Last night’s much anticipated episode was, indeed, all about Nina.  As Heidi informed the gathered designers that they should be very nervous about the client for their next challenge, a silhouette emerged slowly from behind the Project Runway screen and Nina strolled onto the runway wearing a pristinely tailored, crisp white Balmain jacket.  Gulp.

The challenge: Create a look that Nina can wear to the office and then out to an industry event in the evening.

Nina added (as if the designers don’t have her every style choice committed to memory) that she likes clothes that are classic with an edge, streamlined clean silhouettes, and no loud patterns.  Later, Tim warned everyone that Nina doesn’t want boring and she does not want a runway covered in gray garments.

The workroom was unusually snark-free as the designers feverishly sketched outfits to present to Nina before fabric shopping. Ms. Garcia arrived in a fabulous, embellished, sheer Preen blouse with full bright orange sleeves.  As always, she accessorized flawlessly with matching silver cuff bracelets.  Not intimidating at all…

The mood at Mood was frantic, as everyone tried to find classic, understated (but not gray) fabric.  Anthony Ryan and Becky chose the same very distinct, very pretty (and very gray) material.  Feathers were ruffled but there was no time for major drama.  Cecilia panicked and also wound buying gray and a sort of creamy, sickly yellow.  Anya chose a rather loud mustard print, while Danielle and Laura both went with versions of kelly green.  Why don’t they ever listen?

Back in the workroom, Nina returned for one more consultation and we were treated to a montage of designers desperately trying to convince her that they were ‘making it work’ as she gazed skeptically at their garments.  Although Nina is very gracious, she’s always direct, and the words ‘no’ and ‘plan B’ came up—a lot—throwing everyone into even more of a frenzy.  As Tim herded them to hair and makeup he warned, “I’m really alarmed.  Honestly, I’m sweating through my suit.”  In the Garnier Nutrisse Salon, it was center parts, beachy blowouts, and bronzer for all.

Guest judges Kerry Washington and Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, joined Heidi, Michael, and Nina, who was sporting yet another beautifully embellished, textural blouse—this one by Aquilano Rimondi.  The runway was rather lackluster this week; Viktor created a really smart, architectural LBD and Anya wisely dyed her fabric black and managed to pull together an adorable, chic jumpsuit.  Cecilia completely gave up on her dress (and it showed).  Julie was sent home after tearlessly braving a truly harsh critique—we’ll miss her spunky charm.  Nina put it gently: “Not my favorite Julie, I’m sorry.”  Michael displayed his usual biting wit, “It’s a housecoat.  She should have a Kleenex in her pocket while she dusts.”  And Joanna put it bluntly, “This is unwearable.  If Nina wore this to the office I would think she was asking to be fired.”

All About Nina: Project Runway RecapAnd the winner is…Kimberly with a constructed, asymmetric, metallic shell and a pair of gorgeous navy wide-legged trousers.  Sophisticated glam—a perfect day-to-night look for the whirlwind life of a Fashion Director.  And just before the show’s end we followed Kimberly to the Marie Claire offices where Nina, looking phenomenal in the winning ensemble, demonstrated how she was re-accessorizing for an after-hours industry event.

Previews for next week promise tears, fighting, and drama, drama, drama!