The Best ‘Project Runway’ Designer Fights (VIDEO)
High fashion brings high drama. From Christian Siriano to Tim Gunn, the infamous brawls on the catwalk.
With a new judge—auf wiedersehen, Michael Kors—and a new all-team challenges format, Season 11 of Project Runway is sure to be drama-filled. While we wait for tensions to erupt among the 16 new designers, take a look back at the best fights from seasons past.
Wendy, Everyone Hates You
Project Runway spent its entire first season building up to this blowout between the final designers, Jay McCarroll, Kara Saun, and Wendy Pepper. After fighting over “strategies,” both Kara and Jay admitted what everyone was thinking—everyone hates Wendy Pepper. Kara then delivered the final blow of the brawl by declaring Wendy soulless.
Jeffrey Makes Angela’s Mother Cry
Project Runway has had its fair share of crying designers—including Andrae Gonzalo—but making a client cry was a first. During the Everyday Woman Challenge, Jeffrey Sebelia argued with his client, fellow competitor Angela Keslar’s mother, Darlene, after she expressed concern over his color choice. The disagreement led to Sebelia telling Darlene that he didn’t care whether she liked it and that he “didn’t appreciate [her] even standing here.”
Christian Gets Catty With a Teen Client
Christian Siriano was known for his fierceness during the fourth season of Project Runway, but he met his match in teenage client Maddie during the prom-dress challenge. The budding designers argued constantly over the construction of the dress, leaving the eventual season winner close to elimination.
Kenley Talks Back
Season 5 designer Kenley Collins was never short of attitude during her stint on the show. After declaring that she “pretty much nailed” the Diane von Furstenberg Collection Challenge, Collins both interrupted and talked back to host Heidi Klum in an effort defend the complexity of her garment. Collins continued to antagonize the judges throughout the season and later pleaded guilty to starting a real catfight.
Tim Gunn Scolds Team Luxe
Designers on Project Runway may be used to Tim Gunn’s criticisms, but they aren’t used to his reprimands. In Season 8, Gunn scolded the designers of Team Luxe after their runway showing for “allowing Gretchen to manipulate, control, and bully” them, igniting a season’s worth of conflict for the eventual winner. Gretchen Jones used the “it didn’t have to be a boring shirt dress” excuse to defend herself to Team Luxe.
Josh and Becky Fight
As team leader for the Season 9 New Balance Challenge, Joshua McKinley also became team bully when he and teammate Becky Ross argued over her “dowdy” dresses. McKinley later told her he “didn’t care if she was crying. Just keep sewing.”
Designers Say Elena Slivnyak is Difficult
One way to create drama in a team challenge? Boss everyone around, à la Elena Slivnyak, who admitted that she “doesn’t like working in teams” and that she “made a few enemies that day.” In this video diary from the Marie Claire at Work Challenge in Season 10, Slivnyak’s teammate Melissa Fleis finally snapped and confronted Slivnyak about her individualistic ways.
What Happened to Andrae?
The most infamous fight of Project Runway was not the product of a high-stakes challenge but of Season 2 contestant Santino Rice’s imagination. Deploying his spot-on impression of Tim Gunn, Rice created a fictitious Red Lobster date tiff between the mentor and designer Andrae Gonzalo. Gunn lovingly confronted Rice about the joke, and a new Project Runway catch phrase was born: what happened to Andrae?