Project Runway All-Stars: Let's Pick the Losers
Lifetime kicks off 210 minutes of Project Runway-related premieres, specials, and spinoffs tonight with the Project Runway All-Stars Challenge, a one-time competition between eight of the show's glossy veterans. One lucky seamster walks away from tonight's Nicole Kidman-graced festivities with $100,000 and whatever anklets they filch from the Bluefly/Macy's/Limited Too Accessory Wall, and some of these combatants clearly deserve the title (and the shears of a beauty school sophomore; ahem, Sebelia) more than others. Let's run down the odds, starting with the scrubbiest vet and working our way toward the soundbite-spewing tailor with the greatest chance of receiving Heidi's garbled congratulations. So, who ranks where?
#8. Sweet P
The first problem with Sweet P is that her name is painful to write, as she is neither a 14-year-old rapper from the heartland, nor the offspring of a cartoon sailor. During her tenure on season four, Sweet P produced tolerable garments only after Tim Gunn banged his Ferragamo shoe on the workroom bench and murmured sternly, "I have to be frank. If Diane von Furstenberg laid eyes on this three-toned denim mess, she would drown herself" and "This is worse than when I got Heidi pregnant." I don't expect much improvement this time around from Sweet P, the last crusader of the dreaded saddlebag.
#7. Jeffrey Sebelia
The third-season winner (who has recently adopted a Sgt. Pepper mustache, perhaps in tribute to Runway's own hallucinogenic Pepper) simply cannot win again. Project Runway has long built heroes' tales, and Jeffrey's heroic "Japanese ghost story" is long over. Plus, I only ever liked that purple rockstar jacket he made, and that's because I'm always looking to update my perennial "Naughty Professor Plum" Halloween ensemble. I did it, in the library, with the lubricated candlestick. To your mom.
#6. Daniel Vosovic
Gone are the vagabond tresses from season two's oily Runway heartthrob, who won too many challenges (five) for being a tame, inconsistent competitor. We don't understand how he outlasted his season's standouts, like Kara Janx and Andrae Gonzalo, but we do understand his change of coif. If you were trailed by fanboys who craved locks of your mangy hair, you'd yearn for escape and pull a Mary Martin too.
#5. Korto Momolu
Season five's runner-up is a whiz with color, having produced a gorgeous Bryant park line full of kelly greens, warm teals, and other hues that awaken Heidi Klum's cultural sensitivity. Her seat belt-woven robe remains an all-time highpoint in the show's ouevre. But Korto doesn't boast the devoted fans that these next four have, and her victory would feel like an anticlimax. Jank, indeed.
#4. Chris March
We can't defend much of Chris March's output in season four. As plenty of blogging wizards (blizzards?) have noted, he often opted for outdated, Tippi Hedrenian silhouettes, and the use of human hair as accoutrement in his Bryant Park line struck us as a gross John Landis tribute with a shrill overtone of Elsa Lanchester. But he's one of the ultimate "Fan Favorites," and at the very least, he'll produce a coruscating gown that hugs every curve, cranny, and belly hair on one lucky, Lady Liberty-themed drag queen.
#3. Santino Rice
You're wrong to dislike him, even if he turns up in your nightmares under the moniker "Gay Rasputin." Santino Rice, the second-runner up of season two, technically should have been eliminated when his skating costume for Sasha Cohen looked like an actually-mating version of Turducken, but overall his Runway corpus exhibited edge, freewheeling creativity, and a diagnosable attention disorder. Those are "mad skills" (looking at you again, Sebelia) we can get behind.
#2. Mychael Knight
The fallen son of season three, who was projected to win the whole stitchin'-caboodle, blew it with a collection of lacquered animal prints and intergalactic swimwear. We sense a Richard Kimble-esque quest for vindication here. Unfortunately, Nina Garcia has two arms, and she's willing to shake a chump with taste issues. If Pam Grier sweeps in as guest judge, we'll know the Project Runway sorcerers are on our side.
#1. Uli Herzner
True, her trek towards redemption doesn't boast the high stakes attached to Chris, Santino, or Mychael, but of all the contestants, she crafted the most darling, memorable frocks. Even if you don't live in Miami with the faint huff of Eastern European factories still roiling in your past, you have to respect a woman with such a hard-carved, exuberant aesthetic (and an accent that you want to hug).