Start your sewing machine’s engine, because in just a few hours, we'll get to see the new Project Runway mentor steer Season 17 contestants toward greatness for the very first time. Project Runway host Karlie Kloss’s comments on Christian Siriano’s approach to the mentor role suggest the fashion prodigy who won Project Runway Season 4 over a decade ago took to it like a duck to a water-covered runway. (Er, should we say rainway?) No, Christian Siriano is not Tim Gunn (no one is! Tim Gunn is a one-of-a-kind!), but he is Christian freakin' Siriano. He is one of the best the show has ever seen, is one of the biggest designers on the planet, and knows what it is like to be in the competitors' shoes. And it sounds like the former Project Runway contestant has a real knack for his new job.
In a recent interview with with People Now, Kloss praised Siriano’s mentoring skills, telling her co-star that he’s “such a good teacher.” Kloss continued,
“Obviously, you’re in the design studio every day, but there were so many things that you would say to the designers that I’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s a really, really good way of teaching.’ … It’s constructive, it comes from a good place.”
However, that's not to say the experience was always a breezy walk in the Bryant Park. Siriano explained to People Now that the mentorship role "can be hard because you're changing these young designers' lives with everything you say." He continued, "The weight of your words is unbelievable. So I think that's what I kind of didn't really realize as much. So as we go throughout the season, I kind of take that into consideration more and more."
Earlier this week, Siriano told Bravo’s The Daily Dish that he is all about doling out “tough love” and “as much advice as possible” The Project Runway Season 4 winner said,
“My mentorship style is a little bit more like I try to treat all the designers kind of how I treat my studio and my team. You know, it's tough love, but it's real critiques about fabrics and timing and what they can actually really do. Obviously, I've been there, and I obviously work in the business now, so I think I try to give as much advice as possible."
Siriano admitted that there have been moments when he wanted to “get in there and drape with them” and “work with them,” but now that he is the new Project Runway mentor, he can’t do that.
While he cannot actually work on the contestants' designs, he can offer up little pearls of wisdom here and there. Siriano told The Daily Dish,
“I think in the end, my little hints definitely help and guide them. I'll be like, 'Do you really love that? Are you sure?' And usually they don't love it. And usually they're not sure. So they start over. It helps."
Ugh, can't wait to see Siriano's hints on the small screen. Saying auf wiedersehen to Gunn and Heidi Klum has been tough, but saying willkommen to the new Project Runway duo of Siriano and Kloss is a real treat.