Project Runway's Austin Scarlett Makes Appearance at Harry Ransom Center

Project Runway Season 1 Designer Austin Scarlett made an appearance at the Harry Ransom Center for the University Fashion Group to not only inspire the students with his fashion stories and adventures but to also inform the crowd about a very special project been going on for several years in our city.  (More on that in a bit.) During Austin’s presentation, he was gracious, courteous and the students held on to his every word to capture any type of fashion advice they could absorb from the successful designer.

UT Designer Haleigh Clark, Austin Scarlett, UT Designer Jordan Jenning

Like most designers, inspiration for Austin came started early.  He dressed up his two sisters on many occasions and took apart old dresses to teach himself about flat pattern. Austin’s schooling included the Fashion Institute of Technology and his “real world” fashion experience included working at Amsala, and assisting on a little fashion production called the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.  He was actually one of the assistants who worked on the popular wings that the super models wear on the runway.  Project Runway has certainly helped brand the designer and he also had a spin off show in 2010 called On the Road with Austin and Santino. he Fort Worth Opera has commissioned him to create opera costumes for the production of “With Blood, With Ink to premier later this year.
Additionally, the designer was in Austin to announce a design contest for UT registered students this Spring in conjunction with the upcoming Gone With The Wind exhibit set to open on September 9, 2014. Scarlett is a huge history of costume fan and wanted to be a part of the exhibition.
The three-part design contest will, of course, be inspired by the movie and will be judged by a panel at a later date. The winner will have their winning works displayed as part of the Gone With the Wind exhibit. (Specific contest details were not available at posting and will certainly share info when I receive it.)
When designer Austin found out about the restoration and preservation of the costumes from the ionic movie, he had to be involved.  “I’m so excited. When I first heard about it when they were initially raising the funds to restore and conserve the costumes I knew I had to be a part of it somehow, some way” said Scarlett.
If you have seen the 1939 Academy Award winning movie, you know there is a huge fashion element created by costume designer Walter Plunkett. Most memorable has to be the costumes worn by lead actress Vivian Leigh who played Scarlett O’Hara.
This is where you can get excited…Three of the original costumes worn by Vivian Leigh will be displayed for the first time together in more than 25 years and two reproductions will also be displayed. I’m sure you will remember the burgundy ball gown worn by Scarlett at her birthday party, the green curtain dress and the green velvet dressing gown will be on display. The reproduction designs were headed up by Project Direct sister Mary Elizabeth Joyce, Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas.
“I think films are just truly one of america’s greatest contribution to the world. I think Gone With The Wind is the pincacle of that…everything about is so rich and wonderful with the costumes.” Austin added.
The exhibit will not only feature the iconic costumes but more than 300 original items from the David O. Selznick archive which is said to be the largest collections in the country at the Harry Ransom Center.
The Gone With The Wind exhibit will open at the Harry Ransom Center on September 9, 2014 and run through January 4, 2015.
Green Curtain Dress

Burgundy Ball Gown

Green Velvet Dressing Gown

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