Project Runway season eight is in full s(e)wing and all hell is about to break loose in the work room like a button popping off a cardigan. The cast is filled with apparent crackheads who appear needle and thread capable with wild imaginations to boot. However, one designer is in a league of her own, stealing the judges hearts three weeks in a row. She won the first two challenges and came in second place this week. Needless to say, tension in the workroom this season is as stiff as Nina Garcia's sense of humor.
The star designer's name is Gretchen Jones. Before I begin, let me start by asking what the heck kind of a name is Gretchen? Why on Earth would any woman pop out a baby girl and decide, "I'm going to name this lovely baby Gretchen because I want her to be made fun of forever." WHY?!
Upon first introduction of Gretchen, I rolled my eyes. Just what Project Runway needs. Another green freak from Portland, Oregon with limp locks, a greasy nose and a sewing kit filled with sustainable materials. Remember Leanne? BORRR-IING. She, too, hailed from Portland and carried recyclable thread. I still can't believe she won. She was so DULL. Meanwhile, crazy Kenley was right there making clothes far more exciting than her save-the-earth, dull-colored garments. Did you know Kenley was arrested sometime after her stint on Runway for throwing a CAT at her boyfriend during an argument? HOW did she not win that season?
Back to Gretchen. I'm sure whoever's editing the season is having a blast making this chick look like the wicked witch of the west. Sure her nose is visibly aimed at the sky, but every time anyone says anything, the camera reminds us just how nasty she is as it pans back to Miss Bangs just in time to see her make a rude remark, give a condescending stare or express her confidence that she will win or at least be in the top three at the end of the challenge. Did you love the shot of the pink "BITCH" crown on the work table after one of Gretchen's infamous snob comments? Genius, I say!
Gretchen's rival designers seemingly despise her. For instance, this week Michael D. said: "I hate that bitch, Gretchen, and I can't believe she won again." It's safe to say a few of them (see: Michael D., Peach and her little tagalong blond brat, April, who only wears and makes things that are black) are envious. Of course they are. Gretchen won the first two challenges of the season! They have every right to be pissed, but don't show it, hunnies. Envy is a wasted emotion. It will eat you alive and destroy you in this competition. You're letting Gretchen get to you and that's exactly what she wants! I suggest you take a note from Valerie. Suck it up and be a team player. Admit Gretchen is talented and then show her what's up by one-upping her next week. Capisce?
Sadly, Gretchen isn't trying to make friends. She thinks she's so great that she should share her fashion wisdom with her incompetent and pathetic designers who are so beneath her they don't know what kind of shoe goes with what kind of dress. She offers advice to everyone whether they want to hear it or not - usually it's the latter. Unfortunately, this week one designer's work fell short thanks to Gretchen's worldly advice. She suggested Sarah get rid of the pink palm tree leaves. Paint them all blue, she said. That's exactly what Sarah did, but then she spent so much time re-painting and fidgeting with the leaves, she didn't have enough time (read: brains) to figure out where to place them on the dress or how to make them stay on the dress. Hers was by far the most unappealing of the outfits on the runway and it's no surprise she got the boot. (Casanova's hideous creation - which Queen Kors said made his model look "like a transvestite, flamenco dancer at a funeral" - doesn't count. He's far too precious for Runway to lose so early on. The show's been in dier need of some whack-job characters.) I was hoping Sarah would storm backstage and start a bitch fight with Gretchen (a la Sookie and Debbie Pelt). Instead, she refused to shed a tear and left without a peep.
The judges have nothing but praise for the 28-year-old designer from the west coast. This week Michael Kors guaranteed Kate Moss would wear her creation in a second (despite the fact that it was made out of garland and a garbage bag), Nina said it looked like it belonged on the pages of Marie Claire and Heidi said she loved every single thing about it, except maybe the boots Gretchen paired it with. Personally, I enjoyed the boots, but I'm not about to argue with the German supermodel.
Miss Bangs looked so lost in that party story, I was sure she would fail miserably at the unconventional material challenge. But, alas, she proved me wrong and produced a killer, chic, three-piece ensemble that I couldn't help but love. If that girl won this week, I don't think her head would have fit through the door to the workroom.
Gretchen is just as good as she thinks she is and this is perhaps why I find her so entertaining. Past super snobby Runway designers (see: Santino, Irena, Jeffrey) carried egos the size of Gretchen's, but their work wasn't as consistent. I know we're only three weeks into the season, but Runway fans, you've got to hand it to her. Everything she makes is awesome. I'd wear each of her three pieces in a second. AND ONE OF THEM IS MADE OF GARLAND AND A GARBAGE BAG.
Will Gretchen continue to win? Should the season wrap up early and hand her the prize? Gretchen! Change your name before you win.