Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway' Season 10, Episode 8: Another Team Challenge Brings Fights, Redemption

As part of the task, the designers must create merchandise out of craft products to sell to people on the streets of New York.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday's episode.]

Happy Fashion Week, everyone. May all your designer dreams come true!

This week was a rollercoaster. Winners turned into losers, sworn enemies became friends, and a couple of designers even enjoyed the sweet taste of redemption. Let’s recap, shall we?

In the Workroom

With the last team challenge, we learned that some designers don’t play well with others. So, was it any surprise that the drama meter hit the roof when folks like Christopher & Gunnar and Elena & Dmitri get put on a team together?

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On top of that, the teams must create merchandise out of craft products to sell to people on the streets of New York City. Their material budgets depend on it! That’s enough to make anybody cranky.

Here’s the lineup:

Team 1

Team 2

Team 3

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Christopher dubs Dmitri and Elena as the workroom’s Boris and Natasha. And it’s kind of true! The two fight like an old married couple. But Christopher is one to talk -- he wishes that Nathan was still in the game and that Gunnar was gone instead. Ouch. But through the course of the challenge, the twins discover that they may not hate each other after all. How grown up!

On the Runway

Fashion designer Anna Sui was this week’s guest judge. Here are my thoughts on the runway show:

Team Dmitri | Elena | Alicia

Look #1: The shawl was too much for me. It distracted from an otherwise modern, polished look. Have we seen this dress from Dmitri before? Yes. But it has an interesting neckline and I could see a lot of women wanting to wear it.

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Look #2: I like the idea of the coat, but the execution needed some help. The collar was odd and the body had too much volume. The pants fit well but were pretty unremarkable. The shirt was a total snooze.

Team Christopher | Gunnar | Sanjia

Look #1: Sanjia’s coat was really cool. It was sharp, modern and perfectly fit. I love the cropped sleeve and the contrast of the hunter green against Gunnar’s sandy color-blocked dress. I would have loved to see the coat open as well.

Look #2: I like Christopher’s modern take on a classic trench. The collar had drama, the sleeveless detail was interesting, and it draped nicely. I loved the combination of leather and jersey in Gunnar’s dress as well as the thumb cut-outs in the exaggerated sleeves.

Team Ven | Melissa | Fabio

Look #1: Melissa’s jacket was the only modern thing about this look. I didn’t think the counterpoint between the cropped jacket and full skirt was successful. And the turtleneck shirt was not flattering on the model.

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Look #2: Fabio’s coat did not look luxurious or modern and his shirt looked a little tortured. Not a fan of the pants’ fit either. This was the most disappointing look on the runway for me. What happened?

The High Scores

The judges named Team Christopher | Gunnar | Sanjia as the clear winners this week. Michael praised them for creating sportswear that was still luxurious and elevated; Heidi called Sanjia’s jacket exquisite and Nina called it sharp and expensive looking; Anna congratulated them for working well as a team.

The Low Scores

Team Dmitri | Elena | Alicia: Elena accused Dmitri of not knowing how to make anything but a dress, to which he replied, “You always make coffins that don’t move.” Best comeback ever! Nina thought that the shawl looked old lady and the coat looked inexpensive; Michael and Heidi thought Alicia’s pieces were boring; Anna thought the team conflict was reflected in the looks.

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Team Ven | Melissa | Fabio: Nina particularly liked Melissa’s jacket but didn’t respond well to the tops or Fabio’s coat; Heidi said theirs was her least favorite collection; Michael thought Fabio’s coat looked like a grandma housecoat that would have tissues in the pockets; Anna thought the designers could have been less nice and challenged themselves more.

The Judges’ Decisions

In the end, Sanjia was named the winner and Alicia was bid auf wiedersehen.

Sanjia really needed to redeem herself after her disappointing performances from the previous two weeks. She definitely stepped up and delivered. I was also impressed with Gunnar and how he went from being in the bottom last week to creating two cool dresses at the top this week. And good for Christopher for nominating Gunnar for the win.

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I wanted to see so much more from Alicia. I feel like she lost her point of view during this competition. Her garments were unmemorable. And what about Fabio? He went from being a top designer two weeks in a row to barely escaping elimination. Hopefully, he gets his head back in the game.

What did you think? Was Sanjia’s coat your favorite? Did Alicia get sent home too soon? Tell me how you really feel in the comments below.

Denver fashion designer Mondo Guerra earned a runner-up finish on Project Runway season eight then went on to claim victory on the debut season of Project Runway All Stars. In addition to an upcoming guest editor position at Marie Claire, Mondo has also launched I Design, a new HIV/AIDS education campaign with Merck. To learn more about Mondo, visit

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