By CJ Bomb
Hello all and welcome to Project Runway Junior week three! I am watching at the lovely Leslie’s house and we have ANOTHER guest judge with us tonight. Caroline, the lovely Leslie’s daughter, has agreed to grace us with her presence and comments during the runway show. We are lucky to have her as she is young and cool and we are old and…..less cool.
The kids are waiting patiently for their instructions when all of a sudden two fencers arrive on the runway. They are not pretending to fence, they are actually fencing. They stop to reveal themselves and one fencer is Tim Morehouse, Olympic medalist. The other is……Tim Gunn! When Tim Morehouse opened a fencing club, Tim Gunn joined and asked him to be his instructor. Tim tells the contestants that it’s good to be pushed out of your comfort zone at any age, because wonderful things can happen. Allie gushes that this makes Tim G even cooler and more awesome. Yes Allie, it does. A’kai says he has no interest in leaving his comfort zone. Tim announces the avant garde challenge. Leslie and I look at each other and simultaneously ask, isn’t it too early for this? Awesome Tieler is excited because he loves avant garde. Hawwaa? Not so much. Then to make matters more intense, it’s a TEAM challenge. Everyone simultaneously groans. Tim tells them that their inspiration this week is the modern fencing costume and/or it’s older, historical armor pieces. The dreaded button bag comes out and the contestants are put into pairs.
Hawwaa and A’kai are paired and he is worried if they don’t do this right it will be “like a horse pooped it out and it fell on a mannequin.” I couldn’t write his whole description even though we rewound it three times. Leslie has an epiphany that A’kai is a mini-Mondo. My God, she’s right, how did I not see this before? Hawwaa is confused by the concept of avant-garde (seriously contestants, DO YOUR HOMEWORK) and isn’t inspired until Tim Morehouse tells her the costumes are white because in the past it was easier to see the blood. Cartier and Izzy are partners and we love their sketch. Allie and Chelsea are paired and we REALLY love their sketch. Chris and Rene are paired and Leslie and I immediately think that between these two big personalities that this look and partnership might go south quickly. Awesome Tieler and Mollie are paired together and Tieler takes the lead.
The designers have $300 to spend at Mood. In a team challenge there are two schools of thought while shopping: stick together to make sure everything is cohesive or split up to cover more ground quickly. If you are splitting up you need to make sure you have a very specific plan. A’kai and Hawwaa do not. She is getting upset that he isn’t buying what they need and starting to feel like his mom. FORESHADOWING. Everyone else is sticking together.
Upon entering the workroom Rene does a little fencing dance and Leslie notes that he is pretty entertaining. And looks like a young Lorenzo Lamas. Someone asks Tieler how having immunity feels and he says it feels like “Thousand Island Sauce.” Leslie orders me to write that down as we will now use it as a catchphrase, TIS for short. It’s the simple things that bring joy. Hawwaa is micromanaging A’kai. Not good. After making the top of their garment, Chelsea starts second-guessing their design, worrying it needs a more dramatic element. Chris makes a Frida Kahlo reference and Rene doesn’t get it. Does that mean chic? We are going to have a to have a culture class with these kids. First not understanding the Gilligan’s Island reference, and now this??
Chelsea and Allie are thrilled that Tim loves their top. Chelsea feels much better now that Tim has validated their design. He does tell them to edit the scale of their wing-like protrusions (Leslie says winged scales) for the pants or the model will look like black stalk of asparagus walking the runway.
Tim tells Hawwaa she is giving him the “die, scum, die” look as he walks up. She doesn’t get avant garde and she is NOT happy. Tim explains that avant garde isn’t supposed to be wearable or pretty, it is supposed to be interesting and make you think. She is doing the top and A’kai is doing the bottom. A’kai throws organza over his skirt and while Hawwaa thinks it looks like crap, Tim tells them it’s the right direction. She is like, Really? Hawwaa doesn’t like this challenge and much like Lucas with the unconventional challenge, it shows. Tim tells them they need to build some drama and some high impact. Hawwaa is getting the bitch edit.
Rene and Chris, on the other hand, are working together beautifully. Rene has painted a heart onto a bodysuit and Chris is making a coat to “protect” it, like armor. Leslie thinks they have a great vision. Tim tells them to see how it functions as an overall look.
Cartier and Izzy are making a sporty take on a victorian silhouette. Tim wonders if it’s TOO wearable and not avant-garde enough.
Mollie and Awesome Tieler have made a REALLY avant-garde look that reminds Leslie of her favorite movie, Big Hero Six (Leslie was Baymax for Halloween). Tim is crazy about it and Chelsea says everyone loves it and wished they had thought of it first. Rei Kawakubo would be impressed by this.
Tim leaves the workroom very, very happy, but all is not well. A’kai is taking too long and Hawwaa is very upset. She isn’t happy with his plans to sew the model into the garment and a fight ensues. She leaves crying, A’kai seeks Tim out to ask his advice. Tim tells him to shut out the drama and finish his garment. He asks if he should meet with both of them and A’kai says no, he’s ok. Tim sends him off with a hug. Leslie and I have another brilliant idea to make new Echo device, but instead of asking Alexa, we will ask Tim. Tim, how do I fix my life? He will tell us what to do and all will be right with the world.
The next day before Runway, Tieler makes a David Bowie reference (could I love him any more?) and Mollie says she doesn’t know a lot about David Bowie. A’kai “knows he’s dead.” FASHION sacrilege. I’m sending these kids the book David Bowie Is. Fashion 101. A’kai has moved the organza from covering his skirt to underneath it without telling Hawwaa. This doesn’t go over well and another fight ensues. Everyone else watches. Not good.
We have bribed Caroline to come downstairs and I explain how we do this. She asks if “she can be mean.” We assure her she can and she settles in to help out. I realize this week that Hanna is actually less than ten years older than some of these contestants.
Chelsea and Allie’s outfit comes out and Caroline yells, “BAT!” Leslie thinks it looks like “all black Tetris” and I think it looks like futuristic Japanese armor…in a fabulous way.
Chris and Rene’s outfit makes Caroline think of a Japanese princess and Leslie is reminded of a warrior Red Riding Hood. I think she looks like an anime character come to life.
When A’kai and Hawwaa’s outfit comes down the runway we are stunned. Yes there are some construction issues, but it is still better than 90% of what the adults in the regular season sent out. Caroline says she looks like Snow White with a unibrow. Leslie says that all that fighting begat Marie Antoinette. I mention again how much better it is than the recent Project Runway avant-garde looks and Leslie sighs and says, let’s not go there.
Caroline thinks Cartier and Izzy’s look is pretty, but too wearable; it doesn’t go far enough. Leslie also thinks it’s beautiful but too safe. I think it looks like my goth prom dress.
Tieler and Mollie’s dress reminds Caroline of a robot. Leslie stands by her Mrs. Baymax comment and I ADORE it. I cannot believe this came out of the brains of two teenagers. In fact I think this is the best avant-garde show I have seen on Project Runway since Christian Siriano and Chris March sent that incredible gown down the runway years ago. Leslie agrees.
Leslie and Caroline pick Rene and Chris for the win and Chelsea and Allie for the bottom. I think they are wrong, but I can’t decide between Chelsea and Allie or Mollie and Awesome Tieler for the win, but I do know that A’kai and Hawwaa are going to be in the bottom.
Aya LOVES Allie and Chelsea’s look. They think it’s crazy that these two sweet little girls came up with this fierce ensemble. Kelly this it’s truly Avant-garde, but still sexy. Christian wants to go to fencing matches in the future where the outfit is worn.
They all note the problems with A’kai and Hawwaa’s construction and tell them it’s pretty obvious they had trouble communicating. Kelley tells them that no one works alone in fashion and they will have to learn to do this better in the future. Aya tells them she gets the idea of the garment, but when you break it down, there’s a construction problem.
Kelly is obsessed with Chris’s jacket, but thinks the bodysuit looks flat. Christian also has a hard time with the bodysuit and thinks it’s costumey. Aya tells them that this is too safe for them. Caroline and Leslie are shocked.
Aya tells Mollie and Tieler that they should be a design team for life. Christian says that this design could be in a fashion historical archive some day, it’s that good. Kelly adores it and is obsessed with the pants. They are also thrilled with it’s impeccable construction.
The judges are so impressed with everyone (as are we) but they give Awesome Tieler the win for taking the lead on his and Mollie’s look. A’kai is sent home in tears and the judges are heartbroken for him. BUT WAIT…..Not only are we doing avant-garde, unconventional and team challenges early in the competition, TIM GUNN IS USING HIS SAVE. He tells A’kai he has has more to show them. He then tells Hawwaa if she had been eliminated he would have done the same for her. Everyone is stunned. Allie notes that Tim usually uses his save much further along in the competition and now no one is safe. Shit just got real kiddos.
Now I know some of us will disagree with this decision, but I have to remind myself at the end of the day these are kids. Kids that worked well together and were gracious and kind (for the most part) and did better than a lot of the adults we have seen recently in this competition. I am impressed and thankful TT asked me to do this (even though she usually tells me I’m wrong, lol). If you are getting hit by the storm, stay warm and safe! We look forward to hearing from you in the comments. XOXO.