Have you been watching Project Runway All Stars? I obsessively watch Project Runway every season (it goes with everything!)
I had the chance to hop on a call with All Stars judge, one of my favorite designers, the fabulous Isaac Mizrahi about this week’s finale. (If you aren't up to date, there are a few spoilers from the season so far, but nothing from the finale.)
Thank you for being with us today!
Not at all, not at all.
Which contestant do you think has grown the most since their first time on Project Runway?
Michael has grown the most since his first season, I remember thinking, "He really needs to come a long way." But by the end of that season I thought he had learned a lot. By the time he came to All Stars, Michael was really ready.
We heard that reference to Teletubbies the other week! What’s with the Teletubby love?
I love the Teletubbies! I did a collection once that was inspired by Teletubbies: so clean, beautiful futuristic, with brass, and all these primary colors.
How would you describe in one word the four remaining designers?
Austin Scarlet - flamboyant, feminine
Kenley - Sure, witty
Mondo - Inventive, soulful
Michael - Sexy and luxurious
We loved that moment when Austin was on the runway and you misheard “Scarlet” as “Starlet”
What can I say? I was talking really fast and you can barely hear two syllables on set. And you’re old, and you take too much Xanax. But wouldn’t “Starlet” be perfect? It really did happen!
Before becoming a Project Runway Allstars judge had you watched previous seasons?
I’d watched selectively. I was aware of it. After all, fashion is my work; [Project Runway] is something I was attracted to and repelled by. It’s the subject of my life; it’s interesting and I also wanted to run away from it.
Did previous exposure to the contestants affect your judging at all?
I knew some of the contestants from their past season, but some were completely new. I will say, that each week we watched what they did and we judged them on that. It’s important as a judge to divorce yourself from any predisposition. After a while that’s an easy thing to do. These designers are so talented. It was really good for me to see things that way and I learned from the process.
Which designer were you most shocked to see go?
I was most shocked to see Rami go. I felt like we could hear the gasps across America. That was a rough week; it was about highs and lows. The judges were extremely honest about our answers. We judge, period. The lowest score got eliminated that week. He’s such a great competitor, thinker, and artist. For me, the most profound loss [of the season] was Rami.
Who was your favorite guest judge?
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Diane Von Furstenberg! She’s so eternal, such an icon. When she opens her mouth it’s both incredibly entertaining and wise. I love watching Diane and love being around her. My first job in fashion, before college, was working for a company that licensed her blouses! I lasted about two weeks.
A lot of seasons we see a menswear or a real woman challenge. Which contestant would have done the best at a menswear/real woman challenge?
It’s really hard to say, because the chips fall where they fall every week. It’s always a surprise. For men’s clothes, I think Rami would have done well because of that good tailoring hand. Kenley for plus size or regular size. She really thinks about real women when she designs. Kenley is abbreviated, witty, and pithy--which I think people respond to.
What’s been your favorite moment of the season so far?
When the winner won. Week after week the worst was sending someone home. Honestly, I think every one of us were candid about our criticism, giving it to the contestants as straight as possible. No matter what it’s difficult to tell someone they have to go home. Somehow, what made up for that was watching the winner win every week. It was wonderful to see how motivating and inspiring it was to see the designers win.
Who was the most beneficial guest judge?
Again, Diane Von Furstenberg. She taught them so much. The designers really, really learned from her. They respect Diane for being an icon: how she presents herself, her look, she’s just an inspiration the minute she walks in the door.
When you judge are you looking for what’s the most wearable or what makes the biggest splash on the runway?
Sometimes the most wearable thing is the thing that makes the biggest splash on the runway. For example, the flag episode: Mondo won because it was so eminently wearable and it made the model look so beautiful. There were so many flashy things in the flag episode that didn’t win.
So often, The Muse visits the set and says, “Here’s the winner, darling.” When the model walks down the runway you get the soul of the ensemble. Sometimes the ensemble wins because it’s plain and perfect, and sometimes it’s because it’s big and flashy.
Tell us about Kenley
I love her. We would tell her to do this or that, but Kenley would sometimes lie to our face--even when we told her to do certain things. It’s her greatest asset--that she does not listen. Sometimes I want to kill her, but it’s also her biggest virtue.
Thank you, Isaac, for talking to us!
So, gang, what do you think? Who is going to win? Is there a designer you wish were in the running to win? Do you agree with last week's elimination? I was sad to see Kenley go, for all that cheek she kept showing. Have you loved seeing Isaac Mizrahi on Project Runway? I certainly have!
The part one of the Project Runway All Stars finale airs Thursday night on Lifetime, check your local listings, yo!
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