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Are You Ready for Tonight's Project Runway Premiere?

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Project Runway kicks off again tonight, and in honor of its landmark tenth season, we got a chance to chat with the show's lovely host and producer, Heidi Klum. Heidi was her usual loquaciously charming self, which meant that we got more scoop on the new season, and on past seasons, than her publicist would probably have liked...

First off, the old gang of Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and Tim Gunn will all be returning. Some of the guest judges who will be joining them include Lauren Graham, Hayden Panettiere, Krysten Ritter and Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field. Field is coming back in honor of the tenth season, since she judged the very first challenge, on the very first season, of Project Runway. And as Pat is never afraid to speak her mind, that should be a very entertaining episode.

We also learned about a few of the upcoming challenges. The season will begin tonight with a live fashion show in Times Square (let's pray the weather is a little better than it was yesterday). Later we'll see a challenge which Heidi described as one of her favorites. She explained, "The designers get to make a new outfit for The Rockettes...This is something that will go down in history."

Other episodes will include an "unusual materials" challenge at Dylan's Candy Bar, which we're excited about, since The Hershey Store challenge from Season Four was our all-time favorite. Heidi also shared that the designers will be creating something for one of her own lines. Although she wouldn't come right out and say it, we're pretty sure its going to be children's or baby clothes.

Looking back at the past ten seasons of the show, we learned that Heidi's favorite challenges are the ones where the designers make garments "for the real we've done things with Banana Republic, where you could buy things." Her least favorite challenge, one that was actually her own idea, was the one from last season, where the designers had to create outfits for people wearing stilts. Heidi felt the results were, "Too Cirque du Soleil."

Of course, we had to ask about all the the designers who reportedly a fled the set midway through filming. Heidi seemed angry and surprised by this behavior. "Yes, you will definitely see it on the show—they just couldn't make it work. They just packed up their bags and were gone—in the middle of the night. You would think that a grown-up would say, 'I can't make it work, I gotta go early.' This is something that a kid would do."

In terms of her own evolution on the show, Heidi recalls that although she now has her own stylist on the show, and many designers send her clothing, it wasn't always like that. "When we first started, I was in my own closet saying, 'What am I going to wear?'... So when you see all the old episodes, and sometimes I'm in jeans and a strange top—that's what I had in my closet!"

And finally, Heidi opened up on her most awkward moment from the entire run of the show:

A lot of times I would make my outfits too short—but then I'd have to sit in the director's chair [for judging] and I'd have to ask the director to shoot me from the waist up...And Michael would say, "Put your cards on your lap! Put your cards on your lap!" But I had to make it work because I didn't have anything else to wear.

Ah, how far she's come. Tune in tonight for the season premier at 9/8 central on Lifetime.

· Two Contestants Have Fled the Set of Project Runway [Racked]
· Why Is Fashion Reality Television Getting All Holographic? [Racked]
· All Project Runway Posts [Racked]