The latest episode of Project Runway: Junior featured a double elimination and a double win.
In the words of former Project Runway: Junior designer Matt, this episode was a “hot mess express.” With the culture of the show being around for as long as it has, the “surprises” become predictable, and the challenges are classic. That is not the case for episode seven’s “#OOTD.” Six designers left and they all bring their best. Now everyone’s best has to be scrutinized.
Tim Gunn and “special guest” — aka one of the four judges all season long — Aya Kanai tells them to take the streets of New York City and find someone who inspires them in a #OOTD way. The hashtag is a social media reason to post your “outfit of the day.”
The winning outfit of the challenge will be featured in Seventeen Magazine thanks to fashion director Aya. Many are not having much luck stopping the New Yorkers on their way to work, and they only have 30 minutes.
As a native of Queens, Samantha knows she has an advantage as she tries to talk to her people. She hits a side street where people are more inclined to talk instead of the routers on Seventh Avenue.
Maya gets the idea for an unconventional work outfit. Samantha finds a construction worker, but in a rush, Jaxson finds a woman with a weird jacket. The group goes to the real Mood and searches for Seventeen-worthy fabrics.
Jaxson starts with a dress, but for some reason buys faux fur for a jacket.
Tim enters the workroom with five hours left, and Zach is just magically hoping Tim will give him inspiration for the rest of his design. That will come back to haunt Zach, because Tim does not get used that way. He is supposed to critique what you already have — not give you ideas for a design to show the judges.
Tim is excited about Samantha’s cargo pants and Maya’s multiple textile design. Zachary knows his designs are more mature, and that concerns him when designing for a youthful audience. Tim agrees. Tim is glad Peytie is doing a riff on denim, but the denim material she has is old looking compared to the richness of her top.
Jaxson ditches the faux fur, and Tim praises the fashion gods for leading him to do so. However, Tim is still not happy with how basic his look is, and it’s freakout time for Jaxson.
Mini-Mood opens for 15 minutes, and Peytie and Jaxson book it to the back room. Jaxson contemplates a CROP TOP. Don’t do it Jaxson.
Models come in and Zach’s top is too tight, and the color isn’t popping. He starts over with three hours left. Everyone, including his model, is concerned for him.
When it’s runway day, a majority of the looks are complete, especially Maya’s. She also looks as well put together as her design. When I was 14 years old, I’m sure I didn’t even know what lipstick was and here she is wearing it way better than any other young woman.
Right off the bat, Aya says she loves Zachary’s look. She loves the pinstripes and the sheen look of it all. Christian Siriano notes Zachary has the fashion director of Seventeen saying she loves it, but to him the look doesn’t scream Selena Gomez or Ariana Grande. Before the runway show, Zachary even says he knows the look is not as youthful as some of the other looks on the runway. Hannah Davis says it reminds her of people at a blackjack table, but she says it excitedly so I don’t know if that is a compliment or insult. The look is just way too sophisticated for Seventeen.
Jaxson, the awkward boy from Kansas, explains he could not find many people on the street. Hannah sees two different looks in his outfit. She sees a flirty, bright yellow dress and a tan fabric smock. Aya says he missed the mark on this one.
Peytie makes a denim pant and double lapel vest. Hannah says she sees a different designer in a good way. Christian sees her as a more elevated person with her designs. Aya says her pant is not speaking to the kind of girl in Seventeen — so, sorry Peytie.
Samantha is inspired by a construction worker’s pants, which are just cargo pants. Hannah loves the use of the colors and how feminine and boyish they are. Christian thinks it’s genius because construction workers are all over the city and they are “great for eye candy, but you never want to see what else they’re wearing.” The only thing is, he’s seen it before from her. Aya loves how her inspiration is very clear and sees the story they can put on the spread.
Zach’s shorts are hella tight on his model. He knows it’s not his strongest look, and that breaks the judges’ hearts. You can’t make those mistakes this late in the game.
Maya interacted with a lot of women who were going to work but not in a suit. Kelly Osbourne loves the pieces and that you can take it apart and make it your own. Aya says it’s rich and expensive-looking. Christian is “into Maya’s stuff,” which is huge, because he is the most honest of the judges.
When the judges make their decisions, Hannah is already crying. She announces both Samantha and Maya as the winners. Peytie and Zachary are in, which then leaves leaves Jaxson and Zach.
Hannah tells them they are both out, and they were blindsided. In my heart, I knew they were both not going to make it to the final three, but it was still a low blow.
Everyone is crying. Tim comes out all weepy, and I lose it. He takes out a handkerchief and subtly tells the designers he’s a “bit of a mess.”
When Hannah announces not one but TWO winners, Maya and Samantha, a part of me was mad. The judges have done this before where they could not agree on a winner, but I’m glad they evened it out with a double elimination.
Project Runway: Junior airs every Thursday at 9 p.m., on Lifetime.