Friday, January 31, 2014

Tim Gunn's Super Bowl Fashion Tips!

Poll - Episode 3 - Your Turn to be the Judge

Photos (Top, l-r): Asha, Blake, Brady, Camila, Isabelle, and Michelle
(Bottom, l-r): Natalia, Nicholas, Oscar, Sam, Shan, and Stephanie
Photos courtesy of Click to see a larger view.

You've seen the designs on the runway and now it's your turn to be the judges. This week you are Jen Rade, Janna Roberts Rassi and Rachel Roy.

Click here to tell us who you thought should have won the challenge.

Click here to tell us who you thought should have been out.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reactions to UTG Episode 3

Now we are in the full swing of things. UTG licked off its regular programming tonight with a legitimate challenge and an associated elimination. What did you think? Post your reactions to Episode 3 here.

BPR Party: UTG Episode 3

It should be noted that the official name for this show is now Project Runway: Under The Gunn according to all of the press releases, firmly placing this show within the pantheon. But it seems to be more about the mentors than the designers, doesn't it? Anyways, our cadre of dedicated watchers has gathered again to share our snarky observations on this Tim Gunn vehicle. Click on the comment tab and join us!

Results In - Episode 2 of Under the Gunn

Our poll for Episode 2 of Under the Gunn is closed. Isabelle got the most elimination votes followed by Rey. (Nicholas and Amy tied for third.) Click here to see how you voted. Tomorrow we will have our Episode 3 poll.
Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Under the Gunn - Team Nick

Mentor Nick Verreos selected Isabelle Donola, Oscar Garcia Lopez, Natalia Fedner and Stephanie Ohnmacht.  Good luck Team Nick!

Under the Gunn - Team Mondo

Mentor Mondo Guerra selected Asha Daniels, Sam Donovan, Michelle Überresteand Camila Castillo.  Good luck Team Mondo!

Under the Gunn - Team Anya

Mentor Anya Ayoung-Chee's team is all guys!
Blake Smith, Brady Lange, Shan Oliver and Nicholas Komor make up Team Anya.  
Good luck to everyone!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Beyonce's Grammy Dress Designed by Michael Costello

Photo:  JOE KLAMAR / AFP - Getty Images

Project Runway All-Star Designer, Michael Costello, has dressed many stars - it's hard to keep track of them all - but this one is extra-special!  Congratulations Michael!

Click here for more.

Update:  Click here for an interview with Michael.

Episode 3, "Red Carpet Showdown" Preview Video

Don't miss "Under the Gunn"  Thursday night at 9:00 on Lifetime.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Poll - Episode 2 of Under The Gunn

Photos (l-r): Amy, Asha, Isabelle, Nicholas, Rey, Sam, and Stephanie
Photos courtesy of Click to see a larger view.

This week you may make more than one selection (sorry - an error was made and you may only make one selection this week) and tell us:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reactions To UTG Episode 2

Five more designers were added to the final cast for Under the Gunn tonight. What did you think? Post your reactions to Episode 2 here. 

BPR Party: UTG Episode 2

And we are back for round two! This week we have seven designers competing for five remaining spots on the UTG cast. Will the designers get the final say as to which team they are on or will the mentors get the final choice? Join us for our weekly party as we watch it all go down. Click on the comment tab to join the fun!

Anya Ayoung-Chee Wears a Nikolaki Design on "Under the Gunn"

"Under the Gunn" mentor Anya Ayoung-Chee, wears a Nick Verreos design in the opening credits for the show.

Click here for more.

BPR Visits Austin Scarlett's Studio

Project Runway All-Star Designer, Austin Scarlett graciously invited BPR Reporter, Jennifer Mara into his New York Studio and Jen sends this report - thank you Austin and Jennifer for a look into Austin's design process and creative space!

Jennifer Mara and Austin Scarlett at Austin's studio

Austin Scarlett is the epitome of glamorous fashion. I felt great knowing that I could show up in nearly anything I felt like wearing - after some consideration, I went with my seemingly appropriate ‘something blue’-leather boots.

Austin's assistant cuts the fabric for a new gown!
Hangin’ out in the Austin Scarlett workspace I learned a lot about the process of wedding gown creation, Austin’s creative process and all of his newest endeavors but the cherry on top was that I actually got to try on an Austin Scarlett original...more on that later.

All dresses designed by Austin begin in this studio and the first design of each style begins here.  Any and all beads and embroidery are hand designed then created. If you are buying an Austin Scarlett gown it is 100% made in New York City.

Jennifer Mara models a beautiful Austin Scarlett Gown!
Click here for the full story and lots of gorgeous photos!

Results In - Episode 1 of Under the Gunn

Our poll for Episode 1 of Under the Gunn is closed. Natalia got the most elimination votes followed by Oscar and Melissa. Click here to see how you voted. Tomorrow we will have our Episode 2 poll.
Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BPR Interview with Kate Pankoke

Project Runway designer, Kate Pankoke was in NYC today at Macy's  as part of a special press event featuring the collections of 17 emerging designers from the Macy's Fashion Incubator program. Kate will be showcasing bridal gowns from her latest Elaya Vaughn Bridal collection.  

BPR Field Reporter, Jennifer Mara, met up with Kate and sends us this interview - thanks Jen!

Kate Pankoke is just as articulate, kind and talented in person as she seemed on TV. Kate is a woman who speaks through fashion personally and professionally, living what she stands for. 

The first question I asked her was if she made her own gown for her wedding this past November- she immediately replied yes, and yes, was also the answer when I asked her if she made what she was wearing today. 

Tiers are a signature for this season called “Romance in Bloom.” Kate does one collection per year, usually fourteen looks. 

Click here to continue.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Christian Siriano Designs Now Available at Sam's Club

Project Runway Season 4 Champion, Christian Siriano,  has created a line available exclusively at Sam's Club.
Click here for more and to shop!

Project Runway Designers Featured at Fashion Week El Paseo™ March 16 - 22 2014

Michael Costello and Bradon McDonald are among the Project Runway Alums showing their latest collections at Fashion Week El Paseo™ 2014. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Stay tuned to BPR as more designers are sure to be added to the line-up.

Actress Tika Sumpter wears Seth Aaron Henderson Design to Movie Premiere

Actress Tika Sumpter in Seth Aaron Henderson's winning design from PRAS3 at the "Ride Along" premiere in New York.

Click here for more from

Episode 2, "The Mentor Face-Off" Preview Video

"Seven new designers compete to impress the mentors, but then the mentors learn that they must also compete and impress the designers."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tim Gunn - Guest Editor for StyleList

Click here to discover Tim's thoughts about the premiere of "Under the Gunn," Tim's favorite "red carpet sirens," and more!

Uncle Nick's Under The Gunn Recap

Uncle Nick Verreos will be recapping every episode of Under The Gunn this season. His premiere entry has some great inside skinny and talk about his role as the "three-legged puppy at the dog shelter". Click here for the recap.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Who is Under the Gunn?" Full Episode Online

Click here to watch the full episode online.

Don't Miss Tim Gunn on "The Biggest Loser" Jan 21

The "Makeover" episode of The Biggest Loser is Tuesday night!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tim Talks - Under the Gunn Episode 1

Poll - Episode 1 of Under The Gunn

Photos Top (l-r): Blake, Brady, Camila, and Melissa
Bottom (l-r):  Michelle, Natalia, Oscar, and Shan Keith
Photos courtesy of Click to see a larger view.

This week you may make more than one selection and tell us:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reactions to the Under The Gunn Premiere

Well, what did you think? There were a lot of new names and faces to keep track of but did you see enough to bring you back? Post your reactions to the Under The Gunn premiere here.

BPR Party: PRAS Reunion and UTG Premiere

It's a big night for Tim Gunn as his star vehicle Under The Gunn premieres. Oh, and there is also a PRAS 3 reunion ahead of that in case you are interested. We will be slogging through all of it right here for the die-hard fans. The BPR party room is open and all are welcome!

Meet Amy Sim

Amy Sim is 53 and lives in Portland, OR

This former cheerleader is friendly, confident and ultra-competitive, and at 53 she has more energy than designers half her age. Amy references classic American sportswear in her flawlessly constructed garments, paying careful attention to fabric and detail. 

 Raised with a twin brother in a family of boys, Amy was a pretty blonde tomboy from the very beginning. Her mother taught her to sew when she was in the fourth grade, and Amy soon started making her own clothes, constructing cooler versions of the garments her better-off friends were buying at department stores. When a college instructor talked her out of pursuing a degree in fashion, she studied Home Economics instead, got married, had kids, and started her own Jazzercise franchise. But she always kept one foot in the fashion world, working as a catalogue and commercial model for 30 years. After nearly losing her college-football-player son to a sudden illness, Amy realized life is short. She returned to school, finally earning her fashion degree at age 49.

Click here to learn more about Amy Sim.

Meet Asha Daniels

Asha Daniels is 25 and lives in Cincinnati OH.

Don't be fooled by Asha's affable demeanor—this bright-eyed beauty is feisty as hell, and sharp as a tack. Her design aesthetic is modern and young, but there’s also a toughness to her work that reflects her own strength as a woman. 

 Though she grew up in a poor neighborhood, Asha’s parents made her education a top priority. Competitive from an early age, Asha earned a full scholarship at the most prestigious high school in Cincinnati, then beat out 2,000 people for a scholarship to fashion school at the University of Cincinnati. She recently interned at Marchesa (meeting Georgina Chapman blew her mind) and a dress she helped drape became a part of the bridal collection. Asha is extremely tight with her family and worries that if she is forced to move to another city to pursue her career, she’ll have to find a way to bring them along.

Click here to learn more about Asha Daniels.

Meet Blake Smith

Blake Smith is 25 and lives in Hoboken, NJ. 

This uptight, highly competitive SCAD grad lives for "FASHION, not apparel." Blake designs his uber-feminine, flowing garments as a form of escapism, and has little regard for the ready-to-wear market. 

 Blake had a loving, supportive, but turbulent upbringing—his mother has been married six times, and he and his brother moved around a lot as a result. He's still close to the man he considers his father (though he has little contact with his biological dad). Blake credits his mom with inspiring his love for fashion; as a well-dressed kid, he stuck out like a sore thumb in small-town Georgia. Until he got to SCAD, he never thought he could have a career as a designer. He's openly gay, but admits that he prefers the company of women—he’s never been in a relationship with a man. Blake has been designing for LC by Lauren Conrad for Kohl's for several years now, and he's ready to branch out and start his own line.

Click here to learn more about Blake Smith.

Meet Brady Lange

Brady Lange is 29 and lives in Portland, OR.

Brady is good-looking, and he is well aware of it. Describing himself as "the happiest bitchy person you know," he designs fun, bright clothes for the cool kids who stand around waiting to be photographed for a street-style blog. 

 Brady grew up on a small farm in Montana, where his decidedly non-hippie parents grew all their own food, determined to live off the land. They were a happy family and he recalls a lot of love. Brady learned to sew in high school, but he didn’t think fashion was a money-making career. However when he enrolled at the Art Institute, Brady finally felt at home, realizing he never should have left fashion design.

Click here to learn more about Brady Lange.

Meet Camila Castillo

Camila Castillo is 47 and lives in Caracas, Venezuela.

Though based in Caracas, Camila is a New York City girl at heart—with her throaty Brooklyn accent and her edgy, eccentric outfits, she reads like a brassy-Debi-Mazar-circa-1992-meets-Bjork-at-a-sober-rave. Born in NYC in 1967, 

Camila moved with her family to Venezuela as a pre-teen. She grew up surrounded by artists, and their conversations ultimately inspired her to go into fashion design. In her 20s, a strained relationship with her mother and a series of deaths in the family (her father, her grandmother and her first husband, all within a span of six months) sent Camila into a deep depression and a cycle of self-sabotage. She was addicted to pain killers for several years, but after undergoing rehab and a substantial amount of therapy, she has been clean and sober for over eight years. She's married again, to a man 15 years her junior, and has a seven-year-old son who is her biggest fan. Camila is determined to move her family out of Caracas (one of the most dangerous cities in the world) and pursue her dreams in NYC.

Click here to learn more about Camila Castillo.

Meet Isabelle Donola

Isabelle Donola is 33, born in Rio de Janeiro and now lives in New York, NY.

This quirky-cool Brazilian transplant seems like a hot mess, but underneath her laissez-faire attitude is an absolute fearlessness and a relentless optimism that has shaped her remarkable life. She brings her spunky personality to her modern, out-of-the-box garments, playing with details and asymmetrical silhouettes. 

 Growing up in a working class suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Isabelle always dreamed big. Her mother taught her how to hand-sew at age three and by six she had created a full collection for her Barbie dolls. Her path deviated from design when she was given the chance to study ballet at a prestigious school in Rio de Janeiro. A broken leg forced her to shift focus again, and she soon found herself skateboarding professionally and winning championships. She finally came back to fashion design, which she has been pursuing relentlessly since 2004, opening a designer co-op on a posh block of Melrose in Los Angeles, and, more recently, moving to New York to cultivate her own brand. Though Isabelle swears she doesn’t have a competitive bone in her body, she has in fact been competing for a good part of her life.

Click here to learn more about Isabelle Donola.

Meet Melissa Grimes

Melissa Grimes is 29 and lives in Birmingham, AL.

This bubbly Southern belle offers endless, filter-free commentary on what she thinks about life, and will call on her spirit guide, Julia Sugarbaker of "Designing Women," whenever she needs to put someone in their place. Melissa’s easygoing garments cater to the girl-on-the-go who favors a modern, feminine style. 

Melissa grew up surrounded by plants on her family's nursery in Mobile, Alabama. Her great-grandmother was a seamstress, and Melissa's interest in fashion design was sparked by watching her work. She also watched her aunt sewing clothes, and in high school, Melissa helped design a huge antebellum gown for a local event. Though she briefly dabbled in interior design, she quickly switched her major to apparel. After graduation, she headed off to Africa with the Peace Corps, where she struggled to learn French but excelled at teaching girls to sew, resorting to charades when her language skills failed her. Back in the U.S., she started a clothing company with her two best friends and fellow fashion grads. They all work full-time jobs to support their young business, and Melissa, who just turned 29, is freaking out about being an assistant mortgage broker at age 30, wondering when she’ll be free to pursue fashion all day every day.

Click here to learn more about Melissa Grimes.

Meet Michelle Überreste

Michelle is 29 and lives in Burbank.

Dressed like she's headed to Burning Man or straight out of a sci-fi film, Michelle is the last person you'd expect to be an ardent Christian. She defies category, especially in her work, creating exquisitely made, forward-thinking garments, like a sensational silver harness piece that Mondo wanted to put on immediately.

 Raised on a small farm in Minnesota, Michelle learned to sew when she was five. After losing their house and land to repeated flooding, her family built a new house together, an ambitious project which created a deep bond between them and sparked Michelle's interest in the details of construction and design. Despite her bucolic background, Michelle makes garments with an edge, inspired by a post-apocalyptic vision of the future. Not a patient person, she often butts heads with authority; there's a right and wrong way to do everything, says Michelle, and she's utterly convinced that she does things right. She also has an endearing geeky side, and loves to wrap her brain around the deeper issues of science, religion, and politics.

Click here to learn more about Michelle Überreste.

Meet Natalia Fedner

Natalia Fedner is 30 and lives in West Hollywood.

With her boundless energy and breakneck chitchat, Natalia ran her own audition, thoroughly impressing the judges with her sexy knits and innovative design techniques. 

 Natalia emigrated from the Ukraine to Ohio at age six, and refused to speak English until she perfected her American accent. Born into a family of overachievers, Natalia quickly became an overachiever herself: she was captain of the cheerleading team, editor of the school newspaper, a member of every club possible—and ultimately a shining graduate of Parsons. She claims to have foot-in-mouth disease, which has caused her to lose some close friends, and her boyfriends have all complained that she is too focused on work to hold up her end of a relationship.

Click here to learn more about Natalia Fedner.

Meet Nicholas Komor

Nicholas Komor is 26 and lives in Atlanta, GA.

Arrogant and cold as ice, Nicholas has VILLAIN written all over him. His modular menswear is fresh and gender-bending, and his womenswear has a cool simplicity that reflects his impeccable tailoring skills and creative use of detail. 

 Born to Polish-American parents in the heart of the South, as a kid Nicholas often felt he was trapped between two worlds. He played the piano competitively for 11 years and intended to study music in college, but out of left field he changed his major to industrial design. When he didn’t get a callback for "Project Runway" Season 7, he enrolled in the London College of Fashion (Alexander McQueen's alma mater, Nicholas is quick to point out), where he fell in love with menswear. He admits he has a tense relationship with his family, pushing himself to excel in his career because that’s all he has to discuss with them. His parents don’t approve of his "gay lifestyle," and have never met his long-term boyfriend. He's close to his older brother who has Down Syndrome—there's a heart in there! But Nicholas is a very tough nut to crack.

Click here to learn more about Nicholas Komor.

Meet Oscar Garcia-Lopez

Oscar Garcia-Lopez is 40 and lives in Coral Gables, FL.

This Cuban refugee is immensely passionate, and driven by his love for design. His exquisite evening wear is embellished with ornate details that definitely have a wow factor. 

 Oscar made two attempts to flee Cuba before he found his way to freedom, moving to Mexico to pursue a singing career and four years later immigrating to Miami. Though it was hard for him to be separated from his family, he focused all his energy on becoming a designer, painstakingly teaching himself to sew and make patterns. He now has a loyal clientele of Miami society ladies for whom he creates lavish custom garments. Oscar was finally reunited with his family, and was able to say goodbye to his father who passed away only two months after arriving in the U.S. In spite of all the adversity he has experienced, he has an indomitable spirit and always sees the glass as half full.

Click here to learn more about Oscar Garcia-Lopez.

Meet Rey Ortiz

Rey Ortiz is 32, and lives in Fort Worth.

All passion and ego, this Puerto Rican native takes life by storm while dressed in short shorts. His impeccably tailored garments drip with sex appeal; it's no surprise that Rey names "Sex and the City" as his greatest inspiration. 

 Growing up gay in the restricted world of Jehovah's Witnesses, Rey developed a rebellious side. Still bitter that he was controlled for so long, he says he will never blindly follow anyone again. Unable to come out to his mother, he's grown estranged from her; he’s afraid of what he might say if he were to speak his mind. Rey studied animation, drawing characters in flamboyant costumes, and quickly realized that his inner designer was struggling to get out. He then took pattern-making courses at Carlota Alfaro College, where he found a mentor in the 80-year-old founder of the school, a woman who he thinks of as his very own Tim Gunn.

Click here to learn more about Rey Ortiz.

Meet Sam Donovan

Sam Donovan is 23 and lives in Boston.

This model-cute Parsons grad has fashion wisdom well beyond his years, and enough sass to fill a workroom. The panel adored his easygoing, city-chic garments almost as much as they adored him.

Sam’s childhood was tense at best: Raised by wealthy, divorced parents in a dysfunctional all-American family, he bounced around all over suburban Boston. He was bullied in middle school before he even knew he was gay, but his mother came to his defense, helping him become the self-assured person he is today. "Fashion was so important to me because it gave me something to ground myself," says Sam. Having just graduated from Parsons this past spring, he is now working out of his father's house in Massachusetts, counting the days until he can move back to NYC.

Click here to learn more about Sam Donovan.

Meet Shan Keith Oliver

Shan Keith Oliver is 33, and lives in St. Louis, MO

Lovable and gregarious, Shan is the proud father of three, though you'd never guess it from his youthful demeanor. His creativity shines in designs that utilize fabrics he has on hand; he takes all things average, adds a Shan spin, and creates style where there was none. 

 Raised in a family full of talented kids, Shan had to compete to stand out. He quickly found his voice in art. His father passed away when Shan was 10, and his mother became the sole breadwinner, caregiver and seamstress. Self-taught as a designer, Shan learned from his mom's efforts to keep her kids in the latest fashions, giving the illusion that they had more than enough to make ends meet. He's a bible-quoting Christian whose faith is important to him, but don’t call him close-minded. He's friends with everyone and always has a good word to say, though he will give side-eye to a design he dislikes. When he was recently laid off from his nine-to-five job, Shan's wife became his biggest cheerleader, encouraging him to pursue his dreams of a career in fashion design.

Click here to learn more about Shan Keith Oliver.

Meet Stephanie Ohnmacht

Stephanie Ohnmacht is 37 and lives in Denver.

(Will Mondo be her mentor?)

If "Under the Gunn" were a sit-com, Stephanie would be the star. An adorable control freak with perfectly coifed bangs, she tries to keep tabs on what people are buying, designing quirky, feminine clothes with an eye for unique patterns and geometric designs. 

 Stephanie was raised on a working farm by strong, goal-oriented women. Her best was never good enough, and her mother pushed her to always take first place. You'd never guess it from looking at her, but Stephanie was a 4-H queen. She started sewing at age seven—raising blue-ribbon sheep and auctioning them off to earn money for fabric—and was making party dresses and wool suits for 4-H competitions by the time she was 12. She went on to study business, but she took her sewing machine with her to college, empowering her classmates by teaching them how to make their own clothes. Stephanie hasn't applied since 2008, when Tim gave her a straight-up no, telling her she needed to learn to sew more quickly. She's been practicing like crazy, and is finally ready to compete! 

Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

Results In - You Were the Judge for All Stars 3 Finale

Our poll for Project Runway All Stars Season 3 finale is closed. You disagreed with judges and 49% felt that Korto Momolu deserved the win. Click here to see all of the results.

Join us tomorrow for our first Under the Gunn polls.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tim Gunn on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Tim talks about "Under the Gunn" and more!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Poll: Who is Your Favorite Mentor on "Under the Gunn?"

"Under The Gunn" Premieres Thursday NIght at 9:00 on Lifetime

In the new series, fifteen designers will be divided into three teams and compete in a series of fashion challenges under the guidance of Project Runway alumni Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-chee and Nick Verreos. 

Tim Gunn, to no one’s surprise, will be mentoring the Project Runway alumni throughout the competition to ensure that they are effectively giving direction to their designers. 

In the end only the most talented and creative will survive to compete in the finale, where one designer and one mentor will be deemed the winners! 

 Each week the designs will be judged by designer Rachel Roy, celebrity stylist Jen Rade and Marie Claire Senior Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi. 

 For this week’s episode, fifteen designers will duke it out for the twelve spots in the competition. The designers will all be given the SAME EXACT fabric and materials to work with, and must create a look that represents their design aesthetic in only 6 hours! 

 See who ends up on each of the mentors’ teams this Thursday at 9 PM on Lifetime!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014


The recappers give their sendoffs to PRAS 3:

Eric3000  heads to the UN...
Gianni is brilliant as always...
Shannon is surprised in a good way...
Memorable Quotes from Second City Style...
And Toyouke returns for the finale.

Thank you recappers, reunion episode next week!

Update:  Don't miss Democracy Diva!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

BPR Interview with Seth Aaron Henderson

Project Runway All Stars Season 3 Champion, Seth Aaron Henderson, talks about his experience on the show.

A highlight:

BPR: As a self-taught designer, what advice do you have to young designers? How did you learn to sew and to design so well? 

SA: Well, the design part has always been there. Not clothing per se, but in my house, growing up - my father drew for Disney. He was always drawing and building. My mom painted and did crafty projects. I have been into clothing since I was a toddler. Once I picked up a machine - it was just practice practice practice. That's the advice that I would give. 

BPR: Did Zanna give you any good advice? 

SA: She gave me lots of good advice. She knows me and she knows my work. I cast with her. Her advice is, "Be you." It's a hard role being a mentor and I think that through the season she just got better and better. 

BPR: Do you feel that Georgina has more power than the other judges? 

SA: No. Georgina? No. She is fantastic, but I don't think any one of them has more power than any other. 

Click here for the full interview.

Click here to see his QVC Collection.

Click here to visit Seth Aaron's website.

Thank you Seth Aaron!

From Seth Aaron's QVC Collection