To most unknown and/or struggling designers trying to break into the industry, winning the grand prize on a season of Project Runway sounds like an absolute dream come true: $100,000, a major fashion mag editorial, an ultra-expensive technology suite, website partnerships, instant name recognition, and endless opportunities for publicity. But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? When Tim Gunn is no longer hovering over your shoulder in the workroom, telling you what 'worries' him? Or when, instead of competing against 15 designers in a challenge, you're competing with potentially hundreds of thousands of designers around the world? With Project Runway All Stars (finally!) premiering tonight, it got us wondering about all the seriously talented individuals to whom Heidi Klum never said "auf wiedersehen."
Eagle-eyed Gawker scribe Maureen O'Connor noticed that one of the contestants on the upcoming season of Project Runway is Anya Ayoung-Chee, an ex-beauty queen with a scandalous past. In 2008, Ayoung-Chee was Miss Trinidad and Tobago and participated in the Miss Universe pageant. She didn't win but she became notorious for a steamy sex tape that leaked after the competition. If you want to watch it, here you go (it's obvs NSFW). You know Ayoung-Chee is a party girl because when she's giving Project Runway a tour of her house, Cribs-style, she says she doesn't cook "at all" but "once and a while you can enjoy a little of this," and gestures to a shelf full of tequila. She also pretty upfront with the casting panel about the fact that she only started to sew when she decided to apply for the show.