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Episode 4 Recap: The Tortures of Designing For Nina Garcia

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It's week four of Project Runway. Nina Garcia is the client, Michael Kors is legally married and thankfully there are no Kardashians. This is the first time in Project Runway history (this season's most over-used phrase) that the designers have to create garments for Nina. And for this, every designer from the past eight seasons gives thanks to their higher powers. Nina wants an outfit she can wear to the office and then to evening industry events—she just has a couple of minor guidelines: "I like classic with an edge. I wear a lot of streamlined, clean, tailored silhouettes. I do not like voluminous clothes. I do not like lots of pleats, loud patterns or colors." On behalf of the entire world, Heidi Klum responds with, "What's left?" The winner of this challenge not only gets immunity, but their outfit will be worn by Nina in an editorial feature in Marie Claire, as well as in the ads found on top of New York City cabs. Which are kind of like buses...Nina Garcia—Carrie Bradshaw without the tutu.

Not heeding Nina's instructions, Anthony, Becky and Anya all pick prints, with Becky and Anthony accidentally choosing the same exact one—understandably, as there are only thousands at Mood. Nina makes two workroom visits and is extremely critical of all the designers' work, but is not actually bitchy. Pity. Subsequently, the designers' paralyzing fear slows them all down to the point where the normally cool, calm and pristine Tim Gunn begins sweating in his suit.

This week, joining Michael Kors and Nina, we have two guest judges. The first, Joanna Coles, is Nina's boss at Marie Claire. We always enjoy Joanna's visits due to her soul-withering critiques. Joining Joanna, as the second guest judge, is actress Kerry Washington. Kerry talks a lot but doesn't say much. She is there because—well, we're not sure why. Frankly, we don't even know why they bothered having Michael, since this week is going to be one hundred percent Nina's choice—unlike every other week when she just gets her way.

Our top two runners-up for the week are alleged sewing naïf, Anya, with her low-backed silk jumpsuit (and failure to disclose that she had sewing assistance), and Viktor who makes square shouldered black separates. Our winner is Kimberly, with pants and a gold asymmetrical peplum top. Its proportions are perfect for her statuesque model—but less so for little Nina. We love that gold lamé and silk backless jumpsuits constitute "work clothes" at Marie Claire, and hope this trend expands to companies like Best Buy and McDonalds.

Our bottom three for the week include Danielle, whose green blouse and pants ensemble are described as, "sad," and Cecilia, whose drab dress and drabber attitude are criticized in every possible way short of blaming them for famine, pestilence and raising the debt ceiling. Despite the Cecilia bashing, Heidi bids, "auf Wiedersehen," to Julie, whose poorly made coat dress is remarkably similar, albeit not as polished, as the one she made two weeks ago out of dog food bags.

And now for this week's Top Ten Moments of Project Runway Greatness...

10. Cecilia says, "I need to fix my model's nipples...she has huge nipples." Later, when Cecilia's model comes down the runway, millions of DVRs pause.

9. In discussing her design changes, Julie says, "I'm adding more orange," which is exactly what the producers said when they hired Michael Kors.

8. Anthony snarks that Becky used the same fabric he did, insisting that she did it on purpose. Of course this is Anthony, who has been accused of being a little too inspired by Gucci and McQueen, so the higher ground is a bit of a hike for him.

7. Nina critiques the datedness of Cecilia's sketches with, "I feel it's a little Dynasty," which would probably be a more useful critique if the series hadn't run when Cecilia was a toddler. In Argentina.

6. When Nina calls Laura's fabric, "A Christmas green," Laura responds, "Not when it's all pretty and pressed out," then sews on some Christopher Radko ornaments.

5. Julie laments, "I went to fashion school...But everyone was so young and talented." Kind of like on Project Runway, except for the "everyone" talented part. And Bert.

4. Viktor say his outfit, "Looks like it was purchased at Barneys." More like the Warehouse sale. On the last day.

3. Nina seems so comfortable repeatedly asking for "Plan B," that we start wondering how often she visits her pharmacy.

2. When Bryce shows Nina his sketch for a cowl, Nina vehemently declares, "I hate cowl." Actually, a lot of reality stars say that, only most were on American Idol.

1. Laura sews her fabric to her finger. We will not make a blonde joke.

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