Prepare for fierceness. "Project Runway" is back.
Bravo's "Project Runway" returns for its fifth season on Wednesday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with 16 designers vying for the $100,000 cash prize, an editorial feature in Elle magazine, the opportunity to sell a fashion line on Bluefly.com and a cool set of wheels in the form of a new 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid. How green.
"I feel as though we set the bar higher every season," says returning host Heidi Klum. "We've got some truly talented, innovative and deeply creative designers this year, and I think it's fair to say, the most diverse - everyone from a rocker chick who mostly works with leather to a more bohemian, surfer boy and everything in between."
Mentor Tim Gunn adds, "Season after season the designers have amazed us. They have different DNA, different chemistry within each other and different views - their creative aptitude is right on par - but how to characterize them? That's up to the audience!"
In an unusual move, the show's guest judges have been announced as well. They include actress Natalie Portman, Olympic and "Dancing With the Stars" champ Apolo Ohno, former contestant Austin Scarlett, rapper LL Cool J, iconic dress designer Diane Von Furstenberg, drag queen RuPaul, Brooke Shields, Sandra Bernhard, designer Cynthia Rowley, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa, among others to be announced. They join series regular judges Klum, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.
Among some of the challenges the contestants will face this season are making a "green" outfit, designing sporting outfits and using astrological signs as a theme for a garment.
Below are the latest 16 hopefuls:
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
Currently Resides: Seattle, Washington
Education: Art Institute of Seattle
Favorite Designers: John Galliano, Yohji Yamaoto and Diesel
Fashion Must: Neon anything!
Hometown: Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Currently Resides: Brooklyn, New York
Education: Pratt Institute of Art and Design
Meet the 'Project Runway 5' Designers, Guest Judges
Natalie Portman and LL Cool J to be guest judges
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