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I do like Gretchen's jewelry.

Let the cries of “Mondo was robbed!” commence! I almost feel sorry for Gretchen for what she’s going to have to go through. To be fair, it’s not her fault the judges made the wrong call.

Jessica Simpson tried, but failed, to get Mondo Guerra crowned as the winner of “Project Runway” Season 8.

Instead, the title went to controversy lightning rod Gretchen Jones, 28, of Portland, Oregon, who was not called a “bitch” because she’s a strong woman, despite what she said on the reunion show.

As Tim Gunn put it, “Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.”

Mondo and Tina Marie at Fashion Week.

Jessica and Heidi Klum loved Mondo, especially his polka dot dress. They fought for him. Michael Kors and Nina Garcia fought for Gretchen Jones and her commercial collection focused on what’s happening now in the fashion world.

(No one fought for my poor Andy South.)

Ultimately Nina and MK won. The Marie Claire connection probably helped there.

(But what’s this about Jessica’s sister wearing Gretchen’s clothes?)

Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of Mondo’s prints, but it was obvious that he should win. It. Was. Obvious.

He was not only the clear winner of several “Project Runway” challenges, viewers chose him as the clear winner too.

His style is so strong and unique and easily identifiable as Mondo. That’s something I loved about Season 7 winner Seth Aaron Henderson, whose work I do love. Plus, Mondo looks the part of a fresh new designer. He has the quirky personality and the inspirational back story.

My beloved Andy South, 23, of Waianae, Hawaii, took third. I would’ve put him first except for that green. I’m just never going to be into that shade of green.

No matter what, this is going to be Mondo’s season. Even if you’re like me and you don’t love his fashion, you love his transformation from lonely kid to confident man, announcing his HIV positive status through a work of art. Mondo, you are still a winner.


Gretchen Jones collection

Mondo Guerra collection

Andy South collection

Every season there’s always some crap backstage at the finale show. Every season a model doesn’t show up. Every season Tim Gunn freaks out. Every season it turns out fine anyway. Ah, fashion.

Thankfully we don’t usually have to deal with “The Fairy Job Mother” promos, using “Project Runway” rejects for cross-Lifetime purposes. Retch.

Speaking of…

This is my favorite outfit from Andy. No one on the show even talked about it. I love everything about it.

Gretchen gets emotional introducing her collection, “Running Through Thunder,” which is about the road she’s taken. The music is so mellow it makes me sleepy. Does that say it all about Gretchen? I actually like a lot of her collection, but I’m never going to be into the diaper trend. The silver jewelry helps a lot.

Andy says his collection is inspired by his Laotian heritage and background. He dedicates it to his mother. I love the silver and I love the hairpieces, but I will never care for that particular shade of green. I like his music, but it’s also pretty subdued. I need some energy from this show. Andy gets emotional watching the collection.

EVERYONE has been emotional this season. Over EVERYTHING. It makes me less emotional to see them turn every single moment into a Big Moment. This is a genuinely Big Moment for the designers, but they have cried so often this season that I’m immune to it now.

Mondo’s inspiration came from his Mexican heritage. He dedicates the collection to his spiritual guide, his grandmother. This music has a little bit more bounce, which is good because the clothes are total ’80s bubblegum teen spirit.


Marie Claire editor Joanna Cole loved Andy’s. Nicholas loved Andy’s head-to-toe looks, but he’s rooting for Mondo. Betsey Johnson loves Mondo, natch. His work is like his name and him: Mondo! Cindy De La Hoz liked his accents. Marie Claire editor Zanna Roberts Rassi loves both Mondo and Gretchen. She thinks all women would want to look like Gretchen’s models and wear those clothes. Jay Manuel of “America’s Next Top Model” calls Gretchen’s collection, airy, flowy and magical. He found it very impressive.

*** JUDGING ***

Jessica Simpson loves this dress. I agree! His collection could use a bit more oomph, but I do love the headpieces.

Andy: Michael Kors said his Asian theme could’ve been costumey, but it wasn’t. He liked the opening pants and both one-shoulder dresses. (I love the silver one.) He called them deceptively simple. He didn’t feel there was that much diversity. He thought it was narrow in focus. Heidi wasn’t too happy with the first look. She likes to say “whoa” from the first look. She liked the weaved top. Nina said everything they’ve seen from him has been so hard to this point, so she was happy to see the softness. But she almost thinks someone took over him and he lost Andy. She loves the jacket. She thinks he went overboard with the Orientalism. (Is that even a word?) She wanted something more edgy or modern. Jessica Simpson’s favorite was the silver one-shoulder dress.

Gretchen: Overall Nina thinks she did a fantastic job. The prints were really nice and she had a lot of choices. She loved the patchwork pants. It felt very modern and easy. It was a complete ready-to-wear collection. She likes how the girls were bronzed. But it was very monotone, especially when it comes to the prints. She wanted a dash of color. And she was surprised with the opening look. It should summarize the collection and it felt weak. MK says he likes the vibe of the girl. He gets her. But he doesn’t get where that slick techy looking leather comes into the vibe. Gretchen designed the jewelry and had it forged. Everyone loves the jewelry. Heidi loves the feeling of the show but she sometimes felt the prints were repetitive. Jessica’s concern was, if you saw all the pieces on a rack in a department store, how many pieces would you buy? She wanted to see that pop extravagant piece.

Here's Mondo's collection. Nina likes his first look best.

Mondo: MK said in Italian it would be “molto Mondo.” Heidi said there were a lot of really special and loud pieces there but there were some quiet pieces there too. She thought it was really great. She loved the skull T-shirt. He did all the beading. Heidi also liked the tunic. Nina said it looked like a very cohesive collection. She loved the color and mix of prints. Shelved the print dress. But it was too overwhelming in the decorative pieces. The mix of prints and the hats made the collection look very, very young. Her favorite look was the first look. But it became very teenager. He needs more sophistication. Jessica loved the personality of his collection. She thought everything was unique. “It doesn’t look like anybody else would make it but you. I think that’s what being a true designer is.” Jessica is obsessed with the polka dot dress. Heidi said the same thing. MK said it’s costumey. Heidi was surprised to see the polka dot dress again because she’s the only one who liked it. MK and Nina did not like it. MK called the plaid pants “crazy pants.” He loved the top with the skull on it and he loved the tunic dress. Mondo loves theater and drama, but sometimes he does veer into costume territory.

Mondo loves himself so much more and that’s helped him be the best he can be. He’s going to make Jessica cry.

Gretchen says she too has grown as a person and learned a lot about herself. She listened while also staying true to herself.

I love the idea that loose clothing is the next thing in fashion. But I'm not going to wear a diaper, no matter who tells me to.

Andy says winning would be an amazing dream come true because it would mean starting the big dream.


Right away they agree that Andy is out. Andy, I love what you did.

Heidi likes Gretchen as a designer. Nina says Gretchen’s clothes are current. She’s in touch with what’s happening now.

Mondo wows Heidi with his clothes. Nina calls him incredibly talented and creative. Her favorite look, besides the first one, was the strapless dress. MK questions whether Mondo knows how to edit. Heidi thinks he showed that he did know how to edit — the peaks and valleys. MK thinks a black dress could’ve been his best friend. (But that’s not Mondo!) Nina says they told Mondo he had been walking a fine line between circus act and sophistication. She doesn’t think he listened.

So MK and Nina think Mondo needs time. Except Nina says Gretchen and Mondo should both win.

Jessica wonders if Gretchen would just go into ready-to-wear. Nina says they’re both editorial.

Jessica says she would personally buy more of Mondo’s pieces. So would Heidi.

This is my favorite look from Mondo.

Nina says Mondo’s clothes slant a little young. While Gretchen’s collection has more range. They are easier to sell. Heidi says it’s a fashion show. Nina says yes, a fashion show, not a circus show.

Heidi is fighting hard for Mondo. She’s restyling his clothes, but fighting for him anyway.

No one could see Nina in the polka dot dress. Heidi says she’d wear Gretchen’s clothes but Mondo is more “special.”

MK thinks Gretchen is saying something current. Nina says Gretchen is talking about what’s next. Very casual and pared down and “speaking to the moment.” MK thinks Gretchen is showing more design than Mondo.

Fashion is changing and things are getting more loose? Huzzah!

Jessica is sticking with Mondo.

Jessica + Heidi vs. Nina + Michael Kors

Heidi feels like they are now punishing Mondo for things they have supported him for throughout the season. (YES. This is my problem in a nutshell.)

Heidi finally asks what they are looking for. Couture or commercial? MK says it’s not just about what they are seeing today (didn’t he say the opposite earlier in the season?) it’s about finding the next great designer.


They let Andy go. His collection needed more of a modern edge and things that make it “special.” Andy has no regrets. Good for him. I will always love Andy and I envy his hair.

Heidi calls the final decision “the toughest decision in Project Runway history.” They think Gretchen has the finger on the pulse of what fashion is about now. Mondo is a master with prints and put on a terrific show. His creativity wowed them. They have no doubt both of them will be successful.

Gretchen, you are the winner of Project Runway. Wooooooow.

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

And check out this fun Entertainment Weekly gallery: ‘Project Runway’ Style: 20 Hot Designs (and 13 Hot Messes) So glad to see Epperson get some love.


Why did no one call Ivy out on her attitude? There was no Ivy/Michael Costello resolution.

The “Project Runway” Season 8 reunion just aired, before the finale where Mondo Guerra will inevitably take the crown.

(Go ahead and fight, Heidi Klum, Jessica Simpson, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. We all know how this will turn out.)

(*UPDATE* Except we don’t! Somehow Gretchen Jones won over Mondo Guerra.)

Reality show reunions are always fun, but this one was a little vanilla. It needed more Someone Call Out Ivy spice.

After Valerie Mayen announced she got a marriage proposal from someone on Facebook and Casanova said he learned a lot of English from watching the show, we got to the bitchfest.

Of course, everything this season has been back-and-forth between being incredibly bitchy and being incredibly emotional.

A.J. Thouvenot said people on the street always want to know about Gretchen, Jason and Ivy.

Is Jason really crazy?
Is Ivy really mean?
Is Gretchen really bitch?

Gretchen’s defense: “I’m not a bitch, I just play one on TV.”

For some reason Heidi laughed at that.

Gretchen, choking up: “I think being a girl that’s confident quickly shifts into role of ‘bitch’ in a manner that I feel is not right just for saying my opinion.”

Ivy Higa — of all people — shakes her head and Heidi calls her out on it.

Ivy: “Fake.”

What is fake, Heidi asks.

Ivy: “We lived with her!”

April Johnston says Gretchen would say things that are positive — like complimenting Christopher Collins’ work — and then in the interviews she would trash what they made.

Gretchen: “What I say is not about people’s characters. My biased opinion about design, it’s just my opinion.”

Michael Costello: “In Gretchen’s defense … I know that she does mean well.”

Mondo doesn’t think it’s fair to pick on Gretchen.

True, if we’re going to take on Gretchen we need to address the Poison Ivy issue. To me, Ivy will always be worse, especially for the way she accused Michael C. of cheating.

But Gretchen is wrong about the b-word. She is not being called that for being an outspoken woman. She’s being called that for being bossy, arrogant, controlling and holier-than-thou. She thought she was Tim 2.0.

She’s not one-dimensional — she does have a nice side, and she and Tim became friends later in the season. And the other designers are no saints. MC bitched with the best of them and Mondo has plenty of attitude. I wish they had all been called out on it.

And is Jason Troisi really crazy? He didn’t get to say one word on the matter.

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

I still like your stuff, man.

The worst part is how happy this probably makes Ivy Higa.

Poor Michael Costello. He really fell apart. Gretchen Jones hugged him. Tim Gunn hugged him. I wanted to hug him. The whole time MC was sobbing about how he can’t go home and tell his family he didn’t make it. Poor baby.

This is my favorite look from Michael Costello's finale collection. The judges didn't like his lack of color variety, but I don't have any issue with it.

But seriously. You’re not a child. You have a child and you have to be strong for him. This is “Project Runway” Season 8 and plenty of people have come close and not made it. Buck up!

MC has some gorgeous clothing in his finale collection. It was actually my favorite of the bunch, overall.

But in Episode 13: “Finale, Part 1” he decided to show some lackluster looks and the judges hated his copper-tone color scheme.

Hey, at least he gets to take a free trip somewhere, courtesy of Tim’s black velvet bag.

So that makes the final 3 designers Mondo Guerra, Gretchen Jones and Andy South.

Of course, all top 10 designers from Season 8 showed during Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, even if only the top three got judged. So you DID get to Fashion Week, Michael C.!

The final four Season 8 designers were given $9,000 and six weeks to put together their finale collections. (Wasn’t it five months once? Am I crazy?)

All four screwed up in what they decided to show the three judges. I’ve seen their full collections and none of them showed their best pieces. OK, Mondo came closest. But Andy! My God, what was he thinking? He has some great pieces and he shows that (cringe) bathing suit.

With circus Mondo as the best and granola Gretchen as his opposite it’s pretty obvious the finale is going to come down to the two of them — with Mondo as the winner. It’s just inevitable.

Never mind what Heidi Klum says about this being the toughest decision in “Project Runway” history. Mondo won this thing weeks ago and we all know it. I don’t even like most of what he does and I know it too.

*** Hometown visits ***

Andy South: Tim Gunn visits Andy in Oahu. He’s way out there. Like “Lost” island out there. It’s awesome. I want some of that fresh coconut juice. He’s in the beginning stages of his collection, but he only has two weeks left. I want to spend more time in Andy’s world.

Mondo really is the anti-Gretchen. I never saw that before.

Michael Costello: Tim visits Michael C. in Palm Springs. Who is this Richard you speak of? MC’s boyfriend? Ah. Richard outed MC to his parents. That’s one way to push an ultimatum. MC has gotten a lot done, fashion-wise. “It’s like design diarrhea.” It’s too hot for Tim. MC’s little boy Giovanni is not impressed with this.

Mondo Guerra: Tim visits Mondo in Denver. Ha! Bright pink walls the second you walk in. Then black-and-white checkered floor. So Mondo. Everything in Mondo’s world is so Mondo. You have to appreciate that. He lives in an area of Denver with a big Mexican population. Tim loves his “fabulous” evening dress. Tim is seeing “teen’s pajamas” in what I see as classic Mondo. Does his family know now about his status as HIV positive? Mondo can’t play baseball well but he’s a lovely pianist.

Gretchen Jones: Tim visits Gretchen in Portland, Oregon. Saved the best for last. I’m still upset that it’s not Portland, Maine, since that’s near me. Alas. Gretchen came home to a failed relationship, an empty bank account and an empty house. “I’m broke and busted.” Everything crumbled around Gretchen. Tim empathizes. He was in an intense relationship and after it fell apart he moved to New York. Are they … bonding? “I really miss Tim.” Do NOT hit on him in some offhand way. I’m not strong enough for that. Tim drops the “diaper” word on some of Gretchen’s American West stuff. Tim thinks it’s looking costumey. “Reconceive.” Everyone on this show has places to eat outside. My family has no handy picnic tables. Is that something you need to have before you’re cast on the show?

*** Back in New York ***

They hang at the Hilton. MC is in love with Andy’s hair. He looks like “Pocahontas meets Naomi Campbell.” (I’m calling it: Andy is a stone-cold fox.)

The velvet bag! Actually good for once. They get trips.

*** Designing the third look ***

The judges liked Andy's third look, seen here at Lincoln Center, but I prefer his other stuff.

However, the four finalists will show the judges three garments: two from their collections and a third that they have to create in the next two days. Their budget is $200.

Mondo and Gretchen are both getting melodramatic — especially Mondo, which means he’ll be fine.

Tim comes in the workroom. Tim is worried about MC. MC doesn’t know which two looks to show the judges. Tim’s opinion means “a whole lot” to MC.

Tim thinks Gretchen could pick anything from her collection rack and have continuity with her new piece. They are being very lovey.

Mondo has a very Mondo turquoise top and cutesy skirt. Gretchen thinks it’s very “subdued” for Mondo. Whuh?

Andy did some awesome pleating. I’m not in love with the shade of green. Mondo calls Andy’s collection “two-dimensional” and “flat.” That’s not nice.

Tim tells Gretchen, Mondo and Andy to carry on. To Michael C. he says “don’t choke.” Don’t jinx him!

Styling. Gretchen: “I want my girls to look really accessible.” She wants to picture herself as her girls. Is she a madam?

*** On the Runway ***

Here's Michael Costello's extra look. Not a fave.

Andy — Does not show my favorites from his collection. Disappointing, considering what I’ve seen. Judges: A lot of the textiles were woven for him in Laos. Heidi likes the new green look. She thought the bikini was the new one. Nina’s concern is it looks very bare. Andy says there will be a range. Nina is not convinced by what she sees here. Why did he include the bathing suit? OH NO. Nina rolls her eyes. Death watch. “You might be out today.” He should’ve shown “the goodies” today. Heidi says the bathing suit is a throwaway piece. Agreed. Oh Andy. I love the headpieces! Heidi isn’t sure.

Michael — Love the skirt on his second look. The top isn’t perfect on that first look. Far from it. Like the third look, but he left out my favorite garment from his collection too. Judges: Michael Kors likes the dress. Heidi likes the top. She hasn’t seen anything like that before. Nina is surprised that he did everything in the same color. Heidi said it’s like they went to a party with a color code. A color isn’t enough to tell a story, MK says. Nina doesn’t want to see something she’s seen many times. This was his opportunity to surprise.

Gretchen — Once again, not the best of what she did for her collection. The diaper is in the house. So is side boob. Bwawaw chicka bwawawbaw. (I don’t know how to write that.) She designed her own jewelry, which is cool. Judges: Nina’s interest was not piqued. It feels “crunchy granola.” There needs to be a sense of drama and polish. The only glimmer of polish is the look in leather. She doesn’t like the sack dress at all. Nina is going OFF on this. She doesn’t know if Gretchen has it. Heidi believes she does have it. She likes the extra look. She wants them all in high heels. MK doesn’t think it looks expensive. She doesn’t look like she’s at a fashion show. No one did a good job editing their selections for the judges.

Not one of my favorite Gretchen looks, but I have to say I do like most of her collection.

Mondo — Is very Mondo! No one likes bras anymore. He shows his evening gown, which is one of the best looks from his collection. Judges: His garments walked last but the judges spoke to him first. Heid likes the 3rd look skirt but not the top. She loves the dress. She thinks it’s very elegant. MK likes the pieces. Nina loves the boldness and theatricality. Nina does not like the polka dot dress. She thinks it walks a fine line. She doesn’t want him to go too wacky and think he’s putting on a circus collection. MK wants more balance. Mondo says he has some pieces they’ll be surprised to see.

Mondo was in first, naturally. We all know he’s going to win. It’s just a matter of deciding 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Gretchen was next. I’m surprised. I thought she might go home. Once she was in I fully expected my Andy to be out. But no, they chose MC. Who went nuts.


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

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.

I'm still voting for "No, she would never wear that." The model's hair and shades say Jackie, but the outfit says dressed-in-the-dark. This mixed patterns looks is really big right now? Go ahead and laugh at me, elitists, but this is a silly trend.

Dang. “A Rough Day on the Runway” is right.

Chicken and egg time: Did the judges start the bullying trend on “Project Runway” season 8 or are the judges feeding off the Gretchen/Ivy Mean Girls tag-team from the first half of the season?

At any rate, I’m starting to question my own taste level — and the judges’ morality level.

Poor Andy on the right and poor Michael D. on the left. Neither was treated well by the judges, but Andy was just ripped apart. But MD was the one sent home.

You can make a point about garments without being cruel. The judges don’t seem to see the line anymore, piling on poor Andy in a way that amounted to laughing at and bullying him.

They have the power and they are abusing it.

Their words were not constructive; they were hurtful and I felt uncomfortable for him. He dealt with it, of course, with incredible class. More than the judges deserved. I’m actually angry for him right now.

And I liked what Andy made. I really did (except for the crotch). Deal with it. I also liked what Casanova made last week.

I also hated Mondo’s take on “American sportswear”— declared “the clear winner” by everyone.

You’re trying to tell me Jackie O. would wear that? Where exactly? When I think of Jackie I think “classic” and “timeless” and this ensemble already looks dated to me.

And don’t give me the nonsense that “she wouldn’t wear it just like this, but you can see the idea of her as the inspiration.” Bull. Everyone else was called out on the idea that Jackie would or would not wear the look. The rules apply to everyone, including Mondo.

I could see Jackie wearing Christopher's outfit today. I mean, not if she were in her 80s, but in her "prime." (When is a woman's prime, by the way? Did I miss it?)

Mixed patterns may be trendy right now, but Jackie wasn’t trendy; she was a trend-setter. Not the same. She’s classic and elegant and that outfit was quirky Mondo.

What did Michael Drummond say? “If you took Jackie Kennedy to the desert and gave her some mescaline to eat then you would have Jacqueline Kennedy and Mondo.” I think Christopher had it right with “If Jackie Kennedy came back as a tranny…”

This is cute for Mondo, but the challenge was American sportswear that Jackie K/O would wear if she were alive today. If that was not the challenge, what the heck was the challenge?

The judges love that Mondo did something unexpected and stuck to his own style, but they also bashed Andy for basically the same thing. They just think Mondo is cute with his Cotton Club look.

(He is cute, but Casanova was cute too.)

Anyway, Christopher had my favorite look. He is an American sportswear designer and I loved his simple, classic look. It fit the challenge.

The Episode 8 elimination came down to Michael D. and Valerie and, as MD expected, he was toast. There goes the funny Valerie wishes she could be.

What happened to Valerie, by the way? There’s always someone on PR who starts strong and goes off-track. Looks like it’s Valerie this season. I blame the way her voice? Goes up? Like every sentence is a question?

Sidenote: I’m so disappointed in April. The second she moved into The Bitch Pad she became one of Them. Ivy braided her hair, she ragged on Andy’s look, she even used “we” when referring to herself and Gretchen. She needs Peach to come back and remind her what it means to be snarky but sweet.

Gretchen, of course, thought there should’ve been more than three people in the bottom and she was shocked — shocked! — to not be in the top.

Bye Michael D.! Go look up Waterloo and then play the ABBA song. It will make you smile.


Christopher Collins — Pale, elegant, classy. I think it hit Tim Gunn’s “quality, taste, style, sophistication, elegance, expensive” buttons. Betty Draper would wear that, if nothing else. I love it. Judges: I love that January Jones loved it too. Heidi thought the shrug looked like “a dirty old rug.” Thanks.

(By the way, if you aren’t, you should be watching January Jones as Betty Draper on “Mad Men,” #1 on my list of the top 15 TV shows. Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Be there.)

This is Ivy's most challenge-appropriate look. The more I look at it, the more I like it. She definitely bested Gretchen this week. This is also the only "outerwear" I actually like. The other shrugs, vests and jackets looked tacked on, which they were. Why did they force the outerwear part, anyway?

April Johnston — It’s edgy like April, but not Jackie O. Judges: Safe.

Ivy Higa — I don’t think it’s original or anything no one has seen before, but it’s OK. Judges: She was inspired by shapes and squares? MK thinks “intrinsically it’s elegant.” He likes the neckline and the geography. Heidi thinks there’s too much design on the top. She doesn’t know where to look. It’s better without the coat, I agree. Nina loves the shoes.

Michael Costello — Very plain cocktail dress. Nice color, but way too safe and not on point. Judges: Safe

Gretchen Jones — Don’t like the back of her cape. Don’t like the cape at all. Underneath was probably OK. Judges: Safe. Gretchen was so upset that she wasn’t in the top. April kissed her ass too. Michael C. joined in, then told the camera he was bullbleeping her. Bad MC! Don’t be two-faced.

Michael Drummond — No. Nothing about this is appropriate. It’s too young, not fashionable. He thinks he’s going home and so do I. Judges: MK thinks this is “schizophrenic Jackie.” Old lady on top, mall-walking cheerleader on the bottom.

OK, the fit looks even worse from here. But I still love Andy.

Valerie Mayen — Dark, drab. Valerie, what happened to you? I agree with the judges. I don’t care about jacket over a jacket, but the colors are drab. Judges: Michael K.: “Simple doesn’t mean boring.”

Andy South — Other than the crotch fit, I love this. Love Andy. But what do I know, honestly. Judges: Heidi found it hard to keep it together; she wanted to crack up. “I feel like I’m on a different planet.” If you can picture Jackie in Mondo’s why not this? She doesn’t see it at all. At all. At all. AT ALL, if we didn’t get it. January doesn’t see the silhouette or American sportswear. Uh oh. Andy makes excuses. MK: “So what are you, a grand couturier?” Ouch! He calls it “MC Hammer meets the Beverly Hillbillies grandmother.” The fit is horrific. Then there are ankle boots. Nina wanted him to take the terrible vest off. Nina calls it “a train wreck.”

Mondo Guerra — I’m just going to have to accept that Mondo’s world is not my world. Maybe mixing patterns is “in” but not for me. Cool crowd elitists, feel free to mock my lack of fashion sense. Judges: Mondo always tells a cute little story to help him sell the garment. Heidi wanted to hear about his look. I knew they would love that. Heidi could see Jackie in this outfit?! Um… Well, this seems to fit with the Blogging Project Runway predictions.


Michael C.: Opaque is not a color, but if it was, it would be called “Ivy.”

Mondo: Why do I feel like Harry Potter in this coat?

Michael C.: Whenever Tim Gunn says there’s a twist, I want to smack him in the head.

What was under Gretchen's frumpy wrap?

Gretchen: I feel like the easiest way to screw yourself is second guessing.

[to Ivy]: Jackie O. would not wear goth. You are right, madam.

Valerie [on Michael D.]: He’s the funny that I wish I could be.

Tim [to Andy]: How is this whole crotch area?

Tim [to Andy]: Jackie Kennedy would not have cameltoe.

Christopher: A little piece of my soul is dying with each second.

Christopher: If Jackie Kennedy came back as a tranny…

Michael D.
: If you took Jackie Kennedy to the desert and gave her some mescaline to eat then you would have Jacqueline Kennedy and Mondo.

Andy: A fashion-forward person takes risks.


Catch up on my “Project Runway” recaps, spoilers and other stuff in this nifty archive.

It's like no one has ever seen Ivy's work before. She was going to make this awful outfit no matter who sewed it.

Michael Kors should watch his back.

Last week on the “Project Runway” bridesmaids challenge, Ivy Higa went after Michael Costello. This week on the “What’s Mine Is Yours” team execution, she went after Michael Drummond. So next week it stands to reason the fast-talking yippy dog will be going after the Michael in black.

Andy, you were robbed. This is perfect for the challenge.

I hope to gawd she does since she’d finally get the smack she deserves.

Michael D. should not have spent A SINGLE SECOND feeling guilty for Ivy’s lack of design skills.

This is the girl who was inspired by the hospital drapes. It shows. Every week it shows. Drab. Boring.

Whenever she has someone next to her to blame for her lack of creativity she — cue Heidi Klum — throws them under the bus.

But she is the one who keeps designing bland, bloodless work. So why is she still here? Heidi can’t actually imagine Ivy will magically “wow” them next week. Where would she begin? She should’ve gone home this week. Period.

Michael Kors said it: She’s a seamstress. That’s all.

Some people can sew, some can’t. Apparently the Michaels, C and D, are not great at sewing. But at least they have creativity to fall back on.

I don't hate April's look, I'm just wondering where the resort wear part fits in. As one "Rate the Runway" commenter noted, imagine the tan lines you'd get wearing this!

Maybe I should duck after admitting this, but I kinda liked Casanova’s look. Maybe it’s just that Gretchen Jones’s model looks gorgeous in everything, but I thought it was simple and classy.

(Would you believe I have nothing bad to say about Gretchen this week?)

But I was 100 percent positive Andy South would win. Not only did his one-piece bathing suit scream “resort wear,” I’d actually buy it. I want that.

So how did April Johnston’s super punky edgy baby doll look win? It was cool — cooler than MD’s long black look from the same edgy frame of mind — but where’s the resort wear? (Congrats, though, April! Moving into The Bitch Pad must’ve lifted the curse.)

At least it wasn’t Mondo’s look. That was embarrassing. Actually, that was a free pass. It says volumes about the judges’ faith in him that he wasn’t even in the bottom two for that discount-rack-at-Forever-21 thing.

Speaking of faith in Mondo, check out the spoilers on the final “Project Runway” collections at Fashion Week.

**Stream of consciousness recap**

April had to move out of her cursed apartment and into The Bitch Pad. That sucks. But at least Ivy, Gretchen and Valerie were welcoming. Still not worth it.

Mondo, people have been auffed for better work than this. You got lucky.

Michael Costello was hurt by the designers’ lack of support. Andy was at least honest with him, telling him he doesn’t know who he is as a designer.

Heidi looked AWFUL in loose royal blue Hammer pants and heels before sending the crew outside to talk to Tim Gunn and Michael Kors.

MK said they had to do resort wear — interesting, eye catching and super fashionable work from their own point of view. Oh, and they get eyeglasses from his line. (At least the shades will hide eye rolls.) They also went on a boat. Cue The Lonely Island’s “I’m On a Boat.”

Michael Costello comes from Palm Springs, so he thought he had this. Mondo never goes on vacation and he likes to wander around in his underwear and he thought that was important to share. Casanova appears to be holding a grudge against Michael Kors — in addition to Tim and slutty girls and Donna Karan in the 1980s.

I actually really like Casanova's look. He took Ivy's muted colors and did something worthwhile with them. He deserved to stay! Ivy should've gone home!

Andy’s hair is the new Philip Treacy orchid. Did Kristin bequeath that to him?


At Mood, what are the odds, Ivy gravitated toward the most bland, hospital-drapes fabric.

Back at the ranch, Tim brought out a bag. They had to execute each other’s designs. At least they didn’t get to choose whose work they wanted to do.

Successful designers don’t produce their own work, Tim says. They have to trust other people to execute it.

• Valerie was teamed with Andy
• Michael C. was teamed with Mondo. Mondo was so pissed and wanted to scream, but he used the same monotone he always uses so how can you tell when he’s really upset?
• April was teamed with Christopher
• Casanova got Gretchen, her former “hip buddy”
• Ivy got Michael D. She — ha! — was worried that his construction level wasn’t up to par with hers. Right. He was worried because he’s handing over his work and she’s handing over her neuroses.

I’m asking: What has Ivy done to earn this level of world-weary superiority?

Mondo openly said to Michael C. “your construction is awful.” Michael admitted he’s a draper.

Mondo was being condescending to Michael C. I was disappointed in him for joining the bullies. He was complaining on the first episode about feeling alone and now he’s just part of the mob attacking this one poor guy.

But at least he owned up to that and realized he was being a jerk. Michael C. won him over. If only Ivy had his open mind.

Gretchen made 6 or 7 huge sketches to communicate with Casanova. He thinks she thinks he’s a “retard.”

Gretchen was excited for some “face time” with Michael Kors, who dropped by the work room to diss the contestants. At least Tim just got to stand and nod instead of being the bad guy.

What is it with Ivy and Gretchen and beige?

Michael C. complimented Mondo’s designs. He calls him an amazing designer. I’m not into Mondo’s wild prints at all, but at least I can recognize his work as “Mondo.” It’s interesting even if I don’t always love it.

MK recommends a tailored boy short for April, which was what she wanted to do to begin with.

Michael D. called Ivy’s design “dumbed down” and “boring.” Yes, that would be it in a nutshell.

Mondo called Ivy a “powerhouse” and a “bossy lady.” She’s a fast-talking yippy dog off the leash is what she is.

MK said Valerie keeps going back to colors that no one likes. WHAT? What is he talking about? That is not true at all. Remember that gorgeous red dress that should’ve won the billboard challenge?

Ivy was frustrated because Michael D. sucks at sewing her work. He admitted it and he felt bad.

Valerie called her family and started crying. Don’t worry, you will get to Fashion Week. Everyone in the top 10 did.

Michael D. said he’s not as good as Ivy. She did a great job putting together what he wanted. So maybe Ivy should be a tailor?

Ivy is turning into her mother. We don’t want to see a Korean get angry.

He can feel her crazy energy coming off. He would never do that to somebody. I feel for you, man!


On the runway, Ivy finally realizes she designed something boring. But, no, Michael, the Statue of Liberty has style.

MD’s look was great, but that’s because he’s the superior designer, even if she can sew better.

April’s look was like the aftermath of a slasher film.

Mondo’s look is a no for me. Too bubblegum cutesy.

Casanova used Ivy’s bland colors but produced something classy. I don’t think it looks old. I like it.

Valerie’s panels were showing. Not very good execution by Andy.

Andy’s outfit looked better than I expected. His model is stunning and that helps.


Top 3: April, Michael D. and Andy

Bottom 3: Mondo, Casanova and Ivy

Why did Mondo feel compelled to repeat his underwear issue?

April complimented the work that Christopher did. They were a good team. MK called her look a punk edgy baby doll.

Guest judge Kristen Bell loved loved the look. Nina loved it too. I’m surprised.

Andy’s one-piece bathing suit is phenomenal. I would actually buy this. Andy complimented Valerie’s workmanship.

MK thought it was beautifully done. This is the win for me.

Michael D. complimented Ivy over and over. Ivy, of course, dissed him. Or, as Heidi says about everything, “threw him under the bus.”

MK loved MD’s look. I’m not as into it. It’s too long for me, with all the black. I like April’s short black slasher look more than this.

In the back room, Valerie was nervous for Ivy because “her partner’s skills were lacking.” No. It’s because Ivy’s design skills are lacking.

Nina called Mondo’s work “disappointing,” which no one wants to hear from The Goddess. His work looked “junior.” Not knowing resort wear was deemed “a cop out.”

What did MK say? Something on the discount rack at Forever 21? Ha!

Michael Costello raved about Mondo.

Ivy just went off on MD, blaming everything on him. She said she had to change her design repeatedly.

Nina said she’s very good technically but does she have the ideas to be a designer.

OK, but what about every other challenge? It’s the same story.

Michael Costello rolled his eyes about Ivy. He knows how she is. But did he really tell everyone not to vote for her last week?

MC keeps making faces!

Heidi repeats her “throwing him under the bus” comments. It’s true, though. Ivy keeps making hospital drapes and this is the first week she’s tried blaming it on someone else. Actually, no, on the Team Luxe challenge they all blamed Michael C. for their lack of talent. Her look was the worst.

Casanova’s look got thrown under its own bus. MK went on about how if this were a challenge to design for a 70 year old woman waiting for the bus or whatnot, this would be good. It’s all about buses.

I guess I’m a 70-year-old woman waiting for the bus. I love this.

Nina said Casanova has no middle ground between slutty slutty (she didn’t use those words, but MK would’ve) and matronly.


Michael D. is in. He was glad that he didn’t win. He was feeling so guilty. He could’ve thrown Ivy under the bus but he’s not going to retaliate because it’s childish.

He should not have felt guilty at all.

April and her super punky baby doll look won the challenge. That didn’t look like resort wear to me. Andy, you were robbed. Oh well.

Andy was in. Mondo was in.

It was down to Ivy and Cahzahnovah, as expected.

PLEASE dump the wicked witch.

Dang it! Not only was Ivy safe, everyone was happy about it. MD was relieved. You’re kidding me.

And Heidi, she’s not going to wow you next week. She does not know how.

Bye Casanova. You are a cute diva. And I liked your look. I did.


Catch up on my “Project Runway” recaps, Tim Gunn vlog commentary and other stuff here in this nifty archive.

Here's guest judge Jessica Simpson with the PR crew. Does Michael Kors ever take the shades off?


Blogging Project Runway just sent a dispatch from New York Fashion Week with details on the “Project Runway” Season 8 show. Like last season, they are showing collections from the top 10 designers instead of the final three, which helps throw off the finale spoilers.

To quote BPR:

I'm posting some of my favorite looks from the show. Honestly, I don't know who did what yet. I'm just going by sight. For all I know, I'm picking (shudder) Ivy's work. But I think this is Andy, just from the starburst headpiece description.

“Predictions: first, a bit of a spoiler. Earlier this week Nina Garcia mentioned on her twitter that they had narrowed down to the final three and that it ‘was one of the most emotional eliminations yet’. So we think they came in this week with a final four. There was a significant pause before they showed the final 4 collections. This may have been to ready the filming process. Although we have no certain knowledge, we think Gretchen, Mondo, April and Andy are the final four. Maybe Gretchen is the emotional elimination? Based on the quality of the collections, our consensus prediction for the win is Mondo. It will be a tough choice for the judges and we can’t wait to see how all of this goes down.”

If Mondo does win, I hope that will be enough to get him to stop complaining of loneliness. His talent is a curse, people!

By the way, it looks like Jessica Simpson is the guest judge for the finale.

Here’s the full scoop as of Thursday afternoon from BPR:

BPR’s Post-Finale Report:

Gorgeous (OK, this is Gretchen)

All 10 remaining designers showed this morning as predicted. Here was the order followed by some initial thoughts on the collections:

Michael Drummond – inspired by underwear? Hmmm.

Valerie Mayen – Rainbow Brite meets David Bowie! Fun looks and one of the crowd favorites.

Christopher Collins – went for elegance but fell a little flat.

Carlos Casanova – gold sparkly glitter glue on the models distracted from the designs.

Hate the hair, but the outfit intrigues me. (April)

Ivy Higa – inspired by one of her favorite beaches and the yellow tang fish in the tide pools. A beautiful beachwear collection.

Love this. Love the shades too. (More Gretchen)

Michael Costello – inspired by one of his dear friends. There were a couple of outstanding individual pieces in this collection but may have been trumped by the monochromatic rose taupe color of every look.

Gretchen Jones – looked a little melancholy and talked about the “journey” she went through on the show. Collections was called “Running Through Thunder”.

Mondo Guerra – inspired by what he loves and dedicated to his grandmother. Very strong collection.

April Johnston – inspired by “dusty dolls gone to a tea party and getting washed away”. There were short, loose buckles as a thread in the collection. We are concerned about her fabric choices.

LOVE this. (Michael C.)

Love this too. (Michael D? Surprise! Looks like part of Andy's collection)

Andy South – the theme was “bringing statues to life”. He had some cool starburst head pieces on his models. He was very teary-eyed at the end!


So that’s all from BPR right now. They are planning to post photos later.

Or you can go to these direct Tom & Lorenzo links:

Andy South collection

April Johnston collection

Casanova collection

Christopher Collins collection

Gretchen Jones collection

Ivy Higa collection

Michael Costello collection (I’m surprised by how much I LOVE this — except for the boob exposure in that last one)

Michael Drummond collection

Mondo Guerra collection (And how much I hate this)

Valerie Mayen collection

Verdict: There are pieces of Andy’s that I really love, but overall I have to pick Michael C. and Gretchen as my favorites. I’m shocked. I think I will be alone on the MC front, but so be it!

Catch up on my PR recaps and Tim Gunn vlog commentary here in this nifty archive.

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