'Project Runway All Stars' Recap: Pearls Before Puppet Swine
'Project Runway All Stars' Recap: Pearls Before Puppet Swine
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to make it happen for Miss Piggy's dress tonight!

And so, Austin Scarlett perfectly captured the wondrous excitement of tonight's Project Runway assignment and guest judge: MISS PIGGY!

To kick off the episode, the all-stars hear their new assignment is a "flamboyant cocktail dress for one of the most famous fashionitas" in the world. Austin thinks of the holy homo trinity ("Lady Gaga, Madonna, Cher"), I guess because he forgot one essential detail: This show is on Lifetime. So Miss Piggy, #1 glamor icon of three-dimensional fictional characters, it is.

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The Challenge: Flamboyance Fit for a Pig

Obviously, designing for a pig has its ... difficulties. (Like, how to deal with that human hand up her ass?) Anthony says the show is "pulling out the talent from their toenails," which is a grotesque but still accurate metaphor. But the show's done away with at least one of those challenges, if only because Lifetime can't afford 11 tiny pig-sized mannequins: On the runway, human-sized models will wear their designs, and the winning designer's look will be "modified" to fit Miss Piggy's figure.

Immediately, I can tell that this episode is going to be delightful, because the entire premise of the challenge requires that the designers talk about, and really think about and consider, Miss Piggy as though she is a real, living, breathing, thinking, couture-wearing creature. (I mean, WHICH SHE IS. Even writing that sentence felt like questioning the existence of Santa in front of small children.) The Muppets are a beautiful illusion I hope our country never tires of.

In the Workroom

Gordana and her gauzy grey-pink frock get a lot of camera time for the first time this season, which either means she's headed for victory or certain doom. Mondo's vote goes toward "certain doom," because he says her dress is beautiful, but too quiet. Not appropriate for the task of dressing a Muppet.

Then, we get a tiny hint of a whiff of an essence of our very first drama of the season when Mondo and Kara discover that they want the same pink gloves from the Neiman Marcus accessory wall. Oh sh*t, it's going doooown now! Then the fight escalates to the point where ... Mondo just quietly and politely tells Kara that she can have the gloves. Seriously, that's it? Are you kidding me right now, Project Runway? I've heard more compelling disagreements coming from inside my stomach.

Rami's "flirty, colorful, happy" dress is indeed all of those things, but Michael thinks it's too "safe." I rather agree. At least on the table, the white fabric with big pink and orange polka dots looks like something you'd find (and love) in Gap Kids.

If anyone's style is inherently suited for The Pig, it's The Kenley. She's working with pale pink giraffe print, which is fabulous. But she may be feeling a little too cocky.

Joanna makes her third mentor rounds of the season, and this time she finally seems to give actually valuable, and viable, advice. She tells Gordana that her dress looks too "nightgownish" at the moment, which is true. But then she says that you don't need to worry about "comfort when dressing a celebrity." Uhhhhhh. That's when you don't need to worry about comfort? When your client is "a celebrity"? How about when your client HAS NO NERVOUS SYSTEM!

Mila is worried about her ability to translate her "point of view" into something that a Muppet would wear. As she should be, because her "point of view" is what it looks like from inside a coffin. Her look is WAY too serious and dark, like she's not just forgetting to embrace the fun and the whimsy of the challenge. It's like she's protesting it.

Austin says he and Miss Piggy would get along because they both pepper their conversations with French phrases and call themselves "Moi." So they'd get along with each other and ... no one else?

For the episode's other "drama," so underwhelming that it ought to have been soundtracked with a long, slow fart noise, Mila's annoyed that Kenley and Kara are the kind of designers who talk and consult and support each other during the impossible torture sessions that are these design challenges. She considers that sort of warmth between people "co-dependent." Has anyone taken a pulse on this woman lately? I'm now semi-worried that she's not warm-blooded.

The Runway

Isaac couldn't grace us with his presence this evening, so Gossip Girl's Eric Daman is sitting in for him, ready to raise a condescending eyebrow at a moment's notice. And there's Miss Piggy, looking Miss Professional in a grey blazer and pearls.

misspiggy-projectrunwayallstars.jpgNow that we've met the judges, it's time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational ... this is what we call the RUNWAY SHOW!

michael-ep3.jpgWith Michael's, It's hard to tell how Miss Piggy will respond (haha, this whole "pretending she's real" thing is contagious), but I like the look's mixture of sophistication and whimsy.

april-ep3.jpgApril herself compares her look to a Tim Burton creation. NOW what analogy am I going to lean on?

jerell-ep3.jpgJerell: It's pink and vintage-looking, but still flamboyant. I love it.

kara-ep3.jpgKara's looks cheap and the accessories are overpowering. That Neiman Marcus accessory wall non-fight was all for naught.

kenley-ep3.jpgKenley's look would be ridiculous on anyone but a felt pig in a wig. I love it for that exact reason. But seriously, enough with the loofah hats.

anthony-ep3.jpgAnthony's is pretty, but seems too understated, not enough of an instant statement for the red carpet. The puppet would overshadow the dress.

rami-ep3.jpgRami's look is bright and overdone. It's not what I would expect from him, and on a human, I think it's quite tacky. But picturing Miss Piggy in it, I can't help but smile.

mila-ep3.jpgMila's has nice patterns, but looks too casual and dull. Not just for a Pig. For a person, too.

gordana-ep3.jpgGordana's look is indeed girly, but on the wrong side of the feminine spectrum. It looks old and matronly to me.

austin-ep3.jpgAustin's looks cheap and poorly constructed. Je ne l'aime pas, Austin.

mondo-ep3.jpgThe helmet hair on Mondo's model is so hideous as to be distracting, but the dress is retro and fun.

Austin, Rami, Gordana, Kenley, Mila and Michael all end up in the top and bottom. Everyone else is safe.

Critiques: The Highest and Lowest Scores

The Bad: Austin. Georgina likes the construction, but thinks the color choice of grey and pink doesn't read happy enough. Eric doesn't think the dress would look good on a normal-sized woman. Miss Piggy, aka the only opinion that matters, says the bows would throw off her hula hooping.

The Good: Rami. Georgina loves that Rami "went for it," and it's fun. Eric also thinks the dress is fun and screams "Parisian hog couture." Miss Piggy says it's the "most garish, outlandish, ridiculous thing she's ever seen," and she LOVES IT!

The Bad: Gordana. Angela says the dress is too understated and sophisticated. Georgina doesn't like the addition of the gloves. Miss Piggy: "It's a fine, fine dress. I don't know if it's moi."

The Good: Michael. Georgina says his look is more sophisticated, but it works thanks to the details especially. Miss Piggy says "it looks like a present for Kermie." Aww!

The Bad: Mila. Mila tried to "streamline," but Angela wishes she'd tried harder (or, AT ALL) to make it more flamboyant. Georgina says it should have more color. Miss Piggy says it doesn't "SCREAM Miss Piggy, it whispers it." From beyond the grave.

The Good: Kenley. Georgina loves the color, but she's concerned about the construction of the top. The boning looks "stuck down" on the model's chest. Eric says it's cute and whimsical, thanks to the modern giraffe print.

In deliberation, Miss Piggy says that she liked how futuristic Austin's dress was, but the bows were ... unfortunate. Mila's dress was too "Wednesday Addams," and not enough Miss Piggy. "Maybe a good Halloween costume," she says. Gordana's dress just sort of "sat there," says the swine. (Just focusing on the judge who matters here.) With Kenley's dress, Miss Piggy isn't sure "what giraffe print says," but she sounds intrigued. Rami's is a clear frontrunner, because he did really well within the context of the challenge. Michael's styling wasn't as strong as Rami's, and they aren't sure if black would really suit her.

There's a cheeky little interaction between the guest stylist and the guest swine, in which the pig slaps the man for insulting her ears. I think this is trying to prove that Eric Daman is a human, but I'm still not convinced.

The Results

The Winner: Kenley is safe, which means Miss Piggy will either wear Michael or Rami's look on the red carpet. And the winner, the Pig says, made a "fbulous dress for a fabulous model, and that someone is ... wait for it ... " MICHAEL! Oooh, an actual twist. Michael asks if she has a date, and she does (Kermie, of course) but thank you for asking.

Michael is so adorably thrilled to have a win under his belt.

You're Out: Austin is safe, which means either Gordana or Mila is going out the door. Gordana's look was "pretty," but that was the problem -- she didn't push the envelope. Mila didn't listen to the client, only to herself. And the designer who is auf'd is ... Gordana. Once again, Mondo predicts the future.

What did you think? Was Miss Piggy a great judge, or was this challenge too silly for you to take seriously as TRUE fashion reality television? Either way, aren't you happy for Michael, who clenched a victory after last week's near miss?

Next Week: The great Diane von Furstenberg shows up with "the fastest challenge in Project Runway history." I don't know what they have to make, but they have to make it in six hours. Oh boy. 



(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

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