I’ve thought about adding a Project Runway recap to the various incarnations of this site for years. Now, with a stellar cast of diverse designers, it seems like the perfect time to follow through.
This week on Project Runway, the thirteen remaining designers are challenged to design an office to evening look for judge Nina Garcia. It’s a new spin on an old challenge. Starting back in Season 2, the contestants have been asked to create outfits that can go from day to night. They’ve also had to design for guest judges or Heidi since season 1. Combining the two into a chance to design for Nina is a great move. This season has been all about letting the judges get a better understanding of the designers before they hit the runway with any major challenge. What better way for Nina to start to see who has the goods than to check in on them throughout the process and offer feedback?
Here are the top 5 moments of the episode, followed by my ranking of the contestants and the judges’ decisions.
Julie’s Eye Roll:
In a blink and you’ll miss it moment, Julie had quite enough of Viktor sucking up to Nina on the runway. Judging by his loss after universal praise from the judges, I think they grew tired of it, too. I know I did. You’re at the top in a design competition. Sell the garment, not your desperation to win.
Nina’s Reading, Take 1:
The highlight of the episode was watching Nina make the designers squirm. She wasn’t being rude or nasty. She knew what she wanted and she expected the designers to deliver it. Nina is straight forward. This wasn’t an exercise in cruelty; it was an entertaining look into Nina’s aesthetic and judging style. She’s not the jokey one-liner type. She will tell you exactly what is right or wrong.
How did you manage that?
Becky and Anthony Ryan picked up the same fabric at mood. How does that make you feel, Nina?
I’m just mad that neither Becky nor Anthony Ryan wound up in the top or bottom so Nina and Heidi could read them the riot act. So much build up for only a nasty little look from Heidi.
Anya Saves the Day:
Anya, my favorite designer right now, decided that choosing a bright mustard pattern was the way to go for Nina Garcia. Nina wasn’t having it. Neither was Tim. Neither were her fellow designers.
This is the fabric in question. Notice how quickly Nina pushes it away from her body. She’s repulsed by it.
Tell us how you really feel, Nina.
Her wording is diplomatic, but her eyes suggest the horror of a thousand lifetimes in the realm of the Lovecraftian Old Ones. Nina has seen the eyes of Cthulhu, and they are mustard.
Anya takes Joshua’s advice and dyes her mustard fabric down to a nice shade of brown. The gold flecks didn’t take the dye, creating a nice reflective surface of gold that makes this the first jumpsuit I’ve ever liked on Project Runway. She winds up in the top 3 with her design, pictured below. It’s the epitome of make it work.
Nina’s Reading, Take 2:
Nina was allowed into the work room. This is where she was less than diplomatic in her reactions.
I think Nina should thank me for making her holiday card with that one.
- Anya: Great color, great fit, perfect styling
- Kimberly: Beautifully cut, flashy without going over the top, very Nina silhouette
- Julie: Love the colors and shape, eye-catching without being a costume
- Anthony Ryan
- Cecilia: Simple, some nice detail, well-finished
- Bert: Boring
- Oliver: Boring and oddly proportioned
- Viktor: Boring with Judy Jetson sleeves
- Danielle: Ugliest thing on the runway
Even though I loved Julie’s coat dress, I think the judges made the right decision here. She was the least flexible in her designs and would have just struggled week after week until they had no other choice. It was a mercy auf and I can respect that.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off below in the comments.