The 10 designers show off their knowledge of vintage with a group challenge on the 1940s and 1960s.
Project Runway: Junior has the upper hand in that it has the ability to remind a viewer of just how nasty high school drama can be. Nevertheless, the show has proved sustainable without stirring the pot with the teenage designers.
When drama does occur — I’m talking to you Samantha, you fabric skitzo — it’s nothing like Project Runway where scissors are out for sabotage. The teens aren’t making me miss that aspect.
In "A Decade to Remember," the designers meet up with host Hannah Davis and an unwanted guest: the dreaded button bag tags along to separate the teens for a team challenge.
The challenge is inspired and sponsored by Simplicity Patterns, a company that has helped the Average Joe in creating an outfit through patterned sewing. The two teams of five had to pick a decade and create a five-piece collection inspired from the Simplicity Patterns of that decade. The teams were created as such:
- Team 1960s: Matt, Peytie, Jesse, Samantha, Maya
- Team 1940s: Victoria, Zachary, Zach, Jaxson, Bridget
Each design team is going to use the decade and create a youthful twist. The show is really pushing that “Let’s see what the kids think is hip” vibe. Zachary has immunity for the challenge, and this week’s winner will have his or her look recreated in a Simplicity Pattern for people to make at home.
The teams sketch, but only two people from each team are allowed to go with Tim Gunn to Mood. They have the responsibility of picking out everyone’s fabric and will only be able to communicate via cell phone while the others are in the workroom.
Samantha takes the leadership position for Team 1960s, which Matt OK's. The team all has its designs in place, and Samantha volunteers to go to Mood because she knows it the best because she’s from Brooklyn. The show depicts her in a tenacious light this episode, and I suspect her edgy attitude could go south.
At Mood, Samantha waves off Maya’s idea to create a vest. She picks bland colors — mind you they are designing for the 1960s. Both Samantha and Zachary return to their teams with the fabric. The '40s team is happy with Zachary’s choices, but the same cannot be said for the '60s team. Samantha dropped the ball on that one. She screwed up big time, yet no one is yelling her. They all just start to work with what they have and decide not to whine about the situation.
An hour into its work, Team 1960s scraps all of its designs and starts over. Team 1940s is pretty giddy about that when it finds out and starts celebrating.
Tim Gunn comes in for critique. He starts with the '40s and likes Zachary’s camel vest with tailored pants underneath. Zachary wants to put zippers on the hem of the pants, and Tim has a look of horror on his face. Zachary painfully decides against the zippers.
Bridget has red silky fabric and is making a nightgown silhouette of sorts with a cinched waistband. Tim does not like Zach’s white top. It looks like something the “Church Lady” would wear, and the white does not fit in with the rest of the collection.
Tim moves on to Team 1960s and is unimpressed with how inexpensive all of the designs look. I believe he used the phrase, “My brain is going to sleep.” The piece that most resembles the 1960s is Maya’s fuchsia-colored shift dress. Samantha makes an A-line blue coat, but it’s not very '60s. Matt says he was inspired by Twiggy, but Tim shuts down his inspiration, saying Twiggy would never wear his outfit. After Tim leaves, Team 1960s declares a do-over yet again with the designs. The team’s models come in, and they have to sit in the breakroom because there is nothing for them to try on.
Convinced it’s godly, Samantha keeps her jacket and starts to make a white dress for underneath. Maya makes a new collar for her dress, while Matt says it is the comeback story every movie has. Sorry Matt, it isn’t Rudy. They had three hours to make a mini collection, and the team started over three times.
Bridget is second guessing her dress now. The pleats aren’t working the way she wants them to, and there won’t be any dramatic sleeves because she doesn’t have enough time. However, Zachary helps her make the sleeves the next day.
Jaxson has the most work to do before the runway show starts, and he works until the last minute. Samantha still has pins in the back of her dress. The 10 designers created the first three-hour collection in Project Runway history, which is pretty mind boggling.
When his piece comes down the runway, Zach receives a mouthed “wow” from judge Kelly Osbourne, which proved to be a good sign for his team. Hannah announces Team 1940s is the winner of the challenge.
Zachary explains how Team 1940s tried to capture the tailored aspect of the era. They show the women from day to night. The colors show nationalism. Kelly says the fluidity is incredible, and Bridget’s gown solidified the "wow" moment at the end.
Judge Christian Siriano says the fabric choices are not interesting, but the team utilized them well. Christian is a very tough judge, but I like that he takes control of that role. He has grown up. Christian says Zach and Bridget especially made the fabric more powerful and interesting. Bridget gave a little Blanche in The Golden Girls, but Christian says he likes it. Judge Aya Kanai says Bridget’s look is like an elegant nightgown, and the versatility is great. After the critique, it’s clear Zach and Bridget are the top two candidates for winning the lot.
The losing team brings out its models, and the judges start off by saying the collection is not bad, but 1940s was stronger.
Christian says the looks are very flat and resemble mall clothes. Hannah likes Maya’s outfit the most, which went off what Tim said earlier in critique. She redid the neckline, and it proved to add composition. Christian is mad at Matt for making a crop top for the third time — it’s only the third episode. Kelly likes his execution of the skirt, but it isn’t of the right time period.
Kelly loves Samantha’s jacket, as it reminds her of Chanel. She takes the jacket off, and the judges have a less enthusiastic reaction. The white, starchy dress is unfinished and unflattering. Samantha admits to the judges they are looking at a 20-minute dress. Christians says the team missed the mark and really could have had fun with the challenge with inspiration from Woodstock, acid colors and a Bohemian vibe. They allude to a bad fabric choice.
Kelly wants Samantha to go home because her dress was atrocious, and Christian wants Matt to go home because he has not made one passable look on the show.
They bring the winning team out and declare Bridget as the winner. She is shocked and thrilled that her dress will be made into a pattern by Simplicity.
The losing team leaves Matt and Samantha on stage as the others are dismissed. Hannah announces Samantha is in, but then Matt is also in. Hannah goes on to say they rarely give second chances, but all I hear is Kelly and Christian weren’t going to back down on their opinions so they let them both stay. They remind the designers to have fun, but the fun slipped out of the room when they were told there will be a double elimination next episode.
Matt says he is feeling like #MattTheCat because he has “nine lives in this competition.” Zach is happy for the two but is pissed because it’s a competition where people need to keep leaving. Tim cheers with them backstage because he doesn’t have to send any of his children packing. They all chant in unison “No more crop tops” as they laugh into the sun.
Project Runway: Junior airs every Thursday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.