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Welcome to Austin Texas! Nick Verreos welcomes Season 15 "Project Runway" Top Five designers on Episode 12 "Best Western Unconventional Materials Challenge

This week on Lifetime's "Project Runway", the designers flew to Austin Texas for their last Challenge before NY Fashion Week. As it turns out, it was yet another Unconventional Materials Challenge using materials found from Georgetown Farm Supply and Stubbs BBQ. I was honored to have been on hand to help Tim Gunn introduce the Challenge at the Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel. There is lots to discuss so let's just get to my "Top 5 OMG Moments" of this Episode as well as my RECAP at the end of this blog! 

First, click below to watch my "Top 5 OMG Moments Project Runway: Episode 12" on YouTube:

#1 OMG! The Designers Are Off To TEXAS Y’all! In the beginning of the episode, Tim and Heidi decide that the designers need a change of scenery and send them on their second trip of the season! This time, to the city that “Keeps it Weird”: AUSTIN TEXAS!!  WHAT…In TARNATION…would make “Project Runway” send these designers to the Lone Star State?? Well…that leads me to…

#2 OMG! I’M BAAAACK!!!! I’m always honored to join my “Project Runway” family and be part of any new season! As a Fashion Designer, my search for inspiration takes me around the world, and I’ve been thrilled to partner with BEST WESTERN on many of my journeys, and now, honored to join up with Tim Gunn to help introduce this week’s Challenge. 

It's Getting Hot 'N Here: Nick Verreos and Tim Gunn, Best Western Plus Austin City Hotel, Austin Texas

Now, while y’all saw Tim and I stand by the pool looking all dapper and easy/breezy, little did you know that it was about 110 Degrees, VERY HUMID and both Tim and I were SCHVITZING like Hookers in Church (Well, mostly I was!). Lord knows that all I could think about was diving into that pool, BUT we had more important matters at hand, which was announcing this Unconventional Materials Challenge!

#3 OMG! No Brisket or BBQ Sauce Dresses for These Designers! In the spirit of Austin and “Keeping It Weird”, the designers were able to steer themselves away from clich├ęs such as Gingham table cloths, Cowboy hats and BBQ sauce, and instead get inspired by Meal Worms, Guitar Picks, Vinyl Records and Dog Treats of all things! Looks like they’re on the right track to following the city’s motto. Now…if they can just step outside their silhouette comfort zone!!!

#4 OMG! Consistent Or…Uncreative?? While consistency is key to any successful designer’s aesthetic, and creating a cohesive identity to your brand is essential…It’s important on a show like “Project Runway” to show the judges a variety of design ideas and give them little “nuggets” of surprise…Keep them INTERESTED! Unfortunately, all five designers seemed to have fallen into a bit of a design rut:
This week, Cornelius did another sheath dress... 

Roberi never met a One Shoulder Asymmetrical Dress he didn’t like...

Rik can’t step away from all the black and A-line...

And Erin loves a good flower applique as much as...

Laurence loves a defined shoulder. OK kids, we get what you’re all about, now give us something a little more…unexpected!

#5 OMG! We Have Our Final Four! First off, I will say that to a large extent, the designers did redeem themselves from last week’s supposedly Avant-garde Challenge. First off, Rik’s vinyl record and guitar strap dress was edgy and impeccably made; it was very Robert Palmer Girl. Laurence’s Gladiator Queen was powerful, sexy and mysterious, all at the same time. Erin’s guitar pick, meal worms and sunshade dress was an Applique Tour De Force! 

And last but not least, Roberi’s “Anxiety Knot Dress”  (above) was unique, thoughtful and almost, a work of wearable art! Congrats to the Final Four! Can’t wait to see what you guys will be creating for Fashion Week and how Tim reacts to your collections at those infamous Home Visits!! Until next time….

Now, here's my RECAP:

Season 15, Episode 12 Recap: It’s High Fashion, Y’all!

Season 15 is heading into the final stretch and we are down to the top 5 designers for this season of “Project Runway.” Even though last week’s episode featured an avant-garde/unconventional challenge, for some reason, this week’s was unconventional as well. Am I the only one getting the feeling that Tim, Heidi and the producers don’t think these designers have pushed themselves to their design limit? With this episode, they were given the impetus to go farther than ever. Let’s see if they did…

The episode begins with Tim and Heidi walking onto the runway stage with Heidi reminding the designers that this is the “big final challenge”–the last one before NY Fashion Week. Tim then tells them that “a change of scenery” is due. Miss Klum, in her best German-accented Southern twang, announces that the designers will be going to Austin, TX! She reminds them that the city’s unofficial motto is, “Keep Austin Weird,” and that they will be taking the town’s eccentricities and diversities and bringing their experiences right back to NYC. With that, Tim and Heidi sashay away.

The designers arrive in Austin, TX and check into their Best Western hotel. A note from Tim awaits them saying to “drop your bags, freshen up and meet up by the pool.” Along with Tim Gunn, someone very special is there to announce the challenge: me! 

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