Category Archives: ProjectRunwayJunior

Project Runway to Run Through End of Decade

Rejoice, those who still watch and love Project Runway. Lifetime has made a huge commitment to continue to air the show, and it’s two successful spin offs, through the end of the decade.

According to reports from Deadline, Lifetime has renewed the flagship show, Project Runway proper, for Season 16 through 18. Season 15 is slated to air this coming July. This renewal will carry the show through the 2019-2020 season, and the end of the decade.

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This renewal proves the promise that fighting Bravo for the show back ten years ago was worth it for Lifetime. Before ProjRun, Lifetime was the home of bad movies, and the poster child of the patriarchal insult of what women wanted for a television channel. Since getting Project Runway as a staple, and making it a nine month affair, Lifetime has branched out, and even scored the BBC’s And Then There Were None this past winter over PBS and BBC America, and will be part of the conglomerate doing the simulcast airing Roots this weekend. And as Deadline notes, the show is still bringing in the ratings, not to mention dependable Emmy nominations every year: “The most recent Season 14 finale last fall drew 2.52 million viewers in Live+same day and delivered some of the show’s best numbers in target demos in two years”

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Project Runway Junior: Maya’s NYFW Collection

Maya was 13 years old when this show began filming, and turned 14 halfway through its run. The youngest contestant on the program, she isn’t just good. She’s a phenom. Kelly called her a genius, and she not wrong. When these pieces came out of the bags last week, I was stunned at how much better they were than the other three collections. But what I didn’t realize until seeing them walk how much better her collection was than anything that walked the runway for Project Runway proper. Certainly better than Season 14’s finale, and even maybe better than anything we saw in Season 13’s finale as well. It took bringing in Children, but Project Runway finally found that creativity well that seemed to have run dry.

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I heard whines about the cape from the judges, but they need to be the hell quiet. The boning structure she created for the back is simply superb. And putting it with the black minidress heightened the impact.

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Project Runway Junior: Samantha’s NYFW Collection

As I said in my review of Peytie’s line, I would have swapped her and Samantha and put Samantha third. Why? Well, partly this is a subjective choice. I like girly hippie things. I am not into the unisex militaristic tomboy look that Samantha was stuck on from her first day to her last. Moreover, I thought that Aya’s diagnosis during the finale that she had asked for Samantha 2.0 and the girl simply hadn’t delivered–Christian agreed, it felt like they had seen that jacket from her ten times in ten weeks–was far more damning than anything they said about Peytie. It should have prevented her to get in the Top Two.

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All that being said, and considering how far behind Samantha was compared to everyone else, this collection is so well made, and so polished. And it’s so cohesive and on point of view. This *is* who Samantha is at 16.

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Project Runway Junior: Peytie’s NYFW Collection

I was really surprised when the judges revealed in the final deliberations that Peytie had nearly gone home several times over during the competition. By the halfway mark of the season, I had her marked as a shoo-in for the finale. She knew her point of view and her girl–California born again hippie–and she stuck to it, to great success through out the season. I actually think she should have been in the final two.

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But perhaps it was that she hewed so closely to exactly that look that she was put out third? Like Zachary, she was aiming for something that might have been a little beyond her. And there were things that didn’t work so well. I loved the hand painted gold pattern on the leather. I hated it in this fringed form, like she has above. That was I suppose Peytie’s problem. When she was married to something, she was stuck on it, for good or ill.

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Project Runway Junior: Zachary’s NYFW Collection

As I said in my recap, Zachary’s collection was the one with the most visible construction issues of the four lines that walked. That’s because unlike his other three competitors, he reached the farthest in his collection. Evening wear is not easy. Red carpet gowns are hard. Zachary wanted to do what Christian Siriano or Zac Posen, or hell, Karl Lagerfeld do in three months with a full-time staff. It wasn’t going to happen.

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Still, for all the faults we find in these outfits, the scale of the ambition could not be denied. There was a reason the judges and Tim pushed him into the finale, and there was a reason tat he also went out fourth.  It was worth it to see what he could do (and considering the other three collections, there was real value in having it as part of the show. But the faults in each outfit (like the way the back of the one above falls) is why it would never win.

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Project Runway: Junior “Finale Part 2”

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.

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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!

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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.

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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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