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Drinks Are on Mondo!

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Sep. 24, 2010 ,5:00 am EDT

Watch the full Project Runway episode online!In the morning, these kids are looking pretttttty rough. I think it’s pretty clear we’ve hit that point where true and utter exhaustion has set in. I remember that oh so clearly. We knew we were running out of steam when we started lying down on the floor in a pile and napping on each other whenever we were in between places, waiting for the crew to set up. Tim walked into the stairway one day at FIDM, and there we were, all passed out on the dirty floor. Classy. Fashion is sooooo glamorous!

The challenge: try not to lose it (or pee your pants) while frantically attempting to outdo each other for $20k while pulling two looks out of nowhere. Mondo has 14 bucks to his name, Gretchen is in major debt, and April wants to buy a mini pony. Lesson learned: It’s a good thing these kids are in design and not finance! (Also, April and I may have more in common than I thought.)

On to the runway!

I can’t say that I was all that wild about Gretchen’s looks this time. For a “WOW” challenge, my reaction was more like “oh ... look, a dress ... I’m hungry (while leaving to go to kitchen).” I like the bohemian vibe and the textures, but this just didn’t pack the punch I wanted it to.

Andy’s designs were fun to look at, though not my favorite of the day. His warrior woman was a bit too much, what with the hat and allll the details. I loved the RTW piece, but also feel like I’ve seen it before. Still, there was a lot of strength here and a lot of interesting textures and shapes to these garments.

Christopher’s looks were deservedly in the middle. He’s a solid middle man, that Christopher. In coming weeks, as there is less and less of a middle, I think we may see him get squeezed out altogether. :(

View more of April Johnston's designs April is impressing me more and more. How fun was her big look this week? Maybe she’ll be able to get that baby horse sooner than expected.

Michael C. Surprising, right? Yes, there was too much business happening with the train and hem of that dress, but overall both were pretty decent. Nothing new, by any means ... this type of thing was all over the runways last year. Several challenges and more designers ago, this simply would have been in the middle without a second thought given to it, but we just don’t have enough designers left for everything in the bottom to be truly awful.

Valerie, Valerie, Valerie. Gosh, this was not her week. I don’t think it’s fair for Michael Kors to say that she doesn’t understand fabrics. I wish he would stop making such extreme pronouncements (i.e., Andy last week). She clearly has a fantastic understanding of woolens, as she is an outerwear designer. Silk, however, is another story altogether. As someone who works exclusively with superfine silks, I can tell you that they are difficult indeed and rather a pain in the arse if you aren’t used to them ... multiplied by a million if you are in a rush! Valerie is tired. That black dress was an obvious last-resort-I-can’t-even-think-anymore-I’m-so-drained-of-all-creative-energy move. I hope she finds some renewal before the next challenge!

Ivy was seriously in over her head here. It’s a tricky thing when you plan out a design based on two full days of work time and have to chop that in half when another look is added. She scrambled and hustled, but it really just didn’t turn out. Beyond looking simply unfinished, the fit, the construction and the proportions were all quite bad. It seems compromises were made from every angle in order to have SOMETHING to send out, and that caught up with her in the end.

As for Mondo, I’m officially on his team. He has consistently shown interesting, risky looks and is definitely the most innovative one there. This week was no exception, and his Crayola/Beetlejuice explosion completely rocked. Mondo is officially my pick for this season’s winner.

We shall see soon enough!