Picture Tim Gunn, the epitome of elegance, in low cut boxer briefs with "Top Gunn" emblazoned on the crotch. "I was going to make him a custom pair, but no gifting is allowed," says "Project Runway" Season 6 designer Christopher Straub of Shakopee, Minn., best known for his Cricket Syndicate underwear (pictured, and sold at Design Collective). Still, at his tryout, Gunn and Season 2 designer-turned-fashion analyst Nick Verreos "loved the underwear," Straub says. I talked to Straub and fellow cast member Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman today - their first basking in the glow of the upcoming season of reality favorite "Project Runway." Straub said he's received more voicemails and emails today than in the last year. Coleman, who launched his solo career in Minneapolis before relocating to Milwaukee, created a fan page on Facebook and started a Twitter account (this evening's post: " kind of freaking out!!!!! Just when you think you are ready for the storm you realize you aren't .") As a couple of the only Midwesterners on the show, the designers said they formed an instant bond. Both were warm, fun and incredibly gracious. My gut says Coleman is in for the longer run - not only is he the more accomplished of the two (he's currently collaborating on the Lauren Conrad line for Kohl's), he's got a flair for the dramatic. "You just have to let passion drive you without any resistance," he told me today.
For more on the designers, the upcoming season of "Project Runway" and what the attention could mean for Minneapolis fashion design, read the Pioneer Press.