Project Runway may have attracted quite a few fabulous guest judges over the years (Diane von Furstenberg! Zac Posen! Betsy Johnson! OMG!), but just like any other hit show, it's not immune to the allure of pointless stuntcasting sometimes. We understand they gotta pay the bills somehow, but the following Runway guest judges just have no business being anywhere near the fashion industry whatsoever.
1. Victoria Beckham (Season 4)
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that wearing elaborate costumes to Pink Taco every few days and publicly claiming to work out in stilettos does not make a person qualified to judge a design contest. And if I'm wrong about that and it does, then why the hell hasn't Amanda Lepore been a guest judge yet? Regardless of any criteria, why hasn't Amanda Lepore been a judge yet?!
2. Nancy O'Dell (Season 1)
Back in Season 1, before Project Runway was really considered "a legitimate television show," they had to take their guest stars where they could get them. In this case, it was Access Hollywood correspondent Nancy O'Dell. (I know, what a coup! And it wasn't even sweeps!) The designers had the Everest-like challenge of designing a dress for this talking robot nobody cares about to wear to the least cared-about televised awards ceremony of all time, the Grammys. Needless to say, it was riveting. But not nearly as ridiculous as the time they had to impress...
3. Ivanka Trump and a Pack of Dogs (Season 3)
You see, socialites like to look fabulous. They also like to tote teeny, tiny, little dogs around as fashion accessories. Somehow, this warranted a challenge in which the designers had to create a dress for a human and a little something for her dog friend to wear that goes. That's right. These accomplished designers were forced to make outfits for terriers. Their design also had to impress guest judge Ivanka Trump, who, in addition to being a rich person herself, is apparently also a part-time dog costume expert.
4. Apollo Anton Ohno (Season 5)
This season, the Olympic speed skater judged a challenge to create outfits for the U.S. Olympic hopefuls to wear to the Beijing Opening Ceremonies. Except they weren't actually going to wear any of them, because Ralph Lauren already had that job, and, surprisingly, he has more pull in the world of fashion than Suede or even Blayne. Because this challenge involved the Olympics, Ohno was basically just there to judge how patriotic the designs were, because A) He doesn't care or know anything about fashion, because he's a professional athlete and not a damn Vogue editor, and B) It seems to be written in stone somewhere that people must look ridiculous at the Olympics. Basically, if you made a decent design that did not include the colors of the American flag (which clash, by the way), he told you you did it wrong. And that's why nobody likes these challenges.
5. Nicky Hilton (Season 2)
She may be less awful than her sister, but she's about as qualified to judge fashion as Ivanka Trump is, and Nicky didn't even have the decency to bring puppies with her.
6. Sasha Cohen and Some Other Figure Skater (Season 2)
This is more of the same problem we had with Apollo Anton Ohno. Figure skaters were the judges, and the challenge was to create figure skating costumes -- because that's relevant to fashion, as are the opinions of figure skaters. When Galliano puts out his fall collection every year, it isn't the review in the New York Times he's worried about; it's the water cooler gossip of Scott Hamilton and Tara Lipinski that can really make or break him!
7. The Barbie People (Season 2)
Yes, once they had to design looks for Barbie, judged by the Barbie suits. (Because the Bratz people weren't available, apparently.) And because everybody knows the only demo more crucial to fashion designers than figure skating costume buyers is the busty tramp with a deadbeat boyfriend and a '57 Chevy demo.
8. Tara Conner (Season 3)
You know who probably knows a lot about high fashion? Miss USA pageant alums who were nearly dethroned for rampant coke use and widely publicized promiscuity. What?!
9. Regular Women (Season 3)
... don't know shit about fashion, as it turns out. This was the infamous mom challenge, where the designers had to create a look for each other's mothers, and Jeffrey broke every heart in America by making Angela's sweet mom cry. That was clearly the biggest offense in the episode, but the second was even devoting a challenge to the fashion of real live ladies at all. Have you seen the way real women dress, PR producers?! They look like ass! I'm a real woman, and I'm wearing Gap jeans and a neon orange T-shirt right now, and that's honestly the best I could do this morning. I actually left the house like that! Designing an outfit that would satisfy the disasters that are non-fashionistas is not going to turn out very chic or fashion-forward, which is what this whole show is about. It's a search for the next great designer, not a search for a person who can cobble together pants and a shirt.
10. Rachel Zoe (Season 5)
While I thank her for legitimizing the combination of tights and a longish T-shirt as an acceptable outfit to wear in public, Rachel Zoe is a stylist, not a designer. If your profession is picking out the perfect pair of Joe's, matching it to a vintage Stones tee and slapping it on Jessica Simpson, you have no business being anywhere near actual designers. Even if one of them is Kenley.
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