The Best Of … ‘On The Road With Austin And Santino’

Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice are taking the world’s best road trip. Oh, to be a passenger in that car of fabulousness. The two Project Runway alums are traveling the U.S., making stops along the way to create one-of-a-kind looks for deserving women who rarely dress up. The show debuted on Lifetime following Project Runway on July 29, and it proved to be engaging, adorable, funny and interesting to watch. There was very little shown of the design process on this particular episode – sketches were made, and they showed some sewing and pinning, but overall construction took a backseat to funny quirks and quips. Here are some of my favorite things about the show thus far:

  1. Austin and Santino are together! Taking the world by storm, the tall and lanky fashionistas make an appealing pair. Austin has always been one of my favorites, and Santino, while painted as a villain during his time on the show, is far easier to handle when not competing and when tempered by Austin.
  2. This show has a refreshing take on the makeover genre. They arrived to make over cute-as-a-button Sadie Lynn Carter. Sadie’s an adorable blonde cowgirl who’s made a career out of trick riding with the Cowgirl Chicks. She was dusty, hair in a ponytail, no makeup and she looked fabulous. Refreshingly, Austin and Santino agreed. The show isn’t about shrilly shrieking at some poor girl that she’s wasting her potential while stuffing her into a wrap dress. It’s about making a special outfit for a special event, that the woman will actually like. How unique.
  3. Forcing Austin into uncomfortable situations! This show forces Austin to try out some trick riding. He wore some kind of modified jodphurs. Picture a Dio De Los Muertes skeleton with makeup. On a horse. Magic. Pure magic.
  4. Also magical? Austin’s seeming inability to age. Has anyone checked on whether or not there’s a portrait of a wizened Austin Scarlett lurking about in the attic at Parson’s? It’s inexplicable how young he still looks.
  5. Santino is totally wearing a toupee. I am almost positive. Was his hair not thinning on PR Season 2? I thought it was but it appeared thick and lustrous, albeit unmoving, on this episode. I plan to treat it as a third character on the show.
  6. The dress. Oh yeah! There was an outfit. It was adorable, made of red and white gingham. I personally wanted to see what Austin was going to do with his lace and spurs creation, but the dress they ultimately made was right for the event. She looked adorable.
  7. The styling. Again, it was refreshingly in tune with what Sadie wanted. They got her some cute boots and her mom did her hair and makeup! Love love love. I feel like they gave her a special experience that will also be easy for her to replicate. She’s never going to say “Oh, well I’ll never look this good again.”  She totally can! Assuming her mom is available.
  8. Austin and Santino have to work within the confines of the town they are in. Since they were in Weatherford, Texas, they shopped at a local mercantile and at Gibson’s. It was nice to see them using materials from the makeover recipient’s town.
  9. Sadie’s hot, sweet stepdad. He was super hot. If every episode has a hot guy quotient, I am sold.
  10. Austin and Santino exchange an adorably dorky high five and received cowboy hats! I hope they high five and receive accessories everywhere they go.

Next episode airs Thursday, Aug. 5 immediately following Project Runway. Looks to be interesting – military woman who thinks the initial design is like a bridesmaid dress. Drama!

Kristin Clifford is a writer and comedian in Chicago. Check out her comedy, her Web site and her Twitter.

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    • mary ann dilberian

      i love project runway and the fashion show but i really love on the road with austin and santino i think they are smooth and i think it would be real fun to accompany them – you see their humor, gentleness and genuine concern for the client – plus they’re up for anything i hope there willbe more of this series