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Project Runway Designers from Season 8

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Gretchen Jones

  • Author Appeal: All her entries were based on her Granola Girl background and clothes that she would wear on herself. Her final collection and her jewelry line following the show were inspired on Native-American culture.
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  • The Bad Guy Wins: Many viewers saw her victory over Mondo as a case of this.
  • Broken Bird: By the time Fashion Week arrived, Gretchen had been through a bad break-up with her ex-boyfriend and was nearly broke (to the point where Tim's visit was on the day she was about to get evicted from her house).
    • To the point where it showed in her final collection, in which her designs were really depressing.
  • Control Freak: Right when a Team Challenge was announced, the other team already knew Gretchen was going to take over, even when there weren't supposed to be leaders at all.
  • Designated Villain: The editing was not subtle about this, cue to the shot of the "bitch" tiara on the table for one challenge.
  • Fan Nickname: Wretchen.
  • Granola Girl: She is a sustainable designer.
  • Hurricane of Excuses: Gretchen Jones' infamous meltdown trying to defend Team Luxe on the runway, first declaring the team was proudly united even if the judges didn't like their work, and then when the judges didn't like their work she promptly started fumbling for reasons to blame everything on teammate Michael Costello.
  • It's All About Me / Small Name, Big Ego:
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    • In Confession Cams, she said her work was so good that the others would have to up their game just to catch up to hers.
    • When Mondo revealed his backstory in the print challenge, Gretchen said "she was glad being present to form part of this revelation".
  • Jerkass: She was always making everything about herself, and in the Team Challenge she contradicted herself in the same episode by putting the blame on Michael Costello and invoking a Never My Fault, right after she said all the pieces were her babies and a team collaboration that got under her editing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: At least apologized to Tim after her meltdown at the Team Challenge in the next challenge.
    • During the Reunion Show, she looked back at her behavior during the course of the season, and was flabbergasted at the way she treated everyone. Although we don't know if she was just playing it up to gain a sympathy card.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She was the tallest female from the cast.
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  • What Could Have Been: It was noted that she had the chops to create high fashion clothing, especially looking at the first 3 designs. Unfortunately, those designs were not her POV.

Mondo Guerra

  • Adorkable
  • Author Appeal, Signature Style: He designs mostly with crazy patterns and unconventional print combinations. Even his own wardrobe is quirky.
  • Bromance / Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ended having this with Michael Costello after admiting he was being a dick to Michael. This continued also during All-Stars Season 1 and outside the show.
  • Blessed with Suck: Invoked by him during a Cam Confessional, where he talks about how his quirky personality made him a talented designer but alienated him from others at the same time.
  • Character Development: He started very reserved and barely interacted with the others after work hours. As the episodes progressed, not only became close friends with Michael Costello, he also started to open more and finally revealed his HIV status to the judges and the audience.
  • Crack Defeat: His loss to Gretchen is widely regarded as this. Tim Gunn practically invoked the trope by name, having referred to Nina Garcia and Michael Kors as "crack-smoking" based on their support for Gretchen.

Ari South (appearing as Andy South)

  • Country Mouse: Subverted. Both urban-fashion and the catfish farm work comes naturally to her.
  • The Dutiful Daughter: Still lived in her mother's catfish farm while working as a fashion designer.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Subverted in All-Stars Season 3, as she was the first to be eliminated.
  • Nice Girl: Even thought she wasn't friends with Michael Costello at all, she still didn't say anything negative about him on camera while the other designers were openly badmouthing him.
  • Signature Style: Most of her designs are Asian-inspired looks (the Avant-Garde challenge, the chinese-lamp sleeves, and her final collection was inspired in Budha and made with Laotian fabrics) and many of her dress entries were black shiny cocktail dresses.

Michael Costello

  • All of the Other Reindeer: The other designers questioned frequently why he kept winning despite his designs looking unfinished (even though the judges clearly liked his garments), to the point Michael felt rejected during most of the competition.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: What the contestants accuses him of being. To the point where Peach and AJ clearly denounced him outside the show.
  • Bromance / Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ended having this with Mondo after admiting he was being a dick to Michael. This continued over All-Stars Season 1
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, there was also Michael Drummond.
  • Parental Issues: Most of the conflicts he has are from his parents controlling most of his life and the fear of dissapointing them even more. Even his coming out was forced by his boyfriend, and they didn't take it well at all.
  • Signature Style: His designs, as the judges and himself define them, are "effortless" flowy-beach dresses.
  • Solomon Divorce: He got Giovanni, but he's not allowed to have contact with his daughter or even know where she lives.
  • Straight Gay: In one interview, Michael said he was shocked, but not because of any news and rumours. He was shocked that everyone thought he was striaght because he has a son.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • The reason he had his first marriage. He also distanced himself from his parents when he came out, and only talked to his mother again when he got casted in the show.
    • He was utterly devastated when he got eliminated, mumbling about how he fears to dissapoint his parents.

April Johnston

  • Author Appeal, Color Motif: Virtually all her dresses were black.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She looks and has a dry sense of humor, but she is also nice and a good friend to the people she likes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of her witty comments come from the confession cam about either Gretchen or Michael Costello.
  • Intergenerational Friendship. With Peach. April was the youngest, while Peach was the oldest.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She got along with most of the group and bonded with Peach, but she still badmouthed Michael Costello behind his back and even called Gretchen "Hitler" once.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Subverted In All-Stars Season 1, where she placed 10th.
  • Perky Goth: She dresses in black and also has a sense of humor, like when she jokingly said she always wanted a pony, and she would buy it with the L'Oreal challenge money.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Along with Gretchen, they are the tallest from the female contestants (even taller than some of the male designers)
  • Stealth Insult: When she infamously compared Gretchen to Hitler
    April: "Do you really want to hire Hitler? Seriously?"
  • Take That!: April's comment comparing Gretchen to Hitler.

Christopher Collins

  • Nice Guy: He is never shown getting involved in drama or badmouthing people.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Despite lasting until the final 6 he didn't have much screentime and because of this we didn't learn much about him through the season.

Valerie Mayen

  • Always Second Best: At one point she got frustrated about not winning a challenge. This ended up affecting her overall performance.
  • Broken Ace: She started getting good reviews from the judges until the last half of the competition.
  • Genki Girl
  • Nice Girl: Especially compared to her closest friends Gretchen and Ivy.

Ivy Higa

  • Beta Bitch: If Gretchen was sort of the "Alpha Bitch", Ivy was always backing her up, and even being more active at bitching against Michael Costello.
  • Break the Haughty: She started boasting about her skills and taste nd that Project Runway would be "The Ivy Show". She placed in the bottom most of the time.
  • Conflict Ball: She accused Michael Costello of: 1. Telling the customers to not vote for her and 2. Of cheating for the Jackie Kennedy challenge several weeks after that. All that went nowhere, since there was no footage about this (if it was true, then it was a wasted drama material for the producers).
  • Fan Nickname: Poison Ivy.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: In season 8, Ivy was mostly in the bottom or just in, only scoring top 3 once and placed 8th. In All-Stars Season 2, Ivy got in the Top 3 three times straight and finished 5th.
  • Jerkass: She spent most of her time bitching about Michael Costello cheating and controlling Michael Drummond's process over her design instead of leaving him work alone.
  • She's Got Legs: She's the only female contestant wearing hotpants for the promo pictures of All-Stars Season 3.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In All-Stars Season 3, she got determined to redeem herself from the Jerkass path from season 8, attributing this as her worst moment in her life.
  • We Work Well Together: Turns out that after the show, Ivy became Casanova's boss, getting along very well as coworkers and competitors. Both were surprised to run into each other in the same Season of All-Stars.

Michael Drummond

  • Deadpan Snarker: Like the others, when talking about Gretchen in the Confession Cam.
  • Nice Guy: Even when Ivy threw him under the bus, he still felt bad for her.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, there was also Michael Costello.

Carlos Casanova

  • Alliterative Name
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Zigzagged with Only Sane Man when the challenge needed him to be. He mostly is flamboyant, quirky and excentric.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Even with his language limitations, he pulled out a lot of these on camera.
  • Funny Foreigner: He is Puerto Rican and "He is going to grab New York by the balls".
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Most of what he said had a very thick accent and in the first chapter he needed Nina to translate Heidi's question to Spanish.
  • Heroic BSoD: For the Team Challenge, he got depressed because the judges didn't like his last entries (they said he either did "Stripper Looks" or "Grandma clothes"). His teammates and his model had to give him a Pep Talk to get him back to work.
  • Last-Name Basis: While others always called him by his last name, particular mention to Heidi, who always called him "Casanova" with a smile on her face.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Placed 10th in his original season. In All-Stars Season 3 he placed 7th.
  • Nice Guy: He was the only one who didn't trash Michael Costello winning two challenges in the confession cam, unlike Ivy, Gretchen or April. Also everyone in the cast adored him.
  • Non-Indicative Name: He is by no means an actual The Casanova. May also count as an Unfortunate Name.
  • We Work Well Together: Turns out that after the show, Ivy became Casanova's boss, getting along very well as coworkers and competitors. Both were surprised to run into each other in the same Season of All-Stars.

Peach Carr

A.J. Thouvenot

  • Nervous Wreck: He hyterically refused to help Casanova with a pattern (Casanova was only asking him about how to cut the pattern, while AJ was "I'm not going to make your pattern for you!!").
    • In the Unconventional Material challenge, he succumbed under the pressure, since everyone kept saying "he had it on the bag". Promptly, this only stressed him more.

Kristin Haskins Simms

  • Signature Style: She mostly did desconstructed dresses, inspired by Junya Watanabe's style.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Her most remembered line was her "Wooly Balls" joke.

Sarah Trost

  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She gets eliminated 4th while not receiving any characterization.

Nicholas D'Aurizio

  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. He was tearing up during his two challenges.

Jason Troisi

  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: One of the Jerkass statements he said was about the fashion world being unfair on a straight guy like him.
  • Jerkass: Everything that came out of his mouth in episode 2.
  • Never My Fault: Blamed Tim, the judges and his model instead of recognizing he did a shitty dress (not only was it bad, he also hadn't sewn it properly, meaning that there was a giant HOLE in the middle of his dress)
  • Nice Hat: According to him, his hat is his intimidation symbol, like the Native-Americans used Warbonnets.

McKell Maddox


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