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Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.4: “Oh $@%#, We’re Designing for Nina”

Let’s get this out there right away: congratulations to Michael Kors! He married his long-time partner Lance LePere in Southampton, New York this week. Mazel tov, boys!

Anyway, the next morning at Atlas, Viktor thinks he made a bad impact because he was in the bottom two. Though, actually, it was probably more because he acted like a troll.

Their client is Nina Garcia. She says she’s going to be very tough. As opposed to all the other challenges when she’s super easy on them. She wants a day-to-evening outfit, that’s “classic with an edge,” tailored and streamlined. She does not like volume, patterns, pleats or anything fun, apparently. But the winner will be on an ad on top of NYC cabs.

They’re sketching and everyone is justifiably terrified. Julie thinks she is running out of chances. But Nina seems to like her drawing of a coat dress. Kimberly doesn’t want to do pants, but naturally Nina really wants them. Cecilia shows her a dress and jacket combo that Nina says looks dated and Dynasty, though I was also thinking Star Trek based on the brief glimpse of the sketch we got to see.

Nina had a “consultation” with Tim where she said she doesn’t want a boring runway full of gray garments. Oh, snap, people. Should we immediately cut to a montage of everyone who is using gray? No? OK.

Anthony Ryan and Becky have the same fabric. Potential drama? We shall see. Julie went to fashion school because she was sooooo over bartending, and everyone there was young and talented. But she was better than she thought. Now she’s trying to be normal! Oh, girl, don’t try to be normal. That’s no fun. If you’re weird, just embrace it.

Nina comes in while they’re working. Scary! Completely shocking! She says no to pretty much everything idea Danielle has about fixing her weird Kermit-green sheer jacket thing. Anya got a risky mustard patterned fabric, and Nina seems to hate it, but there’s no back-up plan. Ruh-roh. Nina’s not a print woman. You know, except that sparkly print top with orange sleeves she’s wearing during the consult. That doesn’t count. It’s totally subdued. She likes the fabric that both Anthony Ryan and Becky got. They still don’t know who saw it first, and other than a little bit of implied finger-pointing there isn’t much drama about it. I am disappoint. I came for blood, people. Why are you not delivering?

Cecilia couldn’t afford the fabrics she wanted, which were all purples and grays. What she got looks gray in the workroom though it looked purple at Mood. Nina calls the color palette sad, but Cecelia has to make it work, so to speak. For some reason she doesn’t dye it. Anya decides to dye her mustard with some black to make it a really cool gold-ish olive color. Also, while she’s dyeing her fabric Anthony Ryan has a video-chat nearby with his fiance, Matthew. They’re adorable, and now they might come to New York to get married.

Melt my cold, black heart, why don't you.

Surprise reward! The winning look will be in an editorial spread in Marie Claire. That’s actually not that surprising a surprise.

The next morning at Atlas, talking about who is going home – Viktor says Kimberly. Hoo boy. We also learn that Julie likes sarcasm and Cecelia’s model has huge nipples. Both are important things to know.

Tim comes in… where are the designers? Oh, right, they’re ALL in the sewing room. Apparently this is a Project Runway first. As were the outdoor runway. And the 20-to-16 thing the first week. As is designing for Nina. It’s a season of firsts! Anyway, they have two hours to get their models to the product-placement beauty facilities even though they are all still working. The good Mr. Gunn is sweating through his impeccably-tailored pinstripe suit.

Laura points out that even though she has mastered driving in giant heels, sewing in them is really hard. I won’t deny that. There’s a reason I used to slip off my heels and drive barefoot when I had a car. Laura’s growing on me, though. Maybe it’s because she didn’t get as much screen time to say things that would be annoying. Maybe it’s her fabulous leopard shoes. The world may never know.

She should get bonus points for sewing in these.

Cecelia is helping Julie sew her coat dress. There is last-minute gluing. Laura helps Anya with her collar. Everyone is helpful! There’s love! Bonding! Oh, Viktor thinks it’s cheating. Of course he does. It’s because he’s part troll. Can you tell I’m annoyed with him after last week? I know Bert was no saint, but really, dude. Just stop.

The guest judges are Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire (a.k.a. Nina’s boss) AND actress Kerry Washington. An extra judge! How exciting. Another first.

Olivier, Becky, Anthony Ryan, Laura, J-Mac, Bert and Bryce are safe. I think a couple of them got by through the sheer luck that there were three people worse than them. You know, kind of like how you don’t have to actually be faster than the bear, just faster than someone else who isn’t faster than the bear. And fashion is kind of like being mauled by a wild animal.

Bryce’s Star Trek dress with the wonky hem might have gotten him in the bottom three or eliminated in a different challenge, but he slipped through because there were even more horrifying looks to contend with. The shape of Olivier’s reminds me of the outfit from the Von Trapp challenge that got X eliminated, but he executed it much better, so I guess that’s why he’s safe. Becky and Anthony Ryan made their identical fabrics work, even though through a stroke of terrible luck they went down the runway back to back. Bert made a boring LBD and I have to wonder if he even cares anymore.

I'm disappointed this didn't turn into a screaming match.

When we come back to talk to the winners and losers, Heidi tells Viktor he can never go wrong with a black dress and Nina likes the versatility of separates. Michael doesn’t seem to love the shoulders, which makes sense because they’re hideous. I think they make the model look like a linebacker who is shrugging all the time. I also think the darting on the skirt makes it look like her crotch has nipples. Or a frowny face. Either way, not something I want happening on my nether regions.

Why is her crotch frowning? Is it sad?

Michael says Julie’s jacket looks like a housecoat; like she should have tissues up her sleeves while she’s cleaning. You don’t know, Michael, having tissues up your sleeves can be dead useful, especially if you don’t have pockets. Heidi says it doesn’t look like Nina. Joanna called it unwearable, and would think Nina was asking to be fired if she wore it. Cecelia’s dress is basically a disaster in both style and color choice. She admits her fabrics are terrible, the palette is sad. Do you even want to be here, C?

Nina loves Kimberly’s pants and gold top, the styling is very Nina, and it’s separates. Joanna calls it a “special shirt” and says she’d wear it if Nina doesn’t want it. As usual, her pants are impeccable. During the runway Anya whispered to her that she will have a pants business from now on. Maybe when it opens she should throw a pants party.

Anya is mind-boggling. The girl barely knows how to sew and managed to turn that mustard nonsense into an awesome olive green jumpsuit. Everyone loves it. She used the exact same belt that got Fallene in trouble during the pet store challenge, but she managed to use it in a way that didn’t suck. I don’t know. Maybe her inexperience will soon blow up in her face, but for now I’m suspecting a combination of being a fast learner and using some kind of spell.

She must have gotten her Pottermore email to have this kind of wizardry going on.

Danielle’s is “pedestrian,” says Michael, and it looks like something his aunts would have worn in the ’80s. Kerry doesn’t hate it, Joanna would think Nina was sick if she came to work wearing it. It’s just sort of sad and boring. Well made, but nothing worth video-chatting home about. So in case you couldn’t figure it out, the top three were Anya, Kimberly and Viktor and the bottom was Danielle, Julie and Cecelia.

This boxy shoulder thing needs to stop.

Julie has been consistently bad during the whole competition and they question Cecelia’s attitude. I wanted Cecelia to be eliminated during the 20-to-16 round the first week, so that’s the team I’m on. Julie’s coat thingy is really, really bad though. Tough call. It seems like Nina would be happy to wear any of the top three, but if it were up to my I’d go with Kimberly or Anya.

And she went with Kimberly. I kind of figured, because the top is really awesome. And that gold is going to look really great with Nina’s skin tone. That means Anya and Viktor are safe. Danielle was safe. It comes down to Julie and Cecelia. Julia was confusing. Coat or dress, it sucked. Cecelia’s was blah and they feel like she gave up.

Cue the dramatic music. Cecelia is in, Julie is out.

No surprise, really.

Cecelia says she feels bad because Julie wanted it more than she did. Laura questions if she should have said that on stage, because you really shouldn’t be here if you don’t want it. Uh-oh, future drama? Let’s hope.

In the handy-dandy little epilogue, we get to see Nina wearing the winning outfit. It looks fab on her, she says she’s already gotten several compliments on the top, and she’s just going to change jewelry to go from work to a book signing that evening. When Kimberly goes outside to get the car that’s waiting for her, it’s a cab with the Marie Claire ad on top. Cue excited squeals.

Note: One of the establishing shots they used was taken in my neighborhood. I live in Brooklyn, which is nowhere near Parsons.


By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

4 replies on “Recap: Project Runway, Episode 9.4: “Oh $@%#, We’re Designing for Nina””

I am also totally over Bert. But I’m very happy that Kimberly won. She definitely designed for Nina (which would’ve paralyzed me – Nina Garcia is fierce in that purely fierce way that frightens. Although I’m sure she’s a nice person to her friends. I would be terrified to design for her.) and made the most practical wearable outfit.

Anya has a great eye and design aesthetic, but to me, the jumpsuit was a little weird for work. Maybe I’m just too much of a frump. I dunno. Also – did anyone get the feeling that the troll was TOTALLY gonna tattle if Anya had won? It was like he was eyeing her the whole time. (Yes, that’s editing, but it seems like something he would do.)

Loved Kimberly’s excited squeals, loved her cute dress in the epilogue.

I’m so over Bert. I thought he was going to be that perfect mix of charming and grumpy, but he’s just coming off like a jerk.

And I loved Joshua’s dress! I can’t believe he wasn’t in the top.

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