For Project Runway fanatics, the new season of All Stars, which aired on Lifetime at 9 p.m. Oct. 25, has already proven itself to be fiercely exciting.
Thirteen designers, who previously lost or were not invited to the first round of All Stars, were chosen to return for the second season to compete for the win.
While reality TV show hosts love to boast that the prizes are better and the stakes are higher than ever, Carolyn Murphy wasn’t joking when she made this claim. Altogether they total a truly life-changing three quarters of a million dollars and include the Nine West collection they’ll design after winning, a sewing studio from Brother, trips to all Fashion Weeks worldwide, a technology suite from HP and Intel, a spread in Marie Claire, and a yearlong position as a contributing editor with the magazine — not to mention $150,000.
Devoted Project Runway viewers may be upset if they’re unfamiliar with All Stars due to differences in judges, the host, and even the hair-and-makeup team, but most of all due to the loss of Tim Gunn.
Taking his place once again on All Stars is the terrifying editor-in-chief of Marie Claire magazine, Joanna Coles.
While Gunn offers sound advice and attempts to alleviate feelings of worry, Coles spent the first episode telling the designers how little hope she had for the challenge and adding rather harsh opinions of them.
Instead of the standard Project Runway‘s Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, this season’s judges include famous designers Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman, Rachel Roy, and All Stars season one winner and beloved designer Mondo Guerra, in addition to new host Murphy.
For those comfortable with these discrepancies, though, the season is already fantastic, mostly due to a dynamic cast of exaggerated characters.
Contestants this season include Anthony Ryan Auld, a cancer survivor who created the I Rock One foundation; the fabulously malicious undercover track star, Joshua McKinley; Laura Kathleen, more easily recognized as Barbie; and Ivy, who is mostly remembered for being mean and going to the hospital. Also returning are soft-spoken Emilio Sosa; third-person-speaking Suede; “what happened to Andrae” Andrae Gonzalo; German Uli Herzner, the flowing dress designer; and bland Althea Harper.
Fans were probably most excited to see Casanova, as he was “exactly” who they wanted to see return for one more chance and limitless more laughs. Finally, there’s adorable Kayne Gillaspie; Wendy Pepper, the mean but respected veteran from season one; and Peach Carr, who is actually last and least, since she was the first to be eliminated.
For the first challenge, the contestants were required to work in two teams, much to Pepper and McKinley’s dismay. When asked to design a collection around a certain adjective, the teams chose bold and confident.
The confidence team, whose looks were modern and took advantage of mixing mediums, won the challenge with Ryan coming in first and Ivy and Casanova close behind.
The losing team left Andrae, Peach, and Suede standing on the catwalk, awkwardly trying to defend their black and blue looks and bruised egos. While Peach was sent home sans-“Auf Wiedersehen,” viewers were somewhat outraged that Suede and his craft-project handkerchief skirt and bra-cup capped sleeves were allowed to stay.
With a huge prize package, title of Project Runway All Stars season two, and redemption on the line, the 13, now 12, returning contestants have more to prove than ever before.
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