Project Runway: Junior “Finale Part 1”

We’ve reach the first half of our two-part finale, with all four of our contestants in attendance, thanks’ to Tim’s Save last week. In the true tradition of the finale (and unlike the supposedly next-level Project Runway All Stars, these kids will be getting to show at New York Fashion Week. Perhaps appropriately, their collections will be small-scale versions of what we see on Project Runway Proper. Only six looks, which they have four weeks to make at home, with a budget of $4000.

Here’s where I’m confused though: which NYFW did they show at exactly? Did these collections walk privately during Spring NYFW back in September, and the show managed to keep it completely under wraps? Because Project Runway is not scheduled to show at Fall NYFW in February, and besides, by then both finale episodes would have aired.  We do know from the “find a street person” episode a few weeks back this taped during the height of summer, so it’s very possible that this episode was taped at the end of July/beginning of August, and that “four weeks” meant they also showed September 11th, 2015. But then again the kids are talking about going to school while working on their collections. Unless they go to year-round schools (which usually start at the beginning of August.)

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The depressing part is Tim won’t be doing home visits. “There just isn’t time,” he insists. So instead, in order to fill the 90 minute episode (and it is a 90 minute episode) they’ve hired back Amanda Valentine a second time this season, to introduce an “eyeglasses” factor for one of the finale looks. Yes it’s a sponsored eyeglasses accessory for one of their looks. Pretend to care.

In lieu of home visits, there are check ins via Skype, before bringing the designers back to New York so Tim can look over their progress. Seems like the meaning of “There just isn’t time” must be that “Tim is too busy taping Project Runway: All Stars to come visit, so you designers must come to him.” Their families come with as well to meet Tim so he can have the emotional family meetings that are the hallmark of these episodes.

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  • Peytie: Tim is very impressed with the amount of work she’s accomplished. It’s very hippie. She boasts of having a talented sister who made her startlingly professional looking hand painted prints. (We meet the sister at the family meeting, who stunningly turns out to be two years younger.) She tries to slide by a fabric she used in one of the earlier challenges, but not only does Tim catch that, but he notes she using it in three of her six looks.
  • Maya: She doesn’t look ok. I don’t know if it’s the bad eye make up, I don’t know if she’s actually sick, but I’d be worried if I were her parents. Her looks are stunning though. I love her faux brocade stuff, even though Tim notes all of her construction issues. He also worries she has too many textiles, and she needs to streamline her choices.
  • Samantha: Unlike the others, she only has a few pieces finished, and a lot of drawings. The pieces she does have made are totally military. Tim compares an entire outfit of it to “the Michelin man,” which all but sends her into a panic.
  • Zachary: he as more pieces than Samantha, but his pieces are “roughed in” shall we say? Unlike the other three, he is once again going for more of an evening wear and mature feel to his looks. Tim points out he has too many fabrics–more than he does outfits. Tim frets it’s not cohesive and says not to show “the Zachary Pu-Pu Platter.” He also calls the finale outfit “prom,” which makes Zachary flinch.

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As always, once everyone is back in New York, there is a pre-showing to the judges of a “capsule collection” so that the judges can guide the designers away from poor styling choices, and try to prevent any major train wrecks. The only designer this really hoses is Samantha who is badly behind as it is, and somehow didn’t realize that she wouldn’t have a couple of extra days to get ready before this traditional check in. Girl, you guys are the beta show in comparison to Project Runway proper. Of course you’re showing first and only have two hours to get ready.

Let’s see which pieces they show and how much work the judges give them to do.

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The judges have done a great job showing up for work all season. Hannah makes sure to make a big deal out of the Tim Gunn Save, even though we already had a big deal made of it at the top of the episode, and Zachary’s mother personally thanking Tim for giving her son the opportunity to make it to the finale. As if he was going to let the Save go to waste! As if!

Let’s look over the looks the kids send down.

Peytie

Peytie: The good news is that Peytie knows that orange gold piece isn’t working. The judges praise the colors, but even Aya calls it “upholstery.” I really love the hand painted vest and the skirt–even if it is a repeat fabric with a few extra spangles. I’m just not sure that they go together. She didn’t mean for the skirt on the right to be asymmetrical and tries to fix it for the judges. They tell her to put it back. Kelly worries the pieces are too overwhelming together. Christian disagrees, and says he likes the all over the place-ness.

Maya

Maya: I really love the second outfit with the brocade and the black lines and the cape. Christian is gaga over the cape, and the piping on it. The first one, that skirt just..I dunno. Not selling me. Maybe it’s the see thru long skirt? Hannah loves the see thru skirt though, as does Aya, so hey, what do I know? Kelly just worries that all the white will show the mistakes more easily. Christian says he wants a pop of color somewhere in the collection to go with these.

Samantha

Samantha: Her raw edges are not deliberate. Let’s see if the judges can figure that out. I’m not in love with the jackets either here. The one on the left looks too long and uneven. The one on the right is selling me tires. Samantha is open that she’s not done, and that then hems aren’t done. She admits the shorts on the right were made this morning. Christian shakes his head at the amount of work this girl still has to do. Aya frets that tomboy style needs to mean for than this, and that she needs to try for an evening look, because she’s never shown anything but day wear, and that she’s tired of Samantha 1.0. They also say she needs a bright color, because this color palette is all she does.

Zachary

Zachary: The one on the left isn’t just prom, it’s homemade prom. Christian thinks more floral applique might help, but he’s worried too much would ruin it. Zachary promises he’ll fix the fit and it won’t feel so heavy. The piece on the right on the other hand is a stunner, even if the pants desperately both need shortening and ironing. Kelly shakes her head and says it’s skewing too old, and that he’s too young to be aiming this old. They start playing with his styling to see if that will help, and arguing over if a kid his age is ok to design older. Aya is especially pushy for Zachary to stay designing older since he’s never been a youth-oriented designer.

The show is on a Friday, according to the judges. Hey, maybe they did show back in September. If so, Bravo Lifetime, for keeping it under wraps the whole time.

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