'Project Runway' Recap: Episode 9, It's All About Me With Guest Judges Mondo Guerra and Anya Ayoung-Chee
FINALLY! Ahh! Sorry, if you’re reading this and you haven’t watched this week’s Project Runway yet and you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now — the spoilers are coming earlier than usual because we can’t contain our excitement.
Dmitry Sholokhov finally won! We have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and were just as frustrated as Dmitry was with his lack of recognition.
Now. Ahem. This week presented the HP and Intel challenge, where the designers must create their own patterns. We love this challenge. It’s probably our second favorite, right after unconventional materials. Tim Gunn and Mondo Guerra are in the workroom to explain the specifics to the designers. “I’m certain you remember Mondo Guerra, he was totally robbed of a win in season 8,” Tim says. Just kidding, but seriously. That’s the truth.
The designers get to work, but are soon distracted by the loving arms of their family members and friends. It’s super emotional. These reunions, man. They get us every time. Especially heartwarming: Fabio Costa and his boyfriend are the cutest things we have ever seen, we’re pretty sure Melissa Fleis was crying before her mom actually walked into the room, and Ven Budhu showed us he has a heart when the sight of his sister brought him to happy tears.
Everyone is trying to create a pattern that sends a message about where they come from, or their personal story. It worked for Mondo in his season, and led to one of the most memorable moments in Project Runway history (his plus-sign pants were representative of his HIV status.) For some, though, the past is more distracting than inspiring; Gunnar Deatherage opens up about his past, being bullied through school. He is determined to create a pattern symbolic of how he rose above that, he clearly struggles. Christopher Palu is similarly unfocused, unable to commit to a silhouette after his textile is created (which he ultimately covers with organza).
And then there’s Ven, who draws another freaking flower. Man. Although this would have been the perfect challenge to incorporate the hibiscus flower given its place in his culture, he should have known better. This is all he has ever done. (We wouldn’t have liked his fabric regardless.) First, he places small fans of the fabric along the dress because he wants to use the fabric in “an unexpected way.” Tim says they look like maxi pads, and that the whole dress looks like an homage to the menstrual cycle. “I really wasn’t expecting Tim to say what he did,” Ven tells us. Well, of course not. Who expects that? Side note: We wonder how Ven's sister felt about his behavior during "Fix My Friend."
The only better description of fabric was Fabio’s of his own: “Looking closely at it, I see penis and vaginas f***ing, I really do.” Christopher is adorably horrified by this explanation. (We loved Fabio’s print, by the way, whatever it was. We just wish he didn’t layer it.)
Mondo and Anya Ayoung-Chee, who won Project Runway season 9, are the guest judges. Fabio and Elena Slivnyak, whose print was compared by Christopher to a kindergarten scribble, are safe. We liked the shapes in Elena's pieces, we just didn't like the print.
We loved Melissa’s dress and her explanation of the Polish flag colors and the blood lines. We did agree with Mondo about the styling. If it had been edgier, it would have pushed this from a spot in the top to a real contender for the win. That said, we’d buy it, and she definitely deserved to be in the top.
Also in the top: Dmitry! As you already know because we couldn’t contain our excitement. The judges are all wild about his jacket, and so are we. Mondo seemed a bit sour on Dmitry, though. What the heck, Mondo? He argued that this was a print challenge, and D covered up the print with the jacket. We disagree; we thought the jacket actually enhanced the print, with the cut-outs and those floating shapes. It wasn’t as though he threw a freaking cardigan on her. “You did what we’re looking for,” Michael Kors says. “You have design, concept, execution, wearability… all of that combined.” Yes! “That is crazy good,” says Heidi Klum.
Heidi tells Ven his look is “one of the worst ones today,” and then badgers him on the runway about making this flower thing time and time again. Later, while the judges deliberate, she calls Tim out and demands whether or not he ever warned him about the flower. That was a first, was it not?!
Gunnar also lands in the bottom for his look, which was just underwhelming. “It looks like a sheet of bird postage stamps,” Michael said. Yikes. We actually liked Gunnar’s print, we just wish he used it in a different way. Mondo says it read juniors, and we agree.
Christopher was reprimanded for not pushing himself. “This is the most disappointing execution that I have yet to see from you,” Nina Garcia tells him. Ouch. Still, the judges weren’t horrified by his look, like they were, say, Ven’s.
So it was quite surprising when Ven stayed and Gunnar was auf’d. And although he seemed more than at peace with it, we think the judges got this one wrong. Ven is a better tailor, for sure. But Gunnar has shown more variety in his work, and he has gotten less and less annoying with each episode. It was interesting to hear about his experiences in school considering his catty behavior — although maybe that’s a defense mechanism. Gunnar, if you’re reading this, you’re totally adorable when you’re not catty. In the end, he and Christopher hugged it out. Aw! A happy ending for everyone.
And next week, Tim talks advises someone to "bitch-slap that bitch." So if you don't watch, you're crazy.