The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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T Lo Interviews Nina Garcia

You heard us!

That's right, ladies. We've been sitting on this one for awhile, waiting for the Dec/Jan issue of Metrosource to come out so we could reveal all. Metrosource has a more-scaled down version of this interview but we could have talked on the phone with Nina for hours, so what you see here is mostly the supplemental stuff, only for T Lo minion eyes. We think of all our favorite things to happen with this blog, near the top would be what happened when the press person who arranged this interview said "Nina, you're on the line with Tom and Lorenzo from Project Rungay," and she said:

Project Rungay? I LOVE you guys!

You have no idea how happy that makes us!
No, really! I love you guys! I read you guys!

Well, right now, you’re the number one reason to watch the show, at least for us. We love you and we love what you do. We’re huge fans.
Thank you!

You’re somewhat unique among fashion editors because you’re Latin American. Most of them tend to be American or European. Do you think that’s an important part of your success?
It’s very important. People always ask me that, especially South American or Latin American people – or any nationality – they ask me how I dealt with that being in the states. I've always been proud of my heritage and that’s what made me really different and what’s given me my strength; the fact that I was a little different. I didn’t take being from Latin America as an obstacle, I saw it as a bonus, as an addition, because it gave me a different perspective on how to view fashion.

It also helped that Latin American women place a lot of importance on femininity and looking their best, right?
It did. It absolutely did. Traditionally, Latin American women spend a lot of time getting beautiful and spend a lot of time getting dressed so that is partof the heritage. And to be honest there’s a lot of Latin Americans or people from a Latin American background in America at the moment.

For instance, Brazil. Love Brazil. Loved going down there with the crew from Running in Heels. I wish we’d had the crew there the whole time. Just imagine how much fun you can have in Rio! It’s crazy and it’s incredible what’s happening in terms of fashion down there because they’ve got very talented designers and very good accessories are coming out of Brazil. Forget that they have the most beautiful models coming out of Brazil, but I find that the fashion is really honest.

How are things at Marie Claire? All settled in?
It’s fantastic. They’re a great group of girls and they love to have fun. Joanna is very funny. She has a great sense of humor but at the same time she’s extremely smart.

Give us the fashion editor's summary of the Spring '10 shows.
It’s back to the romantic, it’s back to femininity, the colors are very pale, there’s a lot of lace and lot of transparency, so it’s back to a new kind of femininity. We’re leaving behind all this toughness and angry shoes and leather and it’s a much softer season for the spring.

Is there any trend that you don’t ever want to see on a man or women again?
Yeah, those mullet haircuts. I even see them on children!

How do you choose what to wear for Project Runway? You always look impeccable and you have fantastic accessories.
You know, it’s what’s in my wardrobe at the time. I try to not wear so much black, which is really hard because a lot of my wardrobe is black so I really have to struggle with not wearing too much black, but when I do I always try to have an accessory that compensates all the blackness. Because they don’t want us to wear black or white, or black and white together, which is 80% of my wardrobe.

Do you still get excited with each new season and group of designers?
Yeah. You know, the process of creativity and the creation of a garment is what fascinates me about fashion. And that is ever-evolving, especially in a show like Project Runway. To see that process happen year after year is always exciting for me. That’s what I love to do; I love to see new designers. That’s what I do at my job and that’s what PR is about. So I love that.

You're the judge that viewers respect; the tough one. Do you think you get more flexible or more strict with each season?
I think a little more strict because I have seen it all and heard all the excuses by now. “I didn’t have time,” “My dog ate the fabric,” whatever. You know, “Tim Gunn told me I shouldn’t do this,” I’ve heard the excuses. So, I think a little stricter.

Ever regret anything you said?
Sometimes I regret being a little too caustic, because I don’t want to discourage anybody about being a designer. I remember when we had a moment with Santino, I don’t even know if this was filmed or not. You know, Santino and I had a LOT of altercations, near the end towards the last challenge, he said something to the effect that “Maybe this isn’t the profession for me,” and I was devastated that he would say that. The last thing I want to do is discourage anybody from their dreams. I don’t want to be so tough that people would say, “Well I don’t want to get into this industry,” period. The end.

Without naming any names (because we know you won’t name any names) were there any contestants that you thought shouldn’t be in this industry?
(Laughs) Yes. Oh, yes.

What is your favorite PR moment?
The cornhusk dress! I mean, Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself! Austin Scarlett was just brilliant, the way he looked, the way he spoke and that cornhusk dress was a fantastic, memorable moment.

Do people stop you in public and say mean things to you?
In the beginning, yes. Now, no. Now people are very nice but the first season I remember going to a party in New York and there was a man seated at a table with me – it was a sit-down dinner – and he said, “You’re that mean judge on that show,” and I was appalled.

Is there any particular designer that’s up and coming on your radar right now?
There are so many. Erdem, Giles Deacon, Christopher Kane. I mean, we all know about the Rodarte girls, but if your readers don’t they should check them out. They’re incredibly talented.

What are the must-have items this season?
It’s all about the over-the-knee boots. It’s a great season to buy a jacket. If you don’t have one, buy one. There are a ton of great ones out there.

Do you have a favorite designer?
It varies from season to season. I can’t say, because it changes and that’s what’s so fantastic.

Are we going to see a lot of you for Season 7?
Yes, we’re all there all the time. Thank God, we’re back in New York!

How did you feel about the show being out in L.A. Does it change the tone of the show?
I’ll tell you what was hard about it. Being in L.A. was wonderful. I love L.A., and I thought it was a brilliant idea to take the show out to L.A. because there’s so much going on in fashion and the red carpet, for instance. However, neither Michael or myself were able to be there for the whole time. And what happened is when I come back, I’ve missed a bunch of challenges and I can’t follow the trajectory of the designer. It’s harder for me to know what they have done in the past so I’m judging them on what I’m seeing that moment. I have no history because I haven’t been there. Even if I ask my fellow judges what happened it’s not the same as when you see it yourself. It was hard.

What's the difference between L.A. and New York, fashion-wise?
L.A. is more about the red carpet, and it’s a more laid back style. But it’s a very influential and important style. Going back to the Rodarte girls, they have production out in L.A and they’re incredibly visionary designers. We can’t overlook that there are very talented designers coming out of L.A.

Thank you so much Nina.
Thank you! I’m so happy to hear the actual voices of Tom and Lorenzo!

[Photos: Getty Images/WireImage]

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Squeee for you! Great interview score.

How awesome! And thanks for sharing your "supplementary material" with us! :D

I got a little teary eyed when I saw Nina's picture and the caption. Congratulations guys!!

What a fun read.
I am saddened that she didn't mention your screencaps....which are legend...but I like how she acknowledged the problems with S6.

Awesome interview! We love you guys and Nina too!

LOVE HER! Great job boys. :)

WOW! Best interview evah! She comes across just as does on the show . . . fabulous, knowledgeable and fair. I love her.

Lady Gaga just had an audience with Queen Liz, and you had an audience with Queen Nina.

I like the symmetry there.

And (as always) you guys ask the best questions. Though what I wish you could post here is a tape of your reaction when I called you from the PR screening party to tell you that Nina reads your blog. But alas, no tape exists, so like the Gettysburg Address, it is lost to the mists of time. Sigh.


OMG, congratulations! I squealed when I saw this post.

Great interview as well, but that's nothing new! :)

I concur with the Squee!

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her a few years ago - what a doll! Such a sweetheart, and really easy to talk to!

I'm so happy for you!!!! Nina is simply fantastic. I envy you for getting to talk to her. Thanks for sharing it with your loyal minions!

C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

Great interview boys!

I imagine she laughs her ass off whenever you boys post Ninacaps, and her interns wonder what's so funny.


Fabulous! You bitches rock!

Holy cow - I'm finishing my AM coffee and I feel like I just sauntered into a little cafe and eavesdropped on the corner table! I know that 99% of what is on these shows is editing, and it's a refreshing glimpse of Ms. Garcia's other sides.

That being said, I wish she made some comment/compliment about the La Nina screencaps, and her take on your take. When you guys are on a roll....those are my doubt about it!

Congratulations on the "get"....and I am so sure that you are relieved you don't need to keep this secret any longer!

Happy Holidays!

She's such a class act. I love her to death.

You boys are rock stars. That was a lovely interview!


how exciting to interview nina. the power of tom & lorenzo is just fabulous!

Yay! I *LOVE* Nina Garcia. Can't wait to see her more often in S7.


NinaGarciaaaaa!!!!!! Squeeeee!!!!
Oh, fabulous interview, truly, guys!

And, so happy to hear that color is coming back in the 2010 collections!

Now this is what I'd call a holiday bonus! I've been waiting for this interview forever. You guys give such goooood interview and ask the best questions. You really have an instinct for the types of questions that are on the minds of your loyal minions and fans of PR.

Kudos, TLo and a hug for Nina!

- edina -

Wonderful interview!

Thank you, TLo for posting. And thank you to Ms. Garcia for participating!

Awesomeness. Thank you so much! Nina is the epitome of style and grace.

One thing I would have asked -- what's the deal with her (lack of) hair style? She is so beautiful and always looks impeccable, but she never does anything with her hair... perhaps that is too personal. Next time?

SQUEEEEEE!!! You boys have truly arrived. Thanks for constantly bringing the fab, and I am so jealous you got to talk to LA NINA!

I for one am excited over more feminine clothes this spring. I love lace. Great Nina interview!

How many times did your readers write the word "awesome"?!

I can't help it! This was full of awesome. Bravo! Kudos! TLo rock the world!

The last thing I want to do is discourage anybody from their dreams. I don’t want to be so tough that people would say, “Well I don’t want to get into this industry,” period. The end.


And with those few sentances, Nina Garcia unwittingly summarizes why "the other show" on "the other network" got off to such a bad start and never recovered.

Glad to hear things are going well at Marie Claire. It's a tough time for the magazine business these days.

Yes, TLo, you are a force to be reckoned with! This visit with Nina has made my morning. Congratulations on another terrific interview.

Oh wow! Thanks guys. Love her!

Oh Boys, you've made my day!

That was quite the chestnut to squirrel away until the issue hit the newstands! Congrats on a fab interview!

And could she have been any more charming or lovely? Hearing that she felt the same frustrations with the inconsistent judging just made me love her more!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Having the lovely Nina as one of your guys ROCK!! Great interview, good Q and A. I get all my fashion news from you!

Congratulations on the interview. It must have been so much fun. Nina is wonderful and the most consistent of all of the judges in my opinion.

Oh, well done, well done! Lovely info and interaction between you two and NINAGARCIAFASHIONDIRECTOROF...

Genuine genuine-ness from both sides. Many thanks for the cheer.

All the best,


Thank you thank you thank you!

For The Win! Excellent interview!

that is so awesome. Nina is the best.

Not only was this interview faboo, I've noticed that Marie Claire is WAY cooler than it used to be. Brava, La Nina!!!!

Mazel tov, fellas! SCORE!

"Angry shoes"! Love it!

Couldn't get to your Metro Source Interview. Where is it?

What an awesome get.The best part is we get to benefit as well

They should NEVER go back to LA. We NEED Nina all the time!

I could hear her voice in my head as I read this interview. LOL. Thanks!!

Love you Nina!!!

Great interview, but I was really wishing you had asked her how she was supposed to know what Gordana was all about, when she wasn't there, and let her know how pissed off many of your readers were.

Nina's worst moment, in my view. Oh, and giving the all-star win to Daniel V was a close second.

Still, I like and respect her a lot.

Oh thank-you so much. I especially appreciate that you asked about her wardrobe choices for the show.

No surprise that a woman of her accomplishments comes across as intelligent and gracious.

Were you able to relay that minions (or at least this one) urge her to stipulate that a full, hair-to-shoes shot of her outfit be required on every show? If time's an issue, we can skip one of the Heidi-shots. Ms. Garcia does a far better job showcasing women's fashion.

Nina's not mean - she just doesn't CODDLE people. She's not sentimental; she doesn't have time to screw around.

thanks so much TLO for the interview with La Nina!!! awesome!!!!
as a Latin American woman, I really appreciate her perspective on fashion and her thoughts on being a Latin American woman in the US.....

Love Nina, love your interview.

Thank you for sharing this with us :)

Love her!

Congratulations, Boys! This is exciting.

Speaking of "the Rodarte girls," there's a Rodarte sale on at Gilt - it's selling out, but if anyone wants to drop $500+++ now's your chance.

Clearlyhere said...

Couldn't get to your Metro Source Interview. Where is it?

It's not up on the site yet, but the magazine is available in Barnes & Noble and Borders stores (among other locations).

T Lo

Well done, guys. Nina sounds so down to earth. Fabulous!


FormerlyAnon: ". . . stipulate that a full, hair-to-shoes shot of her outfit be required on every show?"

Great idea! She seems to embody easy elegance. . . she always looks "put together," without ever looking fussy.

I never did think she was mean. She's direct, and she knows what she's talking about. And she's often been the most encouraging judge, but somehow people forget that.

I was sad there wasn't more season 7 dish but then i remembered.. IT PREMIRES NEXT MONTH!! yay

Holy wow! I am so proud of you guys! What a huge accomplishment. And Nina sounds super fantastic and down to earth.

Well done, TLo!

I forgot to say thanks for the interview it's great:)

Wonderful interview! Sometimes her remarks on the program are disappointing, but in real life she's awesome .
Was Lorenzo speechless?

"Angry shoes." What a great phrase Ms. Garcia!

Thanks for posting this part of the interview, T Lo. Fun read. Missed Nina Garcia so much this season. Can't wait for the next season to begin!

WOW. She is amazing! I love Nina, she's always been my favorite judge and she's really not mean-she's just right about what she says! I'm so glad she and Michael Kors will be in every episode next season, they have truly been missed!

Amen... she always looks elegant and classy. And I COVET her hair!!

"Joanna is very funny. She has a great sense of humor but at the same time she’s extremely smart."

Is it wrong that, because my name happens to be Joanna, I want to quote this somewhere, like on my resume or something?

Freaking fabulous!

She is such a talented and interesting woman. Plus, I really hope I look like her when I am a little order, she is just beautiful!

TLo, did she say what she thinks of your hilarious screencaps?!?

I totally love this interview.


So f#%*ing jealous right now!

Nina is one of the true highlights of the show. And I too loved the "angry shoes" comment. So descriptive.

It's also nice to hear that most of her wardrobe is black. It may not be editorial or TV-friendly, but it works for real life.

Oh please, not another reference to over the knee boots. I am soooooooo tired of them!!!

"I will continue to wear black until something darker comes along"
-Dorothy Parker

So Nina is a fan? Girls, you can die happy!

omg…i just got home from work and i see alex AND nina!!! you boys made my day! :)
how fabulous that you got to interview nina.
thank you!!

that was so cool.

Wonderful interview! This is one of my favorites yet.

I really appreciate how self-reflective and open Nina seems here, particularly when talking about "regrets." What a classy lady.

Score for you, boys!

But why the softball: "Without naming any names (because we know you won’t name any names) were there any contestants that you thought shouldn’t be in this industry?"

I'm disappointed ... would've loved to hear Nina dish it out more or try to hold in some spicy gossip.

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I've never thought Nina was the mean one. She's my FAVORITE!

Awesome! Great interview guys...great questions...and great answers Nina!

No more "angry shoes"...yeah!!!

Nina and Michael are in every episode of next PR....yeah!!!

PR is back in NY....yeah!!!

as you can see...this interview has made me quite happy! :)

I think I'm going to re-read it ;)

I love Nina so much I bought a burgundy satin sleeveless Prada top that she wore during season 6 on clearance at Neiman Marcus. If I ever get some sort of wasting disease, I might even be able to wear it.



She's not mean, she's realistic. I know she's not going to spill the beans on how much producers interfere and she's not going to rag on LA, but in her subtle way she smartly lets on she knows how this season sucked a major one.

I love you boys!!

What I love about Nina's style is that she's so natural and relaxed about it. She just wears beautiful clothes, very little makeup, and the perfect accessories. She doesn't seem to be TRYING.

Nina's so awesome (Hee! I almost typed "ninja"!) She really does seem very cool and down-to-earth. And I, too, love her comment about "angry shoes."

Thanks, darlings, for the interview! God, throw Tim Gunn in there, and you'd have my four favorite people associated with Project Runway. :-)

Oh my gosh!! Did you ever in a million years dream when you started this blog that something like this would happen? What a terrific payoff for our favorite terrific guys! Congrats!

i'm not dorothy gale

Slack-jawed with wonderment. Good for you two; I KNEW Nina read this blog. She's curious, witty and very knowledgeable and why on earth would someone ignore TLo's brilliance?!

And Marie Claire is a much better magazine with Nina on board.

Excellent!! Congrats you guys!

Holy freakin' cow, a NinaGarciaFashionDirectorOfMarieClaireMagazine interview!! I am fashionably chartreuse with envy!

I love y'all!



You two are so blessed!
Thank you for sharing this with us.



Thanks for the interview, TLo!

What a nice treat for you after so much hard work on this blog. Nina Garcia in the house! That was awesome.

Love you guys, love Nina, keep up the good work.

Congrats, Boys!

What do you do when you reality exceeds your dreams?

Love her! Great interview, guys!

I love La Nina!!!!!!!!

SO. COOL. Isn't she fabulous??

You bitches rock the Project Runway world!!

Nina --- You are my personal Hair Goddess. I have no other tresses role model but you. Thank you.

If Nina gets to be the tough judge, I'd like to, for a moment, be the tough grammarian. Does anyone else not find this statement so it’s back to a new kind of femininity completely and almost nonsensically paradoxical?

I heart Nina! Besides being my favorite judge, she is also (imo) a great role model for young women -- smart, funny, powerful, no-nonsense, and classy.

Wow - Nina has a heart!

Great interview!

amore la Nina! gracias T-Lo

This comment has been removed by the author.

Oh, why didn't you ask her about her hair? It's gorgeous!!!

You must've been on Cloud 9 after that interview. Good for you!

She;s fabulous! Great interview.

HA! Angry shoes! That's funny!

Love it! Felicitations, mes amis!

Viva La T Lo and Nina. Ole!

Amazing as always

She looks like a nice person. I love to watch this with my husband at nights but he just want to visit Viagra Online at night.
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