Casting Project Runway

Across six cities, MC editors vetted more than 500 designer hopefuls for the show's 10th season. Here, an up-close-and-personal look behind the scenes Ᾱ the quirks, the characters, and the clothes.

gold dress
Across six cities, MC editors vetted more than 500 designer hopefuls for the show's 10th season. Here, an up-close-and-personal look behind the scenes Ᾱ the quirks, the characters, and the clothes.
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gold dress
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

EVERY CASTING SESSION has its share of over-the-top costumes suited for Lady Gaga or BeyoncÉ. For the average gal? Not so much.

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2 of 20
camera
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

THE NO-FRILLS JUDGMENT ROOM (seen here at New York's Hilton Hotel) can be a bit intimidating. It's where dreams are made or crushed.

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3 of 20
pants
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

PARTY PANTS! In New York, Felicia Rein gets a laugh for her "man pants," painted with farmer-tanned legs and complete with slouchy athletic socks.

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4 of 20
wig
Brian Sorg
Road to Runway

A STRIKING WIG AND BLACK LIPSTICK, while memorable, do not increase one's chances of making it to New York Fashion Week.

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5 of 20
models
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

SOME DESIGNERS bring clothes on racks, some bring human hangers. MC's Katie L. Connor judges the clothes — not the models in them.

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6 of 20
tvs
Brian Sorg
Road to Runway

YOU THINK WE'RE ALONE, but the judges and designers share the room with producers and casting agents who watch the process on monitors.

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7 of 20
emily pollard
Artem Nazarov
Road to Runway

EMILY POLLARD wins the judges over with laughs and quirky designs — think plastic-varnished dresses and goat-fur embellishments.

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8 of 20
max lohrbach
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

MAX LOHRBACH, an art school graduate, traded canvases for fabrics, drawing whimsical motifs on corsets, dresses, and even an eye patch.

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9 of 20
kooan kosuke
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

ERYKAH BADU, IS THAT YOU? No, it's Kooan Kosuke, who was cast in PR's sixth season but had to drop out. Now he's back!

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10 of 20
judges
Brian Sorg
Road to Runway

THE SEATTLE JUDGES PANEL: (From left) MC's Jeremy Lee Spears, PR All Stars winner Mondo Guerra, and Carol Plese from Chicago boutique Blake.

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11 of 20
shoes
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

AMONG THE USES for these sci-fi stompers: lighting a dark alley, finding dropped contact lenses, and/or searching for monsters under the bed.

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12 of 20
tattoo
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

ISABEL CROSBY'S TATTOO is a tribute to her grandmother, who taught her how to sew. On her inner arm: a sewing machine tat, naturally.

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13 of 20
model
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T JUDGE a designer until you've tried on a piece. MC's Zanna Roberts Rassi slips into Sean Him's sportif coat.

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14 of 20
shoulder pad
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE: intricately layered zippers sculpted into body armor. So very Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

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15 of 20
sheila rashid
Artem Nazarov
Road to Runway

SHEILA RASHID was a no-show at her New York audition but makes up for it in Atlanta with her super-chill attitude and drop-crotch pants.

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16 of 20
drawing
Brian Sorg
Road to Runway

THE MADCAP DRAWING on Shenandoah Bauer's clutch spoke to MC's Jeremy Lee Spears so much he almost took it home with him.

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17 of 20
dress
Brian Sorg
Road to Runway

THE JUDGES LOVE Paul Lewandowski's graphic visions but worry that the time constraints of PR's challenges might be his downfall.

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18 of 20
gunnar deatherage
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

AFTER TRYING OUT last season with Kentucky Derby dresses, Gunnar Deatherage is successful with Amelia Earhart — gone-equestrian pieces.

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19 of 20
nails
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

THE CLAWS COME OUT for designer Domonique Echeverria, whose hobby is performing as a drag queen despite being biologically female.

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20 of 20
men in street
Marvin Orellana
Road to Runway

THE COOLEST: MC's Jeremy Lee Spears (center) hits the streets of NYC with fellow casting judges Seth Aaron Henderson and Mondo Guerra.

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