As first revealed in Project Runway 3's casting application, unlike the first two Project Runway editions that used New York's Fall Fashion Week (an event that takes place in February) as the backdrop for their finales, Project Runway 3's finale will take place at New York's Spring Fashion Week, a September event.
Like its first two editions, Project Runway's third season will once again be hosted by Heidi Klum and feature clothing designer Michael Kors and Elle Magazine fashion director Nina Garcia as part of the show's judging panel. Tim Gunn, Chair of the Parsons The New School For Design where the contestants will compete in weekly design challenges, will also return and help guide the contestants through the competition.
Unlike last season, the size of Project Runway's third edition will be slightly smaller. Rather than once again featuring a cast of sixteen contestants (a number that represented a significant increase over the first edition's cast of twelve), Project Runway 3 will feature fifteen contestants competing for the right to be one of the three finalists who will design and show their own collections in New York's world-renowned Bryant Park tents.
Borrowing a page from The Real World's playbook, Bravo will air a one-hour Project Runway 3 casting special on Wednesday, July 12 at 9PM ET/PT (immediately before the third season's 10PM ET/PT premiere.) Rather than Klum, Gunn -- the show's true breakout star -- will host the special.
As previous noted, although still unconfirmed by the network, Bravo's decision to air Project Runway's third edition as part of its summer programming schedule would appear to indicate that assuming the show's third edition continues to draw strong ratings, Project Runway will be moving the twice-a-year format typically adopted by most popular reality competition series. Assuming Project Runway 3 has a fourteen-week run similar to that of Project Runway 2, the edition would broadcast its finale in early October -- a timeframe that would still allow the show to take a two month break before broadcasting a fourth installment during the same winter timeframe in which Project Runway's first two editions aired.