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We're Gonna Rock Down to Project Runway Avenue

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What would lure us into standing outside in midtown for over an hour on this cold Manhattan day? Why, the chance to see Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and our beloved Tim Gunn celebrating Project Runway's return to New York! They were there to help the city proclaim today "Project Runway Day" and temporarily name Seventh Avenue at the Needle Threading a Button statue "Project Runway Avenue."

Joining our pals at the podium were a few media types and politicos. Lifetime President Andrea Wong bravely removed her coat for the presentation where she informed us that this season will be the first to be broadcast in High Definition. New York Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber insisted that the city was trying to help the garment district by supporting programs like Fashion Night Out and the new "incubator' program for young designers. Others who were there in support, but who didn't make announcements, were Harvey Weinsten and many Runway contestants from the past, as well as from this upcoming season. A bit of swag was given out to the crowd—some Project Runway pin cushions and some L'Oreal mascara. (We'd rather have had an accessory from Bluefly that we could have used "thoughtfully.")

Despite the fact that we'd been feeling guilty for continuously describing Michael Kors as "orange" last season, the appearance of his skin today did nothing to dispel that notion. Yep, orange. Nina looked good in a cute little black wool jacket that nipped in at the waist and couldn't have been keeping her very warm—which might be why she was the first to slip away at the end of the presentation. Tim Gunn was Tim Gunn-like: Dapper, charming, funny and friendly.

As for the contestants, we initially didn't recognize one of our all time favorites, Laura Bennett, due to her very short haircut. But then we saw she was holding a small child. (Another one?) Last year's Models of the Runway winner, the gorgeous Kalyn, spent time hanging out with Carol Hannah Whitfield, who was wearing a draped black wool coat which we assumed she designed and which we'd buy in a second. Past contestants Irina, Malan Breton, Nicolas, R'amon, and our spellcheck's mortal enemy, Qrystalwere also there. Many of this upcoming season's designers hovered about, anxious for attention, but still anonymous until tomorrow's premiere. The Runway-ite who made the biggest impression on us, however, was Austin Scarlett. Dressed in a military style coat, he looked stunning, like a young, tall David Bowie.

All in all, it was a fun event that really got us jazzed for the new season. Especially after hearing rumors that there will be some influential designers as guest judges—designers who the "industry holds in high regard," but who "might not be recognized in the average household." Real designers as guest judges again? We can't wait!
· It's Project Runway Day! [Racked]
· RackedWire: Project Runway Avenue [Racked]