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'Project Runway': Pint-sized fashion

February 19, 2010 |  5:30 am

Our regular “Project Runway” Show Tracker, Claire Zulkey will be out for a couple of weeks, but don’t fret, she trusted me with her duties, an honor I don’t take lightly. I will try my best to fill out her shoes – though being a guy that’s impossible, so give me a free pass – I promise she’ll return soon!

For a few days we’ve all been scratching our heads.  With last week’s finale being taped at Bryant Park someone made the decision to show 10 finalists. Yes 10. I get that filming of the series is now out of sync with Fashion Week so they had to do something, but 10! Even worse I was prepared to have this week’s episode spoiled for me, considering numerous reports of the show stated that Maya was MIA, meaning she got eliminated, right?

This week called for the designers to create a look for little girls. How adorable, and easy. I mean kids are pretty easy to dress – I think. But, of course, a majority of the designers didn’t know what to do with junior models as Anthony proclaimed, “Honey, these little girls ain’t got no booties or no breasts.”

My, who knew kids were so hard to figure out. At least they weigh the same as the regular models.
The designers got off easy. There were no gimmicks, no saran wrap, no potato sacks, or curtains. Just a look for kids – they didn’t even have to consult with the pint-sized fashionistas. What was that all about? I totally expected to see an intense convo with a designer and one of the kids wanting a jacket with enough room for a doll or hair accessories, or a dress that was cute enough to take her from the classroom to the playground to nap time without looking weathered.

Proje4805 My expectations were let down and that only meant one thing: a room full of designers were going to make what they wanted to see kids in, as opposed to the other way around. Once I found out that Seth has actually procreated I thought, “Score!”

I was rather concerned that the designers seemed so overwhelmed over making a kids look. It was to the point of annoyance to hear them gripe so much over the small silhouettes they had to work with. Come on guys, they are children, not aliens.

But Tim being the sneaky snake that he is, there was a twist. More than halfway through the challenge the designers had to create a complimentary look for their regular-sized models - which they called a mom look…sure.

They worked with a fury to create both looks,and I was excited to see what Seth had up his sleeve, intrigued – and gravely concerned – for the piles of petals Amy was cutting out. And after seeing Jesse’s “Madeline” sketch I was all game.

The runway show was great. Lots of vibrant color designs and more importantly the majority made looks that were appropriate for little girls.

The judges' top three choices were Seth’s rock-tinged pink, black and white hounds-tooth hoodie and skirt (the mom’s outfit was an even harder look with a zippered black and white top and studded pants) – my favorite of the evening and somewhere Rihanna is salivating over this ensemble. Then there was Jay’s deep plum chic ruffled look, that blended best out of all the designers' looks, without being overly matchy-matchy – though those yellow shoes really killed my eyes. Last but not least was Jesse’s “Madeline” inspired look: the crimson wool coat  was to die for on the little model. My main gripe, and thankfully the judges also were put-off by it, was his decision to make the dress a little asymmetrical. It didn’t work, instead it looked like a mistake. I will say his complimentary look was perfection and kudos for making the gray and red work together brilliantly.

It was only appropriate that Seth was declared the winner.

The judges weren’t fans of Amy’s daring turquoise, orange, and black pants – which, sorry, I didn’t think looked that bad, though I would have preferred it as a dress. As for her little girl look, it had a lot going on, a whole lot. But it reminds me of a kid who has dressed herself: while it might look tacky in pictures it works. The two looks together was just too much for my eyes to take in, I was a bit disappointed that she spent more time on the adult look though.

Another low score went to Johnathan, who earlier in the episode said that after playing half the competition safe he was going to up the ante and pull out all his tricks. Well, well, well – maybe he should have played it safe. I didn’t completely hate the adult look, it reminded me a little bit of Bjork and the whole swan dress fiasco, but it was actually nicely designed. I just wished he had brought in just a taste of color, the look however didn’t work on a little girl. Poor thing looked so uncomfortable as she walked down the runway Turns out the garment was killing her. Fashion hurts as an adult, but as a kid – not so much.

Sadly it was Janeane’s plain orange and black look that got the worst of the judges. While I liked that both looks appeared comfortable on the models, it lacked inspiration. I don’t know if she was going for the whole off-the-rack look, but at least make it look like they sell this at Macy’s and not Forever 21. I agreed with the judges, it was beyond blah, and well, that gets you sent home.

So what happened to Maya? Why did Janeane show at Bryant Park and not Maya? The mystery continues.

Next week the designers run amok in a hardware store. Were those sheets of metal and bolts I spotted?

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)

Photos: (Top, from left to right) Models adult and small are seen in Amy Gingerich, SethAaron Henderson and Jesse LeNoir’s mommy-and-me garments. (Bottom) Designer Jay Nicolas Sario and model Monique Darton kid around. Credit: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime Networks


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