After the judges' very heated deliberation over Gretchen and Mondo's New York Fashion Week collections, the season's "villain," Gretchen Jones, was crowned the winner of Project Runway's eighth season. TVGuide.com caught up with designer to find out what she thought off the division between the four judges (including special guest Jessica Simpson), why she got so emotional during the reunion and if she has any regrets.
TVGuide.com: When they announced that you won, was it hard to believe?
Gretchen: You know, I really believed that I was the winner and felt that I represented not only myself, but what Project Runway was all about. So, it didn't feel crazy to me.
TVGuide.com: The judges seemed really split. What did you think about it?
Gretchen: I feel like they should have been. What Mondo and I represented were two very different aesthetics and perspectives. And I felt really grateful that Nina and Michael understood where I was coming from. I think they really understood me, not only as a designer, but what I represented in the fashion world. They were [the ones] I really was trying to reach. I knew it was going to be a battle from the minute I met Mondo, and I know both of our futures are bright.
TVGuide.com: What was the hardest part of creating your collection?
Gretchen: The hardest part was that I was in the midst of destruction. I was moving out of my house. I lost my partner. Those were all really challenging elements to have to deal with on top of us having ... the shortest amount of time, I think in the history of the show, to create our collections.
TVGuide.com: During the reunion, Ivy and April were pretty vocal about their anger towards you. Why do you think you got so emotional?
Gretchen: I felt really vulnerable. I think anyone would in that situation. I know who I am, and know I how feel. And I think there's a really big difference between people's opinions of anyone's work and how we feel in reality. I walked away feeling really good about how I interacted with each person on the show. I don't think it makes you two-faced to look at your competitors' work in a way that's objective.
TVGuide.com: Any regrets?
Gretchen: No. I feel I was true to myself, and I know in my heart I'm a good person and a good designer. I did the best I could in those circumstances, and that's all anybody can do. Nobody's perfect and I hope people remember that.
TVGuide.com: What's next?
Gretchen: I'm going to pay off my debt. You know, $100,000 isn't a lot when you break it down, so it's going to be enough for me to pay off my debt and move to New York City. I'm working on my business plan, and I need to round out my financial investors. And I'd love to gain access to a mentorship [with] someone like Michael Kors because that's my dream — to have a line and label like he does. I have a lot to learn.