Punk Rock 80’s Challenge Splits Austin Designers On Project Runway

Brittany Allen Design Barbara Nitke/Bravo

It’s getting hotter each week as the original Project Runway designers are now widdled down to eleven.   And it’s exciting to say that Austin’s Brittany Allen and Sergio Guadarrama are still among the eleven designers still standing.  For this week, the squad would be challenged in teams with a throwback theme to an inspirational fashion decade.

The designers were elated to see music and pop icon Cyndi Lauper walk out onto the runway as she was announced as inspirational muse and guest judge for, you guessed it, an 80’s punk rock design challenge but with a modern slant.

Lauper is known for her very eclectic fashion taste where she mixed and matched some of the most iconic trends like military hardness with soft laces of the decade.  “I worked in a vintage clothing store and I was comfortable enough in my own skin to create a look that was unique, and the music also inspired me.  I would add tooling to them because I was small and when I went on stage I wanted to be bigger”, added Lauper.

The designers were split into teams of two and were asked to create a cohesive mini-collection inspired by Lauper’s fashion taste.  Austin designers Brittany Allen and Sergio Guadarrama were split up in this challenge so it became an interesting dynamic since the two teamed up for the first design challenge and won!

During the team planning sessions, both teams had very different dynamic planning techniques.

Sergio Guadarrama Design Barbara Nitke/Bravo

Sergio took the lead because he was very comfortable with filling that role. “I’ve always been in a leadership role in my company, I naturally am the leader of my team, but I’m maneuvering them with subtlety, added Guadarrama.

Each designer created a look that best represented each designer’s style.  Sergio is familiar with dramatic eveningwear so his look would be the collection’s finale look.

Designers on the other team, including Brittany, the dynamic and direction were a little all over the place with each designer not having a clear idea of what to do or what fabrications to select.  Brittany was clearly frustrated at Mood trying to rally the team together to focus on anything cohesive.  The one thing this team did agree on was to please their guest judge.

“Cindy has really always bridged this gap between pop and punk.  She’s really pushed these boundaries with silhouette and put together colors you wouldn’t think of”, added Allen.

To add another design challenge, Christian Siriano announced that all accessories used for their looks had to make.  A design element that would add extra time and effort to pull off the 80’s vibe.

Brittany’s design concept was to mix a corset and jacket together.  The idea was to appear that you would have tucked a jacket into a corset and finished off with a tailored narrow pant.  An 80’s styled silver chain belt, which Lauper later said she actually did wear in the 80’s, was Allen’s focal accessory for her creation.

Sergio opted for a sheer fuller top paired with striped black and pants, which was the fabric them for the team, accessorized with safety pins down the slits in the pants. His look ended being a non-favorite by judges but was named safe to move on to another week.

Brittany’s team “Chaos” was the judge’s favorite with Brittany getting high marks for her design. She mentioned she was happy with the cohesive looks and portrayed a strong independent look, much like Cindi Lauper.

In the end, Allen landed in the top three with her look but didn’t win the challenge but safe to move on to next week.  Since Sergio was on the losing team, one designer would be called to pack up their space.   Sergio was in the bottom three designers with looks that were not the judge’s favorite.

“I love what I created.  I think I have a lot of details that are indicative of the 80’s but used in a very modern way”, said Guadarrama.

The judge’s comments during Sergio’s critique were pretty brutal especially from Nina Garcia. “This one really does not connect in any way, shape or form”, added Garcia.  She expressed a list of confusing details from the pants to the ruffles with Sergio quipping back supporting his look.

Both Austin designers do move forward to another design challenge next week and at the end of the day that’s a win.

Good job y’all!!



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