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A Not-So-Blue Valentine With The Mondo For Piperlime “Mi Corazón” Tee


On December 1st, 2010, to commemorate World AIDS Day, Project Runway Season 8 runner-up Mondo Guerra (who bravely discussed his HIV-positive status while on the show, thereby revealing his long-kept secret to his family and friends in the process) unveiled a capsule collection of T-shirts designed exclusively for Piperlime. Now, the quirky, pattern-mixing, color-loving, Denver-based designer is serving up his big, beautiful heart — literally.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Guerra has created the Mondo for Piperlime “Mi Corazón” tee shown above, a short-sleeved, 50% modal and 50% cotton, scoopneck tee with an A-line silhouette. The white tee features an intricately detailed heart shape with floral motifs and Mondo’s beloved polka dot accents in bold colors like violet, turquoise, deep yellow, magenta, purple, and spearmint green.

At the core of the largest heart motif, which itself features scalloped edges, you’ll find a phoenix-like bird in varying shades of pink and magenta that create an almost tie-dye effect. The phoenix’s wings spread out along the sides, and a small black heart shape lies at its center, matching the black backdrop against which the phoenix soars. A heart-shaped ring in a spearmint green color surrounds the phoenix. Atop the widow’s peak point of the heart outline, you’ll find a slimmer, elongated pink heart detail with hints of black along the upper arches — and, at the sides of this smaller heart, you’ll find paisley print-like swirls in white, turquoise, and yellow, which together create the illusion of rising flames, thereby lending this design-within-a-design a semblance to Sacred Heart iconography.

The spearmint green-colored heart rim is itself adorned with black and white polka dots along the upper arches, deep violet daisy motifs along the sides — and, at the bottom peak, turquoise-colored leaf accents with black polka dots instead of leaf veins, and white polka dots dancing atop them, outside the green rim’s perimeter, forming a playful “V” shape.

If you look at the lower region of the heart from a distance, it can resemble a potted plant, the black heart above it (which as stated previously, corresponds to a phoenix-like bird) representing a tulip-like bloom. Guerra says the design is meant to depict how love can grow and flourish, which explains the floral motifs embedded therein.

The multi-layered nature of Mondo’s design, the symbolism bestowed upon its various parts, and the variety of manners in which each component can be interpreted all make the shirt feel like a complex hieroglyphic that can both be admired and decoded.

Only 650 pieces are available, all individually numbered and packaged inside fabric drawstring bags. Plus, in the spirit of spreading the seeds of love, Piperlime will donate $20 from the sale of each tee to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

How’s that for having heart?


Mondo for Piperlime “Mi Corazón” Tee, $50. Available at Piperlime.com


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