For 10 seasons, countless hopefuls have submitted their most creative visions while dreaming of landing a coveted spot as a "Project Runway " contestant. From the glamorous couture of Austin Scarlett to the edgy rock star style of Seth Aaron Henderson to the beachy maxis of Anya Ayoung-Chee -- there never seems to be a shortage of innovative artists looking for their big break.
Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn give advice to hopeful designersFor those that are considering giving the show a try, there are a few things they should think through before their big audition. In a recent conference call interview, "Project Runway" judge Nina Garcia and mentor Tim Gunn gave advice to aspiring competitors.
Nina Garcia, who has been fashion director at both Elle and Marie Claire magazines, offered up these words of wisdom: "Put together a very concise collection or portfolio of your collection. Be very motivated and focused, and articulate when you present it."
This advice has served several winners well. Season 3's Jeffrey Sebelia and Season 4's Christian Siriano came to the reality show with very clear visions. As a result, both consistently created works that showcased their distinct POVs.
Designers need to be prepared for the pressureIf anyone knows about nurturing new talent, it's "Project Runway's" resident guru Tim Gunn, who was a member of the faculty at Parsons The New School for Design for 25 years. He acknowledged that he looks at each new group of contestants as he would an incoming class of students.
He spoke to the ever-increasing demands that the competitors face on the series, saying, "You just don't know how the designer is going to respond to the challenges, how they're going to respond to the ever-increasing level of exhaustion -- physical, emotional, creative, and mental exhaustion. It's really daunting."
Time limitations get tighter for 'Project Runway' designersHe conceded that with each passing season, the time limitations that are enforced on the assigned tasks make the challenges more difficult. As the number of hours for each fashion mission gets shorter, the pressure increases. Gunn acknowledged, "Heidi [Klum] will occasionally talk to me off camera and ask, 'Why didn't this work any better?' And my response is, 'Give them more time.'"
But the demands of the show aside, Gunn said there is one key piece of advice for anyone who is thinking of applying: "Be who you are. Because if you present yourself as someone you're not, then the likelihood that you can sustain that on the show is unlikely. So just be who you are and be proud of that. And don't be someone that you think the producers or the judges will want to have on the show."
Watch the "Project Runway" Season 10 finale on Thursday, 10/18 at 9 PM EST on Lifetime.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Nina Garcia
- Tim Gunn
- Project Runway
- Seth Aaron Henderson
- Austin Scarlett