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Project Runway Designers from Season 1

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Jay McCarol

  • Always Second Best: During the whole competition Jay mostly landed in the Top 3, but never won a challenge. Averted in the Finale, because he won the entire season over Kara Saun.
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  • Brutal Honesty: During the finals, Jay, Kara Saun and Wendy got into a big fight, with Jay dropping a big "Nobody likes you" at Wendy.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He seemed as a laid-back wacky character, but ended up as one of the best designers from the lot and winning the whole thing.
  • Camp Gay: Speaks in campy voices and told during his home visit that kids at school picked at him for being quirky and different.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He used to work for a porn website before returning to fashion design, deciding to start making money the honest way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He was the one who provided most of the Confessional Quips.
  • In-Series Nickname: Kara Saun called him "Jaybird"
  • Looks Like Jesus: Played with. He let his hair down, wore his heart jersey and played the "Who wants to talk to Jesus?" gag to attract clients.
    Jay: Vote for Jaysus!
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  • Real Men Wear Pink: Has used a lot of pink garments and accesories during jusging, and some of his designs included pink textiles.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man next to Austin's Sensitive.
  • Signature Style: Most of his designs consists of shredded layers of graduated colors
  • Smoking Is Cool: Jay even calls them "Pack of Saviors".
    • This is also why Jay bonded with Mario and got along well with Wendy's mother.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Played with during the Swimsuit Challenge: Austin and Jay go to a magazine stand to see the photo spread of the Austin's winning design; Jay at first congratulates Austin... only for the cameras to cut to him beating up Austin in the street (jokingly, of course).

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Kara Saun

  • The Ace: Managed to win 4 challenges in total and 2 in a row.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper. The "Shoe-Gate" is still one of the most iconic moments of the whole show.
  • Full-Name Basis: After a few challenges, all people referred to her as Kara Saun.
  • Hypocrite: Before the Finale, Kara Saun placed herself on the Moral High Ground to attack Wendy because of her unethical behaviour on the show. Then the "Shoe-Gate" happened, where Kara Saun purchased custommade shoes for her collection for free and to make them pass off on the budget, she told her friend to put retail prices on them. Wendy was quick to call her out on this, while Jay, despite not saying anything to her, was clearly pissed too.
  • Military Brat: She mentions her father was in the Air Force and her final collection was "Aviator" inspired.
  • Only Sane Woman: Played straight the whole competition, but subverted towards the finale, where she Took a Level in Jerkass (see Cheaters Never Prosper and What the Hell, Hero?).
  • Sassy Black Woman
  • Smug Super: Due to her wins as the season went on, she started to develop an ego.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The "Shoe-Gate". Even Jay, who was good friends with Kara Saun and both were teamed up against Wendy, was upset by the unfair advantage.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: Invoked. When the team leaders are all guys (chosen by Sarah Hudson), she was not surprised by this fact and justified this as Sarah's reason.

Wendy Pepper

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She presented herself to the other designers as the Team Mom, until she revealed in the confessionals that she was willing to exploit this to find weaknesses in her competition.
  • Boring, but Practical: Coincidentally, her only two wins happened to be for challenges that called for her doing exactly that — The Banana Republic challenge required a "Vintage Inspired" dress that could also be easily manufactured for the boutiques, while Nancy O'Dell pretty much hated everything else for having things she didn't like, except for Wendy's.
    • Which is why as Tom & Lorenzo pointed out, the biggest problem was that she was more of a dressmaker than a fashion designer, in a fashion designing competition.
  • Can't Catch Up: One of the few things that she was aware about was that she knew Jay and Kara Saun are more skilled and innovative than her.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Invoked even by the other designers. She didn't know how to put together an outfit, style her hair or apply her own makeup. Her appearance improved slightly in the third episode (after Kara Saun gave her a makeover) and during Fashion Week (by which time she'd finally dyed her hair the proper shade and even lost a few pounds).
    • Jay comments that ironically, for the final challenge before the finale (in which incidentally Wendy won), all he could think in that moment was that the least Wendy could have done was wear lipstick.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Invoked for the second challenge, which was coincidentally "envy themed". She repeatedly mentioned that Robert and Alexandra could win people over because they were more charming and better-looking, and that Nora and Austin were still young and had all the time ahead for their careers (while her clock was ticking).
  • Hidden Depths: According to Jay in this interview, Wendy didn’t give anything away from her real self to the cameras, and when they were alone, she told the others many interesting things about herself, like having lived in Tibet, speaking five languages, and being super cultured.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: One has to wonder how she skated through eliminations. Her designs skated between tacky and hideous, to bland and dowdy.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: She had an entire strategy to pose as a Team Mom from the beginning and then stay in the middle until the final three. Even Jay lampshades this at one point.
    Jay: Wendy, This isn't Survivor!!
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Due to her "tactics" never really screw people, since the judges (and the producers) are the ones that decides who should be auf. Still, it's enough to alienated all the other contestants
  • Irony: She is the person that directly eliminated Morgan so that she might be on good graces with the other designers. After this episode, it's now apparent that she became anger target No.1 from the other designers due to her own actions.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: She invited her adorable young daughter into the work room for a visit during Fashion Week... but only as a tactic to emotionally manipulate her fellow competitors and put them off guard.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She is the first to call out Kara Saun for the "Shoe-Gate", because it gave her an unfair advantage over Wendy and Jay, who had to shop for cheap shoes while Kara Saun had custom-made shoes practically for free.
  • Messy Hair: For most of the season, she always sported unkempt hair with a Skunk Stripe. She got a makeover and proper style before Fashion Week.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Subverted. In All-Stars Season 2, she got eliminated 2nd.
  • Smug Snake: She was perfectly fine with throwing team leaders under the bus for the team challenges, first by accusing Austin of being a bad leader, then pointing out all the group flaws in front of the judges (instead of voicing them during in the workroom), making Kevin look responsible for the mistakes.
  • Skunk Stripe: Along with her Messy Hair.
  • Team Mom: She got especially close with Suede. The others still saw her as "The Old Villain"
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In All-Stars Season 2, compared to her first appearance, she's mellowed out considerably, and admits she has quite a reputation from her first time on the show. She also is now aware that this is a Talent Show.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has one when someone drew a mustache over her daughter's photo.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Thinks that she needed to scheme to win the show (like in Survivor or Big Brother). Unfortunately for her, it is also a talent competition for fashion designers.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Right before making the final model pick, Wendy goes on to talk about how close she and Morgen were during the competition and how both of them are going to move on to better things... right before she chooses Melissa instead.

Austin Scarlett

  • Camp Gay: To the point the Reunion showed a clip compilation of all his campiest moments, including all the Squeeing, Girly Run and so on.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: During work he played catwalk with the fabrics and even had wigs and theatre props to play with the others at the apartments.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Great at creating vintage, couture design, at the cost of everything else.
  • The Dandy: Most of the time he was perfectly dressed with dress shirts, stylized hair and makeup.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: When Jay's model couldn't make it, Austin filled for her... And he looked fabulous (and it's worth mentioning that Jay's outfit was the most butch he has ever looked).
  • Eating the Eye Candy: In All-Stars Season 1 episode 5. Anthony offered some money to a hunky guy to take off his shorts and they all enjoyed the view.
    "I don't know about Anthony... but I got his phone number".
  • Irony: The Wedding challenge was one of his worst entries in his series. After the show, Austin was hired by Amsalenote  as Head Designer for Kenneth Pool Bridal.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: In All-Stars Season 1, he finally made it into the final runway after his Shocking Elimination in his (the) original season. He came short on winning this time too.
  • Nice Guy: He was nothing but nice to everyone, including Wendy (before discovering that she was a backstabbing bitch, of course)
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In All-Stars Season 1, his final collection was inspired by “a vampire who lives in Williamsburg and sometimes borrows clothes from her Hasidic dandy friend."
  • Pretty Boy: Same built as a female model and with a Girly Walk for a catwalk.
  • Really 700 Years Old: One running joke is that he is really from the eighteenth century.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive next to Jay's Manly Man.
  • Signature Style: Couture and Victorian-inspired dresses.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Played with when Austin and Jay went to the mart to find out who was the Winner of the Swimsuit challenge. Jay at first reacted fine... only for the cameras to cut to Jay beating up Austin in the street (jokingly, of course).

Robert Plotkin

  • Brainless Beauty: How the others jokingly describe him. At one point, Jay described him as "Horny Monkey-dog".
  • Butt-Monkey[/]The Chew Toy: Even Wendy was considered to be a better designer than him.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tried to impress Alexandra doing bars on the street. Didn't work at all.
  • The Charmer: He talked his way to the final five, relying mostly on his charm and good looks.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Despite being flirty and constantly compairing women with sports cars, he is genuinely friendly and huged a devastated Starr when she got eliminated.
  • Female Gaze: There's a gratuitous shot of Rob's naked butt when the camera crew caught him in the shower.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: At the time he had his hair in a ponytail. He had a haircut after Season 2 was over.
  • Nice Guy: He was the only one the remaining designers who didn't voice any attack towards Wendy and got along with everyone.
  • Just Friends: With Alexandra, according to her confession cam.
  • Mr. Fanservice: We get A LOT of shots of Rob in underwear. And also one take of his naked butt.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: While doing push-ups to impress Alexandra (while very drunk), he fell and hit his head, having to be rushed to the hospital. He refused to get treatment if that meant shaving off his head.
    Kara Saun: The only thing he is worried about is his hair. He doesn't care about the blood, he doesn't care if he has to get stitches... All he cares about is that they don't cut his hair.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: For the last challenge, he is brought back as "technical support". All the four remaining knew it was the same as "no-help at all", since Rob's sewing skills were average, and he was only there to fill space, goof around and drink their beer supply.
  • Tagalong Kid: Kara Saun and Jay said he was this because of his lack of skills, so he only served as a tag-along.

Kevin John

  • Extreme Doormat: When he had Olga as a clien, he barely argued with her and just tried to go along with her tantrums. He also let Morgan walk away with his suimsuit and barely scolded her when she returned it ripped.
  • Two First Names
  • The Quiet One: He barely talked or raised his voice.
  • The Scapegoat: Was accused by Jay for vandalizing Wendy's photo (that shows Wendy's child). Later in an interview, he admit that it was his doing.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He let his model, Morgan, go to a party with his swimsuit on, even when the other designers were saying that was a stupid idea. Result: Morgan arrived with the garment ripped. He's lucky the judges auf'd Alexandra instead of him.

Alexandra Vidal

Nora Caliguri

Vanessa Riley

  • Cloudcuckoolander: If singing in the workroom and annoying everyone else wasn't enough, she also did silly voices wearing a wig during Wendy's interview at the hall.
  • Critical Research Failure: In the interview (see Jerkass), Vanessa mentioned that she believed that Heidi wanted Project Runway to make it all about her. A little research would've revealed that Heidi had hosted Victoria's Secret shows in the past, had done TV work previously (and avoided the Spotlight-Stealing Squad) and also runs Germany's Next Top Model (which came after Project Runway).
  • The Mean Brit: In the contestants' side.
  • Jerkass: In the reunion episode she stormed off after Nora and Jay confronted her about a interview where she insulted the others, by claiming they "made clothes for their grandmothers"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: How she closed the discussion during the Reunion episode.
  • Sore Loser: Was definitely bitter about her loss, and admitted that she had never watched the show except for the first episode.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When all the designers were asked who should go home, Vanessa had a verbal diarrhea and chose herself, saying she was the worst sewer of the group. She promptly regretted saying that to the judges.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the reunion show.

Starr Ilzhoefer

  • Hello, Attorney!: She is also a lawyer when not making clothes.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: All her dresses made in the competition looked like clown clothes, except for the 2nd challenge "the Tumor dress".
  • Prone to Tears: There wasn't a single episode where she wasn't about to cry.
  • Signature Style: In a more polite term, harlequin.
  • The Quiet One: At one reunion clip, she took more than 20 seconds to answer a question (which is about strategy for this show)

Mario Cadenas

  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He is a capable designer, but his only garments in the competition included a wrapped shower curtain made in 15 minutes and a cotton tube dress.
  • Brutal Honesty: He stated that his dress was inspired on how the models of the show (he didn't say any names) were all envious and hypocritical.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Was this with Jay in the first episodes, and became Smoke-Buddies for the cigarette breaks. His elimination shook Jay enough to step up his game.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Took his occasional Smoke Break with Jay.
  • Straight Gay: He is one of the confirmed gay contestants (along with Jay and Austin) and, in contrast to them, he was the only one who didn't speak in stereotypical gay mannerisms.

Daniel Franco

  • Beware the Nice Ones: During the Lingerie Challenge, Daniel Franco stepped in to verbally confront Santino when his and Nina's bickering got to shouting levels.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a very good tailor, but tends to bounce and dance around his dressform and talk about happiness and bliss.
  • Camp Straight: Which later comes to question in Season 2.
  • The Dandy: He frequently wore suits.
  • For Happiness: His motto was "Follow your bliss".
    I'm Daniel Franco and I wish you bliss.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: He'll not remain quiet if someone is being a jerkass, immediately calling him out. He was the first to question Wendy about her behavior during the reunion. In Season 2, he stepped up to confront Santino for being verbally aggressive to Nina.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? / Girlfriend in Canada: In Confession Cam, Raymundo says he doesn't believe Daniel Franco is straight because he keeps bringing up a "girlfriend" and says "If the boy says he's straight, leave the boy think that".
  • My Greatest Second Chance: He returned in Season 2 after being eliminated first in Season 1. He later was invited to participate in All Stars Season 5.
  • Nice Guy: As leader in the Team Challenge, he took the blame to save Chloe and Kara from elimination, even thought they were ready to push him under the bus.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, there was also Daniel Vosovic.
  • Serious Business: His first approach on the first day. Instead of enjoying the welcome party, he started to take his model's measures.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: As the first eliminated.

The Models

Yes, because they were in the competition as well.
  • Birds of a Feather: Jay says he and Julia clicked because of their personalities and art inclinations.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Morgan is a great walker, which is the reason why she stayed longer despite being terribly unprofessional.
  • The Cameo: Morgan appeared in season 5 as one of Kenley's model. All of the finalists recognize her at the model casting session.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Morgan.
    • In a minor level, Julia requested from Austin a very crazy bride gown that landed him in the Bottom 3.
  • Cuteand Psycho: Morgan was jokingly referred by the others to be this, since despite having a killer walk, was very unpredictable and crazy.
  • Drama Queen: Morgan, she was the one who actually started the first drama in the entire series (by being late on the first runway show).
    • Olga in the wedding dress challenge.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first episode, Morgan arrived late because her former model agency has dropped her, despite showing a great walk after that. As the season went on, they might have made a good choice.
  • Genki Girl: Martinique. She jumped every time she got chosen.
  • Hidden Depths: Julia is a Graphic Designer.
  • Improbable Age: Melissa, who is the most seductive of the models, and shockingly 16 at that time.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jay called Morgan "Morganza".
  • It's All About Me: Some of them, specially Morgan and Olga (according to the designers).
  • Jerkass
    • Morgan in general. Most notable example was when she ripped Kevin's garment after insisting she could go with it on, with only an "Oops" about it. When Kevin confronted her, Morgan had the ovaries to get attitudinal about it.
    • Olga. According to the designers she was nasty, vain and difficult to work with.
  • Meaningful Name: According to Melissa, her middle name is "Rose", so she had to have a bride gown with roses in it, which truncated Nora for the challenge.
  • Meganekko: Joy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Although all the models were attractive, Melissa is the most prominent, after the show she was featured in Sports Illustrated as well.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Olga. She requested Kevin a wedding gown with diamonds in the carseat.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Morgan for the first half, who arguably get the same amount of screen time as the designers. Basically, she's practically the first response for fans when talking about models in Project Runway.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Julia.
  • Stripperiffic: Josiane had to wear Wendy's "Candy hooker" bikini from the first challenge.
    • Morgan had a walk topless (with nothing but paint) from the first challenge.
  • Younger Than They Look: Melissa. Nobody could believe she was 16 if Austin didn't make it clear she was having "grape juice and ginger ale" at a bar party.
    • Also Audrey, who was 17 at the time.
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