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Project Runway 9: “All About Nina”

This coatdress from Julie didn't quite make the cut.

This week, the designers were challenged to create a look for judge Nina Garcia that was perfect for work, and could also work for an evening event. From the start, Nina had plenty to say about what she didn’t want, leaving the designers scrambling to be creative, while not offending their client.

Kimberly was the winner, while Julie and her coatdress were out.

Anthony Ryan:


Anya: (top 3)









Cecilia: (bottom 3)


Danielle: (bottom 3)



Josh M:



Julie: (out)


Kim: (winner)









Viktor: (top 3)


Season 9 Designers: (*eliminated)
Amanda Perna

Anthony Ryan Auld 
Anya Ayoung-Chee 
Becky Ross 
Bert Keeter 
Bryce Black 
Cecilia Motwani 
Danielle Everine 
David Chum
Fallene Wells
Gunnar Deatherage
Joshua Christensen
Joshua McKinley 
Julie Tierney
Kimberly Goldson 
Laura Kathleen
Olivier Green 
Rafael Cox
Serena da Conceicao
Viktor Luna


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  1. sews4fun | | #1

    You know, I just don't get it, I don't get it. While Kimberly's ensemble was probably closest to the challenge, I thought it looked sloppy and fit poorly. Those outfits can be found in any mall dept store but then again, Nina's taste is bland. I can't say I have ever seen Nina in an outfit that would call attention to her, she's a drab mouse.
    Although those little black dresses did not answer the challenge, Bert's was cut and executed beautifully, it truly looked expensive and tasteful as well it should considering he is no newcomer to the fashion industry.
    I thought the other black dress was cute with the square shoulders but the round hips made the model look heavy so I can't imagine what it would do to us normal folks.
    I STILL can't get over Anya's sewing abilities, she just blows me away and I'm truly jealous that she can sew that well in only 4 months of effort. How can she make those patterns and sew that well with so little training? Her teacher/s need to go public because I for one would take a class from them without a second thought!

  2. CherieNightOwl | | #2

    I was a bit offended by Joanna Coles comment about a stay at home mom wearing Danielle's green outfit while making baby food. I'm a mom AND a fashionista! That's really stereotypical of her and I thought she would know her Marie Claire readers a little better than that. Not everyone who enjoys style is a single woman living in NYC or LA.

  3. alaskapsych | | #3

    Wow! I finally watched this episode. I think some of the technical aspects of the garments are sketchy with poorly executed facings and hems. I realize they do the outfits in record time, but good tailoring can carry many so so designs into wearability. I think that some of the designs in this episode were dreadful and others nicely done. I did like the winning design, however I wouldn't wear it. But then, it wasn't designed for someone like me (overweight and well, certainly not a fashion editor).

    I think of all of the outfits, Bert's dress is the only one you might find lurking in my closet.

  4. jinglefishart | | #4

    Watching this show, with all the designer's mistakes, is such a learning experience. What struck me about Julie's failed garment, was the huge disconnect between her sketched out idea and the end-result. Total disconnect.

    It's as if she'd been sabotaging herself through each week (reference what Tim Gunn said about leaving her feeling confident and then seeing her work on the runway). That sketch had good key elements that got lost. Refer back to the pattern, the sketch, the finished look to keep the project on track, no?

  5. Kitrtymom | | #5

    I thought the judges were really tough on the contestants. I did like the winning look..not for me but ok for Nina.Some of the styles seemed odd for the office--the backless jumpsuit !! Really in the office????

  6. Cherlyn | | #6

    I liked Kim's end result and thought it probably did deserve the win since it was the one outfit mostlikely to be worn to the office and afterwards for an evening. I liked the details in the top.

    I liked Anys'a jumpsuit once she dyed that awful fabric color! The dye toned things down, but the design didn't say office to me either with so much of the back missing.

    Laura's green dress looked more like a party dress for a Christmas dinner. I liked the styling but it didn't fit the qualifications for the challenge. Viktor's black dress was also very nice, but not something I would wear to the office. It didn't look comfortable enough to wear all doy.

    Olivier's was just plain ugly slong with Cecelia. I was surprised she wasn't out since she just gave up. Granted Julia's was not a great design, but her idea was there, she just didn't execute it well. I thought Cecelia deserved to go home and Julia should have got to stay. Josh M's dress looked too space costumy---not a good look. As for the other designers, they all appeared to play it safe.

    Having to design for Nina made the challenge interesting. Much better than that circus challenge!

  7. User avater
    thomy | | #7

    I liked Anthony Ryans design much better than anything else that was created. I do see how the winning design was something Nina would wear but felt it looked sloppy and looked as though the fit would be uncomfortable. I just want to go tug the hem...so far I am not impressed with what I see the designers making.

  8. User avater
    Rogues_of_Thread | | #8

    This was an interesting and tough challenge. I'm always amazed at the way the designers create something new on the fly with minimal direction, but to have your (very picky) client there saying "no, no, no," through out your process must be nerve wracking. I thought that the judges were pretty harsh this time, particularly Joanna Coles. Her comments made me realize how nice the judges are usually being (though not always). Fashion gets a gut instinct reaction on the runway and many of these designs would be instantly dismissed under normal circumstances.

    Contrary to the judges opinions, I really didn't like Viktor's dress. I don't like the sleeves, though that is more personal taste than anything. I can certainly see others wearing the top portion. What I didn't get at all was the weird seam on the front of the dress, over the lower belly. Are we trying to hide a little tummy pooch? Why else would you add a seam that goes from left to right and pulls the fabric out and away from the body there? It was just not attractive to my eye.

    I think if Anya had won there would have been a huge ta-do over someone helping her with her collar. I'm amazed at her quickly learned skills, but I don't know the show's rules for getting help. It will be interesting to see what happens with her.

    The thing I've been wondering the whole time I've been watching the show is, are the garments as nice on the inside as on the outside? They never talk about lining unless the fashion fabric is a sheer. Do they get points for internal construction or is it only what shows on the runway that matters?

  9. TJSEWS | | #9

    I sincerely doubt, in fact, I just don't believe that Anya learned how to sew just 4 months ago. If you go to the below link (toward the end of my post), her Project Runway home visit, you will see toward the end that she says her creative space is where she designs, drapes and has client fittings. You will see tons of patterns hanging on the wall. 4 months? I don't think so!

    In one of the first episodes, they show her not knowing how to even thread an industrial machine but in the home visit, she is sewing on one with no problem! Then there was the episode where she made the pants where she said they were the first pants she ever made. But in the home clip, she was working on a pair of pants!

    So I don't know what is going on here. Are the producers up to something? Or is she deliberately misrepresenting herself so that people can be impressed by how fast she "learns"?

    I was annoyed by her garment last night. While I did like it, I feel it was more a collaberative effort by a group of designers and she should not have taken all the credit for it. It was Anthony who came up with the idea of dyeing the fabric, and then several other designers helped her sew and fit it.

    People who misrepresent themselves and take credit for other people's work drive me crazy. I believe it shows a lack of integrity but maybe that's just me. Does integrity matter anymore? Lack of integrity seems to be OK on this show thus far. Google "Pilar by Anya" and you will see that she has an established clothing line. As far as who were her teachers, she got her Bachelors of Arts from Parsons.

    Cut and paste the below link into your browser to see what I am talking about.


  10. designer6905 | | #10

    I am an okay seamstress and think that though I have been sewing for 25 years, I could never hack how fast they all have to rock designs. There is no way Anya could be new to sewing. I'm sorry, but some of the things she's turning out are just incredibly difficult construction too.

    Where did Anya learn to sew. I would love to take her classes!

  11. User avater
    KarenGass | | #11

    This is the first year that Project Runway is 'blah'. I've watched every season, I've watched some episodes many times, and I remember all the people. Not this year. The only two people that stand out to me are Bert and Anya. I also don't believe she's only had 4 months of instruction in sewing. It just doesn't make sense. I've been sewing my whole life, and I don't know how to draw, design, then take that design off her drawing pad and turn it into a garment. I know I could learn, but not THAT and SEWING in 4 months! I know I'm generally cynical - but I just don't believe it and wonder why the show has her on. I've seen designers help other designers before, but not to the extent that they've had to help her. I think this years PR is boring :( and I'm so disappointed because I look forward to it so much. I still watch it tho - cause you never know what could happen and I don't want to miss it :)

  12. whoneedlesthis | | #12

    I have been reading the comments regarding Anya's supposed talents and learning speed with some disbelief! The main reason I have refused to watch any of the so-called "reality" tv shows is very simple--every single episode is scripted, not real at all. My disbelief is that anyone could possibly think these shows are "real"!
    The only tv show that actually is real is America's Funniest Home Videos!!
    C'mon people, wake up!!!

  13. sbsings | | #13

    Does anyone know if Maria Garcia was actually wearing the winning garment at the end, or had it been "re-made" for her proportions, based on Kim's design? Would Kim have had to fit and construct it? I'd love to know the follow-up in this challenge!

  14. sbsings | | #14

    Also, it would be helpful to see the backs of all the garments in the still photos. After all, we are always seen going as much as coming, and the back of these garments are definitely part of the designers' plans.

  15. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #15

    So, Anya is a plant, or something? A shill? A cheater? And I didn't think her jumpsuit was top 3 material at all.
    I would have put Anthony's and Bert's in the top 3, although I thought Bert's needed a little jacket for day.

  16. Stormee | | #16

    I am not too impressed with this season's PR either. I think the judges are insensitive and childish with their comments. It seems they get such satisfaction from tearing down the designer's esteem. Michael Kors is such a jerk. I have been sewing for a long time and I would not waste my time going on a show just to hear someone like MK talk about it and tear it down. All he ever wears is black. You can tell he couldn't take the criticism that he dishes out. I don't think that he needs to belittle the designs that he doesn't like. I think they pick designers to go on the show that they know they are not going to like so that they can bash them.

  17. Ralphetta | | #17

    One thing that stuns me about that show is the frequent horrible looking zippers down the backs of garments. They don't appear to be a fashion statement...just terrible sewing ability. No one ever complains or points out how tacky they look. There was at least one this week. In the early Project Runway seasons there were people who created lovely tailored suits and complex designs, etc. In recent seasons, the ability to insert a sleeve seems to be the high point of their abilities. And I'm still reeling from all the praise Anya got for her great fitting pants in the first episode. WHAT? The crotch was half way to her knees and they didn't fit at all. I'm with all those people who think "something" is up with Anya.

  18. User avater
    aislinnluv | | #18

    I hate to think that Tim Gunn would allow himself to be associated with the placement of a "ringer", but I don't believe for a nanosecond that Anya told the truth about what she knew and when she knew it. The judges are making decisions and choices that are dumbfounding. I'm also disappointed with the level of the designers this year. Even the one with professional experience isn't batting 1000.

  19. Puterdame | | #19

    I agree with Karengass: this season's PR is blah. I found that the designers are mediocre at best, and not very interesting creations are coming from any of them. And what happened, I thought that PR had gone back to (was it) Bravo network?? Now they're back on Lifetime??? I don't know how to explain it, but the station seems to dictate the boredom factor for me.
    And how can someone be a "designer" and not know how to sew? That's like being an Administrative Assistant not knowing how to answer the company phone, isn't it? Sheesh, what happened to this exciting, inspiring show? I'm so disappointed with it........

  20. User avater
    Stitchy | | #20

    I am not a fan of this season. I hate the challenges, the show is too long. I miss Santino, Andrae and Wendy Pepper.

  21. marijke1 | | #21

    More on Anya and her clothing line can be found here:


    It shows some of her designs and mentions she also runs a modeling agency!!!

    Like many other posters, I don't understand why she's being presented as a novice at sewing -- pretty clear to me she's not!

  22. veras | | #22

    While I'm happy to read everyone's comments and critiques here, I am happy I decided to boycott this season. After last year's finale, I felt I had been duped long enough and said "basta".

    This way, I can appreciate the photos of the final designs, read your impressions and thoughts about the challenges and be done in about 10 minutes, vs. investing more time on this show. Although I do miss seeing Tim...


  23. User avater
    RevDi | | #23

    As another boycotter of this season, I can see from the photos and read from your comments that I'm not missing much. I think the caliber of the show decreased dramatically when it went to Lifetime from Bravo. Besides the dreadful outcome of last year's competition, I was sick to death of Michael Kors' snide comments. As a wheelchair user, I didn't take kindly to his remarks about something looking like it belonged to "someone using a walker" or "the wheelchair crowd." How insensitive can you get? And Nina Garcia is just as bitchy. They play off each other, and denigrate the contestants with too much enjoyment for my taste. I'll content myself with looking at the photos, which aren't impressing me too much. I do miss Tim Gunn, but it isn't worth sitting through an hour or more of Nina, Michael, and choreographed "drama" for a few moments of civility and perhaps a few minutes of creativity.

  24. User avater
    CostumeDeeva | | #24

    I swore to myself after Carol Hannah lost the LA Project Runway I would never watch again, but Tim Gunn always draws me back. It's apparent the judges choose the designer who can actually design or the seamstress who can actually sew beautifully. It gets more disappointing each week.
    They picked Danielle's design as bottom three. It may have been safe, but not bottom three. It was actually well made. I think Bryce should have had her spot in the bottom.
    I am confused by Anya. Her design was lovely and executed wonderfully, but it looked more like one of 'Wretchen's' winning outfits from last season, not for work.
    And Viktor... those shoulders, that neckline, the HIPS, oh my! If they thought the 'little black dress' theme was great for the office, why did they not look to Bert with his more classic styling?
    I'm not a fan of Nina Garcia nor her attitude, but after watching Joanna Coles in action, I see she had a good teacher. I think Meryl Streep must have used her as her muse for the role in 'Devil Wears Prada'. Meryl - you were dead on!

  25. User avater
    CostumeDeeva | | #25

    oops - I meant the judges "DONT" choose the designer who can actually design and sew - sorry!

  26. Flanerie | | #26

    I wish the producers of the show would read the comments from this site, because as sewers/designers ourselves, I think the thoughts expressed here are particularly to-the-point, espec. compared to the average viewer who hasn't ever sewn anything.

    I, too, love Tim Gunn, and wouldn't watch the show if he weren't in it. I also think the judges are overly harsh in their comments most of the time, and would love to see a show that was really more about what the premise of this show is supposed to be, finding a new great designer. . .

    not just another version of backbiting so-called "reality" television, dumbed down to the behind the scene arguments - can't they give the viewer any credit for having some brains?
    I'd really love to see more views of the garments and the creation process. Also, the runway show is even more jazzed up this year with quick-cutting film techniques meant to make the show look more exciting, but only make it harder to focus on the clothing.

    I did love Kimberley's win this week, loved the outfit and thought it was the right choice for the challenge.
    Someone on this site asked if people thought the outfit was remade for Nina. . .I wondered that, too, and think the answer has to be yes, since she doesn't appear to have the proportions of a runway model. I'll bet it wasn't Kimberley, though, as she would have not had the time, since it would be off to the next challenge. . .

  27. User avater
    madwhimsy | | #27

    My goodness, this is starting out to be a poor season. The designs seem uninspired, the "drama" seems to be the focus, the judges seem much flakier on their likes an dislikes, and the hyper-fast editing on the runway portion is completely unwatchable. If this were truly a show about DESIGN we'd see more screen time devoted to DESIGNING. I've been a fan for years, but the fiasco last season, then this poor season... I never thought I'd think this, but I may just give up.

  28. rkr4cds1 | | #28

    Puckers! Wrinkles! Sloppy drag lines!
    All of the clothes are just being made too tightly! Burt's, Viktor's and Julie's were the only ones this week which appeared to actually fit the model who was wearing them; again the rest look like Alice after she tested the 'Drink Me' bottle and began to grow.

    Why is it the current fashion to wear skin-tight clothing everywhere? SOME clothes are designed that way due to the type of cloth involved and the design, but not all. The rest are just hideous because the lines are ruined by seeing all of the wrinkles across the body as the clothing hangs up on every part of the models's already slim build.
    Really look at the designs each week: not for the color or cutting/seam lines or your favorite designer but just to observe whether or not each garment is skimming the body and hangs beautifully while the model moves or if it looks to be spray-painted on. No - wait, I rescind that - spray painting would be a positive, as there would be no wrinkles and puckering in that!!

    It's no wonder then that the average consumer thinks that this is the way in which clothing should be worn and purchases everything 2 sizes too small.
    It's not comfortable to be constantly tugging at one's clothing to resettle it as you're walking, sitting down, standing up, climbing stairs, etc.

    Call me old-fashioned but there's still something to be said for "Mystery lends Enchantment!'

  29. curlysuzieq | | #29

    The coat dress didn't work? I don't know where the judges work, but the first dress is the only one that would work for work, the others--well, I just wonder what type of work they were thinking of!

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