Recap: ‘Project Runway’ Season 8 Finale – The winner is…

10.29.10 7 years ago 184 Comments


It”s the big finale of “PR,” and you can look at the episode as either a battle between good (Mondo or Andy) vs. evil (Gwetchen) or as a battle between good taste and bad taste or maybe just as another reality TV show catfight, but in any case, it should be exciting. I”ll be sad to see season eight end, although I do have high hopes that during the part of the show in which all the designers come together to gab about their memories, Ivy will come unglued and beat the hell out of someone. I”m sentimental that way.

[Full recap of the “Project Runway” finale after the break…]
Anyway, it”s almost time for Fashion Week and the designers are sharing their feelings, probably shortly after the producers of the show order them to do exactly that. Gwetchen tells Mondo she never expected to go so far on the show, but she set the intention, so it happened! Wow! That nutty twiggy self-help crap really works! I”m going to read “The Celestine Prophecy” and make some pot brownies, ASAP!
Luckily, it”s then time for all the designers to come together to talk about who they liked and who they hated. This year, I expect this segment to be quite amusing. Mondo and Andy are beyond thrilled to see the deposed designers waiting for them by the runway. Funny, we don”t hear from Gwetchen on this point. Hmm, wonder why?
But wait! Before the “let”s beat up on Ivy and Gwetchen because we finally can” part begins, we have to waste some time. Because “PR” has two hours to fill, we are treated to a segment rewinding through Andy”s best moments on the show. Andy did have some spectacular designs this season, although he did have a fondness for tiny pleats that looked Elizabethan in an unfortunate way.
Anyway, once that”s over, Heidi asks the designers if anything has changed for them since the show started airing. Peach reveals that she has a huge gay following. Valerie got a marriage proposal. Casanova learned a lot of English. And, oh yes, the designers all get quizzed on whether Jason is as crazy and if Ivy and Gwetchen are as bitchy as they seem. Mwahahahaha!
Heidi, who is always happy to throw salt in a wound, asks Gwetchen what she thinks about this, and Gwetchen becomes, yes, weepy and sniffles something ridiculous about how she just speaks her mind. Really, Gwetchen? That”s what they call it now? Thankfully, Ivy calls B.S. and April points out Little Miss Weepy is a two-faced bitch for complimenting designers then commenting on how their work was crap in the interview room. There is not a lot of love in the room for Gwetchen.
Amazingly, Michael C. jumps to Gwetchen”s defense, as does Andy and Mondo. Mondo even puts a comforting hand on Gwetchen”s knee while she fumes. This is amazing to me, and even if Michael C. is just pretending to be the bigger person, it doesn”t matter, because he totally comes across as the bigger person. Not that it wipes the little girl pout on Gwetchen”s face. This would, of course, be a good time for her to apologize for being a big ass to everyone, but no, her feelings are hurt. I could not hate Gwetchen more.
Oh yay, it”s time for Gwetchen”s flashback segment. Did you know her work was one part minimalist art and one part ’70s boho? And all this time I thought it was one part boring department store crap and one part ugly MC Hammer pants. Color me shocked!
Mondo”s turn is next. God, remember those early episodes when he just seemed like a total weirdo? Mondo rocks. He has to win this, right?
Then, ANOTHER clip segment, this one of generally memorable moments, which is only worthwhile because we get to see Tim Gunn cracking up over Woolly Balls again.
Then, a clip segment of designers crying. Which makes Tim and Peach cry. I”m about ready to cry because there is no reason in the world for this episode to be two damn hours long.
But, just when I”m thinking it”s time to do something constructive and wander out of the room, the final three are ordered to go back to the workroom. Let”s get this show on the road, people!
Tim arrives to tell the finalists, oopsie, they”ve got to pull a look because they”re only going to have ten go down the runway. So, that final design challenge, pointless. Except for the point of breaking Michael C.”s heart.
Tim tells each of the designers he”s going to kibbutz with them about their collection. He tells Mondo his basic black showstopper gown isn”t a showstopper, and Mondo is going to end with the bubble dress. Yes, the one Nina and Michael hated. And he hasn”t changed it in any way. Mondo, this is not a good idea!
Tim tells Andy one of his swimsuits looks like hair growing out of the crotch. Andy isn”t sure he agrees. So, Andy isn”t taking Tim”s suggestion. Again, this is not a great idea, either.
Gwetchen talks endlessly to Tim, so he tells her to just do what she”s doing, as he”s not going to get a word in edgewise anyway.
Then, it”s time for hair and make-up, which is all about plugging Garnier and L”Oreal and zzzzzzz… Except Gwetchen wants her models to look sunkissed, as if they”ve been walking through the Sahara. Because sunburn says fashion.
When the workday is done, the three finalists sit around and talk about the big day they”re going to have tomorrow. No one mentions that Gwetchen is wearing a dead alpaca as a sweater.
I know this is off topic, but these plugs for “My Fairy Jobmother” using the “PR” rejects are making me insane. And making me even less interested in watching this show, which I didn”t think was possible.  
Anyway, back to the show. The designers head to Lincoln Center, and Gwetchen flops on the runway like a dying large mouth bass. Yes, you made it, Gwetchen. Now stop using your clothes as a runway mop.
As is the way for Fashion Week, things start going wrong almost immediately. Mondo is having a problem with his models. And he”s having a problem getting his dressers to pay attention to his directions. One of his models doesn”t show up. Poor Mondo! Meanwhile,Andy is trying to hem pants. This is not a good idea when you”re about to send your model down the runway. Tim tells Andy the pants are a mess and suggests he go with a skirt. Gwetchen”s fine, of course, because life isn”t fair.
Out on the runway, Heidi comes out in a red devil Halloween costume to address the audience. Really, for someone who knows so much about fashion, Heidi wears some really bad outfits every once in a while.
Oh, my lord, Jessica Simpson is the guest judge? I was hoping that wasn”t true, but it IS. I know, she”s got a hugely successful clothing line and shoes and all sorts of stuff, but that just means she”s good at choosing licensing partners, not actual design. This is the same girl who thought Chicken of the Sea was actually chicken, remember?
Finally, it”s time for the runway show to start. Gwetchen comes out to introduce her line. And starts getting weepy. Her collection is called Running through Thunder. Which is apparently the American Indian name for Designed by Evil Bitch. Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did.
First, I”ll repeat my usual disclaimer. I find it impossible to look at anything this woman designs and not be reminded that Gwetchen is a backstabbing jerkette, so it”s just not possible for me to see her work objectively. But let”s get to it.
1)      This is just God-awful, sorry. Look, an unflattering tankini! With a rust-colored shrunken tuxedo jacket! And an ugly tourist trap necklace!
2)      A sundress that ends at the most unflattering, dowdy part of the leg.
3)      I do not understand what she was trying to accomplish with these fabric and leather pants. It literally looks like she was trying to patch holes.
4)      I actually like these pants. Very Katherine Hepburn meets Biba.
5)      And, right back to an ugly look. What is it with Gwetchen and the green diapers?
6)      I”m not sure this dress needed pleats and pockets. And oh lord, she has that weird tucked-into-her-underwear detail in the back.
7)      The green diaper and the leather jacket we”ve seen before. I will say the styling and hair is better for this show.
8)      The cropped hammer pants still aren”t thrilling me.
9)      Leather shorts are not wow, if you ask me.
10)  Is that supposed to be a train? On a summer dress? Or is it just hemmed badly?
Yes, the styling is much better, and with the models in heels, it does look more sophisticated. But I still hate the ’70s boho thing, the rust thing and the bad Southwestern tourist thing. Basically, all things Gwetchen.
Next, Andy”s turn. Andy seems to be wearing the pants from the challenge that almost got him eliminated. Hopefully they have not given him camel toe. Or, as I like to call it, Jackie O crotch.
1)      Cool jumper. And the green top isn”t bad, either.
2)      This is a little blah, honestly.
3)      This is clearly well made, but again, a little blah. I”m starting to see what Mondo was saying about Andy”s collection being two dimensional.
4)      The shorts are great, but the top isn”t doing anything for me.
5)      Ah, the hair swimsuit. With the cover-up over it, it”s fine.
6)      Cute little dress, but not wow.
7)      Great pants and top.
8)      Still love these shorts.
9)      Now, this is a cool top. But are there only two colors in this whole collection?
10)  The little green dress returns. And it”s still only okay.
Truth told, I expected more from Andy. Where”s the black dominatrix dress? What”s with all the green and grey? Some of these designs are truly boring, like stuff you”d sell to demure but fit grandmas for their European cruises.
Finally, Mondo is up. His inspiration is his Mexican heritage. Fingers crossed that Mondo nails it!
1)      Aaack! This look is still too busy. Why why why is that horrible thing in her hair? And the bag? She doesn”t need the bag! Aack!
2)      The shorts are okay, but combined with the top and the hair thingy, I”m not loving this.
3)      The leggings are cool, but paired with the junky Day of the Dead top, I”m feeling overwhelmed. What happened to Mondo?
4)      Ugh. All the shoes have pom-poms. Which would be fine if they weren”t fighting with the rest of the outfits.
5)      This is a great dress. Not sure about the tights, though.
6)      This isn”t very wow, just a tank top and shorts, but we did need the breather.
7)      These pants are great, and so is the jacket.
8)      Not sure about this skirt. More importantly, not sure about pairing it with this top. I feel like Mondo has gone a little too, well, mondo with this collection.
9)      This dress is all kinds of fun – more like the Mondo I remember.
10)  Ah, the bubble pattern dress. Which he should have altered, just to make Michael happy if for no other reason.
I”m just not sure about Mondo”s collection. I can”t believe I”m saying that, but I”m not. There”s just too much going on. Even Heatherette doesn”t go this messy, and they”ve actually done a circus-themed runway show. Mondo, Mondo, Mondo!
Now, it”s time for the judges to chat about the show. Michael says all the designers showed their sense of style. Nina says they really evolved as designers. Jessica Simpson, because she has NOTHING TO OFFER, says you could tell they were all passionate. Shut UP, Jessica Simpson!
Finally, the finalists are dragged out. Michael, Nina and Jessica praise them in vague and mildly patronizing terms.
Andy is first to be assessed. Michael loved the inspiration. He loved the one shoulder dresses for being deceptively simple. But he didn”t feel there was a lot of diversity. Heidi wasn”t happy with the first look, but she liked the weave top. I did, too, but we needed to see more of that and less of the blah. Nina was happy to see Andy”s soft side, but she felt like he lost himself. She thinks the Orientalism was too much. Jessica Simpson liked the mixed fabrics. And she loves his outfit.  Too bad he didn”t walk the runway, though those unlaced skate shoes would not have been a hit with the judges.
Gwetchen is next. Nina thought she did a fantastic job. Really? She loved the ugly patchwork pants. She liked that Gwetchen made the models look sexier, but she thought the clothes were monotone. Michael liked the vibe of the Gwetchen girl, but he didn”t get where the leather comes in. And he loved the ugly jewelry. Heidi thought the prints were repetitive, but she thought it was right now. Jessica didn”t see the pop.
And then, Mondo. Michael says it was multo Mondo. Heidi thought there were some special pieces. She loved the skull T-shirt. Nina thought it was cohesive, but she thought the decorative pieces were overwhelming. No kidding. Jessica loved the collection and thought he put a lot of effort into everything. And she loved the bubble dress. Heidi asks why Mondo used the bubble dress again, considering she was the only one who liked it. Mondo doesn”t have a good answer, unfortunately. Michael says he needed some skin relief on the bubble dress.
Things are not looking good for Mondo.
Heidi asks the designers why they want to win “PR,” and I really just want someone to say, “Because I need the money, you idiot!” but no one does. Mondo wants to win because he”s grown and he now loves himself. Gwetchen wants to win because she”s stayed true to herself and she wants to make the judges proud. Don”t you know Gwetchen was that kiss ass you went to school with who secretly cheated on finals and smoked in the girls” bathroom? Oh, and Andy wants to win because it would be a dream come true.
Time for the judges to duke it out. They quickly agree that Andy played it too safe, so he”s out. Uh-oh.
Michael loves that Gwetchen paid attention to the judges” instructions. Nina loved the jewelry and thinks she has a good eye. I have a sick feeling. Michael thought the collection was memorable. What were these people looking at? In what alternate universe is bad chevron jewelry that looks like it was purchased at a gas station runway worthy?
Heidi thinks Mondo has wow. Nina thinks he”s extremely creative. Michael thinks the talent is there, but doesn”t think he knows how to edit. Michael thinks a black dress would have been his best friend. He had a black dress and ditched it! Aargh! Nina thinks he didn”t listen to the judges.
Nina wants to have a tie between Gwetchen and Mondo. Jessica and Heidi are both rooting for Mondo. Nina thinks Mondo”s clothes slant too young, while Gwetchen has more of a range. Nina and Michael say Mondo”s collection is very Seth Aaron, who was last year”s winner. They are clearly rooting for Gwetchen. Oh, no, no, no. Michael says Gwetchen”s on the vibe of what”s next. Which makes me not want to leave the house. At least I”ll be saving money, because I”m definitely not buying any of that crap.
Anyway, it”s time to announce the winner. Heidi kicks Andy to the curb pronto. Andy doesn”t cry, because he has no regrets and is optimistic about the future.
It”s down to Gwetchen and Mondo. Let”s get this over with. Gwetchen is the winner. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! I do feel Mondo kind of blew it on the runway, but still, the idea that someone so hateful could be rewarded so richly is just depressing. Were her clothes the strongest on the runway? Compared to Andy”s monotone drabness and Mondo”s overdone wackiness, I can see why the judges might give her the edge. But I still wish they hadn”t. Where are the meddling “PR” producers when you need them?
Gwetchen is thrilled to win because she”ll be able to move somewhere now and get her stuff out of boxes. And design more ugly, drab Southwestern dresses. With lots of pleats. Great. One small step for “PR,” one big step backward for justice, taste and reality TV.
Do you think Gwetchen deserved to win? Would you wear Mondo”s designs? And were you surprised that Ivy and April attacked Gwetchen?

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