Mustache, He Wrote

Friday, December 29, 2006 by
Ladies and Gentlemen, Project Runway presents a whodunnit.

Our suspects. You'll not find a shadier group of characters.

The Mentor: Kind, stern, wise, hot. But is he hiding something?
The Gay Clown: Sarcastic, biting, talented. Are his sharp words masking something?
The Dumb Stud: Dumb. Thinks he's a stud.
The Skinny Princess: Ethereal, other-worldly, strange. What hidden rage lurks beneath his sunken chest?
Little Miss Perfect: Always right, always on top. What drives this seething engine of ambition?
The Crazy One: Crazy.

Ohmigod, how awesome was this episode? We hadn't seen it in a while and forgot about the high levels of entertainment value and bitchery.

And how fabulously surreal that all this drama, backtalking and sobbing occurred while all the participants were wearing ugly postal uniforms. It's like a really bad premise for a soap opera. The Mail Carriers of Orange County.

"And it's my daughter! *sob! And she has two hands! *choke!* Like these! See? *snff!*"

You know, we'd like to believe that this little display was genuine because the alternative - that she merely used the incident as a way to further fuck with the remaining designers - is frankly, pretty damning.

We're not accusing her of anything. Someone did paint that mustache on her daughter's picture and it wasn't her. We just have a creeping suspicion that she wasn't nearly as emotionally distraught over it as she appeared.

Some readers think we're being harder on Wendy than she deserves but it's not as if we're going off into wild suppositions or armchair psychoanalysis. We're only going by what she's said herself and she's been quite clear that she has absolutely no qualms about exploiting her status as a mother, getting other designers "out of her way," and openly plotting and scheming to bring other designers down. She's been very open about her use of emotional manipulation as a tactic to win a design competition.

Oh puh-leeze, honey. You were all talking behind her back about what a crazy bitch she is every chance you got.

By the way, The Project Runway Lounge? Fugly. It looks like the lobby to a Ramada Inn.

Not that she didn't deserve to be called a crazy bitch. Wendy, as far as we're concerned, has more than earned her reputation. She did not, however, deserve to have her daughter's picture defaced. No matter how you look at it, that's a shitty thing to do.

So who did it? Obviously, we're not in a position to say definitively. Watching the episode, it seemed to us that everyone was genuinely surprised to hear about it and genuinely felt as bad for Wendy as they could, all things considered. We don't think any of the remaining designers did it. It just doesn't feel right.

We think Kevin did it. He was alone in the work room when he packed his things and he, more than anyone, had cause to be angry with her.

Also, we feel the need to point out that we've both read the entire oeuvre of Agatha Christie, which makes us experts on this sort of thing. That Jessica Fletcher bitch has nothing on us.



Anonymous said...

I think Kevin is a good guess. But at the same time, I wonder if Morgan did it. I know she's been gone for a little while now, but who knows when Wendy looked at that picture last? It could have been like that for several days and she just now discovered it. It just seems like something Morgan could have done.

Bill said...

I always figured it was the Model in the design room with a Bic pen.

But then that just sends me off into thoughts of Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock in the movie "Clue" and Nancy Walker as the deaf & speechless maid screaming silently (and hysterically) in "Murder by Death."

Cheerio! - Miss Marple

Bill said...

BTW - that elevator picture is a RIOT. I might have to print it and hang it up in my cube.

madelineanne said...

What I hated about Wendy's "emotional outburst" was her saying things like "If I've done anything to offend you" (you mean like be a backstabbing witch?) "then I'm sorry"
She wasn't sorry! She was sorry something shitty had happened to her and was playing the victim. She has never ever suggested in any honest way that she was remotely sorry for the things she did during the competition.
I loathe people who use "I'm sorry" as meaning the same thing as "I'm sorry I'm being called on my shitty behavior" *grinds teeth*

Anonymous said...

Cmon Jay, fess up. I'll bet anything you did it and you are using this blog entry to try and defray any attention to yourself.
Another thing. Are those velcro closures on your government issued runners ? Didn't anyone tell you that only lazy slobs or older or disabled persons wear velcro closures on their feet.

As well, nice tube socks Sport.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall reading somewhere that one of the production staff finally admitted this year that he/she had moustachioed the Pepper picture...

Anonymous said...

Who dunnit? Wendy dunnit.

Her reaction was just too, too contrived. And the way she was able to just turn it off (from hysteria to coolness) and walk away, saying it was over? Puh-leez. That was THE dead indicator that she was just fucking with them right from the start.

And why woudn't she do it? She was the only person who could possibly benefit from it. She did it to gain sympathy & throw the others off their games. She also demonstrated, right from the start, and in her own words, that she was more than willing to use her daughter as easily as anyone else, to manipulate her way to the end. (And without being a spoiler, we will see, yet again, in a later episode, how she is more than willing to use her daughter to try to gain points - this time with Tim).

My vote is for Wendy as the culprit.

But my big question has always been...Bravo must have it on tape. Why haven't they ever said who it was or shown it in bonus footage??

--Gotham Tomato

Anonymous said...

Kevin Johnn may have admitted it too in an interview last year, but I am not sure if it was really true.

Anonymous said...

Oh puh----LEASE! This was so contrived! It was a PICTURE, and a silly mustache. In this day of digital cameras I doubt seriously it was the only one she had. And that whole spiel about how her daughter was looking up at the sky and stuff... girl knows how to work her crazy, that's for sure!

Embeedubya said...

Think about those models, too. Not only could they be pretty damn bitchy themselves, but they're also incredibly immature and would not a have a clue that defacing the only picture you brought of your child would be hurtful and very upsetting to someone who's stressed, sleep-deprived and, yes, a little crazy to begin with. My money's on one of them.

Fnarf said...

Wendy had a right to be upset: the picture is ruined (and it's not a digital print, and even if it was, digital files get lost even easier than negatives.

But: it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't been such a bitch. And she also immediately started to use the picture as emotional blackmail, because emotional blackmail is all Wendy understands. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. Her own child? All is fair game for the psychopath.

Kevin had the reason but not, I think, the personality. He's certainly a good candidate, though. I also thought Morgan, because she may not have a reason, but she's a nut job and doesn't NEED a reason; she could easily have done it without even knowing whose picture it was.

I don't think it's on film, because I think the cameras are handheld and following the action around pretty closely. I'm sure there are contestants (and other staff) wandering away from the camera all the time; and the damage only took a second, with a Sharpie of which there are probably hundreds on the set.

I agree, the episode was hysterically funny, with the absurdist drama acted out in postal uniforms.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it was definitely a shitty thing to do, but let's face it, she milked that thing for MORE than what it was worth.

Anonymous said...

OK, I've got it narrowed down to my top four choices, not necessarily in this order:

A. Someone on the production staff, maybe thinking it would be a good way to amp up some drama (as though there wasn't already enough).

B. Kevin, for the reasons you guys suggest. I have to disagree with the poster who doesn't think Kevin has the personality for it--although he clearly avoids direct confrontations, he might be quite capable of sneaky passive-aggressive stuff.

C. Wendy herself, which I personally doubt, but too many people have suggested it for me to discount it entirely.

D. And finally, what I know will be a very unpopular suggestion: Austin! Reason #1: Because he was the one who tried to steer people away from talking about it. (Would it be a spoiler to refer to the conversations about this that occurred on the reunion show?)Reason #2: When Wendy "sold out" Kevin on the runway, it might have triggered Austin's anger from when she did the same thing to him in the Sarah Hudson episode. Sorry, I love Austin too, but I think he makes a good suspect here.

NahnCee said...

Why does it have to be someone in front of the camera? We forget that there's a crew of cameramen, lighting technicians and sound-people also observing Wendy's hijinks. One of them easily might have had a pen, too.

Anonymous said...

"D. And finally, what I know will be a very unpopular suggestion: Austin!"

I don't think it could be Austin. He would never be able to withstand the interrogation. If he had done it, it would take only one question (or even just a look), to make him throw himself onto the strippey couch in a sobbing heap of guilty blonde & chiffon fabulosity.

Nope. Austin could never stand the pressure required to be a criminal, so he would never even try.

--Gotham Tomato

Anonymous said...

Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph in a tiny canoe, I've been waiting for this episode!!! I also think that Kevin is tht culprit. He totally hated Wendy and definately had the opportunity to draw on her stuff. But yes, Wendy going apeshit was probably a tactic to scare everyone into being nice to her.

personette said...

"She did not, however, deserve to have her daughter's picture defaced. No matter how you look at it, that's a shitty thing to do."

oh please. It's not a shitty thing to do. SO WHAT?! It's not like they raped the daughter! Wendy was a bitch and somebody drew on her photo. Big whoop.

YOU KNOW that some part of Wendy was THRILLED to have ammo against the rest of the contestants. Honey, she is ALL ABOUT the emotional breakdown as manipulation.

Why is everyone reacting so seriously? No one drew a mustache ON THE DAUGHTER herself. It's a photo. She's a bitch. Let it go.

Gorgeous Things said...

Agreed, Detectives Clouseaux - I have always believed it was Kevin. My only other theory was that she really pissed off one of the producers or staff, but then Jay came out at some point in the finale and said that Wendy was really much more fun than the editors made her out to be.

I did think she was putting glycerine drops under her eyes to fake the tears, though. If it was my kids' picture (and of course, darlings, it NEVER would be), I would have choked the living crap out of everyone in the room, on and off camera, until someone fessed up.

chardin said...

The fall 2005 issue of Pink contains a near-admission by Kevin that he did it.

I wish I could link it, but apparently it is not online.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Johnn reportedly admitted his guilt to a person at a party, according to blogger Just Jared. He also admitted the same thing in a magazine interview late last year, which at least confirms the party report. I'll see if I can find links.

Anonymous said...

A quote from a Fall 2005 Pink Magazine interview with Kevin Johnn:
"When asked about the infamous incident involving Pepper's daughter's photo being defaced, Johnn simply explains, with a devilish grin, that he has an affinity for drawing mustaches."

Anonymous said...

I think Austin did it...the whole time Wendy was going through her schpeel, they kept flashing to Austin, looking all guilty...

DolceLorenzo said...

"Our suspects. You'll not find a shadier group of characters."

LOL. I love it!! Kevin did it. He was aufed because of her evil spell.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't a camera person or producer be around at all times? They turn off the camera at the end of each episode, but I don't think that the eliminated people would be alone in the workroom.

On a more important note: I understand that Wendy was upset, but perhaps she should remember the contents of her favorite picture. Her daughter was not looking at the sky. She was indoors.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Morgan is the most likely suspect. Kevin is too much of a pussy to do even that much to get back, but Morgan was the only person on that season who was more nucking futs than Wendy.

Anonymous said...

if kevin really did do it, i think that'd make me like him more. he certainly has a reason to do it, but i dont know if he had the opportunity. even when they pack up their stuff, they arent alone.

the crew had much more opportunity to do it and probably just as vaild a reason. i figure that if vincent was a loon behind the scenes, it's likely wendy was too. i wonder what we missed out on not having the producer's video blog back then. there had to be some serious gossip that season.

but to be honest - i always suspected wendy. defacing "the only copy" of a photo of her beloved daughter seems to fit her brand of crazy just right. she got to throw a fit on tv, make everyone else look bad and try to win sympathy from the audience. it's trademark la pepper behavior. the bitch did it!

although, how cool would it be if tim did it??

bitchesdye said...

I've been sick a couple of days and now I missed the post I've been waiting for!

Anyway, if anyone cares what I think at this point, if you've read a lot of Agatha Christie's then Kevin is the LEAST likely culprit, given that he had the most obvious motive and perhaps, the opportunity. Agatha always made it someone you'd never suspect.....

Morgan? Possibly, because she had the motive, there's not a camera on her 24/7 and she is clearly nuts. It could have been that way for a while and Wendy waited until the proper strategic moment to have her meltdown.

I'm not sure if Kevin would have had the opportunity, at least right after Wendy sold him out, because of the camera issue. Also, I believe that Parsons subsequently hired Kevin to do some work for them, and he made some of Heidi's S2 outfits. I doubt Tim would hire him if there was any real suspicion which leads me to think it's the production team. The people at Parsons probably know who really did it and it's not Kevin. They may have even hired him because he had to take the heat for the actions of some assistant go-fer who thought they were being clever.

bitchesdye said...

So, anyway, I didn't finish....If Agatha DID write this scenario it would be someone no one would suspect, and this leads me to Kara Saun!!! She was the one who was going on & on about how evil Wendy is during their postal route. No one has yet mentioned her, no one probably ever thinks she would do this. Perfect Agatha perpetrator.

It would be cool if it were her, huh?

Anonymous said...

I'm with anaonymous above--I could swear that I read or heard a reference this year (rucker's blog?) to someone on the crew having admitted to doing it, but it was so offhand and in the middle of a totally different discussion that I remember reading it twice to make sure that I had seen it correctly. I wish I could find it again.

Suzanne said...

I wouldn't put it past Rucker. He has that "mustache drawing look" about him.

Anonymous said...

So, boys, who is Miss Marple and who is Hercule Poirot? Or perhaps Tommy and Tuppence fit better.

In any event: macasism is right, in a Christie novel it couldn't be Kevin. Unless it was a double twist a la The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Too convoluted? Probably.

No, seriously, it is was most likely Kevin, but I also was so put off by Wendy's over-reaction that I stopped caring who did it. It was a sneaky, unpleasant thing to do, but really, yeah, it's a picture, for heaven's sake. She was acting as if someone had graffiti'd Finley herself. And that's Wendy all over -- everything becomes manipulation with her. One of the commenters said that emotional blackmail is the only thing Wendy understands, and that is so true. "How can I use this to my advantage" is her first thought. However, I think this backfired on her -- less grandstanding and more genuine feeling might have actually gained some sympathy for her. One of the saddest things about Wendy's emotional manipulation is that she isn't very good at it.

No way did Jay, Kara, Austin or Robbio do it. It would never occur to Rob, Kara would be above it, Jay, I think, has a heart underneath the biting sarcasm and Austin wouldn't dirty his hands with such an act. Kevin or production crew, say I.

Anonymous said...

If this really were an Agatha Christie mystery, it would turn out to be Robbio, acting to avenge the death of his beloved sister, who choked to death on the scarf of a Wendy Pepper original.

Anonymous said...

I kind of thought it might be Rob, since he seems the most immature of those remaining contestants, but now I agree it was most likely Kevin. However, it wasn't the end of the world, which Wendy made it out to be. I was pretty appalled when I first saw the episode, two years ago, and I think Wendy was just reacting to the level of pressure, lack of sleep, etc. It was a crappy thing to do, whoever did it, and I think they must have been pretty young and clueless. Not Jay, Austin, or Kara for sure.

BigAssBelle said...

i think wendy did it just to be able to work on sympathy. probably hoped the judges would hear about it and feel sorry for her. hell, her kid could have done it before she left home. problem with a lying sociopathic sow like her is you don't know when/what to believe and if ever to do so.

bungle said...

No way it could have been Austin.

Upon watching Austin go WAY above and beyond the call of duty to save a competitor, I'm just awed by the guy.

So I figure I'm just going to petition God.

Dear God,

Can we have more people like Austin Scarlett around? Please?

Thanks for your consideration!



ps- would you mind looking out for the one we've got? Thanks again!

Anonymous said...


Come on -- you KNOW Wendy must've been even more rude to the crew than Crazy Vincent.

-- desertwind

Anonymous said...

another circumstantial clue leading to production staff:

They always have Sharpies!

-- desertwind

Anonymous said...

Not sure if any of this is true but this is what a little googlin turned up:
On Just Jared's blog, there is this report

Mustache-drawing Kevin Johnn

Didn't get your Project Runway fix this week because of re-runs? Look no further! Scoop this. JJ reader Fish Drink Water writes in --
I've been holding onto this for a while but since you're a Project Runway fan ... I was hanging with Kevin Johnn from Project Season 1 a few weeks back at a party (Fabio Rob[ert Plotkin] was there too) and I cornered them both on the "who drew the moustache on Wendy Pepper's kids' photo" issue, and Kevin (after asking if I was a gossip columnist, which I'm not) finally caved and said he did it, which made me love him even more. And Rob was all "I'm married and having a baby" -- good G-D.
Some may have believed that Wendy Pepper marred the photograph of her own daughter to get more camera time but now we've heard it from the horse's mouth. KEVIN JOHNN "DECORATED" WENDY PEPPER'S PICTURE OF HER DAUGHTER. What a slimeball!

Anonymous said...

"savedbythebell said...Not sure if any of this is true but this is what a little googlin turned up:
On Just Jared's blog, there is this report"

Thanks, savedbythebell! I think he did it.

Anonymous said...

I am not a Wendy fan, either the designs or the person, and she did way, way over-react, but now that we have had the benefit of 3 seasons, when we get down to 5 contestants, it does seem to be the the highest level of pressure we see all season. Be it Laura crying and saying she couldn't design for the Olsen twins, or Uncle Nick's aufing, everybody does seems to be crazy stressed and exhausted at this point in the series.

Unknown said...

Looks like it may well have been Kevin who did it, then? Aw, I was hoping it'd be more juicy. And yes, this WAS a completely fantastic episode. I don't think it's been matched yet.

Total overreaction from Wendy, if indeed it was a real one. So it's the only copy of that picture. Your kid still looks exactly the same. Go home and take a new one. Why are you surprised someone hated you enough to do it, anyway?

Suzanne said...

"Be it Laura crying and saying she couldn't design for the Olsen twins, or Uncle Nick's aufing, "

Redspring, just FYI, (though I know we aren't supposed to talk about future episodes...) Uncle Nick's aufing was one of the blackest days ever in my house! My 2 friends who I watched PR with and I could barely speak for a week....

angelwingshealoneself said...

T&L, your wwfans says you still owe me a top 10 lists. That's how we met on our first date!

DLetterman's Top Ten Shows On The New Gay Television Channel

10. "How I Met Your Brother"

9. "Gary's Anatomy"

8. "Desperate Poolboys"

7. "Everybody Loves Raymond...Especially Steve"

6. "The King Of Queens"

5. "Not-So-Smallville"

4. "I Dream Of Gene"

3. "Gays Of Our Lives"

2. "My Name Is Earl And I Like Construction Workers"

1. "His Deal Or No Deal"

Anonymous said...

awww bungle, that was a sweet prayer!

Wendy's drama made me want to rip that picture into tiny bits! If it is so precious leave it at home. Christ!
I thought Wendy because she worked it so hard but Kevin is good too.

Anonymous said...

(though I know we aren't supposed to talk about future episodes...)

Oops. Sorry. Thought that was a season one thing. Will pay more attention in the future.

Anonymous said...

In the true spirit of a Christie Mystery, it would have to be The Klum herself. (It's always a character introduced out of nowhere.)
Infuriated by having to look at that two-tone hair and clown make-up week after week after week, she realizes the only thing that will finally send the psycho over the edge is to mess with her kid. Creating a diversion by starting an argument with the voices in Pepper's head, The Klum tosses something shiny in the opposite direction, slashes the picture with her Sharpie and then carefully conceals the weapon up Michael Kors' bum.

Anonymous said...

I think she was genuinely upset and I don't think she deserved it, but she definitely milked it.

If I recall correctly she said, "This is the only picture I have of my daughter!!....Like that!....Looking into the sky and the sun!!....She looked so free and happy!!!..."

I think she was thinking of things to up the drama between the little bits of things she spat out while crying. I can understand, though, having a little lifeline like that defiled can do a number on you.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't Kevin.

Jay said it was Austin. Go figure.

Several people have run into Jay McCarroll and asked him about it. Jay has told everyone that Austin was the real culprit.

Anonymous said...

The cameras were in the work room with Kevin while he was packing up. He also did his exit interviews with the camera people. Kevin was never alone.

It was Austin.

Jay McCarroll says it was Austin. I don't see why Jay would lie about it. Also, you can see Austin smirk a little when Wendy throws her tantrum.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
It wasn't Kevin.
Jay said it was Austin. Go figure.
Several people have run into Jay McCarroll and asked him about it. Jay has told everyone that Austin was the real culprit."

Really? I've never heard that before. Austin? I don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

Another suspect would be those BRAVO interns. The same ones who gave those pattern books back to Keith Michael and told him he could leave. If they lied about that, then I can certainly see them drawing mustaches on pictures!

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone is b*tchy enough for that.
And it IS hard to get a picture at just the right moment, especially with small kids.

She had her kid pretty "late" and there might be a lot of stuff there with the photo we don't get.

Overreaction? Nah. People freak out at stuff, and some people freak out more than others.

Anonymous said...

Jay McCarroll did a lecture/Q&A at Boston University in April 2005 and a few of us met him at the reception afterwards. He was the biggest gossip ever and really funny in person.

Jay said:

Kevin and Morgan did coke during the swimsuit episode together.

Robert wanted to pose for Playgirl. And he's thick and well-hing (because he's Russian). Also, he's the nicest guy.

Kathy Griffin has a furry face.

Patricia Fields is a huge cokehead and it took her like 8 months to pay Jay each time he made clothes for her store.

Heidi runs around backstage singing Seal songs.


AUSTIN drew the mustache on the picture of Wendy's daughter.

Dun dun dun...

Mystery solved.

Suzanne said...

Go back and look at picture #3!!
Its that classic thing all the experts tell you to look for to see if someone is lying...
Austin not making eye contact with Wendy!!
I am laughing hysterically here all by myself...

Anonymous said...

"Kathy Griffin has a furry face."

He's likely just saying that because he came off looking like such an ass on her reality show. He came backstage to meet her after one of her shows & acted like a completely arrogant jerk. She was a fan of his until then (and so was I).

--Gotham Tomato

Vic said...

She can dish it but she can't take it. Can't stand people like her. The sniffling is misplaced!

As for Austen, was there ever anyone as willowy and glam as Audrey Hepburn? Well, we now have a rival.

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing that Austin was the one who did it. If Jay really said that, I think Jay is just being Jay: loud and full of stories.

Anonymous said...

Austin? Pleeease, no way!

Anonymous said...

I think Tom in Chicago has solved the mystery. Certainly he has the most creative solution!

I find it hard to believe that Austin did it. I find it even harder to believe that Jay would sell his buddy out if it were true. If Jay is saying Austin's to blame, I think he's probably just being Jay -- the man likes to stir up trouble, but he doesn't expect people to take him seriously. That's the way I always read him, anyway. He's like the class clown who tells everyone that the prom queen is pregnant with the headmaster's baby and then is both shocked and amused to find that there are people who actually believe the story.

Roxy said...

I'm positive Wendy did it herself, either to get her fellow contestants to feel sorry for her and talk to her (they weren't at this point) or to win some much-needed popularity with the viewers. That woman used her daughter as a prop during the finale and I wouldn't put anything past her. Sure, she loves her, but as a perfect little extension of herself. What a witch!

Anonymous said...

Austin looks kind of like a schoolboy in his mail carrier uniform.

Anonymous said...

First, I feel pretty sure that at least part of Wendy's reaction was contrivance. Too emotional, too over-the-top -- and she herself set the stage for us all to believe she's not only willing to, but capable of, messing with everyone's heads in that way.

Did she draw the mustache herself? I really, really, really would not be surprised if she had. She said in one of the episodes that she had no problem exploiting her identity as a mom to get ahead. And if she didn't draw the mustache and feels in any way maligned by speculation that she might have done it herself, she needs to keep in mind the portrait of herself she created for the cameras.

That being said, it really could have been anyone. It takes a certain sort of person to do something that stupid, and you really don't know people that well without meeting them. Heck, it could even have been a camera person or production assistant.

I wish Bravo did have a video of the incident... but they wouldn't necessarily have cameras going in a room where no one was working, and someone could have snuck away.

Aimée Dillon said...

I really think Wendy did it. She's a crazy psycho biotch!