This week on Project Runway: Threads, Vanessa introduced three new contestants to the grand prize package totaling $25,000 and a chance to launch their design career.
The teens going thread-to-thread this week were Zachary, Emily and Colette. They start off by displaying the pieces of work they brought with them from home for the “Show Us Your Style” challenge. Vanessa and Ingrid will be the judges and decide who will win an advantage in the week’s challenge.
The first competitor is 15-year-old Zachary from Berkeley, Calif. He explains that his look was inspired by Marie Antoinette and that his designs usually go towards the darker side of elegance. Zachary been designing for 11 years and has already put on four fashion shows. He explains that he was bullied for his race and sexuality, but that hasn’t stopped him from creating over 100 looks so far, using his designing skills as a gateway to channel his emotions. Zachary has brought his supportive mother, Camille, as his assistant.
Ingrid likes how his look is bright in color without venturing into neon. Vanessa says that the piece isn’t very wearable, so she’d like to see something that could be seen on the streets.
Next is Emily who is 15-years-old and from Quincy, Massachusetts. She explains her looks as being “vintage grunge” and therefore different from everyone else’s. Things are rough for Emily at home right now because her parents are going through a tough divorce, so she also uses designing as a gateway to channel all her feelings into something positive. Emily took her first sewing class when she was 7 and now teaches sewing and designing classes to younger children. Her assistant is her father, David, who is more interested in sports than fashion, but he’s there to fully support his daughter in whatever she chooses to do.
Vanessa says the look is tomboy chic and she loves it. Ingrid likes how wearable it is, but she wants more of a wow factor in Emily’s next piece.
Last up is Colette who is also 15 year old and hails from Chicago. She’s very inspired by the 60s and 70s, so she likes to put a modern spin on classic looks. She’s only been designing for one-and-a-half years, making her the contestant with the least experience. Colette’s assistant is her mom, Jill, who might be inclined take over at times.
Ingrid says that the statement piece necklace in the dress makes the girl’s neck get lost in the dress.
In the end, Zachary is named the winner. I agree with the judges, because — while the design wasn’t something entirely street friendly — it was the piece that had the most detail and was the most daring.
Vanessa announces the “Ultimate Accessory Challenge” of the week by showing the trio some statement pieces on the models. Each teen has to pick a statement piece and create a look that will go with it, while making sure their outfit doesn’t get overpowered by the accessory. Since Zachary won the first challenge, he gets to choose first. Since he’s the daring one, he picks a Rodrigo Otazu headpiece that looks like Maleficent got out her BeDazzler and went to town. Emily picks a Vivienne Westwood clutch and Colette goes for a vintage Chanel handbag.
Emily says that she’s going to go for a rocker-punk princess dress, so she can add in more edge like Ingrid asked. Zachary is biting a lot more off than he can probably chew by making a delicate corset look with a high-lo skirt. Colette isn’t too sure what to make and immediately falls behind. She finally comes up with an idea involving black material, but notices everyone else is already using that, so she scraps her original plan and uses white along with the black to try and be different. Now she’s really behind everyone else.
Then Vanessa comes in with the “Surprise Door Twist” and lets the kids know that they’ll have to use the usual white dresses as a base and use fabric paint to create a look on top of the dress. The two looks don’t necessarily have to go together, but the models will walk the runway together.
Zach has his mom work on an ombre look with the second dress, while Emily and Colette don’t even want to think about that right now.
Once again, Vanessa comes in to give the teens a rough time with the “Be the Boss” challenge. Simulating what it’d be like to work in the real world fashion business, the teens must only verbally communicate their instructions to their parents for 30 minutes. Turns out the parents aren’t too bad at designing and sewing.
It’s judging time and this week’s special guest judge is Gina Kelly, fashion director of Seventeen Magazine.
The first look to go down the runway is Emily’s, and Ingrid says she wants to jump into that first dress, which is a good thing because Emily was making it edgier for Ingrid specifically. Christian still wishes she would’ve cleaned up the edges some. Vanessa loves the meaning behind the second dress after Emily explains the words on the bottom are all the harsh words she’s been bullied with. Gina feels that the first dress shows way too much skin on all angles and I agree with her completely. I can’t even picture Ingrid wearing that dress, because it’s so revealing.
Colette faces the judges next and Gina likes both pieces — especially the second look, since she thinks the paint looks like a print. Colette’s mom was the one who mainly painted the second dress, so kudos to her, too. Gina also advises Colette to not focus so much on the past; since she’s a teen, Gina also wants to see young and fresh looks from her. Vanessa and Ingrid agree. Christian is amazed that Colette picked up on something so small as the quilting on the Chanel bag as inspiration for the diamond look on the first dress.
Zachary is last to go and both Gina and Christian are obsessed with the work that went into Zachary’s corset. Ingrid also can’t get over the fact that he’s so young and was able to make such a beautiful corset.
Since Zachary has such an amazing first look, Gina feels his second look is a bit underwhelming.
Unlike past episodes, there seemed to be no clear winner this week. Each contestant did great work and should be proud even if they didn’t win. I really liked Zachary and Emily’s looks the most because I could see myself gravitating towards their clothes in the store. Colette’s 60s and 70s inspiration isn’t my style and I think if you’re young, you should play with things more youthful than super vintage.
The winner this week is Zachary. His designs were something that an adult would find hard to do in a time crunch so I applaud him for making these two fabulous pieces.
What were your thoughts on this episode? Do you think Zachary should have won? Which piece was your favorite? I think I really liked Zachary’s first look and Emily’s first look. I’m not sure if I’d wear either because they were both a bit revealing but I know that they’re what people are looking for in fashion. Do you agree with the judges when they advised Colette to look for more youthful inspiration? Do you like vintage looks versus modern looks? Everything eventually comes back in style but I don’t think we need to be stuck with only wearing looks from one time period. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Watch Project Runway: Threads Thursdays at 10:30pm ET/PT on Lifetime.
Photos: Bobby Quillard Copyright 2014