A short, unlikely hero met with a tall, irrepressible villainess at Beauty Bar Denver on Thursday. Mondo Guerra and Gretchen Jones from Project Runway season 8 hosted an episode 11 viewing party that drew some mixed reactions from the crowd.
Whether fans love to hate her or hate to love her, Gretchen has undeniably become one of the most memorable designers from season 8. With her blunt appraisals of her competition and the notorious tongue lashing she received from Tim Gunn, Project Runway has portrayed Gretchen as this season’s rogue contestant.
Gretchen revealed that she is a Colorado girl at heart at the viewing party. With roots in Fairplay, she confidently declared that she and Mondo proved that Colorado creates the best stylists. She also acknowledged her notoriety by making self-deprecating remarks and playful quips about her self-proclaimed role as the show’s “bitch.”
Still, Denver extended a warm welcome to Gretchen and seemed content with her professed support of Mondo. Project Runway hoodies, Beauty Bar gift certificates, and Team Mondo t-shirts were given away to audience members who correctly answered trivia questions about the show. A Color-Me-Mondo contest of the designer’s silhouette was also conducted, with winner Nancy S. taking the envied prize of a $75 Beauty Bar tab.
Episode 11 started off almost immediately with tension. There was an anxious moment when the designers were forced to choose new models. Gretchen chose Milana over Mondo’s model, Eyen, effectively eliminating her from the show. The crowd was disappointed with the decision but then cheered Eyen’s return when Alexandra had to leave the competition to attend to urgent family matters
Despite their very different design approaches, this episode found both Mondo and Gretchen on the same page about their client, Heidi Klum. The challenge was to create 3 looks to be included in Heidi’s active wear collection for New Balance sold exclusively on Amazon.com. In addition, each of the current contenders were paired with an eliminated designer: Mondo with Valerie, Gretchen with Cassanova, Christopher with Ivy, Michael C. with A.J., April with Peach, and Andy with Michael D.
There were heated emotions in the work room when Heidi came to critique Mondo. The supermodel accused Mondo of being rude, with Mondo claiming he felt hurt.
“This was probably the hardest challenge for me,” Mondo shared with the audience at Beauty Bar, “It was all I could do not to lose it during the critique with Heidi.”
Michael Costello once again found himself under the bus, this time with accusations of cheating. Ivy claimed that Michael C. used fashion tape to secure his dress for the Jackie Kennedy challenge. Tim Gunn dismissed the allegation towards Michael C. saying that it was too late and too subjective of a charge to be proven. Despite the drama, the designers somehow managed to make it to the runway.
In the end, Mondo was in the top with Andy South and April Johnston, while Gretchen was in the bottom with Michael Costello and Christopher Collins. Andy’s graphic yet light looks earned him the win, while Christopher’s perplexing garments sent him home.
When the episode was over, Gretchen expressed her gratitude for being able to share the experience of Project Runway with Mondo as well as getting to know him better.
“This guy is going to change the fashion world,” Gretchen said.
Based on the overwhelming support of Mondo, it seems that Project Runway fans agree.