The Austin designers competing on Season 18 of Project Runway are now the duo to contend with and the remaining designers are probably taking notice due to the fact that two of the three challenges have been won by our local designer names.
It’s only week three into the series and Brittany Allen and Sergio Guadarrama were named challenge winners in the first-week team challenge, their cat-inspired and street-chic looks were safe for week two and now in week three, the two would put their creativity to the test with this week’s challenge.
Host and mentor Christian Siriano woke the designers up in their NYC penthouse apartment to the sound of jingle bells and a living room surrounded with holiday garb and announced what was in store for their challenge. “It looks like the holidays threw up in our living room!”, added Allen.
The group’s holiday spirit quickly turned into bah humbug by all. Surprise! It’s time for the ever so dreaded unconventional materials challenge.
Siriano explained their holiday cocktail frock has to be be made of anything that was in the apartment filled with holiday ornaments, ribbon, wrapping paper and wreaths. The designers, donning their ugly sweaters, had 10 minutes to grab, scrape and battle for any mat
erials to pull together a look for that perfect little holiday cocktail dress.
While Sergio was successful doing his dash and grab, Brittany was left with only wrapping paper and cranberry wreaths.
Somehow in the holiday chaos, she received a bump in the face which resulted in a bloody nose. Her quest to snag holiday ribbon and other items she wanted came to a screeching halt due to her untimely injury. Left with holiday deco leftovers and a bloody kleenex Allen was concerned. “This challenge will be the death of me”, she said.
Guadarrama was totally in his element because his collections are made out of upcycled materials so this challenge was just another day at the office for him. “My eyes specifically go to this basket and I knew that it was going to be the foundation of my design”, said Guadarrama.
During Allen’s individual design critique with mentor Christian Siriano, Brittany shared her concept of using the cranberries as a fringe and then use the wrapping paper to create a textile for the bodice and then continue it for the skirt.
While it was great in concept the execution would prove to be a bigger challenge. “I hope someone is having a worse day than me, but I highly doubt it”, said Allen.
Guadarrama shared his cocktail dress concept to Siriano saying his basket would become a petticoat and he was highly confident with his vision. “I don’t really need Christian’s advice on this one because I am honestly in love with my design. The judges are going to gag when they see this”, said Guadarrama.
Back to Brittany’s work station, she continued to struggle because the wrapping paper ripping so she had to return to her original simpler design concept. “I’m about ready to have an anxiety attack”, said Allen. She was visually upset and was tearful right up until the runway show where she was still gluing, clipping and adjusting.
During the runway show, the judges were all smiles once Sergio’s dress hit the runway. Guest judge Kiernan Shipka was intrigued by the dress adding she “loved a dress with a soundtrack”. Jingle bells were sewn inside the hoop skirt to add a little more holiday sound flavor to the dress. “You made a basket look whimsical”, added Shipka.
Judge Brandon Maxwell looked dumbfounded along with Nina Garcia as to exactly how Sergio’s dress was constructed. “Is it taped?”, asked Maxwell. Sergio quipped back that it was indeed sewn together by a machine and noted: “he’s pretty good at sewing”. The bodice had a fully constructed corset, zipper and the judges were certainly in awe of the tailoring and overall construction of the piece.
During Brittany’s runway critique, stylist judge Elaine Welteroth shared her unfavorable comments. “Finding out that this was your design was I think the shock of the challenge”, added Welteroth.
Brittany was in the bottom three designers with fellow Houstonian Alan Gonzales and Tyler Neasloney but was declared safe and she will move on to week four. Gonzalez is out and was asked to pack up his workspace.
The two favorite looks selected were from Sergio and ShaVi Lewis. Sergio ultimately was given an early holiday gift with his wrapping paper and basket cocktail dress fit for a holiday diva. “My technical skill turned this basket into a couture look. I think I accomplished something amazing”, added Guadarrama.
Yes, yes you did Sergio!!