Project Runway All-Stars: Mondo’s Redemption

About a year and a half ago, I took to the blogosphere to express my EXTREME displeasure at Mondo Guerra losing to season 8, Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones.

In Case you don’t remember:


Loss to this:

It is now considered the biggest upset in Project Runway history! I don’t have any facts to back that up, but in my mind, it has to be so I’m rolling with it.

At the time that this miscarriage of fashion justice was… carried out, I broke up with the show. It was simply an injustice that I could not let go! So, I missed Project Runway 9, although I’ve seen some of  Anya Ayoung-Chee’s collection, and although the piece on the left gives me granny panties flashbacks, it seems that her overall talent and artistry is several steps above Ms Gretchen Jones.

So, maybe they got it right last year. I wouldn’t know one way or another.

So, you can only imagine the position I was put in when Project Runway All-Stars was announced; and Mondo was set to compete. I’ll admit that my first reaction was, “So, I guess they did this show FOR Mondo.” Yes, I believed that the entire show was conceived of and produced solely to award Mondo. (I guess, I was right since he WON! Ha!) But, do I watch? Do I set myself up for disappointment again? Will someone by the name of, oh I don’t know, AUSTIN SCARLETT rear his ugly (well made-up and styled) head?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Austin Scarlett – meaning, I am a sucker for a gorgeous gown and I know that it is his “thing,” but when he started to get pass after pass after pass on some of the most atrocious items I’ve ever seen grace the Project Runway… uh, runway, I started to get scared. I had several flashbacks to undeserved Gretchen praises and worried that the judges, although Nina Garcia and Michael Kors free, were smoking that same “stuff” they were in season 8! In other words, I was worried that they were setting us up for another upset.

Honestly – HONESTLY – if I did not think that Mondo’s collection was the stronger, far superior collection of the designers, I would have understood a loss. Truth be told, usually the designer I like most is not the winner. I had never been upset about it, prior to Gretchen’s win, because I recognized the designers who did win were talented, even if they weren’t my favorite.

So, to last night’s show. The final three was comprised of Mondo Guerra, Austin Scarlet and Michael Costello. All three put forth very different collections.

First up Austin Scarlett:

The piece to the left was definitely one of my least favorite pieces of the entire show. I don’t quite understand designers that insist on placing design elements that make hips look BIGGER than they are. I guess it’s because they are dealing with models who are a size zero. Just a hunch.

The piece above was one of two of my favorite Austin Scarlett creations. Although it also included a “hippy” element, it worked for this dress. It was probably one of my favorite pieces from him out of the season. But the Austin Scarlett showstopper was definitely his wedding gown. Just STUNNING:

Absolutely gorg! But, it did not at all fit in with the rest of his collection, which was much harder and primarily black and magenta/pinkish.

Next up, my man Mondo Guerra:

Although I did not feel that his collection had a “showstopper,” I found Mondo’s entire collection to be stunning and cohesive. My least favorite item from him was this piece he created from the left over fabrics given for their final look:

Although not my fav, still very much in line with the entire collection.

All in all, I felt that Mondo’s collection was well executed, artistic and original. I feel like he toned himself down, perhaps learning from the first time around that he should try to be a little more sophisticated instead of colorfully bubbly like his first Project Runway show finale.  If I had to judge the two, I still prefer his collection from season 8 to all-stars, but I am all about the color, baby!

The final designer to show was Michael Costello:

The design to the left was probably my favorite of Michael’s collection. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Michael created a collection that showcased his strengths. I understand that he wants the world to know that he is not a one trick, draped pony, but I think that instead he showcased that the only thing he does very well is drapery.

The best compliment I can give to Michael’s collection is that it was probably the most ready to wear collection of all of the designers, but this wasn’t a ready-to-wear show, and I’ve come to expect the finalists’ collections to be a bit over the top and to push the envelope a little.  I think that Michael’s problem is that he isn’t very artistic and he isn’t a designer as much as he is a great sewer and draper. (Not to be confused with Don Draper – two more days!) We don’t see a lot of creativity or originality from him.

The only item that had even a hint of the Michael Costello we know was piece below, and I feel like I’ve seen it 100 times.

In the end, I do think the best overall designers made it to the finale and that it made for a good show. I don’t know if it redeems the Project Runway brand in my eyes, but it did feel like a little redemption for Mondo, and THAT was much deserved. Throughout the season I worried whether or not he was mentally and emotionally strong enough to pull it off, and he proved that he was.

Congratulations Mondo! You deserve it!

And they say that ‘Therapy’ is overrated. 😉


2 Comments to “Project Runway All-Stars: Mondo’s Redemption”

  1. We have just finished the Allstars series in Sweden and I totally agree with your comments! In all the challenges, Austin Scarlet made only a couple of pieces that looked well-made, flattering and fashionable. Some of his creations were plain awful and as you say he got many free passes from the judges. i am sure he was kept in as they believed his diva personality would add extra ommph to the show. However that beige pants and pink frilly twin-set ensemble got him through to the following week I will never understand. And that was the episode Rami got sent home (well before his time – he should have had Austin’s place in the top 3), and Kara’s boring outfit with zero design made it through. Unfathomable. At least justice has finally been done for Mondo!

    • I am sorry that I only now saw your comment. I had taken an hiatus from my blog. I agree 100% with your assessment, of course! 😀 Take care.

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