Mondo Guerra Recaps 'Project Runway' Season 10 Finale: A Winner Is Crowned

Mondo Print on Print Portrait - P 2012

Mondo Print on Print Portrait - P 2012

The final four present their collections at New York Fashion Week, and a champion is revealed.

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

It’s here! The final four designers prepare for the biggest runway show of their lives. It’s do or die as they take the judges’ critiques and refine their NYFW collections. Each of them has a unique point of view and incredible talent, but there can only be one winner.

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In the Workroom

After the news sinks in that all four designers will show at NYFW, the mood quickly turns from celebration to frustration for Christopher. He’s bruised from the judges’ feedback, particularly from Nina. It seems like he’s taken their critiques as a personal attack.

The others have their worries too. Dmitry steps back and tries to fix the matronly problems of his collection. Melissa realizes that she needs to bring some more “wow” factor to her show. Fabio is focused on raising the level of sophistication in his collection.

The designers still have a lot of work to do. Thankfully, Tim shares that they will each get $300 at Mood and two days to perfect their collections. But where’s the twist? No additional look to make or challenge to meet? I’m disappointed. The designers get another golden ticket.

Christopher doesn’t have the energy for his usual charm and humor. He seems lost and overwhelmed as he tries to create new “hero” pieces. He is not in a good place emotionally and he’s running out of time.

Melissa decides to add a blood-orange leather dress to her collection for more impact. However, she chooses to ignore the fact that her model can’t walk in her white dress because the opening is too narrow. Cut a darn slit!

Christopher calls Melissa pretentious for calling her red dress “blood-orange”—yikes. Sounds like somebody needs a nap. Christopher is crumbling under the pressure and wasting his energy on second-guessing.

While Christopher and Melissa scramble to complete their collections, Fabio and Dmitry are considerably less frantic. Both guys have made their final revisions and enjoy some rare calm before the storm.

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On the Runway

The lovely and talented Jennifer Hudson is this week’s celebrity guest judge (and yours truly makes a couple of mustached cameos in the audience too). Here’s what I thought of the finale collections:

Christopher: There were a lot of well-made, interesting pieces in Christopher’s collection, but overall it was a bit disconnected. I get how he tried to combine hard and soft with his leather separates and lighter pieces, but it got too literal. His leather jackets had great details and I liked his print. I just wish he would have had a more consistent fashion story throughout his collection. In the end I think that he lost steam and his confidence suffered.

Melissa: She showed a very cohesive, very Melissa collection. Her point of view is unmistakable and she clearly knows how to deliver edge in a feminine way. She was smart to listen to Nina’s notes on her white leather jacket and I thought it was overall a strong show. However, my biggest problem was the white dress that forced her model to inch down the runway. As it walked, we in the audience couldn’t help but react. It was unfortunate.

Dmitry: There were a lot of memorable looks from Dmitry. His collection was definitely not lacking for ideas. I loved the geometric shapes and modern silhouettes he created. I also liked how he played with different textures and volume. But I wasn’t crazy about some of his necklines and thought his closing gown was too “Strictly Ballroom.”

Fabio: I’m so glad Fabio decided to leave the bowl-cut wigs at home! His simple styling allowed his conceptual looks to really shine. I loved the soft colors and effortless draping of his layered looks. There was a sense of movement to Fabio’s looks even when they were still. But I wonder how well his individual pieces stand by themselves. Do you need all of those layers for the look to work?

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The Judges’ Critiques

Dmitry: Heidi said it was a beautiful show and that Dmitry was a great designer; Michael called his collection impeccably made, beautifully fit and expensive-looking; Nina said she loved it when he gets modern and said his looks were mostly editorial; Jennifer said he gave her everything—great quality and rich designs.

Melissa: Michael said she definitely understands how girls want to look, but criticized her white, un-walkable dress; Jennifer said she actually liked the white dress, if it would have been more practical; Heidi praised her “tough chick” sensibility and approach; Nina said the collection had a coolness about it and that the clothes were sexy without being slutty.

Christopher: Michael liked the splattered leather pieces as well as Christopher’s print, but said the gown didn’t belong in the collection; Heidi said it had lots of amazing pieces and that he did a good job; Nina praised him for keeping the fabrics looking light; Jennifer loved his opening look—the high-slit skirt with sheer, sleeveless top.

Fabio: Heidi said she “loved, loved, loved” his collection and called it ethereal, fluid and fresh; Nina said it looked sophisticated and cool and that there was an easiness to his clothes; Michael thought the “yin-yang” of his “Jordan-almond colors” worked and said his clothes made a fashion statement but could be interpreted into real life; Jennifer said the colors made her happy.

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The Judges’ Decision

I was proud of each of the designers for different reasons. The judges had their work cut out for them.

The judges thought Christopher still needed time to find his voice as a designer, so he was bid auf wiedersehen. Next on the chopping block was Melissa, who the judges said we’d see more from in the future.

It all came down to Fabio and Dmitry, whose collections couldn’t be more different. On one hand, there’s Dmitry’s structured, architectural approach. On the other, Fabio’s ethereal, conceptual approach.

In the end, there could only be one winner, and that designer is…

Dmitry! Congratulations on winning Project Runway season 10!! His consistent performance and impeccable construction clearly impressed the judges. Well done!

It was a bittersweet defeat for Fabio, but he delivered an incredible and memorable show. I wish him and all of the season 10 designers the very best.

What did you think about the final decisions? Tell me how you really feel in the comments. And thank you for tuning in for my weekly recaps! It’s been fun.



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