Mondo got robbed. I don’t care much for this year’s winner of Project Runway. I don’t like her aesthetics — the latest Free People catalog does a much better job bringing the late sixties back again… and again… and again. I feel like I’m too young for Gretchen’s clothes, and I’m no spring chicken, and a mother of two, to boot. Her Bryant Park show was uneventful — no single piece stood out. I think it’s funny that she described the extra look as casual, because in her mind everything else in her collection is evening-wear.
Mondo, on the other hand, was sensational. I’m absolutely in love with the much-maligned bubble dress. It’s whimsical, and elegant, and fun, and flattering — totally amazing! Nina Garcia said something along the lines that there is a fine line between circus and edgy. Yes — and Mondo knows just how to walk that line! It was very smart of Mondo to showcase the bubble dress as much as possible, because the dress is an iconic Mondo. I’m curious to see how well it will do in the auction. It’s not just a single outfit, of course, his entire collection was very memorable.
It was a bit unreal to hear Garcia and Kors advising Mondo how to make his show boring. In their opinion, apparently, that’s the direction in which fashion is going. Is it because they feel that the recession is here to stay, and there has to be a direct relationship between the economic cycle and style? Part of the problem, I think, is that Heidi Klum and her little friend, who both liked Mondo, weren’t making their point very well. Anyhow, the competition wasn’t even close.
The main reason the hippy woman from Portland should not have won is because she’s a sub-par designer. But there is another quirk. Earlier in the season Gretchen revealed that she has a personal debt. Since then she mentioned several times that if she wins, she intends to use a part her prize money to pay it off. How much she owns she doesn’t reveal, but for her to whine that she just wants credit cards companies to stop calling her, the figure must be in the tens of thousands. Project Runway offers 100K to the winning designer to start his or her own line. 100K might sound like a lot of money to a financially irresponsible person. Yet, I imagine to start her own business Gretchen will need every last penny of it: She’ll be working full time, contracting employees, traveling, buying copious amounts of fabric and last but not least paying taxes.
Is it smart to award the money to somebody who does not intend to put it to good use? There might be already a provision in Gretchen’s Project Runway contract that would not allow her to use her prize to pay off her debt. A better way to deal with potential problems would be to run a credit check on all contestants prior to the competition. And so, did Project Runway get robbed?
You know who else got robbed? Michael C. He didn’t present very convincing pieces from his collection to the judges to secure a spot in Bryant Park. But the judges should have known that although somebody like Michael C. might not understand very well what makes a collection cohesive or how to select a representative outfit, he is sure to showcase a few amazing creations. They picked Andy instead — a safer choice, but his show, like Gretchen’s, turned out to be a snoozer.