We return to the finale of Project Runway: Junior to Tim recapping the judge’s comments from last week with the contestants. Once he has done his best to aim them in the direction the show wants them to go, he hands them $250 and takes them to Mood. It’s the same format as the beginning of every Project Runway finale second half, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tim be quite so direct with contestants as to what the production wants to see.
We already knew that Samantha wasn’t finished when she arrived, so with the additional directive of needing to add color, she’s the most behind. Zachary is also behind because he has the most to remake, including two evening gowns. Peytie is only scrapping one look–the rest of her collection is fit issues. As far as I can tell Maya is technically in the best shape, but that’s because she’s not changing stuff. Tim’s walkthough of the collections confirms that Maya isn’t changing stuff. In fact, Tim says that though she went out and bought stuff at Mood, he’s not sure how she could make it fit into her collection, which is very much a cohesive set. Zachary’s critique is Tim continuing to tell him to pare down, since he hasn’t the time to pull a Chris March and go completely over the top. (Tragic, but probably wise.) Peytie, it turns out isn’t scrapping her gold and orange garment as much as she is rethinking it, which means that she really isn’t adding anything new to her collection, just course correcting a piece that didn’t hang right.
Then there’s Samantha. Because she didn’t have pieces done, she was able to trade out some of the same-same-same things that would have been and just make them once is a bright red. Tim is beside himself over how great the red is, and how much it forces the other colors in the collection to stand out in response. His one concern (which is not wrong) is that everything else is still too matchy-matchy and same same. It’s all separates right? So mix and match. Samantha seems a little dubious about this idea. Tim is really excited, until he starts doing the math on the pieces she has and realizes Samantha actually only has four finished outfits, it’s just that she’s spread them over six dummies.
With only one day before the runway show, you’d think they’d have enough to do, but of course, this is when TV monitors appear along with Tim who pretends for a minute the show is adding a “little twist.” Pysche! It’s actually Georgina Chapman, wife of executive producer Harvey Weinstein, with a message cheering the kids on. Don’t forget, you can see her show up for work as a judge for maybe up to half the episodes over on Project Runway: All Stars, starting on Lifetime next week!
The model fittings for the kids is a straight up disaster for Zachary and Maya. Maya especially completely underestimated the reality of her models’ bodies, and her blouses simply don’t fit–and she has no more fabric to make stuff, since she assumed she was basically done. Ironically because Samantha’s stuff is so casual, she has the best fitting of anyone.
Let’s head to Fashion Week with these kids and see how they did.
The guest judge for the finale is Bella Thorne, which for a moment made me thinks this must have been a part of the same September 11th show that the Project Runway proper contests did. But the venue is wrong. And then Christian Siriano says at the critique that his show was here two days prior, and he showed September 12th, the day after the Project Runway proper show. So that means the kids showed in a private runway on September 14th, (you can hear how small the crowd is) probably at the end of the day, since afterwards they filmed the judge’s critique in the same space.
The judges don’t say anything majorly negative about anyone, partly because in this situation, it won’t do for any of these kids to be seen as “in the bottom.” After all, these kids are ages 14-16, and they just showed as NYFW. I know it’s cheesy as hell, but it’s true: they’re all winners.
Maya: Imma say it now. This child is FOURTEEN. This child has put out a line that is actually BETTER than any of the four line that were shown in the Project Runway proper finale. Now, I won’t pretend you can’t see where the panels happened on the tops. But let’s be real–they look like that was how they were designed to look from the beginning. It’s really stunning. (For Maya’s line reviewed in full, click here.)
Samantha: She did mix and match. She did add two dresses–well one dress and a skirt and top. The skirt and top works with the collection. The dress unfortunately looks unfinished, like she couldn’t quite mentally get there, if that makes sense? Like I feel like the model forgot her pants, when it walks. I’m still not a fan of the boxy military aesthetic she’s doing, but I won’t say she didn’t do it well. (For Samantha’s line reviewed in full, click here.)
Zachary: I’m sad the finale dress lost so much, but it did improve in the pairing down. His is the most a-kid-made-this looking of the four, but that’s because he was reaching much farther than the other three, to a line that someone Christian and Zac would turn out for fashion week, but without the full-time devotion (remember, there are laws that say how much kids under 18 are allowed to work) and full-time staff they have to make that happen. When you put it in that context it’s quite impressive. (For Zachary’s line reviewed in full, click here.)
Peytie: One of Peytie’s pieces didn’t make it into this photo which is unfortunate. (You can see the model’s butt behind the line up. The top you can’t see is of a piece with the skirt on the far left in front of her.) The fact that one can easily visualize the missing piece also speaks to how cohesive the collection is. The remade orange dress now does look gold, and far better than it did before, and gets my award for “Most Improved from Finale Part 1 to Finale Part 2.” (For Peytie’s line reviewed in full, click here.)
They may all be winners, but only one of these kids is going to win. Christian shrugs to Kelly “What do we do?” Zachary is here because Aya and Tim forced him into the finale, and though he reached furthest of all, he’s not going to win. Not surprised he’s out first. I was surprised in their critique to learn that Peytie was up for elimination and that Christian was the one who forced her to get to the end and the finale. Personally I thought she was a shoo in to get to the end. The judges were glad they put her through, but she’s out third. Samantha listened more than everyone, but as Kelly points out, she never showed us really anything more than what’s she’s been showing from day one. They wanted Samantha 2.0, and they got Samantha 1.5.
But when they get to Maya. The looks on Siriano and Osborne’s faces says it all. “She’s a genius.” They have critiques of her collection, Siriano for instance still doesn’t like the fabric choice. But when it comes to the four collection, there is one that is head and shoulders above everyone else’s, in terms of vision, cohesion and tailoring and that’s Maya. She is the winner, and well deserved too.