So...great episode, right? Tears!
The patented beauty queen gas mask pose!
Stunningly beautiful judge who also happens to know what the hell she's talking about!
Completely unself-aware German spokesmodel and television hostess dressed like a smacked ass!
If it were anyone else, we might have questioned the whole thing as a play for the cameras. If not on his part then on the part of the producers, manipulating him into it. To those few who may be thinking along this lines all we can offer is this: We have our PhD's in Runwayology as well as our Master's in General Reality Television Studies and reading between the lines and between the edits, we detect zero manipulation.
Mondo has established many times over that he's a quirky guy who feels like an outsider, shut off from the world. Taken that way, and given the stress and exhaustion they're feeling at this stage, it makes perfect sense that he would take this moment to reflect on his life. Clearly, this is something that has been eating at him a long time and the unburdening of it was raw and real, to our eyes. When the producers set up the whole family thing and paired it with a pure creativity challenge, they were hoping for exactly this kind of soul-searching.
Besides, anyone with a head could tell that Mondo had this one in the bag. He didn't need to give the judges a story in order to secure the win.
No, this one came from his heart and when it came time to defend and explain his work, he found that he couldn't discuss it without discussing the why of it.
J'ADORE that print. The best of the bunch, by far. It's exuberant and joyous and simplistic, and yet it has an inexplicable sophistication to it. Somehow Mondo takes all the elements of what could be classified as "clown clothes" and makes them look chic. He's got a fantastic eye.
As the judges pointed out, he has a very strong and unique sense of how to put prints together. Plenty of other designers have this skill but Mondo's results in that area are pure Mondo. When the judges say nobody combines prints like him, they mean it.
And as Nina rightfully pointed (that was a damn good judging session by the way), his was the only look up there that was Fashion with a capital F. Way too much department store clothing on the runway this season. Mondo's one of the few who's really putting something exciting out.
Our only real criticism, which Nina pointed out as well, is that the pants are just too damn high.
The proportions aren't right. Absolutely the look calls for a high-waisted pant, but these are damn near overalls. Plus, that's an insane crotch.
Love the belt. And the jacket.
Love the top as well, which understandably didn't get the bulk of the attention. We also loved Nina's little fashion gasp when the model took the jacket off to reveal the lining. It was, unlike pretty much everything else up there, a fully realized look, ready to be shot for an editorial.
The tragedy of Mondo's confession is not that he has HIV. Without minimizing the seriousness of the disease, it's fair to say that Mondo's chances of living a very long time with it are very, very good. No, the tragedy of Mondo's confession is that we still live in a world where young men and women are made to feel less worthy than their counterparts because of who they're attracted to. So much less worthy that they will suffer in total silence for a decade and seek no support from their family while they deal with a very serious medical issue all alone. The stress of that is unimaginable and thousands of men have stories very similar to Mondo's.
We're thrilled that he won and that he had this emotional breakthrough but we're even more thrilled at the idea that tons of little babygays may have watched last night and learned that being honest about oneself is not something to fear and that there is a place in the world where those who are true to themselves - no matter how hard that may be; no matter how much of a price may be paid - are better off than those who suffer in silence. Lately it seems like a gay kid is killing himself every other day. It's not hyperbole at all to suggest that Mondo may actually have saved some lives last night.
Tim Gunn's Workroom:
[Screencaps: projectrungay.blogspot.com - Video Credit: myLifetime.com - Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/myLifetime.com]
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Labels: Mondo Guerra, Project Runway, Project Runway Season 8, Project Runway Season 8 Episode 10