So Finding Neverland made another appearance on Project Runway. Does it need the advertising? Is the play doing poorly on Broadway?
Anyway, this week, one of the actors from Finding Neverland told the designers that their challenge was to create an outfit that could be worn on the red carpet for a Broadway play’s opening night. It was a team challenge; the designers worked in teams of two, and they were asked to make their red-carpet-ready looks in just five hours. I’m not sure why the producers come up with these challenges that would be nearly impossible for seasoned designers, much more so for children. The producers came up with the ridiculous solution of adding PR alum to the mix to help these kids out. As if adding another hand in the cookie jar while everyone’s under pressure and time constraints is going to help?! The PR alum were mostly silent helpers, though. They didn’t add much to this episode one way or the other.
At any rate, there were only four outfits to consider this week, so here goes:
Congratulations to Peytie and Maya, helped by Fabio Costa from season 10:
I thought this team did a very good job with their limited time and resources (they didn’t even get to go to Mood to pick fabrics! They had to shop at “mini-Mood” in the workroom. What kind of crap is that?!). When I saw that Fabio was on team Peytie and Maya, I immediately knew they had it in the bag. These folks all have a similar design aesthetics and laid-back attitudes. As for the dress itself, as Christian Siriano said, it’s a gown from behind, but then she turns around, and it’s a party. The judges raved about the neckline, which I thought was just okay, but frankly, it’s hard to be too critical when I know they only had five hours. This is a perfectly lovely dress that meets to goals of the challenge.
Bridget and Jaxson, helped by Sonjia Williams from season 10:
This team created a look and then started all over to create a whole other look, all in the span of five hours. And when you consider all that craziness, this dress ain’t half bad. However – and maybe this is just a matter of taste. but – I really don’t like this dress. The judges seemed to like it quite a bit, saying that they had never seen anything like it before. But to me it looks heavy. It looks a little bit like it’s made of rubber and a little bit like it’s covered in moss, and neither of these two things strike me as desirable qualities for a red-carpet look. Kudos for Sonjia for being able to talk Bridget off of the ledge when she had her mini-meltdown. I can only imagine how stressful this must be for a kid, but Sonjia knew just how to get her out of her funk and get her to focus on the task at hand.
Samantha and Zach, helped by Samantha Black from season 11:
This team also seemed to have a similar design aesthetic and a PR alum who matched their style and outlook. It was a great idea to blend Samantha’s more androgynous aesthetic with Zach’s dramatic cape. And, to me, this seemed like a brilliant look for a theatrical red-carpet. I would have preferred a plungier neckline, but this is still a dramatic and head-turning outfit. Well done.
As for the losing look, it belongs to Team Matt and Zachary. They were helped by Amanda Valentine:
If I’m honest with myself, I like this outfit more than I like the heavy, rubbery, mossy dress that Bridget and Jaxson made. Yes, it’s got some execution issues (let’s face it, the darn thing is tortured), but everything that’s wrong with the dress can be attributed to ambition. The boys bit off more than they could chew here. There were too many complex ideas, and not enough time to execute them well. So Matt went home this week, but he was on borrowed-time anyway, since he was set to go home two weeks ago. He’s a talented and classy kid, though. Like the other designers who have been kicked off in previous episodes, he has a great attitude and he left the show talking about the friends he made and what a wonderful experience it had been. A far cry from reality-show adults who seem to always feel the need to proclaim that they “didn’t come here to make friends.”