Friday, November 5, 2010
I’ve had a week to mull it over, and I’m still feeling no better about Gretchen Jones’ win on Project Runway.
Aside from the fact that I didn’t particularly care for her designs (hippie mama just isn’t my bag), I was actually more upset that questionable behavior and a generally snarky attitude reigned over the acceptance, support, and encouragement demonstrated by the other contestants.
I truly believe in having confidence in oneself, but at what cost?
True, Gretchen won a couple of the challenges early in the season. From that point, she adopted the role of Queen Bee in the workroom.
Yet it was the team challenge in which Gretchen displayed some truly appalling behavior. Not only did she coerce team members into following her lead, she then proceeded to throw them under the bus when the judges questioned them about their poor designs. This came right after Gretchen made them all vow to stick together in front of the judges.
This is the only episode I can recall in which Tim Gunn actually scolded a designer. He didn’t hold back and, according to his vlog the next day, Gretchen went to the producers insisting on a private (i.e. - not intended for television) meeting with Tim. The producers informed her that any meetings would be filmed, and Gretchen dropped the subject.
Another incident that stands out regarding Gretchen’s behavior occurred when the designers were instructed to create a new look for Heidi Klum’s sportswear line, available on Amazon. Gretchen created an item that wasn’t even close to what the line offers. In the workroom, Heidi questioned Gretchen’s choices, and Gretchen informed Heidi that her line was missing something. That’s basically telling the boss that her vision just isn’t quite good enough. Big mistake.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fabric tossing scene, either. Throwing things is a no-no, in my humble opinion.
Another thing that resonated with me with regard to Gretchen was how often she mentioned that she needed to win because she needed money. Of course, that’s the point of the whole contest, but I don’t recall any other designers speaking about their financial woes. Personally, I think talking about money is crass.
Although I don’t agree with the final decision of the judges, I do accept it. I’m not taking to the forums to complain, nor am I going on Michael Kors' Facebook page in order to tell him he’s an idiot, as hundreds have done. I’ll just muse elegantly about this one time.
I take comfort in this: good deeds, kind words, humility, and hard work will always overcome in the end. Sure, Gretchen may have won this season, but time will tell just how far she really goes. I am hopeful that if we do see more of Gretchen, it will be a much kinder, softer version of the one we met on the show.
I also take comfort in the fact that some past Project Runway designers who did not come away with the top prize have created quite successful careers for themselves, such as Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice. With that in mind, I think we’ll see much more of Mondo Guerra.
And if I’m being brutally honest, the only winner of Project Runway who’s consistently kept his name in the magazines and his clothes on the runway is the fabulous Christian Siriano. I looked back over the list of winners, and I can’t recall most of them.
Next season, I’m hopeful that each contestant is required to read Tim Gunn’s latest book, Gunn’s Golden Rules. It might make for a much nicer season for them, the judges, and us viewers.
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