The looks from today’s public runway challenge. And the back of Becky Ross blonde bob down there.

Image: Jess White

I know who two of the contestants are for the upcoming season of Project Runway. How? Because I personally handed them over as recommendations to the show. In April I received an email from the casting director asking for my thoughts as a fashion editor on potential Portland talent they should scout. (Maybe since we have won half the seasons?) I replied with a very small, thoughtfully curated list.

Turns out they cast not one, but two of them after that. (Do I get a handwritten thank you or something?)

Who are those two Portlanders? And how do I know before any official announcements? First things first. The two from our fair city are actually both recent grads from The Art Institute of Portland’s fashion program: Bryce Black and Becky Ross. Black’s name might sound a bit more familiar as I have used him in my last two fashion editorials and been touting his name on the blog for months.

And I know because today Project Runway kicked off its first challenge by having a public runway show in Battery Park with celebrity guest judge Kim Kardashian. Well, I assume first challenge because there are clearly 16 designers sitting in the two rows at the runway, but the show is famous for its decoy attempts so who knows. As soon as it was over I hunted through every open Facebook profile, Flickr account, Tweet, blog post and You Tube video I could find until I was sure I recognized Black and Ross sitting in the contestant bleachers. I found one of Black as clear as day and Ross has platinum blonde “look at me” hair in an unmistakable bob and even though most pictures were mainly of the back of her head she sat in my classroom long enough (with me looking at her head) that I am willing to bet money on it. Finally, the Associated Press put out a fancy video moments ago that showed all contestants and sealed the deal for me.

Obviously I was already suspicious because I handed over their contact information and then I never heard anything again, from anyone. That alone seemed odd. But Black is also a friend of mine and a couple weeks ago he left town rather quietly and I couldn’t get so much as text reply from him. RED FLAG RAISED. Although when I went psycho internet stalking today, I have to admit I thought there was a good chance I would see him, but to see him AND Ross was a little mini heart attack.

The interesting thing about this is what does it mean? Have they ever cast two designers from the same school and class before? Is it purely a coincidence or did they want to push more people from Portland since we have become the indie fashion capital? Or is our talent pool just stronger? And did me just saying all that curse them into being the first two voted off?

I sure as hell hope not.

Be sure to check the blog every week once the season begins July 28th for a full break down of what worked, what didn’t and how to pronounce Auf Wiedersehen.

PorjectRunway
Image: Jess White

As I live and breathe, that is Mr. Bryce Black and Ms. Becky Ross.