Project Runway Season 15 Recap: Trippin’ Out

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Image via Lifetime

Project Runway springs a surprise trip to Austin, Texas on our contestants in our final unconventional challenge before we head to part one of the NYFW finale.

This week, we skip the usual cattery in the hotel in favor of a direct to runway opening. That’s because Heidi and Tim are here with boarding passes to a round trip to Austin, Texas. (Heidi also gets to try on a southern accent, to hilarious effect.) As usual the accommodations are given a good 30 second commercial, before we meet Tim poolside with…Nick Verreos, who is here to shill some more for the hotel!

Once we’re done with the commercial for the hotel, and the prize package they’re springing for that will go to this week’s winner, it’s on to the commercials for Austin itself. (Did you know their motto was “Keep Austin Weird”? You do now.) Did you know one of the major tourist attractions is Georgetown Farm Supply? (It is actually.) Did you know they flew the designers all the way to Texas just to ransack the place for materials?

Actually at Georgetown they shop like people, and pay for their purchases. They’re also going to ransack Stubb’s BBQ, which is a place I didn’t get to eat in Austin when I went there, because I was road tripping with a vegan. They don’t pay for stuff there, they have five minutes to grab whatever they can get their hands on from the stuff set out for them. These materials are being used to create high fashion looks that supposed to be inspired by all these sponsors of the challenge, from the hotel to the stores to Austin itself. High Fashion, Unconventional, and Texas. What could go wrong?

Image via Lifetime

The next day, they’re back in NYC, Parsons and workroom, sweet workroom. Once again, this is a two day challenge, which marks this as the first season with most two day challenges the production has paid for in years. Like, the last time we had this many two day challenges, Project Runway was still in single digit seasons.

Once again, Tim lets the designers march off in whatever wrong headed direction they would like. (Golden mealworm flowers!) He doesn’t check in until day two, so they’ve the least amount of time to course correct… especially since there’s also a major twist of a second look, which he announces upon arriving. He’s there to take them to Mood with $200 each to make a conventional materials high end look to go with the unconventional one. Did we mention they shop *before* he does the check in as well?

  • Erin: Tim looks ill at the smell of the mealworm. Tim worries her unconventional looks looks like “a sandwich board with stuff stuck on it.”
  • Rik: He’s basically done with his unconventional look, which Tim loves. The conventional one, though, he calls a “country bumpkin.”
  • Laurence: Her unconventional is also almost done. Tim can see where she needs more work. Her conventional is just a drawing, but Tim sees potential.

Image via Lifetime

  • Roberi: His rope dress is a stunner…if he can find a way to deal with “the modesty factor” in Tim’s words. There is no second look yet, because he’s been focused on the rope piece. Tim freaks he won’t finish, and threatens to sit down and start knotting Roberi’s dress along with him.
  • Cornelius: His unconventional look is covered in flowers that look like they were cut out by a high schooler, and his conventional is a throwaway. But we know that everyone forces Tim’s Saved Contestant™ into the finale (I mean they passed that Lost In Space atrocity through last week), so whatever.

Roberi is definitely in the defeated zone after Tim’s critique, until he sits down and whips out a conventional look before the models arrive. Erin is frantically trying to un-sandwich-board her unconventional underdress. Cornelius’ dresses don’t fit the models he made them for, so he trades them around.

Day of Runway, and Roberi buckles down in hopes of finishing. He’s frantically making undergarments for the unconventional rope dress, but admits, hey, maybe high fashion is just going to be highly nude this time. Laurence is also really behind, but the other way round. Her unconventional is finished, but her conventional is a disaster she’s trying to repair. The Hair People drop slogans, the Makeup People display their wares. Erin hot glue guns flowers to her model’s dress and occasionally her model’s skin.

Let’s see how it all shakes out on the runway.