This past Thursday was the finale for the 8th season of Project Runway, one of my favorite shows. All things considered, it really wasn't that great of a season, but there was one major stand out contestant, Mondo Guerra. He, of course, did not win. The winner was Gretchen Jones, with a self-professed '70s aesthetic. It seems, though, that much of the Internet community agrees that Mondo was a clear winner. His perspective was quirky and colorful.
My favorite dress of his final collection was this plaid number:
(pictures from nymag.com)
Throughout the season, Mondo was the one contestant who was not afraid to play with pattern and color, and he did it well. This talent held through the finale with bold plaids, bubbles and tribal prints mixed with pinks, teals and yellows. It was a fun collection to watch.
Gretchen's, on the other hand, was a blah mix of browns, browns and more browns in plain prints. It wasn't anything special, almost everything looked the same.
Andy South, the third finalist, had a similar problem. Except, rather than everything being brown, it was all green and grey. Throughout the season, he had erred towards dark colors, so I wonder if he was afraid to do more of the same and have the judges criticize a lack of variety. However, he went too far in the other direction and it was pretty boring. Although, I will say, the pieces themselves, in terms of form, were much, much better than Gretchen's.
What annoyed me most about this season and especially the finale was the seeming hypocrisy in the judges' critiques. They eliminated Michael C. (who was in the final four) because the three pieces of his final collection he showed them lacked variety in color. Yet, Gretchen's entire collection lacked color, and they seemed to overlook that. Another point of hypocrisy was that, in the previous episode where they showed the three pieces, they criticized Gretchen's for being too commercial and only showing separates. However, in the finale, they praised her for creating a collection (same collection) that could be sold in a department store.
I guess that's just how it goes sometimes, though.
Click here to see the three final collections, plus seven "dummy" collections by eliminated designers!