SS_3 Louise Black (left) and Shirin Askari (right). photography courtesy of Project Runway


LOUISE BLACK, 32

Background: Grew up in Temple, Texas. Moved to New York to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology but ended up working at an art gallery. Taking courses at El Centro College. Runs an online fashion business with her husband.

How she got involved: “My mentor, Jan Strimple, contacted Project Runway behind my back!”

Surprises: “I didn’t realize what an accent I have.”

Tips for dressing well: “Stop shopping at the mall. That’s how you get in a rut. Also, always wear nice shoes.”

Design aesthetic: “I use a lot of dark colors and jet beading. I like to keep colors neutral. History is a big influence on me. I love old-world glamour.”

Has living here affected your style? “It hasn’t. I kind of stand out here. I try to wear my own creations every day.”

Tim or Heidi? “Definitely Tim was my favorite. He was like a father figure. A true mentor.”

Where to find her: www.louiseblack.com; www.louiseblack.etsy.com.

SHIRIN ASKARI, 24

Background: Grew up in Richardson, went to University of North Texas. Graduated with a B.F.A. in fashion design in 2008.

How she got involved: “The summer after graduation, I broke my knee playing basketball. I was supposed to go to Europe, but I was homebound. I got an e-mail from my professor about Project Runway, and I sent in a tape. If it wasn’t for breaking my knee, I wouldn’t have tried!”

Design aesthetic: “I love vintage clothing, and I don’t go heavy on prints. I like to experiment with fabrics and keep clothes wearable.”
Tips for dressing well: “I cannot stand Crocs. Also, I believe you can be sexy and not show everything.”

Inspiration: “I like looking at architecture. I also like high fashion, especially Christian Dior, Elie Saab, and Hussein Chalayan.”

Tim or Heidi? “Tim was my favorite. He is impeccably dressed. I had a crush on him!”

Where to find her: www.shirinaskari.com.