Heidi Klum: This Season Project Runway's Judges Aren't Holding Back
On the flip side, there's also more room for fierce fashion, Tim Gunn's mentoring and New York Fashion Week itself, where the top designers will show on Sept. 9. We recently spoke with host Heidi Klum about everything season 8 promises to offer – including another challenge centered on the supermodel herself. -- Kate Hogan
Why did you expand the show to 90 minutes?
I think wanted to see more. We got a lot of letters, where would say to us, 'Why did you cut this person over this person?' Eliminations can last all day. Sometimes, the Q&A on the runway is really interesting. All this great stuff happens, and we never even show how much time is really spent on it. Now we have the freedom to show certain things longer than we ever could before. The show will really take a natural journey on each episode.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
Every time I'm intrigued about what the designers are made of. In the first two episodes, we see who has a lot of talent. When we do casting, we don't know if they really made the clothes they bring, if someone helped them, how long they spent making them. On the show, we see who can sustain the pressure because it's exhausting. And it's a great batch of designers. They're a very opinionated, strong team. There are some that are not so good, but they leave us pretty quickly. It's a real battle between four or five designers that are very good, which I love. It makes it very interesting.
How do you keep the show fresh after eight seasons?
There's always something new happening in the world to inspire a challenge. You're influenced by things you see and do. We have one I'm very proud of: I bumped into (milliner) Philip Treacy at the Oscars, and said to him, 'Why don't you come do Project Runway? We've never had a hat challenge, I'd love if they made designs to go with your hats!' So we got him to fly to the U.S., and he brought 15 of his wildest, most avant garde hats that we built a challenge around.
Are there any guest judges you're particularly excited about?
We had Betsey Johnson for the Philip Treacy challenge, and that was great. They designers always get really excited with they see a big designer judging. Selma Blair, our first guest judge, is a beautiful woman and style icon. She wears great clothes, and was a great judge. I didn't know how funny she was. When she was sitting there judging, she was hilarious. We're starting you off with a very fun episode.
Who's your dream guest judge?
Our First Lady would be amazing. That's my number one dream, Michelle Obama as a guest judge. I think she's super-hip, cool and fashionable.
How do you keep the chemistry going between yourself, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia?
We're comfortable together. I think Nina, Michael and I are tougher than our guest judges. They have a hard time saying what they really think sometimes, but since we've been doing this a few years, we don't hold back anymore. We feel free to speak on our points of view. There are four judges – everyone says what they have to say, and, in the end, we add our numbers together. The loser has the lowest score and the winner the highest. We're pretty intimate here. We do hair and makeup, have lunch at Parsons together. Then we break from Project Runway, and we'll return for the next season and pick up where we left off. It's like seeing a good friend again.
Tell us: Are you excited to watch Project Runway again? Who would you like to see guest judge?