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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.9, “It’s Dignity! Gah! Don’t You Even Know Dignity When You See It?”

“I wanna buy my mom a boob job.” This, Persephoneers, is why Not-So-Terrible Gunnar wants to win Project Runway. I almost want him to – just for that. But also not, because while he is not so terrible now, he is still a little terrible and has cartoon villain hair, yet is little more than a cartoon villain’s lesser-known sidekick.

When your whiny yet arrogant designers arrived in the work room, they found themselves in the presence of not only Tim Gunn but MONDO! MONDO MONDO MONDO MONDO MONDO MONDO MONDO!

Also: Mondo was there, looking dapper as fuck! He was there to introduce the HP and Intel challenge, in which they would design both a fabric and clothing that was significant to their culture. Mondo won this challenge in Season 8, and he said it changed his life. (Now is the time on Persephone when we get our our hankies.) The pluses he designed into that pattern represented his HIV+ status, something he’d not made public until then. At the time, he said it made him feel free. In the work room, he said, “I think we do our best work as designers when we show truth.” He also warned them to not make it too literal and send a national costume down the runway.

(And FYI, y’all, Mondo has designed a laptop bag for HP, available here. OMG IT’S SO AMAZING! TIP YOUR BLOGGER WITH THIS BAG, BITCHES.)

Mondo laptop bag HP Hewlett Packard
Shiny! (Image courtesy of


And then Mondo left and everything was less awesome.

The designers were told they’d receive a “cultural heritage dossier” (?) to use via special delivery. It was their loved ones! It turns out that Elena is not, in fact, the daughter of a Kracken and a cold war Soviet missile, but the offspring of a human woman, whom she likes. She was happy, y’all. Yes, that kind of happy, with smiling. “You strong, Ukrainian woman!” mom told her. She don’t know the half of it.

The cultural heritage dossier turned out to be family photos. Not-So-Terrible Gunnar has a mother, too, and her hair is all the same color. He revealed that he’d been bullied a lot growing up, and took refuge in his loving family. He was quite sweet and made me to “Aw!” His print was abstract skeleton hands with a bird flying free in the middle, to symbolize his bullied past, and his breaking free of it.

Dmitry’s inspirations were his father and grandfather, and traditional ornament in Belarus. Sonjia and her mom were very, very cute, declaring her pattern “hot!” Shitgobbler Ven drew a pink flower, saw no one with surprise. He said the hibiscus flower is a motif used in his religion, and that some Indian Gods hold one in their hand. Christopher whined that he hates prints, which makes me dislike him a little. I freaking love prints. In the end, he made an abstract ladybug print in honor of his grandmother; when she passed away, ladybugs were all around.

After a day of pattern-making in the work room, the designers shuffled home to have dinner with their people. It was all lovely and made me miss my family. Damn you, Project Runway! I’m here to mock shitty fashion, not feel things!

The next day, their custom-designed fabric arrived! We got our first look at Fabio’s fabric, which is, as he said, “A vagina, penis, and fallopian tubes.” In an abstract way. He said, “Copulation happening is the source of life.” Okay, Fabio. I would totes wear the Fallopian Dress or whatever, so right on. Christopher clutched his chest and gasped, “What?!” Perhaps Christopher had never seen a vagine before. At least not on the outside of an outfit. When Tim visited Fabio, Fabio confessed, “I didn’t tell Tim that it was penises and vaginas.”

Shitgobbler Ven’s design looked like pink flowers vomited on coffee filters, and then he stuck them on a white dress. Tim Gunn called it “an homage to a menstrual cycle.” He said the shreds of fabric looked like maxi pads that had soaked up blood. BWAAHAHAHAAA! Hahahahahahahahahaaa! Shitgobbler got upset, because his flower meant a lot to him. Womp womp. Instead of the Period Special, he made a… do I even have to say it? Nope. We all fucking know what he made. When will one-way monkey get booted?!

Not-So-Terrible Gunnar made a riding jacket with his tiny, hard-to-match pattern and a bunch of black, and it was so, so wrong for the print. That’s the problem with a bunch of lazy designers who just make crap in black all the time. They literally have no idea what to do with a pattern, how to use it, how to sew it, how to scale it to the design. This challenge was really separating the Elsa Schiaparellis from the Elle Macphersons.

The guest judges this week… one was, of course!, Mondo, King of the Unicorns and Major Domo of Shorty Fly-ness. The other was Anya Ayoung-Chee, winner of PR Season 9, and Queen of Draping Shit Because What is Sewing?

Sonjia, Elena, Christopher designs, Project Runway Season 10, Episode 9
Sonjia, Elena, Christopher (Left to Right)

Sonjia’s pants were the bam-a-lama awesomest. Wide-leg, ’70s effortless style done in her red, white, black, and blue pattern. (Black because she’s Black, natch! And also: I love her.) They were bold and unapologetic, and looked amazing with her simple-but-chick mid-sleeve black knit blouse. These could have gone SO wrong, but she’s got skills, y’all. The pants featured a black waistband, and matching outside stripe, like the sexy child of a hip drum major and a tuxedo. The pattern matching on the center front of those trousers gave me a lady hard on. And the back of that black blouse dipped so low and draped so prettily, I said, “Bra schma.” Let your ladies fly free in an outfit this gorgeous! The judges loved this, but of course. Nina said, “Wow.” Mondo said the pants were cut beautifully. Kors said that if they hadn’t been made well, it would have looked like Pac-Man was eating her crotch. I’m sorry – I can’t do any better than that. All hail the Kors, king of saying things.

Elena gave up Sporty Spice as Hospital Nurse wear. I really dug her pattern – a mid-century-esque abstract in splashes of yellow, blue, and pink. But this jacket – ugh. It absolutely looked like scrubs. She added a high collar, pickets, and a front zipper, but it was a nursing scrub with its boxy shape and wide, short sleeves. Linebacker shoulders. Again. A grey miniskirt tried to sex it up, but this outfit needed 100 cc of Anti-Boring Serum STAT!

Christopher’s dress was a hot mess. A mini-skirted, bustier-topped, poorly-fitted hot mess with muddled pattern on top. I think in the end, he decided his ladybug pattern was too bright, or something, so he covered it with black organza and just made it a muddy pile of crap. The bodice and skirt both folded into a knot at the waist, which just rendered his poor moddle lumpy all over. The back zipper had more lumps than a camel with the mumps. And he paired this monstrosity with little, black booties. NO! THOU SHALT NOT STUMPIFY THY MODEL! Heidi called it “fine,” and that fine will not win a challenge. Anya said it was “prom,” but that the print was beautiful. Mondo said he should have embraced the print. Kors said the print was upholster-y.

Ven, Fabio, Melissa designs, Project Runway Season 10, Episode 9
Ven, Fabio, Melissa (Left to Right)

I don’t even know what to say about Shitgobbler Ven’s dress. It was a pink-flower beach sarong top hobbled onto a flower-fold skirt in white. She looked lumpier than Christopher’s model, with seventy-eight percent more “I work at a Luau for tourists on Maui and I hate myself. Would you like Poi with that?” And it didn’t fit her. You could see it wobbling around her like it was made of cardboard. I was literally disgusted with this dress. My husband walked into the room while I was typing this and said, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Shitgobbler Ven, babe. Shitgobbler Ven. Heidi called this travesty “Hawaiian airline hostess.” She pointed out that the rose on the bottom (which they’d seen time and again) didn’t flow with the hibiscus. Nina said he didn’t know what to do with the print. Mondo said it was evident that Shitgobbler had construction skills, but that the end product confused him.

“Muddy” was the first work that popped to mind upon seeing Fabio’s look. His awesome reproductive-organs, neon-lines-esque print (pink, blue, and grey scribbles on a black background) was hidden under a layer of black in his frankly boring bodice. Its V-neck was too high, appearing matronly, and the sleeveless cut added to the “meh” of it all. At the end of the runway, she popped the blouse open to reveal that it was really a vest, shorter in the front, and longer in the back. Underneath? Black! Because what else on this season? Blerg. It matched the flowing, black pants. They looked pretty, flowing nicely. But frankly, for the print challenge, he made a bold one and then wimped the hell out.

Melissa, at least, didn’t run away from her print, a red affair on white mimicking “blood lines,” or the branches of a family tree. The colors were after the Polish flag. I dug this pattern a lot. She used it exclusively in her cap-sleeve sheath dress with a straight skirt. It was fairly ordinary, design-wise, but not offensive. Sad that that is my criteria, now. Kors called it “uptown girl,” and said that it fitted perfectly. Heidi said she wished Melissa had injected more of her coolness into it.

Gunnar, Dmitry designs, Project Runway Season 10, Episode 9
Gunnar, Dmitry (Left to Right)

Not-So-Terrible Gunnar’s equestrian jacket turned out okay – much better once he ditched the heavy swaths of black and simply used his print, which I feel was too small. Of course, I think the print would have been ugly, frankly, any larger, so there you go. I appreciated the meaning, but it was not my favorite. I enjoyed the black piping on the jacket; it gave the piece interest. He paired it with a black, a-line skirt and black turtleneck, and they worked fairly well together, if in a rather frumpy way. Heidi said it was not cool, edgy, or modern. Kors said the print looked like a sheet of bird postage stamps. Ouch, but so true. Gunnar said the print was of a struggle, but Nina said it imparted a sadness. Heidi asked if that’s what people wanted to buy? I think Gunnar had a great message that meant a lot to him, but simply didn’t execute it well, which is really too bad.

Dmitry basically made a black suit with a blouse in his red-and-black pattern underneath. However, he put slashing lines of cut-outs in the jacket, front and back, to help the pattern peek through and I loved that. LOVED that. It was dynamic, it moved, it was interesting. The overall shape of the suit was a bit boxy and underwhelming – his details helped that some, but not completely. There was something vaguely “cowgirl” about the shape and the pattern (which resembled a neckerchief sort of design). His skirt had a faux-wrap element to it, which I didn’t enjoy. He got props from me for creativity, though. Kors said he combined design, concept, execution, wearability – exactly what they’re looking for. Mondo called the jacket a showstopper, but that it covered up the entire point of the challenge – the print. Heidi called it “crazy good.” Nina said the jacket was phenomenal because of the print.

After all the designers went away with their models, presumably to have shots, the judges brought out Tim Gunn and demanded that he tell them why he didn’t tell Shitgobbler not to make another flower. What a load of shit! They’ve TOLD Shitgobbler that, to his face, AGAIN AND AGAIN, and it’s somehow Tim’s fault, or the other designers’? NO NO NO. Tim told them that when he saw the dress, it was a Red Tent fest, and expressed his personal frustration with Shitgobbler’s constant flower-ing.

Who won? Dmitry. DMITRY?! I really thought Sonjia would. I liked Dmitry’s well enough, but they got this one wrong, in my non-esteemed opinion.

The end came down to Not-So-Terrible Gunnar and Shitgobbler Ven. Either way, I’ll get to stop typing a nickname. The super-loser was Not-So-Terrible Gunnar, instead of Shitgobbler. Damn it. He must have naked pictures of Michael Kors drunk with a dancing panda or something.

What think you, Persephoneers? Are you sad about Gunnar? Or are you sadder THAT WE HAVE TO KEEP LOOKING AT SHITGOBBLER?

By Lucy Woodhull

Lucy Woodhull is a novelist, humorist, parodist, and all-around geek. Her new venture is THE SHITTIEST PRINCESS, a series of un-fair-y tales right here on Persephone. You can check out her sexy, fun romantic comedies at

7 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 10.9, “It’s Dignity! Gah! Don’t You Even Know Dignity When You See It?””

I was truly, truly baffled here. Gunnar’s was so, so, SO far beyond Shitgobbler’s. It was better than half the others as well! Yes, the print may not have worked for people, but his model didn’t look like shit–which was certainly the sad state of affairs for the ladies clad in Elena, Christopher, and Fabio’s stuff. Shitgobbler’s was so profoundly atrocious, both print and execution, that I can’t comprehend why the fuck he’s still there.

Total concurrence on Sonjia’s pants; I agree with everything they said about Melissa’s dress; and yes, Dmitry was tremendously clever with the jacket.

I cannot believe this was a contest; Sonjia should have won, Ven should have been shipped out. How did that not happen? How are the judges so foolish? Why can’t everyone be like Mondo???

Gah! I so wish ShitGobbler Ven would have gone home. I liked Not-So-Terrible Gunner’s outfit way more, even with it’s frump. The detailing on the back of the jacket made it loads better than “hey I’m just going to make the same damn skirt I always make in white and then tack on a bit of my so-called meaningful pattern, that I don’t really show too much interest in at all” Ven’s outfit. Also, did anyone else find his lack of enthusiasm at seeing his sister odd? Everyone else was super excited for their guests and he was all psh whatever.

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