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Still crying over Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum's departure from Project Runway? Well it's time to pick up the pieces of your broken heart: There is good news.
Season 4 winner Christian Siriano is making his reality TV comeback 11 years after taking home the show's top prize and launching his namesake label that swept Hollywood (and pre-Trump D.C. — who could forget that blue Siriano gown that Michelle Obama wore to the Democratic National Convention in 2016?). But he's not just making a guest appearance as a judge or a one-off mentor. Nay. He's making it work as Tim Gunn's replacement, taking on the role of mentor to contestants.
The Hollywood Reporter spilled the news on Tuesday, but wait, there's more! Supermodel slash entrepreneur Karlie Kloss will replace Klum as host, in addition to taking on an executive producer role. Over on the judging panel, designer Brandon Maxwell (formerly Lady Gaga's stylist in her meat dress days) and former Teen Vogue editor in chief Elaine Welteroth will replace designer Zac Posen. They will be joining Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia, who has been a on the show since its premiere.
Though it's hard to imagine anyone replacing Gunn (his iconic catch phrase, an all caps "MAKE IT WORK, PEOPLE" will live on in reality TV lore), Siriano feels like a refreshing choice. The 32-year-old has built his brand by embracing women of all sizes and emphasizing, rather than concealing, their curves. While Gunn was always encouraging when it came to dressing plus-size women, he also prioritized designing "slimming" and "flattering" cuts and fabrics.
Additionally, with Welteroth on the judging panel, we can expect an extra level of depth when it comes to educating these emerging designers about issues like diversity and appropriation — two causes she championed at Teen Vogue. (Not to mention, two pertinent issues that still plague the industry as a whole today).
Season 17 will launch in 2019, though an exact date has not yet been chosen.
Klum and Gunn announced in September that they were leaving the iconic reality competition series to launch their own (more lucrative) venture on Amazon Prime. While we were saddened to hear Klum utter an auf wiedersehen for a final time, the next season already seems like it's off to fabulous start.