Nina does look pretty good in this, even with a patch around her tummy.

Maybe Joanna Coles’ fantastically b*tchy attitude is just rubbing off on me, but I’m not happy with this “Project Runway” challenge. As Nina Garcia would put it — repeatedly “No.”

Cecilia should've gone home for this.

I’m not happy with who was in the top group — although of the three I definitely think the right garment won. I’m not happy with who went home. But more than anything I’m annoyed that once again one of the judges was made the client. Especially since that judge has such muted taste and she’s not the type to allow the designers to be themselves. At all.

Heidi Klum has been the client more times than I can count and it’s almost always a disaster. Michael Kors has assigned some kind of resort wear before and I can’t recall that going well. Now, you can imagine how things go with Nina Garcia as the client.


There was a time when she was The Goddess Nina Garcia for me. But after last season, and the past two episodes, I’m not sure about Nina. She’s tough but not consistent. Does anyone else remember how frustrated she got with Christian Siriano and anyone else who had too much black in their final collections? She was always a proponent of color. But now she’s fine with LBDs and other safe stuff.

She’s also an extremely difficult client. Her tastes are limited. She doesn’t listen. She knows what she wants and assigns it rather than letting the designers express their own viewpoints.

I don't really mind Julie's coat thing.

And she’s harsh. But man! Nina is nothing next to Joanna Coles, aka Tilda Swinton + Anna Wintour. No wonder Nina is the queen of “No” with that lady as her boss. Gotta say, I kinda love her.

The challenge on “Project Runway” Season 9, Episode 4, “All About Nina” was to create a look for Nina that she can wear to work during the day and wear to an industry event at night. So it’s a day-to-evening look. The winning design, which turned out to be Kimberly’s gold top and pants, will be featured in a Marie Claire ad and New Yorkers should see it riding around at the top of cabs. Pretty cool.

I’m glad for Kimberly, but it was the gold top that they loved and she didn’t even want to make those pants. Nina assigned them. She also assigned Danielle’s top, because she and the other judges failed to see how that kind of top was boring last week.

Julie was sent home, which is sad ’cause she was sarcastic and cool and actually wanted to be there. Imagine that! Julie should’ve been kept over Cecilia, who pulled a Fallene + Bert, throwing her own design under the bus and acting like she didn’t want to be there. Her garment was beyond awful and she knew it. But because Julie had been in the bottom several times (loved how she called it living in a bad neighborhood!) she got the boot. I actually kinda liked that housecoat thing.

Does it matter that Anya got help sewing this? Should she have said something on the runway when the judges complimented her skills?

I also like how the women on this season seem to be supporting each other, for the most part, especially since so many of the guys are getting catty. I did like that little moment between my boy Anthony Ryan and Anya, when Anthony introduced his fiance via Skype or whatever. That was cute. The fiance was cute, too. Jealous.

It was a little odd that Anthony Ryan and Becky both picked the same fabric, but there really didn’t need to be so much high school whispering about it. And even though I usually adore AR, I thought Becky did a better job with the fabric. But they were both declared safe by The Powers That Be, so in the end it didn’t matter at all.

But how do we feel about Anya getting help with her almost winning design? It looked very Gretchen Jones, by the way. The second I saw that it was a Gretchen-esque jumpsuit with that kind of styling I thought it would win.

It was sweet of Laura to help Anya, but considering the judges keep gushing about how well Anya is sewing with such limited experience, shouldn’t they let her present her own work? Sloppy construction is often called out, so why should she be exempt? And wasn’t it Josh’s idea to dye the fabric away from that mustard color? True, the designers are choosing to help her, but they should realize that it could be at their own expense as Anya’s work is elevated above their own.


Josh M. — Big gray spot in the front. The back is very futuristic, kind of melony pink colored. JUDGES: SAFE

Bert — Very clean, basic black dress with a plunging neck and back. JUDGES: SAFE

Olivier — Safe and boring gray pants and top. JUDGES: SAFE

Anthony Ryan's look is at left, Becky's at right. I think she used the fabric better. His look is ... surprising, from him.

Anthony Ryan — Not my favorite look of his. Not even close. Disappointing. JUDGES: SAFE

Becky — Of the two fabrics, I like this one more. Weird, ’cause Anthony is my boy. JUDGES: SAFE

Kimberly — Very gold, like Goldfinger top with the pants Nina wanted. JUDGES: HIGHER SCORES. You can tell Nina will like this when you see what Nina is wearing to the runway. Heidi loves this look because it doesn’t need any work. MK loves that it’s separates. Joanna calls this “a special shirt.” And “it’s just gorgeous.” She wants to wear it herself. *WINNING LOOK*

Cecilia — Yeah, this deserves to be in the bottom. JUDGES: LOWER SCORES: Man, I thought Nina was mean but Joanna goes on a rampage about this. Fair, though, because even Cecilia hates it. Once again, “it’s very sad.” That’s the phrase of the day. Cecilia’s attitude is challenged, too. She doesn’t seem like she wants to be there.

Anya — Interesting brownish pantsuit. It looks like something Gretchen would’ve made, which is perfect for Nina. JUDGES: HIGHER SCORES. Nina is amazed at the transformation from mustard to this brown. Heidi loves this jumpsuit. They are still obsessing over her sewing skills. She doesn’t mention how she got help from Laura with the sewing. Kerry loves this. “It’s so fun.”

Danielle — Very green top and black pants. Total snore. JUDGES LOWER SCORES. MK calls it “very pedestrian.” So finally he’s insulting the kind of “old-fashioned” blouse she made last week. (It’s a Joan Crawford at St. Patty’s Day look!) Why was it great last week? Joanna thinks Danielle and her model might be depressed. If Nina came into work wearing that she’d think she was ill. Poor Nina really has to worry about what she wears with this woman!

She really does look just like Tilda Swinton.

Julie — I like the idea but it looks unfinished in some way. JUDGES: LOWER SCORES. Kerry Washington doesn’t understand it. Is it a dress? Is it a coat? (It’s a droat!) It’s not one of Nina’s favorites. Michael Kors calls it a housecoat. “It’s just sad.” Heidi said this is not Nina at all and it doesn’t look clean. It looks like she wore it in an airport for 12 hours. Joanna Coles called it “unwearable” and said if Nina came into the office wearing that she’d think she was asking to be fired. *LOSING LOOK*

Bryce — Very simple and short navy and gray skirt with a troubling hem. JUDGES: SAFE. Really? So short. Execution problems. Whose cousin is this guy?

Laura — Hideous green fairy outfit that is so not Nina. JUDGES: SAFE. She did have immunity. That’s the only reasoning I can think of for making this safe.

Viktor — Funny how he and his former nemesis Bert both went for the clean, basic LBD. JUDGES: HIGHER SCORES. Of course Nina loves this. She’s always complained about collections having too much black so of course she goes against her own words.


Catch up on my “Project Runway” stories in this nifty archive.