It's time for an unconventional challenge!
It’s week two on Project Runway Junior, and the differences from the original are becoming more apparent: No sponsored accessories wall, no pre-runway styling, judges who can’t keep a poker face during the runway show, no guest judges, and designers who genuinely encourage and support one another.
But the similarities are still there, and this week it’s in the Unconventional Challenge. Tim Gunn tells the kids to get dressed up for a limo ride…which takes them through a car wash where the kids can’t stop screaming. (Favorite line of the night: “It’s a car wash, calm down.”) On the other side, Hannah and Tim and an abudance of car-wash supplies are there to greet them. The designers have three minutes to stuff two bags full of sponges, car mats, hoses, license plates, reflectors, fuzzy dice, and more.
The teen designers feel the need to say approximately 10,000 times how they’ve never done an unconventional challenge — but it doesn’t show in their looks. Zachary and Maya are using pinwheels with ease; Jesse starts designing with keychains like it’s nobody’s business; and Jaxson is incredibly at home with fringe banners. However, that’s not the case for everyone: Ysabel is struggling with her design. When Tim comes to the room, he says her skirt is looking a bit Gilligan’s Island, a reference she hilariously does not get.
But even with unconventional materials and only a day to use them, the designers don’t have major construction issues. The most problematic is Jaxson, who is still struggling to finish the morning of the runway show. Because these kids are adorable and so helpful to one another, Maya completes her look early and helps Jaxson finish by hot-glue-gunning the bejesus out of his look. There’s a lot of hot-glue-gunning going on in the room actually, but it all gets completed in time for the show.
NEXT: Walk on, walk off
The judges were so impressed with the challenge that they ended up picking four high looks and only two bottom looks. Bridget, Jaxson, Maya, Zach, and Victoria are all safe.
The boho queen strikes again! With a mop as inspiration, Peytie created a fringe top and a patterned crop top. Hannah likes how feminine and finished it looks. Christian loves the top but not the waistline of the skirt, but Kelly thinks the waistline ties the top and bottom together. Either way, it’s the cutest mop I’ve ever seen.
Samantha was nervous about the unconventional challenge, but lucky for her, immunity meant she would stay no matter what. And even with immunity, she still went above and beyond. Her design incorporated gloves in terrible colors — colors that both she and Hannah don’t like. But the design saves her: Christian says he sees a “real designer” in her color-blocking.
Matt was inspired by a Jean Paul Gaultier design, because of course he was. (This was the kid who wore Louboutins to the car wash.) But because he glued his model into the tube skirt right before the runway show, he wasn’t able to give her enough give to actually walk the runway. The top is a hodgepodge, and the designers don’t hesitate to give him honest criticism, though Christian does applaud him for trying something so unconventional.
Jesse was a bit of an afterthought last week, but he pulls ahead as a frontrunner this week. Using sunshields and piping, he created a well-fitting crop top and skirt, but the real wow moment was in the ombré sleeves made with keychains. Christian says it’s “beautiful” and has impeccable detailing, and Kelly wants to wear it.
Ysabel is probably the sweetest person on this show, but that can’t make up for her poor design. She used flags and mops to create a two-piece look. She let the design get away from her — she had to add flag “fabric” to the back to cover her model’s ass, literally — and it ended up with a “trashy vibe.” Sadly, Ysabel agrees with all the harsh critiques she gets from the judges.
Using sunblockers, floormats, and pinwheels, Zachary created a look that could be on any runway — conventional or not. Although Christian isn’t a fan of metallic typically because it’s “J-Lo on a budget,” he is impressed with Zachary’s execution here. All the judges are fans, which is why…
That was a tough elimination, only because it was so hard on everyone there. The other designers give her the biggest group hug, and Tim Gunn gets choked up. I’m sad to see that ray of sunshine go, but based solely on design, it was definitely the right move. What do you guys think? Hit the comments below, or find me on Twitter @realdalener.