would be wasted to line up the print isn’t consistent with a “design a dress that can be made at a profit in New York City” challenge. I’m still surprised that she was auf’d, what with Austin and Michael’s God-awful crap on the runway.

  • I’m not sure TLO actually watched the episode, I don’t remember at all when the judges reacted so excitedly to Mondo’s garment as they seem to describe. Other than that, I agree w/the other commentary. 

  • marilyn

    I thought the print on Michael’s caftan looked cheap.  I have been to Hawaii, and they sell massive numbers of caftans.  They look like Michael’s and are very cheap.  Enough said.

    The fabric on Austin’s coat was too thick to be pleated and then belted.  I did not like how it looked from the front above the waist when it was belted.  And,in reality, all those pleats of fabric would be a VERY wet mess in the rain.  I guess it is a fake rain coat. 

    Mondo’s creation was less worse than the others.

  • And ugly. Did you mention ugly?

  • Good lord. Now I know why Mondo won.

  • glennethph

    Austin’s garment is like the clothes he designed on On The Road — ridiculous and surprisingly not well-thought out.

  • I wore a cooler Caftan than that in 1974.  Come to think of it – it was green too; a dark green and gold pattern chock-a-block with tropical leaves and fantastic flowers.  Oh – and it tied in the back.  Very chic (for the times).

    Michael (bless his heart) should have packed it in for that design.  

  • Dani Colman

    For a while it looked to me as though Austin were doing a bubble hem – and, while I normally hate bubble hems, I think it would have bulked up the bottom of the coat, spread out the pleats, and made the whole thing look less…droopy.  Actually, I think it would have been a damn cute coatdress with an attached belt and a bubble hem.

  • Stubenville

    I can imagine Michael’s dress being worn by someone who smokes Parliaments, has skin the color of a Gucci handbag and calls everyone she meets “doll.”

    • SewingSiren

      But does she wear a big white bra with it and let it show, or just let ‘um hang natural and make us all wish we could see the big white bra?

      • That is probably why the hem is so long — to cover things up.  😛

  • I feel that Austin is hindered by his model as much as Michael is assisted by his (whether intentionally on the model’s part or not). Kenley had a pretty fantastic model this season (noticeable in a season where we don’t learn the names, etc). Other than that, I can’t add to the comments-it’s been hugely entertaining reading these and the other PR post comments from today…good escapism from ongoing stress. 


    I kind of liked Austin’s thing in motion, but seeing it still, it’s kind of unfortunate. And, in fairness, none of the dresses were all that great in this challenge, but I don’t know why they schmaufed Kenley when Michael made Mickael’s Dress Number 146. Again. 

  • fnarf

    My bathrobe has belt loops. Just sayin’.

  • Bozhi

    Both those fabrics are ugly. 

  • MoHub

    I don’t care much for Kenley, but she certainly had a better dress than Michael—and I like Michael. I can’t help but think the fix was in. Austin and Mondo were destined for the finals from the get-go, and I think Rami’s elimination threw a wrench into the works for the third place.

    • alyce1213

      I do believe the fix was in from the start, certainly for Mondo and Austin — for their own respective reasons. But I think the third spot was really up for grabs, which, at the end, it turned out a choice between Kenley and Michael. Frankly, Kenley lost this one for herself.  I think cumulative judging contributed to the final decision, as well as the “who would we like to see more from” question.  That would have to be Michael, whose designs, despite some missteps and clunkers, have shown more range and wearability than Kenley’s predictable, 16-29-year-old, 50s inspired looks. I like her stuff, but it is SO limited.

  • TxMom2011

    I’m over it too guys.  I was sooo excited for All-Stars, but this season has been so blah.  Most of the designers are turning out crap week after week and the judges keep praising them for it.  And two of the designers I thought most interesting.. Mila and Rami… went home way too soon.  They are going to have to cast more talented designers or I’m afraid my love for the show (which is hanging by a thread) will completely fade.  Maybe serious designers see it as a joke now and dont audition…. I just dont know.

  • sfo2kids

     For what it’s worth, my 4 year old liked this dress!

  • jw_ny

     well…Nanette Lepore did say she liked and would wear Micheal’s…so I’m guessing she’s a cougar seducing the pool boy type of woman, and that’s her target clientele too.  😉

  • Michael, any time you have to consciously say, “I will not use double-sided tape to keep this dress from falling off,” you’re dealing with a garment that’s not fitted properly.  And how in the world do you wear a bra with that?  You’d have to throw a cami on under it to keep the bra from showing in the front and back, or add closures on both sides, which would look beyond bizarre.  It blows my mind that this did not get tossed.  I wasn’t that much more impressed with any of the other designs, but at least none of the other looks threatened their wearers with disrobement at the slightest misstep.

    • jo

      When he said that, all I could think was last season when Precious Moments got admonished by Tim Gunn for considering using glue/tape to keep his model from having a wardrobe malfunction.  At that time it was pretty clear that while tape/glue could be used on a garment for seams/hems, the garment was expected to stay on the model without help.  And yet Michael’s look was clearly within micrometers of showing the girl’s nipples.  Grrrr

  • Elias Pineda

    this guy has no taste at all

  • Seriuosly right? As soon as I saw hit I was like, ‘Anya? Anya, are you there?’ Ugggg-leeee.
    Austin’s could have been great. With a week. And more expensive fabric. And, yeah.

  • madamovary

    Mrs roper… Again

    • Kind of a skinny, coke- whorey Mrs. Roper.

  • madamovary

    Oh and as an Irish girl from a family of women who iron underwear, Austin sweet Jesus press the coat!!!

    • Is that why my Irish mother irons everything and it’s brother? I always wondered…and I must not have gotten enough of the gene pool, I refuse to iron, anything.

  • Call me Bee

    I know I’m late to this party, and I’m sure all opinions have been expressed…but I’ll add mine anyway!  Austin was just going in the wrong direction.  It’s a neat coat–for the opera–but with all the seams and fuss, it didn’t relate to the challenge at all.  But–I am very glad he is in the finale so he can make his updated fantasy collection. 
    With Michael’s–there’s not much to say.  Too plunging, too long, too…ugh.  I feel so sorry for Leslie–she is a fabulous model and I hope she goes far in spite of being stuck with Michael. 
    (BTW–they are showing a ANTM marathon on the Style network today–Leslie’s season where Jodi and Danielle are the finalists.  One of my favorite cycles…)

  • I was done with PR when Gretchen won, but stuck it out for another season to see if they learned, only to have them mess it up MORE.  I was still into the franchise enough to watch PA and PR All-Stars.  And now I’m over the whole thing.  I’ll stick it out long enough to see who wins, and then it’s all of my DVR.

  • They both look like what my West Philly Grandmother called a “house coat”. I fell asleep during the episode….

  • Citric

    Well if they ever remake Sunset Blvd., Michael is totally their costume designer.

  • NasserShaheen

    Austin’s ‘coat’ (it’s a damn dress!) is terrible. Too much fabric, ugly colour and wtf is that collar? I was shocked he got praised and don’t understand the love on this blog for him. He was our clear loser. It was the cheapest looking outfit yet cost the most at retail. If anyone is annointed it’s him, not Mondo.

    Michael, Michael, Michael, for the love of god use less fabric! Please!

  • jjfg

    Wow, am I over this show.  I can’t recall an episode I have watch as dispassionately as this one.  Instead I found myself noting how much camera time Michael got (I actually started hitting the mute button every time his face popped on to the screen – and I’m not kidding), how I now consider Mondo barely a notch above Micheal on the self-pity scale, how boring Austin has been all year, and how I now actually kinda like Kenley, when I could barely stand her during her season.

    IMO the ONLY reason Kenley did not make the final is because the producers decided, some time ago, that she fulfilled her PR destiny during her season and that making the final four was good enough for her.  To which I say, good luck luring me back for another season.

  • Again Austin proves that he can make a (admittedly dull looking) young woman look decades older.  Sorry for the fans of him but he is neither a good update of the past nor a polished throwback: his style is just dated and not fresh.  Because the producers have decided that he’s this great personality (I find it a bit tired myself but prefer a pricklier, drier personality ala Mila) we’re forced to sit through insufferable creations which I can’t see the regular judges tolerating.  That coat/dress was a mess, BUT…

    Michael’s was a bad Anya caftan.  And that’s saying something.  At least she knew how to pick expensive looking fabrics; Michael, bless his heart, picked one of the cheapest looking things which, as designed, is unwearable (most women don’t want to give you ass and tits at the same time in the daytime unless it’s “that” sort of party) and poorly made.  Honestly this was an episode where as a guest judge I would’ve said, “Let’s just give the win/finale to Mondo and have a triple elimination.  An “All-Star” season deserves an All-Star Cut after all!”

    Overall, this has been a piss poor season by what have been creative people.  It has been truly disappointing.

  • I love you guys.  You always put into words the raging that goes on in my head when I watch Project Runway.  Michael makes me gag…he is so self involved and manipulative.  Honestly, Kenley should have been in the finale, and I have no great love for the whiny one, so that is saying a lot. But I do like her style and she knows how to sew.

  • GenXcellent

    I saw all the dresses at the Nanette Lepore store in Soho this weekend–they had them on display and then had the retail version of Mondo’s on the racks.  Seeing them in person, to me Austin’s was by far the best. No question.  It  was very cute and chic on the mannequin. I wish I could have bought it.  Neither Kenley or Michael’s were that great.   Interestingly enough, my friend who has never seen an episode of PR in her life looked at MIchael’s and immediately said “ok, so there’s the JLo knockoff.” And the retail version of Mondo’s looked pretty much like the picture, but the material felt super cheap.  Junior dept cheap. 

    Wish I thought to take a photo! 

    • unbornfawn

      Thank you for sharing this. It is really nice to get a critique from someone who has seen all the dresses in person. Go bakc and take a photo and share!!!!!!

  • SVLynn

    If Kenley had kept her keyhole, and wasn’t so arrogant, Micheal would have been out, there was no way they were going to keep her after being so dismissive of her critique, Micheal is only still there because Kenley had to go, it’s Lifetime TV after all, man have they wrecked this show.

  • nolageek

    One thing I didn’t understand.. Austin’s raincoat… How does someone put it on or take it off? It doesn’t open. Do women regularly crawl out the bottom of a wet raincoat?

    • I assume it has fastenings hidden in a front placket, disguised among the pleats?

  • Rroxy

    I couldn’t believe it either. Kenley’s dress wasn’t great, but compared to this… This fugly caftan also reminded me of Anya’s very basic ‘designs’, and once again, Michael C. rides the ticky-ticky-tacky float at the parade. I cannot stand him or his clothes, and for the life of me, I will never understand why he gets so many positive reviews. I could have kissed Austin for his bargain basement comment, he was so spot on! Bleh!

  • Louise Bryan

    That’s right.  This is Anya’s go to design, more or less (that is, much, much less).  And I was not a fan of Anya.

  • bitterk

    Anya won her season by making that exact dress in 10 different fabrics.   


  • Cheering for Michael Costello!  He wore our shirts in almost every episode this season ;D

  • “…
    not every woman wants to show her sternum and her ass-crack at the same
    time.”  this surely goes into the TLo quote of fame.
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • I got it. Enough with the stupid theories–this is IT. i believe that guy may be totally right: Neiman did want Mondo from the beginning and said he had to win the show……to GUARANTEE he wins, they pushed Michael through, and cut Rami early and got rid of Mila to make sure he could get the job done. Ha!! Just like the Anya charade….challenges designed to work for him….and this is the answer to the great 4 DAY MYSTERY: with more time (like the months) to do a full finale collection, Austin may have turned out some real perfectionist pieces and could have given Mondo some true competition…..this was totally engineered to guarantee the Mondo win…….just like the Anya victory. It feels good to solve the puzzle. Never watching again.