‘Project Runway All Stars’ Finale Recap: Go Big Or Go Home

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For the final challenge of Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars, Carolyn Murphy gave the designers $3000 dollars and four days to complete a full collection. They also were given liberty with how many pieces they will create. But first, they were given a chance to choose past designers to aid them in constructing the collection. Anthony Ryan had grown close to Joshua M and when they saw one another again he asked if Josh would be interested in helping him with the collection. Sadly, Joshua M seems to have been through hell and his answer was unexpected.

But first, can we talk about Georgina Chapman’s perfect white dress and Carolyn Murphy’s blue Marchesa gown at the runway show? Amazing!

Anthony Ryan’s feeling were a little hurt when Joshua declined his offer. It seems as though Josh was beat from the stress and pressure of the competition. He was after all, eliminated the week prior. But part of the rejection seemed to stem from a bitterness towards being eliminated yet again. Let’s face facts, Joshua was completely robbed in his regular season against Anya. Fool him once, shame on you… fool him twice? That’s another story entirely.

Anthony Ryan then deferred to Kane due to his impeccable sewing technique. Uli chose Casanvoa, which we were all glad for because Casanova cannot be a real person, but a figment of some of our best dreams. I simply love everything about him. At one point during Uli’s contraction, Casanova passed out on the couch in the break room from exhaustion. Uli referred to him as a baby who can only take so much activity before he needs a nap. Classic.

Emilio wisely chose Althea, who is extremely talented. Althea didn’t shine like we’d all hoped this season, but she is clearly good at what she does. Emilio chose to create a collection based on Aunt Jemima from the 1840’s and factory workers from the 1940’s. The only problem is that when Joanna Coles showed up to critique him he had little to nothing to show her. He and Althea had been only working on patterns, making everything very meticulous and organized.

When Emilio presented his collection he named it ‘Urban Plantation’. His models all wore bright red handkerchief style bows and red lipstick as well as carry metallic old school lunch pails. His collection was simple yet bold. It was cohesive and comprehensive.

Anthony Ryan’s collection was titled, ‘The Thin Line’ and featured straight lines, bold colors like electric blue, yellow, black, and white. His feature dress stunned everyone with its clean lines and statuesque silhouette. Guest judge Liv Tyler raved over it during the judging panel. Georgina Chapman lamented his lack luster finish look, which didn’t seem to match the rest of the collection and had a flowing hem which did not impress her.

Uli decided to create a ‘Mystical Winter’, making most of her pieces white. It looked like something Tilda Swinton would wear in Narnia and was positively breathtaking. Georgina Chapman absolutely loved it and was amazed at Uli’s progress, but she was not pleased with the faux fur finishes that Uli used out of lack of funds.

In the end, the judges came down to Emilio and Anthony Ryan. This was surprising because they seemed to rave over Uli’s collection more than Emilio’s, but perhaps they saw a more clear vision from the latter. In the end, what may have damaged Emilio’s chances was his choice to send too many ‘junior’ looking items down the runway, which Mizrahi was not impressed by.

They awarded Anthony Ryan with the largest prize in Project Runway history and it was sort of like a Cinderella story. After all, Anthony Ryan didn’t even make it to finals week in his regular season debut. He certainly deserved this win and his imaginative artistic way of approaching fashion made an impact on all the judges. To paraphrase Georgina, Anthony Ryan didn’t even need the judges because he was so wonderful. That is a damned fine compliment coming from Chapman, damned fine indeed.