We had only one problem with Project Runway's decision to head to Austin

Dec 8, 2016 at 11:44 p.m. ET
Image: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

The Project Runway finale is almost here, but first, the remaining five designers must depart New York to seek inspiration from another region. In the past, the show's designers have visited sophisticated locations such as Paris, Barcelona and Los Angeles. This year, however, they switched it up by visiting Austin. Heidi Klum hoped that Austin's slogan would convince the designers to "keep it weird" for their unconventional challenge.

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Instead of shopping for their unconventional look at Mood, the designers hit up Georgetown Farm Supply and Stubb’s BBQ. The materials they found there were far from typical; Rik Villa used dog leashes, Laurence Basse used birdseed and Erin Robertson used mealworms. Perhaps most shockingly, these strange materials created some very memorable and very couture looks.

Roberi Parra Project Runway
Image: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime

The best designers can take inspiration from anything and anywhere. By forcing them to embrace their inner weird in Austin, Project Runway got a better look at what the designers can produce under pressure and without the typical resources of Mood. It was therefore an excellent challenge, or at least, that's what we think. Several viewers disagree, however, as many were quick to badmouth the challenge on Twitter. Evidently, Austin just can't compare to Paris and other fashion powerhouses.


The only real complaint we had with this week's visit to Austin was that it all felt a little bit stereotypical. Austin is wackier and more fashion-forward than many people suspect, but while Project Runway sort of captured the city's vibe, it lost a lot of the eclectic charm, instead opting for outdated stereotypes and an awkward Best Western promo.

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Austin is no Paris, but it does have a vibrant fashion scene and plenty of opportunities for inspiration. It's nice to see Project Runway expanding its reach and not assuming that only select European cities can provide adequate fashion inspiration. Hopefully, future contestants will also be able to hit up unexpected and interesting cities in the interest of capturing inspiration from new and valuable sources.

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What did you think of this week's unconventional looks on Project Runway? Comment and share your opinion below.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Project Runway finalists slideshow Image: WENN