Project Runway: Junior “Typical Teamwork”

I’ve really been enjoying Project Runway: Junior. The plucky upstart children with sunny attitudes, the general lack of cruelty on the part of the producers, either in assignments or editing. But that old sense of dread came right back when Hannah David walked out with the button bag. This might be a kinder gentler ProjRun, but that doesn’t mean the show became Face Off over night when it comes to team challenges. Manufactured drama ahoy.

It turns out this is a “two teams of five,” challenge, which means they’ll be doing the usual “cohesive mini collections.” Tim has a blogger with him who is here to hawk Simplicity patterns, as well as help him introduce the challenge. Simplicity enters into it by supplying patterns that’s based on styles from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the heyday decades of their brand, before cheap Chinese manufactured clothing made it so that moms didn’t sit at home and sew clothes for their family anymore. Nowadays it’s just for hobbyists. This is proved by today’s prize: that Simplicity will reproduce the winning look as a pattern for sale. The two teams pick a decade to be inspired by.

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Team 1960s: Matt, Peytie, Jesse, Samantha, Maya
Team 1940s: Victoria, Zachary, Zach, Jaxson, Bridget

In a slightly interesting twist, everyone is not going to get to go to Mood–instead they have to pick two members to go shop for them, and communicate via phone with those who stay behind. (It turns out this is a terrible idea because Mood has terrible reception, especially on the bottom floor.) In order to make up for this, there is a mini-Mood set up just off the workroom. Noted that the kids are pretty blunt with each other, with Team Two telling Victoria she shouldn’t go to Mood because she has time management issues and needs the headstart. I cannot imagine team members saying that to each other in the adult version and it going over well.

As you would expect, one team has a bossy leader (Team 1960s, Samantha) who tells people what to do, and the other is more egalitarian. The edit makes it clear which of those teams is going to be in better shape, even before Tim’s walkthrough. I mean, when you’re in Mini Mood redesigning after the first two hours, it’s never a good sign, even if the members of Team One insist they feel much better now. Speaking of Tim….

team 1940s

  • Team 1940s: Most of his critique is subtly pushing team members to speak up if they don’t like something, but he does come down on the side of not believing in Bridget’s dress, and calls Jaxson’s look “Church Lady.”
  • Team 1960s: For this team, Tim doesn’t bother have anyone speak up. Instead he tears down all the looks, especially Samantha’s, and moreover, especially the fabrics that Samantha actually spent money on. He scolds them to surrender their egos.

Team 1960s starts over a third time–except Samantha, who refuses to listen to Tim. Because of this, she’s the only one with anything to try on their models. Team 1940s starts celebrating that they’re going to win by default at this rate, until Zachary reminds them that their team isn’t done yet either and get back to work.

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Day of runway, Team 1940s is working together to help the ones who are behind, like Bridget and her dress that Tim was not pleased with. Team 1960s tries to pump each other up with positivity, and cries of “First Three Hour Collection in ProjRun history!”

Let’s head down to the runway and see if they can make that “First Winning Three Hour Collection in ProjRun History.”

judges

Hannah Davis is wearing a 1950s style dress. Apparently no one told her that the 1950s weren’t picked until she’d already been dressed. This is the third week, and we’ve yet to see a guest judge on the panel. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, just observing.

(Please note: The usual pictures Lifetime provides are awol this week, as they have updated their website into nearly uselessness, and could not be bothered to load the photos for this week’s episode. No credit them or their photographer–all of these are screengrabs.)

Winning Team: Team 1940s

Jaxson

Jaxson: That top is so badly made it hurts. At least his looks very 1940s, though there’s no “updating” that happened, just bad recreating. The judges single him out as the worst of the set.

victoria

Victoria: This doesn’t look 1940s, it looks like something Taylor Swift would wear.

zachary

Zachary:  This doesn’t look 1940s, it looks 1960s Star Trek over 2000s cigarette pants.

zach

Zach: Wow. That’s…a heck of a look. I don’t love it, because I’m not a fan of peplums, and this peplum is so big it looks like Mary Poppins could use it instead of an umbrella for travel. But it’s the first (and only) wow moment of the runway.

Bridget

Bridget: This was the closing look, and all I wrote was “AND A BATHROBE!” But the judges love it, and praise her for her attempt at a 1940s evening gown, even if she didn’t hit it. They all admit it is a little nightwear, but that seems to have been a positive aspect. I’m a little shocked she won. I know the judges signed that the peplum is pretty played out, but I thought Zach should have taken it. (And I hate peplums!)

Losing Team: Team 1960s

Maya

Maya: The only one to understand the 1960s silhouette from the getgo, hers is the best of the collection by miles. Love the neckline. The judges single her out as the best of the group, and wonder why the rest of the group didn’t follow her lead.

peytie

Peytie: I really like the fabric, and the cut of the dress, even though she clearly following Maya, since Tim said that was the one that hit the mark. She freaks out in the VO over about it being too short, but that micromini length is what makes it very 1960s.

Jesse

Jesse: It’s an attempt at Andy Warholesque color blocking. Good idea, but not that well executed. The judges give him a pass.

samantha

Samantha: That jacket she was so wedded to looks horribly unfinished, and the white dress underneath it has nothing to do with anything else we saw in this collection. In  fact, her entire outfit has nothing to do with anything we saw in this collection. The judges are fooled by the jacket at first, until they make her take it off, and discover the dress underneath is beyond unfinished. Like it might as well be a muslin starter rough cut.

Matt

Matt: Ugh. The hips on the skirt make her look like a robot, the top is a throwaway. The scarf is just random, and doesn’t “tie it in” which I think was supposed to be why it was even there. Christian snaps at him that it’s the third crop top in a row, and to do something didn’t.

Samantha and Matt are left in the bottom, with Kelly arguing that Samantha should go home for her godawful dress, while Christian arguing that Matt should go home because he’s boring them silly. Apparently this winds up as a stalemate, because both of them are in.The cast is so excited to hear that no one is leaving, they don’t register this means next week will be a double elimination.

They will soon enough.

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