When Will 'Project Runway' Return For Season 16? These 6 Judges Need To Join The Panel In 2017

All Project Runway fans know that, in fashion, one day you're in and the next, you're out. But, this reality show has stayed in the game since its 2004 premiere and we won't need to say "Auf Wiedersehen" to Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum, or Zac Posen any time soon. Back in May, Entertainment Weekly reported that Project Runway will return for Season 16 and at least two additional seasons. Trends come and go, but this series isn't going out of style any time in the near future. When the Season 15 finale airs on Dec. 15, we'll finally found out who won big at New York Fashion Week and a very special guest judge will be on the panel — Michael Kors, who I've missed dearly since his departure. But, once the excitement of the finale is over, my next question is when will Project Runway return for Season 16? UPDATE: A Lifetime press release announced that Project Runway Season 16 will air starting August 17, 2017.

EARLIER: A premiere date hasn't been set, but there tend to be long gaps in between seasons. There were a few amazing years in which we were blessed with not one but two seasons, but the most recent pattern has been a late summer premiere — typically sometime in July or August. But, Season 15 premiered even later (on Sept. 5), so we may see a similar lag as we wait for Season 16. Luckily, Project Runway All Stars and Project Runway Junior were also renewed, so we'll find a way to get our fashion fix. Still, Project Runway has the top spot in my heart and I'm already dreaming of Season 16 — specifically, I have some ideas about who I'd like to see on the judging panel.

Here are six people who would make great guest judges when Project Runway returns:

1. Christian Siriano

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This extra fierce designer is hands-down the most successful Project Runway winner, so I can't think of anyone more qualified than Siriano to advise the contestants. Not only did he win big on the series, but he built a seriously impressive fashion empire and dresses the likes of Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Oh yeah, and that stunning blue dress Michelle Obama wore when she delivered her July DNC speech that will go down in history? It was designed by Siriano.

2. Kiernan Shipka

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Shipka (aka Sally Draper) is officially the most stylish 17-year-old around, and I think the feedback of a young fashionista is often exactly what the designers need to hear.

3. Rachel Zoe

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As much as I'd hoped that another season of Fashionably Late would come to Lifetime, there is once again a gaping hole in my life — because Zoe is one of the most entertaining fashion experts out there and she has great onscreen presence. Plus, as someone who has dressed basically every A-list celebrity in the book and designed her own fashion line, Zoe's critiques would be extra valuable.

4. Michael Kors


Can we please make it a tradition for Kors to return to the panel once a season? I know he's super busy running a fashion empire and all, but surely he can find the time to visit his old stomping grounds once in awhile — and we can always count on Kors to bring all the best quips and hilariously blunt feedback.

5. Diane von Furstenberg

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No one knows the ins and outs of the fashion industry better than von Furstenberg. Although she's best known for creating the iconic "wrap dress," we'd be hard-pressed to find something she can't design beautifully. Although she could easily rest on her laurels, von Furstenberg consistently branches out and tries new things, such as a children's collection with GapKids and a denim collaboration with CURRENT/ELLIOTT. Plus, she designed some of the most beautiful t-shirts for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Regardless of the week's challenge, von Furstenberg will be well-equipped to provide amazing advice to the contestants.

6. Natalie Portman


Portman is one of the best-dressed actors in Hollywood and it looks like she'll be making the awards show rounds in 2017 thanks to her amazing performance in Jackie. As she selects her gowns for the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and (we assume) the Oscars, Portman will likely gain a lot of insight into the latest up-and-coming trends. So, I can't think of a better time for her to stop by Project Runway and give her two cents to the designers.

The Season 16 guest judges probably won't be announced for a while, but I'm sure the roster will include plenty of chic entertainers and talented designers.

Images: Lifetime; Giphy