The hit show Project Runway gets a younger twist with a new spinoff called Project Runway: Threads, which premiered last night.
Instead of having adults come up with the next hot fashion trend, Project Runway: Threads allows kids and teens to give it a shot. Each week three kids go head-to-head as they compete for a prize package worth $25,000. As if this isn’t enough to make their heads explode, they’ll be judged by some of the biggest names in fashion. The youngest contestant to win on Project Runway, Christian Siriano, will be judging the teen’s work each week along with beauty guru and fashionista Youtuber Ingrid Nilsen — AKA Missglamorazzi. Joining them each week will be a special celebrity guest such as Kelly Osbourne, Jaime King and Zendaya. Vanessa Simmons (pictured left), who knows a thing or two about running a business in fashion, hosts the show.
Each contestant will also have their own adult assistant — but the roles are changed and the kids become the ones in charge. This interesting spin on the show can either help a relationship grow stronger or make it crumble.
This week’s contestants are Bradford, Cambria and Kenzie. Each have a different backstory on what inspired them to become so fascinated with fashion, and here’s a quick rundown on each.
Bradford is 13 years old and from Birmingham, Alabama. He brought along his mother despite the fact that she’d rather be at a football game. While mom Dana never took an interest in designing, Bradford has been at it since the age of 3. He’s already had his work displayed in the Miss Teen Alabama pageant and at Birmingham Fashion Week. Bradford wants to make people feel like a million dollars when they’re wearing his designs. It’ll be interesting to see what Bradford does when the roles of parent and child switch.
Cambria is 12 years old and from West Hills, California. She taught herself how to sew and has the self determination to drive herself towards success. Cambria prides herself on making clothing for herself and her friends that features complex detail. She’s brought her father David — who wants nothing more for his daughter than her to follow her dreams — along with her. He’s even learned how to sew in the last month thanks to Cambria. This is one dedicated father who is willing to do anything to help see his daughter succeed.
Lastly is Kenzie who is 12 years old and from Portland, Oregon. Kenzie has had the privilege to fly all around the world to exotic places and can’t get enough of the European life. She’s all about the rich and glamorous luxuries she’s seen in Europe, and her designs showcase that. She wants to have her own clothing in boutiques around the world. As if those expectations weren’t high enough, her dream is to dress the Duchess of Cambridge. Kenzie owes her sewing knowledge to her mother and her assistant Molly who taught Kenzie how to sew when she was 8 years old. With such great expectations, let’s hope Kenzie can take disappointment just as well as praise.
The first challenge of the night is the “Show Us Your Style” challenge. In this challenge, each contestant has had the chance to design something for the judges that represents who they are as a designer. Judging this event will be Vanessa, Christian and special guest judge Kelly Osbourne. The winner of this challenge gets a secret advantage in the next challenge.
Bradford has designed a midnight blue gown with an architectural neckline. The dress also has a thigh-high slit on the side. Kelly advises that an elegant dress such as this needs to have a cinched in waist to give it more of a shape. Christian really enjoys how classic the gown is and thinks it gives off a Kate Blanchett vibe. He also likes the unique neckline. Vanessa likes the maturity and elegance of the dress, but advises Bradford to tap into his youthful side.
Cambria says that she enjoys sequins and shiny fabrics and has always wanted a 2-in-1 dress. To me, this sounded like something tacky or little girlish, but she didn’t do a bad job in executing the look. She used a hot pink satin material to create a long ball gown with a tear-away skirt to reveal a completely different dress. Underneath, she had a shorter dress with a skirt made out of hot pink sequins to finish off the 2-in-1 look. Christian loves the idea of a tear-away skirt. Kelly warns Cambria of using certain fabrics such as satin for the issue of lighting. If the light catches the material in a wrong angle, it can take away from the pleating detail in a dress. Vanessa agrees with Kelly, but loves how fun the dress is.
Kenzie made a simple black and white outfit with a black jacket and a white dress with black detailing. Kenzie explains that the jacket is London-ish and the dress is Persian due to the ruffles on the bottom and stripes across the top. Kelly cannot believe Kenzie’s knowledge of fashion at such a young age. Christian likes the length of the ruffles but doesn’t think the two pieces complement each other. Vanessa thinks the jacket is adorable, but would like to see color as Kenzie moves forward.
In the end, Cambria is declared the winner. Who knew hot pink, sequins and satin would equal something cute? She ends up scoring a special pass that will allow her to steal one of the assistants for 30 minutes in the next challenge.
The next challenge is a “Red Carpet Look” that can be focused on any red carpet. The contestants will have a total of one day to complete this look.
Bradford goes for a black stretch fabric along with a gold accent color to complete his chic cut-out gown. From just the design, I can tell this is going to be gorgeous!
Kenzie decides to travel back in time create a renaissance look and uses Vanessa’s advice by adding a pop of color to the back of the gown’s train.
Cambria finds a blue floral print and is so happy about it that she thinks she can make anything out of it. Not too sure how she can make a red carpet look out of this, but you’d be surprised.
Vanessa stops by to check in on what everyone’s doing. She says she loves Bradford’s look but tells him to make sure everything lays down flat to have a perfect flow in the dress. Kenzie tells Vanessa that she’s using a pale purple color and a deep blue for the pop of color in the train. I’m not a big fan of the colors, but I guess we’ll see. Cambria shows Vanessa the print she’s using and Vanessa isn’t as happy about it as Cambria is, because it doesn’t exactly fit a red carpet look. Cambria is overwhelmed and begins to cry while trying to make a decision. Her father David doesn’t think she should change it, but in the end it’s Cambria’s choice. She changes the fabrics and goes for a beautiful slightly satin red color. I think she made the best decision.
With three and a half hours left, a “Surprise Door Twist” reveals the ultimate horror for the contestants and their assistants. Not only do they have to complete a red carpet look, but now they also have to create a “Street Style” look, too. They are given a white dress to work off of and can use it as either a base or rip it apart to make something entirely new. Kenzie can’t think of herself designing something “street” because of how classy she is. Bradford has no designing help from his mother so he’ll have to come up with everything by himself. Cambria decides that she’ll be able to use the floral material she was going to use before in this piece perfectly.
Cambria realizes that she’s running low on time with only an hour left in the competition. She uses her assistant steal pass on Kenzie and steals her mom Molly for 30 minutes. Of course the two aren’t too happy about it, but hey — it’s a competition. Looks like Cambria is only adding the floral print on the top and bottom of the white dress, leaving too much of the white dress showing.
Kenzie now left alone, is trying to finish both dresses. She’s found a patterned fabric that she likes and places that on the front and back of the dress. Bradford comes up with using a crop top and making a denim skirt. Seems like he’s the only one really changing the white dress — and he’s the one who doesn’t exactly have an assistant in the design department. Prime example, Bradford is running out of time and asks his mom to simply start hot gluing pieces of denim on the crop top. Luckily he was able to draw a pair of lips that can be the main focus, proving super crafty with using what he’s got available. All Molly can think of is how she let down Kenzie. She’s a little overdramatic.
At judging, the contestants find out that their guest judge is Jaime King. They also find out what the prizes are, including $10,000 to be used at any Jo-Ann fabric and craft store, a scholarship for a summer program offered by Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, a set of sewing and embroidering machines courtesy of Brother and the chance to have one of their designs showcased in Seventeen magazine. Not too bad for teens!
Cambria explains to the judges that her looks were designed for the Grammys or Emmys. Vanessa is happy that she changed the fabric in the red carpet gown, but wishes the girl would’ve used more of the floral print on the second design. Christian loves how the red fabric looks so expensive, but doesn’t like the white beading across the top. He thinks it makes it look too crafty. Ingrid and Jaime agree that the beading is a bit distracting since the rest of the gown is perfect. Ingrid likes the pleating on the red gown, and Jaime likes how the street dress gives a girly and edgy vibe.
Kenzie says her looks were designed for the Grammys or Emmys, but Christian thinks the gown might be worthy of the Oscars because of how glam it looks. However, he doesn’t totally love the pop of color on the train. One big mistake, which Jaime has a real problem with, is that there’s a huge white zipper going down the entire side of the dress. Jaime puts it perfectly when she says it looks sporty instead of glamorous. Kenzie’s flair for unique backs on her dresses is displayed on her “street look” dress.
Bradford changes things up and thinks his dress would go perfectly at the MTV Video Music Awards or possibly the Grammys. Ingrid likes how sleek and chic the dress is, showing the perfect amount of skin. Christian is happy that Bradford was able to design a red carpet gown because he can see that the boy really wants to make those kinds of gowns, but is a bit worried about how high up that slit goes on the girl’s thigh. Surprisingly, the look of denim being randomly hot glued on the street look works for Christian and Jaime. Jaime especially loves how the gown moved with the model as she walked and she can see the two looks being made for one person.
I could tell this wasn’t going to be a close call on who the winner was, and of course, Bradford is victorious. I loved his designs and believe others would too, and that he’d be able to sell them in the stores right away.
Cambria thinks she’ll just stick to sewing clothes for her and her friends. On the other hand, Kenzie hopes that this show gained her a new fan base.
So what were your thoughts on this new Project Runway off-shoot? Do you like seeing teens getting in on the action? I think it’s a neat idea because you don’t see many teens designers offering their ideas on what teens and adults would like to wear. Do you think it’s good to have a parent helping the kids on the show? Who would you take to help you? Did you think Bradford deserved to win? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Watch Project Runway: Threads Thursdays on Lifetime at 10:30pm ET/PT
Photos: Bobby Quillard Copyright 2014