Darlings, what an episode. Very touching, and not in a lame my-boyfriend-beats-me-but-I-can't-leave-him Lifetime movie kind of way. As you know, I've always loved Mondo and after this episode it's clear that he is a role model in addition to being a unique designer. We will get to Mondo's story in a bit. Let's visit our blubbering baby designers, shall we?
The designers are happy to hear that they will be designing their own prints using HP computers, natch. The print is supposed to be inspired by something from their past. Mondo comes up with many designs, but ultimately knows he wants the print to represent his HIV positive status. He doesn't feel comfortable telling the others just yet. This is a real family centric episode. They come into the workroom after visiting Mood for supplemental fabric that their baby pictures are up. Reminiscing over the innocent days before the holy trinity of judges crushed their egos, they find out that their moms are visiting them. Except for Christopher who got his boyfriend, and Michael who got his son in addition to his mom. The designers all blubber like little babies. We realize that although we may think some of the designers are super annoying personalities edited by the manipulative Lifetime, they are all mama's boys and girls and love their families. The nice thing is, that Tim comes in to tell them they get to spend the day with their loved ones and get some much needed venting time.
Interesting that the designers are all so close to their mothers. Well, we don't really know about Christopher, maybe his mom was busy? Mondo has kept a huge secret from his family. He has known he was HIV positive for 10 years and hasn't had the heart to tell even his mother. He almost tells her this visit, but didn't want to "ruin" her New York vacation. Just terribly heart breaking. Andy's mom raised him and his 4 siblings on her own and for some reason Andy can't get back into designing after seeing his mom. Snap out of it Andy!
Tim comes around and warns Valerie that her look is very 80's and she doesn't need to throw a bunch of design elements into a look. If only she would listen to Tim!! Tim is also not into Gretchen's yoke(?) or whatever Andy seems to be doing. Overall, the designers are playing nice with each other, even accepting Michael into their club.
Enough crying, let's get to the Runway....
Yawn, once again. Christopher is a nice guy, he makes nice clothes. He's not going to win the competition doing nice safe clothes. His print is boring and this outfit is not inspired whatsoever. The judges thankfully told him all this. Nina wants fashion, she wants to be wowed. Heidi wrote "Nice, Safe, Boring". Luckily for him Valerie disappointed the judges more. However, they did realize that he has had made absolutely no memorable outfits. Christopher will have to do something amazing next challenge is he wants to stay.
Gretchen made her design based on her mom's southwestern influence. Unfortunately she didn't make the print quite right and Michael Kors thought it looked like "fried egg on the boob". Oops. Rachel Roy had the best viewpoint, and called it "Almost". I do like the pants, minus the yoke. Heidi liked the yoke, so one point for Gretchen. I thought this was a cute outfit (nice April style bun there), but it was indeed safe and didn't feel like a Gretchen outfit, which is probably good.
I thought the yoke looked like a butt flap personally.
Her print was based on her parent's divorce. The side of the sleeve looked like a tree, but also like hearts. Kind of dark but romantic, which was what she was going for. This was Rachel and Heidi's favorite print. I love this dress. The judges did not like the poofiness. I was not so into the styling. I thought the hair should have been either sleeker or maybe punkier and it would be nice if she would pop some color into her looks if she's always going to use black. I love the sleeve and definitely think this was a strong second place.
What I love about Mondo's designs is that he puts colors and prints together that I would never think of but it ends up looking amazing. Nina thought this was super editorial and made some sort of moan when Mondo had the design on the runway for judging and took off the jacket at Michael's request. Michael Kors thought this had sharpness and joy. The judges were dying to hear the story behind the print, because it was so bold and happy looking. Which was the exact opposite of what the print was inspired by. I do agree that the pants are too high, they're almost clown like. However the jacket is so sharp that it is gasp worthy when it comes off and you see how utterly sexy the top is.
Finally Mondo breaks down and tells his story after it's already obvious that he's the winner.
Darlings, I've watched this episode 3 times and I cried a little each time. Yes, it was getting a little over the top with the cheesy Lifetime music, but how brave was he to share his story. It didn't feel like he used it to win.
Congrats on your Project Runway hat trick Mondo.
The judges were split on this one. Heidi like the dress, but hated the yellow pumps with it "too matchy matchy". I thought he was following the rule where you take the smallest color of your print and accessorize with it to make it pop. Oh well! The thing about Michael Costello, is he does the looks half right, so just enough to stay on the show, but nothing so great that they like it. That's how he's still around. Kors thought the top part looked like an old-fashioned tie that was belted and cut off (great, now that's all I see). I agree that this look is kind of dowdy but definitely less boring than some of the others.
Andy's print was supposed to be bubbles of memories. Ok. Luckily the judges liked his print, it's probably what saved him from the auf.
I do not understand how he came up with this outfit. Originally it was going to be pants, but Andy changed it at the last moment to shorts. I'm not sure if it helped or hurt his look, because all I see is that terrible top. I hate hate hate under seaming on the bust line. It never works, even here where this was designed specifically to fit this model. The weird half vest is confusing and the boots just make the whole look strange. It's like matronly on top and hooker on the bottom. Channeling Casanova perhaps?
Rachel Roy found this "odd and confusing and upsetting". Michael Kors saw a sad face in her boobs. Yikes, do not say boobs are sad around frau Heidi! Andy could skate to the finals if he would just reign his designs in, don't lose it at the end buddy!
Poor Valerie. Really Andy and Christopher's looks were such lame attempts, they could have been aufed, but Valerie has not been doing well for a few challenges, so she really needed to shine this week in order to stay, and it just didn't happen here. The whole dress looks like some party dress I would have loved to wear in 1988, and that's not a good thing here.
Her print was based on a her dad's blueprints, but ended up looking 80's computer for some reason. The design reminded the judges of her party store dress made out of napkins. Michael wrote "napkin apron" and just hated what she did to the bottom. Rachel Roy thought that the top was ill-fitting. And everyone hated the blue layers peeking out the bottom. I really thought Valerie had such joy and fun in her garments in the beginning, but she really couldn't handle the stress of competition. Auf Wiedersehen Valerie!
So we say goodbye to our adorable little Anime girl Valerie. I'm sad to see her go. It was very cute how she had a Dorothy moment at the end and went around the room saying nice things about everybody, so sweet and from the heart.
The real story here was Mondo, telling his secret to the world. Mondo said he felt like someone was guiding him to tell his story at this moment. He couldn't have known that this episode would air after 3 gay youths committed suicide related to bullying. And that as I'm writing this blog 4 more possible gay bullying related suicides have occurred to make 7 total suicides. I hope that by Mondo sharing his story and showing his bravery, he helped at least one person to feel like they are not alone. It breaks my heart that in 2010 we are still dealing with something like that. For gay youths to feel so alone and so hurt and scared that they feel like suicide is the best answer, it hurts all of us. The world needs all kinds of people to work, we need everyone's diversities and strengths. Shame on us for being a nation where Mondo has fear and guilt to tell his own family that he is gay and living with a disease that any one of could get regardless of our sexual orientation. Shame on us for raising children that bully other children for being different from our own. I hope that my daughter's children don't have to live in a world where that happens.