Hey, y'all! So I'm back with the LAST post in my series ranking all of the Project Runway designers! As I said in the previous posts, this is an 18 post series on my blog, with each post consisting of the next 12 designers.
Here's my disclaimer once again: Any and all comments are my opinions on them based on the way they presented themselves on the show (and of course, the way the show was edited) and in no way is a reflection of how they are in real life. The way a contestant presents themself on a show, combined with the editing of the show, is not necessarily the way they are outside of the show, and because I don't know these people personally, I can only go based off of the way they were portrayed on the show.
Also, I feel like this is a little obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. If you don't want to be spoiled for what happens in the show or what order people go home, don't read any further. Because I will mention what place the person got. And I'll be talking about All-Stars placings too, if applicable, so just bear that in mind before continuing to read on. So let's just jump right into my top 12 favorite designers to ever be on Project Runway
12. Fabio Costa
Season 10- Runner-Up
All-Stars Season 4- 5th Place
If you told me back in 2013 while season 10 was airing that Fabio would be this high on my designer rankings, I would've been shocked. I definitely didn't dislike Fabio, but he definitely was somewhere around the middle of the pack for me. I thought his personal style was kinda weird and I didn't quite get his aesthetic. But then I re-watched the season and watched him on All-Stars and he became more and more endearing to me. He has this adorably sweet personality, and I've grown to really love and appreciate his personal style and aesthetic. He's a very strong designer, which he's shown many times throughout the two seasons he's been on the show. At this point, pretty much everyone is a total package in my mind, but he's just really strong across the board for me. I really, really like him.
11. Kayne Gillaspie
Season 3- 5th Place
All-Stars Season 2- 9th Place
Are there Project Runway fans out there who don't love Kayne? He's such a big personality but just so insanely lovable. He's hilarious, very likable, and really strong in construction. His aesthetic can sometimes be a bit too Liberace for my taste, but he does have a very strong aesthetic and I think he's a pretty strong designer. Overall, I just really love watching him on the show because he's always so incredibly entertaining.
10. Michael Costello
Season 8- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 1- 3rd Place
Poor Michael Costello. He was just a human punching bag in season 8, and I felt really bad for him. Coincidentally, I was already Team Michael long before any of the controversy started. I enjoyed his initial designs and confessionals, and he quickly became one of my favorite designers that season. And then all of the designers began to attack him and I got extremely upset. Ivy was just so mean to him all season and it went way over the top. Fortunately, he's gotten the last laugh because he now constantly designs for celebrities and is arguably the most successful PR alum after Christian Siriano. Overall, Michael was a strong designer. Maybe he didn't have the best construction skills, but he did extremely well throughout the season and has proven time and time again that he's a strong designer. On top of that, he's a really fun personality to watch. He's super funny and generally likable as well. Side note: I also really love the beautiful story arc with Michael and Mondo getting paired up. Mondo was so upset to be paired with Michael and by the end of the episode they were on their way to being the best friends that they are today.
9. Mychael Knight
Season 3- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 3- 8th Place
Mychael was another person who was just inherently likable. In fact, he won fan favorite in his season! Mychael was just so incredibly strong in his season, and was also just a super nice guy. He was funny, he gave good confessionals, he was a strong designer, and on top of all of that, he was the guy that everyone wants to be friends with. Total package. He had some major, standout designs and proved throughout the entire season that he was a force to be reckoned with. And then, the finale came around, and he delivered... disco safari?! I think it's safe to say that everyone was really disappointed in how he performed in the finale, because he was seemingly both the fan favorite and the strongest designer and he completely bombed. Either way, he's one of the most likable and strongest designers.
8. Anthony Ryan Auld
Season 9- 7th Place
All-Stars Season 2- Winner
TBH, this final section of the list got moved around a lot while writing this post, and originally, Anthony Ryan was all the way up at #3. As I began looking at the ranking, I realized that his placement that high was based on a kinda dated opinion, so I moved stuff around and remedied that and he ended up here. In fact, I believe that the person who's now in 3rd place was in this slot. My point here is that these top few are insanely movable. Anyway, on to the point here. Anthony Ryan. I love Anthony Ryan. To me, he was super likable. He came off as really nice, and he began the season as the "always a bridesmaid" person-- aka one of the most rootable people. He had a great story-- surviving cancer, being colorblind -- and he was also a really strong designer. I was impressed with him almost the entire way. I think that he was unfairly eliminated- I remember actually liking his design the episode he was eliminated. And then of course he gets onto All-Stars 2 and won the whole thing. I just found him completely likable, loved his aesthetic, and thought that he was really strong.
7. Dmitry Sholokhov
Season 10- Winner
All-Stars Season 4- Winner
Oh, Dmitry. Dmitry is just this perfect mix of strong designer, enjoyable personality, and beautiful TV gold. I remember at the beginning of the season, I was incredibly impressed with his designs, and kept getting annoyed that he wasn't getting into the top, so for me he started out as a bit of a dark horse. And then he kept gaining momentum and gaining momentum, culminating in a much-deserved win among one of the strongest finale shows on Project Runway. But on top of that, he was so much fun to watch. He isn't a native English speaker, and that caused some great moments like the one depicted in the gif above. On top of that, he had constant confrontations with Elena, which brought a ton of enjoyment. And just in general, he had this funny and likable personality that made him fun to watch and root for. And clearly, he's a super strong designer, because he's one of only 3 people to have won Project Runway TWICE.
6. Santino Rice
Season 2- 3rd Place
We've now gotten to my top tier untouchables. The god-tier level people, some might say. And Santino is an absolute legend of Project Runway. What can you even say about this man? Obviously, he's a super polarizing personality. A love-to-hate him guy. But TBH, I just love him. He has so many iconic moments. There's the "Lighten up" singing, the fight with Nina on the runway, the "I want your soul" moment, and of course: "What happened to Andrae?" Seriously, y'all, I'm willing to throwdown and argue that "What happened to Andrae" is one of the best moments in reality TV history. Everything about it is beautiful and iconic and I still die laughing every time I watch it. It's just so, so beautiful. Also, he gave the best confessionals. Sure, they were sometimes rather mean, but they were so entertaining. And of course, there's also the fact that he was a strong designer. He had some spectacular highs and spectacular lows, but in general, he was a very strong designer and obviously made it to the finale for a reason. I just absolutely love watching him on Project Runway. He's sheer chaos and I love every second of it.
5. Daniel Vosovic
Season 2- Runner-Up
We didn't get a fan favorite in season 2, but I guarantee that Daniel Vosovic would've won it. I've talked so much about the total package on this post, and that's definitely the case for Daniel. He was the strongest designer on his season. Period. End of discussion. Chloe is great, I love her, but Daniel dominated this season-- and did it as a 20 something right out of design school. And on top of being a really strong designer, he was super, super likable. He was nice, he was friendly, he was funny, and he even had a couple genuine, heartfelt moments. I loved Daniel so much and think that he's one of the most robbed people who's been on the show (right behind the person who placed just above him on this ranking). I just loved everything about him and I'm still incredibly sad that he ended up losing.
4. Mondo Guerra
Season 8- Runner-Up (Honorary Winner)
All-Stars Season 1- Winner
Mondo. Freaking. Guerra. He was runner-up in the most highly contested finale decision ever on Project Runway. Tim Gunn himself has denounced Gretchen as the winner and has called out the judges for their bad decisions the entire season, especially on not choosing Mondo as the winner. Project Runway All-Stars was literally created so that Mondo could come back and demolish everyone and he did. He just has such a beautiful story arc, beginning as such a dark horse who no one understands. He's completely underestimated, despite being incredibly strong. And, like I mentioned earlier, I love the story with him and Michael becoming besties.
And on top of everything, Mondo was in the top for 9/13 challenges, with 4 of those being wins (and he was only in the bottom for 1/13). To say that he shouldn't have won season 8 is pure blasphemy. And then, on the runway of the design-your-own fabric challenge, he has the most touching moment ever on the show where he reveals his HIV status and how it is incorporated into his design and everyone is in tears. He's such a strong designer and such a lovable and rootable personality and it's an absolute SHAME that he didn't win season 8. Thank goodness for All-Stars.
3. Christopher Palu
Season 10- 4th Place
All-Stars Season 3- 4th Place
Like I said earlier, I re-arranged this list and to be honest, I really wasn't expecting Christopher to wind up this high. But as I was moving him around, I kept moving him higher and higher until I found him here. I love Christopher Palu SO. MUCH. His confessionals are un-matched & he's given us so many great gifs. Christopher is just such a total package. He was a strong designer on both seasons that he was on, and in season 10 he made it to the finale in one of the strongest seasons we've seen. I really enjoyed his aesthetic, and I just really, really, really love Chris. He's also simultaneously lovable & sweet while being sarcastic, witty, biting, and downright hilarious. He's great TV. He's an extremely likable person. He's a great designer. He has a really cool aesthetic. He's the total package. I love Christopher Palu so much. I can watch him all day. Seriously, if you can make it through the video below and not completely fall in love with Christopher, I don't know what to tell you.
2. Jeffrey Sebelia
Season 3- Winner
All-Stars Season 3- 7th Place
Ok, guys. I might get some flack for this, but I don't care. These top 2 have been my top 2 for a very, very long time. Like basically since I started watching the show. I love both of them so much and not one will ever sway me to change my mind. And I. Love. Jeffrey. Yes, he's controversial. Yes, he was a bit mean-spirited. And yes, I loved watching all of it unfold. First of all, obviously I have aesthetics that I like more than others. And punk is my weak spot, so you can probably understand why I love him. I'm not going to try to defend the way he treated Angela's mom. She was being a little difficult and should've been more honest with him, but he had no right to lash out at her and should've at least apologized. That being said, I loved him throughout the rest of the show. Aside from this moment, he really wasn't that mean. Sure, he was a bit of a jerk to Angela, but Angela got on my nerves quite a bit and I was alright with someone being a bit mean to him.
And, of course, the designs. He, like Santino, had some ups and downs. But he had some really spectacular ups. And his finale collection was so. great. And especially after the cheating allegations and then getting his name cleared. I love his designs. I loved his journey on the show. I loved him as an endearing villain. In fact, he wasn't really even a villain IMO. Many of the people on the show really liked him. Either way, I digress. His aesthetic is one of my favorites to have ever been shown on the show and I like him on top of all of that.
1. Seth Aaron Henderson
Season 7- Winner
All-Stars Season 3- Winner
And here we are at number one. My boy. Sure, season 7 isn't one of the most-loved season. But it's one of my most-loved seasons. It's the first season I watched while it was airing, and it just so happened to have a designer with a punk aesthetic, who I immediately gravitated toward and fell in love with. Seth Aaron was an instant favorite and has stayed up here ever since. I was in constant awe of Seth Aaron. His construction skills were outstanding-- everyone on the show commented on his construction all season, especially the speed with which he was able to impeccably construct everything.
And seriously, he was such a strong designer, on a season with several really strong designers. There were so many challenges where I thought his design was the strongest and he ended up not winning for some insane reason. And then, his finale collection comes out and it's so good. Sure, there were a couple question marks, but everyone's got one in their collection. And I haven't even gotten to his personality. At least to me, he was incredibly likable. Sure, he's probably not the type of person that every person watching can get behind, just because he's a person with a bit of a niche aesthetic. But for me, he just came off as a lovable goof. He's a bit of an overgrown child and comes off as a little silly and not very serious. Combine that likability with his strong designing skill and (IMO) his incredible punk aesthetic, and you have what I believe is the ultimate total package. I love Seth Aaron.
So, those are the top 12 designers in my Project Runway designer rankings! Who are your favorite and least favorite people to be on Project Runway? Let me know down in the comments!
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