Five Questions with 'Project Runway' Judge Nina Garcia
Five Questions with 'Project Runway' Judge Nina Garcia
As the fashion director for Marie Claire and a judge on Project Runway, Nina Garcia has seen it all when it comes to personal style. You could say she's seen the good, bad and the "unfortunate." That's why she's authored a new book that helps even those with horrible fashion sense look polished and put together. The book is called Nina Garcia's Look Book, What to Wear for Every Occasion. Whether you're headed to a job interview or an office party, a blind date or a Broadway play, Nina's book outlines the perfect outfit to wear.

In honor of her new book, Nina sat down with reporters to talk fashion, judging Project Runway and having it all.

Q: What's a typical day at Marie Claire like for Nina Garcia?

Nina: Well, I'll give you a typical day like today. I came in, I'm looking at December layouts. I'm making sure that the front of the book--we're working on our gift guide. So, I'm doing the layouts or approving layouts for that gift guide. Kind of putting to bed the December issue, making sure all the stories are in. Simultaneously, I am speaking to the editors who are in Europe and coordinating our January cover, our February cover, and our March cover. So, we are taking about all these covers that are happening very soon and ironing out what's going to be the shoot for the January issue, January and February. So, assigning the stories, picking the photographers, picking the stylists.

Tomorrow, we'll have a run-through for our February cover, that's very exciting. So I'll meet with the stylist, go over the clothes. So I kind of looked at what's in the closet already so that I'm prepared for tomorrow's meeting. So far that's today.

nina-garcias-look-book-what-to-wear-for-every-occasion.jpgQ: Tim Gunn has made several comments about the judges not making good choices this year. Have you regretted any of the judging decisions you've made so far this season.

Nina: Absolutely not. The situation is Tim gets a closer look at the everyday life of the designers and what happens in the studio and what happens with their personalities. We don't. We really have no idea. We are like the viewers at home. We are just sitting there, watching the runway, and we have no idea the background: what happened, how much time they've spent on an outfit, how much they didn't spend on an outfit. We are just judging them for their work.

It's the same situation as if we were in a fashion show. On seeing the show, I don't know if John Galliano had a nervous breakdown or didn't. I have no clue. I'm just part of the audience. I'm there as an editor. It's the same function that I work in my everyday life.

So, there is no personal or emotional point of view. We don't bring anything emotional, any connection because we don't see it. We don't have any relation with the designers other than the Q&A that you see on television, which I think gives for a more well-rounded and favor, more objective critic because it's not emotional.

Q: Why has there been such a huge disconnect between how the judges see Michael C and how he's perceived by the other designers?

Nina: I don't know. I mean it's very interesting to watch this because we only sensed a little bit in the deliberation. You know that they picked on him, and threw him under the bus and he's kind of picked on. I don't know. I think he's just a very sweet guy and they've decided to jump on him. From what I've seen in the television, in the back, what's happening in the work room, it seems that he is not such a good technical sewer, he's more of a draper. So, I feel like in that sense, they've kind of all ganged up on him. But I know he's got some really beautiful things, Michael.

Q: We've already seen some interesting behavior from the designers during judging. Do you ever take a bad attitude into account when deciding who goes home?

Nina: Well, in the past, we have looked at the attitude because, as you know, when you're in business, it's a lot about how you feel with your co-workers and how you are going to either direct a team, or work with a team. That plays a big part. Forget your own personal relationships with your team and with your company but also so much part of designers now is dealing with the press, and dealing with the buyers, the retailers. So, it is important to have a good attitude. We take that into consideration. It's not the deciding factor. But I think we look at that. Absolutely, we look at that.

Q: What trend would you never be caught dead wearing?

Nina: That's a tough question but probably anything neon and very short. I don't think I would go there. That time has gone. It's past and gone.

Remember to tune into Project Runway, Thursdays at 9/8 central on Lifetime.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Television