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Christian Siriano Tells Us What Judging the Teen Version of 'Project Runway' Is Like

  28/10/2014

There is no such thing as too many projects in Christian Siriano's world. In between custom creating some dreamy Emmy Awards dresses (*sigh* Uzo Adubo) and prepping his spring 2015 collection for New York Fashion Week, the energetic designer also filmed a new installment of the franchise that launched his successful career: "Project Runway: Threads."

But there's a twist. Instead of pitting established and adult fashion designers against each other, "Threads" is a competition featuring kids ages nine through 16. And Siriano is playing the parts of both Michael Kors and Tim Gunn, judging and mentoring the little ones alongside fellow arbiters Gina Kelly, fashion director of Seventeen; Jasmine Snow, accessories editor of Seventeen; and YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen, plus host Vanessa Simmons. Now before you call child services, the show format is very different from "Project Runway" 1.0 as there's a new set of kids facing off in each episode -- both in similar and mixed age groups -- and a winner is crowned every week. (Because it's probably illegal to have adorable, but unsupervised minors pulling all-nighters in "the workroom," right?)

"I think what’s cool on the show is that, when you're young, you really do anything," Siriano told me at premiere party at his Nolita boutique on Wednesday. "You take risks. You don’t have to think about, 'Oh, I have to sell this or get a job afterward.' They’re just having fun and making what they love. It was great to be able to help them, mentor them, and give them constructive criticism, but also try to push them to push the boundaries."

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