Heidi Klum Dishes on Season 10!
"Project Runway" returns for its tenth season on this week, and for host and judge Heidi Klum, things on the catwalk are better than ever. We chatted with Heidi about the evolution of the show, the best and worst contestants of Season 10, the difficulties of creating new challenges and her most awkward moment on set. Check out the Q&A after the jump, and be sure to tune in this Thursday, July 19 at 9/8c for brand new episodes!Q: What’s it been like being back for the tenth season for you, as the host and judge?
Heidi: It’s been amazing. It’s been ten seasons and we all would’ve never thought that we would make it this far. Michael [Kors] always says that we’re on longer than "I Love Lucy", which we always laugh about, and I can’t believe it. Ten seasons is a milestone. It’s a long time. And even though we’ve been doing it for ten seasons I still love coming to work every season. I love being with Michael and I love being with Nina and Tim. They’re all so much fun, and we have become a family. It is always exciting to see these new designers. They’re young people that come here with green eyes and not really knowing 100% what this business is about and they’re not jaded. It’s always fun to have these people that are so hungry for it all. I started "Project Runway" from the very beginning, going around New York City trying to sell the show to networks and trying to explain what the show was all about. I’m very proud of it. It’s like it’s one of my babies. I love the show and I love what it’s become.
Q: Can you tell us how you think this group of designers compares to past groups, in terms of talent level?
Heidi: It’s always hard to compare, and each season fashion evolves and so do our designers. I think we have some [designers] on this season that are not that talented and we quickly see that. We have some that are really amazing that have come up with new things, where we sit there and we’re like, "Wow, we haven’t seen anything like that." So it’s always mixed. There are always some designers there that aren’t that great that we’re hoping to be better and they just aren’t. And then there are some that blow us away and they do beautiful work in the time that they have. So it’s always both, good and bad.
Q: How would you say that they compare in terms of temperament? Some seasons are more dramatic than others. Is this one more dramatic or more low-key?
Heidi: It’s also mixed. Our show is based on talent. It’s not based on having characters on. I feel like there are so many shows out there that just put people on because they look a certain way or they talk in a certain way or they’re goofy and funny or they do a lot for show or they do a lot for TV. I think we’ve had longevity because ["Project Runway"] is about fashion. I think that’s why people appreciate what we put on the air that it’s not about gossip and who sleeps with whom and who does what and who is getting on whose nerves.
Q: Is there one memory that stands out in your mind from the first day or from the first season that you knew that you had something special on your hands?
Heidi: I always say it was after the very first challenge. I gave the designers $50 and one day and they had to go to the grocery store. I was so worried about this. The producers and I were all sitting together before and we thought, "Unconventional material challenge. That will either set the tone and either showcase the designer’s talent, or we will just tank because it will all look like arts and crafts projects." So we were a little bit worried about it, but at the same time we jumped in the cold water and we just gave it a shot. I’m so happy that we did, because the very first episode set the tone of what the show’s all about. It’s about creativity, innovation, people who have great talents and can really make clothes out of anything. We wanted to make sure of that.
Q: We have been hearing gossip that a couple of the designers left the show early under unusual circumstances. I wondered if that’s going to be something we’ll see on the show itself and if you could tell us anything about it?
Heidi: Yes, you will definitely see it on the show. This has never happened to us before. I think they just couldn’t make it work. We always say, "Make it work. Make it work." They just could not make it work, and in the morning they were gone. They literally packed up their bags and ran off in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping. We just couldn’t believe it.
Q: Since "Project Runway" has paved the road for so many other fashion reality shows, is there more pressure now to be better than the competition? How do you deal with that?
A: There are definitely a lot of shows that have originated from "Project Runway." Even though there are competitions, I’m kind of proud of that too, because we started it. Competition doesn’t make you rest and just sit on the couch with your feet up. I think it also pushes you to still work very hard at it. Even though we are doing the tenth season, we still all love coming to work, and we work all very hard making new challenges and thinking of new ideas and keeping it fresh. We definitely do not fall asleep over here. And with competition, it makes you work harder in a way.
Q: What do you tend to weigh more heavily on, idea or execution? I mean obviously the best designs on the show are excellent in both, but which do you tend to value more?
A: If it’s one idea that is so amazing, that is so different from anything I’ve ever seen before, then I’m not that strict on execution. Like if the hem is crooked or if it’s something like that. But if it’s a very simple dress and then the execution is bad, then I don’t know why that person is necessarily here.
Q: What has been your most awkward moment ever when filming "Project Runway?"
A: Well, for me a lot of the times I would make my outfits too short, and then I have to sit in the director's chairs and I literally have to tell the camera man to please keep me from the waist up, because no matter how I cross my legs it’s always too short. Michael is like, "Put your cards on your lap. Put your cards on lap." But that is for me, personally, one of my awkward moments.