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‘Project Runway’ field trip includes contestants with San Diego ties

Designers had to turn country materials into city fashion on the second episode of the competition series “Project Runway.”

The challenge was to create a party look out of potato sacks, which are made from a material called burlap. And, in another twist, the runway models got to choose which designer they wanted to work with. Therefore, the 15 remaining contestants had to listen to their clients’ tastes while using their own style, too.

Seth Aaron Henderson, who grew up in San Diego, was up for the challenge, saying “the more odd the challenge, the better.”

The 38-year-old, who looks more like a tattooed rocker than a fashion designer, infused his design with his edgy fashion sense. He enhanced the burlap with buckles and buttons and added a hood to create a fun look. Though the wire-hemmed skirt with a lot of personality was not selected as one of the best designs of the night, Henderson’s scores qualified him for the next challenge.

San Diego resident Jesus Estrada didn’t do so well.

Estrada was almost booted off the show last week when he created a dress out of a brown, reptile skin-like fabric that made the judges compare it to a Hershey bar.

This week, Estrada created a pea green and brown fitted dress. His choice of colors provoked the judges to again question his sense of color.

What’s worse, the judges believed that Estrada missed the point of the challenge. Instead of using the material, he covered it up.

In fact, guest judge Lauren Hutton, an actress and a former model, thought he had used a different material. She said that dresses should be like paintings, and that Estrada’s dress was a “very confused, assault on the eye painting.”

Estrada chose to layer ribbon over all of the burlap. During his workroom walk-through, fashion mentor Tim Gunn said that disguising the burlap was a bad move. Still, Estrada ignored his advice like he did last week, when Gunn advised him to fix the apparent hemline on his brown concoction.

In the end, the 21-year-old’s design landed him in the bottom for the second week in a row.

While both contestants who have ties to San Diego remain on the show, if Estrada screws up a third time, he may not be so lucky.

To find out if the local designers will be in or out next week, tune in to watch “Project Runway” on Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.

Kristina Blake is a contributor for SDNN.