Texas Takes over Project Runway Season 18

Texas Takes over Project Runway Season 18

Photo Courtesy of Project Runway. Judges (Left to Right: Nina Garcia, Christian Siriano, Karlie Kloss, Elaine Welteroth, and Brandon Maxwell)

Project Runway Season 18 premiered on 12/5 and we’re already loving it! We all screamed at the fact that nearly 20% of the cast is representing Texas. Of course, we root for our Texan talents, but how amazing is it that Korean-born, Portland based designer Dayoung Kim, is fluent in Spanish, or that Atlanta based, Muslim designer Asthma Bibi was the first to bring Hajibi Pop to the mix, or that we’re seeing the first Moldovan designer in the cast? This season brings a beautifully diverse group of designers and we are so here for it!

In the first episode, we were introduced to the current judges which brings back THE Karlie Kloss, supermodel with a heart of gold. Also back, is Project Runway alum, Christian Siriano, returning as a mentor. As they presented each participant, we were delighted at the fact that there were THREE designers based out of Texas, and ONE of them won the first challenge! Let’s get to know each of the Texan designers a little more!

Photo Courtesy of Project Runway

If you haven’t heard of the man behind Celestino Couture yet, you need to.  Sergio Guardarrama is an Austin native who describes himself as the odd one out in his family because the rest of his siblings are soccer players while he is a decorated fashion designer. At the tender age of four, Guardarrama asked his mother for a fur-lined trench coat and began creating couture looks for his cousin’s Barbie dolls out of his grandmother’s discarded lacy undergarments. His passion eventually led him to attend both FIDM and FIT. In 2005, two years before graduating from FIT, he began his line, Celestino. The aesthetic of Celestino is a classic silhouette with a modern twist with a touch of social consciousness. Sergio has been designing everything from menswear to avant-garde couture pieces. The Austinite also strives to bring awareness to sustainable and ethical fashion in a world where fast fashion dominates. Celestino has been featured in number of national and international publications such as Vogue, Vogue Italia, People Magazine, Forbes, and New York Magazine. His designs have been graced by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, and Indya Moore, and most recently he designed Billy Porter’s 2019 Tony Awards show-stopping red-carpet and for the Peabody Awards as seen here.


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Photo Courtesy of Project Runway

Mexican born Alan Gonzalez, immigrated to Houston with his family when he was three years old. His father was deported when Alan was 15, leaving his mother a single parent of two in the U.S. He began to develop an interest in fashion, designing his best friend’s prom dress in high school. In pursuit of a career in fashion, he earned his Associate Degree at Houston Community College and now designs his line, Alantude, full-time out of a small studio in downtown Houston. His line is inspired by strong women with the most inspiration coming from his mother, the strongest woman he knows. Alantude is a mix of clean lines and pops of color, just enough to draw the right amount of attention to his customer. His ultimate goal is to become a household name and to empower women everywhere. He has shown his collections in Austin Fashion Week 2019, Fashion X Houston 2016-2018, Fashion X Dallas, and Fashion HTX.

Photo Courtesy of Project Runway

Brittany Allen grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and strives for perfection and excellence in her unique designs. After receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas and her MFA from SCAD, she moved to Austin, Texas, where she is currently an adjunct professor of fashion courses at a local university. She works on her brand full time, while simultaneously in the final stages of her PhD in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design at Iowa State. Brittany’s designs mix powerful shapes with feminine prints, incorporating French seams throughout every garment to add couture refinement, which emphasizes her formal training and techniques. Brittany’s goal as a designer is to bring fun and excitement back into the fashion industry. Her designs are meant to make women feel more empowered and beautiful. She describes her brand as if “Dolly Parton and Betsey Johnson had a baby who was then raised by Anna Wintour”. Her designs have been showcased at Austin Fashion Week 2017-2019, 2017 Houston Fashion Week, and September 2019 Style Fashion Week, along with WWD and Footwear News.


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One of these talented contenders won the first challenge! We don’t want to spoil it for you so if you haven’t watched, head over to Bravo TV to catch up on the latest episode before catching the new on this Thursday on Bravo at 9:30/8:30C.

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Jeanelly Concepcion
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Originally from New York City, Jeanelly is of Dominican roots. Having lived in Puerto Rico for over 22 years, she now enjoys a highly successful fashion blogging career at TheFashionLotus.com. She is a Texas influencer and has been a freelance fashion contributor for Style Lush TV for several years. She believes in empowering women through fashion and helping them feel beautiful no matter what their financial situation, body shape, age or where they live or work.