PR: Judging the Judges, Week 7

Posted on August 31, 2012

Hit it, ladies!

Heidi Klum in Dolce&Gabbana

Dear members of the Project Runway judging panel: We’ve spent the last six years coming up with creative ways to describe dresses. As professionals in this sphere, we beg you to stop defaulting to “disco ball” every time someone wears a sequin. It was played out by 2007.

Having said that, this is a perfectly cute and Heidi-appropriate dress that looks good on camera. But it’s all kind of boring at this point. And the matchy shoes make our eyes twitch. Also: the beach hair is disappointing.


This Week’s Score: 3/5

Cumulative S10 Score: 3.46/5


Bonnie Brooks from Lord & Taylor

She acquitted herself nicely. She’s not a model, actress or public figure, so we wouldn’t expect her to exhibit world-class styling. This is a slightly interesting take on business wear. The skirt and shoes are great. And while the top is kind of interesting, that neckline came across a bit too fussy on camera.


This Week’s Score: 3/5


Previous Guest Judge Scores:
Alice Temperley: 5/5
Joanna Coles: 4.25/5
Rachel Roy: 4/5
Hayden Pannetiere: 4/5
Krysten Ritter: 4.25/5
Dylan Lauren: 4/5
Lauren Graham:4/5
Pat Field: 4/5



Nina Garcia in Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2012 Collection

Oh please. There’s no question here. The lady is KILLIN’ IT. We all knew she was hardcore, but when a judge straps on the freaking CHAIN MAIL, designers start quivering in their booties. And thus, all is right with the world.


This Week’s Score: 5/5

Cumulative S10 Score: 4.49/5


WINNER, WEEK FOUR: Nina, who haughtily snatches her crown back and affixes it firmly to her head.


[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for,]

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  • mjude

    i didnt care for heidi’s look but at least it wasnt so damn short.  as for nina, long live the queen

    • all that said though, nina IS the clear      i couldn’t tell it was chain mail last night, but that’s just the cherry on top — nina is the epitome of hard femme couture and i love it.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Nina’s dress IS amazing and she’s rocking it!  Heidi is off in her own universe…

    • HomeOfficeGirl

      Nina’s coloring is also so much better for this dress – I love it a million times more on Nina than the model.

  • call_me_schmeg

    chain mail, bitches!

    • carolynmo

      My god, what an incredible dress. Look at her. Don’t tell me she didn’t know how kick ass she looked.

      • sojourneryouth

        Oh, she knows.  That is a “bow down” face if I ever did see one! And bow down I will, for I have never liked anything she has worn more. That dress is in my fantasy rich and fabulous wardrobe, for sure! Who know that purple and gold chainmail would be so elegantly edgy and gorgeous?

    • CozyCat

      Imagine if she wore this dress with the spiked shoes from last (?) week!  The poor designers would just lose it….

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I fucking LOVE that YSL. My hat’s off to Nina; she looks fabulous. I only wish for ONCE, the bitch would do something with her hair. This dress deserved some fierce hair and a bold lip.

    • Judih1

      I agree with you

    • I am going to miss Stefano Pilati so much. I hope he gets his own line or a new position soon because his last collection for YSL killed it. Great choice Nina.

  • Nina walks away with it.

    Heidi’s dress was demure by her standards. Seems she’s eliminated that short from the shiny, tight & short trinity.–GothamTomato

    • l_c_ann

      She, however, managed to retain the short when she was sitting. 

  • rawrgrowlrawr

    I want a chain mail dress. And a sword.

  • ojosazules

    The chain mail on the model looks heavy and cold. Nina really warms it up, wears it. I’m not sure about the black belt. 

  • And the winner is….Nina. Heidi’s dress is fine, but for a nightclub, not judging. It was a little Jessica Rabbit-esqe.

  • kaycem

    i am a sucker for pink and glittery, so heidi’s dress was perfect from my standpoint.  didn’t notice the pumps last night, but in the topmost pic they almost look coral-y orange, and i was about to sing their praises.

    all that said though, nina IS the clear winner.  i couldn’t tell it was chain mail last night, but that’s just the cherry on top — nina is the epitome of hard femme couture and i love it.

  • janierainie

    If Nina had a helmut even the guys would be cryin’.

  • I’m surprised you didn’t take off some points for the shoes.  Chainmail dress with black (suede) platform pumps?  Seems like a missed opportunity…

  • Oh my beautiful darling Nina.

  • Heidi looks like a Barbie. A German Barbie. 

    • MK03

      My first thought was an updated Bild Lilli.

    • My thought was Pippi Longstocking’s mom.

    • YoungSally

      I think the actual term auf Deutsch is 


      Or more precisely Sparkelbarbie.

  • SewingSiren

    I wonder if sitting in chain mail is pinchy ?

    • rawrgrowlrawr

      I imagine her ass looked like a waffle iron when she took it off. 

    • Melissa Brogan

       The majority of it looks lined, so that might mitigate it.

    •  I wonder how much it weighs?  Agreed, she is SMOKIN’ hot.  AND she knows it.

      • Derek_anny

         Probably plastic links.  Or something like that.  Metal would probably have been approaching 15lbs.  I’d be surprised if this was more than 5.

        • PhillipWilde

           That all depends on which metal was used.  Aluminum would be relatively light, but that dress rendered in steel would probably be at least 20 lbs, still rather light for chain mail, since the wire looks to be of a finer gauge than what you would use for functional chain.

    • turtleemily

      I was wondering if the sleeves were pulling on her arm hair the whole time.

  • Kristen Williamson

    Heidi walked on and my brother said, “She looks like Jessica Rabbit.”

    • StellaZafella

       And that’s not a bad thing in my book!

    • Heidi’s not bad…”she is just drawn that way.”

  • dress_up_doll

    I admit I’m not always on board with Nina’s wardrobe choices, however, with this look the bitch is fierce. Almost makes up for the shitastic challenge and its results.

  • dickylarue

    The Duchess in White Jeans appears again to slay all these bitches. Look at how the color of his jeans match his teeth! F’in killin’ it. 

    • Kristen L.

      I love the way the Duchess is smiling in the second picture of Nina. Very kid in a candy store!

  • Rebecca J.

    I can’t take my eyes off Nina’s dress.  It’s gorgeous, and something I would spend my “real money” on.

  • crash1212

    Nina looked fierce last night. LOVE that dress.

  • StellaZafella

    The chain mail was uber cool on Emma Stone in The Interview spread but it’s a great chance here to see how a look that was smokin’ in the editorial actually translates to a real life situation…
    granted, the ‘real life’ situation is national television and the ‘real’ woman is Nina G, a style industry heavy weight.

  • Call me Bee

    Heidi seemed a bit more smiley and giggley than usual last night.    I mean, almost manic at times.   Mother’s little helpers? 
    Guest judge looked way too serious to me, especially next to Heidi. 
    And again–Nina BOUGHT IT.  Good for her.  (I really wish she’d do something with her hair, though.  Anything!) 

  • If anyone had produced office wear half as nice as Ms Brooks, they’d have killed the office wear challenge.

  • Nina knew she won as soon as she put that dress on. 

  • butterflysunita

    I knew Nina would bring it this week–she was holding back last week.  Look at the haughty expression on her face in the photos–I am Nina, the goddess of chain mail!  The 5 out of 5 is richly deserved.

  • granddelusion

    A bit off topic, but does anyone know why Laura Bennett is 2 weeks behind on her show? Is she okay?

    • She’s fine, granddelusion. Just a LOT of things on her plate right now. 

      • Thanks, TLo – I was wondering the same thing too.  I keep checking her blog periodically, and I miss hearing her take on stuff.    I guess six kids will keep you busy!

        • Her blog is so good. Insightful and honest but never mean!

          • CozyCat

            Well, sometimes she’s mean–but only when someone deserves it! 

    • Lilithcat

      Laura’s husband just died.  

  • Friedl Vanluchene

    I really want to be Nina Garcia. 

  • Damn, Nina! I was too tired to really notice this during the show, but she is killing it! She could rip off Joanna Cole’s little mod booties and flay her alive on this day!

    • kimmeister

      I didn’t notice it was chain mail when I was watching the episode, and from far away, when you think it’s fabric, it’s a little boring.  Up close though, totally different story.

  • snarkykitten

    I’d wear Heidi’s outfit over any of the L&T entries any day

  • voter1

    Heidi’s shoes – ugh.  Looks like they were dyed with a red marker.  Nina looked gorgeous.

  • random_poster

    Heidi’s dress = Christmas ornament.  If they made it into gown and sleeked her hair, she could be the 2012 Hallmark Christmas Barbie.

    Loved Nina’s dress!

  • onyxkatze

    As someone who makes chainmail clothing, I was SOOOO excited when I saw Nina’s dress! That is some finely done mail.

    • Really?  That’s so cool!  What kind do you make – I mean, who’s your customer, etc. stuff like that?  That sounds really awesome!

      • onyxkatze

        Thanks! I’m not a professional by any means — it’s mostly just for fun — but I’ve made cuffs, collars/necklaces, wallet chains, and right now I’m working on a full-length dress.

        • Wow!  Seriously, that is cool!

  • grouchywif

    Heidi’s dress looks like something a friend of mine wore to prom in 1987. If a PR designer sent that down the runway, they’d be justifiably crucified.

    Nina looks amazing, but I do wish she’d do something a little different with her hair now and then. Her look from the neck up is getting a little tired.

    • MilaXX

      That’s exactly why Heidi liked Gunnar’s dress. Completely agree about Nina and her hair.

  • MK03

    Nina’s killin’ it. How many people can make a chainmail dress work?

  • It’s amazing what styling can do.  The chain mail dress is amazing, and it looks completely different on Nina, the model and on Emma Stone in the Interview layout.

    • CozyCat

      Nina took the neckline up a bit–the V is not as deep as it is on the model (good choice!)

      Only a TRUE fashionista has a tailor who can work with chain mail!

  • Judy_S

    I liked Bonnie Brooks’s collar. It would be distracting if one were face to face and having to look her in the eye, but it was interesting to stare at while the camera was on her…

  • MilaXX

    But the Duchess broke out the white pants. That’s a cry for help if ever there was one.

    • Can you imagine if he got bronzer on those things?  It would never come out!

      • Qitkat

        So true. I got red clay dust on some brand new white jeans while walking around a Native American pueblo, and absolutely NOTHING would remove it.

  • LOVE that chain mail dress.  Also love the look on Nina’s face in the next to last picture: “OH YES, I went there.  CHAIN MAIL, bitches!”

  • I wish the producers would give NINA more screen time. She looks great and has something interesting to say. That dress is great on camera. But I kept trying to think how one would clean it….and much it weighs.
    Less Kors.
    And a lot less Heidi.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    What is going on with Heidi’s hair lately?  MESSY!!!

  • As soon as Nina was introduced on last night’s episode, I thought…well she’s going to win Judging The Judges this week! LOL.

  • Judy_J

    Once again, Nina knocks it outta the park. Her dress is amazing!

  • Excellence_and_Elegance

    The chainmail is awesome. And her ring looks like it could double as a weapon.

  • ***LOVE*** Nina’s dress. 

  • formerlyAnon

    Yup. No contest.

    Though I might have given Guest Judge 3.5, just because she deserves it for having to hold her chin up whilst sitting next to Reigning Champion Nina Garcia. Who was probably quietly exuding waves of ‘Suck it Joanna Cole!’

  • BrooklynBomber

    Hardcore is right. What a gorgeous dress, and what a woman to be able to pull it off!

  • I love that second to last picture of Nina where she’s looking directly into the camera, as if to say, “Of course I brought it, bitches!”

  • The problem with Bonnie Brooks top is not that the collar is fussy, it’s that the sleeves and bust are too tight. Which is pretty much par for the course with department store wear: it’s sized for B cups and women with no muscular development in their upper arms, and looks misshapen on anyone who gardens or golfs. 

    • adnama79

      OMG, so true.

  • Cathy S

    Nina looks fantastic in that dress.

  • jennifervney

    F*cking fabulous Nina! You know it hurt to sit on that chain mail for hours and she made the sacrifice for the sake of fabulosity. 

  • Chain mail v pink sequins? That’s not a battle that’s a massacre. And I hate Heidi’s shoes and makeup more than I can say.

    • I love the shoes, but agree on the make-up. Actually, it looks like she’s not even wearing make-up, and I don’t mean that in a good way. The dress is killing me, also not in a good way. I’ve complained a lot about short, tight and strapless, but I hate pretty much all strapless dresses. This pink “disco ball” fits her well. I especially like the fit across her bust (that’s such a problem with so many strapless dresses), and the length is great on her. But it’s so easy for strapless to look cheap and slutty. It’s best to just avoid it all together.

      I really liked the copper sequined dress she wore at the beginning of the show. Short but not too short, a great color, and a terrific fit. Plus – not strapless!

  • ohbear1957

    Thank you, Nina, for my new Screen Saver.

  • CPK1

    Nina looks amazing. Now that kind of Joan of Arc look I can get behind!

  • e m

    I freaking loved it on the runway but I cannot stand these sown together deep Vs….(One of these almost ruined Tilda Swinton in Haider Ackermann once!) They just always look wrong…in this case a bit hippiesque. For me it would be ‘only’ a 4 because of this. The other scores I agree with.

  • Vera L-

    Every time I see “Bonnie Brooks” I think of that SFS John Cougar song and/or Wal Mart. 

  • JuliaInBlack

    Yes ma’am, I would cut a bitch for Nina’s glorious dress. To paraphrase Allie Brosh, I would cut ALL the bitches.

    • aristida_girl

      Hahahah! I too, would cut All the bitches!

  • tallgirl1204

    I’m afraid I looked at Heidi and thought “of course.”  Nina’s is spot on perfect for her role as a judge, fashion critic and editor. 

    •  Don’t you mean “as a mother, entertainer, and person”?  LOL  Thanks for reminding me of that priceless quote, and the hilarious BK discussion which followed it.

  • cleep1000

    Heidi’s hair was the worst! It aged her badly.

  • hac51

    I was wondering if Nina was wearing a version of Chris March’s dress for the line when I saw it (couldn’t see the chain mail on TV).  

  • carpediva

    But even business wear for “normals” should be flattering and fit well, and she is in the biz. Methinks the sleeves are too tight for her, making her arms look larger than they are.  Sausage-sleeves are a no.

  • SapphoPoet

    LOVE Nina’s dress. Wow. I would own that. 

    Heidi’s dress looks really trashy next to Nina’s. 

    Bonnie Brooks looked ok. I really liked the color combination of her skirt and shoes–a nice, unexpected detail. 

  • Molly OBM

    Actually exclaimed out-loud to my cat “Minerva, look! She’s wearing purple chain mail!”

  • MinkaL

    My mom and I looked at Heidi and looked at each other and simultaneously exclaimed, “tragic!” Nina continues to slay.

  • Nina! WOW. I bow in the presence of superior talent.

    Department-store lady: She at least ought to have tried to show that one can shop at a department store and be fashion-forward. There’s nothing at Lord & Taylor that would fit her that’s more interesting than that? Not to mention, there’s nothing there that doesn’t have a collar that looks like a mistake?

    • that collar is saying “i’m just a plain woman, a bit dowdy, and i really want to fade in the background in a sweater and skirt in non-challenging colors, but maybe if i make the collar odd in a non-threatening way people will think i’m not so dull.”

  • Nina was WERQing it!!!

  • How the hale do you sit in that chain mail dress all day?????

    • LouNaC

      Since my husband makes and wears chain mail, I asked him what the dress was probably made of and how comfortable it would be to wear.  He thinks that it is anodized aluminum, which is relatively lightweight compared to the regular steel (and sometimes brass) most mail is made from.  He also thought that the dress would NOT be the most comfortable thing to wear for 8-9 hours of runway and judging unless there is more padding to it than is evident from the pictures.  

  • fnarf

    The only quibble I have is that “5 to 3” doesn’t adequately express the spread here. More like 97 to 3.

  • fringebenefit

    We could not take our eyes off Nina last night and exclaimed, “Oh…a definite 5 from TLo!”

  • Nina definitely killed it. But did anyone else notice the safety pin in the sleeve on the close up shot? I guess that’s one way of bringing in the sleeves so that they were fitted rather than loose like on the runway.

    On another note, Bonnie Brooks is a bit of a public figure in Canada. She’s revamped the long-standing department store the Hudson’s Bay Company, and she does these pretty hilarious ads on the radio for the company that always start off with “Hi, I’m Bonnie Brooks…”

  • elleg929

    Heidi looks like she’s auditioning for Legally Blonde.

    • Qitkat

      or Real Housewives of……….

  • Want. Nina’s. Dress. 

  • Nina’s dress is gorgeous!
    And I love how Michael is in the background smiling so happily in the straight-on picture of her


  • I’m surprised that each of them wasn’t dressed in something from the Project Runway line.

  • guest2visits

    Nina’s looked alot better here in the stills than on tv. And I thought Heidi looked pretty in her high voltage sequins and shoes.
    And I love the color blue of L&T lady’s skirt – marine blue? deep teal?  I’d like to see some designers pick up that color for change;
    give black and loud cobalt a rest. 

  • I sew and I also make chainmaille jewelry. I now have an overwhelming desire to knock off that dress. 

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Nina looks absolutely fierce (and committed, all I can think of is that chain maille digging into her ass all day) but I am so sick of that damn dress. It’s been everywhere. Bonnie’s blouse is bland. Heidi is just too shiny. The dress is fun in a Crazy-Heidi-Klum way but sequins with two-tone satin pumps (with that horrible precarious platform-thing)? Way too shiny. 

  • aristida_girl

    OH MY GOD I WANT THAT YSL DRESS SO SO BAD! It fulfills all of my “I want to be an actor in a fantasy movie” cravings and it is totally gorgeous, also, Nina is rocking that thing for all it is worth, go Nina!

  • MGMcD

    Work it Nina. Work it so hard. I wish she had worn booties with it actually. Something a little edgier than the black pumps to go with the hardcoreness of the dress, but still, bow down.

  • PrunellaV

    Bonnie Brooks should get dinged another half point for appearing on national television with shoulder nipples. No more wire hangers!

    • Actually those nips are not from wire hangers, it’s a result of the shoulder seam being not long enough.  It’s a tailoring easy fix  – just extend and curve that seam an extra 3/4 inch.  But I agree she should know better given who she is.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Nina SHUT.IT.DOWN. in YSL-bow down, folks.

  • Markatha

    Purple Chain Mail ?  Come on!  I want a purple chain mail shirt!  Nina killed it!!!

    Even though I didn’t plan on it….I’ve become guite the Heidi fan.  I like her & the way she dresses even though it can be wacky.

  • Susan Crawford

    Nina KILLED in that amazing dress. Perfection.
    Bonnie looked a little like Hillary Clinton to me, but basically she was professional and  rocking some really nice shoes.
    Heidi was . . . Heidi. Hated those garish shoes and the fried hair.

  • Emma Perry

    I liked Heidi’s red dress, but I agree that the shoes should’ve been different. Nina is hands down the winner this week. She makes it easy for me to trust her runway judgment. I almost missed this episode, since I got caught up at work for longer than I planned to yesterday. Thankfully I had remembered to set my Hopper to record it for me, and I was able to turn it on as soon as I walked in the door. I would have hated to miss this one, because my Dish co-workers and I love to talk about Project Runway every week. We’re all still obsessing over Alice Temperley’s dress from last week… so gorgeous! 

  • BrightsideSusan

    If Ven had Bonnie Brooks as his model last week he would have had a fit that she is “plus size”.  Yet she manages to dress herself with style and look great…

  • I couldn’t tell if it was chain mail or crochet. Then I realized that I wasn’t watching it in HD and ‘click’! Instant hi-def and what a difference that made! Beautiful.

  • ccm800

    Maybe my fave look for NG EVER. I wonder if shes ironed the thigh and butt divets out yet from sitting in that dress for so long. 

  • quiltrx

    This may be one of my favorite things Nina has EVER worn.  And that’s really saying something!  It’s killa.

  • e jerry powell

    But the things that YSL dress are doing to that poor model’s crotch are damn near obscene.  Me no likey.

    Of course, Nina pulled it back about two notches and it works much better.  Leave it to a fashion editor, no?

  • That chain mail is crazy elegant! 

  • mhleta

    Yo, Heidi, when you hit a certain age the line between “fun” and “RuPaul” gets rather thin. 

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    NINA! Thanks for the better view of the marvelous chainmail dress. Loved it.

  • jjfg

    Dress looks better on Nina than it does on the model!  Bow down, bitches.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Scrolling down through Nina, I was saying “Just give her the 5 already!”, and yes, you did not disappoint. Glorious!

    Heidi, if you do not stop with this uniform, we will have to write you off as not playing, as we did with the Braying Tangerine long time ago! I would have bumped her down half a point, and the guest judge up half a point. No way they were equal.

  • frannyprof

    I worship Nina and I *covet* that dress.

  • watchmeboogie

    LOVE Nina’s dress. Looove.

    Heidi’s hair was looking really fried. Someone get this girl some serum!

  • Nina is the QUEEN and Heidi is a fashion model with a killer everything, but Ms. Brooks really did exactly what a Lord & Taylor rep should, which is wear something that the regular customer of their stores would pick out, with a little bit of interest. I love that neckline; it’s just interesting enough to keep the outfit from Executive Dullsville.

    • She was so insistent on “good taste,” however, I wasn’t totally sure she knew it when she saw it.

  • dodono

    Personally, I have not been all that impressed with Nina’s personal style–a little too “safe” for my taste–but this dress kills it! FAR better on her than on the runway–although I agree with several comments that the styling could have been tweaked….

  • donnaINseattle

    Y’all are generous with Heidi this week. I’d take away a point from her “3” and give Nina a bonus point.

  • Nina also had something done to her eyes and i want to know what it was…..because I want it too   🙂

  • Heidi, boobs or legs not both – or did you forget what you said?

    This season on Project Blandway……..

  • Zippypie

    Nina”s killer dress annihilated anything on the runway.  You know, at this late date, I can’t even remember who won and with what garment…..

    • All I thought about over the weekend was all of Dmitry’s looks, and how he’s being robbed blind week after week. Don’t even care about the rest.

  • michelle shields

    At least Heidi and Nina had a colorful day. Bless them!

  • George Mortimer

    Totally agree about Heidi’s shoes with that dress, gross! Nina’s dress is absolutely fucking amazing, but my god, woman, fix that hair!! I usually fail to notice how she’s dressed until I see these close-up shots, all because my eyes get droopy from seeing her mousey mop!

  • SuzyQuzey

    I think next season they should find more people like Bonnie Brooks, who are behind the scenes in the industry but still WAY important, and use them for the real people challenge. Can you imagine the horror of finding out you dissed someone like that behind their backs? AND THEN, have one or more of them as judges in future challenges. The Awkward could continue for weeks! Call me, Lifetime!

  • Allison Woods

    Oh Nina, how I love thee.

    The “Lort and Taylor” lady looks good, methinks.