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'Project Runway' Season 8, Episode 14 Season Finale Recap (VIDEO)

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 29th 2010 9:00AM

The finalists during reunion['Project Runway' - ''Finale, Part 2"]

Last night's finale of 'Project Runway' was extended from 90 minutes to two hours, but was the extra half hour really worth waiting so painfully long for the fashion show? We even had to sit through a quick reunion special that told us nothing.

Gretchen defended herself and said she was being a "strong woman," which is misunderstood as "bitch." Ivy eye-rolled a few times, and Valerie said "cray-cray" one final time. The most infuriating moment was when Heidi asked the contestants who they thought would win. Of course no one would speak -- the finalists were sitting right there! At least previous seasons had the finalists leave so the contestants could dish.

Another disappointment: two whole hours and zero information about how the contestants got their models. Clearly Gretchen was looking for big hair and a very earthy look, Mondo needed long hair for cool buns, and Andy had a similar need so he could place things on the models' heads. Mondo had several girls not show up for some reason or another, but it would have been interesting to see what he wanted originally. We got a short amount of time with the muse models, but since 'Models of the Runway' is no longer, we barely knew that Mondo's model was Tina Marie. We got shameless plugs from Garnier and L'Oreal, but the only useful thing we learned from those segments was that Gretchen was going for poofy post-hat hair and wanted to kick up her lip color.

Tim told the contestants that since they had eleven looks, they had to cut something to create a ten-look dress. Mondo toyed around with a full black dress but decided against it; sadly, that may have been the kiss of death for him. Gretchen decided against putting her last-minute look on the runway. Andy got rid of the first bikini shown in his mini collection and instead used a bikini that Tim thought looked like hair growing out of the crotch. Andy didn't see it, but I realized the issue: the textured fabric tucked into the panty, giving it an overgrown look.

The final three spent some time absorbing the whole situation, giving group hugs, until they finally entered the crazy backstage area. There seemed to be a lot of chaos in the back two hours before the show for Mondo and Andy, but not much from Gretchen. Andy wanted to make new pants on the fly, which Tim thought was horrible and told him straight to his face to pick the skirt. Mondo's running order was wrong and several models didn't show; one alternate had hair that was so short Mondo thought his headpieces might not work.

Gretchen was first to present. She made the odd choice of pairing a see-through skirt with bloomers. I thought the look was a bit vulgar, and I'm pretty sure that Stacey in season 3 got eliminated first for creating a sheer skirt with panties underneath. As her looks went down the runway, I couldn't help but realize the choice of pattern got boring quickly. Plus, putting some of the girls in flats was a bad decision. I hated the fourth look with the grey pants with the leather interior; not only did it make the model's backside look odd, anyone wearing leather on the inner thigh is going to have the oddest sweat marks. The collection as a whole made sense, but I thought a few pieces were a bit too Fall and not Spring and a few looks skewed too retro.

While Andy went next, at the actual show Andy was last to present. I loved the color scheme of the collection, but the grey got boring fast. There was some nice texture, but the sheer pieces got on my nerves. My favorite piece was look six with the chain on the bottom (it reminded me of a Laura Bennett look from season 3). I also liked the weave pattern in his ninth look; that shade of grey looked darker because of the weaving and it almost helped alleviate the color issues.

Mondo was last, and his collection was an actual show. Though a few of his pieces skewed young, I liked the balloon dress and a lot of the outfits had a cheer and spirit that the other two collections lacked. I have a feeling that the all-black dress he nixed would've been a perfect fit since it had the same exact hand beading that the other pieces did. I'm still split on the final dress; I can see why the piece looked too '80s, but would getting rid of the sleeves have destroyed the whole concept?

There was some hesitation when I heard Jessica Simpson was the judge. Her connection to fashion is beyond me, especially seeing that Cindy de la Hoz and Betsey Johnson were in the audience -- I thought 'America's Next Top Model''s Jay Manuel would have at least been better connected to the fashion industry. But when she defended Mondo, gave the cheeriest smile and said "I like food," I didn't think she was that bad.

Andy looked to be out of the race from the get-go. He was criticized for not opening with a wow piece, having a narrow focus, and being too soft. Apparently the judges would have appreciated "Warrior Woman" now that he got rid of her. Nina commented that Andy went "Overboard on Orientalism." Apparently Asian Andy was too Asian for Nina's taste.

Gretchen got good praise, but Nina said her clothes were very ready-to-wear. Now, I would have taken it as a compliment if Nina said the clothes were runway ready, but I would be a bit offended if someone said my designs were department store ready. Gretchen didn't have enough punch in her opening and the collection got a bit repetitive. Michael Kors wondered about the existence of slick leather in this granola world. Gretchen got lots of praise for the accessories, hair, and makeup, but Heidi reminded everyone later that it's about the looks not the accessories.

Mondo had the theatrics, but Nina found the collection to be too teen and overwhelming. The group liked the skull t-shirt and tunic, and complemented Mondo for being very Mondo.

Andy was quickly placed third and the rest of the episode became a two-horse race between Gretchen and Mondo. It looked as though Heidi and Jessica were supporting Mondo and Nina and Michael wanted Gretchen to win. We finally know now who has the final say in judging: Nina Garcia. Since the winner's clothes end up in the magazine she works for, she has the final word on who makes it through. What I don't get is why Michael got upset when Heidi mentioned she could wear a Mondo top with a black pencil skirt. Mondo made separates and Heidi hypothetically separated them.

The judges announced Gretchen was the winner. She mentioned that she felt like $100,000, but a part of me wished Gretchen said "I feel like an HP Suite!" Her model, Millana (who was predominantly April's muse model for the season) was awarded $25,000.

I'm disappointed that Mondo didn't win. Gretchen was softer and less bitchy in the second half of the show, which was the turning point for redemption. When Michael C. was eliminated, I knew that it opened the door for Gretchen to win. I suspected that if Michael C. took Andy's place, then his designs and Gretchen's would have canceled each other out and Mondo would have won. I'm also not as convinced as Nina and Michael that Gretchen follows trends. I feel as though she'll always have the Southwestern/Granola aesthetic and it just so happened that hippie/bohemian is in.

Who had the ugliest dress? Were you disappointed in the outcome? Leave comments below.

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Georgina Thompson

It was a no brainer, Gretchen lost, Mondo clear winner.

March 07 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Georgina Thompson

It was a no brainer, Gretchen lost, Mondo winner.

March 07 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Project Runway Boycott website is up, visit www.tvshowboycott.com

November 05 2010 at 6:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I won't be watching the show any more! what a stupid vote!!
Gretchen's designs look like something out of Target!! yes, they are wearable, and probably good to be sold in budget stores--Some "Runway!"

November 01 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was sad! Unbearable to watch Heidi announce the results. Mondo was the clear winner. Gretchen's clothes were so hippie & those panties were so unattractive. I mean who wants to look like a safari when they can look like they stepped out of a magazine cover? Mondo's collection was fabulous & like Heidi sais if its too costume-y for you take the head piece off!

November 01 2010 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Project Runway has gone downhill. This is the worst season in memory. To be honest, I didn't like any of the final 3 contestants, although if I had to pick the best among the group, it would have easily been Mondo.

What a huge disappointment that Gretchen won.

October 31 2010 at 9:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have never posted a comment before . . . but the truly unnerving end to Project Runway compels me to. This has nothing to do with Gretchen's personality - her designs were just plain awful. Little House on the Prairie is trendy? Boring country kitchen wallpaper prints are trendy? Even the models looked ridiculously plump in those clothes, can't imagine what a "normal" size person would look like? The Nina and Michael duo could have just taken a look at Gretchen's own personal look and get a clue. The outfits she wore throughout the show and that mullet haircut went out decades ago! What magazine is Michael Kors reading - Field and Stream? With Mondo's beautiful and unique use of color, texture, and prints, he was creating a NEW trend - one that EVERYONE loved except two completely out-of-touch judges. I used to recommend this show to friends and family. Not anymore!! Gretchen's designs winning Project Runway was embarrassing.

October 30 2010 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mondo Yes!...Gretchen No!(not ever) that should have been the results. Granny pants,is never a look for an adult female. Mondo's clothing was bright,fun and full of life!! Nina & Kors comentted that Grechen's clothes were trendy and wearable??? For Whom I might ask!? Her clothes lacked spirit, her designs(??)uninspiring,and plain ugly. Mondo has a future in fashion, Gretchen has already had her 15 min. of fame..be gone!

October 30 2010 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was the worst Project Runway I have ever seen.
Very boring, no pow, only black and grey. Every designer used the same colors on every competion.
There was no high fashion designer, compaired to the previous show. This was always a show I looked forward to see. Bfut, I am not sure I will do the same next year. To me Micheal C. clothes would have given us a wow factor. I would have worn most of his clothes compared to that junk!!!!!!!! Literily JUNK.

October 30 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After thinking about this more, the best thing that could happen to Project Runway at this point would be to get rid of Nina and Michael and bring in some new judges. They were frequently at odds with Heidi in the discussions this year and I have always found myself much more in agreement with her than with them.

This started out as a show about who was the most creative designer and now it's a show about who could sell the most outfits at Sears.

October 30 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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