It was the middle of summer and the Big Apple was experiencing a heat wave when the remaining designers on Lifetime TV’s “Project Runway: All Stars II” got details for this season’s unconventional challenge: To create a look from material found at a Christmas store but that can’t appear as if it came from a Christmas store.
“I was waiting for this challenge,” said Baton Rougean Anthony Ryan Auld of the show which aired Dec. 13. “I knew I was going to bring it.
“It was tedious, tedious work (transforming Christmas ornaments into a dress) and I was down to the wire,” he said. “I was literally pushing it, but it was a blast; a nice break from what we’ve been doing.”
Guest judge Kylie Minogue inspired Auld to create a dress she might wear in concert or for a red carpet event. “It’s definitely something I’d wear,” Minogue said. “I really love the bottom; the (mirrored) hem really caught my eye.” It also got glowing remarks from judges Caroline Murphy, Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi as well as surprise guest judge La La Anthony, who said she was “blown away” by the look.
Mizrahi and Chapman both commented on the dress’ expensive look. “It looks like something you might see on a Paris runway,” Mizrahi added. “He (Auld) really got it right … he did that magic … he knew what he was doing.”
“There’s a sense of cleanliness about it … I’m very happy with this (look),” added Chapman.
From those comments it seemed Auld had a great shot at first place. Instead fellow designer Uli Herzna won.
“But hey, I’m in the Top 3 again, and I came in second,” said a still proud and upbeat Auld in his weekly update with The Advocate. “The dress had a great balance between being wearable and unconventional.”
Auld has two wins under his belt since “All Stars II” began and has come in among the top three for the remaining challenges. He’s also a favorite among the fans, topping the leader board with 36 percent of the votes. His unconventional creation earned him 3.83 stars out of four with 1,029 votes cast as of the afternoon of Dec. 16 — the most of any designer.
The winner of “Project Runway: All Stars II” will be announced on the Jan. 17 finale.
On Thursday’s episode, which airs at 8 p.m. on cable Channel 26, it’s the “Flapper Fashion Face-Off.” It pits two designers against each other in fashioning looks inspired by the 1920s. Actress Gretchen Mol and designer Jenny Packham serve as guest judges.
“You may be competing against a friend or someone who you’re ready to take down,” said Auld, who’ll also be celebrating his 30th birthday that night. “The claws are definitely coming out … I’m ready to watch this episode.”