This week's challenge was to design a day-to-evening outfit for Project Runway Judge, Nina Garcia.
Nina. Picky Nina--the judge that sees every bad hem, wonky seam and sloppy use of fabric glue. She never fails to notice gynecologically short hems, bargain basement fabrics and poor fit. She's the author of two books on fashion, former fashion editor of Elle Magazine and current fashion editor at Marie Claire.
But this time, she gets to pick the outfit she wants to wear. Could this be any more intimidating?
She gave the designers a raft of instructions on what she likes (clean lines, pants, jackets, separates, neutrals, although she's not afraid of color) and what she doesn't like (too much ornamentation, crazy prints...)
She thoughtfully met with each designer to go over their drawings and give them advice...and in the process, crushed their hopes, dreams and creativity.
|"Hmm...jumpsuit. Seems risky." What's that color? Mustard? Do you have a 'Plan B'?"|
|"I don't like the jacket. Do you have a 'Plan B'?"|
She labeled so many things a risky or needing a 'Plan B' that the designers were wondering if they should bring in one of those risk mitigation firms that advertise during "Meet the Press."
|"Let's be honest. If I had gone over the Army Corps of Engineers' plan for the levees in New Orleans, the Katrina flooding would never have happened."|
It was a nice prize for the challenge this week. The winner got a spread in Marie Claire, an afternoon with Nina talking about fashion and a taxi ad.
Yes, a taxi ad.
Well...something a bit more tasteful, I'm sure.
Before we dive into the runway this week, let me get a little pet peeve of mine out of the way.
Where was Olivier? He didn't make an appearance until about 30 minutes into the show and it was a fleeting one at that. The high point of the episode was when the safe designers were sitting on the couch and Bert opines that Olivier probably had the winning design and he was sitting right next to him!
So I can only come to one conclusion. Olivier has somehow acquired the superpower of invisibility. Perhaps he got it from fake Superman in Times Square when he passed by him a few days earlier during the first challenge. Olivier was wearing nothing but a bed sheet and perhaps fake Superman thought he needed a cloak...of invisibility.
|"I haven't found a way to make the hair invisible."|
As we look at some of the more interesting outfits on the runway this week let's pay tribute to the many Ninaisms that we've enjoyed during the past 9 seasons of Project Runway.
The "I question your taste level" award goes to Josh McKinley
Oh, not for that side....
but for THIS SIDE. In Josh's world, Nina should dress more like Brittany Spears.
The "that is not impeccably sewn" award goes to Bryce Black, who, had it not been for some other questionable looks this week, would have been on the chopping block with this.
The "Plan B" award goes to Anya Ayoung-Chee for her "risky mustard jumpsuit!"
Again, I'm clueless as to how this won the praises of the judges. I can see why Nina was pleased. Anya solved the problem of the mustard colored fabric by dying it darker (it looked more like a dark coffee on the runway.) The belt at the waist helps too. But...
Really? To quote you, Nina, "I would like to see YOU wear that outfit." I do not believe Nina wears plunging backs to work without covering up with a jacket.
And that goes for you, too, Heidi! You're queen of the "that looks home sewn" comment. This looks like a professional job, the way the cropped pant rides the legs and the sloppy neckline gap at the top?
The "unfortunate fabric choice" goes to Danielle Everine, who, at Nina's request, tried to recreate last week's stilt walker outfit.
The fabric was too heavy to drape and flow the way Nina wanted. The shoulders were too severe for Michael Kors, who remarked, "This is something you wear to a Joan Crawford Halloween Party!"
|"I would hope that any blouse you would wear to my Halloween party would be neatly sewn at the collar!"|
The "black isn't very editorial" award goes to
Viktor Luna. The capped sleeves were architectural, as was the skirt, but you couldn't see them because they were black! Once again, a designer forgets that he's designing for a spread in a magazine as well as an outfit that Nina would like to wear. So, while he passed the day to night test, he failed the editorial test. Shame about it, Viktor.
The "I'm bored" award goes to Cecilia Motwani for this.
This what was left from the drawing above after she ditched the 1980's Dynasty jacket. Note in the drawing above that the colors were supposed to be lavender and yellow, not grey and beige. Mood, apparently, uses high efficiency CFL bulbs and Parsons School of New Design does not...or vice versa. Otherwise, I have no idea how fabric could look one way in one location and totally different in another.
Unless, along with her confidence, that consultation with Nina also sapped her ability to see colors, which would put her on par with Anthony Ryan Auld, who really IS color blind!
The "the problem is in the execution" award goes to Julia Tierney for this look:
It's an interesting attempt. For day, with a lighter fabric, it could have been an interesting take on the coat dress. But, unfortunately, Julie chose too heavy a twill and the outfit had no drape. The poorly designed collar creates gaps and bunches at the top which leads one to assume that the asymmetrical hem on the bottom was accidental. To be safe, this would have had to be perfectly constructed in lighter weight fabric. But with that much beige, it would have been resigned to being just a day look.
|"I don't know if it's a dress or a coat. It's a 'droat'!"|
Congratulations to the winner of this week's challenge, Kimberly Goldson, who lived up to her last name, crafting a very shiny gold top to go with a pair of flawless, navy pants.
Well done, Kim! And yes, Nina did wear the outfit and looked marvelous in it!
Kim has immunity for next week and she's going to need it because it's another team challenge and....
a double elimination!
Should be fun.
And I leave you with a little bit of Mazel Tov this week for Michael Kors and his
And if you get the opportunity to vote for a gay marriage referendum, know that you are not just doing it for the would-be spouses, you area also doing it for nice, Jewish mothers out there like Joan Kors.
|"I'm just another Jewish mother who would like to see her son walk down the aisle. Is that too much to ask?"|