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After last week’s team challenge and the departure of Fallene, the designers head back to Parsons for Heidi to introduce their next challenge. They are designing for a tough client, the one and only Nina Garcia. She wants a look that goes from the office to out to an industry event at night. She provide a laundry list of things that she doesn’t like, basically anything with color or volume. The winner will have their designs featured on the ad space on top of taxi cabs.

The designers head to the workroom to sketch for thirty minutes and take a look pictures of Nina’s previous fashion choices. Each designer gets to sit down with Nina and pitch their ideas. She is really pleasant with each of the designers. She nixes Bryce’s cowl neck blouse, likes Anya’s jumpsuit idea, and gets Kimberly to make pants, not a dress. Cecelia sketched a dress and a jacket; Nina calls the jacket old and dated, like it came from Dynasty, and suggests Cecelia just focus on the dress.

Off to Mood the designers go for thirty minutes of shopping. Their budgets are only $200. Anya buys a mustard/gold print, which she knows is a risk. Anthony and Becky both end up buying the same white fabric with a brown design. Cecelia totally starts to crumble when she can’t find what she wants and her thoughts start to get in the way of thinking.

Back in the workroom, Anya contemplates her golden mustard fabric while Julie realizes that Project Runway is not, in fact, a Carnival cruise. I hope she was kidding, because that’s pretty damn obvious from watching only one episode ever. She recently went to fashion school after growing weary of bartending and waitressing; she seems like a bartender, doesn’t she? Cecelia has really hit it off with Julie and thinks she’s an artist. However, Cecelia is bummed at her fabric choice, as it looks much more grey and not purple as it did at Mood. Josh and Anthony snicker about how Becky won’t use the fabric as well as Anthony. In the kitchen, Becky thinks Anthony saw her with the fabric and that’s why he got it.

Nina shows up with Tim for a consultation. First they stop by Danielle’s workstation and Nina thinks the look is too soft and then rejects every fabric option Danielle shows her. Julie feels confident in her decision to add more color. Nina takes a look at the yellow print Anya chose and asks what the Plan B is; there is no Plan B. Nina flies through the room and then has a look at Cecelia’s fabrics and declares them sad and mousy. She too does not have a Plan B. Kimberly’s outfit was going to be nearly exclusively all blue, with some gold brocade at the top of the blouse, but this give Nina some concerns. Before Nina leaves, she tells the designers that the winning look will also be featured in an editorial by Marie Claire.

As Anya struggles with her fabric choice, Josh suggests that she dye the fabric. Anthony helps her mix the dye and she hangs around while he gets call on the computer from his fiancé, another cute young southern guy. Keep the faith guys, maybe one day (oh, about 200 years from now) same-sex marriage will be legal in Louisiana. The models arrive for the fitting and Cecelia is still griping about her fabric and just has to put something on the model. Julie struggles with sewing and timing issues, since she’s so new out of school.

The next day, it’s back to Parsons for the last few hours of work before the runway show. Tim comes in to an empty workroom, only to find all the designers in the sewing room, a first for him. He’s worried for them, since they’re all apparently so far behind. Anya has a ton of work to do, Bryce had to take the dress in and it screwed up the seams, and Cecelia pretty much just gives up on creating anything halfway decent. Since she finished and/or gave up, so she helps Julie finish her garment; Julie was so far behind, she glued in the hem. Meanwhile, Anya is still behind and Laura has her garment done, so she helps Anya out. Viktor thinks all this helping is verging on cheating.

And it’s off to the runway where the looks will be judged by Heidi, Michael, Nina, Joanna Coles (EIC of Marie Claire), and Kerry Washington. The show starts and nothing impresses me all that much. The looks are:
Josh’s shift dress in orange, with an exposed zipper down the back, and a big grey panel in the front which reminds me of cabinet doors.
Bert’s standard LBD.
Olivier’s grey pants and white top/jacket with some odd side panels; it looks very space ship uniform.
Anthony’s vest-like top with an old granny housedress collar and a short skirt that pulls up and pooches at the hip. No one wants that.
Becky’s simple brown and white dress.
Kimberly’s Navy trousers and gold lame top.
Cecelia’s taupe dress with grey accents.
Anya’s sleeveless and open back jumpsuit.
Danielle’s green chiffon blouse and black fitted pants.
Julie’s dress coat with orange sleeves and grey panels. It has a weird, open collar.
Bryce’s Grey and blue dress; it had a screwed up hem, but at least it had sleeves.
Laura’s shiny green dress with a very short skirt with sheer strips. I almost saw model butt.
Viktor’s more structured take on the LBD, but the top and skirt are separates. The cap sleeves are boxy and stick out and the V-neck is so high, I worry that the model will choke.

Heidi calls Danielle, Kimberly, Viktor, Anya, Julie and Cecelia forward and sends the rest of the designers to hang out in the safe room. Laura is sure Kimberly is in the bottom, while Bert thinks Olivier could win—the same Olivier who is sitting next to him on the couch.

The judges start with Viktor; Nina likes the idea of separates, Michael thinks it is well-made but maybe not what’s next but more now, and Joanna thinks it would work for a lot of women. Julie’s coat dress isn’t a hit; Nina doesn’t like the openness of the collar, Michael thinks it looks like a housedress, and Joanna would fire Nina if she turned up at the office in it. To the surprise of no one, including Cecelia, the judges do not like her sad dress. Michael hates the fabric and the colors and Kerry doesn’t think the dress would be good for day or night. Kimberly’s outfit is loved by all, which perplexes me. That gold brocade top looks heavy and hot and if I wore it to work, my secretary would immediately call the men with the white coats. Anya explains that she dyed the fabric; they love the shape of the outfit and Heidi is still amazed that she only learned to sew four months ago; Viktor rolls his eyes. Danielle is disappointed that the blouse isn’t more sheer to show off the detailing. Michael thinks it’s very 80s, Kerry likes it but not for Nina, and Joanna thinks it looks like clothes for depressed people.

The judges deliberate; Nina thinks Danielle just didn’t get done what she wanted to, whereas Michael and Joanna think it looks dated and something a mother would make while cooking for their kids. Julie’s coatdress was an unmitigated disaster and Cecelia just pretty much gave up on the challenge. They comment that Cecelia looks like she didn’t want to be there and Julie has been on a consistent losing streak. Nina likes the cleanness of Viktor’s dress; Anya’s jumpsuit was inspired; and Kimberly’s top looks rich and will make the wearer feel fabulous.

The designers return to have Kimberly named the winner. Gold brocade wins? WTH? Viktor, Anya, and Danielle are all safe. Heidi says they didn’t understand Julie’s dress and Cecelia gave up; curiously, Cecelia is allowed to stay and Julie has to pack her scissors and go. It’s a shame Julie is going, I just figured out who she reminds me of—Amy Poehler doing that one-legged chick character on SNL.

We get a post-script where Kimberly stopped by Marie Claire to see Nina in her outfit and then catches a cab with the ad on the top. Next week brings another team challenge and it looks like fights break out.