One of the best things about Project Runway All Stars is that they hack off half an hour from their regular episodes which means they get right down to business without wasting any time. Ahhh. Just like the good old days.

The designers meet Alyssa at Jay Z’s 40/40 Club downtown where she tells them their next challenge is to create a cocktail dress with only $100 budget. Each designer has to pick a signature cocktail and find inspiration in the drink-mixing process as well as the drink.

Mychael gets to pick first since he won last week’s challenge, then he picks the next person, and so on. Irina ends up being picked last, but she doesn’t mind because she says it’s because the others consider her a threat. This may be true, but it also might be because she’s a bit icy. Just sayin’, girl. But don’t worry, she’s not here to make friends.

Fill Up My Cup

Mychael picked the Spotted Plum drink first because he is drawn to working with a plum color for his sexy cocktail dress.

Coming off being in the bottom last week, Jeffery wants to make something sexy and wearable that the judges will appreciate inspired his drink, the El Exotique. Unfortunately, he picks kind of a dowdy fabric and Zanna is worried that it may not come across young enough.

Both Korto and Viktor are working with prints. Viktor has a print with a church on it to juxtapose the bar theme. His drink is the Tiger Eye and he has to make sure the linear pattern aligns correctly when he sews it.

Korto’s print, on the other hand, was inspired by her Summer cocktail, and it’s much brighter and less linear. She’s really working fast until the model fitting when the dress doesn’t fit her model properly. She gets a bit flustered, but tries to make the best of it and just keeps sewing.

Melissa’s drink was the Sunset so naturally she picks fabrics that are completely jarring and the exact opposite of what one would associate with a sunset: bright fuschia and yellow. Zanna worries that it’s not surprising enough, and Melissa can’t really afford to play it safe. Christopher also points out that he has seen Melissa make that same exact dress several times over.

Speaking of Christopher, his drink is The Rose and he wants to make something pretty and feminine. He picks out a chiffon and a lace from the curtains section of Mood. He immediately starts second-guessing his fabric choices back in the work room. He’s worried that his garment will be see-through, so he decides to hand-sew an extra layer of chiffon to go underneath.

Elena is making a very architectural cut-out dress inspired by the Sardina, which is also a province in Italy which Elena uses as inspiration as well. Zanna loves the idea and thinks it’s very fashion-forward.

Before the work day is over, Zanna tells them that “like all great cocktails, this challenge has a twist.” So the designers have to make a unique accessory to send down the runway with their cocktail dress.

A Tall Glass of Runway

The judges this week are Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi, accessory designer Rebecca Minkoff, and interior designer Nate Berkus.


Viktor- Alyssa says that when she saw this dress coming down the runway, it gave her goosebumps. Nate says the shoulders and the back look like pure couture, but he doesn’t appreciate the high-slit in the front, which he calls “hoochie.”

Christopher- Nate says that this is his favorite look and that it should win the challenge. But Isaac thinks the crystals on the back are a little gratuitous. Georgina likes them though, saying that it looks surprising and expensive.

Elena- Elena is the only designer thus far who has been in the top on every single challenge. The judges think the seaming on the front of her dress are stunning and the structure is very referential, but still unique to her own style.


Korto- Korto, no! Why!? To be fair, the judges just obsessed over her accessory, which was a belt. Nate said he hated it and Isaac says he liked it. I didn’t even realize they were giving her a bottom-look critique until I heard everyone else’s critiques.

Jeffrey- The judges think he missed the mark again. Georgina says the jeweled neck makes the whole look cheap. He makes excuses to the judges about only having $100 and having his model and form be different sizes, and it really just turns the judges off. They question whether he really wants to be there.

Melissa- Alyssa says the right side of the dress looks very heavy. Nate likes the colors (what?!) but is not a fan of the structure of the dress. Isaac says it’s not very “now.”

Alyssa tells Viktor that he is the winner of the challenge and that she would like to wear his dress to an upcoming cocktail party. But not only that, she wants to wear Christopher’s dress to a party too. She’s getting a bit greedy. She hosts one fashion reality show and now she just wants to be wearing custom dresses left and right.

And Melissa is sent home. After being in the bottom the last three weeks, there was no way she was surviving this one. But the judges warn Jeffrey, that he was very close to going home and that he needs to stop talking and making excuses, and let his looks do the talking for him. Pretty harsh, but if anyone can take it and turn things around, it’s Jeffrey.

Project Runway: All-Stars airs Thursdays at 9pm on Lifetime.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV