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The top and bottom on Week 2. Did you agree with the winner and loser? We all kind of lose to have to deal with Timothy for another week.

The top and bottom on Week 2. Did you agree with the winner and loser? We all kind of lose to have to deal with Timothy for another week.

When all else fails, sob. Or make a speech. Or be a random cartoon character who babbles about eco-nonsense. On reality TV, drama is like sex — it sells.

Poor Kahindo may not have made a standout dress on “Project Runway” Season 12, Episode 2, “Million Dollar Runway,” but it wasn’t that bad or that boring. But she didn’t get to show much personality, so like Angela last week, she had to go home over more TV-friendly characters.

Yes, I mean Timothy, but also Helen. Did you see what she made? I know her intention. Everyone has the same intention every week: to make a standout design that represents them as a designer. It’s harder than I can even imagine, having seen every season. But some people manage to work miracles. The people cast for each season, out of the thousands of hopefuls, are put in the position to be daily miracle workers. When your miracle falls flat, you should go home. Helen’s design was the farthest thing from a miracle. And she knew it. In fact, Helen was so upset with her faulty construction that she literally started shaking in her runway seat. Father Tim Gunn had to come out and help her. She cried, she made a speech to the judges to illustrate her passion, and she was saved. They all have passion or they shouldn’t be there. Should Kahindo have made a speech? Would that have saved her? It probably wouldn’t save you in the real workplace.

The second Helen started shaking I knew she would be safe.

The second Helen started shaking I knew she would be safe.

Anyway, this week the designers were loaned more than $30 million worth of jewels and told to create a look glamorous enough to walk the runway with the jewels.

Of course Timothy was not inspired by the jewelry. He doesn’t care about money (or so he says). They had to pick the “prettiest” one, which he found superficial. (I need him to go home before my eyes get stuck in the up position.) He compromised enough to put makeup on his model and even though he had one of the “lower” scores, he was still safe. He is the judges’s pet.

This week, Sandro — who had a mini tantrum in the workroom and even grabbed a staffer by the arm to try and get him to fix equipment — had one of the higher scores, despite riding that line between “stripper and chic.” For me, he’s still on the stripper side. But good for him for supporting Helen. I don’t agree with any of it, but we all need someone in our corner.  Just keep me away from that particular corner.

This week, Kate the Redeemed won the challenge. She won a corset-based challenge on her last season too. Heidi likes that stuff. I liked her (intentionally) disheveled Marie Antoinette-inspired design but I didn’t love it, and I’m not that invested in Kate’s redemption story. Sorry.

I liked Dom’s green and white design and, once again, I really liked British Jeremy’s design, which wasn’t even put in the top. Again. Still love his pants from last week too. I have a feeling he’s going to be my “cause” for the season.

Jeremy, I love your stuff. I can't wait until you're in the top instead of just "safe." I still love last week's pants best, despite the extra hardware.

Jeremy, I like your stuff. I can’t wait until you’re in the top instead of just “safe.” I still love last week’s pants best, despite the extra hardware.


With my stream-of-consciousness thoughts as they walk the runway.

Dom – Like the design but is the green and white too matchy-matchy with the jewels? I need to see it up close.

Justin – Love her hair, and black dress is beautiful in a simple way.

Ken – Nice green classic simple, OK.

Kahindo – Interesting print, almost camouflage.

Alexandria – Very simple navy blue, beautiful, elegant (I love how opinionated she is behind-the-scenes. She’s going to piss someone off soon.)

Miranda  – pretty much the same as last week just in blue.

Alexander – Black and flowy with some yellow. Not for me.

Kate  – Victorian-like silver dress, lot going on but works.

Timothy – Um, not sure.

Karen – Blah, blue, doesn’t seem to fit right, doesn’t accentuate jewelry.

Jeremy – LOVE – My man of the season. It’s official. All on board. Love the bottom. It’s not the most original design I’ve ever seen, but it perfectly showcases the jewelry instead of overpowering it. I thought that was the challenge.

Sandro – Tight, shows a lot. This is what he likes apparently, so be it.

Helen – She’s shaking and in a panic on the runway because she couldn’t finish her look well enough. “My construction is so awful.” They stop so Tim can go talk to her. Sandro tries to support her as she shakes. This crying will probably help her. They love drama. So much for Helen being the tough girl. It’s not weak to cry but it is a sign of deep insecurity to play up your toughness and then fall apart when you can’t deliver. Sorry to be harsh, but this is happening to all of them at the same time, not just her.

Sue – Black and sexy but not a standout. Not my style. The judges love her, though. There’s always at least one I don’t “get.”

Bradon – Silver dress with a light wrap. Hmm.

This isn't the best photo, but the more I look at Dom's design, the more I like it. But does it show off the jewels enough?

This isn’t the best photo, but the more I look at Dom’s design, the more I like it. But does it show off the jewels enough?


Dom – HIGH SCORES – Nina loved that she made it very young. She found the print interesting. She loved the back too, however, whatever she used to hem is overpowering it. Heidi said if she had to pick a dress it would be Dom’s. But she wouldn’t put the ribbon around her hair. Zac agreed.

Timothy – LOW SCORES – Tim went for makeup this time but Heidi still didn’t like the model’s hair. She asked him about the fabric he used to see if it matched his “cause.” Stop making him a gimmick. Zac commended him for going for something as ambitious as velvet. But he thought the dress looked backward. It’s hard to find bras for razorfront dresses, Heidi noted. Nina called the razorback-in-the-front “bizarre.” Nina expected something like a tuxedo jacket. Timothy is such a brown-noser.

Kate – HIGH SCORES – She was inspired by Marie Antoinette fleeing in the night. Heidi knew immediately that this was Kate’s dress because she loves buiding corsets and won a corset-involved challenge on her last season. Nina thought she picked a fabulous cover. Zac thought the jewelry popped, which was the whole task so that’s a good sign. WINNER

Sandro – HIGH SCORES – He had vintage rubies and went for a more “feminine” style. Heidi noted that he likes to put a lot into his garments. He piled on last week and he did it again. But she thought it worked this week. (Really?) Eric Daman liked the color with the jewelry. Zac and Nina liked his unpredictable fabric choice, but he had wrinkles in the fabric. Zac felt the sides of the dress took away from it and it got a little trashy. He walks the line of “stripper and chic,” as Eric put it.

Kahindo – LOW SCORES – Heidi thought it was so simple that it was boring. How is this exact argument not being made for Karen’s blue dress? Eric is wearing camo too but he didn’t seem to appreciate. Zac thought the print was hard and the construction was not inspiring. “I think it looks like a dress on sale.” And he felt the designer popped more than the model and looked cooler. It’s not exciting enough for Nina, either. Are they talking more about her own personality, ’cause it feels like they make arguments to keep the “drama” crowd but if you’re “boring” to the judges they’ll push you out the door.

Helen – LOW SCORES – Helen had never done cups before; Heidi said she’s always shocked when the designers try to do something they’ve never done before. Why? Isn’t that something you’re supposed to do on PR?! Heidi said she’s obsessed with boobs and these look pretty bad. Evening wear is Helen’s forte but this didn’t work. The dress had a lot of problems in the back. The execution is very poor. Zac said a gown like this takes days. The hem is off. The fabric was the wrong choice. Eric said you have to time manage. Nina said there were so many imperfections that they distract from the jewels. But she found the design interesting, so that could save her, along with her tears and passion. She makes a speech. Should Kahindo have made a speech and cried? Sandro jumps in to defend Helen. “Don’t judge her too much, please.” That’s kind of him, but it applies to all of them and someone has to leave.


Kate for her Marie Antoinette gown.


Kahindo, basically for her fabric choice and for boring the judges/not being enough of a storyline character.


• Alexander Pope, 38 – Hometown: Los Angeles, CA; Resides in New York, NY

• Alexandria von Bromssen, 38 – Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden; Resides in San Mateo, CA

• Angela Bacskocky, 33 – Hometown: Richmond, VA; Resides in Richmond, VA (Eliminated Week 1)

• Bradon McDonald, 38 – Hometown: Lowville, NY; Resides in Los Angeles, CA

• Dom Streater, 24 – Hometown: Philadelphia, PA; Resides in Philadelphia, PA

• Helen Castillo, 25 – Hometown: Weehawken, NJ; Resides in Union City, NJ

• Jeremy Brandrick, 41 – Hometown: Birmingham, England; Resides in New York, NY

• Justin LeBlanc, 27 – Hometown: Tampa, FL; Resides in Raleigh, NC

• Kahindo Mateene, 34 – Hometown: Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Resides in Chicago, IL (Eliminated Week 2)

• Karen Batts, 29 – Hometown: Boca Raton, FL; Resides in Queens, NY

• Ken Laurence, 24 – Hometown: Birmingham, AL; Resides in Birmingham, AL

• Miranda Kay Levy, 29 – Hometown: Wilton, WI; Resides in Milwaukee, WI

• Sandro Masmanidi, 28 – Hometown: Krasnodar, Russia; Resides in New York, NY

• Sue Waller, 45 – Hometown: Boston, MA; Resides in Brooklyn, NY

• Timothy Westbrook, 24 – Hometown: Wanakena, NY; Resides in Milwaukee, WI

• Kate Pankoke, the Runway Redemption winner from Season 11


Catch up on my old (vintage) “Project Runway” stories in this archive.


Is this a joke?

I already wrote something about the fashions at the Golden Globe Awards, but Heidi Klum deserves a special mention.

She is the host/judge/producer of my beloved “Project Runway” and then she did this.

Why, Heidi?

What is happening here?

According to FabSugar, “Heidi Klum brought her multicolored self to the red carpet wearing a ’70s-inspired Marc Jacobs dress with stacked bangles. Orange lips and newly done eyebrows by eyebrow guru Anastasia complete her free-spirited look. Thoughts?”

Here are my thoughts: She looks like ass. I can’t see a single good thing about the dress, but the very worst has to be the flower bow thing at the waist.

At least her hair is pretty.

Tilda Swinton looked better and it pains me to say that.

I prefer it without sleeves.

I’ll give her credit.

“Project Runway” judge (and executive producer) Heidi Klum may not have been able to convince Nina Garcia and Michael “Slutty! Slutty!” Kors to pick Mondo Guerra as the winner of Season 8 over Gretchen Jones, but she is making good on her assertion that she would wear his polka dot finale dress. She just had it adjusted a bit.

Heidi wore Mondo’s dress to the “Black Swan” premiere in Hollywood. (Wonder what Heidi thought of the movie. I can’t wait to see it!) But she had the sleeves taken off and she restyled it to remove some of Mondo’s very Mondo embellishments.

I actually like this look better without sleeves, the hat, the shoes, the earrings and the other “stuff” that distract from what’s already a “wow” gown. Not that I was in love with the dress to begin with. This is not my favorite look in Mondo’s collection and his collection was not my favorite of the bunch. But my opinion is valued by the judges even less than Jessica Simpson’s, and Mondo’s work was strong and distinctive enough that I figured he was a lock to win anyway.

Catch up on my “Project Runway” recaps and ramblings here. And did you watch “The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection” premiere? I did.

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.


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.

Why do they keep ignoring her?

By Gina Carbone

I’m convinced the Emmy voters don’t even watch the shows they nominate. They can’t. Otherwise there is NO WAY IN HELL they would snub Cat Deeley of “So You Think You Can Dance” for Outstanding Reality Show Host.

Ryan Seacrest just came off not only the worst season of “American Idol” in terms of talent and entertainment (it should never have been nominated for Outstanding Reality Show Competition), it was the worst for him as a host/human being.

And, look, I love “Project Runway.” I’ve seen every season. But Heidi Klum does not do enough to deserve a nomination for anything. Hell, the woman has turned most of the recent challenges into ways to dress herself and her kids.

Meanwhile, Cat Deeley is busy hosting LIVE shows. (Of the nominees, only Cat, Seacrest and Tom Bergeron of DWTS consistently host live programs.) Always warm. Always witty. Always supportive of her “babies” and challenging of the judges, but in a respectful way.

I have “So You Think You Can Dance” on in the background as I type this because I was convinced that they would address this error on air. Instead, the judges gushed over themselves and the Emmy nominations they did receive. Adam Shankman, you don’t need to cut into a dancer’s critique to add a shout-out to your co-producers. It’s cool that former SYTYCD contestant and current “Dancing with the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower got an Emmy nod. And Mia Michaels. Whatever.

But come on. The FIRST thing they should’ve done was tell Cat she deserved an Emmy nomination. Make it plain. Make it public. Say it there in front of the fans and viewers to let her know she is appreciated. She needs to have that aired.

I love “Survivor.” I adore Jeff Probst. I wouldn’t have joined this Facebook group if I wasn’t pathetic about him. But he should’ve been nervous this year because of Cat Deeley. She, Jeff and Tom are the best hosts on TV. Period.

Part of me still wants Cat to replace Brooke Burke on DWTS. Leaving her out of the mix entirely cheapens the nominations as a whole. No matter what happens, she’s definitely on my list of Outstanding Reality Show Hosts. And, yes, I care about that list.

Anyway, here are the main reality show nominees, as copied from Entertainment Weekly, which is also upset about the Cat snub.

Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race)
Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars)
Heidi Klum (Project Runway)
Jeff Probst (Survivor)

Project Runway
Top Chef
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
American Idol

Yes, Hugh Laurie, ask God why.

By Gina Carbone

This is what I wanted to happen:

  • “Hurt Locker” wins best pic and best director for my hero Kathryn Bigelow. (Which would make her the second woman to win this award, after Barbra Streisand for “Yentl.” It’s time for Babs to be dethroned, no?)
  • Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) or Jeremy Renner (“Hurt Locker”) for Best Actor in a motion picture drama.
  • “Mad Men” gets anything and everything it’s nominated for, including Jon Hamm for Best Actor TV drama and January Jones for Best Actress TV drama.
  • Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor for “Inglourious Basterds”
  • “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” for best original song.
  • And I want host Ricky Gervais to do something shocking to make everyone in the audience uncomfortable.

But as the sun now stands, Julianna Margulies won over January Jones (and Anna Paquin of “True Blood”), which upsets me, although Julianna looked GORGEOUS.

Michael C. Hall. I've loved him since he played David Fisher on "Six Feet Under."

Michael C. Hall won over Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie and I have to say, that head wrap is a good look for him. Not happy about why he has to wear it, but at least his cancer is in remission. He is quite the cutie and we need him (and “Dexter”) around for a long time.

“The Weary Kind” did win best song, but T Bone Burnett couldn’t find my new crush, Ryan Bingham. Was he in the “loo,” like Toni Collette was, way back when?

And everyone who won said they worked with the best people in the world and they have the best jobs in the world and it made me want to take their awards away. If you have the best job in the world, that should be reward enough.

In this lousy economy with countries falling apart, you don’t deserve major gift bags and free liquor at the table and fancy dresses and jewelry AND the best jobs in the world. Pick one.

Click here for all of the nominees, and more about Ricky Gervais’ plan for the show.

Now let’s get to the arrival pics. These are all AP photos. Sorry, in advance, for any weird formatting issues.

Christina Hendricks is gorgeous, as always, but I have never been a fan of the ruffle sash. Love the color and top part of the dress on her, just wish the dress were more simple.

January Jones looks fierce with her black power self. Not sure about the headband. Love the girl in the background checking on Janny's dress/shoe situation.

Ginnifer Goodwin of "Big Love" always looks perky, even in the rain. I'm tired of this little type of dress, though.

Sofía Vergara of "Modern Family." I think I like this dress.

The back of Sofia's dress.

Olivia Wilde of "House." I like the dress from this angle, but not her stone face. I found another pic with the opposite issue.

Maggie Gyllenhaal of "Crazy Heart." Love the color but I need a side view for a full verdict.

Sarah Hyland. I needed to look up that she was from "Modern Family." I didn't recognize her for some reason. Red is not always easy to pull off, especially in someone so young, but this is a classy, mature look.

Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and their intrepid umbrella holder. Love "True Blood" to DEATH and I hope Alexander Skarsgard shows up so I can post his pic. I wish there was a full view of this dress. The bottom is crucial.

Zoe Saldana of "Star Trek" and "Avatar" -- so beautiful. Love this shade of red. Kind of burlesque, in a way, but not trashy. But where does the dress actually end?

Talk about "Bride Wars." I think Kate Hudson's dress is fighting with itself. Am I the only one for simplicity? Look at the shoes. I love the megabitch expression on her face. "Fierce" I guess.

Jon Hamm is looking very Brad Pitt with that face. Jennifer Westfeldt is doing the simplicity thing. Too simple, maybe. Rain bites.

The Edge and Morleigh Steinberg. The Edge is the sexiest part of U2.

Amy Adams. Not into this look at all. At all.

Oh I LOVE this look from the front. Nice one, Maggie.

Carey Mulligan is so adorable. I would be happy if she won for "An Education."

Mickey Rourke and Elena Kuletskaya. He always gets the ladies.

James Cameron and Suzy Amis -- she couldn't do her hair?

Cameron Diaz -- dress is gorgeous but it loses a little something with the umbrella. At least she color-coordinated.

George Clooney with Elisabetta Canalis. Gorgeous George's ladies always look the best on the runway, but they also look like Stepford clones. Not a coincidence.

Jaime Pressly. Wow. Wow. She gave birth in 2007, which I guess is technically three years ago, but it would take me a lot longer to look that good. Considering I've never had a kid and I've never looked that good ... well, blame the donuts.

Heidi Klum and Seal. Yes, it's called rain.

Oh wow. I don't like the idea of sharing Colin Firth, but I don't blame him for choosing a wife with taste this good. This is his Italian lady, Livia Giuggioli.

Sam Worthington from "Avatar" and girlfriend Natalie Mark. I hate that he's dating someone, but these two have been together for a while, so at least he's loyal. Sigh.

Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon and Mariah's chachas.

Sigourney Weaver and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York? What is going on with this?

Courteney Cox and David Arquette. He is her PUH.

Julia Roberts, looking confident and comfy. That's all that matters.

Oh no! I take it back, Zoe!

Jeff Bridges and Susan Bridges -- they look like a great, solid couple. Hope it's true. Loved how he thanked her at the Critics Choice Awards the other night.

Penelope Cruz, looking more like Sophia Loren every day. Where's Javier Bardem?

Jason Reitman and Michele Lee -- going to a funeral?

Leona Lewis looks bright on a cheerless night.

Julianne Moore and her "A Single Man" director, Tom Ford.

Toni Collette was one of the first wins of the night.

Patricia Arquette and Thomas Jane. Patricia is never on the best dressed list, but she's always on the most unique list. Love her.

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. They look all right, but Harrison sounded like he had some problems introducing "Up in the Air."

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski -- they are a beautiful couple, yes?

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