In its seventh and final season on Lifetime, Project Runway All Stars is going out on top.
The longtime reality competition welcomes winners from both the U.S. and international editions of the franchise to determine the world champion of Project Runway. It’s a decision that host Alyssa Milano tells ET “brings a certain level of diversity to the mix that we haven’t had before.”
In the premiere episode, which features Debra Messing as guest judge, that diversity is put on full display with the competitors tasked with designing an outfit that reflects their country of origin and to “tell a personal story through their look,” Milano explains, adding that it was a way to kick off the final season with a “bang.”
“It just gets progressively more and more exciting throughout the entire season,” she continues, adding that there will be plenty of twists, including at the end of the first episode.
When it comes to the competition itself, this season of All Stars is probably the toughest yet. Not only are all the contestants former winners of their original seasons, but “they’ve been through this process all the way up to the end and know what it takes to actually win,” Milano notes, adding: “The one thing that I’ve always enjoyed about doing the show and that I think sets us apart from the regular Project Runway franchise is that we’re judging designers and they understand the game aspect of it.”
Ultimately, “They know what it takes to perform under such high pressure,” she concludes.
While Project Runway All Stars prepares to name its first world champion, the original franchise is preparing for big changes when it returns to Bravo for its 17th season. Replacing original host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn, who are leaving to launch a new series on Amazon, are Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano. Additionally, judge Zac Posen is also leaving the series.
The latest to leave the franchise is Milano, who says that her commitment to the Netflix series Insatiable takes first priority as they resume production on season two. (Meanwhile, no formal announcement about the return of All Stars has been made by Bravo.)
“It’s one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had in my life,” Milano notes, adding that she’s thankful for the friendships she’s made with fellow judges Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman. “We talk all the time, so it’s not like we ever left... but it’s bittersweet in the fact that we don’t get to go back and be together.”