Friday, August 19, 2011

Project Runway, Season 9 E4: Don't Bore Nina!

One of the most iconic phrases in Project Runway history harkens back to the days of Season 2 when Tim Gunn sternly shouted "Don't... bore... Nina!" That advice was especially relevant this week as the designers had to take on SeƱora Garcia head-on in one heckuva challenge.

So before I try and fill my wardrobe with mustard-colored frocks, let's break down last night's episode...

  • Challenge: Heidi introduces the designers to their client, the one and only Nina Effin' Garcia, and are tasked with creating a look for her that is appropriate for both work during the day and fashion industry events at night. Nina tells the designers that she likes streamlined, clean silhouettes and hates loud patterns, colors or pleats—which of course means the designers go for loud patterns, colors and pleats. Poor things. Not only does Nina promise to wear the winning design, but it will also appear atop taxi cabs in New York City and in a Marie Claire editorial. Not too shabby, huh?
  • In the Workroom:
    • Anthony Ryan and Becky get the same print—even though neither of them should've purchased it to begin with—and a minor rivalry begins. Anthony Ryan wins in my book solely based on how heinous Becky's earrings are. Plus, his video chat with his fiancee was super cute!
    • There is a budding romance between Cecilia and Julie. Actually, they are just friends, but it's way more fun to pretend they are having a secret illicit affair.
    • Nina visits the workroom and trashes everyone's designs. I don't think we've had a client this difficult since the Season 4 prom challenge. It's amazing.
    • Several designers have time management issues and need others to help them finish their designs. This isn't unheard of in Project Runway Land, but it's certainly not common.
  • The Judges: The usual trio of judges are joined by actress Kerry Washington, who was wearing a horrid pink dress completely with lace and a pussy bow, and Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles, fantastic megabitch and soon-to-be Project Runway: All-Stars mentor diva.
  • Top Three:
    • Anya - I'm doubtful that Nina would actually wear that jumpsuit, but there's no denying that the color transformation from that original horrible mustard was divine. The back was way too low for someone to wear to work, but that didn't seem to bother the judges because they were too caught up gushing over how she JUST LEARNED TO SEW FOURTH MONTHS AGO. I put that in capital letters because you might not be aware that Anya just learned to sew. They hardly ever mention it.
    • Kimberly - Let's get the bad out of the way first: the gold fabric looked a little cheap and the front panel on the top was a little bizarre. That being said, everything was impeccably made and it could definitely work in both day and night. Kimberly paid attention to Nina's style and taste and made her an outfit that was both feminine and powerful.
    • Viktor - This look was very Nina: it was clean and simple while still being interesting, especially with the unique details in the shoulders. The separates were a great idea, though I think the whole thing would've worked better as one dress.
  • Bottom Three:
    • Cecilia - She pretty much gave up on this challenge as soon as she realized her fabric was grey and not purple which was so disappointingly lame of her to do. The dress was boring, sad and would be completely inappropriate for someone to wear to work. Worst of all, it looked nothing like something Nina would wear.
    • Danielle - The bright green color was a huge miss, and the overall design was way too basic: just a shirt and pants... really?! It was completely outdated and didn't take the client into consideration at all. Joanna Coles went off on some tangent about pureed acorn squash when talking about this look. I didn't quite understand it, but I enjoyed the rant anyway.
    • Julie - Huh? Whaaa? Who?! This dress/coat/mess was horridly ugly, especially that grey and orange color combination. The whole look was messy, the neckline was way too big and, as with all of the designers in the Bottom Three, it looked nothing like Nina.
  • Honorable Mention: It wasn't exactly a look that instantly shouted "NINA!" but I loved Josh's design. The bold color bordered in black was so dramatic and eye-catching and the cutouts in the back added a special punch as the model walked back up the runway.
  • Dishonorable Mention: I am so over Olivier, you guys. Every single one of his looks is so sad and drab and unflattering. The side panels on the top were atrocious and the whole design looked sloppily constructed.
  • Kors-ism of the Week: When discussing Anya's original fabric color, Michael went off on a totally justified rant against mustard yellow. "Does that come in mustard?!" will be my new default question whenever I go shopping.
  • And the winner is: Kimberly! A well-deserved win that they were pretty much setting up the entire episode. The gold fabric looked way less cheap once we saw Nina in it at the Marie Claire office, but that front panel was still bothersome. Regardless, congrats to Kimberly! Isn't it nice to have a new winner every week?
  • Auf Wiedersehen to: Julie, who was bound to be let go eventually. Her Southwestern-style outerwear was so promising when we first met her, but she wasn't up to the challenge and the rigorous nature of the show was too much for her to handle. Now we'll never know what could have blossomed between her and Cecilia! Le sigh.
There's no doubt that the designers did a much better job this week compared to last week's stilt nightmare. This season is progressing quite nicely and I'm excited to see what happens next!
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