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Finally! Project Runway is Ready to Roll

Tim, Heidi, and the gang (Michael, Nina and assorted celebrity guest stars) are coming back for "Project Runway" season . It starts July 28 on Lifetime.

After making us wait for a long, long time, the Lifetime channel is working hard to drum up interest in the ninth season of “Project Runway.” The recent air-date announcement was promoted with a nude ad featuring Heidi Klum. They didn’t have to bother! Lots of fans have been keeping tabs all summer on news about the new season.

Season 9 will premiere on July 28, according to Lifetime, and it’s going to be like no other season before.

The season will open with more contestants: 20! It could be that there were so many great competitors that the producers felt they needed to widen the field … or … they just wanted to have the drama and impact of a quadruple elimination right off the bat.

Each of the 20 designers has to make it clear he or she deserves a spot on the show to the judges – the returning panel of Heidi, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia. (Tim Gunn is back too, in his role as mentor.)

Four designers will be “Auf’d” during the first episode. The challenge that faces the remaining 16 is supposed to be “one of the toughest first challenges in the series’ history,” according to Lifetime, and it begins at dawn the next day.

The celebrity guest judges for this season include Malin Akerman, Zoe SaldanaKim Kardashian, and Christina Ricci, the Chicago Tribune reported.

And one thing that hasn’t changed (and must never!) is that the season’s going to finish with the nervewracking runway shows during New York Fashion Week. Even after all they’ve been through on the show, I feel anxious for the designers who make it that far.

Be sure to check back here on the Threads blog after the season begins. As for past seasons of “Project Runway,” we’ll have episode recaps every week there’s a new episode.

Are you planning to watch the new season of “Project Runway”? How much to you think the show needs to keep evolving to stay popular? Or do you think the changes are gimmicks that don’t really change your interest level? Do you, like me, watch for the work and the results – there’s enough drama from the time constraints and the competition that the guest stars and gimmicks are superfluous. Tell us what you think!


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  1. Elaray | | #1

    I will be watching!! 20 designers and a quadruple elimination don't excite me. I won't have developed a loyalty to any of the contestants during the first episode and I probably won't care who get eliminated at that point.

    I'd like to see more challenges in which the designers work with real people and not models. Have they done a challenge with plus size women yet? Being a plus size women, I'd be very interested in that challenge.

  2. jcw0110 | | #2

    Love this show, can't wait!

  3. cindyupton | | #3

    looking forward to Project runway season 9. I would like it if they would show more of the design and constuction
    of the garments and less of the drama in the workroom.

  4. djackman | | #4

    GREAT!! have been waiting a long time.

  5. User avater
    Yumjo | | #5

    I'm looking forward to PR's ninth season. I watch the program for the creativity and the results. I don't need the gimmicks to be an avid PR supporter. Once I share the program with someone else, they become watchers along with myself.

  6. Bhow5747 | | #6

    Counting down the days!

  7. Ceeayche | | #7

    I'm looking forward to it.

    However, the show would have more credibility for me if the contestants would shut up and sew. It is an opportunity of a lifetime, why are you even concerned about the others in the workroon? Plus, keeping the bad actors (mean spirited, unprofessional) around like they did last year and then rewarding them is short sighted. short term ratings hike but diminishes caliber or show.

    Maybe they could do a PR Unplugged. Where they did a "behind the seams" cut of the show for those of us excited about the techniques and the design?

  8. bakertoo | | #8

    I'm not really sure yet, how much time I want to invest in the drama of the show. I want to see real sewing, and creativity, and constructive ideas from the judges, not a bunch of snarky high school interactions. I want to see maturity from the judges and the people on the show, and I didn't see much of that last year. The show was too much like a reality show last year, and the competition seemed false to me, set up to be a psychological drama to focus on, and not about the effort and maturity it takes to create. I guess I will watch the first one, but once it becomes a lurid warfare, I won't continue. I want to see more of Tim Gunn really helping the sewers, and giving them good advice and guidance, and less self ego stroking from the judges, especially Michael Kors, who seems to use the show as a boost to his own creativity.

  9. User avater
    KaptKim | | #9

    I'm really looking forward to season 9 but I do hope they show more of the construction and design process. I can do without the high school drama although I do look forward to the catch phrases every season. My favorite? " Where the HELL is my chiffon?!"

  10. LorettaDian | | #10

    Absolutely I will watch this season. I've seem all of them & I love them. Sometimes the interaction among the participants can get a bit trying & there is quite a lot of grandstanding & whining & backstabbing but I know that it is always done for effect & it does make the whole show interesting. Besides all that goes on in this business anyway.

  11. User avater
    MessyVirgo | | #11

    I agree with most of the other posters: forget the drama. There are other reality shows to watch if that's all you want. Sewing shows are few and far between — especially in prime time.

  12. threadjunkie | | #12

    I'm with bakertoo. The show is just too catty now. I quit watching it because of the unprofessional behavior, tattling on each other on the judging platform, etc.

    Trust me, bad behavior like that is not rewarded in the real workplace. I don't want to watch it glorified on TV. Frankly, as a professional, I think it makes us look bad.

    When the show was about creatively solving a problem, I was a fan. Now that it's about snark and backstabbing, it's not the show for me.

  13. soxfan999 | | #13

    I haven't watched the last 2 seasons. I got bored with the snarkiness of the contestants. I do love the creativity and will watch at least the first couple of episodes this season.

  14. User avater
    aguywhosews | | #14

    I'm looking forward to it, because I just like to sew, I'm just beginning myself. It's exciting to see what the possibilities are. I wish they would show more sewing and more technical aspects instead of the personal drama, that to me is just stupid and a waste of my time.

  15. Betina | | #15

    I'd like to see them work with real women too, or at least real-sized models. I hate that they are working with skinny models, it takes away from the credibility. They should have a challenge for working with middle-aged women, fashions for young mothers (fabric washability is important), pear-shaped women, busty women, disproportionate women, etc. You know, real people, who the audience might actually be able to identify with.

    I don't need to know all the dirty laundry either. I'm watching to learn some new techniques and be inspired. I want to see the sewing skills, the creativity, and the finished products.

    I have kids. When I watch tv, I don't want to listen to children bicker. Backstabbing is childish, and has no place among professionals which these people are supposedly striving to become.

    Get rid of all the drama-diva attention, focus on the task at hand, and let's get on with it. THAT will make me watch without fail. The rest just gets really old, really fast.

  16. GreyBird | | #16

    Hate the drama. Love the show and can't wait for it to return. I visit Mood online to get my fix of fabric and sewing fun. Tired of Michael Kors, he is so inconsistent. Been sewing for 45 years and love to watch these creative people respond to the sometimes outrageous challenges. I do like the posts about using real (or more realistic) sized models. That's a creative challenge of its own in fashion today.

  17. buffa | | #17

    I love the premise but hate the back-stabbing and insulting remarks. There are a lot more people sewing now. They are probably as interested in the creation of ideas for garments, techniques of sewing and, possibly, how to sell their creations. If I wanted a fake "reality" show, there are plenty of those. I won't waste my time if the creepy, cranky, mean-mouthing continues.

  18. spinfudgie | | #18

    I to am looking forward to it, I have seen all the episodes but I really hope they do cut out the drama. I'm an intermediate sewer and I would love to see more on how the designing and construction techniques lead to the finished project. I also hope they get rid of the corny challenges. (ie: designs made from hardware,candy stores etc.)I agree more designs for real women would be great as most of us aren't 5'8" and size 1.

  19. DaughterofLevi | | #19

    yes, I'll watch the show but I hope the judges don't get another bad case of the stupids and choose an ok designer like Gretchen again and let the real talented ones go. (didn't like the colors, come on, I loved the colors from last season's runner up) Hopefully, they will begin to let the viewers make a choice as we are the ones who will usually wear, or make the garments. (I try my best to copy the ones I like) The drama is ok as I use this as a guide, if the designer is such a louse, I would not purchase their designs. Tim Gunn should also have a say in determining the final designer.

  20. bmck97004 | | #20

    I agree with everyone who hates the drama and watches for the design and technique. My solution to that is to tape (DVR) the show and then I can fast-forward through all the arguments and sniping and get to the fashion! Keeps me sane.

    CHL, I love your idea about having a show of just behind-the-seams, focusing on technique and ability!

  21. sorenlorensen | | #21

    I can't wait! Though wish they wouldn't dilute it with 20 if they plan to knock it down right away...makes it harder for me to figure out who everyone is and what their style is all about! I need no gimmicks, just good fashion!!! :)

  22. User avater
    MorningRose | | #22

    I agree with just about everyone - I watch the show for creativity, not the drama. This is one of very few 'reality' show I watch because I hope to get ideas I can use.
    The last couple seasons left me feeling a bit blah because we didn't see really good challenges (I personally like to see unusaly materials - always going to Mood is boring), the judges were inconsistant with what they were looking for (everyday vs unique designs), and too much focus on the drama.
    I really hope they've gone back to the roots of the show. If not, I'll DVR it, then just watch the runway portion. I do like the idea of a 'behind the scenes' show, but I'd be afraid they would focus on more of the drama (like other behind the scenes shows seem to do.)

  23. cynsew | | #23

    I also have to agree with everyone else. Stop the backstabbing and drama. I want to see professional seamstresses. Get rid of the children who can't behave. Now, What I would also like to see is more of the actual sewing. I have watched this show for years, but I don't really learn anything. I would like to walk away from each episode and want to try a new technique or say WoW I did not know how to do that and it is so easy! We as sewers are always wanting to soak up more knowledge!! Take the winning outfit and show us exactly how it was made! Teach us and many more will be watching! Thank You for listening!

  24. weavergal50 | | #24

    I've watched every single episode since I discovered it in Season 2. Love the fashion, hate the bickering and drama. I agree that it would be great to see some techniques in detail -- how they designed their own prints a few seasons ago, for example. Twenty designers is ho-hum for me; it's too many to keep track of and I won't care much who goes home. Double eliminations later in the season would work better, I think.

    Anyway, I'll be watching for sure!

  25. imacook | | #25

    Let's get real about construction and design techniques and let go of the reality aspect which exposes cattiness among contestants. Designing for real women who have figure variations that challenge the outcomes for being svelt and trendy while also being timeless are what I look for. Judges should be consistent in their judging rather than wanting to be self-serving about their own enterprises. The named guest judges seem to be flash-in-the-pan. Who are they to label quality above flash-fashion? Where are previous winners of PR who are mature enough to give back a genuine perspective to current hopefuls? I hope the winner is truly a great designer and not a compromise among judges who have ulterior motives about the winner. Audience reaction ought to count for something, too.

  26. User avater
    RevDi | | #26

    I doubt I will watch - Gretchengate soured me on Project Runway for good. Rewarding someone for their ho-hum, store-ready "line" when they penalized the previous season's most creative competitor, Emilio Sosa, for creating a very wearable collection by calling it a "line," left me dumbfounded. Michael C should not have been eliminated. The public spoke when it bought his entire collection, and Mondo's too, and left Gretchen's and Andy's collections largely untouched on Seenon.com. I'm still waiting to see Nina Garcia in granny pants.
    I'm tired of Michael Kors and Nina Garcia's bitchiness and rudeness. I have real trouble finding the expertise in the celebrity guest judges. Tim Gunn should have more of a say in the judging; he is a true arbiter of good taste and good fashion.
    I am sick of the drama, the backbiting, the snarkiness as some have put it. I want to see the design process, the construction process, the way challenges are met. I enjoy the offbeat challenges, and how the designers cope with uniqe materials. Show us more of the hands-on process, and less of the arguments and name-calling. Then the audiences might come back.

  27. User avater
    aislinnluv | | #27

    I don't mind the "snarkiness" as much as some others do. What I find annoying is the rude comments made by some of the judges (Michael Kors is the worst)and the inclusion of "guest judges" who have little to no expertise in the fashion area aside from wearing clothes. It is possible to be a nice person and a creative person at the same time - Chloe Dao, winner of Season 2, for instance. I agree with some other commentors taht it was very disappointing that the judges found Gretchen's work laudable, when a lot of it was trite or boring or simply unwearable. Let's hope that the new season has some great talent, interesting characters, and less of the rudeness (from contestants and judges)than we have seen in other seasons. I always get inspired to sew watching the show.

  28. indigo1111 | | #28

    I'll be watching! All the drama, "unfairness" of the judging, etc. is just the nature of reality tv - but P.R. has people sewing again! I've been sewing for over 50 years and I continue to be stunned by what these people can accomplish in such a short time.

  29. User avater
    BarbaraSki | | #29

    I'm so tired of Nina & Michael. They get worse every season - erratic in their criticism and very nasty - not constructive at all. I've seen MK's line and wonder where he gets off criticizing for lack of imagination or "not fashion forward"? His line is dull. When people who staple or tape or paper clip their garments together get a pass, it tends to endorse the belief that the show is rigged...not really a "fashion" show, but an entertainment. I'd like to see more process and focus on some of the very unique embellishments that are sometimes done - we hear what the designer is planning to do and then its done - let's see some indepth footage of the process! There's an outcry when a talented designer has one bad week and is "auf'd" when a mediocre designer turning in drek week after week hangs on - but we continue to watch. Its almost like a bad accident - we hate it, but can't turn away! After last year's unbelievable ending (obviously MK can overrule Heidi & Nina) giving that no talent Grethen the win...it's hard to take this show seriously. And please spare us from those lame guest judges! Just because they wear clothes, doesn't make them a qualified judge - except to say "yes, I like it or no I don't".

  30. User avater
    BarbaraSki | | #30

    I forgot to add - more Tim Gunn! Now HE is qualified, credential carrying judge material. Let's see more interaction between him and the designers.

  31. ozparker | | #31

    Really enjoy watching each episode but some of the guys are way too out there for me. Tone the Greenwich Village attitudes down a little, please.

  32. acertrifolium | | #32

    I've enjoyed this program very much but have been disapointed with the triteness of the drama. I would be more interested in seeing the sewing technigues the competitors use. This is a perfect opportunity to draw the public (who sew) into the program. Challenge us to try some of these techniques!! AND perhaps have us vote for OUR favorite. Based on what I've read, a majority would like to see less drama and more about the creativity that goes into the garments!! Last season's winner was unworthy. I liked Mondo's creations much more. Involve us!!

  33. acertrifolium | | #33

    I've enjoyed this program very much but have been disapointed with the triteness of the drama. I would be more interested in seeing the sewing technigues the competitors use. This is a perfect opportunity to draw the public (who sew) into the program. Challenge us to try some of these techniques!! AND perhaps have us vote for OUR favorite. Based on what I've read, a majority would like to see less drama and more about the creativity that goes into the garments!! Last season's winner was unworthy. I liked Mondo's creations much more. Involve us!!

  34. sbsings | | #34

    I wish we could see more of the draping and actual construction done by the contestants. I assume they take a lot of shortcuts in creating such fabulous garments in so little time and I'd like to get some ideas from that.
    It may call for a edited section of the show to be available online showing much more of the details of the artists at work!

  35. 416 | | #35

    I do plan to watch Project Runway just as I have years before. I like to see the way the designers are chosen. They showed it on one program but I haven't seen it again. It helps me stay with the designer and watch him/her grow on the show.

  36. User avater
    Martykay | | #36

    Even thought the drama was fun to watch at times; I still want to see more sewing and construction. I would also like to see all of the finished clothes up close and not just the top 3 or bottom 3.

  37. User avater
    Martykay | | #37

    Even thought the drama was fun to watch at times; I still want to see more sewing and construction. I would also like to see all of the finished clothes up close and not just the top 3 or bottom 3.

  38. User avater
    Martykay | | #38

    oops I forgot to add that I can't wait for the next season.

  39. terricita | | #39

    I still haven't gotten over the fact that they kicked Michael off last season because his 3 looks for the final were all in the same color family, and yet, Grinchen won with an ALL BROWN COLLECTION!

    I agree with others that the snarky "drama" detracts from the show. This is the only reality show I watch and it is NOT to see the manufactured drama. I also don't think the 1 1/2 hour format helped. It just seemed give more time for the hatefulness. I wonder if they understand that we watch for the CLOTHES not the crap.

  40. terricita | | #40

    I still haven't gotten over the fact that they kicked Michael off last season because his 3 looks for the final were all in the same color family, and yet, Grinchen won with an ALL BROWN COLLECTION!

    I agree with others that the snarky "drama" detracts from the show. This is the only reality show I watch and it is NOT to see the manufactured drama. I also don't think the 1 1/2 hour format helped. It just seemed give more time for the hatefulness. I wonder if they understand that we watch for the CLOTHES not the crap.

  41. mom2harley | | #41

    I would like to see less drama. Last years's season was great the way everybody pretty much helped each other. That beats the back-stabbing from other seasons. I would be more interested in seeing techniques close-ups of the final projects. I do enjoy what we do get to see and have gotten tons of ideas from the show. I would also like to see more of the unusual materials for making the garments. (the produce department, the recycled materials, the hardware store items) AM looking forward to Timm Gunn's comments and the judges critiques.

  42. sewcietymaven | | #42

    I LOVE PR! I would like to see more detail; less drama. I want to see who is good with what tecniques, who prefers certain tools over another, and exactly what they are allowed to have in their kits!

  43. CMORT | | #43

    I agree with all the comments. Is someone going to forward them to the producers of the show? The first couple of years there was lots about sewing. The snarkiness started later when it worked on other shows. It is sells, we are in a bad way. But perhaps they would listen if they heard from us sewists.

  44. kwtxn | | #44

    I'm with Sarah, I am interested in the designs and how they are created.
    Too much of the "drama" is too created and the show could do with a lot less bickering and more crafting and creating. It does not need to be a soap opera to draw a crowd. Talent is very much appreciated.

    I like Elary's ideas of having the designers work with real people - at least a couple of times during the competition.

    I do look forward to the Show's return.

  45. shoreliner | | #45

    I too wish there was more on the construction and techniques used and totally agree with the comments regarding the judges especially Michael and Nina and even Heidi was getting a little nasty this past season. I don't understand the mean spiritedness and need to trash these people so personally. Constructive crticism, yes...personal attacks and ridicule of their design is uncalled for. I will NEVER purchase anything with Michael Kors name on it!! I would also prefer to lose the fabricated drama. I'm sure some of these designers have developed reputations that just aren't accurate because of how they are portrayed on this show. I watch for the design aspect, not the drama and definitely not the judge's attitudes or the make believe "fashion experts" they bring in as "guest judges"...Kim Kardashion this year...really???

  46. cranger907 | | #46

    I'll give it two episodes to persuade me to replace my now deceased DVR. Gretchen's win last season was nothing short of a betrayal of the show's premise. And as I have said before, the lack of time to complete challenges doesn't allow the designers an opportunity to do anything complicated (how much tailoring do we see?) or to demonstrate their problem solving skills. Lifetime seems committed to appealing to the lowest common denominator of the audience, and offering up the worst stereotypes of the fashion industry, hence the emphasis on drama and not the creative process. They are this close to losing this viewer.

  47. namasteknitter | | #47

    I'd like so see a short "tutorial" from each or from a selected designer (perhaps the challenge winners) that has them explain a particular technique that they are fond of, or have invented. The fabric "petals" from one designer's collection was inspired and it would have been interesting to hear from the designer the why and the how of that design element. Some designers use intricate seaming to create a shape, etc. I realize this is not a "How to Sew" show, but it would be nice to showcase some technical elements that go in to creating a really good design. An "up close and personal" with winners of the creative challenges might attract additional viewers and provide a little relief from all of the drama. It would help to make the designers seem more like real people - not just "the guy with the weird hair". They all have to be really good at what they do already just to have secured a place on the show. They must have something to say about fashion, so let's hear it!

  48. namasteknitter | | #48

    One more comment. I love Tim Gunn. His assistance and support of the designers is great. He always remains a gentleman while keeping the designers on track, asking good questions, and encouraging good work and artistic genius when he sees it.

  49. dormery | | #49

    I agree with all the other comments concerning less drama, more design and sewing. There have been many occasions when I was sure that someone was not eliminated because it would reduce the conflicts in the studio. After the last two seasons, I'm willing to watch it only one more time before giving up entirely. Sometimes I wonder whether I have mistakenly taped an episode of The Real Housewives of Hell.

  50. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #50

    I'm not to sure that PR's target viewer includes any of us who comment here! They seem to be more interested in targeting the kind of viewer who also watches "Jerseylicious" or "Bridezillas"...shows that show people at their worst.
    I have loved PR despite it's drama, because I know how hard these contestants work. I don't always agree with the selection of the winner and don't appreciate the increase in snarkiness from Michael Kors and Nina Garcia and even from Heidi Klum. I thought at least she would be above that. Oh well, I'll watch every episode...

  51. User avater
    wicked_stitcher | | #51

    just give me the straight, no chaser vers. i'm a purist, it's all about the sewing. personalities should take a back seat, it's trashy when the program devolves into this "material."

  52. Shelly50 | | #52

    I'll be watching, but - as with most other commentors - not for all the backbiting nastiness and the focus they seem to make on promoting alternative lifestyles. It would be really interesting if the people who did the programming would do a poll and find out exactly who is watching and for what purpose. I watch Jersey Couture occassionally - not for the drama, but for the dresses.

    Like the rest of you I like (or maybe should say LOVE - have a passion for) clothing, fabric (I have 10 huge bins full of fabric) and of course sewing - give me fabric, scissors and a sewing machine and I am a happy girl. So needless to say, I watch PR for the sewing and creative aspect.

    I EXPECT, from those who have set themselves up as EXPERTS, to give HONEST AND STRAIGHT FORWARD assessments of a finished garment. I really appreciate Tim Gunn's contribution to the program, at least he is giving honest and straight forward feedback.

    I too, would like to see some REAL WORLD models used. The one time I recall a TRUE real world plus size woman used (this was the segment where the designers had to design for their fellow-contestants mothers) - the designer totally botched his opportunity to think outside the "fat lady" box - on top of which his attitude about the challenge presented him was poor - to put it mildly.

    To Threads Magazine - will you be forwarding all of our comments to Lifetime, Micheal, Kim, Nina and Tim?

  53. FoxyGram | | #53

    I would really like to see more actual sewing to show how the contestants achieve some of the interesting effects, and what special cutting techniques they use, i.e. on the bias, etc..

  54. JDNow | | #54

    I will definitely be watching PR. As a sewing instructor the weeks designs are always a hot topic of discussion in class. My beginning students really respect what all the designers can finish in such short time frames. Also, I truly believe PR has gotten a whole new generation interested in the art of sewing-not just sketching designs and thinking magic fairies make the garment happen.
    I also had the good fortune to get the scoop on the Gretchen win from Tim Gunn himself. He dished about it at a fashion show I attended. It's a long story but, it's an older post on my blog

  55. iamnewsewer | | #55

    I will continue to watch Project Runway. I love the patterns and techniques used by the designers and I learn from the comments of Heidi, Michael, Nina and the guest designers. I loove Project runway and I'm looking forward to the new season.

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