Project Runway producers “almost killed us,” winner Chloe Dao says

The stars of Project Runway may struggle with fame after their run on the show concludes, but during production, they suffer through conditions that second-season winner Chloe Dao says “almost killed us.”

She and several other designers talked to the New York Post, detailing the conditions, which aren’t that different from other reality shows: extremely long hours, non-stop stalking from camera crews, isolation from the outside world.

Chloe says that she had to ask the producers for food. “I said, ‘Give me food now.’ I need to eat or I get shaky. And I can’t sew if I’m shaking.’ You actually had to remind them to get dinner and lunch, sometimes. … They’re so busy filming that they forget [to eat]. If we got four hours of sleep, that meant they got two hours. The production team looked like they were about to drop dead.”

Season three winner Jeffrey Sebelia says that the long hours on the day of the runway show end with the designers changing clothes and receiving their instructions from Heidi Klum. While the editing makes it appear as though those instructions come the next day, “It could be two o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Season two’s Daniel Vosovic, who lost six pounds during the month-long production, says, “[W]hen you’re in this bubble, everything is heightened. You’ve had no sleep, you’re living with people you don’t necessarily like, and every single decision you make is being judged.” He also says that because the designers are isolated from the external world, “I was literally scraping my brain for inspiration.”

‘Runway’ Confidential [New York Post]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.