Project Runway Recap: The Top 13 Face the Wrath of Nina

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Hey, at least you know where you stand with ninagarcia on Project Runway, right? (And it's not on stilts).

I'm finally starting to remember who most of the designers actually are...although not always their real names, and they are thrown a daunting challenge indeed: Designing for a client. A very demanding client who knows a lot about fashion. And that client is ...(already known because they told you the week before and in commercials)... ninagarcia!!!!

Nina will be "very tough." Oh, really? Ya think?

Nina wants something to wear to work during the day, and then wear out to an industry event at night.

Nina likes:

"Classic with an edge"

"Streamlined clean tailored silhouettes"

Nina does not like (and will totally reduce you to a quivering mess with one baleful glare if you dare to show her):

Voluminous clothes

Lots of pleats

Loud patterns

Loud colors

But oh, BTW: She doesn't want to see a runway full of gray clothes.

Perhaps color-blind Anthony has the best shot on this one.

Project Runway
Image: Megan Tantillo, Lifetime Television

The designers are given recent images of Nina for inspiration, get time to sketch and then to pitch to La Nina herself.

We only see about 8 of the pitches, but we learn more about Nina:

Like, she wants Viktor to "Think dramatic yet conservative".

Like she "hates cowls", which cuts Bryce right off.

Like she's a big believer in having a Plan B?

Like she may *say* she wants the designers to stretch, but that's for *other* people. For her: She wants Kimberly to dump the dress and make her some pants.

Like she doesn't "want boring".

By the time they all leave for Mood, the designers are both hyperventilating and feeling somewhat paralytic. It's a bad combination and some egregious things happen in the 30 minutes and $200 they have to spend at Mood. (Including Anthony and Becky getting the same fabric.)

But the most egregious thing was that I diligently did my Swatch Watch, and there was NO SWATCH. You're just lucky I'm not on strike for the rest of this recap. 

We go back to the work room.

And the usual drama ensues:, like

Julie saying the stupidest thing ever: "I thought this was going to be a Carnival cruise." What? Have you WATCHED the show?

Anthony and Becky accusing one another of stealing fabric ideas. And each saying they're just going to show the other with a fabulous-off on the runway.

But the best drama is when Nina visits and lays down the law with the silly silly designers:

To Danielle (Chiffon Girl): Your drawing looked like it would be hard and soft, but this is just soft and soft. Danielle suggestion. Nina: No. Danielle idea. Nina: no. Danielle proposal. Nina: No, no, no. 

To Julie (Puking Clown): That collar is too big. 

To Anya (Sewing Neophyte Girl): That fabric is a risk. What's your Plan B? Anya: There is no Plan B.

To Bert (Old Boy): That plunging neckline is inappropriate.

To Viktor (I got nothin'): Too. Many. Pleats.

To Laura (Nieman's Girl): Christmas green? Really?

To Cecilia (Eeyore Girl): Those fabrics look sad!

So after that demoralizing segment, Anya decides to create a Plan B by dying her horrible mustard-colored fabric. Even though, just like with the sewing, apparently Anya has no experience dyeing. OK, so if she couldn't sew and never dyed .. .what exactly what she doing? Drawing pretty pictures?

The shows breaks for an HP commercial featuring Anthony's fiancee. [Side note: notice they feature the touch-screen computer, NOT the TouchPad...which they just killed after only a month on the market...foreshadowing???]

And I'm completely sidetracked by Cecilia's complaints that her model's nipples are too big. Wow.

Meanwhile, they're all still in sewing room at 2-hour mark. Tim swears this is the first time that has even been the case, and let me tell you: Tim is alarmed and sweating through his suit. Designers helping designers. Cats and dogs sleeping together. Anarchy!!

But like every week, they actually make it to the big show!

Heidi comes looking a little heroin chic with chunky, lank hair and all in black. She's joined by more than the usual complement of judges: MK, ninagarcia, Joanna Coles (the EIC of Marie Claire magazine) and actress Kerry Washington, for no apparent reason.

Here we go. As per always, click on the link under the designer's name to see their work.

1. Joshua  

Joshua made an orange shift dress with grey front panel bordered in black that looked pretty much like an apron. It also looked so broad and graphical that it reminded me of the costumes for the comic-book musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". The big exposed zipper down the back was one point of interest, but unfortunately the cut-outs on the shoulder blades made her backside look like a jack-o-lantern.

2. Bert 

Bert's little black dress still had a plunging neckline and front slit slit up too high. It managed to be both boring and slutty. I thought he was gonna hit the bottom 3 with this one.

3. Olivier 

This was another strong contender for the Bottom 3. Poorly made dove-gray pants. And a really boring ecru jacket with a weird darker beige corset type wrap around her torso, but one that didn't meet in the front. Drab, boring, unflattering.

4. Anthony 

Anthony created a sleeveless vest top from the stolen fabric with a thin black belt. Along with a plain black skirt. Plain, except for the weird pleats at the hips, just where a woman wants more width and volume. Boring. Other than the interesting unflattering choices, that is.

5. Becky 

Showed a shift dress with asymmetrical, alternating black panels and gray panels, plus using the stolen fabric for the skirt. This looked well-made, with a good fit. And the yellow piping bordering the black panels gave it a little pop of color. I liked it.

6. Kimberly 

Delivered on nina's request for a very well made pair of dark plants, paired with a gold lame sleeveless top, with interesting wrap elements and cut-out features. I'm a little surprised no one mentioned the utter lack of accessories...in fact, a lot of the designers this week looked like they didn't use the Piperlime wall at all, let alone thoughtfully.

7. Cecilia:

Oh my. This was pretty butt-ugly. A drab gold-ish one-shouldered dress with gray stripes down side, and a twisted braiding along the neckline that you know she added to try to add some interest, but it just looked like a four-year-old did it.. And the back was a hot mess of bad execution.

8. Anya :

Anya successfully dyed her mustard fabric do a muddy color that somehow wasn't exceedingly ugly. She created a capri sleeveless jumper. With a red belt and a plunging back. I'm not really a capri jumper kind of gal, but I could see this was trendy.

9. Danielle 

Danielle ran out of time and hit up Talbots for a pair of black skinny pants and a kelly green chiffon, yet opaque blouse. OK, I kid on the hitting up Talbot's, but I do not kid on the boring. 

10. Julie 

Julie made a very sad and drab gray wrap coat dress with orange panels on sleeves and a darker gray on one side and back. This was accessorized with a thin brown belt that just didn't match at all. The whole thing was droopy and shapeless and anything but "classic with an edge."

11. Bryce 

Threw together a platinum long-sleeve mini-dress with a navy color block down the center, front and back. His biggest problem was that it was so poorly made. The hem, particularly, was terrible. Also really really lucky he didn't hit the bottom 3.

12. Laura 

Whoa. This looks even worse in the picture than it did coming down the runway. It was a kelly green satin dress with sheer bands in around the skirt, all the way up to her Vaginot line. And weird cut-outs on the sleeves. And the proportions were al wrong. It made the model look really clunky and frumpy, despite all the slutty sheer insets. No wonder her model looked depressed. It was a battle for the bottom 3 this week, that's all I'll say.

13. Viktor 

Viktor made a black skirt and top. And yes, it was quite simple, but it was also very very chic. The exposed zipper down the back seems ot be a thing this season, and I thought his architectural shoulders were a bit much, making his model look a little hulky as she stomped down the aisle, but in a field of weak efforts, this one did stand out.

In the end, the judges liked:

Kimberly

Anya 

Viktor

With Kimberly taking the win!

And they, especially Nina, did not like:

Julie: With Nina saying the outcome was significantly different than sketch and MK saying it was a sad housecoat, where one would expect find Kleenex in the pocket.

Cecilia: With Joanna showing her mean streak, and MK and ninagarcia both decrying the fabric choice.

Danielle: With MK painting a picture of the outfit's pedestrian nature by saying it was something that would have worn by his aunt in the 80s. Way to be nice to your aunt, MK. Kerry gives it a ringing endorsement by saying, "I don't hate this." But Joanna thinks only someone who was very depressed would wear it, while MK adds that it looks like Joan Crawford Saint Patty's Day party. Um, OK, MK.

With the bottom two being Cecilia, who wants to go home at this point anyway, and Julie...Julie gets the auf! So the weird girl who's just trying to be normal is booted for, in the end being boring and drab.

I'm not sure I would have booted her, I thought there were worse outfits.

What did you think?

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