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Getting a hug from Tim is better than winning "Project Runway" anyway.

In this 2:25 minute video of Tim Gunn speaking at a Kate Spade event in Pennsylvania, Father Tim makes it clear he was on Team Mondo, not Team Gretchen, when it comes to “Project Runway” Season 8.

In fact, Heidi Klum tried to tag him in for support during finale judging when it came down to Heidi vs. Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. (“Nobody mentioned Jessica Simpson.” Ha!) Tim said he’s not a judge, but he went with Heidi and they made “quite a case for our candidate.”

Tim and Gretchen started the show as enemies, became allies and are now on opposite sides of the winner fence.

In his now defunct Facebook vlogs (although he says he’ll bring them back in some fashion next season), Tim has referred to the trio as “crack-smoking judges.” Tim heard that Heidi was upset about the comment. When they were done talking to Michael and Nina about Mondo, she asked “‘So can you remove my crack-smoker badge?” Tim said “Yes, because Nina and Michael are smoking enough for all of us.” Ha!

A woman at Tim’s local deli filed away Season 8 this way: “Mondo will do fabulously anyway; Gretchen needs the money.”

Tim never thought Gretchen Jones would win because the winner of the first challenge of the season never wins the show. It’s like the person who gets the first-impression rose on “The Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” never wins in the end. Except for this past season when Roberto Martinez broke the curse. So Gretchen broke the PR curse.

I know a lot of people are swearing off “Project Runway” for good, but I’m not. Here’s my take on it:  The only reason I even know the name Mondo Guerra is because of Project Runway. The only reason he will find success and “do fabulously” is because of Project Runway.

This underdog status is going to serve him very well. The show did its job, even if two of the judges dropped the ball in the end. Mondo doesn’t want to be saddled with the Marie Claire baggage anyway. He’s not ripe for packaging, he’s ripe for being plucked by some rich designer that loves him and can’t believe how stupid PR was for letting him go.

I, for one, look forward to “Project Runway” Season 9 so I can learn the names of a bunch of hot new designers, who will be helped by the show whether they win or not.

Watch Tim’s video here.

Catch up on my “Project Runway” recaps, vlog commentary and other stories in this nifty archive.


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.


Here's (G)retchen with her new #1 toadie, April.


There are only two episodes left before the “Project Runway” Season 8 finale. And the preview for next week makes it seem like Gretchen Jones is going to go from freaking out to walking out.

As the preview video teases, the tension is unbearable “and the dream means nothing if you crack in the end.”

We hear Gretchen’s voice with some kind of echo in the background: “I just want to leave.”

Then we see her on the runway, telling the judges “I’m just sick of the challenges.”

So is she going to pull a Maya Luz? What’s with the quitters? Or is this just a momentary lapse that they talk her out of?

Not that it matters too much in the long run. Mondo Guerra is going to win. I’m ready to make it one of my Things That Are Obvious.

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


Look at Ivy roll her eyes as Tim speaks. She knows best, you see. She always knows best.


Moral of the story: Stop letting Heidi Klum be the client on “Project Runway.”

Never let her bring the runway drama into the workroom. It produces the emotional equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard, a car horn going off and a baby crying in the upstairs apartment — all combined. It’s just not good.

On Season 8 Episode 11, “A Look in the Line,” Mondo went Gretchen. Gretchen went Gretchen. Ivy went Gretchen + Satan.

Even Gretchen’s model went AWOL. She got off lucky. (Although I am sorry about her family emergency.)

No one knew how to create designs — three! — for Heidi Klum’s collection. You know why? Because it’s Heidi’s collection, not theirs. Why were they even asked to do this for her? Where are their own voices as designers? Her stuff was very bland and scaled back and inspired exactly no one.


I do love Andy's dress.


Never has fabric so blah produced such passionate responses — although the passion was all negative and most of it had nothing to do with the garments.

I loved Andy South’s looks, but wasn’t too thrilled about anyone else’s.

I have no idea why Mondo Guerra was in the top again. Or April Johnston, who did dark, drab stuff again.

I’m not even slightly surprised to see the back of sweet Christopher Collins — who was probably going to go home anyway, but certainly after he chose Ivy Higa as his partner.

She is the kiss of death, you know. Karma came for her and took Christopher down too. His three designs were sad face garments. No smiley faces.

No wonder they decided to bring back all the people who hated poor Michael Costello. The garments were destined to be dull, so they had to find an alternate source of interest.

So they accused him of cheating. Ivy spoke the words, but she was congratulated for it. She “took one for the team.” She’s the martyr.



This is the look in question: Michael Costello's Jackie Kennedy dress.


What brought all this on? Ivy, of course. The new designers were in the sewing room and Ivy was sitting behind Michael C.

Ivy asked how he felt about still being there.

He said he was in shock.

Ivy: “Why, because you cheated?”

He said no. She said they saw the dress he cheated on. It was the Jackie Kennedy challenge. They said the blue dress was taped on so it wouldn’t fall off his model. He said his model used sticky boobs. (To be fair, that Episode 8 challenge was doomed from the start.)

She kept pushing, the way she does, and he said she’s been a bitch to him all season. He swore. Ivy said his low-class language showed what a “despicable” person he is.

Michael said he’s there for a reason. Ivy: “Because you played the game. You talked shit about people and you sabotaged people and that’s why you’re here.”

That sounds like trash talk and low-class language to me. When MC leaves, Ivy says “Satan has left the room.”

AJ talked to Michael and said people do think he cheated. MC said if he didn’t have Mondo as a friend he would’ve thrown in the towel.

April congratulated Ivy on calling MC out. Ivy also gloated to Valerie about it.

Ivy: “I think Michael C. deserves to be disqualified. The world will give him what he deserves. I definitely believe in karma.”

Right after that we see her get poked in the eye. MC laughed.

At that point, Tim Gunn came into the workroom. “Designers, I hear that there is an accusation about cheating. Is that true?”

Michael C. said yes. Ivy said the girls saw a bunch of topstick in the bathroom, during the Jackie O challenge. Ivy saw it and Gretchen raised her hand to indicate that she saw it as well.

Ivy said they didn’t say anything that night, but they brought it to producers’ attention the next day and they told her it was too late.

Tim said it was too late. The judges saw nothing on the runway, Tim saw nothing in the workroom and the many cameras caught nothing.

As far as Tim is concerned it was “a case of a non-case.”

To me, it was really just a case of Ivy trying to damage Michael C.’s reputation and instead damaging her own.

But why are we as viewers seeing this now? Why did Tim get involved at this point? Why didn’t we see this the day Ivy and company approached the producers? I’ll be interested to hear Tim explain this in his Episode 11 vlog.


The rest of the show continued as if Tape-gate had not just happened.

Here are the pairs of remaining designers and returning designers:

Mondo – Valerie
Gretchen – Casanova
Christopher – Ivy
Michael C. – A.J.
April – Peach
Andy – Michael D.


I love Andy's cool hoodie too.


Gretchen: I like her separates, especially the slashed top on the third look. The color palette is bland, but that’s what we’re stuck with. Bland. Judges: Lower scores. Heidi Klum said she had the same problems with this that she had with Michael C’s outfits. It’s too “hoshkaposh,” aka “hodgepodge.” Nina Garcia said it looked very forced. She has weird transparent Spanx showing. Her styling does not help her.

By the way, Heidi and Gretchen did not connect well in the workroom. Heidi didn’t like Gretchen’s fabric choice and after getting defensive, Gretchen said if the fabric was a major concern, it was out. She then threw it across the room.

April said Gretchen was coming on too strong because she can’t take criticism. April — who has otherwise turned into Gretchen’s new #1 Toadie — said Gretchen can be demanding and disrespectful without realizing it. True!

On the runway, before calling her “safe,” Heidi gave Gretchen some advice: “Constructive criticism is not your enemy.” Gretchen: “Heidi really doesn’t like me.”

Andy: Very sportswear. Very Andy. Love the hoodie in the second look. LOVE the third dress. Very cute. Judges: Higher scores. Heidi Klum likes his looks a lot. Michael Kors called them super-wearable. He likes the variety but it’s also singular. Nina Garcia likes the lightness of it. She thinks  it could look a little Halloween, but each piece is good on its own.

April: Dark and drab. This is what April does, I guess. I’m not seeing anything new from her. The third look seems like 80 percent curtains. Judges:Higher scores. Michael Kors loved the asymmetry on the first dress. It’s not athletic, but it’s sophisticated. Heidi liked the looks. Her least favorite is the little shorts.


Here's Christopher's big bowl of sawdust.


Christopher: One snore after another. This is not fashion. Sorry. Love Christopher, but this went wrong. I do kind of like the third look, though. It’s a shapeless dress, but… no, I guess I don’t like it. Judges:Lower scores. Michael Kors said the clothes look so cheap. He doesn’t see anything anyone would pay more than $10 for. The dress is a “sad face” dress, not a smiley face. Nina hates the proportion with the pants. MK said “You tortured it. You beat that with a rock.”

Michael C.: I like the first jacket. I don’t care about pumpkin spice; I love orange. Love the second jacket too. The third look is really simple and sexy. Very low belt. Not sure about the belt. Judges: Lower scores. Michael Kors said just because it’s oversized doesn’t make it easy and relaxed. He tried to make it look “fancy” and lost the easiness. Nina Garcia didn’t like the styling and unnecessary accessorizing. It doesn’t look relaxed. They don’t care for the color. MK says so much of it is how you put it together.

Mondo: Look, I never quite get Mondo’s stuff so it’s no surprise to me that I don’t like it. Having said that, I don’t mind the third look. It’s mostly a hospital smock, but for Mondo it’s scaled back. Judges: Higher scores. Michael Kors loved the kooky headbands. He thinks the clothes have some whimsy. Mondo lost him on the waist down. “I think there are so many interesting things you can do on bottom.” Well! Nina Garcia liked the athletic/satin combo. She loved the middle look. Heid Klum thought he did a fantastic job. Ugh.

By the way, Heidi and Mondo fought in the workroom too — even more than Gretchen and Heidi. Mondo got bored and above-it-all with Heidi when she questioned his look and couldn’t fit into it when she tried it on.

Mondo: “Maybe I’ll dress my dog in it when I get home.”

Heidi: “There’s no reason for you to be rude.”

Mondo: “I’m not being rude.”

But he was being rude, in his words, in his expressions, in his attitude. Actually, Gretchen and Mondo both have major “I’m an artist” ego issues. Mondo is still a sweetie, but he’s no saint.


Catch up on my “Project Runway” archive here.

Will April win the next challenge? Will Michael C. be sent home? Will Tim Gunn ever post another vlog?


[To be said in best Tim Gunn/Snagglepuss voice]: Heavens to Murgatroyd!

I know “The Bachelor” is off season, but did Lifetime hire the same producers to cut the Episode 10 trailer? It screams “manipulation.”

You can watch the preview here, but this is a semi-transcript:

Voice-over: “Heart-wrenching confessions break the runway!”
Mondo: “This has been so hard to keep a secret.”
V-o: “Scandals destroy the workroom!”
Tim: “There was an accusation about cheating.”
V-o: “It all leads to the most controversial season finale ever!”
Michael Kors: “I’m gonna fight for this.”
Heidi Klum: “It’s wrong what he did.”
V-o: “And the one moment you’ll never stop talking about!”

Chances are we’ll stop talking about it eventually, but how juicy! Sounds like the most dramatic rose ceremony evah!

Blogging Project Runway already has polls up, speculating who will be accused of cheating and who will be the accuser. As you can imagine, many people suspect Michael Costello of being accused and Gretchen Jones as the accuser.

I think there has to be something to Mondo’s “secret.” Is he the accuser? Is he being accused? I saw another promo that showed April Johnston saying she doesn’t know the story behind Mondo’s print. (This Thursday they are bringing back the pattern challenge from last season.) Is he just sharing an emotional story that has nothing to do with the cheating allegation?

Long story short, I don’t know a dang thing. Although for whatever reason people think April will win this Thursday’s Episode 10, “There’s a Pattern Here,” and Michael C. will be sent home.

How dare the producers deny me more Seth Aaron time?! I miss my S-A!

By the way, sharp eyes at BPR spotted a photo in the Episode 9 gallery showing my boy Seth Aaron Henderson, winner of Season 7, and what could be Season 6 winner Irina Shabayeva. You can also see Ivy Higa in the photo. So is that something they left out from last week, or something we’ll see in a different version this Thursday?

On a somewhat related note, the previews seemed to show designers getting emotional at the “special guests” which usually means family members. So is this pattern challenge going to also include family time?

(*Update* Here’s an extended preview of Episode 10)

Anyway, The Goddess Nina Garcia graced the world with a couple of recent interviews, alluding to the upcoming drama. (Which won’t all be this week, since this Thursday’s ep does not include the finale.)

To Zap2it she says, “It gets really good. It’s very soon. It’s just a very emotional moment in the show, and it’s the first time that something like this has happened. It’s a very powerful and a very admirable moment.”

Then it can’t just be a cheating allegation followed by research and absolution. Remember on Season 3 when Laura Bennett accused eventual winner Jeffrey Sebelia of cheating? They looked into it and said he hadn’t cheated.

So this must be something new. Maybe someone admits to cheating and is given a second chance? Maybe someone quits the show because they accused someone falsely? Maybe the cheating allegation and the emotional moment are two different things?

Nina also gave a really long, cool interview with good deets to Celebrity Baby Scoop. On the drama coming “very soon” she says, “It’s just a very emotional moment in the show and it’s the first time that something like this has happened. It’s a very powerful and a very admirable moment. So, you’ve just go to watch.”

So she’s sticking to the script on this.

By the way, Nina thinks the winner of Season 8 could have the same career stamina of Season 4 winner Christian Siriano. To me, this goes with the spoilers that the winner could be Mondo. Because Heidi adores Mondo the way she adored Christian.


Here’s a portion of the Celebrity Baby Scoop interview where Nina talks about that:

Christian Siriano has found such mainstream success, post Runway. Do you see any up and coming contestants who have the same ability to achieve that success?

NG: “It’s a tough business to make it in. It takes a long time. I don’t think people realize how long for a normal desire that’s not in a celebrity that’s on a television show. It’s taken Marc Jacobs 20 years. It takes a long time.

But, what Christian has that has helped him tremendously is he’s got the tenacity, the personality, the creativity, and the age where he is prime to really work very hard and go for it. You need a lot of components to make it and some designers take longer than others. It’s a tough business. It’s just not instant fame like other fields. Fashion is a little longer. But, yes, Christian has a lot of elements that have made him very successful.”

Have you seen anyone else who you think who has ‘it’?

NG: “Well, you have to wait until this season’s over, but I do think the winner of this season could very well have the same kind of stamina that Christian has.”


By the way, Tim Gunn still hasn’t posted an Episode 9 vlog and the reposted Episode 8 video seems to have disappeared again. I worry that he’s given up on us.

Catch up on my “Project Runway” archive here.

Mondo is a kaleidoscope of oversharing cuteness.

Things likely to reappear in Mondo Guerra’s autobiography:

I'm just not drinking the Mondo Kool-Aid. Having said that, I do like the back a lot more than the front.

1. Mondo likes to walk around his apartment in his underwear.
2. Mondo has never made more than $12,000.
3. Mondo left Colorado with $14.
4. Mondo now has $20,014 after winning the “Race to the Finish” challenge on “Project Runway” Season 8, Episode 9.
5. This is going to come in handy since Mondo really needed some drinking money.

I half agree with the judges this week.

I did love Mondo’s ready-to-wear look. I liked most of the ready-to-wear looks this week, but I’ve accepted that if I ever met Nina Garcia she would squint under her note card about my taste level.

The back of Mondo’s high fashion dress looked, as Michael Kors put it, like a Kentucky Derby horse ribbon exploded. Oh, and he said the gown was too short and Nina said the fabric looked inexpensive.

Apparently those are all fantastic things that scream “winner” because he won. Again. Two in a row.

Heidi Klum adores Mondo. He is her new Christian Siriano and I think there is nothing that will stop her from making him the Season 8 winner.

By the way, Andy South —who had a major comeback, go Andy! — said he considers Mondo, Gretchen Jones and April Johnston to be his closest competition. And — spoiler alert — that list just happens to match Tbone of Blogging Project Runway’s final 4 prediction after seeing the final collections in person on Sept. 9.

Ivy tries color for once and it bites her in her arse. Won't miss her!


Over to Ivy Higa for a minute. She’s gone!

Back to the good designs.

I actually liked Gretchen’s looks this week. They don’t look great in the photo I have here, but watching them on the runway — I kind of thought she might win. But there’s no stopping Mondo. Mondo not only gets $20,000 from L’Oreal Paris, his high fashion look will appear in a L’Oreal advertorial.

(I had to Google “advertorial”: An advertorial is an advertisement designed to simulate editorial content, while at the same time offering valid information to your prospective clients.)

Annnddyyyyy! Why doesn't Heidi appreciate Andy? She's Team Mondo.

In a shameless bit of overwhelming L’Oreal self-promotion, each designer had to pick one of the Studio Secrets eyeshadow finishes as inspiration:

Mondo: Bright
Christopher: Crystal
April: Matte
Michael: Metallic
Ivy: Bright
Valerie: Crystal
Andy: Metallic
Gretchen: Velvet

Gretchen insisted that velvet was a serious risk. Michael Costello said velvet is a boring fabric and Gretchen designs boring clothes, so it’s a perfect fit.

And so Gretchen vs. Michael C. resumed anew.

They both went for the same kind of “Bordeaux” color, which apparently Gretchen already patented.

Gretchen: “Those are my colors and he’s using them as well.”

Gretchen and her monster attitude created some decent looks this week. They don't look too great here — I think Gretchen's stuff only looks good when the model is moving and the garments flow — but I did like them when I saw them on TV. Sorry. I don't want to like anything she does, but fair is fair.

Gretchen isn’t threatened, but she’s insulted that maybe “some boundaries were crossed.”
Gretchen: “Somehow I’ve created a monster.” (It’s in the mirror.)
Gretchen: “Michael C. replicates. I don’t see a point of view in his work. I see other people’s point of view.”

She thought his long high fashion gown’s train was “trouble, trouble, trouble.” Shocker: Michael Costello didn’t like what Gretchen was doing either.

On the other end of the spectrum, Valerie Mayen started the episode defending Ivy, saying she is a good person and her best friend in the house.

This was followed by Ivy saying Valerie complains too much and it’s very wearing because they all have problems.


Valerie had a major emotional breakdown and when she was spared instead of Ivy, she was shocked. Valerie needs to pull it together RIGHT NOW and give us back the girl who was at the top of my favorite designers list after the first week.


After two days, $300 for a high fashion look and $100 for a ready-to-wear look, and one look at a cute dog named Swatch at Mood, the designers produced decent work:

I like Michael C.'s cocktail dress. Rich of Heidi, of all people, to say you have to pick legs or boobs since she loves to accent both in her own wardrobe.

Gretchen high fashion: Kind of 1920s flapper meets hippie.
Gretchen ready to wear: I like this. Gretchen holla-ed at her own piece, though. That’s odd.
Judges: Higher scores. Michael Kors thought the high fashion dress was very wearable. Heidi Klum wanted the back to be the front. Guest judge Naeem Khan wanted more emphasis on the front, because that’s the part people notice at the table when at a dinner party (or something). MK didn’t like her hair. Nina Garcia said the makeup was perfect.
Mondo high fashion: Very Mondo. Love the hair piece.
Mondo ready to wear: LOVE this. This is more my style.
Judges: Higher scores. Heidi loved the hat. Naeem liked the hair and stripes and he loved the cocktail dress. Michael Kors said the gown is too short. Nina said the fabric choice looks inexpensive. MK thinks the back of the high fashion dress looks dreamy. “I think it looks a little like a Kentucky Derby horse ribbon exploded.” Heidi adores him.

Andy high fashion: I love it! Go Andy! He is the only one who did separates and he went for it. Love his model, too. Strong black armor.

Valerie needs her fairy godmother to stage a style intervention.

Andy ready to wear: Simple and black with sleeves. Streamlined. Nice.
Judges: Higher scores. Naeem liked that he kept to his vision. He loved the cocktail dress. Michael Kors liked that it’s not so obviously metallic. MK loved the boot pants and how they could translate into something wearable. Nina liked the blend of metallics and that he went for fantasy makeup. Heidi said in terms of craftsmanship he did a great job. She didn’t like the high fashion look, though.

Christopher high fashion: Bjork’s swan is back!
Christopher ready to wear: Casual and nice. Kind of dull, but fine.
Judges: Safe

April high fashion: Black witch costume.
April ready to wear: I think I like that more.
Judges: Safe

Here are the bottom three. As Nina dubbed them, "My Fair Lady, Gone with the Wind and Little Mermaid."

Ivy high fashion: Nah. This doesn’t look high fashion. It’s more ready to wear.
Ivy ready to wear: I like this. This color is great and this strapless cocktail is cute enough, from afar.
Judges: Lower scores. Michael Kors: “I think they look like bridesmaids under the sea.” MK said the colors could’ve been gorgeous but they needed to be alleviated by lightness. Nina said both dresses have fit problems. She aged her models. Heidi liked the back of the high fashion dress better than the front.

Valerie high fashion: She calls it Rainbow Brite on crack? I kind of like it.
Valerie read to wear: Black and boring. Very dull.
Judges: Lower scores. Naeem says the #1 thing to learn in fashion is to listen to the fabric. She didn’t listen to the fabric. She tried to do structured dress out of soft fabric. Nina said it looked like a beauty pageant dress. She looked like Miss Guatemala. Nina questions her taste level. Uh oh. Michael Kors said she needs a magic wand. Valerie agrees with their points.

Michael C. high fashion: It seems hard for the model to walk, but I like it.
Michael C. ready to wear: Sexy as hell. Like it.
Judges: Lower scores. Naeem said the proportions in the high fashion dress need a lot of work, but he liked the cocktail dress. Heidi said he needed to choose between boobs or legs on the cocktail dress. MK said he’s the only one who had clothes that were constructed, sewn and tailored well. He called the high fashion dress train “ridiculous” and she was styled like Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind.” “Hello! I mean, she’s got all the curtains from Tara ripped off the walls and put into the one dress.”


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

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