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Project Runway 9, Episode 4 – Designing for Nina


Anthony sends down a black mini-skirt and a sleeveless top made of the speckled black and white fabric. Becky used the same fabric to make a mini-dress, and she interspersed diagonal strips of black fabric to add interest. Not bad – and it’s definitely better than Anthony’s. Kimberly sends down dark blue pants and a sleeveless. metallic gold top with an asymmetrical bottom.

Cecilia made a one-shouldered beige mini-dress decorated with gray trim. It has gray racing stripes down the sides, which don’t change the fact that it’s still a boring look. Anya made a brown pantsuit with a plunging back. She then added a red double belt. Danielle made a Kelly green blouse and dark pants.

Julie made something that looks like a cross between a dress and a trench coat that combines two shades of gray with orange. It also has an odd-looking open-necked collar. Bryce sends down a two-toned mini-dress. Laura made a green min-dress with translucent stripes towards the hemline and short sleeves with bands of fabric attached to them. Putting it on must have been fun. Viktor made what looks like a black mini-dress with very short sleeves and a zipper down the back.

Afterwards, Heidi calls Danielle, Kimberly, Viktor, Anya, Cecilia, and Julie. She sends the other designers backstage to wait. Bert comments that he thinks Olivier has a good chance of winning – only to find Olivier is sitting next to him. Whoops.

The judges start with Viktor, who tells them he wanted to keep things simple. Nina likes the fact that he made separates: his “dress” is actually a skirt and a shirt. Michael thinks it looks current, while Joanna believes it would work as a day-to-evening look. The judges don’t like Julie’s look at all: Nina hates the collar, and Michael thinks it looks like a housedress. Joanna goes so far as to say she would fire Nina for wearing it. The judges also dislike Cecilia’s dress; Nina hates the colors and Michael calls the fabric “a disaster.”

Kimberly has more luck, for Nina praises the styling. Heidi likes the overall look, and Michael appreciates Kimberly’s making separates. Anya tells the judges that she had dyed her look. Heidi likes it, and Joanna likes the shape. The judges dismiss Danielle’s look as “pedestrian.” Kerry calls it “nice, but not exciting.”

The judges dismiss everybody, so they can deliberate. They start with the designers they didn’t like. They deem Danielle’s design as being too ambitious, but with pedestrian results. Michael hates the blouse. Cecilia’s whole design was a problem, and the dress simply looked sad. Julie had tried to make an architectural piece, but the result was sloppy.

Onto the designers they did like. Viktor’s look was sharp and clean, and it wasn’t mundane or boring. Anya’s jumpsuit was “cut fabulously.” Kimberly’s outfit was “rich looking,” and everybody liked the gold top.

The judges summon the designers back onstage, and Heidi praises Viktor, Anya, and Kimberly for following Nina’s directions. Nina then announces the winner: Kimberly. Viktor, Anya, and Danielle are also in, leaving Cecilia and Julie in the bottom two. Heidi tells Julie that her look simply did not work, and scolds Cecilia for both her boring color scheme and too obviously giving up. Nonetheless, Cecilia is in, by the skin of her teeth, while Julie is sent home. Given that this was her third trip to the bottom, that isn’t a surprise. I suspect Julie’s problem was the pace of the competitions. To judge by the items she’d brought to the auditions, she can make good clothing, but needs time to do so.

As for Cecilia, she needs to get her head back in the game and not give up. She had cracked the top during the third challenge, so she can perform. She and Danielle may be too erratic for their own good, as designers who seesaw between the top and the bottom eventually get sent home. Bryce has been in the bottom twice and is the only remaining designer with that sorry distinction. Bert, Olivier, Laura, and Kimberly have each won a challenge, while Anya has cracked the top more often than anybody. These designers could be around for the long haul.

Sometime later, Kimberly meets with Nina, who is happily wearing Kimberly’s outfit. Nina sends Kimberly outside to see a taxi cab displaying an ad showing her look.

Next week: The designers face another team challenge, and they have a footrace to determine who the team captains will be.

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