Last week on Project Runway: All Stars, the designers struggled to make fashionable swimsuits. This week they’ll have to take inspiration from the water once again, only this time with a more avant-garde approach.

‘Project Runway: All Stars’ Recap: Runway Beach Bums>>>

Under the Sea

Alyssa meets the designers at the Long Island Aquarium. Before she tells them about the challenge, she manages to humble brag about that one time she was the inspiration for Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In news more pertinent to the designers, she tells them that for their next challenge, they have to find inspiration from an underwater life form to create an avant-garde look.

They have two days for the challenge and $150. The designers all can’t believe the budget is so low, but Alyssa gives them an opportunity to raise the budget to $250 if one designer volunteers to sketch in the shark tank. Helen raises her hand almost immediately. The designers look at her like she’s crazy, but I’m sure they’re all happy to have that extra $100.

Lauren B. of Lauren B. Beauty is also there to help create nail art looks to go along with the designer’s final runway pieces. And the winner of the challenge will receive a year’s supply of polish and nail supplies worth $5,000.


After her brush with danger in the shark tank, Helen wants to make something chic and sexy like shark skin. She wants to redeem herself after not doing so well in the avant-garde challenge her season. She’s working textured organza and silk crepe to create a ton of ruffles. Zanna tells her that it needs more shape and definition. It has to be attractive, not just weird. After her critique, Helen decides to cut some of the length and some of the ruffles.

Sonjia’s making a look inspired by a red-bellied piranha. She wants to showcase both its toughness and its beauty. She’s making a gold double layered skirt.

Justin’s inspired by yellow scroll coral and wants to make something structured and grand. After getting back from Mood, he’s concerned about his fabric choice. When Helen sees him struggling, she offers him some extra fabric since he’s her friend. Justin is thankful for the fabric and it’s just the shot in the arm he needed to get back in a creative flow.

At the aquarium, Jay is taken with the lionfish. He’s using black and white vinyl to replicate its coloring even though he’s never worked with vinyl before. The front is going to look like a stylish coat, but the back is where all of the drama is going to be just like the fish.

Dmitry chose the seahorse as his inspiration. He’s making a long coat with a geometric pattern like the scales of a seahorse. Zanna points out that he hasn’t won a challenge yet, and he admits it’s frustrating, although he thinks he should have won at times. Fabio points out that Dmitry’s jacket is very similar to pieces he’s made in the past. After seeing the flashback to some of his looks from fashion week, I can’t help but agree with Fabio.

Fabio himself is making a look inspired by the red bubble anemone. Fabio was drawn to the anemone because of its asexuality. He’s making a pink backwards tuxedo.

Michelle isn’t intimidated by the avant-garde challenge… at least at first. She’s using a cuttlefish as inspiration and she makes a coat that’s large in the front and fitted in the back. But Zanna tells her it looks like maternity wear, so Michelle starts to second guess herself. She decides she has to redesign the coat.

We’re Going to Need A Bigger Runway

Joining Alyssa, Isaac and Georgina on the judging panel this week is former Pussycat Doll (and Kardashian look-alike) Nicole Scherzinger.


Helen- Isaac says he doesn’t get “shark” from her look, but that doesn’t even matter because it’s so good. Georgina thinks it’s beautiful and it tells a story. Nicole thinks it’s chic and classy.

Dmitry- Georgina says the look displays beautiful workmanship and geometry. Isaac thinks the length is fresh and exciting. Nicole wants to wear it but Alyssa says it may have been more avant-garde in its thought process and design and not the final result.

Michelle- Georgina says she can’t stop looking at it, and Isaac says he has to stop looking at it; both are intended as compliments. Nicole loves it but she’s afraid it loses too much of the female form. Alyssa says the balance and the color scheme work very well.


Justin- Isaac thinks that the silhouette is off and doesn’t like the shoulders or waist. Nicole likes the ideas, but the execution isn’t there.

Jay- Alyssa likes the vinyl jacket but not the chiffon dress. Isaac says the makeup is wrong and distracting.

Fabio- Alyssa says the pants are gorgeous, but she really hates the fabric. Georgina doesn’t think it’s his strongest piece. Nicole says Fabio looks more avant-garde than his model and Georgina can’t believe he sent that down the runway.

Dmitry is the winner of the challenge. It’s his first one of the season.

Justin and Fabio are in the bottom two. Justin is the one who is sent home, which is rough because when I see Justin cry I tend to get a little misty. I’m so proud of him and I just love him so much. Team Justin forever!

Next week: There’s only six designers left! The competition’s getting real ya’ll.

(Image courtesy of Lifetime)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV