Project Runway Week 4 – All About Nina

One Sentence Summary:  This week Nina is the judge AND the very very finicky client.

My Thoughts:

This episode is not all about me, but, apparently, I still have to be here.

Rachel:  Tonight we are getting to experience more Nina than we ever have before, as she is the client.  I adore Nina and am looking forward to getting to know her better.  Yes, that’s right.  I am having a moment with Nina.  Marie Claire is the only fashion magazine I read religiously.  They really just get women as more than clothes hangers.  We’re clothes hangers with brains.  So, yay, Nina!

I’m also looking forward to a challenge that is just about the designers making clothes out of fabric from Mood for a person not 12 feet tall.  And being that Nina is a somewhat conservative dresser, no one will be able to hide bad construction behind some insane design or embellishments.

Since I am watching the second run of this from my bed, there is no wine drinking.  But do not fret dear readers, I did enjoy some lovely shiraz earlier this evening with my dinner.

It’s A Very Small Box

Nina is introduced as this week’s client.  The designer that makes her favorite day-to-evening outfit will have it worn by Nina, have it in an ad on the rooftops of NYC taxis & in a 2-page spread in Marie Claire… oh and immunity.  A nice little package.  But there needs to be a big reward since Nina has let them know that she is more on the conservative side and doesn’t like frills, color, or anything big.

Oh boy.  The panic in the room is almost palpable.  Not only are they going to be dealing with a very persnickety (Don’t you love that word?) client.  That client is their judge.  Yes, Heidi has been a client before (A fact she makes a point of sharing) but Heidi is a more daring dresser than Nina.  You’ve got a lot more latitude with her than with Nina.  Nina’s got you in a pretty tight box and the stitching on that box had better be pristine!

You’d Better Have A Plan B

The designers bring their sketches to Nina for approval.  Needless to say, most are met with “nos”. Bryce offers a cowl neck.  Nina hates cowl.  Kimberly says skirt.  Nina says pants. You see where this is going.  The designers that fared best were those that came with two options.  And those that didn’t… Well, do you see Josh’s face?

I can tell you one thing I have learned from working in the ad biz for 16 years. (I started when I was 14, of course.) You will have a much better chance of having something approved if you bring an option.  Clients just feel better saying “yes” if they also have something to which they can say “no”.  Trust.  That’s some really valuable business advice there people.  Consider the first one a freebie.  I’m in a generous mood.  As for the designers with one option for Nina, they went back to the workroom with a lot of sketching to do.

The Great Speckle Debate

Anthony Ryan and Becky end up picking the same speckled fabric.  This is not kosher by Anthony Ryan.  So before he can get to sewing, he has to get to bitching with Josh.  Nobody messes with a gay man’s fabric.

I’m not sure how they ended up with the same randomly speckled fabric but, if I’m understanding this correctly, stealing someone’s fabric idea is on the same level as treason.  I really was hoping that Anthony was going to walk over to Becky and slap her across the face with leather gloves challenging her to a knitting needle duel.  Did not happen.  What did happen was some snide remarking and giggling behind Becky’s back.  Eh, I’ll take it.  I said I was in a generous mood.

A Cold Breeze Blows Through The Workroom

Nina and Tim stop by the workroom to check on the designs.  There is very little good news.  There is also very little time left.  Fabrics are wrong, colors are mousy, and there are some “big risks” which is not a good thing generally. And so it goes… Until Viktor, whose look makes her smile.

Wow, these designers are sweating harder than Arnold Schwarzenegger at a housekeeper convention.  Pleasing Nina is getting harder by the moment.  She just isn’t bowled over by much of anything but I do love that she’s sticking to her guns… and not being a complete bitch while doing it.  I mean she does actually have to wear the final outfit.  Right now, it’s Viktor’s to lose if this viewing is any indication of things to come.  Oh, and can someone please tell me why Kimberly keeps wanting to use gold lamé?  Did she confuse Parsons with Studio 54?

There Is No “I” In Team

Anya & Julie find themselves with unfinished garments as the clock ticks down.  Cecilia jumps in and helps Julie while Laura assists Anya.  Viktor think this violates the rules of engagement and is getting ready for the second non-confrontational duel of the evening.

Ok, I get that there are rules and technically they shouldn’t be helping other designers but it’s actually a nice thing to see.  It’s not like they’re actually helping with the design.  Viktor is less warmed by the charity and stares disapprovingly in his Little Lord Fauntleroy jacket.  Yes, last week it was AC DC and this week it’s Little Lord Fauntleroy.  If he wears it again next week, I’ll have another joke for it.  It’s so ridiculous looking.  Anywho, we have a the potential for fabric stealing and cheating throwdowns on the runway.  Yippee!  Finally, the claws are coming out!

Guest Judges

We meet the first guest judge this week, Joanna Coles from Marie Claire.  Clearly, this woman means business because she didn’t even crack a smile.  I’m scared of her.
Next, we are introduced to Kerry Washington who seems happier to be with us.

My goodness Joanna.  Have a little fun with this.  I know you don’t want to see your girl Nina decked out in something awful but, at the end of the day, it is just a reality TV show.  No one is going to be thrown in the Tower of London for a bad pair of pants… or are they…

Runway Week 4

The 13 remaining designers present Nina with their offerings…


I dig this dress but cannot imagine Nina in it. There's way too much... color. But a thumbs up for me.


I almost forgot about Bert! He wasn't causing any drama in the workroom this week. I like his dress. It's very "Breakfast At Tiffanys" but not the most exciting look ever.


Another flawless look from Olivier. I like it a lot but am trying to picture it on Nina. Hmm... I think she could rock it.


Look 1 for the speckled fabric. I think it looks great but the skirt seems a bit short for NIna. It'll skate through the middle.


Oh look, the other speckled fabric design comes right on the heels of the first one. What a coincidence. I like this dress too but I am just having a hard time seeing Nina wearing a lot of these clothes.


Well well well... Kimberly pulled off the gold lamé. Color me impressed. Now, this is something I can see Nina wearing.


This is the fabric Nina called mousy. Yeah. Still is.


Anya dyed her mustard colored fabric after Josh suggested it and finished her design with help from Laura. If she wins, it's a group win. It's a great looking jumpsuit but I wonder if the plunging back is Nina-friendly.


I didn't get the blouse last week and I don't get it this week. I mean it's fine... I'm just not a chiffon blouse fan, I guess.


Uh... I really like the idea of this but I think it just didn't work in execution. I have no idea what to do with that crazy collar/neckline but I can see where Julie wanted to go. Not sure the judges will see it.


Oh Bryce. You didn't have me at "hello"... It's so boring and not that well constructed. Will he see the bottom three again?


Nina was worried the color was too Christmas. Well, I do feel like I'm looking at a big Christmas ribbon... but a well-made ribbon. I'm not in love and I don't know how Nina will feel about the sheerness right below her derriere.


Not the most exciting outfit to walk the runway but the architecture is pretty awesome and I can see Nina wearing it. I think this look will get good reviews from the Marie Claire ladies... even if the model looks like she'd rather be anywhere but here. Why so bitter?

Your Top & Bottom Three…

Top 3 are Anya, Kimberly & Viktor.  Bottom 3 are Cecilia, Danielle & Julie.

The good news:  Nina is amazed at the transformation of Anya’s fabric and loves it. The panel thinks it’s fun and the back is great… even Nina.  See, what do I know? Kimberly’s outfit is great & works for day into night.  Nina loves that it’s separates.  It’s a special top & anyone would feel great in it.  Viktor’s outfit is great & Nina love the options of versatility.  It works for the issue of day to night.  It’s elegant & beautiful.  So basically, the judges think the Top 3 outfits are “great”.  I think it’d be great if someone bought them a thesaurus.

The bad news:  The bad news is bad… Joanna tells Cecilia that no one would want to hang out with Nina if she were wearing her dress.  The fabric is a disaster, the colors are tough and the style is not at all daytime.  As for Danielle, it just didn’t work.  Nina feels it’s not for her… It’s for her depressed aunt from the 80’s.  Yikes.  Then there’s Julie… No one knows what to make of her look.  Is it a dress? Is it a coat?  Is it a droat?  Nina doesn’t understand it or where it’s going.  Michael thinks it’s a housecoat that you would wear while cleaning.  Joanna says it’s unwearable and, if she saw Nina in it, she would think she was asking to be fired.  Thankfully, Nina knows better than to wear that and keeps her job.  Julie was not as lucky and is out this week.

And The Winner Is…

Kimberly is crowned this week’s winner and meets with Nina, wearing her outfit, at Marie Claire headquarters.

Wait wait wait… Back the truck up here.  Not one mention of the matching fabrics by the judges?  No sniping about it in the back room?  Not a single word of the “cheating” going on with Anya & Julie?  What is going on here???  How dare these people choose to take the high road!  Did anyone bother to think about us?  The audience?  No… No they did not.  Fine.  Be that way.  I guess that’s what we have The Housewives for.

Back to the win… Nina looks great in Kimberly’s outfit and seems to genuinely feel great in it.  (There’s that “great” word again.  I just want to fit in.  Is that so wrong?) Quite the big win for Kimberly.  It must be a thrill seeing your outfit on the top of taxis in New York.  I just hope this win doesn’t put visions of lamé in her head.

Bottom Line:  Even though I feel like I was teased with the promise of runway drama, I still enjoyed the Nina-centric challenge.  These kids have me for one more week.  They can pop the champagne now.


One response to “Project Runway Week 4 – All About Nina

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