Project Runway!

Just the other day, my editor Kari and I were wondering when ProRun was returning, and today a lovely e-mail arrived.

10 p.m. Nov. 14 on Bravo. Oh, the joy. The happiness.

The fourth season has our beloved Tim Gunn returning with Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia with 15 new designers.

“It is very exciting to be going into our fourth season of Project Runway, and I think it will be the best season yet — I’m sure the audience will enjoy it,” said Klum. “Fashion is such a difficult business, and besides being great TV, we’re proud that the show allows some very talented designers to have a platform.”

The 15 “Project Runway” contestants will be whittled down to the finalists who will show their own line in front of an audience of fashion industry movers and shakers at New York Fashion Week.

As part of the winner’s prize package, an editorial feature on the winning designer will run in an issue of ELLE and will be shot by ELLE’s International Creative Director Gilles Bensimon, the winner will walk away with a cash prize of $100,000 seed money from TRESemmé professional hair care to start their own line, and will have the opportunity to sell a fashion line on Bluefly.com. Saturn will award the winner a 2008 Saturn Astra.

Following are the 15 new “Project Runway” designers, with a bit more on the SF connected designers:

– Carmen, 37 – Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.; Resides in N.Y.
– Chris, 44 – Hometown: San Francisco; Resides in N.Y.
– Christian, 21 – Hometown: Annapolis, Md.; Resides in N.Y.
– Elisa, 42 – Hometown: El Paso, Texas; Resides in Santa Fe, N.M.
– Jack, 38 – Hometown: Seattle, Wash.; Resides in N.Y.
– Jillian, 26 – Hometown/Resides In: Selden in Long Island, N.Y.
– Kevin, 30 – Hometown: Fairfield, N.J.; Resides in N.Y.
– Kit, 26 – Hometown: Los Angeles; Resides in Los Angeles
– Marion, 39 – Hometown: Tyler, Texas; Resides in Dallas, Texas.
– Rami, 31 – Hometown: Ramallah, Jerusalem; Resides in Los Angeles
– Ricky, 35 – Hometown: Escondido; Resides in N.Y.
– Simone, 32 – Hometown: San Francisco; Resides in Los Angeles
– Steven, 30 – Hometown/Resides In: Chicago, Ill.
– Sweet P, 46 – Hometown: Los Angeles; Resides in Glendale
– Victorya, 34 – Hometown: Winchester, Virginia; Resides in N.Y.

CHRIS
AGE: 44
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Self taught
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Dior
FASHION MUST: Bright colored anything

Chris is a freelance Costume Designer in New York City with a client list that includes Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and Thierry Mugler. Originally from San Francisco, he has always kept his eye on a career in fashion.

Chris’ work on the giant trademark hats and wigs of America’s longest running show, “Beach Blanket Babylon,” earned him great acclaim. Without any formal costume or fashion education, he garnered an impressive client list. His love of costuming, fashion, and acting, led him to pursue his fashion design dreams in New York, where his achievements include a “Drama Desk Award” nomination for outstanding costume design. Chris has created looks and styles for many designers that have appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Martha Stewart,” “Rachael Ray,” “Tyra,” “Today,” E! and MTV.

Classic designers like Dior and Chanel, as well as trailblazers like Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano inspire Chris. However, he says he’s always had an unmistakably unique vision and talent that includes sculptural lines, lush fabrics, humor and an unpredictable use of materials. Chris says he designs for the woman who wants to stand out in a crowd.

JACK
AGE: 38
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
EDUCATION: University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology and Parsons School of design
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen (For Men)
FASHION MUST: A sugar daddy

Jack, 38, originally from Seattle, Washington is a swimmer, model and fashion designer. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology. In 1991, Jack moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design where he studied fashion design. Fresh out of Parsons, Jack opened a menswear store in the uber chic West Village called “Jack.” There, he showcased new designers alongside upscale brands such as Gaultier Junior, Diesel and John Richmond. In 1997, he went to work for Tommy Hilfiger and then designed for the Slates brand, which is under the Levis umbrella. For the past 4 years, Jack has been the Design Director at Weatherproof Active Wear.

Beyond his professional achievements, Jack has also received national recognition as a competitive swimmer. He has three All-American titles to his name and set a national record in the summer of 2006 in the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 50 meter medley relay. As a fitness and fashion model through the 1990’s, Jack appeared in such magazines as “Paper,” “DNR,” “Men’s Fitness,” “Men’s Journal,” “Genre,” “Blue” and several others. Jack has also always been very open about his positive HIV status. Since his diagnosis in 1990, he has tried to combat the stigma of HIV by living honestly and being a role model through professional and athletic achievements.

Currently Jack is developing his own line of men’s dress shirts and dress pants and hopes to expand into all aspects of men’s sportswear. He is also working on a memoir about his life experiences.

SIMONE
AGE: 32
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Parsons School of Design, Paris
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Dries Van Noten
FASHION MUST: Organic wool and cashmere

Originally from Northern California and currently living in Los Angeles, Simone, 32, has been making¬¬ clothing since she was a child. Raised in an environment of creativity where artists, designers and musicians were an integral part of daily life, she was encouraged to experiment with every type of material that she could get her hands on. Simone quickly developed an obsession with fabric, form and its natural connection to the body.

While studying at CCA in San Francisco, Simone delved into sculptural and artesianal techniques, gaining appreciation for the historical and the handcrafted traditions of eras gone by. Simone’s love for fashion and history led her to Paris, where she studied at Parsons and assisted a young and accomplished couturier. She says Paris offered a perfect experience for her with dedicated craftsmanship, high-minded fashion and many historical treasures to be discovered.

When Simone returned to the U.S., she began a career of freelance design, personal styling and creating one-of-a-kind pieces for a select clientele. In 2006, this path led her to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she was commissioned to create a custom collection, as well as explore traditional craft and production techniques throughout the region.

Simone currently resides in Los Angeles and is designing custom pieces, as well as TS BLOOM, her collection of women’s wear using organic and surplus fabrics.

“Project Runway” fans can log onto BravoTV for bonus clips of the show, listen to Gunn’s podcast, watch the designers’ audition videos and read blogs written by Gunn and Garcia.

Also on BravoTV.com users will have the chance to compete in online challenges by sending in photos of their take on each week’s challenges. Users will once again be able to “Rate the Runway” and vote on which designs they think should have been “in” or “out” after every episode.

On their mobile phones, fans will be able to access the “Project Runway” WAP site at wap.bravotv.com (or text BRAVO to 27286), for exclusive video diaries, photos, fashion tips from contestants, guest judges and more.

3 Comments

  1. Ella Benigan said,

    September 27, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I totally know Chris from San Francisco — it’s Chris March. He used to design hats and some props for “Beach Blanket Babylon,” and, many years ago, he sold clothes at Villains in the Upper Haight.
    What’s weird is that Chris was featured on Tim Gunn’s solo show. Hmm….
    He’s kind of a weird guy but EXTREMELY talented.

  2. Modeling » Project Runway! said,

    October 3, 2007 at 11:25 am

    […] ALH ipinions wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAs a fitness and fashion model through the 1990’s, Jack appeared in such magazines as “Paper,” “DNR,” “Men’s Fitness,” “Men’s Journal,” “Genre,” “Blue” and several others. Jack has also always been very open about his positive HIV … […]

  3. Dino-Ray said,

    October 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    YES! I CANNOT WAIT FOR PRO RUN TO GET BACK ON TV! I now have a reason for living. The world is now a better place.