While many "Project Runway" fans are missing the sarcastic barbs that judge Michael Kors is so famous for, there's a silver lining to the lack of Michael in Season 12. World-famous designer Zac Posen has taken over Michael's chair for Season 12! This is Posen's second-consecutive season as a regular judge on "Project Runway."
In a phone interview, he opened up about Season 12, the unconventional materials challenge, and the return of Kate Pankoke. Here are some juicy hints and interesting revelations from the lips of Zac Posen himself.
He loves the format changes
Season 12 marks the first time that the judges can get up close and personal with a garment, allowing them to see bad sewing, glue work, or pins that might be keeping a dress together as it walks down the runway.
Arguing that "creativity is as much about process as it is about results," Posen said he was very happy with the new aspects of judging this season. He's also a fan of Tim Gunn's new "Tim Gunn Save" ability to rescue an eliminated designer.
Zac likes the unconventional materials challenge
The Aug. 1 episode, titled "An Unconventional Coney Island," sees the Season 12 designers struggling with some unusual materials. Posen revealed that while he likes these types of challenges, they could be revamped a bit to create better garments.
"Why I love the unconventional material challenge is that it makes the designer have to push their creativity off an existing texture or shape," he said. "They have to work it into a functional garment. So often, you know, when I see those pieces down the runway, I almost wish that then they got a second chance."
As it turns out, Posen is no stranger to working with unconventional materials in his own work.
"You know, I've made dresses out of raffia on the runway myself … I like how alternative material challenges push the designers creativity, and pushes them to think abstractly, and not have to worry about the wearability in this challenge. But it still has to be desirable," he explained.
He is really impressed with returning designer Kate Pankoke
Echoing Tim Gunn's recent sentiments that the Kate Pankoke of Season 12 is a great improvement over the Kate Pankoke of Season 11, Posen revealed that he has seen immense growth in Kate this season.
"Kate has transformed immensely. She is poised. She is competitive. She is giving her all and has her A-game on," he gushed.
While Posen remains tight-lipped about which designers will make it to the finale, he has high praise for Kate. That may suggest she'll advance pretty far in the competition.
"She has a competent point of view … She knows how to do time delegations, she knows how to strategize, she knows the right balance of how to speak for herself and present herself," he said.
"She knows the maze already -- the 'Project Runway' maze. And she understands the level of 'fashion-tainment' of the show. She's a strong contender," he added.
"Project Runway" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.
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