tv review: ON THE ROAD WITH AUSTIN AND SANTINO

On the Road with Austin and Santino is a fashion design makeover series where Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice, contestants from season one and season two of Project Runway respectively, drive to small towns throughout the United States. The goal is for the designers to create a dress for a woman for a special occasion. These small towns have little access to fashion, designer garments and the latest trends. Both Austin and Santino are so charming and dedicated to the art of fashion design.

On the Road makes me giddy with happiness. It’s sweet, touching, quirky and just makes you happy and smiley. Plus the interactions between Austin and Santino are unexpected, candid and delightful.

Episode 1: Sadie, the cowgirl

The challenge: make a dress for tomboy Sadie for her dance. She never wears dresses and is a professional rodeo cowgirl (stunts on horseback).

Location: small town in Texas

Austin and Santino arrive in Texas, which cannot be the most welcoming environment for anyone different and especially gay. Slim pickings for Santino when he goes to buy fabric. He does pick up some pretty red gingham. Austin doesn’t approve.

Austin: Will she look like a tablecloth?
Santino: No. She’s not going to look like a tablecloth.

Santino wants Sadie to feel pretty yet remain comfortable and not stray too far from her cowgirl roots. Austin doesn’t like the gingham so the guys design different dresses. It turns out that Sadie loves the gingham dress that Santino mocked up. Both guys complement each other as Santino is really rather mellow yet makes his ideas known. Austin is a bit more demure vocally but flamboyant appearing. He loves to dress up.

You CAN dress up a cowgirl. –Santino

Episode 2: Captain Rosaline Johnson

The challenge: design a graduation party dress for this single mother

Location: LSU

Austin and Santino meet Rosaline at her PT on the field at LSU and makes the guys work out with the ROTC. They stay in an antebellum mansion which thrills Austin to no end [In a past life, I think I was a Belle. I wore hoop skirts] and he explores every nook and cranny. Again, Austin and Santino do not agree on design. Rosaline thinks Austin’s design looks like a bridesmaid dress. In the end, of course, she loves the final product.

Doesn’t she know that I don’t do comfortable? I always suffer for fashion. –Austin

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