Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Episode 3 of Lifetime's "Project Runway All Stars."
In this body-conscious fashion world, there's not generally much room for pigs. But that all changed on this week's trough-breaking episode of "Project Runway All Stars."
As the 11 remaining designers gaze up from their folding chairs beside the runway, host Angela Lindvall explains that they'll be creating "flamboyant cocktail dresses" for "one of the most famous fashionistas in the world." (I wish someone would just erase that "f" word from the world's vocabulary.)
Who could it be? Well, Miss Piggy, of course. And apparently, she's had powerhouses like Burberry and Prada custom design for her in the past. Big hooves to fill.
Austin exclaims, "Miss Piggy!" April is thrilled. Kenley's nieces are gonna flip. But I'm confused: The diva Muppet is supposedly looking for a dress in which to promote her new movie ... which is not new at all. It's been out for weeks, if not months. Me thinks something got pushed in the scheduling department.
Anyway, Anthony feels challenged and in his southern lilt, remarks, "'Project Runway All Stars' is pulling out the talent from our toenails, honey. They're pulling it from our feet on up. I'm going to get to design a dress for a Muppet." Why yes you are, Anthony! But you can create it for your model and it will be modified for Miss Piggy's figure. Phew. (You can just imagine the complaints from nervous designers if that wasn't the case: "I just don't usually design for size 14 stuffed animals.")
About Miss Piggy, Michael Costello says, "I'm so excited to meet her. She's like fashion's dream client!" I'm starting to worry about him. Does he know that she's fictional or is this going to be like a five-year-old learning the truth about Santa Claus?
The gang heads back to sketch: Mila is thinking '60s mod, something not too silly or costume-like. She's worried about translating her POV for the Muppet. Kenley is excited because Miss Piggy reminds her of herself. April is considering Miss Piggy's "vavavoom."
At Mood, Gordana notes that a lot of people are buying black. She and Austin go for pink. "Why not?" she asks. "Pink is a happy color!" She also says that while a lot of the designers are doing structure, she's going to stay true to her personal style. ]"I'm more about youthful and free-flowing and showing the feminine side of the women," Gordana explains.
Immediately, her little frock looks a bit ... ethereal for the diva pig. Pink is a happy color, but Gordana has picked more of a mauve and, if Michael Kors was around, I could just hear him calling the dress "sad." Mondo describes it as "pretty and quiet," but not right for the challenge, adding, "It doesn't make enough of a statement."
Rami says the vibe in the workroom is serious: "The pressure is on." It's oink or be bacon out there. And apparently, he's right because Mondo and Kara (who is in fact South African, as you all corrected in the comments) are bickering over pink gloves from the Neiman Marcus accessory wall. Mondo let's her have them, but he's not pleased and Kara is too busy trying to "sex Miss Piggy up and show some skin" to notice.
Rami is using orange and pink polka dot organza, which he describes as "happy." That seems to be a common word this week. Michael thinks it's pretty, but a little safe.
Anthony feels he's comfortable with this challenge because it fits his mantra: "I always say, 'Being a lady never goes out of style.'" April was in the bottom two last week, so she's got her eyes on the prize, making sure the garment is impeccable.
Joanna Coles shows up to mentor and announces that she thinks this is "one of the best challenges in the history of 'Project Runway.'" Wow. They're really trying to sell this thing. I guess Disney paid Bravo a lot of cash.
Mondo says he appreciates Joanna's sophistication.
Gordana's critique is first. About Miss Piggy she says, "I want to show off her legs because I've noticed in pictures that she has really pretty legs."
I'm sorry. Is this an alternate universe? We're still talking about a puppet here, right? Don't get me wrong, I love "The Muppets" too. A lot. But this is bordering on delusional.
Anyway, Joanna says it looks like a nightgown. I agree. She adds: "I don't think comfort should really matter when you're dressing a mega-celebrity like Miss Piggy." Again, she's stuffed, people!
Mila considers creating a headband, but Joanna reminds her of Miss Piggy's big ears. Austin says, "Mila's aesthetic is really so severe that I'm concerned whether she'll be able to bring the humor and whimsy." He, on the other hand, feels that he and Miss Piggy are kindred spirits. He says, "I like to pepper my conversation with little French phrases. Sometimes I refer to myself as 'moi.'" Wait? Is Miss Piggy modeled after a gay man like they say about Samantha on 'Sex and The City'?
Anthony thinks Michael's dress is amateurish.
Michael thinks Gordana's dress could be from a regular department store.
Mila is annoyed that Kara and Kenley are becoming "quite codependent." She adds, "This isn't a team competition. Only one person can win."
I think they should all stop worrying about each other and actually create something that's not fugs. We watch clips of them laughing harmoniously back at the hotel ... blah blah blah.
Back at the workroom in the morning, Anthony says he felt "convicted" about eating bacon for breakfast. I think he means "conflicted." But whatev.
There's more accessory drama for Kara, when Austin takes her pearls and purse by accident.
Kenley feels that she'll probably win. "I always feel confident!" she says. But April doesn't agree about Kenley's princess-seamed number in a pink giraffe print. She thinks it's "just like the dresses she has already done."
This process is probably always difficult, but now they're being ripped apart by a puppet, so it seems a little more humiliating potentially. But maybe it brings levity.
Isaac is gone for the week, so the judges are Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, Eric Daman (costume designer on "Gossip Girl") and, well, Miss Piggy natch, who is oddly dressed like a First Lady in a gray blazer, pearls, crystal brooch and a red maxi skirt.
The runway show commences and I personally am kind of into Jerrell's dress which looks very flapper, but with a bit of Belle Epoque feathered shoulders. Rami's looks to me like a child's birthday party vomited all over itself and it could not be more over-accessorized. It's very Easter Parade. And Gordana's dress -- which she calls "happy" again -- does in fact look like a pouty little nightgown.
The top and bottom six are called out:
Austin's combo of pink (again, sad mauve) and gray is criticized. Georgina says the construction is beautiful, but the pink is wrong. Eric Daman says the bows on either side are going to accentuate the hips. (In private during the judges deliberation, he calls it "90's redux," good for "Pigs In Space." I'm kinda liking this guy. He's funny!
Miss Piggy's Take: "Can you hula hoop in that?"
Michael's dress is more sophisticated. Georgina likes the zipper down the back. They wonder if there's too much black.
Miss Piggy's Take: "I love the dress. It looks like a present!"
Kenley's color was great, they think, and they love the fabric and mesh hat; but they're worried about the construction in the boob area. Eric says the hat is good "because she's sensitive about her ears." Miss Piggy objects to that. I actually like this dress best of the top six maybe. It's cute for a Muppet.
Miss Piggy's Take: "I do love the hat though because after a big night out on the town, I can use the hat to clean my pots and pans."
Rami's dress is a huge success (a big surprise to me). Georgina says he went for it and Eric calls it "Parisian Hog Couture." (Georgina does admit that under other circumstances, the dress would not have made sense.)
Miss Piggy's Take: "The most garish, outlandish, ridiculous thing I have ever seen and I love it. It looks like a candy store exploded." Hey. That's what I thought! (But in a bad way.)
Mila's dress is missing the flamboyance. It's too black and white. She didn't really complete the challenge, which was about pleasing the client ... a puppet.
Miss Piggy's Take: "I like that it's retro. It just doesn't scream Miss Piggy!"
Then, after Miss Piggy attacks Eric Daman for talking about her ears, they come to a decision:
The Winner: Michael. I guess they realized that it's still a fashion competition, so Rami's dress is a close second, but doesn't win.
Going Home: It's between Mila and Gordana. And ultimately, Gordana goes home because they feel she didn't push the envelope.
After a strong handshake from Angela, Gordana leaves with these parting words from Miss Piggy: "You really are an all star, Gordana. Remember that."
She will, Miss Piggy. She will.
"Project Runway All Stars" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime.
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