Project Runway Junior recap: A Decade to Remember
The dreaded button bag. When Hannah walks onto stage with it, the kid designers all gasp. They know what it means: some type of team challenge. Team challenges always result in inflated egos, blowups, and general bad attitudes, except this time…it doesn’t! They all work together very well. (It’s pretty sad how teens — notorious for uncontrollable, hormone-fueled emotions — can learn to work together better than full-grown adults.)
Hannah tells the kidtestants that they’ll be working in two teams of five; she draws names for the two teams and then says that Tim will give them the deets upstairs.
Up in the workroom, Tim Gunn introduces them to Mimi Goodwin, a fashion blogger. She tells them all about Simplicity and how its patterns have inspired people to make their own clothing for years. But more importantly, they are this week’s sponsor.
The two teams will have to pick the 1940s, ’50s, or ’60s as their inspiration and interpret designs with a youthful lens. The winning look will be recreated by Simplicity as a pattern. I’ll be honest: Aside from my quilting grandmother, I don’t know anyone who uses patterns, but the kids seem very pumped by this reward.
Tim uses the button bag again to decide which team gets to pick their decade first, and we get the following:
1960s: Matt, Peytie, Jesse, Samantha, and Maya
1940s: Victoria, Zachary, Zach, Jaxson, and Bridget
The 1940s group is inspired by Chanel and the luxuriousness of the era, so they decide on deep, rich colors. Bridget wants to do the final look, a beautiful red gown; the team is on board with that. They spend time talking about the story their collection will tell and decide to do a woman’s full wardrobe that goes from day to night with the five looks.
Team 1960s talk about a lot of different things, and they’re a bit all over the place. Samantha finds a hat on the *unnamed* accessories wall and thinks they should pull out the warm, earthy colors from it as an inspiration. Maya wants to make a vest because it would be easy to modernize. There’s a lot of talking, but the only thing they all really agree on is “no prints.”
There’s a bit of a twist for fabric this challenge. Two members from each team will join Tim on a trip to Mood while the rest of the designers will begin working and gather fabric from the “mini Mood” in the closet.
With 30 minutes and $400 per team, Zachary and Jaxson for ’40s and Samantha and Peytie for ’60s get to shopping at full-size Mood. Zachary and Jaxson are very careful about grabbing the right colors while FaceTiming with their teammates. Peytie and Samantha, instead, go rogue. In the store they decide Maya doesn’t need the vest, so they don’t need the fabric for it and make a couple other on-the-fly decisions.
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Back at the workroom, the shopping designers show their teams what they purchased, and you can almost see Team 1960s get discouraged. Maya is upset she can’t make her vest; Jesse can’t work with the fabric they bought; and Matt says his heart dropped. Life lesson for this team: Communication is key.
1940s Team is not having those same issues. They’re just breezing through their looks and LOLing that the other team is struggling. “If they mess up, that means we win!” Zach says.
The other team knows they are struggling, so they take a trip to mini Mood and switch to jewel tones and completely new looks.
NEXT: Take 2 3
When Tim comes in for critiques, he does not have a positive response to Team 1960s. He wants everything to be elevated because the not-Twiggy-looking designs are making him sleepy.
Although he doesn’t get a sleepy vibe from Team 1940s, he does think Jaxson’s white look is a little too “church lady”…or “old people’s home,” according to Zach. Tim’s ambivalent about Bridget’s red dress, but she isn’t deterred.
However, Team 1960s is definitely deterred: They go back to the drawing board to start over for a second time, and Team 1940s has a dance party. Life lesson for Team 1940s: Climb over your competitors to get to the top.
The models come in for fittings, but only one team is able to actually do fittings (I think you can guess which).
Regardless of that, Team 1960s is able to pull off completed looks for the runway — which was very surprising considering they had to start over TWICE. Even on an adult season that would be a challenge for most. It clearly wasn’t the best of the two collections, but it was much better than I was expecting.
Winning Collection: Team 1940s
The winning team was inspired by the tailored look of the ’40s, but they also used a strong sense of nationalism with the red, white, and blues (with a few neutrals thrown in). Hannah is a fan of the black and blue color palette (who isn’t?), but she didn’t think Jaxson’s top was constructed well. He agrees. Christian praises the fit of Zach’s pants, but the judges really only have eyes for Bridget’s gown. Christian says it’s a little Blanche from The Golden Girls. Kelly and Aya love how it’s almost like a nightgown — which Christian says is exactly what a fabulous Blanche would wear!
Losing Collection: Team 1960s
Hannah tells the teen team that their ’60s-inspired collection isn’t bad; it’s just not as strong as the other one. Kelly is upset they didn’t incorporate any of the fun aspects of the decade — Woodstock, Beatles, Bohemian — the options were endless, but instead they created what Christian calls a “flat” collection. The only look the judges like is Maya’s dress, which uses a fun color and has nice detailing. (I still can’t get over the fact this girl is 13!) But they’re most upset with Matt, who presents yet another crop top, and Samantha ,who still had pins in her white dress, even though her fabulous blue coat covered it up. The judges have a hard choice ahead of them.
Out: No one! Hannah tells Samantha she’s in. And then she tells Matt he’s also in. She says the judges want to see more from both of them (this is code for “you two are characters we’re not ready to have off the show”), so they’re staying around. However, that means we’ll have a double elimination down the road. But don’t count out #MattTheCat just yet — he’s got nine lives in this competition, you know.
What did you think of Junior‘s first group challenge? Can you believe teenagers are putting out these designs each week!? Leave your thoughts below, or let’s chat on Twitter @realdalener.
Project Runway Junior