Any Project Runway fan would recognise Heidi Klum’s catchphrase, “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out.”. This year, the people behind fashion design reality TV series are staying true to this statement. In the show’s seventeenth and latest season airing on TLC (SingTel TV Channel 254) each Monday at 9pm, the producers have decided to completely shake things up by introducing some brand-new elements, while bidding goodbye to a few familiar faces.
Before you settle on the couch and commit to the latest season, we bring you the latest on what to expect this time round:
1. We have spanking new hosts
When presenters Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn announced they were leaving the show for good, a collective gasp was heard around the world. But just when we thought nobody would be able to fill the void they left behind, the show announced that Karlie Kloss and season four winner Christian Siriano would be taking on the challenge. With similar experience in the modelling world as Heidi and a natural flair for fashion, Karlie clearly fills those sky-high stilettos to a T. On the mentor front, we couldn’t think of a better fit than Christian. Having won season 4, he knows the ins and outs of participating in such a stressful competition and is the perfect person to be advising this year’s hopefuls.
2. The stakes have been raised
This season, new presenters aren’t the only things viewers can to look forward to. The workroom and runway have been given a makeover and there are new faces on the judging panel. Joining show veteran Nina Garcia, are Elaine Welteroth, former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue and designer to the stars, Brandon Maxwell. Expect competition to be more cut-throat than ever with the largest cash prize in history, a feature in ELLE Magazine, and, for the first time ever, designers stand to win a one-on-one mentorship with the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
3. Contestants are defying all odds
It takes serious bravery to face different challenges week after week on an international stage. One of the designers stepping up to the plate this year is 51-year-old Renee Hill. While designers usually start their careers in their teens or early 20s, she only started dabbling in fashion at the age of 47, after ending a 20-year long marriage and successfully raising nine children (yes, NINE!). Then there’s Frankie Lewis, a self-taught designer committed to making sexy and chic looks for women of all sizes.
4. Big name guest judges
Every week on Project Runway, the judges are joined by a guest judge. In previous years they’ve ranged from designers to actors to models but this year, there are some industry heavyweights on the roster. These include designer and fashion legend, Dapper Dan, who has been dressing the who’s who of hip hop since the 80s. Another big name is Marni Senofonte who serves as Beyoncé’s lead stylist and was the brains behind the looks for the entire Lemonade visual album and the songstress’ record-breaking pregnancy announcement on Instagram.
5. Everybody’s welcome!
The diversity in this season’s contestants is also reflected in diversity in its models. One quick look at any trailer for season 17 and you’ll notice that models of all sizes are part of this year’s line-up. While that in itself is pretty exciting in the world of fashion, Project Runway decided to kick it up a notch by including Mimi Tao. The statuesque beauty is a former Buddhist monk from Thailand and is revealed to be the first ever transgender model to grace the show. We can’t wait to see what she brings to the table!