Sunday, November 7, 2010

I took Project Runway a little hard this year

I think I got too invested in Project Runway this year.

When the winner was announced, I couldn't let it go.

I found myself reading about the final episode after I'd already watched it. Not just one article.  

(If you don't have a TV or didn't watch Project Runway, the finale came down to two contestants - Mondo and Gretchen, and Gretchen won. )

Mondo's clothes were always bright and full of patterns -- self-assured and happy. 

Gretchen's clothes were current, but they were also a little dreary and a lot brown. They looked like they were too cool to engage.

I had a synthetic brown dress with a similar print in high school. If she is trotting out what I bought at Nordstrom in the 80s, not impressed.
Okay, so the judges made a subjective decision. That's fine. It's a TV show. Moving on. 
Or not...

Realizing I was still upset about the fact that Mondo lost, I had to uncover why this had such a lasting effect.

* * *
Mondo proved his badassness in a few ways over the season...

He befriended the guy everyone else picked on.

He was so unabashed in his self-expression. Everyone else could sort of suck it.

This outfit was an homage to The Cotton Club. It freaked me out at first, then I respected the badassness to pull this off. 

He revealed the secret he'd kept for 10 years, that he was HIV +...

He designed this pattern to represent his history, and his HIV + status

* * *
It occurred to me that the qualities that Mondo exhibited are ways that I aspire to be more badass -- not falling prey to the crowd mentality, and expressing oneself authentically, even if it's risky.

Those qualities seem prizeworthy. But he didn't win.

I take solace in the fact that my extensive research found lots of other vehement Mondo fans. So maybe his prize is fierce fan loyalty and knowing that he's inspiring others.

But let's get back to the numbers (and a bit of cattiness):
Monda Guerra Facebook fans: 5,700
Gretchen Jones Facebook fans: 12


Christine said...

Maybe he'll end up being like Adam Lambert? Seriously, 12 fans?!

The Process said...

You should send this to him! :)

john said...

Agreed you should send to Mondo. I was torn about the ending as well. I think on some level, Mondo took risks and exposed himself. That is what you are keying into as being prize-worthly. He was taking risks that were about expressing himself. Gretchen was marketing, aligning her fashion to "fit" into what would be acceptable. She won. It's an interesting example of how life really is, isn't it? I mean how many times are the people around us not awarded for doing the "work" while others who are not doing the work get rewarded for fitting in? This is why I like to take time out to tell people like Mondo good job for taking a risk. That's why I give big props for your blog Ms EVT - seriously, nice work! Woot!

R.B. said...

But didn't Gretchen win because judges picked her? I do not watch Project Runway, but anytime a confident women is labeled a "bitch" in the next breath, I have to wonder why. If it's a juried show, shouldn't the judges be to blame?

I do love your drawings and the narration; sorry I came for the first time and criticized.

eileen said...

Of course your opinion is welcome!! My feeling about the outcome wasn't so much about Gretchen's bitchiness as that Mondo's bravery should have won the prize. Her confidence was sort of mesmerizing in a love-to-hate kind of way. And yes, I DO blame the judges. Gretchen was just the nemesis in the way of Mondo winning.
Thanks for the nice words.

Cameron said...

OMG, I love this. I came here from a link on Twitter about your most current post (about yoga), but kept reading because, as a fellow introvert, I love your blog title. This is exactly how I felt about Project Runway!! I'm from Portland, Oregon originally so I started out rooting for Gretchen since she lives there now, but that quickly faded and I was on Team Mondo after that. Besides the fact that I adore Mondo and think Gretchen is a total bitch, Mondo's collection was SO MUCH BETTER!! Her stuff did look like a Sear's catalog from the 70's. I wouldn't have worn a single thing... although admittedly, I am no fashion plate. :) Thanks for giving words--and pictures!--to my Project Runway angst!

Eileen said...

Hi Cameron,
I too hail from Portland, but that loyalty only lasted about 20 minutes into the first episode.
Thanks for the nice note.

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