Our second episode of Project Runway: Junior continues to follow the formula of the parent show, with an unconventional challenge. Since the kids are younger and more gullible, they bring them to the car wash where they get their materials in a limo, so they’re thoroughly fooled going in. But because they’re also young, they handle the bait and switch well. No one insists they are real designers and that not being allowed to work with fabric is some how nonsensical. Those who do say “I’ve only ever worked with fabric,” say it in a way like they’re very inexperienced, not like this is somehow a thing Project Runway should respect.
Along with the far more positive attitude from the cast, I’m finding that PR: Junior works because we are functioning with lowered expectations. These are, after all, kids. Last week’s designs were nothing that would blow one away upon first glance. None of them are going to come along, and say, turn out an avante garde piece on par with Chris March and Christian Siriano in Season 4. But, let’s be frank–no one on Project Runway proper is going to either. This is partly a function of the format change as Lifetime and Weinstein tightened the purse strings, and the standard of two-day long challenges shrank down to one day challenges. The time to conceptualize and create on that level no longer exists. Not to mention that as the show ages, fades from the headlines, and is no longer being referred to by websites as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” it attracts more of the “reality show attention needer” type, and less of the “seriously talented” types. (American Idol has the same problem. The future Kelly Clarksons simply no longer show up.)
Still, the unconventional challenge, by virtue of being more of a crafting and creativity challenge, offers these kids a chance to show up their adult counterparts. Let’s see if anyone is headed in that direction as Tim checks in.
- Jesse: He has a concept of keychains as fringe going on one shoulder. He also seems really surprised Tim likes it.
- Bridget: She’s down on herself for not knowing how to work with the materials, but Tim points out her real issue is that she keeps changing her concept.
- Peytie: She’s got a mop crop top. Tim is very concerned about time management.
- Matt: His top is a bit janky, though the idea is solid. Tim points out he can solve his tube skirt (made of tubing, natch) problems by splitting them in half.
- Zachary: I would never know his top was made of pinwheels, which is good. He doesn’t like his skirt, and neither do I, but Tim tells him to commit.
- Samantha: She is semi cheating with car wash gloves. It looks like a Jim Henson creature.
- Jaxson: He is trying to make shorts out of fringe.
- Ysable: She’s trying to make a bra out of sponge. Tim is worried about her flag skirt.
And that’s all we have time for! Maya, Victoria and Zach, better luck next time. (Let’s hope getting skipped means there’s a next time.) The models come and go, volunteer to play with hot glue guns, and generally cheer on their designers.
Day of runway, and we definitely have discovered who has the time management issues. Jaxson is especially in a bad way, causing Maya, who is finished, to come over and help him. Matt seems to be building his tube skirt on his model with less than thirty minute to go. There’s a lot of hot gluing models into craft projects as Tim calls time.
Let’s see what the judges make of this.
Our judges all show up for work, and at least Kelly and Christian are cheerful about it. (They really love overacting during the runway show for the kid’s benefit too.) Once again, I note, like last week, that the Tim Gun Save has crossed over to this version of the show, but no one has yet to mention the AnthonyRyan Rule. Perhaps young children do not need anonymity.
Jaxson: Well, it’s finished at least.
Maya: How to make the pinwheels look like pinwheels.
Zach: I like the see thru top, even though it does bad things to her boobs.
Peytie: She already had a decent mop crop top. Her skirt came out really well, looking like a 70s macrame type thing. The judges are very impressed with it.
Samantha: The front is Cookie Monster, the back is Yo Gabba Gabba. The colorblocking is well done, even if the materials are totally preschool TV. All the judges like the line and visual, and overlook the material.
Jesse: Yeah, it’s a bit Star Trek TOS, but I love it. The silver alien dress effect is totally pop star, and someone over at Moschino is taking notes for Jeremy Scott to do that keychain shoulder thing. The judges praise how finished it looked (which is one of the few who looks “finished.”) They also agree how polished it is.
Zachary: That skirt turned out way better than I expected. It’s on par with the top, which already was spectacular and how to make the pinwheels not look like pinwheels. The judges note that his use of the weighted materials to force the architectural shape of the skirt is borderline remarkable. I want to add that this would not just easily compete in the grown up version of the show, but would kick most of what came out of Season 14’s ass. It’s not a surprise that he takes the win.
Matt: DANGER WILL ROBINSON! That skirt is a disaster. The judges are kind about the top, though they shouldn’t be, it’s no better. But the skirt, which looks like he glued tube to her muslin skirt in the last thirty minutes (which he did), is totally ruining everything.
Ysabel: The entire thing looks like melted plastic. The skirt is just awful, but what really does it in is that terrible sponge bra thing with the white strings underneath it. Tim was absolutely wrong, sponge was not her friend.
This week’s decision is not quite so clear-cut as last week’s. Both of these designers totally failed this week to conceptualize how to turn things that are not cloth into clothes. I think the decision come down to Matt knowing that he cannot defend his, while Ysabel insists hers is great. She is out.