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Are There Enough Good “Project Runway” Designers Remaining For Another All Star Season?

Following news that Alyssa Milano will host a third season of Project Runway: All Stars, who could the contestants be? In other words, who even is left at this point?

Lifetime recently confirmed that Alyssa Milano will take over the hosting duties from model Carolyn Murphy (who in turn took over from Angela Lindvall) for a third season of Project Runway: All Stars.

Getty Images

L-R: Milano, Murphy, Lindvall.

The thing is, it’s easy enough to find a new model or previous Runway guest judge to read some cue cards and say “bye, you’re eliminated” every now and then. More challenging: to fill another cast of returning designers from the pool of (talented) Runway alumnae who haven’t already had their second shot.

4. The first All Star season’s cast:

Back row: Gordana Gehlhausen (season 6), Kenley Collins (season 5), Mondo Guerra (season 8), Sweet Pea (season 4), Kara Janx (season 2), Mila Hermanovski (season 7), Austin Scarlett (season 1), Elisa Jiminez (season 5), Rami Kashou (season 4).
Front row: , Jerell Scott (season 5), Anthony Williams (season 7), April Johnston (season 8), Michael Costello (season 8).

5. And the second season:

Back row: Ivy Higa (season 8), Emilio Sosa (season 7), Uli Herzner (season 3), Althea Harper (season 6), Joshua McKinley (season 9), Suede Baum (season 4), Casanova (season 8), Wendy Pepper (season 1).
Front row:: Andrae Gonzalo (season 2), Kayne Gillaspie (season 3), Laura Kathleen (season 9), Anthony Ryan Auld (season 9), Peach Carr (season 8).

6. Both previous All Star seasons have featured 13 designers — and none of the regular show’s winners. So who’s left?


Below, some suggestions:

7. Kara Saun (season 1)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is she really an All Star?
Of course! One of the strongest designers from Project Runway’s first season, there’s an argument to be made that Kara only lost out in the finale because of that unfortunate brouhaha over those shoes she didn’t really pay for (tsk tsk).

But would she do it all again?
All signs point to no. Her website says: “empowered by impressive accolades and clientele, Kara Saun continues to expand her emerging brand into the fashion and entertainment realm, where there are no limits to the amazing adventures to come.” (She even dressed Amanda Bynes once, though presumably not too recently.)

8. Zulema Griffin (season 2)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is she really an All Star? From the moment Zulema demanded a walk-off between her would-be models in that epic mid-season episode, her All Star status was a cert. I mean, “it’s a motherfucking walk off” people.

But would she do it all again? Zulema returning to the Runway workroom is the stuff reality TV producers’ dreams are made of. Cross your fingers, cross your toes, braid your hair, say a prayer etc.

9. Santino Rice (season 2)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is he really an All Star? Without a doubt. Santino remains one of the show’s biggest/baddest contestants, with a swagger (and, occasionally, the skills to back it up) yet to be replicated. He’d top our All Star wishlist.

But would he do it all again? With his gig judging RuPaul’s Drag Race, sadly not. He’s also too busy at the gym these days.

10. Angela Keslar (season 3)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is she really an All Star?
She’s Angela Keslar, come on. Her rosettes alone are All Star-worthy. (And by rosettes, we also mean meltdowns.)

But would she do it all again?
Unfortunately, almost certainly not. Keslar told Entertainment Weekly she’d given up on the show even while still taking part (because of that time Jeffrey Sebelia made her mom cry), so a second attempt at the Runway rodeo would be a surprise. But let’s hold out hope for more “Jubilee Jumbles” all the same.

11. Vincent Libretti (season 3)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is he really an All Star? Well, there was that time he sent a model on the runway wearing a lampshade as a hat. The moment remains Project Runway’s version of the Princess Beatrice hat.

But would he do it all again? Don’t tell him his sparring partner Angela is also in the final lineup and he just might.

12. Laura Bennett (season 3)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is she really an All Star?
Yes, yes, yes. It’s as simple as that: Laura is the LBD of Project Runway.

But would she do it all again?
It’s hard to believe she hasn’t been offered a spot on either/both of the previous two All Star seasons (in which case she’ll have turned down the casting team twice). But third time’s the charm, right?

13. Chris March (season 4)

Headshot courtesy of Bravo.

Is he really an All Star? Well, Bravo gave him his own show after Project Runway finished up. (Just about nobody watched it, but still.) Not bad for a guy who’d have finished an ignominious twelfth had it not been for a fellow designer quitting and allowing him a re-entry into the Runway workroom.

But would he do it all again? As with Laura, it’s hard to believe Chris hasn’t had the call before. Though his whimsical, costume-heavy designs might not go down well with the judges, a second season’s worth of exposure would surely only help his brand. He’ll just have to promise not to use any more human hair in his designs, because that’s just silly.

14. Ping Wu (season 7)

Headshot courtesy of Lifetime.

Is she really an All Star? Insomuch as anyone eliminated in the third episode of any given Runway season can be, yes she is. Rarely does a designer bamboozle Tim Gunn so completely.

But would she do it all again? I mean why not? Ping’s Runway aesthetic appeared to involve throwing her model in the sale bin at Mood Fabrics and sending her down the catwalk in whatever creased, clashing pieces stuck. Even under the increased pressures of an All Star season, that’s not difficult to replicate.

15. Olivier Green (season 9)

Via http://Headshot%20courtesy%20of%20Lifetime.

Is he really an All Star? He’s adorable. And that will do.

But would he do it all again? With a few year’s since his first showing, Olivier will have had time to refine his aesthetic and buck up his skills on those pesky Runway sewing machines. If he’s so inclined, he could be unstoppable (and still understated).

16. Viktor Luna (season 9)

Via http://Headshot%20courtesy%20of%20Lifetime.

Is he really an All Star? You’d be a Luna-tic to say otherwise. Come on now, cut me some slack. You try answering the same questions thirteen times.
Anyway, Viktor’s designs consistently wowed the judges — hitting all the right notes both technically and aesthetically. Also, among a season of contestants taking bitchy past the point at which it’s fun to watch, Viktor kept his sass in moderation — and in good fun.

But would he do it all again? There aren’t many Runway contestants more deserving of another shot. And let’s not pretend the last All Star season wasn’t tailored for his fellow season 9 designer Anthony Ryan to win, so maybe the judges will keep a theme going…

17. Ven Budhu (season 10)

Headshot courtesy of Lifetime.

Is he really an All Star? Every All Star season needs its oblivious villain. (And ok, we’ve already got Santino but let’s have two this time. Besides, Santino is more of a self-aware bad boy/guilty pleasure.)

But would he do it all again? As long as there are still ways to pleat fabric so that it looks like a rose, there’s room for Ven to return.

18. Elena Slivnyak (season 10)

Headshot courtesy of Lifetime.

Is she really an All Star? Certainly one of her season’s most colorful characters, Elena also won the “Fan Favorite” prize awarded post-show. (It should be noted, however, that she most likely triumphed because the hashtag-centric voting method Lifetime organized on Twitter was skewed by Vampire Diaries fans tweeting #teamelena.)

But would she do it all again? Once she’s got enough good in-confessional soundbites ready, yes she will. SHE WILL.

19. Patricia Michaels (season 11)

Via http://Headshot%20courtesy%20of%20Lifetime.

Is she really an All Star? Ok, well that rule about “no human hair” we established earlier? Patricia can break it, and that (among other reasons) makes her an All Star. Go ahead, try and convince me this look isn’t brilliant. I’m listening.

But would she do it all again? She should. It’d be a great idea for Patricia to show off work without that bullshit “work in teams” twist diluting her Navajo-tinged aesthetic.

20. Also, some honorable mentions:


Season 2’s Diana Eng and Nick Verreos. Both got cut from this shortlist right at the last minute. Sorry.

21. And one more, actually:

Courtesy of Bravo.

Because you do NOT bring Wendy Pepper back for an All Star season and eliminate her second. You just don’t. Wendy Pepper is a reality TV icon and she deserves better. Just put her on every All Star season and let her mindfuck the other designers, please.

22. Basically, that’s the All Star casting team’s work done for them. You’re welcome, guys.


Did I miss anyone important?

(I don’t think so, but I’m prepared to consider arguments that Stella “Leath-uh” Zotis or Chris Palu would be fair choices.)

23. Really though, any old cast will do.

Why? Because the best part of most All Star episodes are Joanna Coles’ critiques.

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