Project Runway, Gretchen, FAIL


This post is a Project Runway, Season 8 rant. I would format certain things a little better, but I have some exams next week, so don’t have the time to prettify the post up too much. Excusez-moi. Also, it’d be easier to understand this rant if you’ve been watching Project Runway for some time :)

P.S. I tend to “react” when my aesthetic senses are violated, lol.

P.P.S. (Update 1 Nov 2010): Gretchen fans who want to diss me for not having “good taste,” can read this comment.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (this post got to be a little longer than expected…):

Part 1: The Top 3
Part 2: E-mail to the producer
Part 3: “Project”?
Part 4: Official PR Rebel Page on Facebook
Part 5: Make Your Voice Heard + MK & Nina Garcia…Prejudiced?
Part 6: Message to the PRPR (Project Runway Public Relations) team


[Part 1: The Top 3]

I try not to whine/gripe/complain about things too often. And I don’t usually get too worked up over the results of a reality TV show.

HOWEVER, I really cannot understand how Gretchen Jones won Project Runway Season 8. Strictly speaking from a fashion perspective (never mind her “questionable” character — she even got on Tim Gunn’s nerves. TIM GUNN!!) — how are her designs runway worthy, and the epitome of the “now” in fashion?!

I’m not an “industry person” in the fashion industry — but as a female / clothes buyer / person who likes fashion and design, I am drawn to the designs of Andy, Mondo, and Michael C. They are exciting/aesthetically beautiful/elegant/well-made/inspiring. I want to buy them. I want to wear them (if the sizing/fit is suitable, heh).

* Everyone has different opinions/tastes. Personally, I would’ve really loved to have seen Andy, Mondo, and Michael C. in the top 3, so I have included a shot of one of their designs below. The other designers’ works can be viewed here.


Diaper wear is the "now" of fashion?!?! | Winner: Gretchen Jones, Look #1 for Fashion Week. EPIC FAIL.

Andy South’s entire collection was casually, flippantly dismissed by the judges, presumably for being too “cultural.” WTF? How does that factor devalue other elements of a design (style, aesthetics, technique)?

andy south

Colour might not be everyone's favourite, but the DESIGN = understatedly stylish, elegant, and very sophisticated | Andy South, 2nd Runner-up

Mondo’s! Fun, fresh, vibrant, happy/positive.


Mondo's First Look. Holy !@#$! Look at the vibe / pop of colour! | Mondo Guerra, 1st runner-up

Michael Costello.

michael costello

CHIC! | Michael Costello, kicked out of the Top 3


1. Gretchen Jones / Fashion Week RTW 2011
2. Mondo Guerra / Fashion Week RT! 2011
3. Andy South / Fashion Week RTW 2011
4. Michael C. (should’ve been in the Top 3!) / Fashion Week RTW 2011


I enjoyed both Mondo (1st runner-up) and Andy’s (2nd runner-up) exit interviews from the show. Both guys were incredibly classy. And you can bet that Gretchen wouldn’t have been as “polite” to the winner, if she came in 2nd/3rd place!!

Quote from Mondo: “Gretchen’s designs look like they came from a 1970s Sears catalogue.”

Quote from Andy: “I think that Mondo’s — and my — collection, speaks volumes more than Gretchen’s aesthetic (HELL YEAH!).”

Mondo’s Vid:

Andy’s Vid:

What Mr. Tim Gunn said about the finalist (YouTube):

My Verdict: TIM GUNN should be one of the judges!! Best wishes to Andy South, Mondo Guerra, and Michael C. That would’ve been a real fashion show.

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[Part 2: E-mail to the producers/TV network!]

I was so pissed that I wrote an email to Ms. Abbe Raven, who is “in charge of” (she’s the president/CEO) AETN, which oversees the A&E Network, History Channel, and Lifetime (which Project Runway is now under; formerly PR was airing on Bravo).

If you’re ticked off with this season’s PR, you can drop her an email at

I got her email/name from one of the comments on PR’s facebook page. Close to 95% of PR fans are NOT happy with the results. Do these network people bother to look at social media, to view their viewers’ sentiments?

My (rant of an) email (wanted to write it while I still felt strongly about certain things, lol) / I usually keep the caps to an absolute minimum in my blog posts, and writing material. But not when I want to MAKE A POINT, via email:

Dear Ms. Raven,

I am writing with regards to the outcome of Project Runway’s Season 8.

1) I found it incredibly ludicrous that Andy South’s collection was so flippantly and casually dismissed, for being too “cultural.” His collection was sleek, understatedly stylished, polished, and sophisticated. And I personally thought his designs and selection of models of mixed ethnicity were very refreshing. For being individualistic, he was automatically not considered for the top spot, because he did not conform to the WASP (white, anglo-saxon, protestant) stereotype. I do not mean to insult the entire demographic of middle-class White Americans — but I DO take offense when people who have authority in the mass media allow this type of SHIT to go on, in the 21st century. You are the people that can make a difference in terms of racism, sexism, etc. Instead, YOU PERPETUATE STEREOTYPES!!! And “punish” those who try to be different. What kind of message is this sending out to viewers?!

2) Did Mondo/Andy/Michael C. not win because they were male / NOT-100%-White/ NOT-HETEROSEXUAL (I’m not sure about Andy) / HIV-Positive (Mondo)??? These are BIASED OPINIONS that should not factor in when in comes to objective judging. If the designers were going to be judged according to these criteria, I for one, would have appreciated a notice of some sort, at the beginning of the season (so that I could prepare myself for the thoroughly distasteful outcome).

3) Michael C., Andy South, and Mondo should easily have been in the top 3. That would have been a real FASHION SHOW. The fans of Project Runway watch it because they enjoy the beauty/innovation/vision/creativity that goes together with fashion. Why call it Project “Runway” if the clothes are meant to be COMMERCIAL?!?!?! Commercialism = commodity = no excellence = death. Last year’s runner-up should have been the winner of that season, if this year’s criteria were applied!

4) I used to enjoy watching Project Runway because of the reasons I listed in #2. I like watching the designer’s vision and CREATIVITY AT WORK. Why would fashion fans want to view/buy something “safe”?! Why encourage the designers to have their own vision, when the judges/network is the one that DICTATES THE RULES / CRITERIA TO WIN, IN THE END?!?!?!?!?


I hope you “look into the episode/issue” (Project Runway Season 8, final episode). AETN also runs the History Channel (which I have always loved). It’s a great pity that this show has become what it was, in Season 8.

P.S. Please Ask Mr. TIM GUNN on how to make Project Runway “WORK” again (to quote his famous catchphrase)!!


Disgruntled viewers #1:

Disgruntled viewers #2:!/projectrunway/posts/161172210582786

* In one of the comments, I read that Gretchen Jones said she’s better than Diane von Furstenberg, and that she’s going to move to NYC (winner of PR = $100,000 to start their clothing line). The comment linked to one of her interview clips online. Gag.


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[Part 3 (October 30, 2010) / AN IMPORTANT FIND!]

Just had a look @ (a Gap company, which sponsors Project Runway). No wonder Gretchen won. SERIOUSLY, then change the name of the show to PROJECT PIPERLIME (or Project Garcia & Kors, or Project Off The Rack). Then people wouldn’t be so angered.

That 70’s Girl Line:

The PR winner’s line is showcased there. There’s a line called That 70’s Girl — HELLO?!?!

Judges, please change the name of the show to “Project Piperlime.”

Or just make Piperlime the final “challenge,” where the designers have to design a RTW (ready-to-wear) commercial line. List the criteria properly, so us viewers know what the designs are based on (definitely not on aesthetic appeal, this round).

If I wanted to watch drama > fashion, I’d watch The Jersey Shore instead!

Corporate Sponsorship = $ellout = Not Impressed.

P.S. In the SeenOn Private Show (sale lasts for 2 days — where you can purchase the actual designs from the final collections made by Gretchen, Mondo, and Andy), here are the stats. Mondo’s entire collection = sold out, 10/10 items. Andy’s = half sold, 5/10 (I would buy 1 or 2 if I had $500+ to spare, LOL). Gretchen = 4/10, the most expensive item at $999 [did a network person buy it? / is it because of comments like:

“Too late for Mondo’s…Andy’s is going fast, too…Gretchen’s is sitting collecting dust (Finny Oak).”

“Two more outfits from Gretchen sold out? Wow! Nina Garcia is doing some serious shopping (Marissa Thomas).”

“Have the judges seen this? ALL of Mondo’s clothes SOLD OUT. Gretchen’s clothes? Many of them haven’t sold out. Wasn’t one of the arguments for Gretchen winning that she had her finger on the pulse of where fashion is going today and that she was very commercial? Wouldn’t the SeenON sale provide some evidence to the contrary? The Project Runway judges lost credibility with their decision this season. What a mess (SamosasForOne).” — comments from <a href="PR Facebook].

Also, Mondo’s collection is placed above Gretchen’s. So congratulations to Mondo + Andy (+ Michael C. and the non-dysfunctional contestants), and of course the wonderful judges for awarding the designer whose “vision” aligns with Booyah!

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[Part 4 (November 1, 2010) / NOTICE!]

Okay, don’t mind the long drawn-out post (I have tried to keep the superfluous things out) — just a short notice about “The Official Project Runway Fans Rebel” page. Gathering people to show up in large numbers so the network will HAVE to listen…the group’s purpose and intent is NOT TO BASH anyone…they are just trying to come together collectively to do the right thing, so that future seasons of PR won’t be a repeat of the outcome of Season 8! It’s not my page. But mass market commercialism triumphing over originality/creativity is something I’ve always reacted strongly to.

* Official PR Fans Rebel:

500 members, and counting. The more, the merrier…(stronger voice to the network).

Remember –> no viewers = lower ratings = no sponsorship = no show. Don’t you think the judges should respect/listen to the viewer’s opinions, too?

* Group #2 — The “BoyCott Project Runway” Group on Facebook:

// BTW, another thing people are ticked off by: Nina Garcia’s and Michael Kors’ attitudes.

Quoting (from Facebook post, by Darell Eads — it’s an accurate quote because I watched the PR8 episode): “Kors said during the judging: ‘Galliano makes ball gowns, and then there is Michael Kors. What I show, I make.’ Kors is delusional comparing himself to Galliano, who is head and shoulders above Kors in the genius of vision. Kors tramps out this ladies who lunch at the resort collection every season. This season was an epic FAIL on so many fronts it’s not even funny. That’s why people are so ticked-off.”


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[Part 5 (November 2, 2010) /  Make your voice heard if you have some time]

From a member of The Official PR Rebel page: These are some ways to contact people “involved” with PR, to make sure viewers are heard (all these numbers/emails were in public domain, so be my guest and sue/kiss my a**…).

+ I got some inside from an unnamed source after MUCH hard work. Lifetime will not respond to anything but postcards. Send Postcards to:

Lifetime Television
309 W. 49th street
New York, NY 10019

P.S. Ask that Tim become an Executive Producer and Rich Bye the Producer vs. Bunim/Murray. Then we can have Project Runway Back. Send Postcards in masses NOW!! (posted by admin of Official PR Rebel page)

+ The Piperlime no. is (1.877.747-3754) (owned by Gap / Piperlime sponsored Project Runway, this season)

+ Editor in chief of Marie Claire Magazine (Nina Garcia’s boss) (The magazine gives readers information about women around the world and their needs, struggles, and stories of life. Nina Garcia’s prejudiced comments towards Andy and Mondo were NOT in line with the vision of Marie Claire magazine — she repeatedly made references to Mondo’s collection being “circus-y,” after Mondo clearly stated/shared that the inspiration was his Mexican culture. Andy’s collection was similarly very quickly dismissed due to having too much of a “cultural” touch. First, Ms. Garcia said Andy’s collection had too much of a “warrior princess” look; when he tries something that is Asian-sophisticated, she changes her mind again. Nina Garcia is the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine).

+ Some comments on Ms. Garcia’s “prejudices”:

1. “So talent had nothing to do with it Nina? By your own admission it is because Gretchen listened to you and Mondo didn’t? Is that right?” (Adrienne Ayala Warner, Facebook comment)

2. “So it was about yours and MK egos? The designer that was best didn’t was you egos that got in the way. You and MK have destroyed the creditability of the show. You based your judgments solely on because some one didn’t listen to you. However, Gretchen used the same monotone color scheme that you eliminated Michael Costillo for the previous week. Gretchen OBVIOUSLY didn’t listen. Instead you rewarded her for not listening and punished Mondo for not listening. Doesn’t make sense.” (Lori Fugate, Facebook comment)

3. “I am very sad that you have supported Target with your appearance for their fall fashion tips even though Target have supported bigotry and marginalized equality.” (Anthony John, NG’s Facebook page)

4. “What I found really annoying was how Nina Garcia and Michael Kors praised Mondo’s work throughout the show, and then ragged on him in the end for not editing the long-sleeved polka dot dress according to Ms. Garcia’s and Michael Kor’s advice. At the end of the day, it is STILL the designer’s work/vision. And Nina Garcia and Michael Kors bashed Andy for his edgy warrior looks, and when he took things up to a sophisticated level, Nina Garcia disses him for “not having enough of the Andy edge.” Wow, there’s such a thing called versatility and DIVERSITY (both ethnically/culturally, and creatively!!).” (Facebook comment on Nina Garcia’s page)

5. “I think Ms. Garcia is ashamed of her Latina roots! “Too cultural” my *ss. My Marie Claire sub has been cancelled.” (Adrienne Ayala Warner, NG’s Facebook page)

6. “She looks like…Miss Guatemala.” ~ Nina Garcia [on one of Valerie Mayen’s design on this episode (Valerie was one of the PR8 contestants)]. Funny thing, Miss Guatemala was among the top 10 this year! [And what I say] is not about opinion, it is about respect.” — 25 Sept 2010, Renato Lopez, Facebook comment

7. “Wow! I’m just hearing about this. If its true, I feel terrible as a Colombian that another Colombian would express themselves that way about the Guatemalan culture or people. The nicest people I’ve met are from Guatemala and the sweetest and best looking men are from there too, and correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t a priest recently leave the priesthood to marry a Guatemalan woman. GUATEMALA EQUALS BEAUTY!!! Furthermore, Guatemala was referred to as: “CENTRAL AMERICA’S RISING STAR Impressing international agencies with its investor-friendly, socioecononic reforms,” in the “Panorama” insert of the Miami Herald September 15, 2010. Need I say more? Oh yes, don’t mess with Guatemala!” (Elizabeth Lopez, Facebook comment)

8. “The fashion industry is designed to tell women they are inadequate the way they are need to CONSUME in order to look attractive and be attractive to men. It is a system of cruel, unkind, racist, sexist and homophobic comparisons. Nina Garcia’s comment (on “Miss Guatemala”) is as offensive as Michael Kors comments about models looking like streetwalkers is as offensive as Heidi making fun of models’ boobs. There are SO MANY THINGS that go on on this show that are terribly offensive. There are SO MANY THINGS that should be causing you outrage.” (Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Facebook comment).

* Actually, I (Jess) am pretty tired of racism, sexism, and homophobia too (and I try to counter all this via my works of fiction: my writing manifesto explains more). If you and your friends are tired of these things as well, send them to this page ;)

P.S. Nina Garcia / her rep has been deleting “unsavory” comments on her page, so I am unable to retrieve all of them.

P.P.S. Nina Garcia is Colombian (online comment from “BTW I have many Hispanic acquaintances and they tend to be very racist about Hispanics of other Hispanic countries. Mexicans look down on Hondurans, Colombians look down on Guatemalans etc…” — Nina Garcia is Colombian / the Guatemala–Mexico border is the international border between Guatemala and Mexico / Mondo has Mexican roots…coincidence?).

P.P.P.S. I am not trying to “attack” Ms. Garcia — but these are things she has really said on TV/in the media, etc. She might not be aware/conscious of how it’s coming across — in which case, she should be!

“I wonder how much Nina is paying someone to constantly check this page for negative remarks. Every time I post one it is taken down within seconds! Bad Nina! Bad, bad!” (Janet Kramer Townsend, Facebook comment)

* LINK #1: For a blog post that says it better than I do [re: Michael Kors AND Nina Garcia’s lack of tact with regards to diversity (both ethnically, and creatively)], head over to this post from OUTSIDE.

* LINK #2: Tom and Lorenzo also have a very good discussion of the final judging @ Fabulous & Opinionated.

+ Abbe Raven, [CEO of AETN, which oversees the A&E Network, History Channel, and Lifetime (which Project Runway is now under; formerly PR was airing on Bravo)].

+ Sara Rea (Executive Producer of Project Runway) | Twitter Account @sarakrea

+ Kannie Yu LaPack, Senior Director, Publicity @ Lifetime TV (which airs Project Runway) (1-310-556-7582) |

+ Michael Kors, [who carries his lines: Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Nordstroms].

+ Olivia Doyne, (Media Contact for Gap Public Relations / Gap owns

+ Kimberly Terry, (another media contact at Gap)

+ Alisa Greco, L’Oreal Paris, Assistant VP of Public Relations, (1-212-984-4908) |

+ Garnier, Consumer Affairs (1-800-442-7643) | (Garnier Fructis is owned by L’Oreal Paris / one of the sponsors of PR; also sponsored American Idol)

+ VOGUE Magazine / Send VOGUE a request for a photo spread of Mondo’s/Andy’s/Michael C.’s work | Contact Form

My short email: “Would like to request that VOGUE showcase Mondo’s, Andy South’s, and Michael C’s work (from Project Runway Season 8). It would be very refreshing for VOGUE to showcase something both culturally and creatively diverse.

These 3 designers are very talented, and have great aesthetics. Their vision would go in line with VOGUE’s vision of being at the forefront of fashion.


P.S. I can’t be the only person writing. 1 person’s email = delete. 1000+ daily emails/complaints in an inbox/phonecalls = public outcry :)

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[Part 6 / Blahx3: “Jess, why’re you going on and on about this? It’s OVER! It’s just a reality show! Can’t you get over it?”]

I happen to be one of the people who spent 13 weeks watching a PR season.

I do not mean to bash PR or the judges — but the judges aren’t exactly being respectful to contestants and viewers, by not stating their judging criteria clearly. Michael Kors was very rude to Jessica Simpson too (“HELLO? HAVE YOU SEEN A MAGAZINE RECENTLY?” She was so calm/gracious. If I were her, I’d have replied, “Yes, Michael, I have been in a few magazines recently.”). It’s funny how when Kors goes off on national television, it’s ‘entertainment’, but when he hears back from the fans, it’s “rude” (Paul Kane, Facebook comment).

The judges should have CLEARLY stated that the final challenge would be for a commercial line (specifically for, “one of the sponsors,” nothing wrong with mentioning that). And maybe there could be a separate challenge for a finale, where each designer could showcase their own line, which showcased their own unique vision.

If not, the judges are leading on viewers + PR contestants into believing that the finale collection is judged based on design elements such as originality, etc, with commercial viability being a less significant factor.

“I thought that Heidi’s show had credibility. As my father pointed out decades ago, the ‘best’ person is not the best, it is the one who the ‘people with the money’ want. Very true. I hate reality shows. PR used to be more about the ‘art’ than the commercialism. Obviously, I was wrong. Another viewer whose television will not be airing ‘Project Runway’ any longer. (Not that I think you care. We are just the audience.)” — Anna Juran Kelley Nina, Facebook comment

PR judges/publicity/public relations team —