I think the whole season has been soap opera. All dreams and journeys and men pushing back the strong woman and labeling her a bitch. You can see where the climax is on that story. It's a long hard struggle, but in the end, the climax belongs to the woman. On Lifetime. There were 3 gnomish little men and one giraffe-y woman, and the woman was stomped to the curb over and over. But in the end: Triumph!
But Tom And Lorenzo say it's about commerce:
[T]his was about Nina and Michael and in many ways that judging session was representative of an ongoing conversation in the fashion industry in light of the collapse of the economy. Namely, should the industry move away from a focus on theatrical high-priced luxury goods and fantasy clothes and should it embrace a more downscale, less complicated point of view?I wouldn't leave Heidi out of that. She may have taken Mondo's part in the big fight over who should win the show, but look at her line of women's clothing at Amazon. It could hardly be more "downscale" and utilitarian.
It's a discussion worth having and there are points to be made in favor of each side, but the bottom line is, this is a design competition and something of a game show.Yeah, Heidi kept saying it's a style show, but don't just hear what she says says. Look what she does. I'm talking about the oversized hooded ponchos she thinks will be snapped up by the Lifetime crowd.
... Despite the fact that they literally could not describe Mondo's collection without using the kind of language reserved for winning designers ("He's incredibly creative and talented.") the ONLY arguments made in support of Gretchen by Nina and Michael were "It's on trend" and "I can sell these garments." Pardon us for being purists, but what appalling arguments to be making. This is what happens when a show goes from ELLE Magazine and the Banana Republic accessories wall to Marie Claire and the Piperlime accessories wall. Project Runway was never cutting edge even on its best days, but the dumbing down of the brand has been a distressing thing to witness....I loved Mondo and assumed he would win, but in retrospect, I can see some problems. He was an extremely reserved person, and at the finale runway show, he seemed confused and close to breaking down. He seemed oddly numb. Also — I was willing to accept this particular man in shorts — but what sort of man wears shorts when he has big, scabby sores on his leg (as he did at the reunion session that preceded the judging)? Considering that he's HIV-positive, this was a disturbing showing of disrespect for other people. And listen to his confessionals: He was very self-absorbed. That was kind of endearing, but in the long run, you might not want that person to take on the work of carrying the banner of your brand name.
We think Gretchen is a talented designer and we think that there is a market and a customer for her work. We just don't think she'll be able to excite the public and interest the press the way that Mondo will....
Finally, never forget that the show is edited to create a narrative and keep people watching. Gretchen won the first 2 competitions, and if that had kept going, the season would have been boring. The 3 guys — Michael, Andy, and Mondo — were selected as good foils for her, and the competitive tension was built around that. They pushed Gretchen around with criticisms and placement in the bottom 3 to wring melodrama out of her. They tried to make us love the 3 guys, and Mondo's rise to the presumed winner was the story they told as they beat Gretchen down. They put the reunion show before the final judging, which exaggerated her aloneness, while Mondo had his pals hugging him (despite his scabby leg). Gretchen got called a "bitch." Everyone out on the street, we were told, wants to know: Is Gretchen really a bitch? That was the narrative. And that narrative needs to end with victory for our heroine. Maybe it was too abrupt to be believable, but I think it was all in the script, perhaps from Day 1.