When the image of Mondo Guerra came into view on the screen Thursday evening, the crowd at Beauty Bar burst into cheers. The Denver designer was on hand to celebrate the Project Runway season 8 premiere and his first appearance to a national audience. The Fabric Lab offered Mile-High residents the chance to join Guerra for his inaugural television debut on July 29th, complete with martinis and manicures and a brief fashion show from local designer James Silvrants at Beauty Bar Denver.
Guerra arrived in high style, sporting a sleeveless black-and-silver-striped sequined cardigan with his hair swept up into polished bouffant. The event drew an energetic assembly of fashion fans eager to meet the designer and show their support for the upcoming season. Even Shear Genius sensation Charlie Price was in attendance to root for Guerra.
“I just want to thank all my friends and family for all of their love and support,” Guerra said at the event.
The Project Runway season 8 premiere had the show’s 17 designers hitting the ground running. Host Heidi Klum and workroom mentor Tim Gunn revealed that the first challenge was actually the final stage of the audition process. The designers were faced with the task of incorporating an item of clothing from a fellow contestant’s luggage into a completely finished garment in only five hours.
“I gave up my kilt,” Guerra said resigned. “I was actually going to wear it tomorrow. Guess not!”
Guerra’s denim kilt went to Philadelphia designer Kristin Haskins Simms, while he received a green coat from Cleveland designer Valerie Mayen. Using wool textile with a black and white zig-zag pattern, Guerra transformed the coat into a color-blocked mini-dress. Despite his concerns about the “wonky” hemline, Guerra’s design was strong enough to secure his spot on the cast and a chance to proceed on to the next challenge.
“I know I may have come off as a little bit timid in this first episode but keep watching because I promise that the season is going be good,” Guerra explained.
While it remains to be seen how long Guerra’s talent will keep him in the competition, a growing number of supporters are crossing their fingers in the hope that he will sew his way to the finish line as Denver’s first designer to win Project Runway.