Austin Project Designers On Top Again – This Time For The Tie-Dye Challenge

Sergio Guadarrama Design Photo: Barbara Nitke/Bravo

It’s the fashion trend all of us who live in Austin are enjoying while watching Project Runway this season.  Not one, but two of our Austin designers are at the top of the challenge board for yet another week!  It sounds like a trend we will hopefully enjoy for a few more weeks.

We were all thrilled to see designer Brittany Allen receive the first Siriano Save last week to keep her in the competition.  “I am so relieved that I have been brought back, for redemption.  The final four is where I want to be”,  added Allen.  And we couldn’t agree with you more Brittany.

For this week, judge Nina Garcia shared that the international runways were showing collections made with tie-dye fabrics from Prada to Stella McCartney. They would have to get inspired by the 1960’s trend filled with peace, love and clothing designed with tie-dye accents.

Brittany Allen Design – Photo: Barbara Nitke/Bravo

But the designers wouldn’t get to go to the fabric store and buy their fabric for their entire design, they would have to create their own tie-dye fabrics and put a modern twist on this iconic fabric treatment.  “We want you to take these old ideas and take tie-dye from dated and casual, to fresh and fashionable,” said host Karlie Kloss.

To throw a monkey wrench in the challenge (cause there is always at least one), this would be a one day and one-night marathon making this a Project Runway slumber party.  Bring on the extra coffee, some fashionable onesies and a lot of sleep deprivation!

The designers were given a master class from the tie-dye experts Metro Dying, who create all the unique dying fabrications for Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler and more.  They learned five various techniques they could use for their own creations and then selected white fabrics they wanted to transform into tie-dye masterpieces.

Brittany Allen wanted to make sure she was ready to take on the challenge and not forget the details.   “I think I’m the only designer taking notes at this point,” Allen said.   That decision turned out to be a good one as some designers struggled to remember how to do certain techniques and Brittany was able to help.

For Sergio Guadarrama’s design, he opted to use a silk fabric because of his past experience with the textile.  “One thing that I’ve learned throughout my career is that silks take color way better than cotton”, said Guadarrama.

Austin Designer Brittany Allen – Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Bravo

For his tie-dye technique, he chose a yellow ombre, light to dark tie-dye technique, on the inner godet panels of his cocktail dress, and then he used a secondary traditional technique on the outside pieces of the skirt.  “I really wanted to carry it throughout just the feeling of tie-dye, but when you come up to it, you can really see all the intricacies of the different details that are just going on,” said Guadarrama.

Brittany Allen finalized her color palette, pink, purple green and orange.   She also used two tie-dye techniques for her dress, the ring burst and the horizontal strip burst on her silk fabric.  During her mentor session with Christian, he wanted to make sure Brittany incorporated her signature strap technique and pleats on her skirt to maintain that fresh and modern look.  And he also reminded Brittany to “bring it”.  After some final length edits on the skirt, Brittany was ready for the runway.

Former Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones was the guest judge on the panel this week.  She admitted that she was a huge Project Runway fan and was excited to see the tie-dye designs.   Her sideline commentary made it hard for the models to keep a serious runway face, which lightened up the show and kept the other judges laughing as well.

As the garments hit the runway, each of the seven designs was as different as each of the tie-dye techniques.  Brittany and Marquise received high marks, were safe and waited in the lounge for the rest of the judging.   Brittany was also pleased with what she called her “redemption garment”.

Jones had high remarks for Sergio’s dress as it came down the runway.  “Twirl it, twirl it!”, said Jones, “Cause that deserves to be twirled”.

Austin Designer Sergio Guadarrama – Barbara Nitke/Bravo

Sergio’s dress was also a judge’s favorite and landed him in the top two for the challenge.  “I would never have thought this was tie-dye, I would’ve thought this was a material that you picked at Mood. It’s beautiful”, added Jones.

And more great comments rolled in from the entire judge’s panel, “I can see Meghan Markle in this, I can see Michelle Obama in this”, said Elaine Welteroth.  “Just the entire effect, really worked”, added Nina Garcia.

Designers Victoria Cocieru and Delvin McCray were the bottom two designers and McCray was eliminated.

As the cast of designers is now narrowed to six it is going to be more nail-biting episodes until the final four are revealed.  An appointment for a manicure is gonna have to wait two more weeks.

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