As super fans of TV's longest-running fashion competition show, we have a bone to pick with Heidi Klum and company: We're getting bored. Project Runway All Stars is becoming less like the cut-throat, trash-talking competition show we know and love, and more like the persona you adopt when meeting your boyfriend's family for the first time: quieter, softer, and safe for grandma. But we're so devoted to the Project Runway family that we've come up with five ideas we think could go a long way to improving our favorite small-screen sewing saga.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that none of the criticisms described below will actually keep us from watching Project Runway All Stars. We're hopelessly addicted.
1. Bring Back Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, and Michael Kors
If you're going to call a show Project Runway All Stars, is it asking too much to have all-star contestants and judges? While Angela Lindvall is trying her best (we love you, girl), she's no Heidi Klum. Sure, we think Georgina Chapman is gorgeous and talented — Marchesa, anyone? — but her commentary and delivery are no match for Nina Garcia's stone-faced, taste-level-questioning stings. And does anyone else miss Michael Kors's bitchy one-liners? We sure do. To us, the promise of the premise of the show was that the designers would get to face the judges again...the same judges.
2. Raise the Stakes
During the All Stars season opener, we all learned how amazing the designers' careers have been, and how the money and prizes could really help take them to the next level...blah, blah, blah. Success? Careers? Where are the downtrodden designers desperate for their big break? Or, more importantly, where are the foolish fashionistas who lost it all after their first go-round, now looking to claw their way back to the top. None of the all stars seem like they really need this. Bring. The. Drama. Please.
3. Change the Format
Project Runway All Stars marks a tenth season of the franchise (using the traditional format/designers), and we deserve a bit more than the tried-and-true "make a dress from the dollar store" or "design a gown inspired by food" challenges. We know you're trying to throw in a couple of All Star twists, but yawn. PR, you need to bring it. For the next season of All Stars, we suggest playing off of the "star" theme and having every challenge be celebrity-related, with each episode delivering bigger Hollywood names and bolder challenges. Gotta keep that upward momentum!
4. Have the Designers Revisit Their Biggest Fashion Fails
None of the designers featured on All Stars actually won a season of Project Runway, so why not have them revisit their biggest fashion failures? Sure, it's been a long time since we've seen something as epic as Wendy Pepper's balloontastic "Innovation" design, but we're pretty sure this crop of also-rans and runners up walked some pretty major misses down the runway. Seems like a missed opportunity to us. A ray of hope: With so many episodes left, we could still get a glimpse of some nasty nostalgia.
5. Call It Project Runway Villains... er... Rivals
Producers could have cast more contentious contestants for All Stars. Even clear Season 5 villain Kenley Collins has cleaned up her act, serving up rainbows, smiles, and kittens (but not throwing them) week after week. Jerell's comments are sometimes biting, but so far he's only served them up from the safety of the testimonial room. We always have Anthony's quick wit as comic relief, but it's hardly been scathing. We had a hard enough time figuring out who the Project Runway Season 9 villain was (Josh M.? Bert? Josh M. and Bert? We give up.) and we don't need another season of the get-along gang. Season 1
evildoer designer Wendy Pepper deserves another round, or maybe her own show. Ah, memories.
Tune in to Project Runway All Stars every Thursday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.