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Project Runway – Week 6: Mini Models Take the Runway

Jay’s designs were selected as one of the top three. This is an unusual mother/daughter look, because it is a subtle sophisticated palette, yet fresh and young.

It was a challenging week on Project Runway and one of my favorite and most thought provoking shows of the season. I was somewhat disappointed when they announced a design for children assignment. But what a creative twist to then, after the designers had finished their work for the children, add a second part to design a companion ensemble for their adult model. The designers were their own inspiration—novel.

Tim made his rounds and remarked, “I am profoundly wowed.” I agree. In my opinion the only bad design was Janeane’s and she went home. The safeties were all good: Ben’s child’s dress was dowdy but his adult design had great lines. Maya and Mila both had adorable mother/daughter looks without getting too mini-me; Emilio’s duo was elegant; and Anthony’s was safe but cute.

The judge’s three favorites were each unique. Jay made a fine pair in an unexpected color palette of burgundy and navy, with just the right amount of repeating elements between the two without going too matchy-matchy. I wasn’t such a fan of Jesse’s child’s dress with the asymmetrical tucks, but his adult dress was exceptionally stylish. Seth Aaron took the trophy and the photos say it all. When he couldn’t find the black and white checked fabric he wanted, he pieced the jacket to produce a remarkable design. The judges said it was the best tailoring of the season; they liked the hard edge and whimsy playing off each other.

But I didn’t think Seth Aaron was the clear winner. Every judge hated Amy’s designs and they also didn’t like Jonathan’s designs—calling them the toilet paper twins. I was shocked by their reaction to both of these designer’s garments. This was a hard week to judge. It’s like the designers warmed up with the children’s designs and then took a deep creative breath for the second round. Some were another version of the same old tricks, but for me it was a pivotal point in the season, as though the designers finally wrapped their arms around their work and embraced their look. I’m happy that Amy and Jonathan weren’t at the bottom because their designs made me feel great. I don’t usually respond to appliqués that look like scales, leaves, or shingles, which was a common element in all four pieces, but these were delightful. I loved Amy’s sweater and her color scheme and the judges hated them…what do they know? Tell me what you think.


Ben Chmura


Janeane Marie Ceccanti


Emilio Sosa


Amy Sarabi


Mila Hermanovski


Anthony Williams


Seth Aaron Henderson


Jay Nicolas Sario


Jesse LeNoir


Jonathan Peters


Maya Luz



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  1. User avater
    Kate_W | | #1

    OK. When I saw Amy's outfit, I thought "oh, she's using after-images ... ", the color you see if you stare at something for a long time and then look away. How boldly subtle even as she was using pure colors. I was surprised by the judges strong negative reactions -- the colors are near opposite on the color chart --> after-image. Anyway, fun outfits for a party. Amy was maligned ...

    Although Jesse's asymmetrical tucks on the little outfit were intentional, I would be always trying to pull or iron them out. I liked his color palette though (for fall).

    I loved Seth Aaron's jacket and the pants with the asymmetrical stitching down the pant leg ... idea coming soon to a pair of pants near me ...

  2. Cherlyn | | #2

    I loved this challenge. So often designers are given a challenge for women only. Why not children? Their clothing can be fun! I always enjoyed sewing for my children when they were small. My favorite was Seth's. I loved that jacket he designed for the mother. I thought the mother and daughter complemented each other well. I also liked Jay's design and wouold have accepted him as the winner too. Interesting lines from these two this week. Most everyone else played it safe or went too crazy! I hated those pants of many colors! Yuk! Emilo's(mother)dress was beautiful but his child's dress was too safe. I thought the "toliet paper"dress was not that bad on the model, but I didn't care for the girl's dress. Loooked a little odd to me.

  3. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #3

    Seth hit the nail on the head...he obviously knows what a little girl would like...,and did a fabulous job for Mom as well! The outfits are crisp, fun and beautifully made. Mila's were also very commercial and would sell well. Easy to wear and relatable. Maya's two little jackets were great and Anthony also did very nice work for the child though would have liked the pretty jacket a bit longer in front for Mom. Jay's fresh color story was a nice surprise and the designs worked beautifully together and looked very hip. He could have easily been the winner, although Seth was my personal choice. Jesse's asymmetric child's dress did not work for me. While I'm a big fan of asymmetric design, this simply made the little girl look disheveled. It's hard enough for a mom to get a child to look pulled together for an occasion without her clothes emphasizing the "tumbled" look. Otherwise, it would have worked nicely and the little red coat was cute. Amy's pants would have made a better skirt and the child's sweater, which looked very "street chic" would not have lasted through a single wash/dry cycle. Not for kids. And would I really want my child to wear a sweater with a torn edge?? mmm..No. The others simply missed the mark on this challenge. But, altogether, the best episode this season.

  4. sews4fun | | #4

    Okay, this is getting scary, once again, I agree with the judges, I must be going soft or something. I have to say, I just LOVED Seth's whole presentation, I loved the childs jacket and even when he was only halfway through the adults jacket, I was salivating over it! I'm all for black and white if done in a non penguin-skunk fashion. Speaking of Mila, I didnt even mind her adult outfit, the childs was too pebbles and bam-bam for me and I thought it looked cheap and poorly made. I really liked the whole ruffle detail Jay had with both of his outfits but I thought the colors were a bit ominous for a little girl and the pockets on the childs top made it look like she was wearing a bathing suit to me. Loved Maya's yellow jackets and I just HATED Jesse's childs dress, it looked like the home ec project from HE-- nothing about it was cute or whimsical. Then there is Amy who I think is very talented. You know, I know the pants werent Bryant Park bound or anything but the judges ripped her a new one over them! I think Amy has a penchant for sixties retro and those colors were used together then Im sure, and it certainly beats Mila's whole 80's color blocking style that we see over and over and over again. The childs outfit Amy did was something skimmed off the local garbage truck but those pants at least took a risk and there were a few presentations that looked like they ran down to wal-mart and grabbed something off the 75% off rack. Lastly, I would have liked to see the little girls all get their hair done and fussed over a bit more than they were, I know the show was not about them but when they came out on the runway, their hair looked as though they had combed it themselves and they didnt have socks on. I know that may be very stylish today but as the mother of a now grown little girl, I just HATE to see little girls wearing dresses without socks or tights.

  5. dormery | | #5

    In general, I agreed with the judges--particularly on the winning design. But I disagreed wholeheartedly with their assessment of Amy's design. The guest judge who went on and on about the lack of color coordination must have gone to a weird art school. Orange and blue/turquoise are wonderful together, being exactly on opposite sides of the color palette. And the design was really imaginative.

  6. User avater
    Soli | | #6

    Loved, loved, loved both of Seth's winning looks. I don't normally go for that neo-Punk look with all the hardware, but I love what he does. His little girl look was darling, and I'll bet, inspired by his own daughter. As for the others, I think I preferred Jesse's original sketch over his execution. It would have looked cute with the little coat he made, which was beautiful. I liked his mom look too, but thought something was slightly off with the red trim on the mom dress. Wasn't impressed at all by Anthony or Jonathan's outfits, didn't mind Jay's, but I thought that his color choice was too dark for a child. He could have offset the navy with a bright raspberry or kelly green. The mom outfit was great on that one. I'll agree with the assessment of Tori Burch's take on complementary colors. Did she even go to design school, or was she just some bored housewife who got backing to start her own line? I happened to like Amy's palette, but her execution was awful. If you could see the threads hanging off of the petals on t.v., imagine how bad it looked in person. I think her idea might have worked better if she'd cut the petals out of a double faced fabric or made them like half yo-yos, rather than just putting them out there as they were. Too messy. I don't know why I started thinking of the Papagino character (the bird catcher) from the opera "The Magic Flute" when I saw the finished pants. Wasn't impressed with Jonathan's offerings, but he didn't seem to want to be doing kid's clothes at all, and Emilio should have been booted for making even less effort than poor Janeane. At least she tried to make her outfits look current. Emilio's child's dress was oversized and didn't fit the poor kid, and as Tim Gunn pointed out, anyone could have bought that sort of dress in any nice department store. The mom's dress looked like something out of the 80's, except for the neckline. Why did he not get called out on his laziness? I did like Mila's outfits - I like that she, Seth, and Jay all have a definite point of view. I'm hoping that they're all in the top five. As for Ben, meh, and Maya's were cute but not groundbreaking, although her use of yellow was a lot more fun than Jonathan's. Can't wait to see what they do with the hardware next week. I'm sort of surprised that they're going with two oddball materials challenges this season, but I think the remaining ten are up to it in varying degrees. I just wish Emilio would get booted already. He's all about the trash talking, not the outstanding results.

  7. Skymom | | #7

    How nice that there wasn't anything truly dreadful this time! It was pretty obvious who's versatile enough to design for a child and who poo-pooed the whole assignment, though. I think if Emilio hadn't had the pink "mom" dress, he'd have been out: his child's dress was uninspired, badly proportioned, and ill-fitting to boot.

    I appreciated that Amy realized her two looks would either be loved or hated by the judges, and I was sorry that the judges didn't like them. Although I'd rather she made a skirt than pants with those petals, I really kind of enjoyed the wild colors, crazy textures and edges, and deliberately haphazard look. I know people who would gravitate straight to those clothes.

    Coincidentally, I just returned from a long weekend in SFO, where a) I noted that the little girls were exceptionally stylish compared to the suburban kids I know(funky colored trench coats, multiple layers of different prints, etc.), and b) I had a chance encounter with a former design-school classmate of Amy's, running a shop full of amazing cool garments. Putting these together, I can see where Amy might have absorbed the spirit of design-for-kids in a way that some of the others haven't...but that's just post-hoc speculation on my part.

    Seth Aaron and Jay were, in my view, justifiably the top two--I loved their work. I have no problem with dark colors for little girls, either. Janeane's stuff was just amateur. My 9-year-old has already sewn (not to mention worn) more complex garments than the red dress she sent down the runway. I don't think Janeane is without talent, but she doesn't seem ready for PR at this point. She always seemed so frazzled, which is exactly how I'd be in her place. I hope she's enjoying getting out of the pressure cooker!

  8. User avater
    mlssfshn | | #8

    Like last season, none of these designers have impressed me, but the time constraints this time around have made it difficult to really push the envelope. I'm looking forward to the next challenge, incorporating metal, and hope this season gets more interesting.

  9. cjbauman464 | | #9

    I was very disappointed with Emilio's Little girls dress. I know he can do better. I love Seth Aaron's design. Very Stylish . I Loved everyone design except Jeaneane's . I disagree with the Judges assesment of Amy's colors. I liked her colors and they do go together. I could see this on a young mother and daughter.

  10. sewshable1 | | #10

    What I found amusing was Nina Garcia's comment on Amy's
    design- That orange and blue weren't "complimentary" what a faux pas!!! I wonder that they left that sound byte in... given her position as a fashion maven!!!

  11. jkcb | | #11

    I did not hate any of the designs and was profoundly disillusioned by the obvious lack of knowledge displayed by the judges. I couldn't believe they would go on about how blue and orange don't go together! Do they know nothing of color theory? Have they never seen the mountains of coral and turquoise jewelry that's been produced over the years? Turquoise and orange are exactly complementary and fabulous together -- I thought the color scheme of that outfit was really pretty!

  12. User avater
    Mrs4Him | | #12

    This was the first time I liked ALL top 3 designs. My favorite was the winner--Seth-Aaron. He was right on in the workroom talking about what little girls really want to wear these days which is exactly the type of designs or styles that he likes to do. His own daughter was inspiration and assumed part of the style he chose. This, in sharp contrast to the predictable pink flouncy trouncy dress that Emilio made. It was obvious to me as I watched that he didn't have a clue how to dress a little girl. And honestly, it would freak someone out if they never had the opportunityaround to be around little girls where they could get a flavor for what they like in clothes.

    My tween daughter loved S-A's clothes for the little girl and said she would wear it. This is exactly her style to a tee. It's like a rock n' roll kind of look with it appearing more graphic and bold color combinations. The pink and houndstooth jacket with hood that he did was awesome.

    Oh Amy-----are we hearing Tim Gunn say again, "clown clothes". The color combination was too odd. And I adore color--bold, bright, the better, but not overdone to the point of being tacky.

    Jonathan and his ruffles or feathers. Too many on the model. The little girl's dress I liked, actually.

    And I really did not think that Janeane's outfits were bad. My daughter said she would wear the red top the little girl had on. That is what's in style right now with the bubble or no-show hem at the bottom. Pair that with leggings and I thought it a winning look, but not the top 3. Sorry.

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