Tots to teens: ‘Project Runway’ challenges for minors

Yahoo Contributor Network

For the most part, the challenges on "Project Runway" involve designing for adult women with slim bodies. Sure, there may be an occasional "real woman" challenge or a challenge involving men's fashion, but for the most part, the designers are designing for women ages 20-40.

That's why it's so refreshing to see challenges where kids and teens get their chance to shine. Forget the dog and Barbie challenges: Designing for picky, under-age models with even pickier moms is one of the most challenging tasks a "Runway" designer can tackle. Here are some of the most memorable challenges.

Season 10

In the most recent season of "Project Runway," there was an episode called "It's Fashion Baby." The designers were tasked with creating looks for baby girls and boys to be sold as part of Heidi Klum's Babies R Us collection. The models were all very young (between 12 and 18 months). Later in the episode, the designers also had to make a companion piece for the mother of each baby model.

There was another twist for the final six designers: Back at the workroom at Parsons, they had a "baby" to take care of. These dolls, similar to the ones many high school students have in home-ec class, would cry, needing to be changed, fed, or rocked. The designers had to take care of their babies, as well as finish their designs. With guest judge Hilary Duff weighing in on the final looks, it was a bit of a nailbiter. Elena got sent home, while Christopher won for best girls' look and Sonjia won for the boys.

Season 7

Back in Season 7, the designers were asked to make fashionable looks for their tiny clients: girls age 5-9. Not surprisingly, the designers also had to make looks for the mother of each model. Also not surprising: The winner of the challenge was Seth Aaron, who eventually won the whole season. His looks included an amazing tailored, striped jacket for the mom and an utterly sweet sleeveless hoodie for the little one. Sadly, this was the challenge that got Janeane sent home: Her look was described as too simple and too much like something you'd get at a mall.

Season 4

In the episode "What a Girl Wants," the designers had a dreaded prom dress challenge with clients age 16-17. The girls all went to the same New Jersey high school, and there seemed to be some competition among them as to who would get the prettiest dream dress. With a budget of only $250 and two days to construct their looks, Victorya was declared the winner, and Kevin was out. Victorya's look was a blue baby doll dress with a bejeweled central neck piece that attached to the top of the dress. Kevin's red dress, while not exactly bad, was totally under-designed.
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