By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on January 14, 2010 9:56 AM
Like many transplants, “Project Runway” just couldn’t make it away from the Big Apple, so for its seventh season, it has returned to New York City. The show kicks off its new season tonight on Lifetime TV. Yesterday was declared “Project Runway Day” in New York, in celebration of the show’s return, and Fashion Avenue was renamed “Project Runway Avenue.” (Don’t streets in the city have real names any more?) The day highlighted the show’s contribution to fashion in New York--the retail industry provides jobs for more than 175,000 people. The show foundered in LA, losing viewers as well as a real sense of drama and purpose. Regulars Heidi Klum (supermodel et al), Tim Gunn (snarky-but-kind mentor), Nina Garcia (fashion director for “Marie Claire” Magazine) and Michael Kors (uber-successful designer) will be back this season, and Nicole Ritchie, celebrity-for-no-real-reason, will be showing up as the first celebrity guest judge--just, gasp, four months after giving birth. Sixteen new designers will compete for their shot at a chance to show their collection during New York Fashion Week and the tents in Bryant Park. They will also receive the chance to sell their line on the web site Bluefly, as well as a cash prize and other goodies. Viewers familiar with the show will recognize the Atlas Apartments, Parson's School of Design, and other New York landmarks previously featured on the snow. Let the snarking and backstabbing begin!