Any show as popular as “Project Runway” would not be left to have just regular seasons, even cable seasons, which work on their own mysterious timetable.
Given the expectations of a built-in audience, “Project Runway All Stars” was destined.
It premieres Thursday on Lifetime.
This show needs to be different from its mother ship, so it amps up the competition and the prizes.
Thirteen contestants from past seasons compete for a variety of prizes, including a boutique at some Neiman Marcus stores. In exchange, the high-end retailer's accessories are used on the show.
“The format is very similar and fans of the show will be familiar, but there are some nuances that are different, and that is really because of the all-stars,” executive producer Rob Bagshaw says.
“We have taken people from every season, so all-stars have been through the process already. They are familiar with the challenges and working with tight deadlines and have gone on to bigger and better things. They have collections and sell, and dress red carpet celebrities.”
Isaac Mizrahi, one of the series' regular judges (with Georgina Chapman), is no stranger to fashion shows on TV.
“I don't come to that table with any preconceived notions,” Mizrahi says. “It's such a big swath of territory and ... you have to get your bearings really quickly.”
Mizrahi says he knew instantly “we were dealing with extremely talented designers. I had been on a few shows as a head judge, fashion competition shows at different levels. These are all stars. They have been to this table before, and they come with their A-game, and they know what to expect with the intensity of the day, of the physical commitment of just being awake for that many hours. That alone steps up the game a lot.”
No “Project Runway” winners are among current contestants.
They are Kenley Collins (season five), Michael Costello (season eight), Gordana Gehlhausen (season six), Mondo Guerra (season eight), Mila Hermanovski (season seven), Kara Janx (season two), Elisa Jimenez (season four), April Johnston (season eight), Rami Kashou (season four), Austin Scarlett (season one), Jerell Scott (season five), Sweet P/Kathleen Vaughn (season four) and Anthony Williams (season seven).