Gretchen Jones was the declared winner of Project Runway Season 8, thanks to the insistance of judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. In a heated judging debate following the premier of the three finalist collections at New York Fashion Week, Gretchen Jones was handed the win. Mando Guerra, fan favorite, was handed the title of runner up, while designer Andy South was given little credit and quickly dismissed from the running for the title. The question remains whether Gretchen Jones really has her “finger on the pulse of fashion,” as Project Runway judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia advocated.
Based on the collection Gretchen Jones presented during the Project Runway Season 8 finale, a few key style elements emerge. Fashion will always be subjective, but only time will tell if the everyday fashionista will want to buy and wear the Gretchen Jones collection.
Granny Panties or Hooker Shorts?
It was difficult to discern whether the short-short pairs of bottoms on the runway models were more reminiscent of my grandmother’s underwear or closer to the “booty shorts” often seen in music videos or on all the wrong people. Either way, this look rarely looks good on the average person, and if these shorts hit the mass market we are likely to see a revival of the dreaded stretch pants worn without a long top. Save the granny panty look for underneath clothing if you find it necessary at all.
The Infamous Diaper Dress
One of Gretchen Jones more talked about pieces in her collection was a dress with the appearance of a hanging diaper in the back. I imagined using this hanging pouch like a dress backpack or as some type of rear view catch-all. No matter how imaginative the look, I am uncertain if the average woman will want to add a diaper pouch dress to her wardrobe.
Throwback to 70’s Fashion
Some have compared the collection to similar styles worn during the 1970’s. The 1970’s gave fashion a combination of the peace and love culture early in that decade and the mid to late 70’s disco style fashion. It’s a hard decade to repeat in 2010, and unlike some of the 1980’s fashion statements that seem to have re-emerged in mass market ready-to-wear, the 1970’s are often left alone. Nobody really wants to revive that decade’s fashion. Though two of the Project Runway judges viewed the Gretchen Jones nod to 70’s fashion as a fashion forward approach, I can assure you that many women who actually wore 1970’s fashion at its prime are still embarrased when someone pulls out an old photo of them in their finest 70’s fashion.
Crunchy Granola Style
It’s hard not to mention the word “granola” when referring to the Gretchen Jones collection. Even Project Runway judge Nina Garcia called Gretchen’s clothing, “crunchy granola,” in the second to last episode of Project Runway Season 8. Garcia then mentioned that all Gretchen Jones would need is a pair of Birkenstocks to summarize her preview of her collection. The browns and golds and unflattering prints add additional snooze to the collection. Again, this makes me question how many average women are interesting in adding some granola to their wardrobe.
Why Would the Collection Appeal to Mature Women?
One of the biggest offenses I heard during the Project Runway final judging session was actually not so much the fault of Gretchen Jones or her collection. The idea that Mondo Guerra’s collection was for the younger woman and Gretchen’s was more suitable for the over 30 set made me wince. In fact I believe I saw thirtysomething Heidi Klum grimace at the comments regarding the topic. Women should have the option to wear flattering and fun clothes no matter what their age.
Many comments on Facebook pages and internet blogs showed women well over 30 coming forward to say that they loved the “younger” fashion collection of Mando Guerra. The bottom line is that women should not be hand-fed a collection highlighted by granny panty and adult diaper looks just because they are more mature in age. The repetitive browns and golds actually made me a little depressed wondering if this was the future of fashion for those over 30.
Pass me one of Micheal C.’s elegant gowns or Andy South’s green intricately pleated dress. Mondo Guerra’s Dia de los Muertos outfit should be hanging in my closet right now, but it sold out on www.seenin.com along with the rest of his collection. The future of fashion remains to be seen but this fashion observer will not be wearing any mature granola looks anytime soon.