Gretchen Jones won "Project Runway" Season 8 on Thursday night, beating front-runner Mondo Guerra. Andy South placed third.
Jones, 28, hails from Oregon and is designer/director of MothLove. Her clothing label, MothLove, is based on the Barbara Kingsolver book "Prodigal Summer."
Jones gets $100,000 from L’Oréal Paris to start her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel, and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on Piperlime.com.
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The final runway show featured guest judge Jessica Simpson.
Andy presented an Asian-themed collection dominated by shades of silver and bright lime green. Judge Michael Kors criticized him for a lack of diversity and judge Nina Garcia said he went overboard with the Asian theme. Simpson said he played it too safe.
Gretchen presented a collection called "Running Through Thunder." It was dominated by flowy shades of brown. Garcia called it "a complete ready-to-wear collection." But she added, "It was very monotone, especially when it came to your prints." Simpson said she wanted to see a "pop extravagant piece."
Mondo presented a collection inspired by his Mexican-Catholic upbringing. It included lots of eclectic styles and prints. Host Heidi Klum said, "I thought it was really great." Garcia called it a cohesive collection, but said it was slightly "too overwhelming in the decorative pieces."
While deliberating, the judges quickly decided Andy was "out."
Then, they deliberated between Gretchen and Mondo. Klum and Simpson appreciated the edginess of Mondo's collection, while Kors and Garcia questioned if Mondo's styles were practical enough to thrive beyond the runway. Kors argued Gretchen was more in tune with fashion's future.
Klum called it the toughest decision in "Project Runway" history.