Project Runway: Bring Me the Head of Nina Garcia

Posted on April 26, 2013

Hello. I’m Nina Garcia, Project Runway co-host, Marie Claire Creative Director, and best-selling author. Welcome. Come with me as we take a journey; a journey through another boring Project Runway finale.

Our story starts here, when Stanley, the little girl with the dreadful tattoos, and the other one were invited, through my own largesse, back to New York from whatever backwaters they live in, to compete for my attention and affection. And also a prize of some sort.


Now, I love all these delusional little scrappers, but some more than others. I’m only human, after all.

Yes, really.

And when I say “love,” I mean “respect.” And when I say “respect,” I mean I try to remember their names.


To my surprise and disappointment, my beloved Stanley showed up for Fashion Week with nothing but bolts of fabric and a pile of zippers and closures.


Disgraceful. Had I known this was going on, I would have had him removed from Manhattan.

But hope remains. Perhaps the little hyperactive bald one I sent over will help him out.


The little girl with the horrible haircuts and execrable taste in hats was very prepared and focused in her work. How drearily predictable. Where’s the fun? The spontaneity? The psychotic breaks we all love so much?


This wouldn’t do, so I sent her the cute girl to help her out and also to distract her a little.

Honestly, I thought she was a lesbian. I swear someone told me that.


The other one was “prepared” in the sense that she arrived with piles of what she called “garments,” but frankly, it just looked like a bunch of  stuff you’d sell out of the back of a van at a Phish concert.


Not that I, Nina Garcia, Creative Director of Marie Claire magazine and best-selling author, have ever been to a Phish concert. Heavens, no. A little joke on my part.

Anyway, I don’t like the other one’s work very much so I sent her the chubby girl as a helper. It’s tragic how much weight that poor girl’s put on since the summer. Pilates! Calorie restriction! Power walking! These things aren’t hard.


While I was sleeping, our dirty little contestants were getting up so early that only working class people were walking the streets. I had them sent over to Lincoln Center, where their dreams – and my judgment – awaited them. I made them stand silently inside an empty tent for hours.


It builds character.

Anyway, we filled the tent with gawkers and sponsors so that someone would clap when their little scraps of fabric walked the runway. I managed to keep an interested look on my face the entire time. Cameras present, you know.


My heart was filled with joy to be reunited with leading fashion designer and CFDA winner Michael Kors, because the German and the little boy were really getting on my nerves with all their talk about “Who needs more clothes?” and “Maybe we should give the prize to that other one, with the scarves and the horse hair.”


I mean, honestly. I tried not to laugh too hard in their faces. It’s so cute when they act like they know what they’re talking about.


But the German must have done something to poor Michael. Or maybe he was just exhausted from his own Fashion Week preparations. Whatever the reasons, reason seemed to have left him. He too turned on Nina Garcia and tried to tell her that the one with all the hair was somehow worthy of being called a fashion designer.


I did my best to offer a reasoned response to their insanity; to get them to see that I would rather burn the Marie Claire offices to the ground than feature Stevie Nicks’ old wardrobe in our pages.


I admit, I got a little angry and used some profanity. I’m not proud of it. But sometimes, the world of fashion needs a warrior to defend it from flighty German supermodels and little boys who say foolish things like “Who needs more clothes?”




Ugh. I can’t.  I’m sorry.

Is there disgust on my face? I’m trying to keep it off, but I fear I never was very good at keeping my thoughts to myself.


But Heidi and the little boy are easily distracted and I used the mind tricks taught to all leading fashion editors in order to bring them to heel. How else do you think we convince the public that things like rompers and sheer skirts are wardrobe essentials? Fashion editor mind trickery.


So while the German and the little boy talkedtalkedtalked away to Michael, convincing him to join their cause, I merely stared forward and concentrated really, really hard, molding their sponge-like minds to my liking. I got a nosebleed out of it, but at least the right person won. Her tattoos and hats are hideous, but I’m pretty sure I can do something with a couple of her pieces for the magazine; something that won’t embarrass me.


And there you have it. Thank you for coming on this journey; a journey inside the mind of Nina Garcia, Creative Director of Marie Claire magazine, best-selling author, and anti-horsehair advocate. You’ve heard everything I have to say on the collections, so I’ll allow a couple of grubby little … what’s the word? “Bloggers,” is it? I’ll let these so-called “bloggers” express their own opinions.

My assistant will see you out.


Congrats to Michelle! We really didn’t think she was going to win it, even though we thought she was the clear winner. Stanley seemed to be getting the winner’s edit, but we didn’t see how it was possible, since he was so ill-prepared and his clothes so pedestrian. Then it looked like they really were going to give it to Patricia, but after a while, it sounded to us like the judges were just being devil’s advocates to the idea that Patricia has a place in the fashion world. And while it’s true she does – and even Nina agreed on that point – it was clear to us that she’s not ready to be called a great fashion designer. Great textile designer, yes. But despite what Heidi tried to pull, that’s not what this show and competition has ever been about.


Best look on the runway. We think this is Michelle at her best; focused on what she’s trying to say and not getting bogged down with a lot of what Nina called “tricky” details.  Just a gorgeous, beautifully made, unusual look.


We didn’t love the tan and yellow combo as much as the judges, nor did we love this look as much as they seemed to. It’s still pretty great, but the color combo doesn’t work for us and the front pleat on the skirt doesn’t really do much for it except distract you from the rest of the  details.


Maybe too simple, but she needed to put a couple “breathers” in between all the bordering-on-overdesigned looks. At least it ties in with the rest of the collection nicely. Cohesion was one of the biggest selling points on this collection over the other two.


Gorgeous. Totally did not agree with the judges on the ties. A lot of women-in-ties looks are unimaginatively androgynous, but she kept the femininity while still using an iconic male accessory to finish it off.


This is a huge clunker. There’s just nothing interesting about that shape, and the colors turn it drab.


We still think the hem and the breastplate needed rethinking, but it’s still a really great, unusual look that fits perfectly into the collection. In fact, it’s something of a mission statement piece; it sums up Michelle’s aesthetic nicely.


Still love it; still think she could have removed some of the hardware and bags.


This is probably the most conventional look in her collection. It was smart of her to do something easily understood while still making it look like it belongs with the rest of the pieces.


Still love the sweater and pants, still don’t get the chaps.


Adore the pants; not in love with the top. It’s too stiff and we really hate that neckline.


LOVELOVELOVE this look. That sweater is chic. The whole look is chic. We didn’t agree with the judges when they trashed the hat. We think the hat is what takes it away from looking too Portland-hipster.



Kors nailed it when he said this should have been cut down to a dress. That would have instantly corrected the proportions, which seem a little off to us with that squared-off plunging neckline she favors.

In the end, it was a nice surprise for us to have our pick for the win actually win. We can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened with Project Runway. We’ll get to the other two collections later today.


[Photo Credit: Getty, David Russell for Lifetime – Stills:]

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  • CommenterFormerlyKnownAsR

    TLo + screencaps of Nina = magic, as always. I watched none of this season, but I loved this!

    • I watched zero of this season and yet it all made perfect sense through the eyes of La Nina.

  • GorgeousThings


    I didn’t bother to watch last night, and it looks like PR lapsed into the tired routine that has been used for the last 13 years.

    But NINACAPS!!!!!!!!

    • Pennymac

      Not just any NINACAPS, GT, the most epic NINACAPS ever, imho. Heres what you missed last night:
      bs, bs, bs, DRAMA, bs tears, laughter, Tim concerned, poor time management, bs, bs, “Betty White on Dancing with the Stars, Nina’s expression of silent disgust, and Michelle wins!
      (I am relieved this season is over)

      • Celandine1

        And don’t forget one mother-of-the-bride leaving her dress in a motel room.

    • I didn’t bother to watch this season, but those Ninacaps made me feel like I was there for the only part that mattered. Thank you TLo.

      • editrixie

        That’s exactly what I was going to say! It was worth waiting for.

  • DinaSews

    That was the best re-cap EVER!!! OMG I can’t wait to read your book!

  • I love that for once in a LONG time, the person who deserves the win, actually got there. Halleluiah! Michelle, whatever her over thinking some things created a truly cohesive, utterly sellable and presentable collection. She has Serious Career written all over her.

    Patricia needs to do, what we’ve said all along, open a boutique business where her insanely wonderful creativity can shine.

    Stanley REALLY needs to take a look at his design point of view, unless he plans to only sell to conservative matrons.

    Also, Heidi? HAMMERPANTS JUMPSUIT?!!!!!!! WTF?

    • janierainie

      “She has Serious Career written all over her” Exactly what I was thinking all through the finales. She was so focused and driven, and that wasn’t something she had all along. That’s what I like best about PR- watching the growth of a designer’s vision and coming into theirself.

      • Her process has been very satisfying to watch, all along, at least for me it has.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      Well, if Stanley decides to sell to conservative matrons, at least he’s mostly dealing with a customer base who can afford designer clothes. Money-wise, it might not be a bad call.

      • Sadly, I don’t think that’s what he has in mind.

        • Exactly. He said, “tough, working girl” more than once, and that’s not who is going to buy his clothes.

          • Tough working girls most likely wouldn’t be caught dead in that stuff. Honestly I think he was frantically trying to spin it so they wouldn’t slam him; but the clothes did that for him.

    • Patricia would sell the shit out of her stuff if she could scrape together the capital to open a shop on the plaza in Santa Fe. Touristas go crazy for that stuff. She will, however, need a line of over-priced, artfully mashed “cowboy” hats.

      • She needs a team of people to guide her, and help her make it better constructed, and focused.

        • You’ve just described a show that might be more interesting than what Project Runway has become. More interesting to me, anyway: take five promising designers and, rather than have them compete at anything, teach them the basics of the business. I mean, if Project Runway isn’t going to make the designers do drag outfits with used car parts and isn’t going to give them sufficient time to produce looks that actually have merit, then I think I’d rather learn something about how the fashion industry works and what makes a garment “good” in multiple senses — and get to see the participants actually get something out of it.

          • Its a lot of what Joe Zee does on his show, really.

          • I’ll have to re-watch that; it didn’t impress me at first, but I might have been in the wrong mood for it.

          • StellaZafella

            You hit it perfectly: Patricia needs Joe Zee (and a backer for a little shop just off Rodeo Drive)

          • Joe Zee has a lot of heart. He zeros in on exactly what the designer needs to make $$.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Hammer pants jumpsuit with a cutout in back, right?!?

      • Yeah, the weird real estate agent blazer with the cut out back completely floored me. I still have a bit of nausea.

        • m c

          The whole look confused me so much! Instead of trying to make sense of it, I just focused on her shiny, shiny face. (Which confused me a bit, too)

        • StellaZafella

          I think Heidi woke up that morning and her stylist got the list order wrong…”Make Heidi look like Muriel Hemingway at a business meeting in the Bahamas” was supposed to be for next week when nobody’s looking.

        • I thought I was hallucinating at first. 🙂 That was the weirdest thing I can remember Heidi ever wearing. It got weirder and weirder the more I looked at it.

        • Renaissance_Man_ATL

          Gaultier, sweetie.

      • Sharon Metzger

        In a Cosby-sweateresque print.

        • BrooklynBomber

          Yeah, that print, eesh.

      • And that godawful eye makeup and lipstick! My eyes!

    • 3boysful

      Everything you said. And you forgot to note Heidi’s Victor/Victoria hair, lack of eyelashes and red lips . . .

      • Janet B

        The red lips eclipsed the rest of her face.

      • Heidi pulls off this look. Her face looked beautiful. But I was surprised at her “fresh” face. Not many women can pull their hair back like that.

    • l_c_ann

      I can see the price tag on Patricia’s feather scarf now:

      $350- hemmed
      $600- frayed by the artist herself.

      • Totally!

      • m c

        I’m glad you said this – I think this would be a highly lucrative niche for Patricia – she needs to design more scarves on that motif and get them to buyers asap.

    • And while Michelle’s collection is definitely sellable, it’s UNIQUE. It’s certainly something that we don’t see on the racks at every single department store. Good for her!

      • Exactly what PR claims to be looking for, actually.

      • I think her style was unique and interesting, but how many of those pieces are really going to be worn by the average woman? Especially the average woman shopping at Lord and Taylor? I think Michelle is very talented and that her line worked great on the runway, but I don’t see many pieces marketable and hot to the consumer.

        • But they’re not supposed to be marketing to the everyday buyer. It’s supposed to be *design.* Though where PR producers and judges screw themselves up is that they often contradict themselves on that very issue.

    • Stubenville

      Heidi channeled her inner clown.She just needed the red nose.

    • TheAmericaness

      I hate to say this, ok. I don’t hate to say this at all. Heidi pissed me off so much this season that if they got rid of her and her jumpsuit I would be fine with that. Bring in a Shmeidi – well, one that talks faster than a flea in slow-mo.

      • demidaemon

        That is never going to happen. She’s a producer on this thing, and she will hold onto it forevermore.

    • Heidi looked like the alarm went off an hour late and she had to dig something out of the hamper to wear! Although she is pretty without all the make up, it was very strange that she was not all made up as she usually is! Between her wardrobe and face/hair I really wonder what’s up…not her usual look at all. And how can you be taken seriously as a judge and director of PR when you wear such an awful outfit for the finale?

      Did anyone notice in the promo that there is someone different asking the designers questions about the season? Where is Heidi? Is someone else taking over the show?

  • Carole Scofield

    Hahahaha!!! I WONDERED what was going on in Ms Garcia’s head! Brilliant post, gentlemen.

  • MartyBellerMask

    My favorite collection of the lot. 🙂

  • C. C. Winslow

    Have been refreshing constantly and was not disappointed – thank you! I was very pleased that Michelle won; confused about Stanley’s procrastination; tearful when Patricia was dismissed but I don’t know why … I certainly didn’t want her to win. She brings out such emotion in me. She seems like a loving, gentle, genuine person.

    I have to say I completely LOVED Zac Posen fidgeting in his chair during the runways, his ADHD-like jerky body movements, turning to Heidi immediately to chatter as each piece passed. Such a cute guy. At one point in the judging I had no idea WTF he was talking about, but oh well. 🙂

    TLo, I recall you warning us when the runways actually happened that if we heard loud applause, not to believe it. How honest do you think the sound was?

    Heidi’s outfit was awful. Nina’s face got way too much screen time when the others were talking about Patricia. I thought that was manipulative and almost cruel of B-M.

    And how interesting that Tim completely dissed the bleeding-heart sweater while everyone else seemed to love it.

    Ok, I’ll stop blathering and read what the rest of you have to say! Look forward to this.

    (edit) Also LOVED how the judges talked over each other excitedly about which actress should wear Michelle’s first look. What fun to see such enthusiasm! (Yes, Rooney Mara!)

    • The entire runway portion of the episode was a salute to sound editing and special effects. The designers never came out to introduce their collections, nor did they walk out behind them. That was all filmed earlier, in an empty tent, and digitally inserted into scenes of a full tent. Also: none of the music you heard last night was the actual runway music. And yes, the applause was never as loud or enthusiastic as the show sometimes led you to believe.

      • C. C. Winslow

        That is just bizarre. Thanks.

      • flib

        One then wonders why they didn’t reshoot Michelle’s walk, what with her tragic hat issues

        • SugarSnap108

          They probably thought it was endearing.

          • Or they just didn’t have time. You only have a tent in Lincoln Center for a set period of time and then you have to clear out for the next show to come in.

        • VictoriaDiNardo

          Oooh, can I steal that for my business card? “Dedicated to fighting tragic hat issues, one head at a time”.
          Her hat was terrible, but I did think the red hood hats were nice punctuation to the looks. ( and I generally hate it when someone uses a felt hood “as is” with no blocking, but in this case it worked. )
          I’m so glad she won.

          • flib

            There were tragic hats a-plenty, but I was actually referring to her hat falling off of her head when she walked to close her runway show.

      • SugarSnap108

        Fascinating. I never knew that (and am assuming that’s how it’s always been done).

        • It’s not normally done that way. Normally, the designers come out just as you see them on TV, introduce their collections to the crowd, and then walk behind their collection for final looks.

          • Qitkat

            How sad for the designers this season then. All that hard work, and no way to receive even a tiny bit of acknowledgment, putting a personal face and name to the collections.

          • why did it happen differently this season?

          • Because of the schedule this season. Only a few episodes had aired by the time of the runway show and there were too many people still left in the cast to give them all decoy collections. In order to not give anything away, they had the collections walk without attribution.

          • La La Luci

            Thanks for sharing! What a bummer for the designers; that must’ve taken away some of the specialness of their shows. I guess at least their parents and families were able to make it there. How did the commentators, etc, know whose collection they liked the best in the post-show interview snippets; those editors were crafty.

      • Wow. Thanks for that. I was confused because I know that originally the collections were shown ‘anonymously,’ and I’m sad to hear that the music wasn’t real, either: I loved the music to Michelle’s show.

      • Aw, that’s too bad. I even knew that, because of your posts from Fashion Week, but liked some of the audience reactions so much I didn’t question them.

      • guest2visits

        No!… But that must mean Tim is faking a moment
        with the designers watching their collections go out….?

    • La La Luci

      I completely agree, but I don’t know why everyone is saying Tim didn’t like/dissed the sweater. Generally, it seems like he is saying it may not fit in her collection and then it cuts to him summing up that it’s “extremely innovative”, etc, but it’s going to come down to a matter of taste. It could be the editing and maybe he’s summarizing his thoughts on the entire collection after the editing cut- I don’t know. But I never thought he disliked it from his comments we were privy to. Tim always seemed to be a huge fan of Michelle.

      And yes! I would love a judging of four, because like you, I’ve loved Zac Posen being a judge while also missing Michael Kors’. Maybe they’ll keep the four of them for next season?

  • zenobar

    You have exquisitely, artfully captured l’essence de Nina. Last night she really did tip over into a caricature of herself, non?

    • kittenwithaquip

      Oui. She just ooooozed condescension and barely contained disgust for Patricia’s aesthetic. The way she would say “artisanal” made it sound like she considered it tantamount to taxidermy or vivisection.

      • zenobar

        Right?! I don’t know how anyone else could’ve managed to spit out the word “artisanal,” but spit she did.

    • Jackie4g

      I still don’t understand how Nina ever got a job, let alone kept a job and managed to go to another magazine in the same capacity? She’s quite taken with herself and that is another mystery to me.

    • i wish we could have seen “pop up video” style text balloons above nina’s head

  • Pennymac

    Thank you thank you thank you, Wonderful Uncles! I love ya’ll to pieces!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    But why are there elephant trunks on the first couple of dresses? And that’s putting it nicely.

    There can be never enough Nina Garcia inner voice monologues.

  • RedRaven617

    I see the breast plate dress on Christina Hendricks, the bleeding heart sweater on Kate Hudson. Loved your details on Nina’s thoughts.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I do not get the sweater love, guys. The bleeding heart thing was just WEIRD. I actually kind of liked the weird little Robin Hood thing, though. It’s costumey, but so’s the rest.

    But in light of the NINACAPS OF EPICNESS, I can handle a little confusion on the point of the sweater. The whole episode was a giant Ninacap. I admit, I might have liked Patricia to win just to see if Nina’s head could actually spin all the way around, and if the flames coming out of her ears and mouth would be tastefully matched to her outfit.

  • janneyb

    After suffering through several boring and painful seasons of PR, it’s good to know it was finally worth it — just to be able to fully appreciate the hilarity of this post! Thanks TLo.

  • Sharon Metzger

    I decided the real entertainment last night was watching to see how the judging played out. After the last handful of seasons, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see it go either way. Thanks for the brilliant presentation of such!

  • Jenna621

    LOVE NinaCaps! Oh how I’ve missed them!

  • I actually really like the last dress just as it is, though that’s not so much a “neckline” as a “waistline.” The first look is clearly best in show. Having only watched last week’s episode this season (Love It or List It was a repeat), it seems to me that Michelle’s collection comes the closest to what (I think) a fashion show is about: show some really interesting looks that create some buzz and, together, respond to current trends by asserting a new direction for those trends. The looks in the collection may not themselves be intended for sale — may not be prêt-à-porter — but a savvy observer can see how the looks could be scaled down for mass production while still retaining what makes them interesting.

    Uh… which, OK, that’s my unified theory of fashion, not that anyone asked…

    • Qitkat

      Excellent observations, especially *unified theory of fashion*, but you LIKE Love It or List It ? >>:((

      • Cautiously Pessimistic

        I’m with you. I watched about two thirds of an episode once and was rooting for the earth to open up and swallow them.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I absolutely loved this collection. Gorgeous unusual clothes that I would wear on a heartbeat.
    This is the best PR collection I’ve seen in years.
    And the Nina – caps are hillarious, thank you!

    • Qitkat

      *Heartbeat* HAR!

      • Tatiana Luján

        What does HAR mean? English isn’t my native language.

        • Qitkat

          It’s Internet slang for laughing sarcastically. (Because of Michelle’s heart sweater)

          • Tatiana Luján


  • BrooklynBomber

    Brill!! (I mean the NinaCaps, of course.)
    As for the rest, congrats, Michelle. It’s been a long time since someone with a(n at least somewhat) singular style won PR. I really wasn’t a fan at the beginning, but she brought me around.

  • OrigamiRose

    Bravo! A great recap to a meh season. Thanks for this!

  • Hilarious and God, do I wish you’d do this kind of parodic thing with your Drag Race posts.

  • Sharon Metzger

    I reviewed the sneak preview posts with all the decoys a few days ago, and the commentary from that many weeks ago was very entertaining, when everyone was trying to guess whose collection was whose. No one could place Michelle — she really did have a story of persistence, stuck on the losing team at the beginning of the season.

  • Linderella

    I’m still confused by the love for the heart sweater. I adored the “dipped in blood” sleeves, but I just can’t with the heart, which worked perfectly fine for the cover of the X “Unclogged” album. Still, Michelle is the 3rd Portlander to win (and Seth Aaron was just across the river in Vancouver). Now our Portland heads are getting swelled. Oh, well–we really ARE better here!

  • Frank_821

    I have to say I am glad Michelle was declared the winner. I liked her collection
    the best and responded to it. And even if you didn’t care for her aestethic,
    that collection was the most polished and focused of the top four. The cohesion
    and narrative was clear as was the woman it’s intended for. And as noted the
    individual pieces could be disassembled in to salable garments.

    I find it interesting that I saw so many disparaging comments on other forums or
    the fan pages of the other contestant concerning Michelle and her win. And the
    bulk of those comments focus on what a terrible person she supposedly is and
    what an undeserving winner she is because of it. I find it interesting that so
    many people let themselves get done in by the narrative tricks of the world of
    reality tv.

    Without a doubt Michelle could come across very negative and critical-especially during
    the first half of the season. She clearly could let her ego and frustrations
    get the better of her during her time in the confessional. But the point is
    that most if not all of her negative comments were done in the confessional-where
    they belonged. Such commentary use to bother me back when Santino made them.
    But after a decade of this show, that type of private venting now usually, at
    worst, just produces an eyeroll out of me.

    So,of course people are free not to like her or her POV as a designer. But for
    those people who have labeled her as a nasty, evil, backstabbing or straight up
    vile bitch, I just have to say:

    1) She didn’t resort to scheming like Wendy Pepper
    2) She didn’t disparage or upset a client like Jeffrey or Ven
    3) She didn’t break the rules like Keith
    4) She didn’t intimate or steamroll over others during team challenges like Bert (and I’m a Bert fan)
    5) She didn’t throw temper tantrums and generate drama like Kenley, Joshua and Elena

    In fact almost none of the drama of season 11 involved her. The one time it did
    was a ridiculous situation that shows how wearying the stress that the show
    induces can be. What’s more she didn’t start the fight. Yes Michelle could be
    charged with making the most negative comments or judgements but Layanna made
    far more brutal and harsh ones.

    I think Heidi’s and Michelle’s staements from the last couple episodes sums up
    Michelle and her arc. Recall Heidi said she wasn’t all that impressed with
    Michelle at first, but with grit and determination, the she grew and won the
    judges over. She is the little engine that could. What they admired most was how
    she always stood by what she made

    I liked how Michelle said she thought she had it in her to win and thought her collection
    was the best-but also every designer should be feeling that way.

    • Nailed it.
      It’s so weird to us to hear people talk about Michelle like she’s one of the show’s great villains. We can see not finding her likable, but some of the vitriol and accusations leveled against her are downright odd.

      • GorgeousThings

        That’s because in the (anonymous) world of the internet, people feel free to hate on others with no good reason, and they feel it is their birthright to spew vituperative b.s. because they have a pulpit.

        • DebbieLovesShoes


        • StillGary

          Yet, it constantly shocks me — any chance — no matter how uncontroverisal the subject matter — Internet people are hugely downright nasty. Inviting the public in seemed like such a good idea, but the amount of anonymous hate, makes me wonder about people. So, I have to give it up to TLo and this community for intelligence and civility! After 10 years, this is still the only site I participate in.

          • Qitkat

            Me too. I remember when I first got on the internet, back in the dial-up AOL days, and how appalled I quickly became with the anonymous vicious chat rooms available, on any old benign topic such as arts and crafts. Anyone who came for intelligent discourse left in disgust.

        • editrixie

          There are some communities I love to participate in, but sometimes I have to walk away for a long time because of that level of negativity and nastiness. Even sometimes the comments here can get too much for me. I try to remind myself of Abed’s line from Community last year: “I guess I just like liking stuff.”

        • JLH

          And how! This is especially humorous to me considering that all of the people calling Michelle a nasty, evil bitch because she’s trash talking people are equally guilty of trash-talking someone, if not more guilty, seeing as how it’s far more likely that unlike Michelle (who was in close contact with these people and probably got to know them far too well), no one online probably even knows her.

      • baxterbaby

        Michelle just wasn’t warm and fuzzy. But I never felt that she was putting anything on for the camera. I kind of liked her stringent brand of honesty.

        • Yep, me too. She said what she meant and meant what she said.

          I never saw her being nasty to anyone in the work room, and I don’t think she was any more negative than the other designers during the confessionals. (Well, she, and everyone else, was more negative than Stanley. I don’t recall Stanley ever criticizing anyone’s work)

          The vitriol and hatred directed at her is a total mystery to me. I can’t figure out how Michelle became such a divisive figure among the viewers. It’s just bizarre.

        • and speaking of warm & fuzzy, Stanley said, flat-out and multiple times, that he dislikes ‘people.’

          • Bwin51

            Stanley was pretty nasty with Tu, his helper.

        • scurvey

          I have a similar personality. My line has always been “I don’t have to be nice. I just need to be good (at what I do)”. It’s not the same as being mean. Michelle had photos on her garment bags in the tent. That is a girl after my own heart.

      • CarolinLA

        Yes, she started off being a bitch in the confessional but a villain? No. A villain works against their competitors in underhanded ways. They don’t bring them coffee in the sewing room and they don’t offer to give you four out of their six assistants at the tents.

        • DebbieLovesShoes

          COMPLETELY agree! She was kind, I thought. She didn’t have to help Stanley, and she didn’t have to put up with Patricia’s endless weeping (which was driving me nuts). I thought the contestants at the end were much less competitive and more helpful to the others than in many years on PR.

          • roble ridge

            The Patricia weeping drove me BATTY. I had to mute her whenever she was on!

          • DebbieLovesShoes

            Seriously, Patricia’s widened crazy-eyes, manic laughter, and constant weeping made me wonder about her sometimes…..

          • roble ridge

            Yes, the Crazy Eyes. She was a master of the Crazy Eyes. And the Monotone Speaking. That drove me pretty batty, as well. Her television presence throughout the whole season went from lackluster to downright grating.

        • TheAmericaness

          And I don’t see where she was any more a bitch than say Stanley. I’ve been rewatching this with a friend (first time for them) and you know, Stanley is in the confessional – A LOT – bs’ing about others clothes. However, he’s a man with a low dull voice, so it goes rather un noticed. Michelle has a higher, kind of high-school edge? to her voice… where she puts a question mark at the end of everything? That grates on a lot of people. So it doesn’t matter that what she said wasn’t bitchy at all or it was, but c’mon… who cares. Since it was done in that voice people hate it more and react more to it. Stanley could be using the “c” word practically and no one would hardly notice. Go back and watch. I’m not kidding.

      • After Michelle’s first win, about halfway in the season, she seemed to relax and was less catty in her remarks. In her favor, she wasn’t two faced – she was direct and you know what she thought – plus she didn’t appear manipulative with the others. Some of the others drove me crazy w/the constant tears. REALLY ANNOYING. Mich really was the clear winner. Do agree that the leather coat would have looked far better w/o the bags. Will say that Patricia surprised me, her show was better than I expected. You guys have really increased my enjoyment of this show.

      • lessax3

        Really makes you want to ask, ‘Have you never watched Project Runway or any reality TV show before?’ She is just not a cuddly personality and made the mistake of saying what she really thought in confessionals when the producers asked, ‘So what do you think of so and so or what do you think of so and so’s outfit?’

      • Coco Cornejo

        And it’s so nice for Michelle that she has friends who are willing to pipe up online in her defense. That’s one thing Gretchen didn’t have.

      • I think we all know by now that some vitriol comes from orchestrated campaigns from the camps of the losers (though on a couple of occasions sore winners), if not those losers (and winners) themselves.


      • TheAmericaness

        Honestly, if anyone wants to name a villain, it’s the judges. I was so utterly unimpressed with their lack of real world understanding of the fashion industry, as in this is not how the fashion industry works in the real world. Ridiculous challenges set within even worse time frames. They have a mentor who would love to help, who tries to help, but because the judging runs hot one day and cold the next, Tim is stuck making statements like: “It could be any one of you!” That truly was not a compliment towards the judges.

        Finally for me, was Heidi and Nina. Heidi especially. When she said: “Bad designers!” That was it. That is how you talk to someone who has been naughty. If they had been snorting coke on the workroom floor, ok. I would have agreed, but to talk down to them like that for this? I wish someone had slapped her. Nina wasn’t so bad, but her attitude over prom dresses and other small details – Nina: you don’t know EVERYTHING. Then, when they punished Michelle… I don’t care what I didn’t see on camera, or whatever, that was grossly wrong and meant to shame her publicly and I hated the show for it right then. I don’t care if it gave her an advantage, yada yada yada. That is not the point. They were cruel, and they knew it. So. This isn’t a fun show when they are mean to people and I’m mad at them for making me hate the show. I hope that isn’t weird.

        So Michelle villain? Don’t get it. Judges? Oh yeah.

      • I always saw Michelle as the realist. She’s older, not from NYC – she was not interested in a bunch of camera-hogging antics. She got more confessional time because she gave good sound bites. Michelle was honestly my favorite from the start.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I agree with you. At first I did find her hard to like, but it seems to me she mellowed as the season went on. The only thing that did bother me is that both Michelle and Patricia talked in the home visit episode about the experience of being on PR as if it was some terrible ordeal they had to recover from (and then hearing that Michelle’s inspiration for her collection is a response to “what I’ve been through” meaning being a contestant on PR! was a big WTF). But, still, she’s no villain. She has a bit of an edge, but she mostly kept her head down and did her work, which I appreciate. I also loved her response about believing she could win, but that everyone should believe that.

      • onetinkerbell

        Agreed. And I have to say that I thought that her concern for Stanley at the end seemed genuine – she’d finished packing and then brought coffee to him and Patricia, plus she helped Stanley pack up his things. In past seasons it was always more of an ‘everyman for himself’ situation; Michelle didn’t seem to go that route, which I found refreshing. She wanted them to succeed as much as she did.

        • BrooklynBomber

          Yes, I agree she seemed genuine. In fact, it was nice that the final 4 all seemed to care about one another.

          • Celandine1

            Probably much to the chagrin of BM.

          • BrooklynBomber

            True–I was thinking about that last night: what I enjoyed most was the problem-solving, the figuring out how to tweak their looks, course-correct, and so on. That’s not boring to me, but the manufactured or not feuds are.

      • The producers effed with her pretty badly the last few challenges. She didn’t deserve that ‘one more chance’ garbage, or to be the only one not to go to Europe (though that probably helped her since she could focus, wasn’t exhausted, had Mood, etc.). I can’t see how she was supposed to interpret any of that besides to think that the producers or judges had it in for her.

        • BrooklynBomber

          I see that completely differently. I see it as she had the outfit they felt most deserving of auf’ing, but they wanted to keep her around, so they just moved her to the next challenge. She didn’t have to do a run-off or make an extra outfit or anything. She just moved forward along with the other three. So she didn’t get to go on a trip; under the circumstances I don’t think that’s a big deal.

        • I saw just the opposite! I knew they were not going to let Michelle go on the episode that they gave her a second chance. They have been grooming each episode as things went along for Michelle as the win. She has had MUCH more face time and narrating time as compared to everyone else….this was a tell tale sign that she was the ‘one’. Also, the fact that they gave her the second chance so close to the finale was a dead give away that they had big plans for her, thus they could not let her go. They decided long before the ‘second chance’ episode that she would be the one to win this season!

          • I quite agree that they weren’t going to let her go on that episode, but that’s why I saw the fake second chance as so manipulative. Which is what you’re saying too, I think, but I saw it as Michelle getting jerked around and you saw it as their thumbs on the scale.

    • I barely noticed Michelle during the first half of the show. She was on a team that couldn’t win. At that time we’d never have thought she could win. Working with others is very difficult especially when you know they’re holding you back. I previously commented that Michelle seemed negative, but I take that back now. She spoke from the heart and she vented her frustration. Her comments about others were never cruel; they were observations.

    • flamingoNW

      strangely, I did not even remotely get that read off of Michelle. I agree that Layanna was MUCH bitchier.

    • TheAmericaness

      Frank, I want to marry you and have your baby. I know I shouldn’t feel this strongly about this subject, but you have said what I have been trying and failing to articulate this whole season. Thank you!

    • I have read this post a half dozen times now at least. Still makes me giggle.

      I’m really glad Michelle won, although I do disagree on the yellow/tan combo dress, you guys are spot on with the rest. Also really don’t understand why so many seem to have a huge dislike for her. Completely agree with everything you’ve said as to her character as well.

    • sado

      Like oh ma god, like i am so COOL and like gag me with a spoon i am so hip and interesting from super hip city called Portland …LIKE O MA GOD

  • Danielle

    Nina, you are now forgiven for the Gretchen debacle. Getting over the Anya win will still need a little more time.

    • janneyb

      Danielle, you are kind. I don’t think I could never forgive the Gretchen debacle.

      • Danielle

        I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget.

    • Carole Scofield

      OMG….you had to remind me……ANYA. Lord. Gretchen was world class next to Anya. Amazed anyone on PR has a bit of credibility left after that one…but they redeemed themselves a little last night!

    • I never understood how someone who doesn’t sew could win PR. I was surprised that Anya won.

    • oh anya….

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I think Nina is only now beginning to forgive herself for this egregious lapses in judgement – caused by Michael Kors hypnosis and Heidi Klum’s distractingly inappropriate body parts displays – and the first road to forgiveness is acceptance. Now Nina is trying to right some serious wrongs by becoming the woman we all know she truly is. A shrewd, discerning fashion editrix who will never be fooled again. Off with their Louboutins!

  • janierainie

    I thought Nina’s head was going to explode when the other judges were going on and on about Patricia, (who I really liked all along). I was rooting for Patricia, but I was just wanting the underdog to win. Michelle really deserved it. It was like the stars just lined up right for her. She broke out of the pack at the right moment and hit her peak. I think she’ll be really successful.
    What a shame that Stanley let his perfectionism get in his way, and undermine his success.

    • CarolinLA

      I don’t think he can be called a perfectionist given how he did so little perfecting of his looks.

      • janierainie

        Perfectionism can get in people’s way and undermine their work. I think that’s what happened with Stanley. He also couldn’t delegate very well. People who are perfectionists have a hard time finishing projects.

        • Qitkat

          I just posted something similar in reply to someone else, and had not seen what you wrote first. Truth.

  • CarolinLA

    My three favorite things from last night were Patricia’s jig with her kids, Amanda’s attitude, and Mondo showing up looking like a gay shriner.

    • crash1212

      I was kind of hoping for a screen cap of the Mondo look in this recap.

    • Mondo the gay shriner, lmao.

    • zazzy

      When I saw Mondo, I immediately thought of Akbar & Jeff.

      • Munchkn

        Me too! That fez was not the least bit flattering.

  • Danielle

    The editing staff deserves some serious props for last night for upping the drama. It really looked like they were going to give it to Patricia for a while, even though it probably wasn’t nearly that close.

  • Nina recaps give me life. You guys are hilarious.

  • CarolinLA

    Why Stanley pissed it all away by being so unprepared is the biggest mystery of the season.

    • Pennymac

      Especially since he was such an a*hole over time management in the teams setting….

      • I think that’s actually part of the issue. Stanley worried in the team challenges about everyone else being a problem because it doesn’t enter his head that he could be wrong/off/tending dowdy/running earsplittingly late.

    • greyhoundgirl

      Yes. Did he freeze with the thought of being in fashion week? He struggled so much in ways that he hadn’t throughout the show. And I really hope he thanked Michelle and Patricia big time for all of their help.

    • Qitkat

      Being a perfectionist can often be very detrimental to success. Rethinking everything one does, always feeling it can be improved, visions in one’s mind never quite matching the reality in front of you. It was sad and bewildering. It was probably too much time for him, and he frittered it away. He needed a Tim Gunn, or a partner to bring him back to earth.

      • CarolinLA

        But I didn’t get the impression that he was overthinking anything. I thought he was underthinking, that he was coasting. Remember he farmed out all the embroidery which was his only wow factor.

        • Qitkat

          Right, I said RE-thinking, not overthinking. Might sound like the same thing, but to me rethinking means constantly changing one’s mind, and starting over with a different concept. Overthinking means tiny little tweaks over and over again to the same concept. Of course this may all be semantic garbage too 😉

          • CarolinLA

            Sorry, I misread your original comment. Like I said above, it’s such a mystery. I can’t remember: how much did he have done at the home visit? I do remember Tim telling Stanley that the other three contestants considered him to be the one to beat and maybe that froze him as well.

          • Qitkat

            Aww, no need to apologize. I didn’t mean to come off as harsh. I’m rather baffled myself. I confess I zoned out a little with the home visit, but I thought Tim was impressed. Maybe someone will interview him down the road and we will all find out.

    • I know! Did he choke? Or was he distracted by something in his personal life? What the hell happened? I was shocked by how unprepared and unorganized he was. I mean, I don’t know that much about him, but he always seemed so focused and driven. It didn’t make any sense. I felt bad for him, but I was also baffled by how he went off the rails.

      And I never expected him to come in third. I didn’t think I’d ever see the day when Patricia would score above him.

      Maybe we’ll find out next week, unless Bunim/Murray decides to devote the reunion to why everyone hated Richard.

    • I don’t think Stanley had it in him to win; neither did Daniel. When a contestant says, “I didn’t expect to go this far,” he has not embraced winning as a possibility (in most cases). Daniel made comments like this several times. I don’t know what happened to Stanley. He may need a therapist to help him figure out why he threw it all away. He certainly was a contender. Sometimes the creative process takes awhile, so he got a late start? The last minute sewing was a total nightmare. I’d have a heart attack if I had to go through that. How stressful. I could barely stand watching Stanley’s lack of preparation.

      • janierainie

        I fast forwarded through the Stanley backstage stuff because it was too stressful to watch! It’s the same reason I don’t watch horror movies! Maybe seeing himself on tv like this will give him some insight into what happened, and why he undermined his success. I feel bad for him because I can relate a little bit to him.

    • formerlyAnon

      I’m on the side of excessive perfectionism and anxiety leading to freezing, taking too long to commit to a direction, etc. Possibly because these are tendencies I have had to learn to manage in my own life.

      • Qitkat

        Amen, sister!

      • Lattis

        Amen amen sisters.

  • Danielle

    The collection reminded me a lot of Jay McCarroll’s (still my favorite runway show of them all). Not that the garments were similar, but being a complete, cohesive collection with a strong, cool point of view. After seeing each piece I got more excited for the next one.

    • BrooklynBomber

      Me, too. Also Jillian.

    • My thoughts exactly. They reminded me of Jay’s collection too!

    • BeccaGo

      Seth Aaron’s, too.

  • SSig

    Love the bleeding heart look. Very Ostwald Helgason.

  • I’m glad Michelle won. She definitely deserved it more than Stanley and Patricia.

  • Thanks for giving us an inside peak at Nina’s brain, lol. Glad Michelle won this season.

  • Finally!! Someone I’ve been rooting for from the beginning won! I loved most of Michelle’s collection and that sweater. I may have to see if that’s for sale anywhere, because I want it.

    Ninacaps are awesome.

  • ivfive

    “it just looked like a bunch of stuff you’d sell out of the back of a van at a Phish concert.”


  • lissonifan

    This is the kind of post that makes the Internet worth having. Thanks for brightening my day.

  • I was thrilled with this win! Her collection beat the others hands down, so it would have been a crime if “the other one” had won. Michelle’s dress with the breast plate is my favorite look. Thanks for the trip through Nina’s mind. Hahahahaha.

  • 3boysful

    Guys, I swear you paid off the director and a camera guy for this, because Nina had such great expressions! Love the internal monologue!

    Did we see you in the crowd? I was looking, and thought I spied Lo . . .

  • “My woman is someone who works, but someone who likes to go shopping.” Deep, Stanley.

    • Qitkat

      My personal opinion is that Stanley thinks of himself as an edgier Michael Kors. But he clearly had not thought through how to define his customer, which is something Kors would have asked him earlier in the season, if he had been a regular judge. I don’t know that anyone had asked him, except perhaps Tim, and he didn’t comprehend that it was a serious question, one worthy of more than a second’s contemplation.

      • formerlyAnon

        More evidence that they’ve started screening contestants for people who’ve never watched an entire season of Project Runway. Or who have faulty memories and zero analytical ability.

  • That’s a nice looking collection. Thanks for the hilarious recap. I still have the episode on my DVR and I may watch the runway show at least.

  • ginnyt20

    The Nina review was my favorite PR post ever! Her faces last night killed me!

  • nannypoo

    Michelle deserved to win, but she sure is hard to like. Her half-assed attempts to help Stanley at the end did not erase her nasty comments about everyone for the entire season. Her hat was idiotic. And I thought it was very odd that, when her models were covered with layer upon layer of heavy fabric, she chose to appear in a bra. I particularly did not like how she sneered at the recommendations of the judges.

    Her clothes are interesting and seem to be beautifully made. I love the first four, the coat, the grey skirt and the wolf sweater outfit. I don’t understand the heart sweater at all. It’s a disturbing image and ugly besides. I hate the outfit with the black overskirt, and the plunging necklines on the yellow top and the red dress are awful. Her collection is cohesive and mostly beautiful, and despite her huge ego and her bad attitude I think she deserved to win.

    • editrixie

      Since I don’t watch it anymore, I can’t attempt to explain anything, but I will say that intarsia print sweaters were huge this past season, and look to be again this season, and a lot of the images I’ve seen in hip lines can probably seem disturbing or weird to some.

    • TheAmericaness

      Mmm. You may want to rewatch the season. She said way less than Layana or even Stanley (you just don’t notice him as much – he’s quieter)

      • nannypoo

        Oh, I don’t think that by any stretch of the imagination she was the worst. That honor goes to Layana.

        I think it’s really disturbing how the contestants on this and other reality shows are encouraged to be mean to others. And then they are upset when they perceive that someone is mean back to them. They all need to revisit kindergarten to find out how to treat other people.

    • Michelle offered more help to Stanley than we’ve ever seen a finalist offer another finalist, from getting him coffee to helping him pack up to helping him with finishing to giving up her own backstage sewers to him. How is that “half-assed?”

      Y’know you offered her unprecedented help to Stanley, her hat, and her blouse as reasons to dislike her?

      • BeccaGo

        At least s/he didn’t bring up the tattoos…

      • nannypoo

        It seems that way, doesn’t it. Actually, I watched the entire season and formed my opinions of all the contestants over a long period of time, just as everyone else probably does. This year there was no one I really loved the way Mondo and Dimitri and some others appealed to me in past seasons.

  • “Fashion editor mind trickery.” The entire world of fashion in four words.

    I loved this recap, I was a little afraid by the title that the Patricia woman you all hate so much had won. I read this post with breathless anticipation, something those who actually watched the show were probably denied.
    I like Michelle’s collection quite a bit. It’s not remotely my look but if I could be a twenty something year old here and now, if I wanted to be a steam punk kinda gal, this is how I would do it.

    • “the Patricia woman you all hate so much”


      • Maybe “hated” is too harsh a descriptor. I read the Lounge comments and the PR recaps, and all season, there has been much verbal frustration with her and her continued presence there.

        • Well my frustration is that this is a show about fashion and design, not about making fabrics. There were many occasions where she was saved from being auf-ed either by Heidi (And Zac?) or by being on a team that was not in the bottom.

        • I agree with you. Much verbal frustration, borderline racist at times, for someone whose talent it was hard to deny from the very beginning. I can think of a number of great designers who went very far out there before they could sell a piece of it. Please tell the ghost of Alexander McQueen that innovation fashion design is not about making fabrics and attachments. But she was a much easier target for being such an outsider.

          • ” Please tell the ghost of Alexander McQueen that innovation fashion design is not about making fabrics and attachments.”

            I would quite happily tell the ghost of Alexander McQueen that, if I could. Because it’s true and because I’m 99% sure, given his work, that he would agree with that.

          • 3boysful

            I don’t see her as targeted as an “outsider.” She often produced the worst garment, yet saved by circumstances and/or Heidi. During the season, she didn’t actually sew as much as she artfully draped her embellished fabric, and that’s not what this competition is supposed to be about. I think the majority of the comments I’ve read take the stance that she seems to be a nice person and a great textile designer, but not so much a garment designer.

          • If anyone established Patricia as an outsider, it was Patricia herself. It was all she could talk about. She continuously spoke about her otherness and how she represented her people to those outside the Native American community.

          • CarolinLA

            I didn’t see that as anything other than her reiterating her aesthetic just like Michelle kept talking about her steampunk vibe.

          • I was actually addressing what Maureen Basedow said above: “But she was a much easier target for being such an outsider.”

        • Zorkness

          I think her work as being a type of Native American Couture with her strong components of detail and handwork. I thought that given the often boring competitors Patricia was worth moving on. I didn’t start out that way, but she also grew a lot as a designer, but from the judges perspective not enough to get a win. Acceptable.

  • CarolinLA

    I think Tim’s opinion is more and more out of sync with the judges. And that may be because he has remained steady while the judges have taken a few crack smoke breaks.

  • tereliz

    Man, I knew your recap was going to be worth reading, but I had no idea it would be so scintillating! Bravo, uncles! Er, wait, no, it was the Nina post of a LIFETIME. 😉

    Michelle’s heart sweater! I need it because I think mine just stopped!

    I LURVE this collection and want almost every piece. The weird rhombus necklines and distracting front pleats aside, I can’t get over how gorgeous the clothes are. And expensive looking. When was the last time a PR winner’s clothes looked this expensive? Congrats, Michelle!

  • Kelly B

    This post was more interesting than the judging. Which was predictable based on the clothes.

  • The German and the little boy… morning Diet Dr. Pepper just came out of my nose. Nailed it, TLo, as always. Thank you!

  • gurl boy

    On her first look…is that a “pee funnel” on the skirt or what? It’s not a fold or a pleat (look at the hem) almost like a sleeve that goes straight up to her you know what, as in “WTF” is it?
    Michele’s looks maybe editorial, but dated and costume like. Maybe she can go design for the Keebler Cookie elves?

    • Sunraya

      I thought it was an Ode to a Penis. Really, that’s what came into my head. The curse of being an English teacher.

      • Zorkness

        A dress for Trans?

  • Thank you for finding the exact right screen cap to express the look of disgust Nina gave everyone else when they were on the “who needs more clothes” line of argument. Perfection!

  • I’m so glad Michelle won…from the start she was the one that I wanted to watch….her and the knitwear guy (Jon?) which is awesome because he sort of won too. I know he made the one sweater, and I bet he was responsible for the bleeding heart sweater as well. And when I was thinking about this, I realized why the teams concept was so flawed. First off, Michelle practically drowned with most of the team challenges. It was only when the teams got tiny and her voice could be heard that she started to shine. Secondly, since everyone loved Patricia’s fabric manipulation, why not split the teams work into Patricia manipulating fabric, someone else using that fabric in a design and have the people who are the best sewers construct the garments. In the end, each designer made one look, and they were responsible for that one look (OK 95% of the time that’s how it went down). What a waste of the concept.
    Last night I caught Nina’s grimace midway through the judges deliberation, and I thought to myself: “What a shame, we haven’t had a Nina post this season, maybe they’ll do something with the grimace?” Well you gave us a giant Nina EXTRAVAGANZA! So a very satisfying end to a bleh season. Thanks TLO! (I just got your APP! I didn’t know you had an app!)

    • CozyCat

      I agree that Michelle was very smart to make use of Jon(?)’s skill with knitwear. Its the kind of move that demonstrates that she is “ready” for the fashion world, not only in the design sense but in the business sense.

      You could imagine the two of them starting a sideline business putting out sweaters. Many of Michelle’s OTT ideas are more sellable in a sweater, and it could bring in cash while she gets her line off the ground.

      • roble ridge

        His knitwear is so distinct that when TLo posted the final collections and we didn’t know who designed what, I instantly recognized Joseph’s sweaters!

  • EveEve

    Said it in the Lounge, and bears repeating:
    A HUGE thank you to both of you – Tom and Lorenzo – for keeping the PR side of things alive, despite your personal waning interest. Some of your BK’s missed the Nina caps (thank you for resurrecting them this once!) and judging the judges, but I think I speak for many here when I say this virtual community has been something we really look forward to each week.

    So nice that Michelle won – I’d picked her early on as the only really talented designer with vision. The Patricia-judge-love script had me tottering on the edge of disgust for a few weeks because there are so many young fresh textile designers coming out of art and design schools whose body of work far surpasses hers (and let’s be honest, some of her contributions were among the worst ever to walk the PR runway, saved only by her team.) But I got over it, and think I may be back for next season.

  • ivfive

    T&LO- Please tell us what you hear from the fabulous Ms. Garcia after she reads this…

  • appliquer

    Brilliant review!

  • SewingSiren

    I liked Michelle’s collection and she put an awful lot of work in it to be sure. The “look” has been around for a while though and I think Elena’s take on it was more original, fresh, and experimental than Michelle’s. My favorite pieces of her collection were the sweater knits. The wolf pattern (intarsia?) was very nice, kind of like an MC Escher. I also liked the bleeding heart, which looked like the Sacred Heart to me. Both of which rather ironically are textile design. Anyway I think they should have encouraged her in that direction.
    My least favorite pieces were the ones with the very low rectangular necklines.

  • BrooklynBomber

    God, I want those quilted pants. And the wolf sweater and blouse. Just sayin’. I’m a little worried about what the Lord & Taylor versions of her collection will look like.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Brilliant NinaCaps, gentlemen. And I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you receive a private message from Madame Garcia reading, (insert horrified low tone of voice) “How did you know?

    Agree, for the most part with your opinions of Michelle’s collection. She was smart, she was focused, she was matured and she was prepared. It’s not a look that this ol’ broad would wear, but I wish her well in her endeavors. It will be interesting to see what spins out over the next year or so.

  • Joana Jaeger


  • MilaXX

    Totally agree with the win. I haven’t been this happy about a win since Seth Aaron.

    • I haven’t been *happy* about a win since Seth Aaron’s.

    • Lattis

      Seth Aaron – who was also from Portland!

    • BeccaGo

      Don’t you feel like they should be a buddy crimefighting duo? SETH A 4EVA!! 🙂

  • CarolinLA

    I’m ready for Nina to go. Her inability to give Patricia a compliment without gritting her teeth was just too much for me.

    • StellaZafella

      I feel like…in some way we can’t see, Patricia hits too close to home for Nina. We BKs talk about our own Irrational Hate lists…clearly, Nina has one too.

      • CarolinLA

        I know the judges get edited just like the contestants but Nina gave off the vibe that Patricia didn’t belong breathing the same fashion air as her.

  • VictoriaDiNardo

    Best re-cap ever! Thank you!

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    You guys are brilliant! Loved the Nina caps, especially her using “mind tricks” to get the the other judges to vote her way. LOL That would help explain a number of questionable Project Runway decisions over the years.

    • I’ve always felt that her biggest mind trick is, “Vote my way or I pull the Marie Claire sponsorship.”

  • SugarSnap108

    Your NinaCaps are far more entertaining than anything this season. Bless.

    So glad Michelle won, since she was clearly the right choice. No offense to Patricia (and her family is ridiculously adorable), but as others have said, she’s really more suited to having her own boutique where she can sell her unique pieces.

  • CarolinLA

    I’m ready for a season where the theme is United Nations Project Runway where no one speaks the same language. Throw a few geo-political skirmishes in the mix and let the drama unfold.

  • I wish Patricia all the best in the business. She is a talented textile designer. I hope a lot of work comes her way.

    I’m rehashing my little ditty from the last time these finale pics were shown. Sing along with me children:

    Heidi the Clown
    Doesn’t mess around.
    Even though her taste
    Tries to keep her down.

    I said SING ALONG!

  • baxterbaby

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    You guys SLAY me!

  • CarolinLA

    Patricia’s daughter looked just like Sara Gilbert.

  • CarolinLA

    FYI: Zac Posen wrote the blurb about Michael Kors for the Time magazine top 100.

    • formerlyAnon

      That’s the kind of sidelight I find interesting. And since I don’t really follow fashion seriously I’d never know if kind souls such as yourself didn’t share. Thanks.

      • CarolinLA

        You are quite welcome. I’m here every Thursday. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  • greyhoundgirl

    Love this! Nina’s stony face every time Patricia was mentioned was priceless. I actually liked the episode. The drama was about the clothes/lack of clothes rather than personality clashes. Michelle and Patricia stepped up to help Stanley, who freaked and froze in the face of having to make an actual fashion show.They seemed to truly feel for him and to want him to do his best. And the right person won, which was refreshing.

  • Sunraya

    Love this post, gentlemen!!!

    I haven’t watched PR since Anya won, so I won’t know any of the characters, but that first dress is breathtaking! She does have some clunkers, but a few of the pieces and her coat are to die for! I can see CathyCambridge in that coat! It looks like a well deserved win for a change!

  • Kwei-lin Lum

    It seemed to take so long for the judges to settle on the obvious winner. It’s probably a matter of the show giving credence to and creating drama from three collections worth looking at. Michelle’s had the design imagination combined with saleability that the sponsors ultimately want. Loved her collection, it’s so hard to combine art and commerce. Totally and surprisingly enjoyed many of Patricia’s pieces. After having seen the home visit her work seemed more amazing because it genuinely came out of a place that was steeped in non-western traditions. But unless a person of another culture can translate to the masses, they will remain in a niche market. That’s not a bad thing, but Project Runway will be a profile-booster rather than a winning proposition. Poor Stanley, he worked so hard but was unable to complete a collection under pressure. That’s a deal breaker, I fear.

  • Duchess comments! How I’ve missed those. He didn’t disappoint.

    I’m glad Patricia did well. Her and the kids twisting together was priceless.

    Stanley, geez, what the hell.

    Yay Michelle! For once they picked the right one.

    Not sure I can watch the reunion show next week. Again – DANIEL’S HAIR. What is UP with that?

    Thanks for the fun Nina Caps!

  • Simply hilarious. Good thing Nina loves you, guys…

  • acevedob

    Lmao…you guys are awesome. Can you imagine Nina’s head exploding if Patricia had won??!!

  • Jasmaree

    I’m really glad. This is so much better than Dimitry, Anya, and Gretchen’s wins.

  • flamingoNW

    I was going to say it was entirely predictable that Michelle was going to win, that SHE was getting the winners edit, but then….. I fast forwarded through a lot of the build up so maybe I missed something? 🙂 She was the clear winner for sure. Have to say, I was more impressed with Patricia than I expected to be but then, it still was Chicos Luxe, and pretty random for the most part… Stanley’s was just super dull for the most part…

    • Qitkat

      Apparently we watched different shows. Patricia–Chicos?? I guess I’d better go back there, because that’s not what I even once thought. I also was more impressed with Patricia last evening, but her collection was seriously incohesive. Some of Stanley’s was more like Chicos, except Chicos is more colorful, and is actually aimed at women who work and like to shop.

  • tired_mommy

    Michelle’s preparation and finishing of her final (complex) garments seem to be the best execution I’ve seen from PR in a long time. I think this bodes well for her in the business side of fashion design that many designers seem to lack.

    I would love to see Patricia on “All on the Line” with Joe Zee–I think there is a nugget of potential greatness in Patricia, but she could really use mentoring on how to better communicate her vision to a team and develop a tighter collection/business presentation.

    Stanley should go lead a design team under someone else’s brand.

    • Patricia on All On The Line is a great idea.

      • l_c_ann

        In one of Patricia’s interviews she talked about doing a sketch and then taking seven or eight years to bringing it to fruition. I doubt Joe Zee has that kind of time on their shooting schedule.

        • Qitkat

          I agree. I like Joe Zee but he really is all about the business end and sell-ability. Patricia, whom I came around to respect quite a bit more at at the end, is an artist, with a completely different vision of success than the Joe Zee brand. They would clash. But it would be great if she could find a mentor in someone who has already succeeded in the boutique business. Someone like Chloe Dao might understand where Patricia is coming from, in more than one way. I’m not trying to lump ethnic heritages together, but Chloe comes from a large, close family, who have had their own kind of struggles as immigrants to the US, perhaps a tiny bit similar to struggles of assimilation that our Native Peoples have had.

      • CarolinLA

        That would make for such a great episode. I love All on the Line and I hate that I don’t have the Sundance Channel to watch it as it originally airs.

  • PeaceBang

    I haven’t watched this show in years but fellas, these NinaCaps were genius. Thanks for all you do. I like the collection, too, but it seems a bit “Game Of Throne Meets The Modern Girl” for me to get super enthused about.

  • bingo

    I love you guys. Spot on and hilarious all in one.

  • Judy_S

    Well, this was the first time I did not watch a regular season of PR. I have discovered, as so many before me, that the best part is reading TLo the day after….

  • jw_ny

    The Nina commentary was spot on with what we all know she was thinking and saying…loved it!

    I had chills when I saw Michelle’s line walking the runway, and tears when she won. I didn’t realize I was this emotionally invested in her win…which she deserved wholeheartedly.

  • Qitkat

    The Nina Caps were worth the wait, and worthy of the entire season’s soapy opera story. The Bitter Kittenry en masse snorted their morning lattes and herbal teas.
    Well done, fellows, well done.

    I liked a good bit of Michelle’s collection, and not so much other bits. I DETEST the squared-off plunging necklines which even skinny tall model chicks look dreadful in. How in the world would any of us imagine that, say, Christina Hendricks would look in those get-ups? I must have blinked because I never saw the bleeding heart walk the runway. I think you could only wear that one time though, for maximum impact. You would have to go to a place where no one from the first place was present for any future wearings. The cool shock value is gone, and what is left is a little bit icky. The hat was cute though.The coat, sans bags, and the wolf sweater are divine, as is the first look, the best look she had.

    So congratulations to Michelle. I didn’t really care but just stuck it out anyway, because this entire season became like an endless family reunion, with people you are nice to, but have nothing in common with, and who get a little bit tiresome, and then you yourself realize that you are also tiresome, and wish everyone would just Go Away. And now they have.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    Well, let’s be honest. Who else could they possibly give it to? Stanley was a walking disaster, and the producers clearly tipped off the judges to his hot mess, like they so often do. (“We noticed it looks like there was some quick sewing there….” *eyeroll*) And Patricia…. I actually like her kookiness, but Marie Claire-ready it is not.

    So I really couldn’t see how anyone but Michelle COULD have won. No surprise at all. Her stuff is middle-of-the-road to me, but it is the only collection that looks like it belongs in a store. And why are they giving away all those prizes if not to start a conventional fashion design business?

    Congrats Michelle, but she pretty much won by default. And she knew it — I’m surprised they let her voice it ahead of time in the editing like she did.

    Ninacaps for the win, as always. Love.

  • mhleta

    I think you’ve created a new genre here: The Graphic Non-Fiction Fashion Novel. Excellent reporting, gentlemen. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again, PR/Bunim Murray should send you a hefty check for keeping people interested in the show who, otherwise, would have wandered away ages ago. I wouldn’t be watching without this very entertaining supplement you’ve created here. Thank you for another hilarious season of PR.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      “PR/Bunim Murray should send you a hefty check for keeping people interested in the show who, otherwise, would have wandered away ages ago.”

      This! So much.

  • So happy to see Ninacaps!
    My boyfriend wants a shortened menswear version of the coat with all the bags clipped on. He’s a sucker for hardware and pouches. Get on the menswear thing, Michelle, so he stops bothering me about finding something like it for him.
    I will take one of the coats too, as well as the sweaters, dresses, and tie-blouse (which I loved). And those funky quilted pants.
    I was glad she won too, but it was a really boring finale.
    Also, I was amazed they praised Stanley’s bath-towel-and-drapes bubble dress which I thought was hideously proportioned, but I guess that’s me.

    • Qitkat

      No it’s not just you. The bubble dress was a weird gathered yardage of fabric, looking like it was sewn, actually, backstage.

      • l_c_ann

        The top wasn’t finished for the bubble dress, editing just showed it being folded under. Not even the courtesy of a glue gun.

    • Indigo54

      Oh no, honey it’s not just you. That was a bubble dress with no bubble. Just a thrown together mess. I have no idea what the judges were seeing. I was totally embarrassed for Stanley.

  • joanna dash

    I so loved the first dress except for the penis sheath. Oh…. I mean the third sleeve. Oh….I mean that pleat in the middle. It is totally uncalled for and distracting and gimmicky.

    • Coco Cornejo

      An excess that Michelle repeated more than once.

      • I mean, did she not see that she gave all her girls giant elephant penii?

  • I’m posting my reaction to the show before reading Tom and Lorenzo for a change:

    Michelle was the clear winner. Patricia was a close second for very different reasons. Both women inspire me.

    Stanley betrayed himself. Maybe he doesn’t feel like a winner? I could never work that way. I think he could dress Michelle Obama.

    I love how Michelle helped Stanley. Not everyone would assist a competitor.

    I saw friendship and compassion among many of the competitors. Next week’s show may demonstrate something different, but there was no obvious feuding or nastiness, at least with the finalists.

    Patricia is more than an artist and craftsperson. Her painted designs are perfectly balanced on her garments. These designs enhance the shape of her clothes–most of the time.

    Amanda looks super good with haircut (bangs). I wish she’d get that mole removed.

    What’s with Heidi’s makeup? She wore very little eyeliner, eyeshadow or mascara. She looks beautiful with a clean face. Not everyone can wear their hair pulled back like that. It was nice to see her legs covered for a change.

    Nina has beautiful hair.

    The judges did a good job articulating their likes and dislikes, and I think they helped the designers improve with their feedback. It was nice to see Michael Coors. His fresh approach was extremely helpful.

    Didn’t Tim tell Michelle to dump the bleeding heart sweater? I didn’t care for it but the judges loved it. Some of the competition was like a roulette game. Outguessing the judges is impossible.

    The camera work was terrible on the runway show.

    The best model won.

    • Danielle

      YES about her model! I’ve been rooting Michelle all season, but halfway through the episode I turned to my husband and said that a part of me wants her to win just so her model does. Lisa was my favorite back on her ANTM season.

      • I thought I recognized her from ANTM! Lisa needed confidence, as I recall. Her lack of it was her undoing. I find it interesting to see various ANTM models show up. I saw a model on The Real Housewives of Atlanta; she showed up for a casting call at the Bailey Agency. She’d had a bad attitude on ANTM, and she still has one, Unfortunately, an ANTM model was featured on Dr. Phil with an awful drug problem. I must say that ANTM doesn’t seem to give a big boost to modeling careers. A small boost. Oh, I saw another ANTM model on The Dog Whisperer, of all places. I’m so happy for Lisa. She’s beautiful, and she did a great job. Not all the PR models were that great. They didn’t pause long enough before they turned around. THE CAMERA WORK WAS TERRIBLE!

      • BeccaGo

        Amen. Suck it, Tyra!

        • demidaemon

          My words exactly when she won!

  • It was all just to predictable. Safe and boring. And who are we kidding. Michelle’s looks have been around forever. Nothing fresh or exciting. Yawn!!!

  • spinachleaf

    Did TLO review the collections of the other designers during Fashion Week? Does anyone have a link to them?

    • Qitkat

      They posted the looks, but did not review any of them. Go to TAGMAP, at the top of this page, look under “P” for “Project Runway Season 11 Final Collections.” I would be surprised if they ever review the other 5 who weren’t finalists.

  • ChristinaRi

    Dear Tom and Lorenzo,

    Thank you so much for doing the Nina Garcia commentary. Of all the things I’ve missed since your scaling back PR coverage, I’ve missed your hilarious takes on Ms. Gracia’s inner mind the most. This one was outstanding, and almost with the wait — but only almost.

  • Love that you provided the dialog to Nina’s wordless but barely contained eye rolling, obvious smug stares and inner seething. Best part of the finale.


    So glad for Michelle’s win! She had a great work ethic and produced interesting designs. I think her designs reached a wide range of ages. As a 50+ I would totally wear some of these pieces! Heart sweater/quilted pants, I am talking to you!!

    Dontcha love the drama that is hinted at in the upcoming reunion show?? I mean seriously, Daniel, let it go! What a baby!

  • Stubenville

    I dislike Michelle as a person, based on the excess of trash talk we saw. However I will concede that she had the strongest collection. This season was Stanley’s to lose, and…

    • BeeBeauNYC

      I agree completely and really thought Stanley was the shoo-in for the win until we saw his dowdy three pieces last week. It was jarring to see those unsexy pieces because for the rest of the season he really seemed to have a sexy style. I was ok with Michelle’s trash talk because I thought it was less trashy than vitriol spewed out in earlier seasons.

  • Frank_821

    I have to add with all the compliments about her and patricia’s collection and the shock over Stanley’s, I am glad they had 5 months to work instead of 5 weeks. But m y god what would have been produced by our runner ups (includign Daniel) if that were the case

    In any case they should all benefit form this time on PR. Daniel certainly is. He’s got a business partner now and opportunities are being exploited with the Austin fashion communities all abuzzed about him.

    Good for Joe getting some extra exposure. Those sweaters he made had a great impact

    I can only imagine what Patricia might get out of this exposure

  • Disqus isn’t working for me on my usual browser so I’m resorting to typing this out on my TLo app.

    PRAISE JEEBUS Michelle won. Her collection was the easy winner in my eyes from the start and if I were a skinny girl I would wear the hell out of all of it. Unlike many others I found Michelle smart and funny and refreshingly honest without being mean. She jumped in to help her fellow designers when they needed her and they all seemed to have great respect for her which tells me everything I need to know. She’s easily my favorite winner in many years and her collection in my top 3 of all PR final collections.

    I like Patricia and her kids were adorable, but Nina-caps nailed it with her Phish concert comment. Hippie Chic, but not in an expensive or sophisticated way. I’m somewhat reticent to admit that the lumberjack look was my favorite. It was the only look that was somewhat youthful and edgy and interesting. I kinda hated everything else.

    Stanley’s collection was just a snoozefest and I was right there with Michelle wondering why he put himself in that position.

    • spititout

      I want the leather lumberjack shirt to wear with a jean skirt, does the make me a redneck?

      • The jean skirt alone makes you a redneck. 😉 I think Patricia’s painted and cut leather pieces were the most interesting and high fashion garments she made. Would love to see that top paired with Michelle’s quilted pants.

    • BeccaGo

      “She’s easily my favorite winner in many years and her collection in my top 3 of all PR final collections.”

      Me too! She holds the runner-up spot, right behind Seth Aaron. 🙂

  • Kate4queen

    Thank you Nina! 🙂 The best collection won. Did I like Michelle, or would I wear any of it? No, but she did a great job. I still loved Patricia’s textiles and her family made me cry in a good way. Stanley-what happened????

  • NINACAPS!!!!!

  • ballerinawithagun

    Can’t stop laughing, thank you!!!

  • Haha. A clever spin on the events.

    I think the show and the judges are better than that. I didn’t expect to enjoy the runway show after having a previous peek at several collections. I had fun watching Michelle’s and Patricia’s collections. However, the camera work was a big mess! I was afraid that one of Stanley’s models would shed a dress on the runway.

  • Belvane

    That 6th outfit: Joan Holloway Harris 2013.

  • RR May

    Unlike the old Bravo days the show is now so much less fun. It’s run by savvy businessmen who are, in my opinion, looking to invest wisely. Can the winner run a business and make a profit? It would be interesting to see the contracts the winners must adhere to after the show.

    • CarolinLA

      You are absolutely right. There’s far less laughing and whimsy because they never give the designers time to breathe.

  • Loved Michelle. So glad she won. Can’t wait to find out where she’s selling her stuff (hopefully somewhere in Portland too, a la Seth Aaron, so I can buy some).

  • another_laura

    I have nothing creative to add so will just thank T Lo for the NinaCaps. I’ve missed them so!

  • formerlyAnon

    You guys. Rod Serling + Nina Garcia, genius.

    Right collection did win. In addition to all the big things she did right, she also hit on one of the things that, it seems, is having a moment, the full, (almost blouson), cuffed sleeve.

  • Wellworn

    Thank you guys, the Ninacaps were golden. The whole judging screamed for them. I laughed every time they showed a silent Nina looking through the photos with a thinly veiled look of disgust on her face when Patricia was mentioned. I was thinking last night, would TLo do the Ninacaps? And of course you came through like gangbusters. Kudos.

    Yes, Michelle’s was the best show. Clear point of view, interesting shapes (although they reminded me of costuming for Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and several similar movies), although I personally was put off by her personality throughout the show, and her constant smug snark and focus on others. It was the best of the three, although I still love Patricia’s point of view and many of her pieces. I was shocked at Stanley. He suffered the final runway choke, that we have seen many times before. He did well with the constrictions of the challenges, but when left with time and freedom to do what he wanted, he not only became boring, but he suddenly was so unfinished that 8 people had to sew for him at the last minute. That was appalling and I wonder what TLo thought about it.

  • EEKstl

    What a treat to have some Ninacaps to accompany my lunch. Well done, you! And congrats to Michelle, who was the CLEAR winner for me. Yes, some clunkers, some too tricky, but she was three for three: Imaginative POV, well-executed and cohesive. Brava!


  • Geoff Dankert

    Best. Ninacaps. EVER.

  • Tracy_Flick

    Someone please make a GIF of Nina’s disgusted face and teeny eye roll. Please. The internet needs it.

  • minnye

    YAY Ninacaps!! Thank you thank you T Lo. Exactly the laugh I needed at the end of a tough week. Congrats to Michelle. Loved this collection.

  • Terrie_S

    Ha! Loved the Nina Caps. Though, Michelle’ collection was very hit and miss for me. I loved some of the pieces (I totally want the wolf sweater) and hated others. The square plunging neckline just said “Stab me in the stomach” to me.

  • voter1

    By far, your best synopsis of a finale.

    Not surprised that Stanley did not win – his collection was ho-hum. I did like a few things that Patricia made, but Michelle was the right pick.

  • Kenisha Hill Phillips

    I will stand alone in my obsession with Patricia’s Dr. Seuss hats. I really wish she would’ve stayed in that direction and just run with it.

  • Lattis

    Empress Nina 🙂
    Love your recaps.

    • drdarke

      Yes, can we all give TLo a round of applause for getting into the head of Nina Garcia so perfectly?

  • Lattis

    How many PR winners are from Portland, OR!!!

    Loved Michelle and her collection. My favorite thing she did all season though, was the one they almost auffed her for – the so called t-shirt and pants look. Man I loved that. Also love with a passion that black coat in the final collection.

  • CRYING! You guys nailed! In fact, Nina’s “I’m not amused” deadpans are what made last night a little interesting. And I wonder if the other 3 have ever seen any art-to-wear in their lives. I’ve seen a lot more WITH great fashion design than Patricia’s. Congrats to Michelle. She was truly innovative and deserved the win.

  • Snailstsichr

    Thank you for the Nina Caps. They were brilliant.
    I have been thinking for a while that I would love to see Christina Hendricks in the 6th look (the long skirt and the side ruffle in case I have counted wrong), but I finally realized that the only place where she should really wear it would be in a return to Firefly. (a girl can dream)
    I would wear every piece in this collection and I’m in my 50s. I find her aesthetic timeless.

    • Anniebet

      Totally agree on Christina Hendricks. Even if the model hadn’t been a redhead, this would have screamed Mrs. Reynolds through a megaphone! (Christina’s character, for the poor, sad non-Firefly-addict)

      • tallgirl1204

        So, the evil Mrs. Reynolds, returning to Firefly in a JoanieEsque executive position, with a pistol down that side ruffle and poison lipstick in play….

    • NoGovernmentName

      I thought of Christina Hendricks too when I saw that look.

    • spititout

      I see the Firefly influence and wish it would return too, except… Christina’s character on Firefly pretty much wore a sheet or a skimpy seductive tunic. Michelle’s looks were too much clothes for Christina.

  • Now I can’t tell who would win in a death battle with Joanna Coles, brava!

  • You two are geniuses. You took, as you said, another boring PR finale and made it HI-larious. Genius and yes, thank god all that blathering turned out to be to fill time. Michelle was so clearly the winner and I loved her collection.

  • I stopped watching this season after the first few episodes, but I’m very glad I came here today to read the thoughts of Her Majesty Queen Nina! Absolutely BRILLIANT!


  • jetpackdino

    Nina: LOVES and demands a bleeding heart sweater, and yet her attitude to Patricia…

    Iunno. Just a bit ironic. All I’m sayin’.

  • H2olovngrl

    That sweater was the clincher, right there.

  • … except i’m confused by the penis-sleeve on the first dress. otherwise i love me a little steampunk.

  • OMG, that recap was hilarious and was Dona Garcia giving us life in this episode! I love that she just. could. not. with Patricia, lol. And is it me or has Posen been more awake these past two episodes than the entire season? I don’t know what’s between him and Nina now but it’s delicious to watch. Heidi, poor thing, not everyone wants to dress like you…give Michelle her credit and be done with it. (Having Kors back in the mix just proves he’s an essential part of this show and really irreplaceable…the energy was just so different with him there and suddenly everyone (except Stanley) seemed awake. Please bring him back for PRS12!)

  • roble ridge

    Michelle deserved the win. Out of the final 3, she was the only real fashion designer. She presented a cohesive collection that originated from an idea. She played with fabrics, presented a unified color story, and showed interesting silhouettes and layering. I think her focus, drive and fashion perspective will take her far in her career.

    Stanley is more of a dress maker than a designer. His silhouettes are classically based, but he needs to learn how to update them and hone his sense of proportion. Take for example the maroon embroidered/beaded gown he showed in front of the judges. The bodice was too long and made the model look old. Had he taken it up about 2″, it would have presented itself as a more refined look. He designed for a very refined customer and that’s perfectly acceptable. But it was clear to me that he has no story from where he draws inspiration. He’s just re-making vintage silhouettes in expensive fabrics. Again, nothing wrong with that, but that’s where a great distinction lies between someone who is very creative such as Michelle and someone who’s simply re-making vintage clothes in the 21st century.

    Patricia is just a textile artist making art to wear. In my eyes, she’s not a fashion designer. While I’m sure that there will always be a niche for someone like her in the market, the impact she will make will be nominal. I was quizzical when she said that her collection was inspired by “trees.” ??? I wish she had elaborated on what, exactly, about trees inspired her and how it manifest itself in her final collection. I didn’t see it and this is where she falters in trying to create a tight theme.

  • I LOVE it when T-Lo assumes the Garcia ‘tude b/c I believe that’s what she REALLY thinks.

  • lobsterlen

    I am 100% certain that this post of Nina Garcia’s thoughts is spreading like wild fire through Marie Claire office minions as we speak. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone printed it out and posted in the level level plebeian break room which Nina Garcia would never enter.

  • luluransom

    Since Michelle won, I may even watch again next season. Fully expected to be shouting at the TV like usual. Boys, that glimpse inside Nina’s head was terrifying and WONDERFUL!!!!

  • NoGovernmentName

    I asked for NinaCaps last night, and my prayers were answered! Thank you so much, TLo. Last night’s ep fairly begged for them, and you nailed it as always. Your analysis of Michelle’s collection is spot on. We liked and had reservations about all the same ones. Your recaps make the show so much more enjoyable. Much gratitutde!

  • uprightcitizen

    Okay, that shot for shot look inside Nina’s brain was hilarious. She’s like an Anna Wintour without the mystery. I can picture every condescending word coming out her mouth (and I actually like her).

    So glad to see Michelle win. She was smart, focused, talented, together and real. And one of the most generous contestants in the whole series, IMHO. I also thought this finale was one of the best in years. No “undeserving, but predetermined winner,” no editing to make people look bitchy or awful, and you really got a feel for how much work is involved. Stanley should be embarrassed, though.

  • guest2visits

    I’m one of the many who miss TLo’s mind-melding re-caps. This was just perfect and hilarious! Agree with your (I mean Nina’s)
    conclusions for the season 11 finale. Although someone tell me PLEASE what is the charm behind the bloody heart?!

    Also, I liked Michelle’s little red hunter’s caps… at least that was I assumed they were; straight out of a Grimm’s fairytale.

  • spititout

    Just tell us why, Stanley, why? I would like to hear why Stanley came to fashion week so unfinished. I wonder if the beading and embroidery outsourcing took extra time. I seem to remember Andy South imported special fabrics from an Asian country and lost sewing time.

  • Best TV show recap possibly ever. Send it in for a Pulitzer (or something), boys.

  • TSkot

    One of the best collections a PR winner has had in sometime; unfortunately, that doesn’t take a lot, but this one is really good, nevertheless.

  • Guest

    i don’t like michelle — she was just a little too annoyingly critical of everyone else’s designs (reminded me a little of gretchen in that regard) and there are aspects of her aesthetic that i am not completely on board with; but that said, i thought her collection was the most polished, cohesive and professional one shown – she absolutely deserved the win on this. stanley (my favorite throughout the season) brought a complete mess to the finale and i have to agree that most of his looks are stodgy and old looking. patricia is just not ready to be a true fashion designer — textiles, yes, but i agree with the comment that someone made that her stuff looks a bit like something one would find at the hippy store in the mall…so congrats, michelle – well deserved win.

  • tripletmom96

    i don’t like michelle — she was just a little too annoyingly critical
    of everyone else’s designs (reminded me a little of gretchen in that
    regard) and there are aspects of her aesthetic that i am not completely
    on board with; but that said, i thought her collection was the most
    polished, cohesive and professional one shown – she absolutely deserved
    the win on this. stanley (my favorite throughout the season) brought a
    complete mess to the finale and i have to agree that most of his looks
    are stodgy and old looking. patricia is just not ready to be a true
    fashion designer — textiles, yes, but i agree with the comment that
    someone made that her stuff looks a bit like something one would find at
    the hippy store in the mall…so congrats, michelle – well deserved

  • ballerinawithagun

    I love this collection. But I love steampunk, moto and rocker looks. All of these are very trendy right now but always have a constant fan base, tribe of wearers. Right now the general public likes this look because of the new Sherlock Holmes, Girl With a Dragon Tattoo and Hunger Games, so even typical fashionistas recognize the potential.

  • Love getting inside Nina’s mind. You guys read her like a book!

  • Is Lisa, Michelle’s model, the same Lisa from America’s Next Top Model who cried over her hair making her look masculine? I’m sure it must be her.

    • BeccaGo

      ‘Tis. 🙂

  • crash1212

    These added close-ups make me love this collection even more. Totally deserved – and surprising given PR champions past – win! I love what the make-up dude did with the eyebrows. Details count and this collection was spot on in every detail. For once, PR made me smile…of course I didn’t watch all the episodes, but still….YAY Michelle!

  • GTrain

    Love love love the caps for Nina! And congrats to Michelle – I thought it was a really strong collection.

  • Pennymac

    Ikinda liked it better without the close-ups. I was startled by the eyebrows!

  • BeccaGo

    “Honestly, I thought she was a lesbian. I swear someone told me that.”


  • Jan de la Rosa

    I love the ideas behind this collection and some of the pieces but that silhouette only works in runway sizes and that is always kinda hurtful for us women with hips and boobs.
    Also, they seem kind of difficult to wear and my motto is never to buy something I wouldn’t be able to dress myself in even when completely drunk.

    Under that point of view, this is a dangerous collection.

  • VicksieDo

    Since I see this show as a huge job opportunity, I appreciate creativity with professionalism, and no amount of tears and screaming and whining will impress me without the talent. Michelle has that, and I think she’ll go far. Strangely I also enjoyed Richard’s clothing in the mock collection -alas, he will go nowhere because he’s taken annoying to new heights. Stanley was a big flop, surprising. Patricia, I have nothing to add…she is a niche designer who needs her own little shop – but I was proud of her efforts. She new she was breaking new ground.

  • I LONG for that bleeding heart sweater. It needs to go into production STAT!

  • tallgirl1204

    So did anyone beside me see that fourth look, the one with the breastplate and neoprene skirt, and want to see Christina Hendricks in it? Joan Holloway-meets-Firefly ? Firefly being its own version of Steampunk…

    • l_c_ann

      I snorted Dr. Pepper at that one.

      Are we talking the Christina from Firefly or the more bodaceous Christina? Or either one, more likely.

      • tallgirl1204


  • ccm800

    I’m glad they called Nina on her conservative taste BS. I mean Marie Claire is in no way edgy but I often question her horizon.

  • DownIsTheNewUp

    Its Project Runway’s THIRD Portland winner.

  • I covet that bleeding heart sweater

  • elikit

    I don’t understand the lie for the bleeding heart jumper. It looks terribly Hot Topic.

  • The 6th look is what Joanie would wear if she was steampunk.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    I actually think this is one of the BEST finale collections we’ve seen on PR since about S4. It reminds me of the old days a bit when the designers weren’t just trying to do Macy’s Ready-To-Wear and actually had some vision that went along with skill and perspective. Great looks and I could actually see a lot of them selling in Anthropologie or something.

  • geeeque

    Wow, for the first time since Mr. Carrol (and I hadn’t even heard of Project Runway way back then) a winning collection I don’t just love, I’D BUY. I’ve been a fan of Michelle since the get-go. I don’t think she’s bitchy at all, just salty and honest and not made-for-tv. No hystrionics, no personal attacks, no childish held-onto grudges. I’m such a fan! Also it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned here or on the show by the judges, but her clothes are wildly flattering and wearable for all body types. They give slender ladies curves and celebrate the curves of girls who already have em. Not too short, not too tight, just a slice of skin here and flash of leg there And they’re practical! Ok, where can I shop please?

  • librarygrrl64

    Looks 1, 4, and 11 are fabulous!!! Glad she won. 🙂

  • TRSmith

    Please, TLo, do a separate post on Heidi’s look on this finale show. Please.

  • Kate

    Was anyone else as pissed at Zac Posen as I was? If he degraded women one more time by saying “add some sparkles and crystal and any woman would want it” one more time I was going to reach through the screen and slap his baby face. It looked as if Lady Nina was going to for me at one point.

    • CarolinLA

      Nina looked like she was about to smack him with something sparkly.

      • Melizmatic

        I would so start watching this show again if they’d let La Nina bitch-slap people who desperately need it.

  • Michelle’s runway show was so amazing. the movement, music and images of it all live was breathtaking and just had me in tears. i’ve never responded to a show that way before. love the story behind the clothes as much as the clothes themselves… congrats michelle!

  • Lilithcat

    Oh, how I’ve missed Nina caps!

    I wasn’t all that impressed with Michelle’s collection. My first reaction was: drab. My second was: way too much going on. I did like the coat. I initially liked her first look, but the more I see of it, the more I think it, too, suffers from lack of editing.

    And I loathed that bleeding sweater. Disgusting.

    Did like the ties, though.

  • Trisha26

    Michelle was my pick too. I really love the steampunk/sci-fi influence, yet she avoided going costume-y by making everything separates; you could see that the looks could be broken up and recombined. I didn’t care for the two plunging necklines (more like waistlines!) and the blouse under the wolf sweater. Love, love, love the black coat – with all the hardware and bags.

    • This: Love, love, love the black coat – with all the hardware and bags.

  • sado

    Love Nina, this is hilarious

  • Totally read the opening paragraphs in Nina’s voice

  • DCSheehan

    Hooray for Michelle. Now please make some men’s coats and quilted pants for me. And don’t listen to those silly boys and Nina – hardware and lots of it.

    Btw TLo, best recap ever.

  • lilazander

    I actually liked what you called “a clunker” and I thaught the next one was the biggest clunker. Why? I like the pieces separately (though I think the skirt needs some solid editing), but all of them combined?–no! It looks heavy and crafty.

  • For the first time in a long while the winner is someone I thought had the best collection and wanted her to win. Would I buy this? Damn straight. It’s a collection that works across age groups. It’s edgy but wearable and it works for womens real lives. Brava Michelle.
    I have not read all of the hate posts mentioned in the comments,but I really don’t understand them.
    She is a strong, straight forward woman. There were no back stabs, no drama and no histrionics. She worked hard and produced beautiful clothing. As others have pointed out, she was truly kind to Stanley.

    • Lady Willpower

      I can only assume you fast forwarded through all of her interviews, because she literally trashed people every time she sat down in front of a microphone. That’s not my idea of a strong woman.

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    I watched early seasons of Project Runway last week, and was struck once again but how shallow and non-design oriented the show has become over the years. Design and creativity used to be the focus; then it started shifting toward salability and marketability and what will move off the racks. Sigh.

  • Nina Garcia is the Ann Coulter of Fashion with her wannabe Anna Wintour affected accent. She didnt get the name MeanaNina for nothing. So chalk this up to a win for the Mean Team Nina & Michelle. I love tattoos. But i kept wanting to wash her arms. & only 2 pieces in her whole collection could be worn by REAL women who arent a size 2 – the heart sweater & the gown at the end. Otherwise her clothes will end up on The Rack at Nordstroms 75% off.

  • adnama79

    I can see all of Michelle’s pieces in Nordstrom’s, and I mean that in a good way, not in a generic department-store way.

    • Me, too, ’cause then I might be able to buy one of her pieces here in FLorida. I think tons of women, me included, could wear her clothes (well, not the plunging necklines, but all the rest…)

  • adnama79

    When the finale collections were posted anonymously back however many months ago, Michelle’s was the only one where I could clearly see whose it was. I was hoping back then that it meant she would win – what a clear vision!

    • I, too, loved, LOVED these coats and buckles back when we were all guessing and chose it for the win. But I had no idea whose it was — which makes sense ’cause I only watch for the clothes and *try* to ignore the drama and back-stories. Anyway, I’m kinda proud of myself for actually picking the winner way back based on the clothes alone and not which were the final 3.

  • Melizmatic


    I quit watching this show after Mondo was robbed on season 8; but with recaps like these, who needs to see the actual show?


  • Michelle was the clear winner. This post wins!

  • I’m very happy for Michelle’s win! Her collection was obviously the best – if only for the sweaters and bell sleeve-shapes (I want one of the collared blouses ASAP!).

    • She was smart to get Joseph Aaron, so misunderstood by the judges, to help her with the sweaters. Interesting how much collaboration was allowed this year.

      • SO smart! And it really redeemed Joseph Aaron, who is probably brilliant.

  • Call me Bee

    I was gone for the finale and the TLounge (I hope everyone had fun and lots of booze….) The Nina screencaps are priceless and I love my Dear Uncles for them. Thanks.
    Very happy that Michelle won–I knew she would from the beginning. Though both Michelle and Patricia had a strong points of view, Michelle’s actually made fashion sense. That’s two years in a row that PR gave the prize to a designer that actually had the best collection. Hope for the future.

  • Anathema_Device

    Finally watched the finale last night. Michelle deserved the win. But I am most excited about the Ninacaps. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!! Best part of an irritating season.

  • Can anyone tell me how they filmed the designers walking with their collections and how all the celebs knew which collection belonged to each finalist, when as I recall all the collections were shown anonymously?

    • The segments with the designers and their collections were shot in an empty tent and digitally inserted into scenes of a full tent. As for the celebs, we have to assume they mentioned to the production people which collections they liked and were told the name of the corresponding designer.

  • A.

    I am so happy to see that a deserving winner has finally won this show! I think it was fairly safe to say it would be someone with some actual skill and talent, because I think by and large the talent pool was much more solid than most several of the recent seasons.

    I enjoyed Michelle’s work through out the season, with some stand outs that deserved praise (the short, blocked, spring number she won for). I had no idea what the hell became of this show! It often times made no sense and changed a rule where one received praise they just berated someone else for doing the week previous. How sad it was that Stanley, in the end, was a failure to launch. In the way of finally sleeping with the one you have been lusting over for weeks only to be exposed to something you could have handled yourself, but on the bright side provided time for you to reorganize your linen closet in your mind because that is about as much bang that will ever come out of the experience. Like Stanley s collection (what, just me?).

    And crazy Patty …wow! Shes a lunatic and I hope (like the real world around her) that she finds her true calling in textiles. That is where her genius lies. Leave the whole design technique thing to people who can actually pull it off.

    Overall, pretty good ending.

  • The models’ eyebrows are freaky.

  • HelenNPN

    As a longtime watcher of PR, and probably its most forgiving fan (the Gretchen Haters Club was absurd, and sorry, Mondo is overrated) I’d simply like to drop a few observations after enjoying this revamped PR season, the best season in a long time.

    Congratulations on the producers of PR for tweaking the format – the show in its 11th season is getting better, not just older. The teams idea is a positive one. Yes it has some downsides such as eliminating some better designs over bad ones carried by the team. But first its positives. Fans appreciate seeing these people for the most part getting along, learning to get along, and when they struggle, it seems more genuine, not just an attempt to stand out and create drama. The teams concept promotes working together, and there is still plenty of largely natural head butting that is always going to occur. As for the fact that sometimes a bad design gets a pass – I have to say that makes the show’s outcomes a little more of a roller coaster, a little more mysterious and perhaps a little more like what happens in life, especially in fashion. Sometimes you are inexplicably in, sometimes inexplicably out. And sometimes you are just lucky. Or not. It makes for better viewing overall. I also think coming up through teams makes the designers stronger as individual voices, which is why this was one of the strongest runway shows in quite a few seasons.

    Secondly, I’d like to compliment the editors, the producers or the fashion gods, whoever is responsible for the fact that it seems like this season, we got a LOT more of the working process, the cutting, pinning, hemming, hawing, designing, the ins the outs of actually fashioning the garments. It makes the show so much better.

    Compliments are in order for Heidi on the fact that she’s obviously been listening to a stylist this season, or has learned from one, or something. Because her taste level has ascended to the place it should be as someone who mostly runs this rodeo. She really had a sort of upscale hootchie taste in what she wore to tapings in every season past – we really don’t always want to see that much of your body girl. So Heidi – thanks for listening, your look this season was fittingly fabulous in every single taping. (Except your Fashion Week “Lite Brite” pantsuit, however your hair and make up for that taping looked better than ever.)

    The challenges were thoughtful, entertaining and varied enough to provide a lot of interest, with some great prizes along the way. I loved the Euro trip, what a breath of fresh air for the audience! Wish they could have stayed longer, but maybe that will come in another season. I still wish the designers could have an extra day at least for each challenge, but the current format seems to be set in stone by now, and amazingly, by and large the great majority of designers seem up to that challenge.

    While this Nina blog post is funny, I read it before I saw the final episode. I fully expected her to be a total beeeootch, but thankfully she wasn’t nearly that bad. And Nina really humanized herself for me when she simply couldn’t stop laughing at the breakaway clothes challenge. That was such a wonderful episode of comic relief – everyone needs to laugh a little, especially anyone and everyone involved with serious fashion. Susan Sarandon, Joan Rivers – fabulous! Zac is a doll, though there is no way anyone will replace the Kors killer wit. But he works well sailing in at the finale, when he has no presuppositions. He is an asset as an important, well versed judge to pick a winner.

    Watching the clothes go down the runway, I expected to be at odds with the conclusion here that Patricia needs to “stick to” textiles. Watching her clothes move, I really thought she should win. But looking at the judging, listening, I think that they did pick the right winner. I get that for all its unusual beauty, the baggy clothes thing is not what people who slave at fitting and tayloring want to reward. Patricia is an unusually talented artist, but Michelle, while a talented artist, also found a doorway to the future, which is ultimately the highest goal of fashion. My only instance of shouting at the monitor this season had to do with her aesthetic, especially the compass, and her finale showing – doesn’t anyone in the NY fashion world or even Michelle know the word STEAMPUNK yet? Or are they just too afraid to say it…