Project Runway Season 8 Episode 8 Recap

Mondo Guerra.. designs my favorite look AGAIN. I want this shirt.

We get a quick reminder of the ‘bus-throwing’ trend, Ivy’s neuroses, Valerie’s crisis and the demise of Casanooooova in the last episode. Mike C tells Andy about the eye rolling he got called out for and we get another shot of Ivy’s attitude on the runway towards him. Ivy, however, is over what happened and ready to move on to the next challenge…. likely to bore us yet again with some drab color choices.

As Mike C reminds us…opaque is not a color.

After the requisite meet with Heidi on the Runway which yields no information, the designers head to Capsule Studio to meet Tim, who is standing in front of a projection of Jackie Kennedy photos.

This week’s challenge has the designers creating an outfit of American Sportswear, showing their Point of View, channelling Jackie Kennedy as their muse… I think. Is it just me or was this week’s challenge a little confusing? The designers even sound confused as they ‘sum up’ the challenge for the interview cameras.

Chris C is confident because he feels his strengths are in Sportswear. Andy is worried he can’t do American Sportswear because his aesthetic is Asian…although I have to say this seems odd coming from him since the last challenge he created something that seemed pretty American Sportswear to me (albeit American Sportswear for Resort.. but still.) As Mr. Nicky V will no doubt remind us on his recap, the secret to Project Runway is being able to design interesting separates in the form of American Sportswear (which I hadn’t noticed until he said that… but it is so true!) so its pretty essential to nail this challenge… or at least not flop on it. The judges always remember these things…even if they SAY they don’t take into account past challenges.

The designers head off to Mood with a plethora of ‘keywords’ from Tim to try and remember as they pick out fabric in a frantic 30 minutes. Quality, taste, effortless, chic, expensive… I lost count. Mondo is listening to the fabric again and I find myself continually intrigued by his creative process. Tim blurts out ‘leader!’ to Gretchen and I wonder what their conversation was really about because it seems like a pretty random snippet. Ivy has no clear vision but she does have a color palette. Black and White. Chic and Timeless. Boring and Boring… knowing her, I expect to be bored even though she has picked out something with some contrast to it for the first time! Mike D worries about his fabric choices at the cashier, but its too late… and they’re off to Parsons.

Mondo starts draping, he is not feeling it. Gretchen is worried Mondo is being too Mondo… I wanna tell her to shut it because Mondo always surprises me and so far he has had 5 of my favorite designs on the show. Go Mondo!

Mike C reminds us why this challenge is so important. Most women’s wardrobes are FULL of Sportswear and separates. It is essential to be able to design appealing and flattering sportswear to make it as a mainstream designer. Period.

Mike D doesn’t like Sportswear…. and I’m already thinking he could be out on this challenge before I even see what he is making. He is channeling the Puritans! My guess for Auf already, and I haven’t even seen what everyone else is making yet…

Valerie reminds us she’s the Susan Lucci of the show. Been in the top 4 times.. never won. Blah blah blah. I like Valerie but I am tired of hearing about it. Just make something without a zipper in it ok? Jackie wouldn’t wear goth. No she wouldn’t. But according to Andy, she might wear a hip hop outfit. Whaaaa?

Tim comes in and we see mostly little glimpses of the designs. Just by the editing I am going to guess that April and Gretchen are going to be SAFE… we are spending hardly any time with them this episode. So far this season the editors have done a fairly good job of not giving the safe, top, and bottom’s away through the editing so I am surprised they are doing a poor job this episode.

Valerie has to get feedback from all the designers and Tim to make a decision. Mike C is working on something that looks more cocktail. Andy claims that he isn’t interested in helping Mike because ‘it’s a competition’ but it seems pretty disingenuous considering how many times we have seen him talk s**t about Mike C. Why don’t you just come out and say that you aren’t helping him because you want him to get kicked off? At least it would be honest.

April SLAMS Andy’s pants and I’m glad SOMEONE said it because man oh man… they are bizarre. I am rethinking my prediction that Mike D will be out… dated is on a whole other level than wackadoo! Can’t wait for the judges reaction to this one…

Model Fittings –nothing special except Ivy doesn’t have much to fit on her model.

At 20 minutes into the show, the designers are in the workroom on ‘Runway Day’.. and I am thinking.. this is way too early in the episode for that. Where’s the twist? And here comes Tim….

The designers have to create a second piece for their look! A piece of OUTERWEAR. Now this is cool. The designers have never been asked to deliberately create a piece of outerwear before. Although many designers have made sweaters and coats and jackets in the past, it was always their own design choice, not mandated by the challenge. It will be interesting to see what people come up with when they have a whole day to do ONE garment! And.. oh no.. Valerie already made a coat. See – herein lies the problem with the ‘twist.’ What is she supposed to do now? Seems a little unfairly stacked against her.

The designers start sketching. Mike D is Captain Outerwear, Ivy LOVES Outerwear and is planning a silk organza jacket. Mike C doesn’t do outerwear because he is from Palm Springs. Andy wants a high collar to go with his hammer pants and Valerie is stumped. Rightly so – she is not allowed to use the jacket she already made and might have to scrap all the work she’s done.

The designers head off to Mood with another 150 dollars to buy fabric for their outerwear piece.
Gretchen and Mike C fight over the same fabric and Chris is looking for fur. He tries the faux fur section but ends up going to the real fur and leather.. and the editors, in a brilliant move, cut to Swatch! ( BA HA HA HA!)

Back in the workroom, Ivy has to pay a lot of attention to detail (as usual) because the organza shows everything, Mike C makes a jacket that looks like a towel and starts over with denim (what is he buying all these random fabrics for?) Gretchen says Mike C never seems to have a vision for the challenges and just makes multiple pieces and then waits for Tim to tell him what to do. Even though I like Mike C and still hold a grudge against Gretchen and her elitist attitude… I am agreeing with her on this. I gravitate most towards designers with really clear and unique vision… and Mike C is slowly showing me he doesn’t have one. Mike C knows people are talking about him and how they can’t believe he has won any challenges.

Tim visits with Valerie and she has decided to make a vest to go over her coat. Mike D schools us in the “Gauges of Tim” which I can’t resist showing here:

Tim cautions Andy about camel toe and encourages Mondo to make what he is working on work, rather than starting again. In a classic Tim moment, he warns Christopher that his shrug looks anemic. I am wondering how a shrug is a piece of Outerwear.

It the REAL Runway Day and Mondo has dressed like a Munchkin crossed with Alfalfa from the Little Rascals. Never change Mondo. Never change.

‘Grinch’in and the bitchettes are dissing Mike C’s work again and we get an insightful explanation from Mike D. Many people come to the show with an elitist attitude about fashion. They think they know what they are talking about. “He may not be as seasoned, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t talented.” I think this is a fair statement. It is true that some people are trained and some are self-taught, but everyone is talented or they wouldn’t make it on the show.

Andy is having a crotch problem. As predicted. Chris is REAL about his shrug and how ug it is.
Mondo has a mini crisis with his zipper. MIke D is working to the last 120 seconds and Gretchen predicts more than 3 will be in the bottom. We’ll see.

On to the Runway! I’m still loving Heidi’s haircut. I want it!

My biggest beef watching the runway is how few designers really created a true OUTERWEAR piece. I like Chris’s dress but the shrug is really weird. Aprils outfit is very April but I don’t know how a gauzy vest thingy is outerwear. Ivy’s looks kind of dated and old. Mike C’s look was just OK. Gretchen’s feels too Hippie for Jackie O. Mike D’s initially looks flirty, but I think it doesn’t translate on TV as quite so bad as it was in real life for the judges. Valerie’s look is ok, I didn’t hate is as much as the judges but I agree it doesn’t look iconic. Andy’s looks way too young and urban and the fit is off. I don’t know how a little vest like that counts as outerwear. Mondo’s look is so beyond the clear winner (unless the judges are blind!). It’s chic, iconic, memorable, and has surprises (the stripe detail at the elbows, the lining of the jacket, the little pockets on the skirt.)

Mike C, April, and Gretchen are safe. You can tell the girls aren’t impressed that Mike C is safe. Mike C is blowing smoke up Gretchen’s ass but I have no idea why he would bother.

Judging is HARSH. Valerie is criticized for putting a jacket over a jacket and I wonder why she didn’t just tell them what happened to her. Her colors are sad and Mkors and Nina are bored and feel there is nothing special. The judges like Christopher’s dress but hate the shrug. Mkors calls Michael D’s look insulting which I thought was a little overboard. Up close the look does have a lot of problems including fit and proportion. Mondo gets a rave review. Chic, clever, sharp are all bandied about. Yay Mondo! Ivy’s look gets a good review but I agree with Heidi – it’s a bit over-designed. Not bad, just too much. For once I am not irredeemably bored. Andy gets the worst critique – Heidi laughs at him, Mkors is MR. SASSY PANTS and Nina calls it a train wreck. I kinda agree.

Mondo WINS – congratulations Mondo!
Mike D is out. Did I call that or what?

Next week is giving Tim chills… can’t wait to see what’s gonna go down. We’re only a couple episodes away from no more ‘safe’ designs.. my favorite part of the season usually.