Meet the 'Project Runway 5' Designers, Guest Judges

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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:

Blayne
Age: 23
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
Currently Resides: Seattle, Washington
Education: Art Institute of Seattle
Favorite Designers: John Galliano, Yohji Yamaoto and Diesel
Fashion Must: Neon anything!

Daniel
Age: 25
Hometown: Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Currently Resides: Brooklyn, New York
Education: Pratt Institute of Art and Design
Favorite Designers: Charles James and Thierry Mugler
Fashion Must: A novelty blazer

Emily
Age: 27
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, California
Education: Otis College of Art and Design
Favorite Designers: John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Rei Kawabuko
Fashion Must: Great Jeans

Jennifer
Age: 27
Hometown: East Syracuse, New York
Currently Resides: Pistoia, Italy
Education: Fashion Institute of Technology
Favorite Designers: Schiaparelli, Moschino and Cynthia Rowley
Fashion Must: A go-to party dress

Jerell
Age: 28
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, California
Favorite Designers: Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld
Fashion Must: Great shoes

Jerry
Age: 32
Hometown: Butte, Montana
Currently Resides: New York City
Education: Attended both Parsons and Fashion Institute of Technology
Favorite Designers: Martin Margiela, Rick Owens and Calvin Klein
Fashion Must: Black and white combos

Joe
Age: 41
Hometown: Troy, Michigan
Currently Resides: Troy, Michigan
Education: Parsons School of Design
Favorite Designers: Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Betsey Johnson
Fashion Must: Basic black t-shirt

Keith
Age: 26
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Currently Resides: Salt Lake City, Utah
Education: Salt Lake City Community College
Favorite Designers: Marc Jacobs, Moschino and Valentino
Fashion Must: Great-fitting jeans

Kelli
Age: 27
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Currently Resides: Columbus, Ohio
Education: The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise
Favorite Designers: Thierry Mugler, Yohji Yamamoto and Betsey Johnson
Fashion Must: A party dress

Kenley
Age: 25
Hometown: Pompano Beach, Florida
Currently Resides: Brooklyn, New York
Education: Florida State University
Favorite Designers: Coco Chanel, Betsey Johnson and Edith Head
Fashion Must: Black, high-waisted skinny jeans

Korto
Age: 33
Hometown: Liberia
Currently Resides: Mabelvale, Arkansas
Education: Fashion School in Ottawa, Canada
Favorite Designers: Tracy Reese, Valentino and Randolph Duke
Fashion Must: Great bag

Leanne
Age: 27
Hometown: Yuta, California
Currently Resides: Portland, Oregon
Education: The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise
Favorite Designers: Rodarte, Maison Martin Margiela and Zac Posen
Fashion Must: Plain white or gray t-shirt

Stella
Age: 42
Hometown: Astoria, Queens
Currently Resides: New York City
Favorite Designers: Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen
Fashion Must: Vest

Suede
Age: 37
Hometown: Seven Hills, Ohio
Currently Resides: Barryville, New York
Favorite Designers: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix and Christian Dior
Fashion Must: Great hoodie

Terri
Age: 39
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Currently Resides: Columbus, Ohio
Favorite Designers: Jean-Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and Cristobal Balenciaga
Fashion Must: Low-waist, bell-cut black pants

Wesley
Age: 23
Hometown: Blackstone, MA
Currently Resides: New York City
Education: Fashion Institute of Technology
Favorite Designers: Jeanne Lanvin, Marc Jacobs and Cristobal Balenciaga
Fashion Must: Big old sunglasses

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Fashion ShowsEntertainmentTelevisionEducationColleges and UniversitiesAlexander McQueenProject Runway (tv program)
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