I was __________ (fill in the blank with anything that means enraged, confused, shocked, or disgusted and you will have hit the nail on the head) after watching Thursday night’s “Project Runway” season finale. (Mind you, after the atrocity of last night, it should be the series finale.) I was sure my senses had all failed me when I heard the name “Gretchen Jones” in connection with “Congratulations.” Were the runway a courtroom, this would have been a miscarriage of justice of the most egregious kind.
Jones’ designs throughout the season have been lackluster at best. They exemplify everything that the show’s judges, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, and Michael Kors have consistently warned designers about from season to season. They were vanilla, granola, tired, uninspired, unoriginal, nothing new – in short, just plain boring. And, if I wanted to wear something like Jones’ designs I’d merely set off to the local Goodwill or vintage clothing shop. They are, no doubt, chock full of discarded items like hers.
One merely has to view the retrospective videos of the final three designers, Gretchen Jones, Mondo Guerra, and Andy South, posted at Lifetime’s YouTube channel to see that Jones was the least deserving of the three designers of that win last night. Even Michael Costello, who was eliminated on the verge of going to Fashion Week, had much more brilliant pieces throughout the season than did Jones.
There is speculation heating up the internet as to why Jones was chosen as the season winner, especially when the judges were split 2 to 2 between Jones and Guerra (Jessica Simpson was a guest judge). Some, like pekelvr who posted a message on Lifetime’s Web site, suggest that Jones may have won out of pity. She was, by her own admission, broke and had broken up with her man and was being forced to move as the designers were at home working on their Fashion Week collections.
People sounding off at Lifetime’s Web site seem overwhelmingly disappointed with Kors and Garcia to the point they are talking about boycotting them and all they are connected with. User greatfashion said, “I agree with boycotting all Michael Kors stores, Marie Claire but don’t forget the sponsors – that is even more important – it is their money that supports this show and a threat to that income will tank the show – Garnier, Piperlime, L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline and even Mood. A letter writing campaign to each of them would have the most effect. maybe even a petition to each from the petition site on line so everyone can just click their support.”
Some of those same people are questioning the judgment of the two judges, Kors and Garcia. And, as user greatfootedhawk put it, “Kors and Garcia… demonstrated the worst features in reality programming: a severe disconnection from reality and the use of bully-tactics.”
User back_gammon said, “Michael Kors and Nina Garcia have lost all credibility. If they threw the contest to Granola Gretchen to stage an upset and grab publicity, then they’re just pimping. I can never again trust the fashion opinions they voice because they have no integrity. On the other hand, if they sincerely believed Gretchen’s collection deserved to win and was ‘on trend,’ as Nina put it —- ‘the sort of clothes women are dying to wear’ — then they’ve simply demonstrated they’ve lost their minds,” adding, “I will pay Michael Kors and Nina Garcia a million dollars each if they can go out right now and find just ONE woman who is dying to wear a pair of those effing dingy diaper panties down a city street. Just ONE.”
It remains to be seen if people will take a stand against the show and if they do, what, if any, effect it will have. You have to wonder, though, if this decision really has discredited Kors and Garcia. And, if it has, can the show continue with them sitting loftily in the judges’ circle when people see them as spent and do not trust their judgments?