Mondo Guerra's Take on 'Project Runway': Masters of Metamorphosis

The "All Stars" champ critiques the designs and the judges' decision not to cut any of the designers in the final runway challenge.
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The remaining designers battle for their spots at NYFW in the final challenge of the season.

Only the L'Oreal avant-garde challenge stands in the way of the big runway at New York Fashion Week, so it's go big or get auf'd. The inspiration this week? Masters of metamorphosis -- our fluttering friends, the butterflies.

PHOTOS: 'Project Runway' Season 12: Meet the Designers

And it wouldn't be Project Runway without a last-minute twist. The final five must also transform an eliminated design from a loser to a winner. No pressure...

The competition is ON. Who crawls and who soars?

On the Runway

Alexandria von Bromssen

Alexandria danced on the goth side, focusing on the butterfly's fleeting lifespan. (Does someone need a hug?) Tim gave his blessing with the raw edges of her gown and said he was "a fan." She chose Miranda Levy's design for the Marie Claire shoe challenge and tried to take it from pedestrian to punk.

Avant-garde Design

Unfinished treatments can either give a garment edge or make it look sloppy. To me, the gown looks like it's tattered and falling apart. Moth-eaten goth? But Heidi Klum said she could see Alexandria selling a lot of these dresses. There's definitely a client for this style, I've just seen better execution.


"Make It Work" Design

Agree with Nina Garcia that Alexandria stepped it up with her repurposed look. But the boots and the "feather-hawk" are too literal for me. I would have loved to see something unexpected -- maybe a counterpoint between soft and hard. It just came off heavy-handed.


Dom Streater

Dom was inspired by the cross-bred butterflies and played to her strengths by marrying different prints. She chose Jeremy Brandrick's Belk challenge design to take into modern times. The comeback kid has become a serious competitor.


Avant-garde Design

"Mad-Dom Butterfly." Gorgeous. Love the volume and structure of the coatdress paired with the flowing, wide-leg jumpsuit. It's whimsical, wearable and exuberant. She chose beautiful prints in the right fabrics and delivered a wow moment.


"Make It Work" Design

No offense to Jeremy, but Dom turned it out. She cranked up the volume and elevated this look from "everyday" to "exciting." One of the best reworks of the evening, hands down. She has strong instincts and keeps it modern.


Bradon McDonald

Bradon had a lot of starts and stops perfecting a silhouette he hoped would translate the silent, frantic energy of butterflies. Tim wasn't sold on his "noodles" at first, but said he got chills once Bradon put it all together. Bradon chose Sue Waller's Lexus challenge design for a second spin.



Avant-garde Design

I get the strange beauty Bradon was aiming for and appreciate the risk he took. It's visually intriguing and fully committed -- he's clearly a talented designer. And while I understand how choosing white allowed his textile manipulation to shine, it also made me think "alien wedding dress." Not necessarily a bad thing considering it's an avant-garde challenge.


"Make It Work" Design

He made the best of what he had to work with, but it wasn't my favorite. My eye is drawn to the "placemat apron" and the play on hemlines isn't doing great things for his model's body. He made the calculated risk of focusing most of his time on the avant-garde design and kept this one simple.


Helen Castillo

Helen's "cocoon coffin" had Tim shaking his head. And with her low tolerance for curve balls, she crumbled. Again. But after a little tough love from Tim, she committed to capturing the bold orange of her monarch butterfly inspiration. Helen chose Kate's HP + Intel challenge design.



Avant-garde Design

I feel like we've seen this silhouette and technique from Helen before -- I need more. I actually wanted to see her cocoon coat walk. At least then she would have ventured into avant-garde territory. Loved the styling, though.


"Make It Work" Design

Helen took Kate's design from frumpy to streamlined. It's another familiar silhouette from Helen, but that insane fit deserves recognition. I'm sure Kate would have approved. It's a huge improvement.


Justin LeBlanc

Justin identified with "the outsider" albino butterfly and got down to details, manipulating exaggerated binding. And in an emotional decision, Justin chose his own losing design hoping to earn both closure and redemption. Tim said he was proud.



Avant-garde Design

Justin's design definitely told a story. I liked the drama of his reveal and the symbolism of shedding the cocoon. Nina was right -- the binding details on the dress weren't perfect -- but he stepped up and grabbed the judges' attention.


"Make It Work" Design

There is a sense of resolution here -- kind of like the dress "healed." Wish the cups were more flattering, but the sweep and proportions are snappy. It was admirable of Justin to undertake his own garment and show the judges he's learned from their advice.


The Judges' Decisions

Emmy Rossum joined the panel this week.

Bradon's design captivated the judges, earning him another challenge win. Both he and Dom secured their places at fashion week.

Alexandria, Justin and Helen were spared elimination, for now. The three will create collections and compete for the remaining spot joining Dom and Bradon.

Mondo's Last Word

I understand why Bradon won -- his look was the most avant-garde. But Dom definitely gave him competition. I'm happy they're both going to fashion week. Well done, guys!

I thought it was strangely generous of the judges not to eliminate a bottom designer, considering last week's double-auf-ing. But, to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing what they can all do given more time and no constraints.

Which designer do you hope to see join Bradon and Dom in the finale? Tell me your pick and explain why in the comments.

PHOTOS: 'Project Runway' Winners: Where Are They Now?

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