Still trying to preserve the surprise over who won Project Runway last night? Catch up! In the meantime, let's painfully relive Gretchen's lowest point on the season, courtesy of reality show super-villainy's B-teammate, Ivy:
For the rest of you who know, hit the break.
Yay Gretchen Jones! And yay, Portland designers! This part of the country is on a dubious roll with this show, but let's hope that all press really is good press, and that this will benefit the rest of the Portland industry, especially if Jones plans her next steps carefully and works on building the kind of credibility that reality TV can't give you. Of course, she won't do so here. Like so many before her (why, of all the contestants, is Seth Aaron the only one we get to keep?), she leaves in days for New York City, come what may, in search of a mentor. (Note: not to try to catapult herself from Project into the role of insta-Marc Jacobs.) One hopes, of course, that her work on the show will help her find a job (hey Kors, you interested?) at a credible house where she can work herself up to be a name respected by those who disregard the show. Here she is on her final, winning, collection:
Despite my clear bias, I wouldn't have been surprised if Mondo took this one, and much of the blogosphere at large is aghast—Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch called it "as shocking an ending as Project Runway has ever seen." It's being referred to as a plot twist, a "shocker," and people are threatening to renounce the show for good. There's even apparently a conspiracy theory that Lifetime just wanted a female winner. And the judges were as divided as we've ever seen them. (It probably didn't help his case that extra-useless guest judge Jessica Simpson was on Team Mondo.) Mondo did have a lot of exciting individual pieces, but the styling was junior and wacky, while Gretchen's in comparison was cohesive and more mature, though not particularly exciting. I loved her prints, but on the runway it was monotone, and many of the shapes (um, like the hot pants) I would never touch... interesting that the editor and designer were on Team Gretchen, defending it as "fashion now," and the two relative plebes who just like what they like voted for Mondo. After a wretched judging scene that went round and round in circles, the cut came to commercial, leaving them seeming like they were ready to flip a coin. For all I know, that's what they did. Here's Mondo's shocked response:
Uhhh, you know... he has a point. And in a way, maybe, they both came out at an advantage. Mondo will only be even more beloved than he ever was, arguably more than he would have been if he'd won, and Gretchen has the obvious tools of the exposure to make of it what she will. Either way I assume the network will continue to pillage our design territory—and I'm betting Reif will be next.