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The Project Runway Blog

"No, No, No (Part Nina)"

By CaitlinBergmann Fri., Aug. 19, 2011 ,5:01 am EDT

My Destiny's Child reference may be lost on some (What? It's a classic!), but the fact that Nina Garcia is one tough lady to please will be lost on no one. She has a very particular editorial eye that's made her successful at her job as a fashion editor and here as a judge on "Runway." But when she's the client, watch out! Your Plan A better be banging, and your just-as-good-as-Plan-A Plan B better be waiting in the wings in the event that Plan A bursts into flame. Don't even mention a Plan C. (It's like "Fight Club." We don't talk about Plan C.)

Anya mustard jumpsuit Nina challengeGiven the constraints for this challenge (i.e., don't bore Nina, don't use crazy prints, cowl necks are the devil, no volume allowed), the designers had their work cut out for them after their one-on-one consults. Nina knows what she wants, and if you don't deliver it, you're in trouble.

Let's start with some questionable fabric choices:

Anya has decided to create a mustard jumpsuit for Nina. Maybe she can get the jumpsuit part through the pitch, but mustard is a hard sale for anyone, no less for THIS client. Mustard?!

Anthony Ryan and Becky, as different as their aesthetics can be, grab the same exact fabric. And we're talking EXACT, like odds-of-winning-the-lottery-with-the-same-numbers EXACT. Their (surprising) reaction is to play some bizarre game of fashion chicken with each other, and both designers decide on moving forward with it. What?!

Cecilia needs to visit her eye doctor ASAP, because even Mood's fluorescent glow cannot be blamed for the choices she made. Gray and beige?!

Surprise! Danielle is working with chiffon. Again?

Back in the workroom, Anya finally comes to terms with Nina not being a mustard kind of girl, remembers to throw on a pair of gloves (fast learner!) and dyes her fabric to make it work. Anthony Ryan spots her from the sidelines while he video-chats with his fiance. (Too-adorable-to-handle double Southern accents alert!)

Julie housecoat Nina challengeJulie is making a coat dress coatdress for Nina, which is kind of a hybrid of her first two challenge designs, creating one bad, unfinished, "no way in hell Nina would ever wear that, even while home sick" design. Cecilia is finally calling a spade a spade and doing whatever she can with her odd-couple fabrics, and has agreed to help sew Julie's sleeves on.

Laura Kathleen has also drunk the do-gooder Kool-Aid and is helping Anya finish the collar on her no-longer-mustard jumpsuit. I don't sew, so I don't know the effort involved in sewing a sleeve on or finishing a collar, but why is everyone sewing everyone else's stuff?! Maybe it's a simple gesture — I'll let the designers fight that fight! — but in a competition setting, you beginning to wonder if it's genuine or a tactic.

On the runway, I'm biting my nails as Anthony Ryan's and Becky's dresses follow one another in the run of show, making the fact that they used the same fabric go from obvious to NEON BLINKING LIGHT. They look like they're part of the same collection — a two-piece collection — that went rogue in the middle of an unrelated fashion show. I still don't understand how these two made it through safely without so much as a "Really?"

Maybe it's to her benefit to keep her mouth shut, but I was wondering why Anya didn't fess up to the collar help, only because the way she finished her garment came up and it landed her in the top.

Is Anya’s lack of sewing skills going to hurt her?


In the end, Kimberly takes the win with a look that really grew on me the more time I spent staring at it, and especially when Nina wore it to the office. Viktor really stepped it up this week and proved he has a well-deserved place on Season 9. (P.S. Bert NEEDS TO LEARN PEOPLE'S NAMES!)

As for next week's preview ... I really want to see this Olivier falling scene in slow motion.