I enjoyed Project Runway, Junior much more than I thought I would. Lifetime tried this concept before with the short-lived Project Runway, Threads, but I couldn’t even get through one entire episode of Threads. I don’t even really remember why I hated Threads so much at the time. Something about their parents helping them in the work room, maybe? Maybe those kids weren’t all that talented? Not sure, really.
PRJ is thankfully a far cry from Threads. I had concerns going into this episode simply due to the fact that the contestants are children. Will Tim and the judges have to pretend that awful pieces of crap are brilliant and innovative garments just because they’re dealing with 13-year-olds? Will I be able to really blog this show if I can’t criticize a child? After all, what’s the point of PR if judges can’t honestly call out crap for being crap and if I feel guilty about writing that an outfit is hideous. Thankfully, my concerns were lessened for two reasons. First, these young designers are good! I was really excited by the potential I saw on that runway. These kids may be young, but many of them have already been designing clothses for years. Let’s face it, most of them have more experience than Anya did when she won her season of Project Runway! Second, While the judges were polite (They have to be. They don’t want to make kids cry), they did give truthful feedback and criticism. I may have disagreed with some of their choices, but I understood their choices, and they were able to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of each garment. I have a feeling we’re going to see some real growth this season.
Let’s dissect the runway.
First, the looks that were deemed safe:
Peytie’s outfit was one of my favorites. It’s very Uli. I get a clear sense of who this girl is as a designer. I think the hem elevates this look beyond a simple sun-dress. Very easy and breezy. It can be dressed up with heels and dressed down with sandals. I just love it.
This dress isn’t perfect, but it’s interesting. And, for the record, I think interesting is more important than pretty in a competition like this. For example, I hate when one of the judges, usually the model on the panel, says “I would wear that.” Frankly, whether a model would wear something or not is the least of my concerns. This is a fashion competition. I am much more interested in whether or not an outfit makes an interesting statement or does something new, innovative, or even challenging. This is not perfect (the skirt is awful), but it’s far more interesting than much of what I saw on the last season of PR.
It’s a little wonky. I don’t like the neckline or the hemline.
This strikes me as a little dated, a little 90s. I mean, it’s a velvet dress with chains in the back. Classy, though. And pretty, for what it’s worth.
It’s a fairly basic dress, except it has a sheer cape. Meh.
This is Chic. As. Hell. I really like this look. You see how it’s so much more than just pretty? The neckline elevates it to something so much more than pretty.
First, the winner, Samantha:
I like this well enough. I don’t think I would have chosen it as the winning look, but I certainly understand why it was the winning look. My quibbles are mainly with the finishing touches. There were a few too many hanging threads. Also, the collar is a little too Peter Pan. I like the belt and I like that she chose an androgynous outfit as her first look to go down the runway. On another note, though, I hate the shoes.
This is horrible. There are at least three “safe” looks I would have put in the top 3 over this one. Like Tim Gunn, I too am “disinclined” to like this color. I think it instantly ages whoever is wearing it. The hems on her pant-legs are puckering like crazy. The length is off. In fact, I’m hard pressed to say anything good about this.
Wait, Kelly Osborne was right. She managed to avoid giving this model camel toe. Well-played.
This is well-made and cool-looking, if a little literal in its approach. I totally agreed with Christian Siriano when he said it needed a waste-band. The top of the skirt is extremely distracting because it’s uneven. Still, it’s a nice outfit and I also get a sense for who this kid is as a designer.
First the losing look, Sami:
Yeah, it’s pretty crap-tastic. It has potential, but there’s just no recovering from that skirt. It has an uneven hem and it’s way too voluminous. I don’t like the back, which is arguably the most interesting thing about the dress. I understand why it was chosen as the losing look. It was hard to see how sad she was to be out, though. She handled it with class, but she is still a kid, so her disappointment was all over her face. I can see that these eliminations are going to be tough.
This is just paler shade of pink away from looking like a float in the Easter parade, complete with bunny-ears on her chest.
I was kind of disappointed when Aya Kanai said this was a car-wash skirt. I said that when it came down the runway, but now I can’t post in on this blog without it sounding unoriginal. And I also do not understand why she would only put the car-wash strips on the front of the skirt. It’s just an odd look.
Overall, I’m pleased with the judges and with the contestants. I’m looking forward to seeing what these kids can do.