8:00am PT by Mondo Guerra
Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway': Wedding Bells and Alarm Bells
Say "I do" to the most explosive, most endearing episode of Project Runway yet. This week, it was wedding bells and alarm bells when one designer popped the question while another made a shocking exit.
Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson joined Tim Gunn to deliver the challenge -- create a look inspired by bow ties from Tie the Knot, an organization benefiting marriage equality. The designers must also incorporate at least one bow tie into their garments in a nontraditional way.
It's a bow-tie bonanza!
In the Workroom
After a quick trip to Mood with a suggested budget of $200, the designers tried to wrap their heads around neckwear. Jeremy's grief over the loss of his grandmother threw him. But instead of suppressing his sadness, he dedicated the design in honor of her memory. (HUGS.)
While the other designers focused on refining just one design, Sue juggled two. But her exoskeleton technique with the bow ties concerned Tim, and her $405 splurge on materials didn't help either. In this case, maybe less really is more -- especially when you're managing a budget for the entire season.
Sandro's anticipation of Zac Posen's critique had him second-guessing his design even after "Top Gunn" tried to convince him to stay true to himself. When his design was scored safe, Sandro (pictured above) boldly asked the judges for feedback. Zac called his dress an "awards show walk of shame" and questioned his taste level before Heidi Klum regained control and dismissed the safe designers from the runway.
Back in the green room, Sandro defended his decision to speak up, but his fellow competitors were having none of it. In a heated exchange with Helen and Ken, Sandro's short fuse was ignited and he exploded into a fit of rage. Think Russian Hulk. He launched middle fingers and ripped off his microphone before storming out of Parsons, knocking over dress forms and assaulting the camera as he fled.
The Best and the Worst
Guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson added his humor and insights to the panel this week. (Isn't he the cutest?)
Kate, Bradon and Dom's designs earned top scores, while Sue, Jeremy and Miranda fell to the bottom.
Kate Pankoke, $200
I really liked this. I have criticized Kate before about being too precious with her design aesthetic, but this look is a refreshing new approach for her. It's ready-to-wear but it still has special details that give great impact -- particularly those pants. Kate stepped outside of her comfort zone and flexed her range as a designer. It excited the judges and made me want to see more.
Bradon McDonald, $215
Masterful combination of textures and prints in this look -- really cool. His model looks strong, confident and modern. Bradon has a great sense of proportion and a keen eye for color. I love the organized chaos of the top paired with these cropped menswear-like pieces (can I have them?). A great concept executed like a pro. And the styling is like a cherry on top.
Dom Streater, $175
Dom has consistently delivered fresh, youthful designs and this one was no exception. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for stripes. Her use of the striped and chevron panels was very flattering and I liked the pops of color she introduced through the neckpiece and accessories. This look was whimsical and well-made -- my favorite look from Dom so far.
Sue Waller, $405
This look was odd. Sue's design evoked "Octopussy," "Sigourney Weaver in Alien," and "sea kelp" from the judges. For me, there was a lack of ambition here. And talk about sticker shock! For $405 I would expect a lot more from Sue. (Where's the leather?)
Jeremy Brandrick, $190
Jeremy admitted he was off his game but committed to this look inspired by his grandmother. Not a big fan of the colors here. And for how conservative the lace jacket and wide-leg pants are, the exposed belly button completely throws me. Not his best work.
Miranda Levy, $125
We've seen two version of this silhouette from Miranda already. The unfortunate last-minute decision to crop the blouse didn't help. And as much as I love a good houndstooth print, I wish she would have highlighted the bow tie in a more innovative and prominent way. Bummer.
The Judges' Decisions
Bradon emerged the challenge winner and took his moment in the spotlight to propose to Josh, his partner of 18 years. Crediting Tie the Knot's mission as his inspiration, Bradon held back tears as he said he couldn't wait any longer for the U.S. government to acknowledge his relationship. The judges were touched, with Heidi even telling Josh to say "yes" and volunteering to be a bridesmaid.
The bottom three designers were spared from elimination due to Sandro's abrupt exit. About Sandro, Tim Gunn/fashion Yoda said, "Sad it may be. Necessary it is." Another designer goes to the dark side.
Mondo's Last Word
At some point during most Project Runway designers' time on the show, the thought of quitting crosses the mind. (Guilty ... ) The schedule is grueling, and the challenges are designed to push you to the edge both creatively and emotionally. But you know what? We understood those risks and auditioned anyway.
I'm extremely disappointed in Sandro. His arrogance and disrespect overshadowed his talent. I can't help but feel regret that he took someone else's place who may have wanted it more. I hope Sandro gains some humility and takes some anger management classes. Life is too short to be that furious and rude all the time.
Bradon, on the other hand, is all class. His proposal was such a beautiful moment on the runway. And his design was my favorite. He put a lot of love into his garments and that energy was reflected in the final look. Bradon and Josh make the most adorable bearded beaux, don't they?! Cheers and congratulations!
Sue, Jeremy and Miranda survive to design another day. But if Sandro had stayed, Miranda may have been sent packing. And she knew it. Hopefully she can pull it together.
What did you think about all of the drama this week? Sound off in the comments!
Project Runway All Stars champ Mondo Guerra is back to dish on the designs and drama of Project Runway season 12. His exclusive collection of eyewear with national optical boutique SEE hits stores this fall. He has also partnered with Merck for "I Design," a national HIV/AIDS education campaign that underscores the importance of patients tailoring treatment goals with their doctors. To learn more about Mondo, visit mondoguerra.com.