Monday, January 10, 2011

Spotted at Mood Fabrics: Gretchen of Project Runway

Gretchen Jones, Project Runway Season 8 winner

I ran into Gretchen Jones of Project Runway today at Mood Fabrics in the Garment District. She seemed relaxed and friendly so I chatted with her while she had some fabric cut (linens and silks in earthy tones). She has relocated to NYC and is busy putting a collection together. "I want to be a designer and not just a famous person," she told me, admitting she is amazed at all the backlash she received for winning Project Runway. But she still is a polarizing persona: When I went back to my office and told two coworkers I had met Gretchen, one gushed and said "ooh, I love her!" while the other launched into an anti-Gretchen tirade. Where do you stand on Gretchen, readers?

Tip: Mondays are the best day of the week to shop at Mood Fabrics in New York. The store tends to be quiet and the sales staff is rested and readily available to help customers.


  1. Sorry Gretchen, I was a Mondo fan. Regardless, I hope you do well. I think she'd be a wonderful stylist, nothing wrong with that.

  2. Even though she came from my home state of Oregon, I fell out of love with Gretchen over the course of Project Runway. I'm a Seth Aaron fan!

  3. Mondo fan and a fan of taste and kindness always.

  4. I know "reality" shows are heavily edited to present contestants as good guys or bad guys. Still, Gretchen's personality rubbed me the wrong way. I'm glad she is more friendly in real life.

  5. Ditto on all the above comments, I liked Mondo too. I went to F.I.T. many moons ago when a woman was just tolerated and saw the inequities they had to face, so for that reason alone I should, be an advocate for Gretchen. Yet she rubbed me the wrong way too, even though I'm sure it was edited to make her the heavy. I didn't think her creations were all that and as Nancy said I saw her as a stylist not a designer.

  6. Given the heavy editing of reality shows to create cringe-worthy villains, I can't say I have an opinion. Although not my taste, I thought Gretchen's styles were more wearable by real women than many things on Project Runway, but they weren't very exciting. I thought Mondo was very talented, but his aesthetic wasn't mine either.

    One more thing: Gretchen's pattern in the segment in which they had to create their textile designs looked like a stripped-down version of a very popular Liberty of London design, so I wasn't impressed.

    I've always considered Project Runway to be more of a metaphor about the challenges of dealing with weird assignments and people than about fashion design. As was acknowledged last season, real designers don't usually sew their own samples. They face terrible deadlines, but nothing like what we see on PR.

    I'm glad Gretchen is moving forward, trying to establish herself, and I wish her well. The other lesson of PR is that developing a successful design business is extraordinarily difficult.

  7. As snow said, I, too, was conscious that PR may have been playing to certain viewers' sexism in the way they edited the footage of Gretchen.

    If you're a determined woman in a competitive field you some people are going to hold it against you, including some women.

    In business, you should be decent, but you may not be able to be nice all the time.

    1. They didn't need to edit the footage of Gretchen to play to certain viewers' sexism. Gretchen made herself look like a hateful and vindictive snob frequently during the first 2/3 of the season. She consistently ripped apart the other designers behind their backs, she complained if someone else won the challenge, she felt she was entitled. And she was often disrespectful. The only good thing I can say about her is that she wasn't nearly as horrible as Kenley Collins from season 5!

  8. Not a Gretchen fan. Her designs didn't excite me in the least, and her final collection looked tacky retro -- hated the jewelery.

  9. I gave up the idea that PR was truly about fashion design a few seasons ago and watch it now only out curiosity. I didn't really care for Gretchen's designs but I hold no ill thoughts toward her!

  10. I actually agreed that Gretchen had the better collection in the end and I did not care for her style throughout the show. I did feel like it came together in the end and she definitely styled it well which is very important. I have to say I LOVED Mondo throughout and was rooting and even expected for him to win because he created some awesome designs throughout and his aesthetic was so unique but wearable. IMHO In the end I think he just didnt quite do what he was capable of and what was expected from the judges. I would wear Mondo over Gretchen any day!!! I still love him.

  11. Not a Gretchen fan, her designs were dull and droopy, just not interesting. I was really surprised that she won. Generally the quality of the challenges and consequently the garments they make has become less interesting as the seasons progress. But of course I will still watch - where else will we see sewing on TV.

  12. Dislike Gretchen's know it all personality and her designs too 70'sfor me! Many others were better she should have gone home many weeks before the final show!


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