I think this says it all.

Apparently the “New York State of Mind” of this “Project Runway” final 5 was best captured in Mondo Guerra’s nap.

There was nothing fierce on that runway. Not even guest judge Christian Siriano’s comments were fierce. Oddly enough, he was the voice of reason.

I just want it noted that Michael Costello's dress and Gretchen's top in the confessionals are pretty much the same.

The best part of Season 8 Episode 12, “We’re in a New York State of Mind,” was Michael Costello’s Michael Kors impression from under his Cousin Itt in mourning gown.

No one was inspired by New York — which, ironically, is the city that never sleeps.

Remember Season 1 winner Jay McCarroll’s Chrysler Building dress? That’s how you get inspired by New York without being literal.

Remember last season when Seth Aaron Henderson and Emilio Sosa made that amazing Harlem outfit with that HAT that I am still dying to own? That’s how you get inspired by New York without being too literal.

Instead, the PR Season 8 designers decided not being literal meant designing whatever the hell they wanted. And then Gretchen Jones cried on the runway that she lost her design voice because she was being boxed into cookie-cutter design challenges.

For once Heidi Klum was right: This challenge gave them a lot of leeway — too much, in my opinion. They should’ve had to explain their inspiration more and not just let the judges say “I don’t see Central Park, but I love the dress anyway.” (No one used those exact words but they were close.)

The judges couldn’t decide if Gretchen’s look was unwearable or too wearable. I actually liked it, but only in comparison to the blah-ness that everyone else did.

Jay's Chrysler look from season 1.

No one stretched this week. No one wowed. The judges gushed over black-and-white (but still the same mixed print) Mondo, except for Christian who hasn’t seen anything else from him. I’m with you, Christian. The Emperor may not be naked, but he’s kind of meh.

The judges called April Johnston out on being safe and once again making THE SAME black witch dress she’s made 100 times. Tim Gunn even suggested she try color to surprise the judges, but she seemed to think she knew better.

No one crosses Tim Gunn and lives to tell the tale! (Except the people who prompted him to pull down his Ep 8 vlog.)

For some reason April was shocked to not get to the final four. She is the youngest designer on the show. (Didn’t Christian win at age 21, though?)

Anyway, the judges absolutely loved Michael’s dress. They loved the sophistication. Christian, once again, was the voice of reason. He wondered why Michael Costello didn’t even understand the fabrics.

It’s good to have fresh eyes come in and challenge the judges with these “what about …?” and “oh really?” kind of statements. Never thought Christian would be the sane one in any room.

I don’t know why Heidi kept pretending there might be more than one person going home. She kept saying one or more would go home. I can’t imagine they were really so wowed by this that it inspired them to keep all four in.

Seth Aaron's Harlem day look and that HAT from Season 7.

Then again, it doesn’t really matter who is chosen for the final four, since all 10 designers showed at Fashion Week. And we’re all pretty sure Mondo is going to win, right?

Then again x2, the previews made it seem like Gretchen was going to quit this week. She wanted to “leave” and she was “sick of the challenges.” But, as usual, that was just manipulative editing. Why do we even watch the previews anymore?

*** Quote of the night ***

Andy: “I gave birth to a Chinese prostitute.”

*** On the Runway ***

Michael Costello/Statue of Liberty — Long black dress that looks like it could’ve been made in 10 minutes. He thinks there’s wow factor? Judges: Michael Kors says he wanted a showstopper and he got one. It’s beautifully cut, beautifully draped. “It’s like a beautiful chiffon jersey.” Nina was impressed with the back. It moved beautifully. Christian thought it had a lot of old-world glamour. He thought the slit was too high. Heidi, of course, loved the high slit. She thinks plenty of women would love to wear this dress. That’s probably true, but in a too-safe, commercial way. Not high fashion.

He chooses Andy and Mondo to go with him to Fashion Week.

Gretchen Jones/Lower East Side — I like it. I like the skirt. Apparently I’m crazy. Judges: MK: “I’m so confused.” He doesn’t think it looks uptown or downtown. It’s midtown. He think she’s rock n roll secretarial. Nina thinks another designer took over her body. Gretchen says she’s tired and she’s run out of steam a little bit. She’s crying. She’s sick of the challenges and it got the best of her. She thinks the challenges push her into a cookie-cutter zone. Christian thinks the jacket is cool. It’s too off-the-rack though. Heidi thinks she’s better than this.

She chooses Mondo to go to Fashion Week and says she’s torn between Andy and April but because of April’s youth she’d like to see what April would do.


Mondo and April both dressed like their models this week. It's like people and their pets.

Andy South/Central Park — I’m not seeing any Central Park here. It does look wet. Not my favorite Andy look. Judges: MK says the last thing he’s getting is Central Park. He’s getting Blade Runner/Robert Palmer in the ’80s. But it’s well crafted. Nina likes the wet effect. Heidi likes the lines, so does Christian. He just giggles. He loves this dress. Nina thinks it’s an edgy LBD.

He chooses Mondo for Fashion Week and says he’s torn between Gretchen and April. He goes with April.

Mondo Guerra/Brooklyn Bridge — Very Mondo. It looks good, though. Judges: MK says he proved that color is not his crutch. He likes that Mondo dealt with something architectural. Nina doesn’t think he has a lack of ideas. He thinks it’s a phenomenal dress. Heidi, for once, wishes she could see something else from him. (Way to go, Heidi!) Christian really likes it.

He chooses Michael C. for Fashion Week and defends him on the runway. Mondo is good for speeches. Not that it matters. Mondo is going to win either way. Mondo says he’s torn between April and Andy because they are both artists. If he has to pick one he picks April.


How is this dress a wow? I must be blind.

April Johnston/Brooklyn Bridge — I think April and Mondo just did whatever they wanted, regardless of inspiration. This is very April/witchy/dominatrix. Blah.  Judges: MK says the sameness is so numbing. “You have made a version of this garment so many times I can’t count.” True! There’s never any joy in her clothes. the asymmetry, the whole thing. “She’s a pregnant witch.” Heidi wanted to know why she didn’t surprise them with some color. (Tim suggested she do that.) April starts crying. Nina calls it a missed opportunity. She’s not sure April has any range. Christian likes the cut. The model looks like April.

She chooses Mondo and Gretchen to go to Fashion Week with her.

But the judges choose to ditch April and go with Michael, Gretchen, Andy and Mondo. So that’s our final four! Yay?

Catch up on my “Project Runway” stories in this archive.