Project Runway All Stars “Return to the Runway” Review

Welcome to Project Runway All Stars!!! It is so exciting to see former contestants who were abused (Michael Costello), sent home way too early (Anthony Williams) or just flat out robbed (Mondo). We also get to see Austin Scarlett’s amazing hair and porn stache. For that reason alone I hope he makes it to the end. I was a bit disappointed when I learned that we would not get some of our favorite former contestants interacting with Heidi, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. Even during a weak season I tune in to hear Michael Kors tickle himself as he brings designers to tears with his snarky observations. Admittedly, a new lineup of judges is probably a good idea as it allows the designers to start off with a clean slate. I also think that Isaac Mizrahi will fill the void created by Michael Kors absence. *fingers crossed*

Rather than immediately subjecting the contestants to a painful challenge, they are asked to put on a runway show of their most recent work. I thought this was a great idea as it allowed viewers, particularly those of us that have tuned in since season 1, to see just how far the former contestants have come since being Auf’ed by Heidi. However, the runway show proved anticlimactic as the designs were not critiqued. It was more of an opportunity for the designers to size each other up.

So “all star treatment” this season is defined as giving the designers $100 dollars to spend on materials in the dollar store. Yay?

Despite Jerrell’s insistence that Michael have a “woman to woman” talk with April about their shared use of the mops, the dresses turned out not to be on the same page at all. In typical Project Runway dramatic fashion, Austin’s glue gun melted through his plastic dollar store dress. This was actually the highlight of the entire episode for me as Austin served up spectacular hair, the porn stache and a paisley shirt with shoulder pads. I love you Austin.

I lived in New York City for 3 years and during that time I must have seen a million of those horrible plastic laundry bags. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that those horrid bags could be turned into high fashion. I’m with Isaac, Rami made those bags his bitch! Rami and Mondo were the two runway standouts. Jerrell, Mila and Kenley gave me a deja vu feeling as their designs are so similar to what we watched them create during their respective seasons. And in the what the hell category is Elisa. Don’t ever change Elisa.

Other favorite moments and observations:

Jerrell gets the 1st runner up praise for spectacular hair.

Upon meeting his model, Anthony Williams remarked “you’re gorgeous just like me!” Dear Anthony, you are SO a friend in my head!

Nice to see that Elisa traded in her spit mark for a kiss mark but has not lost the crazy. And evidently she has clients that pay her for her blessing spit mark. Huh.

Somehow I managed to forget that not only is Mondo an AMAZING designer, he is pretty damn funny. I wanted Gordana’s model to be full of candy too!

Oh Michael Costello. You’re like a character out of some twisted, fashion-inspired take on the Wizard of Oz. How I wish I could guide you down the yellow brick road to see the wizard so that he could give you the gift of self-confidence. Full disclosure, everything I know about the Wizard of Oz is from the movie The Wiz. I’ve never seen the former but I’d really like to ease on down the road like Diana Ross with Michael Costello. It’s episode one and you’re already doubting yourself!

I wish Isaac Mizrahi would have brought Iman over from Bravo’s The Fashion Show to serve as the host. Angela Lindvall fell a little flat for me but then again, Heidi is a hard act to follow.

It was sad to see Elisa go home so soon. I think she is better tv than Sweet Pea but it is Project Runway after all. I will resist the temptation to single out favorites but based on previous seasons, a finale in which Rami, Austin and Mondo face off would be heavenly. I’m also going to pray to the fashion gods that I don’t have to endure Kenley’s attitude for more than a few weeks. Add April to that wish list too. I took a look at the previews for the entire season and I have two words for you – Miss Piggy. Two more words – bated breath.

Sound off below about Project Runway All Stars. Are there any missing all stars you would have liked to see again?