So tonight, some of my friends and I traipsed down to Beauty Bar, a hipster dive where the schtick is a manicure and martini happy hour most evenings. Pretty enticing, this; I may have to take them up on it some evening. Anyhoo, they show Project Runway every week on a few projector screens, and during the commercials, they have raffle drawings and DJ Craig C spins until the show comes back on. Sweet and frilly cupcakes and cosmos are the order of the hour, and everyone just has a great time.
The reason for this scene is Denver's own Mondo Guerra. As I've said before, that boy is bound for Fashion Week. Ain't no stopping him now. Three wins in a row. He's got pretty much everything you'd want in a designer: strong point of view, he's not afraid of color, and has damn-near impeccable tailoring. Oh, and Nina j'adores him. If you can clinch that, you're golden.
Mondo rules the roost at Beauty Bar during PR showings. Tonight, he also brought along the much-maligned but still adorable and talented Michael Costello and his boyfriend. (One of my friends claims to have, uh, participated in a threesome with them last night, but that's a story for later.) As we found out later, it was because Michael wanted to provide support for Mondo tonight.
Once again, Mondo blew everyone away; no one was even close to him. And, of course, the room went berserk once he was declared the winner. But here's the big deal, in case you don't watch PR. The designers got to reunite with either their mothers, or in one case, the guy's hot-as-fuck boyfriend. Tears flowed like boas in a drag queen's dressing room - myself included. But then it came out that Mondo was HIV-positive, and had been for 10 years. He wisely decided not to tell his mom as they were enjoying an afternoon together in the big city. But it rode on him. And his poz status inspired the gorgeous black, yellow, and purple print he made of repeated plus signs. After hesitating on the runway to reveal his inspiration to Nina, he decided to divulge his status, much to everyone's deep respect. Tears, cheers, and hugs everywhere again, both on the show and at Beauty Bar.
Now, for the killer: Did I mention that his parents were at Beauty Bar, too, watching the whole thing? (Uh, Mom? Dad? I have something deeply personal I need to tell you, and nationally syndicated TV seemed the most appropriate way to do it.) I'm sure they were frightened and probably more than a bit upset, being (most likely) conservative Catholic Hispanic parents. But seriously, I'd like to think that was buffered by the obvious Mondo love flowing through the place...as well as the obvious Mom love that surfaced when the moms reunited with their kids. At least, that's the hope.
I'm firmly on Team Mondo. At the beginning, Gretchen was the one to beat, and she's still pretty solid, but her latest designs haven't been all that. Still, her spot in Fashion Week is hers to lose. I know I've called out Andy to complete the Fashion Week trifecta, but after the past two weeks of random designs, he's lost focus, and I don't know if he can get it back again. He does have that strong POV, though. April is also a big contender, and I see her possibly beating Andy out. Everyone else can pack it up and go home. (With apologies to Michael C.)