Project Runway All-Stars: The Copycat Challenge

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This week on PRAS: The show suffers from a serious lack of Anthony; Mondo reveals a hate-crush on Kenley; the designers are paired up to create sportswear for a weekend getaway FACE-OFF challenge. This week's guest judge is Cynthia Rowley.

At the beginning of the episode designers choose a bag, and each bag contains a card with a season written on it. Two designers are randomly assigned one of four seasons, and the looks they create will compete directly with one another on the runway. This is a one-day challenge with a $200 budget. The pairings are:

  • Spring: Austin vs. Kara
  • Summer: Kenley vs. Mondo
  • Autumn: Mila vs. Rami
  • Winter: Jerell vs. Michael

Kenley has the good sense to be intimidated by Mondo, but claims it's because "he just came off a win." She forgot "is a better designer" and "a more likeable person." Angela tells the designers to have a clear idea of who they are designing for, so Mila immediately tells us she's designing for a weekend outfit for a New Yorker who is going to Marfa, Texas, for an art festival. A quick Google reveals Mila is from Dallas, so that now seems a lot less random. Rami's lady is wine tasting with a friend, while Austin's is heading to the country to check up on her gardeners. BOWCHIKA-WOW-WOW, Austin's lady!

There's instant drama in the workroom when Michael scraps his first jacket design, a bolero, and begins constructing a long, draped jacket that looks suspiciously like the one Jerell is creating -- right down to the fabric colors. Jerell calls him out for it but Michael plays it off like it's a joke.

Joanna Coles enters the workroom and makes her way around the room in seasonal order, beginning with spring. Kara and Austin are both doing a high-waisted pant, but so far no accusations of copycatting are flying. Next up is summer, where Mondo and Kenley are both using a high-waisted short, and both are using polka dots. Do we see a pattern forming? (Get it? Pattern? Meh.) Joanna brings the designers together to discuss the ethics of idea-sharing in the workroom, and what the meaning of copying really is. Jerell is pretty clear that he thinks Michael copied him, while Michael insists that he didn't.

The best scene of the show is when Jerell walks in to eat dinner where Mondo and Michael are discussing the copycat controversy. Mondo says, "This feels just like dinner at my family's house," to which Michael asks, "Spaghetti?" Mondo says, "No. Awkward." HA!

Runway Day

Finishing touches are going on all of the garments, while designers size up their competition. Jerell's bad mood from the day before is taking on a life of its own, complaining because Mondo is helping Michael accessorize his look. The camera angles are only giving us glimpses at the models as they finish dressing, so we're really going to have to wait for the runway on this challenge.

spring a_kara.jpg
Spring: Austin (l) vs. Kara (r)
Spring: Austin vs. Kara

Austin calls his look wearable and classic; however, the judges take issue with the design. Cynthia calls it "almost so dorky it's cool"; Isaac likes the look of the pant, calling it "the new khaki," but thinks on his model it looks "too moderate." Georgina doesn't think it's modern enough, while Angela thinks it looks "small town going to church." THIS IS A CASUAL SPORTSWEAR CHALLENGE. Isn't that what small-town people wear to church?

Kara hopes the judges notice a simple chic aesthetic and strong color sensibility. Angela calls the drapey separates wearable and comfortable; Cynthia doesn't think anything is original at all; Isaac says he doesn't feel it and says it's good for running to the store (obviously Isaac Mizrahi hasn't been to the store in awhile, because very few women look this good buying milk anymore); Georgina likes the color choices.

High Score: Kara

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