The FBQ of Project Runway All Stars: The Last of the Brohicans

So it was finally that time.

It was time for our final FBQ to go. I don’t know about you Miss Things, but for me, the fun of this show now is to predict which contestant will be kicked off next before handing the win to Mondo. Not necessarily because of his talent (which, don’t get me wrong, is considerable), but because Mssrs. Bunim/Murray will be run out of town on a rail if he doesn’t. I hope none of these designers were delusional enough to think they had a shot in hell once they found out that Mondo was in the cast. But if any of them did, I put my money on Jerell.
The Queen hasn’t been shy about saying that I don’t get him. Granted, I was more impressed with his overall work during Season 5, but even then I was perplexed by his aesthetic. Granted, all the designers are phoning it in and re-hashing their own work–but Jerell just seemed to take the worst of his aesthetic and showcase that. Father should take Coco Chanel’s famous quote, frame it and put it next to his sewing workstation.

You have to admit it: the man is FINE.

I thought Joanna Coles’ comment to Jerell about being “…impervious to suggestion and criticism” on After The Runway was incredibly apropos. I think a good deal of it has to do with youth and the need to create a definitive design profile. In his defense he was able to admit that some of his choices shouldn’t have made it to the runway. I just hope he sees the sublime benefit in constructive criticism, and how following a form can indeed set you free to find a refined point of view.

Anyway, I wish him the best.

Who’s going next?

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4 thoughts on “The FBQ of Project Runway All Stars: The Last of the Brohicans

  1. I wish him well and only good things to come his way as he continues along life’s journey but I will not miss his design aesthetic. For me it was a perfect challenge for his send off. I have often thought his work was touched with a wee bit of Van Gogh’s crazy impressions crossed with Gauguin’s savage primitivism. Without a ruthless eye for detail/editing and the time to prefect the concept what resulted was what was painfully obvious to the view. A God awful mess and me shrieking at the cat week after week, “What the hell was he thinking? ”

    He is such a gorgeous man and he does seem to have an interesting point of view. I hope he learns to turn the dial down just a tad and incorporate the concept of showcasing one or two design elements per outfit. I prefer to leave the kitchen sink in my house, not wear it out in public.

    Please, please let next week be Michael’s turn to go. I loathe his clothes. They always look hastily designed, poorly constructed, ill fitting and often what I call tacky. Okay, sometimes I call them slutty clothes for trophy wives when I engage in catty dialogues with people who never asked for my opinion in the first place. I’m sorry, but he has a real talent for making simply everything look cheap.

    It’s kind of funny how reality TV creates characters and how deeply our perceptions of those characters are engrained. I think of Jerrell as rather sharp tongued but witty and I have an overall favorable impression of him even though I have never liked any of the outfits he has designed. I would love to have lunch with him someday and talk about where he got his training and what inspires him. On the other hand, Michael is someone that I would never invite into my home, want to have a conversation with, or learn anymore about. I think that is because he comes across; somehow, false. The persona he is displaying is disgenuious. It may be self esteem issues, but he often appears to be playacting with terrible pacing. Scotty, you’re the director and way more articulate than me. Help me out here. Why does Michael the character vs Michael the designer bother me? I had the same problem last season buying Anya’s the lucky, kind hearted, hard working beauty queen with new found sewing skills narrative.

    Joanna Cole has been a surprising revelation this season. She has been supportive and perceptive. She has told them when the ship was definitely sailing too close to the edge and in time to course correct if the designer was open to her experience and guidance. Several of the designers have her to thank for her reining them in and I bet even more wish they had listened when they were getting the auf. I adored Tim Gunn at the beginning of PR but the last two seasons have shown a Tim that appears to be as fed up and as annoyed as some of the viewers. You could tell he did not have the same rapport with the last cast and often appeared to to want to have nothing with the shenanigans going down around him. Sometimes it seemed like he and Bert were the only adults dealing with a bunch of battling kindergarteners.

  2. julaine said…
    “Scotty, you’re the director … Help me out here. Why does Michael the character vs Michael the designer bother me?

    I’ve been trying to figure that out myself. Of course, I think he’s cute, in a teddy-bear sort of way, so that tempers my annoyance with him, but I too find him difficult to watch at times.

    However approaching it objectively as a director, if I were coaching an actor playing Michael, first I would tell him to change the inflections in the majority of his dialogue. That flat, slightly nasal way in which he speaks is not only hard to listen to, but begins to sound like a constant whine. Kenley has a comparable issue: I can never really hear what she has to say, because I’m so thrown by her similar (but more grating for me) style of speaking.

    I’d also address the way he handles emotional moments. Most inexperienced actors try to play a “state of being”, and don’t get that it doesn’t work. It comes off fake. Whether it’s healthy or not, most of us don’t like to cry. Someone in a constant state of emotional stress tends to come off as unstable. I would direct the actor playing Michael to be much more sparing with his tears. And when he DID use them, to have an inner monologue going that said “I will not cry. I will NOT cry!” There’s something about holding back the tears for as long as you can until they have to explode from you that gets most of us every time.

    Michael is also inconsistent. Granted human beings are multi-faceted. But there’s something about him going from a tattle-telling, bitchy queen, to a magnanimous doe-eyed angel that just doesn’t ring true. Even if it is, it doesn’t play well in Peoria.

    The thing about Anya for me was just the opposite: she IS a good actor. She was consistent as hell. She was perfection in her performance. And since no one is perfect, that alone made her suspect.

    Oh, and julaine? If you want me to think of you as less than articulate, then you need to quit writing these eloquent and well-penned posts! 🙂

  3. I’ve said this a million times: if Jerell dressed his models as well as he dresses himself (cause what he’s got going on is working for him, in my eyes), he’d be sooo much more successful.

    And given what I’ve seen of his collections, the time pressures of the Runway only make things worse, they aren’t the root of the problem.

    I’m sorry to see him go, though I won’t say he’s not due. He’s been one of my favorites as a personality and as a designer – even though I see most of his PR ensembles as failures to one degree or another, I persist in seeing them as failures in the attempt to create a vision that I’d love. I like stuff spare and clean or embellished to the point where it’s a gypsy collage, and I keep thinking he could sooo do the latter.

    Though that Godspell challenge shook me in my conviction that he’s going for what I imagine he’s going for.

    Ah well, I hope he’s successful and happy. As a viewer, I feel like he’s given good value. He’s one of the people that make me *want* to turn on the show.

  4. I feel about Jerrell pretty much the same way formallyamom does. I think he has real talent. When they ran shots of his work this season, I saw several things I remembered liking. I think it’s really easy to get tied up in hyperbole when a designer makes a few bad garments in a row. Suddenly s/he’s the worst designer ever, and doesn’t deserve to even own a sewing machine, much less use one. That seems to be the overriding opinion of Jerrell, and I think it’s at least a little bit off.

    I’m not sure, though, where his head’s been at this season. The garment in the middle photo, above, boggles my mind. While each piece individually is kind of fab, putting them all together is just too much. That’s a whole lot of torso to be showing. Maybe he panics when he’s really short on time and just starts throwing stuff on top of stuff. I don’t know. But, again, like formallyamom, I love a great gypsy collage look, and I think he has it in him to be really successful with that aesthetic, if he learns when he needs to stop. It’s not a bad thing to leave some room for the customer to add something of her own. We don’t need our clothes to be insta-wear.

    RE: Who’s leaving next. It’s Michael’s time to go. I like him, and I think he’s capable of creating beautiful gowns; however, I agree that it’s really easy for him to go from beautiful and opulent to tacky, Real Housewives territory. I’m not entirely sure, though, that Kenley deserves a spot in the final four either. I *love* the stuff she makes, but she’s seldom any more original than Michael.

    The 3rd and 4th spots, after Mondo and Austin (I’m assuming that Austin is a given), should have been some combination of Rami, Kara, or Mila. But Kara blew it big time this go around, and both Rami and Mila were, IMO, unjustly eliminated. Michael Kors and Nina might have only left a little bit of crack lying around, but there was obviously enough for the current judges to give Rami and Mila the boot.

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