PR: Textbook Cases

Posted on August 20, 2011

Cecilia and Anya inadvertently demonstrated what you should and shouldn’t do when faced with a design that’s not working. Future contestants: take notes.

Cecilia, honey, this was your first mistake: listening to Nina.

That sounds like a silly thing to say, considering Nina was both the client of this challenge as well as one of its judges. Normally, we’d be right there urging all designers to do exactly what they’re told. In this case, Cecilia was told not do the jacket she originally pitched because Nina thought it would be too much for the look. This rejection of her idea seems to have sent her into a tailspin.

But when you find yourself flailing about in mid-challenge, maybe it would be better for you to stop trying to please the client and instead be true to yourself. It doesn’t always work, but it’s usually a better idea to stick to your guns rather than stay beholden to a design that you don’t love, even if it is closer to the client’s wishes.

We’re not saying adding a puffy-sleeved jacket to Cecilia’s look would have helped it…

But it definitely couldn’t have hurt.

It’s not that this is a horrible design; it’s just that it seems barely designed at all. The color-blocking is just okay. It probably would have worked better with more interesting colors, though. We’re not sure why she didn’t try dyeing the fabrics once she realized the colors were drab, but dyeing on the fly like that is a pretty risky thing to do and she could have wound up with fabric even more drab than before.

And she absolutely should have ditched the whole twisted neckline thing. It’s too heavy-looking.  She must have really been thrown off her game (an understatement, since she openly wished to leave the competition), because the execution here is terrible.

Also, the micro-mini aspects didn’t help.

A jacket over this drab dress would not have pushed it into the winner’s circle, but it would have gone a long way in mitigating the more obvious bad elements of the dress as well as given the whole dreary design a lift. No, Nina wouldn’t have liked it, but the judges always respect a designer who sticks to their guns over a designer who just gives up. She’s marked now, and she’ll have to work that much harder to impress the judges next time.

Worse for her, her little pity party didn’t endear her in the eyes of her competitors, especially when she allowed someone else to go home all the while complaining that she just wants to go home. Oh, honey. You really don’t understand the politics of this thing.

Anya, on the other hand, did things exactly the way Cecilia should have. Even if her sewing skills are the worst in the room, she’s shown a gamesmanship and a determination to do things right that’s served her well so far and earned her the respect of the judges.

Granted, we have no idea what she was thinking when she picked this pile of mustard-colored fabrics. It’s not a color Nina’s known for and we don’t ever recall seeing her wear tone-on-tone like that. Nina’s all about the contrast.

But instead of whining and feeling sorry for herself, like some people in the room, Anya got down to figuring out how to get out of the mess she was in and she did so by taking a bunch of risks. Result?

Knocked it the hell out of the park, we’d say.

Is this perfectly executed and totally Nina? No. Not even close. But the judges really adored it.

And why did the judges adore it, even if it wasn’t what they were looking for? Because she stuck to her guns as a designer and she fixed a problem with great style. Can anyone in the class tell us how that differs from Cecilia’s approach?

Put your hands down. It was a rhetorical question and besides, you look pretty silly raising your hand in front of your monitor like that.

We’ll take the judges’ word that this was a gorgeous color. It looked like a rich brown to us with undertones of the original gold, but the lighting on the runway isn’t always good for color accuracy.

No, Nina wouldn’t wear something this slinky and low cut in the back. But we will say this: Yesterday, a lot of people scoffed at the idea that a fashion editor would wear the same outfit to an industry event as they would all day in the office. They’re not all Anna Wintour, you know. Most fashion editors are hard-working career men and women with fairly typical home lives.

We’ve been to industry events with fashion editors in attendance and it’s not at all unusual to see them in a jazzed-up version of a work outfit; a simple garment with kickass shoes and jewelry that obviously went on at the last minute.

In fact, the last time we saw Nina it was at the Oscar de la Renta resort 2012 show, which took place in the late afternoon on a weekday. The room was full of editors in casual work clothes (except Wintour, who was dressed to the nines). We went up to Nina afterward to say hello. She was wearing a khaki jumpsuit.

Just sayin’.

And while the tailoring on this wasn’t perfect, it was amazingly good. Yes, she got a lot of help in the workroom, but we can’t believe for a second that she did anything but the majority of the sewing for this look. We don’t care how kind-hearted some of them are, no PR contestant is going to sew an outfit for another contestant. Help them figure out some sewing issues, yes; actually construct a garment, no. And no matter how much Hissing Viktor hisses, it’s not cheating to accept help in the workroom. It might behoove Anya to mention to the judges when she does receive help, but she’s not obligated to.

Bottom line: she was in a design hole, made a bunch of risky creative decisions, and whipped up something very stylish and sharp. We said yesterday that this season is mostly without its teacher’s pets so far and many offered Anya up as a way to disprove that. We suppose she is a teacher’s pet, but we hesitate to use the term for someone who hasn’t won a challenge yet. To us, a teacher’s pet usually gets more praise than she deserves, but Anya deserved every bit of praise that came her way this week.

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/ – Screencaps:]

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  • nevermind. faulty memory.

    • Bert won the first challenge; Oliveier the second, and Blenley the third.

    • Anonymous

      No, she didn’t.  Bert did.

  • Anonymous

    Great post, as always.  I know help is always offered and I think it’s a wonderful attribute of contestants who offer to help. However, the one thing the judges gushed and gushed over with this outfit was the collar and how tailored it was.  But Anya did NOT do the collar.  So yeah, she’s not obligated, but she was praised for something on the garment she didn’t do.

    • Anonymous

      Okay, I’m a little confused. I don’t recall any of the judges even so much as mentioning the collar.

      • Anonymous

        Well, I will have to watch it again, but I could have sworn Michael said something about the detailing on the collar. I only watch my second round the following week, so someone can correct me (and I’m sure they will!)

  • Anonymous

    I like the way she used the mustard color to line it so that just a skooch showed in the back.  Very pretty.

    Would love to know the actual color of the belt!  It looks bright red in some photos, brown in others.

    • Love your profile pic by the way!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you!

  • Yeah, her sewing skills are a bit behind…  but she has fantastic, stylish, and beautiful ideas.  Which means a lot, IMO. 

  • Ben

    Wow, the brown color looks great up close. 

  • I have an inherent prejudice against beauty queens, but Anya is making me question that.  She’s so friggin’ smart, and her personality seems lovely.  We could all learn from her attitude:  she truly embodied Tim’s “Make it work” philosophy.  

    Having said all that, I really don’t like the jumpsuit or it’s styling (hate that multichain necklace thing with a passion, shudder; hatehatehate that trend).  But!  Unlike the Wilma or Bert’s little dress, it has design ideas.  I do like that back, with the low drapey neckline.

    On another note, it is driving me insane that in some pictures, Anya’s lovely model has a garish red belt on, and in others, it’s a crap brown.  I don’t like either color but would like to know which it is.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I have an inherent prejudice against beauty queens, but Anya is making
      me question that.  She’s so friggin’ smart, and her personality seems
      lovely.  We could all learn from her attitude:  she truly embodied Tim’s
      “Make it work” philosophy. 

      Yup, that’s where I was from the first episode.  I mean, I was really expecting to hate her.  But the vibe she gives off is someone who discovered she can do something other than walk around and look pretty, and now she’s taking it very seriously.  It’s like the reverse of the smart girl who discovers she can be pretty.

      • muzan-e

        … someone who discovered she can do something other than walk around and look pretty, and now she’s taking it very seriously.

        You’ve perfectly stated my appreciation for her. Thank you! *g*  Because that’s what has intrigued me: that she’s so committed to the job, and she’s so serious about learning it – which is a whole different world in which to exist. Where other untried designers in past seasons have fussed about “Oh, I don’t know how to – ” and “Oh, it’s too hard to – ” and “I’m too scared to function”..  she’s made a habit so far of identifying her weaknesses and working: she expects to be challenged, she expects it to be hard.

        Good stuff. *g*

      • Yes, thumbs up for Anya figuring out how to handle that pile of crapola mustard fabric. She’s definitely got competitive spirit.

    • I wonder how much of her calmness and “Make it work” personality is because she just discovered design not that long ago.  When your whole life has been devoted to getting somewhere, you’re going to react far more strongly when you see it falling apart, and I think that’s where a lot of the other designers are coming from.  Anya may be benefiting from not having as much exposure to the industry and how hard it really is to get into.

    • i think it’s red & the close-ups are washing out all of the colors. i think so, but it’s very hard to color correct from the photos, above, cos there isnt anything but the outfit to work w/ other than skin/neutrals/blue background that shows up as different colors under different lighting, even the workroom photos have no belt & the fabric is pre-dye…..
      –anyway, thats already tmi. so, you can go w/ my guess, if you like. if it makes any difference, i’ve been a photoshop professional since the end of 1993. thats why i tried to help.

  • Anonymous

    You know it’s silly the way Viktor went on about about Anya getting help and it being almost cheating. You can go as far back as season 2 with people helping each other. And to make the hyperbole that Blenley did half the work was more than a little petty and bitchy.

    It was cear that Anya had the majoity of the out  done. The tailoring isn’t bad at all. In fact it’s a damn siight better than her first entry. And I was impressed how well styled it was. A Anya aint gonna wion this competition or be in the finals but she does have design ability

    • Anonymous

      Also, we didn’t hear him complaining about Cecelia helping Julie. That doesn’t mean he didn’t complain, of course. But we can only go by what we see.

  • Who was it that was GLUING their garment and Tim mentioned seeing/not seeing it happening? I blinked & missed it.  (Loved Anya’s btw. Think Cecelia should have quit if she doesn’t want to be there. Didn’t like her attitude from the get go.)

    • BuffaloBarbara

      That was Julie, at the last minute.

    • Anonymous

      Julie was gluing her coat-dress.

    • Maybe Julie but when I saw Bryce’s hem, I thought it was his. It was really wonky.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s simply just a matter of taste, but I really didn’t care for Anya’s design this week.  The calf length pirate pant hem is flattering on absolutely no one, including the tiny model.  Also given the model’s relatively narrow hips that belt placement is atrocious, a waist cinching belt would be so much more flattering on anyone, model or otherwise, though the low cut back makes that harder to accomplish. 

    • Anonymous

      I disagree with you.  The length of the pant, along with the narrowing at the top of the calf, make it the only capri length that I, personally, can wear.  Longer and shorter lengths tend to chop the leg in half.  This pant doesn’t–in part because it comes it.  Capris are weird–they’re something I’d never buy without trying a particular pair on.  And the belt works on this model with this outfit.  A higher belt would have made her look somewhat short-waisted.  The belt and its placement make her look like she’s got more of an S curve around the hips and waist than she actually has. 

      • Anonymous

        It looks to me that the belt had to be slung low to fit below the plunging back.

      • It’s slinky without being slutty

      • oohsparkley!

        I agree with Glammie.  I loved this jumpsuit and I normally hate jumpsuits.  I thought it looked sexy as all get out on the runway.  I also think Anya benefitted from a great model, who was selling the look.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for saying this. I remember pants with these hems, longer on the outside, shorter on the inside, from the late 80s and they weren’t attractive then. Not attractive now. Next thing you know, someone is going to send stirrup pants down that runway.
      While I agree she was smart about dying her fabric (Cecilia said more than once that she didn’t have any dye or that she didn’t have time to dye, which I find funny–she had the same time Anya did), I don’t like this shape at all. Why are designers constantly trying to shove jumpsuits on women? They try every 5 years or so, just like they try the peasant blouse. Jumpsuits are a total beyotch and I never see anyone out wearing one. You have to practically get undressed to go to the bathroom, and you feel the pull of the pants through your shoulders all day. Fashion designers, enough with the jumpsuits!

  • BuffaloBarbara

    It didn’t fit the challenge, and I think I’d have put Becky’s in the top three over it, but yeah, good job on the mid-flight course correction.  She did deserve the praise, even if I didn’t think she should be in the top three (probably that’s why they put her there).  If they had only put it there because of construction, I’d have said it was important to say she had help, but they seemed to be talking more about the design.  Maybe she could have said, “Anthony Ryan brought up dying it…” but yeah, she wasn’t obliged to do so.

    Cecilia… Poor thing.  I actually did feel bad for her; she acts like she’s trapped.  The garment was a cry for help.  I was wondering why she didn’t dye it–she said she couldn’t; that she didn’t have any dye.  Is there some stash of dye or something that she ran out of her share?  I was confused.

    • Anonymous

      I felt sorry for her, I think she just gave up and didn’t have it in her to try to dye her fabric.  Wasn’t she the one who said “I have no fears” or something like that in the designer intros? 

      • BuffaloBarbara

        I get the feeling that it was the rejection of the jacket that did it–maybe the jacket’s design as she sketched it is something that’s so completely in her aesthetic (she had just been interviewing that she thought she had it nailed), and having it rejected as dated implied to her that her entire aesthetic was dated and tired.  (It’s too bad; I thought it was a cute jacket in the sketch, actually.)

    • I thought Anya’s jumpsuit earned its place in the top three.  Not necessarily something Nina would wear but definitely an outfit someone in fashion could both wear to work and out after work. 

      Becky’s was fine but the way she used the pattern and the fact that it was gray on white was that it made the dress look like it had been splashed with gutter water…a not inconceivable event in NYC.   Anthony Ryan’s also had that “gutter water” feel to it, but at least it was up around the shoulders.  Becky deployed in the exact way someone would get splashed.  If the pattern were in any color other than gray (well, maybe not brown either) her dress would have been top 3, but as it was, it fell in the middle for me.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        I liked Becky’s better than AR’s, but then, I just didn’t like the print all that well to begin with.  Another problem is that Becky’s might have been too literally Nina–it reminded me of the black and white dress with diagonal draped fabric that she’d worn as recently as last week’s challenge (however long before that it was in actual filming time).

    • Anonymous

      Not that it really matters, but it was Josh who suggested dying the fabric to Anya.

      I just don’t get the Anya love, honestly. She’s ok, but it does seem like she takes a LOT of advice from others, and needs it.

  • Anonymous

    I was surprised that no one seemed to have a Plan B.

    Anya’s little jumpsuit was cute, her gamesmanship is superb, and the styling was just right.  I really like that belt, like a lot a lot.

  • I don’t know…that brown looked awful diarrhea-colored to me, especially with the original mustard coming through.  (Oy, that sounds quite nasty.)  I really didn’t like it, but I guess you could say it had redeeming aspects.  I definitely don’t think it deserved top 3.

  • Anonymous

    Anya has an uncanny ability to always put herself in the position of being the severe underdog who has to work her way back, thus, no matter what she produces it’s a major accomplishment instead of just meh. And that is an AMAZING talent to have given that she’s, you know, literally a winning beauty queen. That no one has been verbal about it until really this episode is another amazing feat on her part. But Viktor — and Becky, I might add — are clues that the sentiment is simmering there and ready to blow.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I wish I had such manipulative skills.  When I was working I got steamrollered by people like this because I was busy doing my job and being genuine.

      • D J

        Agreed. I would happily take a beauty queen class just to learn this sort of manipulation. To Hell with the swimsuit competition, manipulation is the way of the game!

  • I thought Anya’s design, while a creative solution to a problem, didn’t deserve to be in the top 3.  It was nice, yes, but remove the belt, and there’s not much left.

    No mention of the fact that this is the first time she’s sent her model out without her own hairstyle?

  • Anonymous

    Cecelia bugs. Can I just mention these are her answers in the preshow interview:

    What’s your biggest fear as a designer?

    “I don’t have fears; they enslave you. Take me or leave, I am me and my circumstance.”

    Me: Bitch, please. You don’t have fears but you give up after the third (third!) challenge and then whine about it. 

     Project Runway challenge you wish they’d bring back for your season?

    “This will bite me right in the back. I like the couture one; they all sucked at it.”

    Me: They all sucked at couture but you can’t even make a flattering-looking Wilma dress.

    Why do you think you will win Project Runway?

    “I’ve already won.”

    Me: LOL. X100

    I like Anya. She’s game, seems friendly enough,  and undeniably has talent for designing stylish garments.  And she is her own muse, much like Laura, Uli, Korto, Leanne. Too bad she didn’t wait a few years to hone her skills before trying out for Project Runway. At the very least I think she is going to make it far enough to show as a decoy. But I don’t think she has the technical skills to make it to the top three. Especially against the likes of Kimberly and Victor, both of whom have strong technical skills and good eye for design.

  • sonictofu

    Has Viktor seen the show before?  I can’t remember a season when people didn’t help one another in the workroom.  I remember one challenge, probably during the LA season of mostly one-day challenges, when even the models helped sew.  Granted, it’s questionable strategy to help a flailing competitor, and I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t help, but I’ve never seen it regarded as cheating.  Maybe more than the collar was sewn by Blenley?

    • I think Anna got help because she’s nice- she doesn’t brag and seems remarkably free of ex-beauty queen attitude.

    • The model helping was Jillian’s model in season 4 with the Twizzler dress.

      I know the definition in competition is to win and better for you if the rivals are far behind you, but there are some people who like helping others, not very practical, but it’s a normal and understandable act as a person. If Anya was charming enough to get help, good for her and the ones who wanted to go with her further in the competition, at least she came out with her own design ideas. The ones who don’t chose to help, it’s ok, because they have to focus in their own projects.The point about this is that Viktor is looking at others instead of his own business. He chose to not do a scandal about it, fine, that’s polite. Caring a lot about what other people do is not.

      • Anonymous

        Didn’t Daniel V. get help during the finale? I seem to remember Tim going back stage and discovering everyone was helping Daniel with finishing touches. I think he fell behind because he as running around looking for those damn purses.

  • What I didn’t get was how the judges loved the brown/brick/fall colors this time but hated Failin’s fall colors in the past. Hello? Same color palette!!!

    • Not really… Fallene’s was a darker, denser brown with the red. Anya’s looked more olive to me and had gold accents. I actually thought Fallene’s colors were fine but they were different.

  • MilaXX

    I like Anya and while I can see why people are suspicious over the whole just learned to sew thing, I don;t understand the rest of the side eye she seems to be getting from viewers.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      Me, either.  It’s kind of surprising.  She hasn’t done anything particular to deserve it.

      • MilaXX

        Even the complaints about how she styles how models hair just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me.  I see that hairstyle or a variation of it pretty much every single day. Rhianna wore her hair like that for a while so it’s not like it isn’t something mainstream public hasn’t seen before. April Johnson did it for nearly the entire season and the judges didn’t mention it for most of the season. As demonstrated with this challenge she obviously knows when to not use it so what’s the big deal?

        •  Right. It’s a pretty ubiquitous ‘edgy’ hairstyle, and so far, all of her looks have been styled fairly well. It fits. And I don’t think that a hairstyle that is so common can actually be attributed purely to ego, much like April’s messy bun. They’re just hairstyles, and fairly trendy ones, at that.

  • Anonymous

    You just know Viktor’s the type in the summer share who’s always complaining. “I bought those crackers for us to eat Sunday with cocktails and SHE came home after tea and ate half the bag!” 

    • It’s pretty telling of (as-edited) Viktor that he didn’t complain about the help Julie received.

      • Well, that would be another case. Viktor complained about Anya getting in the Top3 and getting the compliments on her sewing abilities, while Julie got help but that doesn’t matter because she got auf’d. Sounds a little like envy to me…

    • Anonymous

      I love you.

    • Anonymous

      Also, I bet he insists on splitting the check down to the last penny.

      Fun game: In what other ways is Viktor a petty little punk?

  • Anonymous

    Hooray for Anya.  To her credit, even though she picked a non-Nina color, she *knew* that when she picked it and acknowledged as much to Tim. (“It’s a risk.”)  So she was deliberately taking that risk rather than not understanding Nina’s aesthetic and operating under the delusion that NIna would love it.  That’s an important distinction, in my book.  I was kinda hoping she would win just to make Viktor  froth at the mouth, but I suspect he will anyway.  Bottom line is, as you pointed out, even if she received help along the way, the design that the judges liked was all hers.   I’m sure as the competition gets tighter she’ll have to sink or swim on her own.

    Not much to say about Cecilia.  Dour, deafeated and probably should have gone home.  But she lives to kvetch through another challenge.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to go ahead and call her a finalist, based on her pulling this out of the ‘oh shit’ in this challenge.  No idea who the others might be, though.  

  • muzan-e

    A moment I truly loved: Nina Garcia’s second consultation with Anya. Nina Garcia, who’s just been striding through the workroom striking fear and uncertainty into the hearts of all. Surely she knows she’s intimidating them. Surely it’s purposeful. At Anya’s desk: This is no good, that is incomprehensible, this is just plain doubtful –

    Anya, are you sure you want to do this?

    And with a lift of her chin, Anya gives her a Yes. 

    Anya.  I’m Nina KickingYourAss Garcia. Are you sure?

    And Anya looks her right in the eyes.

    That’s some guts.
    And I strongly suspect that Garcia appreciated this.

  • I also liked Anya’s styling this week. Her model didn’t look like her (Anya) or Nina (which most designers defaulted to), she looked like the kind of woman that would wear that jumpsuit.

    • Anonymous

      Well, she really didn’t have the option to style her model like herself or Nina with that bob.

      • We don’t have many challenges to go on but in the last 2, she had her models styled with their hair mimicking hers. Not shaved but pulled tight at the sides with a faux-hawk on top.

      •  I like the model who was paired with Viktor this week. I think she’s brilliantly beautiful. I hope she sticks around.

        That said, when do they get to start fighting over models? That was one of the driving forces behind the drama in Season 2, especially when the designers each found a muse in their respective models. Chloe and Grace made an amazing duo!

  • Anonymous

    I was surprised they saved Cecelia–had to be because of the sewing abilities she showed last week and Julie’s inability to come up with a passable garment.  But Cecelia’s a marked woman now.  

    Anya’s like the anti-Cecelia.  She really doesn’t have the sewing skills, but girl’s got game–wish she’d waited a year and honed the skills because she’s got everything else–style, flair, competitive poise, smarts.  She is going to hit a wall at some point–either a speed challenge or a couture challenge.  It would be interesting to see her on a team with Bert–she could modernize him if he were able to pay her any attention.

    Man, Victor’s obnoxious.

    • I don’t think that would be the case with Bert. Bert probably would dismiss Anya’s style because of him having more experience. Coming to think about it, if Viktor was bitching about Anya, Bert is a bigger bitch.

  • I don’t understand Cecilia’s “I didn’t have any dye” excuse.  They’re supposed to bring their own?  Buy it at Mood?  How did Anya have dye and she didn’t?

    • Anonymous

      This is one of those P.R. mysteries that left me wondering too …

      • Hard to believe that didn’t come up on the runway. Sure is curious… And it’s the second challenge in a row where Cecilia throws her hands up, all “I can’t do anything about it now!” Last week being the hair fiasco.

    • R’amon in season 6 dyed the dress in the toilet and Vanessa wore it still wet (after she refused and Tim had to pep-talk to her). Cecilia doesn’t have an excuse, then. And Anya dyed her sheets in the first challenge, she had previous experience about it.

      About where the dye came from… I bet from the same place the threats and needles and muslin comes from in the workroom.

  • Siege Johnson

    It seems to me that the people who always complain the most about others getting help are the people who A. Would never ever help someone else (it’s a COMPETITION!) and B. No one would want to help if they were to need it because they’re such jerks.

    I can’t begrudge Anya– who has a good attitude and would totally help someone else were she in a position to–getting a little assist. It might have been nice for her to mention that on the runway, but I can understand why she might just keep mum.

    On the whole, I was surprised and impressed by this design. When she first proposed it, I was in doubt because I’ve seen very few successful jumpsuits on PR. However, she worked hard, was flexible, and remained positive. I like Anya a lot more than I expected to, and wish her the best.

    • Anonymous

      I was wondering how the judges would react if a designer stated that they got help. Would they reward the honesty or disparage the naivetè?

  • Well, and this is only the 2nd time she’s been in the top, too.  The pet challenge and the stilt challenge she was merely safe.  I think the judges are impressed with her, but they don’t seem to have the same unexplainable fascination with her and inability to recognize her flaws that they have with some other pets — Emilio and Gretchen come to mind for example. 

    Or maybe the editing style has just changed to not make it look that way anymore.  We don’t know that they were never as hard on their past pets as they deserved; maybe it was just edited that way to set them up for the finale.  And we don’t know that they aren’t going way overboard with any of the designers this year, since they are maybe just edited not to show as much.

  • If Anya “cheated”, then I want to bring last season’s Andy here, because he won a challenge where April and Peach helped him with the rest of his ribbon dress, and Michael C was accused by Ivy of cheating for using tape. I read a comment in the last post where some were taking Viktor’s side because “some people know what integrity was”… Idealist thinking, but it’s a competition, it doesn’t have to be aggresively selfish.

    What’s wrong with getting help? First season Austin even MODELED for Jay, as I mentioned before, Andy got help from Peach and April, Mondo even warmed to Michael C. after helping him about patterns. In this episode, Anya got advice from Anthony about dying and some help from Blenley, but nobody told her how to fix her mustard-jumpsuit in time. Even if Julie got booted off, Cecilia helped her when she could just sit back and prepare her parting speech. I know some will reply with “competition”, “sewing is required”, “she should have not pass the casting because of the sewing”, well, yeah? whatever. Next time do sewing challenges, then. we will get to see LOTS of ripoffs and compare which ones look less copy, that will be amazing, right?

    You know what I realised?? Maybe Anya is going to be this season’s Michael C (sewing abilities) and Viktor will be flipside-Ivy (inversed design style I think)…

    Outside of the last season comparisons, Blenley is turning out to be more friendly than I thought… I totally bet she was going to be “carrying card villain”, when the title is going between Bert and Cecilia in my eyes.

    Anyone noticed when Bert was saying “I bet in the bottom will be Olivier” “Olivier is next to you”…? Awkward…

    • it’s viktor.
      bert’s just older, just outta AA, & ignoring the rest of them. in the ignoring is the arrogance, but he isnt a real villain.

    • Emma Wallace

      I remember that conversation differently. I thought Bert said he bet Olivier would be in the top.

      • Anonymous

        I recall hearing Bert saying he bet Olivier would be in the top as well.

        • Anonymous

          I wondered if he was thinking “Viktor” and said “Olivier”, which is odd since he was just chained to Viktor in the paired challenge, but my first thought was he was referring to the black dress.

      • Yeah, I don’t know why I spaced. I only remembered Olivier was glaring at Bert after he said his name, so I asumed from vague memories it was bottom. Thanks for the correction.

    • Anonymous

      Remember when Michael Knight taught somebody how to do a runway walk? That’s still one of my favorite memories!

      • Yeah. Hip Hop vs. Hopity Hop. Kaynbow getting advice from Michael, even if the outfit was tacky, but still it was fluffy and brotherly bonding :).

        Helping fellow contestants won’t help you win the competition, but at least they get you points with the viewers, that’s important too.

        • It is, especially since Fan Favorite gets a few thousand dollars! At least, in past seasons they have.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I loved that. Michael had that shit down!

  • Anonymous

    I was surprised by how much I liked the jumpsuit, even knowing it was not Nina’s style at all. If I could wear a jumpsuit, and that would be if an Adipose baby looked good in a jumpsuit, this is one I would be attracted to. Anya is proving to be quite likable, and more importantly, someone who does not freeze under pressure.

    Cecelia is apparently the opposite, despite her big talk pre-competition. A simple, but well constructed jacket might have kept her out of the bottom, and showed that she thought for herself as a designer. I liked Julie more, and wish that Cecelia had been the one to go home, with her defeatist attitude.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the design or fabric are good , but the funny thing is  Cecilla’s dress looks  almost exactly like the sketch. Day to evening, it is not. But with a jacket?Maybe.
    As to Anya. Good job turning it around. But where did the did the dye come from? Cecilla said in her interview that she didn’t have any dye. I thought the designers couldn’t use anything from previous challenges. Odd that. I also wonder what Anya’s original skectch looked like , we never got to see it. And all the time it takes to dye the fabric and when it is wet you can’t do anything…..
    I am not so amazed by the short amount of time she has been sewing , because you can learn to sew relatively well in a few months. Pattern making is another story though.
    PS I do not scoff that an fashion editor would wear the same “type ” of clothes to an afternoon (althought I think “evening” was stated in the challenge ) event. Just not they exact same clothes that they had had on all day at work.

    • My theory about the dye is that it was in the supply closet with the threats, needles, muslin, etc. I don’t recall they had to buy dye either (if they did, I really don’t remember, even from previous seasons the dye was in the drawing box I guess)

      • Anonymous

        I think Cecelia just gave up. There has to be dye freely available; many designers have used it last-minute over the seasons. Anya didn’t plan on using it until she was already back in the workroom.

    • Anonymous

      The sketches can be seen on Lifetime’s web site. 
      The sketches are under On The Runway. 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Anya is a teacher’s pet so much as she is a survivor, the make-lemonade-out-of-lemons type.  In any case, she’s a feisty little gal and I get the feeling she’ll always land on her feet. She’s either very lucky or brilliant. Whichever. It’s working for her. Cecilia is the exact polar opposite, which also makes it very boring to watch her in action. The twisted neckline is about the only thing I liked about her dress. She can go at any time; she’s not adding much to the party.

  • Anonymous

    I’m kind of falling out of love with Anya. For me it’s not a case of another designer volunteering to help her with a little stitching, but that plus getting the idea to dye from someone else plus spending half an hour buying a color the client would hate — all in one episode. I don’t think it’s cheating, just lame.

    I’m not crazy about Cecilia; her attitude this ep sucked, especially the lies about picking the wrong color (bad lighting at Mood? Really?). However I’m willing to cut her some slack on the “wanting” to go home issue. We’ve seen this in other competitive reality – most notably ANTM – where a contestant gets frustrated/stressed out/deflated and in a moment of homesickness/sleep deprivation says “I wouldn’t mind going home”. I don’t want to play semantics but I don’t think that’s the same as saying “I want to go home”. Had Cecila tried to volunteer to leave instead of Julie, I cringe to think of the bad metaphors Kors would have heaped upon her. Julie would have been aufed anyway and the judges held the grudge against Cecilia (for “giving up”) until the following week when they could auf her.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think she was lying about the colour issue and Mood’s lighting (not to be confused with mood lighting). In Season 2, Daniel Vosovic picked out a black stretch satin at Mood that turned out to be brown at Parsons. Of course, if she hadn’t been so flustered, she might have taken it to the window and checked how it looked in sunlight to be sure.

      But I think you’re absolutely right that if she had volunteered to leave, the judges would still have sent Julie home and then held it against her for giving up.

  • Anonymous

    Not to be contrarian but I think that Anya’s fabric is hiddy in mustard or brown.  The tiny chevron pattern reminds me of a table cloth. I don’t see Nina wearing that fabric anywhere at anytime.  I agree however that the siloutte is fab.  

  • THANK you!  After being accused of being a dishonest piece of crap for pointing out that she didn’t have to tattle on herself, I’m glad y’all said the same thing I did.  ‘Sides, she’d be a piss-poor contestant to rat herself out to the judges!  After all, she was the recipient of help from Blenley and got some unsolicited advice on top of that… not a crime.  Not against the rules.  

    As for Cecelia… I had her tagged for Queen b**ch after the premier, but she’s sunk into obscurity and apathy.  I smell an AUF in her near future.

    • Anonymous

      Wait, who’s a dishonest piece of crap? Anya for not saying she had help? What difference does it make? And you KNOW Victor was standing there wanting to say something but just didn’t have the stones. I don’t think it would have been a bad thing to have said something, but she knows what the deal is and what the help added to her garment. If it wasn’t much, then why bother?

      • No, that’s what I was called.  Apparently, because I pointed out that she was under no obligation to rat on herself, I don’t value things like honor and honesty.

      • Anonymous

        May not have been lack of stone…rather that he realized tattling would reflect badly on him.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I would like to say that Anya belongs, she is not displaying to me much more than the ability to charm other contestants into helping her with ideas and execution.  So be it.  She can make pants (although I’m doubtful of a waistband at this point), she can drape something into a halter or similar untailored thing, and that’s fine, too, good for her.   But I’m very annoyed by her limitations and I guess I also don’t like useless charmers. 

    Very Bitter Kitten

    • Anonymous

      How is she charming others when they offered their services?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think that I said that she asked for help.  I offer help to puppies without being asked.  They’re charming.

  • In some shots the undertone of gold through the brown gives the impression that the fabric is sheer.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Cecilia, it’s breaking your heart.
    It’s shaking your confidence daily.
    Oh Cecilia, I think we all know,
    you’ll be auf’d from the show
    And go home.

    Home home home.

    Makin’ clothes in the afternoon with Cecilia
    Up in the workroom
    She constantly whines and moans
    She is dour and dreary.  I wish she’d go home.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I’ve had that song in my head all day…

  • Anonymous

    Cecillia just gave-up.  When she ran into a few stumbling blocks ( color and fabric choices) she checked out,went awol, flew the coop,took an early lunch (I can’t think of anymore). Oh, yes I can, did a runner (EastEnders). What I’m trying to say is, the girl  forgot this is a competition and you keep it moving until the end. Amirite? Which is a shame because she’s a good seamstress and if she had just gather her nerves and thoughts, I really think she could’ve produced something far better than what walked down that runway. Even with her fabric issues, she could’ve done better. And WTF was up with her model. That girl was walking like she was working a corner! But regardless, Ceillia needs to learn to improvised and not throw-in-the-towel ( hey, I did have another one in me!).  

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t like Anya’s jumpsuit. I thought it was shapeless and the collar was wonky on the right side. The only thing that gave it shape and interest was the belt. I don’t think it deserved the top three. I do give Anya credit for coming up with a plan B.  Cecelia’s dress deserved to be in the bottom three. Poor design. She doesn’t seem cut out for this competition. She’ll be going home soon.

  • is PR ever gonna explain how one of them had dye & the other didnt have dye? it doesnt make any sense.

    • Patricia Biswanger

      I think Cecilia just didn’t think to look, and as I recall it was another designer who suggested it to Anya.

      • MilaXX

        I agree, it came across as more of an excuse than anything else. Cecelia pretty much gave up halfway thru this challenge.

        • Wasn’t she the one complaining about not being able to afford her fabric?  Seems to me that she’d thrown in the towel at Mood! 

          Granted, I have wondered about affording some of the fabric they use on their budget, because Mood is pricey.  I poked around their website once out of idle curiosity and even their cottons are horrendously expensive!

    • RosiesGirl

      Oh the suffering I am willing to bear for you witty and intelligent TLo followers!  I too was wondering about the dye question, so I did a search on the web and got (drum roll please….) Nuthin’! until I broke down and went to the website “TV Without Pity” which is hosted by Bravo.  One of the sharp eyed commenters on that site remembered seeing “a counter full of Rit dye boxes and bottles” in an earlier episodes.  However it was regular Rit, not a dye suitable for use on polyester.  The poster didn’t see any Rit for synthetics (called “IDye) on the counter.  

      If this poster is correct, we may have an answer to the puzzle.  I must say that some people are watching with an  attention to detail that is truly amazing.

    • Anonymous

      I just did a Google search on “project Runway and Dyes” and got nothing.  So, being relatively devoid of a life, I went the the Bravo owned website, “TV without Pity”.  A poster there recalls seeing a counter full of Rit dye boxes and bottles.  The poster did not see the Rit product called, “IDye” which is suitable for dyeing polyester and speculated that Cecelia’s material was Poly. 

      I spare no effort in support of fellow unborn fawns and bitter kittens!

      • I doubt that Cecilia’s fabric was poly.  I don’t know for sure, but I get the impression that they’re encouraged to use natural fibers (unless they’re designing wrestling outfits 😉 ).   And if her fabric was poly, why didn’t she say so, or say that her fabric wasn’t the kind that takes dye well?  I was confused by Cecilia “not having any dye,” too.  

        Also, she might have been able to get away with dying the gray fabric purple, to make it more the way it looked to her at Mood.  She could have at least done a test swatch!   She just gave up…how sad, cuz she’s got some great skills.  Just look at how good she was with the chiffon.

        • Anonymous

          You know, she said it looked purple at Mood but was gray at Parsons. Looking at that baby kaka shade of brown, who on earth would think that would look good with purple, either? I would think it would have been better to have dyed that awful color darker and used the gray as is.

          • Anonymous

            LMAO at “baby kaka shade of brown”

  • Anonymous

    Team Anya! 😀

  • Anonymous

    The only thing that comes to mind on Anya is sex tape.

    But she did do well here. Piss off, Viktor.

  • Anonymous

    I thought so, too!  I got a much better impression of it on tv than I do in these stills.

  • margaret meyers

    I think Anya is treated more respectfully by Tim and the judges (and the other designers — they want to help her, work with her).  She looks like she is in the industry, so the judges treat her more like a peer than the designers who look like design school grads or skate park kids.  Anya’s got a lot of spirit in her, and she pays attention.  Plus,  she’s got the confidence of a woman who has, all her life, had the attention a really attractive woman gets: she knows how to use that confidence and right now she’s putting it into her design work. 

  • Marie Watterlond

    One thing that seems to be  happening here is that, while Anya doesn’t really have the sewing skills, she’s got a good attitude, is grateful for help–and has a real talent for design. I don’t think most of the “top” designers actually do their own sewing, so while the PR challenges–and the final runway show etc–are all sewn by the designer, I’m thinking that the judges are seeing beyond the obvious and  looking to the taste level and innovation she seems to be bringing out.

    Or maybe I’ve just been hitting their crack pipe?

  • Marie Watterlond

    One thing that seems to be  happening here is that, while Anya doesn’t really have the sewing skills, she’s got a good attitude, is grateful for help–and has a real talent for design. I don’t think most of the “top” designers actually do their own sewing, so while the PR challenges–and the final runway show etc–are all sewn by the designer, I’m thinking that the judges are seeing beyond the obvious and  looking to the taste level and innovation she seems to be bringing out.

    Or maybe I’ve just been hitting their crack pipe?

  • I’m still extremely skeptical about Anya’s “I’ve only been sewing for 4 months” story.

    • i was too until i heard the other designers dissing her, if you will, about her lack of longterm sewing skills. i figure if theyre putting her down about it, it’s probably true.

    • i was too until i heard the other designers dissing her, if you will, about her lack of longterm sewing skills. i figure if theyre putting her down about it, it’s probably true.

  • Marie Malazarte

    My issue isn’t that she had some help; it’s that she was praised for dyeing the fabric when dyeing it wasn’t even her idea (if I recall correctly).  That was a gem from Ms. Clinique Counter, wasn’t it?  And dyeing the fabric is what turned it all around for her. 

    • My thoughts exactly! Ms.C.C. gave her the idea. It bothered me when they were complimenting her on her skills. I thought Viktor had more self control than I would have. I thought what he said about it coming out in the long run was surprisingly mature. 

      • Anonymous

        Actually, Anthony Ryan gave her the idea, didn’t he? and he took her in the back while he called his fiance.  He told her to spot test it with a small amount of fabric first to make sure it came out OK, then do the rest. So he told her how to dye it.

        • Anonymous

          Janie is right, it was Josh who suggested it to her in the workroom initially, Anthony was in the room when she was dying it when he skyped his finance, you are right there, and talked about the dying.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, but on the other hand, she has that talent to emulate from the people she speaks to. She discusses her projects with the other contestants, ask for advices and follow them. She’s not too snotty to dismiss other’s idea. I find that likeable and a sign of a relly smart person, building her business.
      And, as we saw all along the 8 seasons of PR, designers almost always talk to each others, exchanging ideas, asking for and giving advices. Almost every designer who dismissed his/her fellows’ advices ended up out, so I’m not that annoyed with her reaping what she sow.
      That being said, Anya does receive a ridiculous amount of praises for her work, doesn’t she ? The jumper is a nice idea and it’s flattering on the model and she stood for her design. But did it deserve to be in the top 3 ? I don’t know.
      I think the judges (Heidi, for the most) see her as a kind of genius, a little Mozart of design that blows their socks of with raw talent. I find it really disrepectfull for the other ones who studied and work hard before getting there. Especially when the competition recquires sewing and construction skills on top of design skills.

  • Anonymous

    Oh the suffering I am willing to bear for you witty and intelligent TLo followers!  I too was wondering about the dye question, so I did a search on the web and got (drum roll please….) Nuthin’! until I broke down and went to the website “TV Without Pity” which is hosted by Bravo.  One of the sharp eyed commenters on that site remembered seeing “a counter full of Rit dye boxes and bottles” in an earlier episodes.  However it was regular Rit, not a dye suitable for use on polyester.  The poster didn’t see any Rit for synthetics (called “IDye) on the counter.  

    If this poster is correct, we may have an answer to the puzzle.  I must say that some people are watching with an  attention to detail that is truly amazing.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for doing a search on that, good point about the dye. I tried to dye an old polyester suit for a Halloween costume once and it came out all mottled and splotchy. Hmmmm….

  • oy but the styling?!?! the necklace(s) and belt? argh!

  • Kathleen Gillies

    I am on the fence with Anya.  On the one hand, I get the feeling most of what she has presented about herself to be very contrived and for someone who competes in pageants, I suppose a reality show is one big talent competition. I almost didn’t believe she lived in that apt (almost looked like one of those rented vacation condos as bland and without personality in it).  Her poise is just that, beauty queen training–which leads me to be skeptical about her being genuine.  She is very good.   On the other she seems friendly and not diva-like or catty, a nice change from some of the other more arrogant designers and does not seem to have a big ego in regard to her designs.  I don’t know that her sewing is really only 4 months of experience … after all, she spoke of clients does she just outsources all her sewing (to some sweatshop in Trinidad?)–   Her color choice was a head-scratcher.  I am not a big fan of jumpsuits and did not care for that neckline but it came out okay– but top 3?  Regarding pets… I think Heidi is really pulling for her.   So anyhow, that is a bias I have and I will have to watch more before I am wiling to make a decision about her as I am already being a judgy which isn’t really fair.

    Cecilia– She needs a nice nap.  Some people don’t do well with sleep deprivation and stress.  If I were to consider entering a reality show like this which is known to allow little sleep and challenges out of left field with surprise additions,  I think it would be wise to try and replicate such conditions to train and get really fast at design on the spot, sewing/construction.  I’d also try to have some kind of loose plan of design ideas to utilize.  Be Prepared.  

    • Anonymous

      Just because a sewing factory is located overseas, does not mean that it is a sweatshop.But Anya does have a (contract with?) a sewing factory to make the line she is/ was working on when she made her application video for Project Runway.

      • Kathleen Gillies

        I know that not all sewing factories overseas are sweatshops.  I don’t know what the labor standards are wherever there (what factory is contracted by her) is.  But thanks for a good reminder.   

    • Hi @ Kathleen, I understand your doubts, but  anya is not really a “pageant girl” in the general sense. She competed in only one pageant in trinidad and only did so because someone suggested she try out and it so happened she was selected. Even in her interviews she talks about it not being where her heart is, but did it solely out of having the opportunity to represent her country. The apt /house in her video is not to be doubted either because she hails from a “well-to-do” family in trinidad (dad’s a doctor). Her clothing line is quite reknowned in the caribbean she designs but employs well trained seamstresses who sews her clothing (no sweatshops in trinidad).

      • Kathleen Gillies

        LOL –she’s basically like that Orange County Housewife who has decided she’s a designer, hires someone to actually design and sew the dresses, from which she just takes scissors to anything she doesn’t like and then models the dresses for a photo shoot?  They seem to have nearly the same amount of sewing experience.  I don’t believe anyone just “walks on” a pageant.  Her well-connectedness will give privileged Blenley some competition.  The Apt. wasn’t believable–not because it was nice but because it was so freaking bland and empty of personality.  I didn’t mean to infer she sourced her production in Trinidad.  I don’t know about sweatshops vs plain off-shored outsourcing, we certainly have them here in the US but they are underground and there are plenty of sweatshops overseas being utilized for clothing sold here, $2 T shirts don’t happen without paying machine operators under $10 a day. I’ve been to the Caribbean and it isn’t all pretty pastel stucco but I will take your word for it.  I guess I am confused as to what her line is– is it custom clothing or a manufactured line that is sold in shops?  

    • Anonymous

      I think your sleep-deprivation assessment of Cecilia is right on. And I would do the same as regards to prepping for an experience like this.

      • Kathleen Gillies

        I know I become an absolute mess if I am sleep deprived.  Six years ago I worked night shift for 8 months and was reduced to a blithering emotional basketcase alternating with severe aggravation and razor glance.  Thank God that shift changed or I would have permabitchface.   

  • Anonymous

    I remember Cecilia saying she didn’t buy any dye as a reason for not dying her outfit.
    On the other hand, Anya did told Nina that she didn’t have a plan and the next minut she dyes her fabric. I’m puzzled.
    That being said, I’m more and more impressed by Miss T&T, by the quality of her design and by her guts. I’m still not convinced about the 4 months training and the “fast learner” thing, but I can really well picture her designing clothes and employ someone to actually cut and sew her creations, learning some basic skills on the way.
    And she appears quite likable, enough so that people offer her some help. Maybe because they also see someone with potential and they prefer to keep her in the game instead of the cranky ones (let’s say, just as an example, Viktor ? Our unlikeable Viktor who bitches about the unfairness of getting help in the workroom while secretly displeased that noone offered to help him. I wonder why…)

  • Anonymous

    That garment was still in pieces when Laura started helping her, with hardly any of the main seams sewn. It looked like she’d barely got done cutting, and Laura knew she was already running out of time. That’s probably because of the time it took to dye the fabric, but still. I think she had fair amount of help, for sure. I don’t think it’s cheating at all, but I do think that when the judges are going on and on and on about how amaaaaazing it is finished given the fact that you learned to sew four months ago and you just turn-on your ubiquitous shit-eating grin and say “What can I say? I learn fast.” certainly does make you smarmy, and somewhat dishonest. Lying by omission is still kind of lying, isn’t that what all moms tell their kids? Or does that not count when we’re talking about a pretty contestant with a fun accent that everyone seems to really WANT to root for and like?  I dunno. I am sure most would far less charitable with their “benefit of the doubt” were it Bert in this situation.  I just find Anya’s  overall behavior very strange, and full of half-statements and contradictions. I think she is very manipulative in her interactions with the other designers, and seems to looooove chalking all her “good luck” up to the fate of the Gods when really, it’s just everybody bailing her ass out. (Remember, she also has the “amazing” story of “just dropping in on a whim one day with a friend, not even really WANTING to do it, and oh gee I don’t know I just became Miss Trinidad and Tobago through no doing of my own!!!” Um, no. Beauty pageant people in T&T take their pageants just as seriously as they do in say, the Southern US, and you DO not just enter and whim on a win, even if you are the most beautiful and eloquent girl in the world.)  I do not trust Anya at all, she’s too desperate to appear blessedly perfect and infallible, and I think her lack of skills will probably become apparent soon, when she stops getting so much help and can’t get away with making the same pant-with-cropped-tank look any more. I only hope she fails somewhat spectacularly (as in, doesn’t even finish) so people can really see what a fraud she is.
    I don’t think Anya is particularly “stylish” either – her look is a dime a dozen in the islands, but she obviously cuts a nice figure and stands out here in the US. Still, her designs have been the meh kind of resorty Pan-Geo sarong shit you can get at souvenir stands. And this jumpsuit it’s just butt.  It’s gross. I actually like the dyed color (the original yellow was a terribly unflattering shade to 99.999999999999% of the populace) but the silhouette is wonky and there isn’t a single detail anywhere. I’m amazed people are raving about this as they are cuz it’s pretty damn simple, and not well made. I shat my pants when Michael Kors called this “beautifully tailored,” LOL. The special treatment that Anya receives really is ridiculous.  She picked a color that Nina would never wear, that resembled nothing about  her style and that would never look good with her skin tone, she was completely shocked when Nina hated it, she bought this and only this single fabric even though she knew it was risky when she bought it, she thought she was fucked with no Plan B until Joshua pointed out she could dye it, she still had her garment in pieces when Laura stepped in (it showed Anya fitting pieces onto the form/model when Laura started asking how she was ever going to finish it – just because they talked about the collar for two seconds doesn’t mean that’s the only help she gave), she thanked THREE (!) people backstage afterward, saying “I could not have done this without the three of you,”……and she has been described as “brilliant” by multiple people here. Really? Brilliant? She bumbled through every step of this challenge, making poor decisions at every turn and having to be saved by everyone around her. Whether or not you like her, you have to admit that represents incompetence far more than brilliance. People keep saying “she” turned it around, but it doesn’t seem like any of the course corrections came from her.
    I even challenge how much of this was really even her idea in the first place. Nina told her to make the jumpsuit, Nina told her the yellow was unacceptable, etc. I’m not saying she cheated but to call her gifted is laughable. I can’t help but feel if she looked more like say, Jeffrey, or happened to be someone who’s been caught on camera saying something that seems “not nice” that people wouldn’t be bending over backwards to make excuses. At this point I’m not so sure that even Fallene and Julie aren’t more talented than Anya. She is a poser, a beauty queen who got a sugar daddy to set up her line so she can make clothes that are exactly like the ones she buys and wears. She “only learned how to sew four months ago” and even admitted she decided to try fashion on a whim but gee, of course, now suddenly she has a professional workshop and studio all humming along smoothly when she clearly doesn’t even know what she’s doing. And if you asked her how she’d did it, I bet she’d flash that fake-ass grin, shrug and say “What can I say, things just happened so fast, you put so much work in and things start to happen,” as if all she needs is a thought in her head and the power of creation will just fly from her fingertips, without mentioning all the people who are basically doing everything for her. Hate. Her.

    • i’m not quite so angry, but i’m hearing you.

      i’ve dealt w/ some severely manipulative people in my life & the main trick i’ve seen used is disingenuousness. when i think about this episode i think more about who had dye, who didnt have dye. & i think of the horrible–but dyeable–color of this horrible–but dyeable–fabric {not all fabric takes dye so easily} & i think, wow, wouldnt it look great if someone who presents as a novice figures out a way to fix a horrible–but fixable–mistake in midstream? wouldnt it look wonderous & impressive & dramatic, even?

      i’m not saying she thought that through in advance–tho why did she have dye? why didnt cecilia have dye?–but i’m not saying it didnt. i am thinking that someone from her own culture, someone who wouldnt be quite as impressed by her exoticism {i’m not either of these things, actually}–anyway, i’m thinking somebody like that understand her better than those of us less familiar.

      &, yeah, i do think julie is more talented. i’m not sure about fallene.

    • Yeah, pretty much what she and ilovetrash said. Viktor (what is with these affected names? Viktor, Olivier) is a prissy little bitch but his point is well taken. Someone (I can’t remember who) led Anya to the dye–that wasn’t her idea. And Laura(?) was showing her some specifics about her fabric. 
      Bottom line–cheated nah, but she is certainly a ‘teachers’ pet’ in the sense that the judges seem to have something in their plans for her cuz she’s not that good! Just lucky. Any yes! She might have won a small piece of my heart if she had just said a public thank you to her fellow competitors.

      • Anonymous

        Viktor is Latino, isn’t he? I’m assuming that spelling the name with a K is normal in some countries that aren’t America.

        Also, he can spell his name however he wants. As George Carlin said, “You can spell  your name “S-M-I-T-H” and pronounce it “Stanofsky” if you want to.”

        • Lies L.

          I don’t know if he’s Latino, but I do know the spelling with K is common in Germany, Scandinavia, can be used in Belgium and Holland, Eastern Europe, etc. It’s not exactly a made-up name or anything. 

          • Anonymous

            Yes, thank you. I think I wasn’t too clear in what I was trying to say, but I know I’ve seen that spelling before.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, thank you. I think I wasn’t too clear in what I was trying to say, but I know I’ve seen that spelling before.

    • Anonymous

      Oh I do think she is brilliant–brilliant at landing on her feet, not brilliant at design. She may very well be pulling one over on everyone, but that takes skill (not sewing skills) and survivor’s instincts. She’s definitely making it work. In the worst case scenario, she’s managed to hoodwink Kors, Nina, Heidi and at least a couple of the designers in the workroom into helping and/or fawning all over her. She may end up being the ultimate PR grifter.  Time will tell. 

    • I think that the only reason she was in the top at all was because she managed to rescue herself.  She chose the wrong color and still managed to pull something out of it.  I very much doubt her longevity, though.  Sooner or later, her inexperience will trip her up and she’ll be AUF’ed.  I’ve been sewing for twenty years, and I still learn new things.  Someone whose been sewing for four months—my bet is she’ll make a hot mess sooner rather than later! 

    • Fraud?! There’s absolutely nothing in Shemima’s post that indicates that she’s a fraud. She told the judges that she’s inexperienced sewer who had a lot of help, and we saw it play out exactly like that in the challenge. There’s a huge divide between being a really lucky novice and a fraud ala Kieth Michael. So her crime is trying to appear better than she really is? If so, congratulations, she just like every other designer on this show.
      “Nina told her to make the jumpsuit”
      Big honkin’ deal. She showed Nina skeches of a mini dress and a jumpsuit, and Nina for some reason chose the jumpsuit, so it’s baffling as to why this is being made into an issue in the first place.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, she told them she was very inexperienced….so that now, when she presents finished garment after finished garment they can all ooh and ahh about how magically talented she is, while she smiles and keeps quiet the fact that she didn’t actually do a lot of it herself. There is a difference between saying Anya is a cheat and saying she is a fraud. She definitely hasn’t cheated, but she most certainly IS consciously crafting a fraudulent picture of herself for the judges. (And, in my opinion, for the other designers, but hopefully time will tell on that one). 

        Remember how in her final audition to make it into the top 16 from the top 20, as the judges gushed over the construction of her clothes and its remarkability in light of her inexperience, and she kept answering “Yes” every time they asked her if she had sewn them all? Right up until Tim got out of his chair in disbelief, picked a garment up, and said basically “There is no way you perfectly and professionally serged all of these seams like this with your level of experience.” Only THEN did she flash that annoying smile of hers and sheepishly admit she had had “some” help. Hmmm. “Some.” That’s specific. Of course, she couldn’t actually detail WHAT she had done vs. the professional “help” she received. This girl lives in the land of vague. So, yah, I’d definitely say Anya is willfully deceitful, manipulative, dishonest by omission, and a fraud. She’s completely fake.

        • Lies L.

          I think that’s a bit of a strong statement at this time in the proceedings. Whereas it’s entirely possible that she’s more manipulative than she seems on the show… she could also just be a lucky novice, as quang tran said above, who has the good fortune of being charming and learning fast. Neither quality I really hold against her at this point.

        • Anonymous

          Oddly the serging ablity doesn’t suprise me at all. The serger is a very easy machine to operate. *If* the pattern pieces are made correctly. IF the patterns aren’t made correctly no seamstress on Earth can sew them.
          But making pattens and /or draping orignal designs with no reference materials. That takes many years of experience. It is not uncommon for designers, even patternmakers, with many years of experience to reference books or manuals when developing designs, especially if it is involving an element that hasn’t been used for a while

          • Anonymous

            I have sewn for years, and serging IS “easy,” but so is “sewing.” It’s slapping two pieces of fabric together and running them through a machine. Sewing and serging WELL, however, is quite another story, as both involve a lot of different techniques you simply don’t learn unless you’ve sewn multiple kinds of things over a long time. I see clothes/home decor made by my 90-year-old grandmother, who has sewn her entire life, and can almost immediately identify areas where I can tell she was never formally educated, or finishing techniques she uses that makes them look more “home-sewn” than professional. They’re well-sewn, but you can tell it was not done in a factory. And, depending on the fabrics being used and the specific seam being serged, it certainly CAN be a bitch to make sure the tension is perfect, identifying which threads need to be tightened/loosened, making sure that it is uniform along the length of the seam, feeding it through the machine evenly and without hesitation, etc. And if you’re cutting the edge off at the same time, you have exactly one chance to get it right or you basically have to recut (if you want it to look good in the end, anyway.) You can’t tell me these are in Anya’s skill set when she hasn’t even made a sleeve yet. Serging is one of my least favorite things to do, as it can be very “buggy,” but then again I seem to have the only Juki machine on the planet that doesn’t work amazingly well.

            It’s fairly easy to tell the difference between a sweatshop-sewn garment and even one sewn by a talented fashion student, because that sweatshop worker has the “luxury” of sewing that one seam over and over a thousand times so that it truly IS perfect. So no, I don’t really buy that Anya’s capable of professional finishing techniques when everything else points to the fact that she can’t even construct a garment on her own. It never showed specifically what Tim was talking about, but I believe it was on a jacket and he was downright incredulous. (Funny, I wonder if we will ever see Anya attempt a jacket on her own on the show? LE DOUBTFUL,lol.) And she did admit only at this point that she had help, the only time she has done so. Meh.

            (But yes, I agree, patternmaking is on a whole ‘nother level than sewing, yet I guess we are opposites here too lol as I don’t find her suspicious in this regard at all. She makes the same simplistic garments over and over. As I said, this jumpsuit had zero detail. Everything she makes is basically basic body pieces that pop more because of the fabrics/prints she uses. The only thing that had any level of detail was the top she made from her shortened pajama robe, and she obviously didn’t make that. And, given her style and the fabrics she goes to, I’m guessing she probably exclusively drapes, with is much easier than flat patternmaking. Note she still hasn’t made a sleeve, which is the only thing that still needs to be properly flat-patterned. You could take Draping I alone and learn to make more detailed things than anything she’s put out. The moment she busts out an exploded Rei Kawakubo motorcycle jacket or something is the moment I will be suspicious of her pattern skills.)

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Victor!

  • I just think Cecilia has no imagination, a lack of creativity which limited her ability to course-correct when things didn’t go as planned. Instead of saying: Oh shit, so this is my shitty situation, how am I going to make it better? she went: Oh shit, so this is my shitty situation and I’m stuck with it and I guess I’ll just give up now and at least finish something. I think because Anya’s still an amateur designer, she’s probably had to figure lots of stuff out on her own, and maybe Cecilia just can’t handle doing that. Things have worked out well for Anya so far (even though I think the judges are being too lenient on her because of her situation), but I think she will implode at some point. I’ll wait for one more episode before I decide whether or not I like Anya and her work.

  • Nina’s shirt is hideous.

  • Anonymous

    I feel a little sorry for Cecilia. She seems fairly depressed to me (in the clinical sense), which I’m guessing may account for the mixture of “negative attitude” + flat affect. It was nice to see her smiling with Julie. Re. Anya, I did find myself becoming a bit irritated w/ the help she got with sewing. Not so much that I felt this was “cheating,” but more I felt it was a little scuzzy not to acknowledge it at all on the runway (tho’ certainly savy from a gamesmanship perspective). It’s true Anya’s personality seems lovely, so I have to watch that I don’t slip into resenting her a la “she just gets ahead because of her charisma and beauty.” That undoubtedly doesn’t hurt, but girl does have talent.  

  • Anonymous

    At first I thought getting help with the sewing/cutting/whatever was foul, but have since learned it’s not uncommon.  Two design elements that made this “not Nina” for me:  (1) super low back.  Now, I don’t work in the fashion industry (which is obvious if you look at me), but seemed inappropriate for an office, and (2) the cropped look–Nina isn’t Heidi Amazon- height, so it would have cut her off at an odd proportion.  This would have looked nice on Heidi, perhaps.

  • Susan Crawford

    Just catching up with Mah Boo Fellas, T Lo, and this entry really grabbed me. When this season of PR started, I did an eye-roll or two over Anya’s inclusion. And I had her slotted in the little place where the “entertaining for a few episodes and then AUF” contestants dwelled in the past. Plus – let’s be honest, fellow Biter Kittens – I was frankly jealous that this gorgeous creature, who lives in a tropical paradise, whips her hair with panache and so on might also be talented. I cackled when I heard she taught herself to sew in four months, and could hardly wait for the workroom snark and ultimate, epic fail. Well, there has been some snark, but surprise, surprise – no epic fail. I know it is early days, but thus far, I am preparing to take my home-baked serving of crow from the oven and pair it with a glass of Provencal rose wine and a nice mesclun salad. Anya is handling herself well, and with dignity and class. Time will tell if she can face some of the more demanding sewing challenges, but even though she did not win the Nina challenge, she showed plenty of what it takes.

  • I don’t get what happened with the dying. Cecilia said she didn’t have dye. Do they not all get to use dye in the dyeing room like Anya did?

  • why is no one mentioning how jacked up that collar looks?

  • Anonymous

    I like anecdotes about what fashion editors *really* wear to after-work events!

    Didn’t have strong opinions on either of these because I thought that, as presented, they were so far away from what Nina Garcia might wear to work, that they were non-contenders. I just couldn’t fathom that Cecilia thought that anyone would go through a work day with one bare shoulder. I don’t care how many Free Jewelry Kiosks your workplace has, the option of a jacket seems necessary, even if just for a meeting or in response to air conditioning.

  • Anonymous

    I’m on the fence about Anya right now. I question her choice of mustard yellow. There’s taking a risk by choosing a bright color when Nina wanted neutrals, but selecting a color that would look like hell against Nina’s skin is quite the flashing light in my opinion. But she appears to have some sense of aesthetics. Maybe she was in such a hurry that she wasn’t thinking about skin tone when she chose that color.

    She’s smart and charming, and has some natural talent. But her keeping quiet about the help she received isn’t sitting well with me. I’ll be interested to see if this comes back to bite her in the ass.

    • Anonymous

      She went out of her way to be gracious and made a big point of thanking the three(?) (but I think that’s what she said) who helped her — but that occurred off the runway, and I’m not sure any of them actually were on the runway when it slipped her mind in front of the judges. Girl’s got game, knows how to play. 🙂 What’s going to happen is someone’s going to blow — Viktor or Becky seem most obvious at the moment — and it will make them look bad, not Anya. Which is the way of the world. 

      • Anonymous

        Hmmm…”girl’s got game, knows how to play” really struck a thought–what if she KNEW this fabric was a hiddy color and that she could “save the day” by dying it, thus playing up the “I’m lucky” scenario she’s developed for herself. It could have been a well calculated plan in the first place. I’m really doubting everything that comes out of her mouth. She’s really good at the snow job, huh?

    • Anonymous

      agreed… i think anya’s problem ~ and the reason she chose that horrid color ~ is bc she basically always just dresses herself. that mustard yellow would’ve looked fine on her. and i don’t think anything slipped her mind in front ofnthe judges, she deliberately didn’t say anything. but the problem is that when the judges love a contestant blindly, they will usually find against anyone who levels an accusation at their beloved. if they dislike a contestant, however, what the pther designers say has a lot of weight with the judges (i remember this happening to kenley more than once). basically if the other contestant’s comments/opinions don’t fall in line with what the judges already believe about a certain contestat, they usually attribute it to jealousy.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, more than once I’ve seen them write off complaints as jealousy (Although they’re not as bad as the judges on America’s Next Top Model), so I totally agree with your points. I’m not yet sold on her being teacher’s pet, but I think if anyone ends up in that position, it will be Anya.

        Her tendency to only dress herself could come back to haunt her at some point. On the other hand, wouldn’t this be the challenge in which it would happen? She was supposed to dress someone who’s her polar opposite aesthetically, and she couldn’t (wouldn’t?) do it. Is that a weakness, or does it just means she’s focused? Is she doing the same thing Laura Bennett did? It served Laura well. She didn’t win, but she made some beautiful clothes, went to Bryant Park,and got herself a boatload of fans along the way.

        If they are blindly supporting her, Michael and Niina have done one hell of a turnaround. They had lots of reservations about even letting her in. Nina was beside herself, and Tim was horrified. Heidi was the only one supporting her. If her goal was to manipulate her way onto the show, she’s done an impressive job. If only she could use her skills for good instead of evil.

        I actually like Anya’s jumpsuit, and I hate jumpsuits on principle. It has good lines, it’s a fab color, and it fits beautifully. Considering almost no on besides Kimberly listened to Nina, I get why Anya ended up in the top 3.

  • Anique Ashraf

    Wait, is that necklace Anya’s model is wearing from Gretchen’s jewelry line?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know but it’s funny how I can never remember Gretchen’s last name (and then am doubly shocked each time I re-learn that it’s … Jones.)

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t like Anya’s outfit. It is really odd looking. I don’t think Nina would ever wear that, and I don’t know anyone stylish who would wear it. Yeech. 

  • Candice Richardson

    I’m biased because I am Trinidadian. I am rooting for my country’s beauty queen. Her lack of sewing skills will definitely bite her eventually. All it will take is one Avant Garde challenge. However, I love her style and her designs. 

    • Anonymous

      Big up Trini massive! 😀

  • Lynn Chock

    That outfit is totally inappropriate for work!

  • Anonymous

    excuse me excuse me excuse me BUT NO.

    anya crowd-sourced the shit out of this garment ~ even dyeing it wasn’t her idea!  not to mention, she wasn’t just “getting help” in the work room, having other designers attach elements she’d already created ~ but she was literally outsourcing the garment’s design and construction.  i’m really disappointed in t.lo int’l for falling prey to her charms as the judges seem to have done.  

  • Shawn Hill

    I don’t really get the jumpsuit, but I will say that it’s tasteful and a change in styling from some of Anya’s other looks.

  • Anonymous

    Ok kids & kittens, I have been sans computer since last Thursday night and am coming to the judgement game late.  I’ve missed a lot.  These two looks, whatever.  Niether one was worth a crap in my opinion.  And speaking of crap…. can anyone explain to me that HORRIBLE POS top Nina was wearing for her consultation & workroom visit?  I thought that was the ugliest thing I have seen on PR ever.  It doesn’t even look like Nina’s style, I don’t get it at all.  FUGLY!