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The official site for "Project Runway" Season 13 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.

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Carol Hannah Whitfield

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Category: "project runway season 8 episode 14"

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Who Would Win in a Fistfight; Heidi, Michael or Nina?

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Do you want to talk about it now or later? I think we should start at the end, yes?

So you all know I was on Team Mondo (I think my neon “Team Mondo” T-shirt and matching hat gave it away), so I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I’m surprised. I’m conflicted. I don’t know what to do!

Rate the Season 8 Finale DesignsSo let’s just jump into it. I think it’s worth explaining that seeing these collections in person all at once from whatever odd angle your seat affords you is quite different than seeing them on TV. For one, in person you often miss most of the knees down (if not more) because it’s blocked by the person in front of you, and you never get the full view of the garment from the front. It’s also a bit much to see 10 shows one after another (as all the designers who had not been booted off by Fashion Week showed decoy collections), so your senses are a little overwhelmed, to say the least. So it’s awesome to push pause and really check these looks out again.

That said, I do remember being surprised and disappointed by Gretchen’s show at the time. I was sitting by Christopher Straub, and the first thing he said when it was over was, “I feel sad?” Yes, with a question mark, because what he really meant was, “Why the heck do I feel sad when Gretchen has so much sass and spunk?” I agreed. The feeling of that relaxed, cool girl was there, but the colors and prints read as underwhelming to me. As I said last week, though, this family of colors just isn’t my preference, which is a matter of personal taste and is very subjective. I do like her silhouettes, and obviously the collection is very easy to wear and sell, but isn’t this “Project RUNWAY”? Not “Project Ready-to-Wear”? Or did “Project Ready-to-Wear” just not fit in the logo? I do love Gretchen’s style, and she has shown a huge amount of talent through the season — no doubt about that (in my mind at least — I know you all have your own opinions!). I love her clothes ... just not these in particular as much as Mondo’s.

Andy South PhotosAndy’s collection seemed totally new to me when I watched the episode today, and I realized that it is because I barely looked at the clothes at the show! Those headpieces were so distracting that it made it really difficult to look at anything else. Probably best to save for a photo shoot rather than anything with any movement ... at all. Andy is wandering off his normal path here, as you do when you are pushing yourself and growing. I like a lot of the detail work and texture in the collection, and I like the colors he used, but would love to have seen maybe just one more color thrown in there. Or more tonal variation. Definitely something with a bit more volume. All in all, not what I expected from Andy. If you are really good at something (like edgy, dark pieces), then cultivate that rather than trying to pursue something different. Could it be the pressure got to him a bit?

Mondo’s collection made me smile. It was lighthearted, happy and vibrant. The concept was clear, and the story was easy to see. The styling was a touch over-the-top for me, but the looks were great and the showmanship was clear. It felt like a SHOW, not just a line. He’s innovative and fresh and exciting! Mondo makes me want to wear crazypants (or at least try?), but him not winning makes me just crazy! Hmmph!

Watching “PR” always makes me think about my life and how weird? awesome it is to be where I am now and the absolutely enormous amount that I’ve learned, both during the show and increasingly afterward. My goal with this blog during the past two seasons has been to try to give y’all a bit of the perspective of what it’s like to 1) really be on the show and 2) be in the fashion industry once the show’s over, so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. My line has taken off with such great response and my company is growing so quickly (we’ll be in 33 stores by December!) that I’m finding my time to be quite limited these days, so this will be my last season of blogging with Lifetime. If that’s not encouragement to Mondo and a testament that you don’t have to win “PR” to be successful, then I don’t know what is!

If you’d like to keep up with me, please check out my personal blog and such at carol-hannah.com (and of course there’s always Facebook)! Thanks for reading, thanks for the support, and thanks for caring about a show that gives hope to struggling designers across the country! If it weren’t for you guys, I’d probably still be just sewing secretly out of my apartment.

Happily Yours,

Carol Hannah