Why Project Runway and I are breaking up

It seems that TV has only disappointed me lately. Granted, maybe I have too high of expectations, but is that so wrong of me to expect something out of the shows I watch? Though I admit, two posts back to back on why I will be giving up on two shows is kind of redundant. But this is my blog so tough it out. 😛 That being said, just a forewarning, there are spoilers ahead for the outcome of Project Runway. If you’re one of the few people who doesn’t know the outcome and don’t want to know, don’t continue reading.

I have been watching Project Runway since its humble beginnings on Bravo. I’ve never questioned the winner, I loved Jay’s finely crafted collection. Chloe’s collection was beautiful. Jeffrey’s was unique. Christian’s was all drama, as expected. Then came the less memorable seasons, and then the switch to Lifetime. And after the switch something happened. It just wasn’t the same. And then Nina went from Elle to Marie Claire.

This past season I was at odds with the judges a lot, granted that judging is all subjective and their own opinions but their reasonings for why people lost, or why people won, or why they eliminated people was at times strange. They’ve lost consistency, one minute they’ll claim that something just looks like clothes and there’s no design, and the next they’ll praise something for being ready-to-wear.

But all of this culminated in the finale, Mondo – a forerunner from the start – was the tell-tale favorite to win it all. Andy, while being a tad inconsistent, has shown a lot of vision and a unique point of view. And then we have Gretchen. Her clothes at the beginning had a sense of style and elegance that just seemed to fade away as the season went on. And she seems to have this idea that if she uses the same three colors throughout her collection somehow that makes for a well-rounded collection, when in fact is makes it all look really monotone, especially because she likes to use really drab colors.

Somehow she ended up winning, despite Jessica Simpson, the guest judge, and Heidi of all people arguing that Mondo should win. I’ll give Michael Kors and Nina that Mondo’s designing of the models wasn’t the right choice, and he could have taken the judges critiques and swapped some of the pieces around. And I think it would have been cool to see the silk-screened pieces just as silk-screen, before he added all the ticky-tack to them. Some of his work did seem a bit junior, but he did have some elegant pieces as well. What I enjoy about Mondo and Andy is that they’re versatile, they can do the elegance but they can also do the ready-to-wear and the active wear. And Mondo was the winner of the couture/ready-to-wear challenge, the judges know this. They tell him he’s creative and visionary, and yet they criticize him for the very things they praised him for before. I mean Michael Kors decides in the very last challenge, fashion week no less, to criticize Mondo for using too much print when that’s what he does. That’s his aesthetic! That’s what they praised him for, and what made him win all those challenges. Not to mention that out of the three designers competing at fashion week, Mondo was the only one who started his show off with a bang. The first look can make or break your collection, we’ve heard it for seven seasons now, and Mondo’s look summarized his collection in one look just like he was supposed to (in my opinion).

Gretchen’s collection was all either a printed brown-red fabric, a green leather, a green fabric, and a gray. All of them were muted. And put together the result was a very drab, to me at least, collection. She did have a point of view, and the girl she’s trying to dress is very clear, and accessible. In fact, there were plenty of clothes I could see going straight to the rack and be sold. However, in terms of Project Runway I don’t think that’s a good thing. There have been numerous occasions where the judges have eliminated a designer for being too ready-to-wear. They don’t typically like someone who is a one-trick-pony. Sure Gretchen has shown us in challenges that she can design a bit more elegant, but all of that was in the beginning of the season. And her collection had no high fashion, or even elegant pieces, there was nothing that was a huge wow for me. I think Gretchen has received a lot of crap this season, she’s a strong person with a strong point of view and personality. But her clothes to me look cheap and drab, and would it kill her to do at least one fitted dress? She just doesn’t seem like she has a lot of range, and she doesn’t seem like she’ll do anything exciting or surprising.

I think the judges have lost their way, in a sense and they’re contradicting themselves too much. They had some valid points to be sure about Mondo’s collection, but I can’t help but disagree with their decision. But certainly Mondo doesn’t need to win Project Runway to gain success, I mean he’s already quite popular what with all the people outraged that he lost. Anyway, I think this is the end for me and PR, it’s been a great eight seasons but unfortunately, you’re out.

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5 thoughts on “Why Project Runway and I are breaking up

  1. If you peruse spring 2011 fashion shows you will find that Gretchen was considered “now” as MK put it because her ideas were not original. New York Fashion Academy of Art students showed similar moo moos and capped sleeves with hems curved in the back AND the infamaous pantie that caused April to be booted. But indeed the grey pantie had already been done. So had Gretchen’s designs. She has been marketing them in Oregon under the name of MothLove. She sold the tank top (that she uses over and over) to Shopflick but that is the only piece they bought. Pretty sad for MK and NG to not be aware of these facts before they made their corporatly political decision.

    1. It’s just too bad that Project Runway decided a winner based on how up with the current trends and “now” the designer is rather than being innovative. That being said Mondo’s collection did have some styling faults but Gretchen’s collection looked so mono-tone with the repetition and it’s so true that she uses the same thing over and over again – during her collection my mom and I were saying – “Wait, we just saw that exact shirt only in a different color.”

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I’m considering making the same break-up, though I think I’ve said that the past two seasons too, but each season has been a step further away from what I love about the show. With the show now having up to 8 contestants show at Fashion Week, to prevent spoilers for the viewing audience, the show is less an opportunity for a diamond to be plucked from a bucket of obscurity and it’s more just a career option for getting to Fashion Week, like a prestigious internship.

    I still can’t believe I was watching a heated debate where Jessica Simpson represented me. And I love my pretend wife Nina Garcia, but she is sleeping on the couch for long while.

    1. Yes, I was very shocked that Jessica Simpson was a pretty good judge. And to have 8 at Fashion Week even as decoys is overkill. I read Tom & Lorenzo’s Project Runway blog and they showed the collections of all the decoys and some of them were pretty sub-par at best. And up until this season I really liked Nina Garcia, I still do, but I think it’s not enough for me to continue watching unfortunately. 😦

      Thanks for commenting!

      1. When Nina Garcia pointed out that Seth Aaron’s collection the year before was similar to Mondo’s in style, I started to see a little of where they were coming from as a franchise and wanting to mix it up, but that is sad for Mr. Mondo to get…thrown under the bus, shall we say, because NG and MK were thinking about PR branding.

        You’re right, Jessica Simpson was a good judge, though she wasn’t looking so great in that Michael Kors top, it wasn’t a good cut for her body type.

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