Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are the barometer of cool. In the fickle world of fashion, you’re only as cool as the company you keep. Blessed with a who’s who of celebrity friends just itching for their moment to share in the Project Runway spotlight, Heidi and Tim have the pop culture world at their feet. Actors, athletes, musicians, and fashion designers have all eagerly gathered at the edge of the famed catwalk to dish and diss. With season eight waiting patiently in the wings, here’s a look back at the 10 most memorable celebrity appearances on Project Runway.
1. Victoria Beckham
Who says you can’t have it all? Posh Spice does! Model-skinny looks, a hot husband, beautiful children, and a fashion range to die for. Everything Vicky touches turns to platinum. Take her season four finale proclamation. At the show’s conclusion, she emphatically exclaimed that she’d be honoured – yes, honoured! – to wrap herself in any of Christian Siriano’s fierce creations. Victoria’s emotive response not only proved that she IS capable of cracking a smile, but instantly gave credibility to Runway’s latest winner.
2. Lindsay Lohan
In between rehab stints and mug shots, LiLo found time to guest judge Project Runway’s season six premiere. Despite her personal problems and the occasional fashion hiccup, Lindsay surprisingly displayed a real knack for fashion and managed to win over Tim Gunn in the process. Shame she couldn’t use this successful stint in the public eye as a launch pad into bigger, better, more legal things.
3. Sarah Jessica Parker
Bit of a no brainer here. You’re a fashion television program based in New York. You want the coolest celebrity guests imaginable so of course you’d recruit Manhattan’s favourite fashionista, Ms. Carrie Bradshaw! In season four, Sarah Jessica’s inclusion caused a flurry of excitement for the contestants as they sunk their teeth into a design challenge involving her Bitten clothing line.
4. LL Cool J
Music and fashion are deeply intertwined, so why hasn’t Project Runway included more rock star guest judges? During season five, LL Cool J’s chilled out appearance helped satiate that hunger. With urban music permanently atop the music charts, LL’s presence made the music-inspired clothing challenge credible and current. And he looked hot too. Yep, ladies STILL love Cool James!
5. Christina Aguilera
The gal with the amazing voice and penchant for dressing up in corsets and garters climbed into the judge’s chair for season six’s glam songstress challenge. This talented diva notorious for her mesmerizing stage presence encouraged the contestants to hit the high notes in the on-stage style stakes. Only the best threads would do for this Grammy® winner.
6. Rachel Zoe
As Hollywood’s go-to stylist du jour, Rachel Zoe was born to appear on this show. Her client list boasts A-listers Demi Moore, Anne Hathaway and Cameron Diaz. Runway producers knew that viewers would go bananas when a season five guest judging spot was reserved for the popular Ms. Zoe. Was it just a coincidence that Rachel landed her own reality show soon after? Hmmm.
7. Rebecca Romijn
File this appearance under typecasting: while portraying a fashion magazine editor on Ugly Betty, Rebecca accepted the guest judge role in season six. A former model, Rebecca knew better than most stars how difficult it can be to survive the cut-throat fashion industry. Rebecca was pregnant with twins at the time of her PR stint, and her task involved the clever creation of a svelte looking maternity outfit. Luckily no scary Guadalajara red ponchos were churned out for this mama to be.
8. Nicole Ritchie
We love it when Runway carts in famous designers to sit in the rickety chairs beside Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, but it’s refreshing when the enthusiastic opinions of younger, less proven couturier are tossed into the mix. Welcome, Nicole Ritchie! The actress and writer is now focusing her energies on her House of Harlow label. Nicole’s apparel and accessories range helped propel this one-time Hollywood bad girl into a respected season seven guest star.
9. Apolo Anton Ohno
One of the few male guest judges, the Olympic speed skating champion offered an athlete’s perspective to the season five participants. Casting a critical eye over a sportswear challenge, Apolo’s expertise in this arena generated scorn from some viewers. How can a soul patch-sporting dude clad in spandex for his day job critique fashion? Love him, or hate him, Apolo sparked one of the most spirited debates of that season.
You know you’ve arrived when the fashion community overwhelmingly embraces your television franchise. After season one, Heidi, and Tim couldn’t help but trip over all the designers clamouring for some valuable on-air time. Tory Burch, Matthew Williamson, Rachel Roy, Betsey Johnson, Roland Mouret, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg, Cynthia Rowley, Georgina Chapman, and Bob Mackie are just a small sampling of the talent gracing Project Runway during its first seven seasons. Who’s next? Tune in to season eight to find out!
Written by: Jackie Middleton
Please check out Jackie’s blog at www.losethatgirl.com.