Best Life Lessons from Project Runway

Published: March 4, 2014

Project Runway is full of life lessons.  If you have nothing better to do, and need some free life coaching, download som episodes and learn how to get your life together. Tim Gunn is an excellent role model and life coach and even if he never speaks to you directly, the words of wisdom he gives to each contestant can light up your life, too.  

You can learn to make it work in life.  You can!


  1. Always Strive to be a Decent Human Being.

    "I'm not fake" is not a good excuse for being a piece of shit.  This is the biggest life lesson one can get from PR, and it is reiterated over and over throughout the seasons, starting in Season 1. Look at upstanding Michael in Season 3, congratulating everyone, and Alexandria in Season 12, just doing her thing and trying to stay out of drama. 

    Wendy Pepper was not ridiculously talented, and she certainly wasn't ridiculously nice.  Kara Saun was actually talented, but she used being "real" as an excuse to have a garbage personality.  

    Jay, on the other hand, somehow maneuvered through the porn industry and learned human decency.  The most poignant thing he ever said was after walking into a room and seeing mean old Wendy Pepper in there, and he walks up to her and goes "Hi.  You know, I really don't like you, and I had planned on ignoring you.  But here we are in the same room, and you're a real person with real feelings, so I can't just pretend you don't exist."

    This was such a stark contrast to Kara Saun who blatantly ignored Wendy Pepper and made constant malicious remarks under her breath.  

    Remembering people we don't like are real people with real feelings is such an understated life lesson that we could all stand to learn from.  Every time I start to hate someone, I ask myself how Jay would treat them, and then I act like a decent human being, and the world gets a little tiny bit better.   

    He's not saying you have to like people, he's just saying you can keep it real and still be decent to people you dislike.  Imagine that.


  2. PR Offers a Nice Soup Kitchen At Auditions, if life lets you down..

    Contestant Bradley, on a bit of a heroin daze, wandered into Season 3 auditions looking for some soup, trying to find a nice comforting stairwell.  Somehow he got cast and put on the show, where his biggest accomplishments were "putting some gel in my hair last night" and commenting on his beard a lot.  He was eventually eliminated, but this hobo made it quite far along, proving you can be anyone and still succeed a bit on national TV.  Afterward, he crawled back to his stairwell and hasn't been seen since, but I like to think he's doing well, remnants of hair gel still keeping his hobo head nice and groomed.  

  3. Always Follow Your Heart

    If you don't want a Season 12 spoiler, stop here. 

    Alexandria was my first love on this show.  She actually made some wicked clothes, and she was generally a decent human being, and Heidi liked her drop pants enough to give her a chance.  She had a certain look and did things a certain way and very nearly got eliminated, but instead she stayed true to herself and got a chance to show her line at Fashion Week.  

    The life lesson is to follow your heart because Alexandria quickly became my heart, and I wanted to root for her but at first I was so terrified of having my heart ripped apart via Nina Garcia's snarky comments and tragic elimination so I considered putting my hopes and dreams on another contestant.  In the end, I followed my heart, and despite the slim chance of making it because Snowberry and Oragne Face Michael Kors were SO AGAINST her raw talent, I got to see her shine on the runway at the end!  So.  Always follow your heart, even in the face of criticism, no matter what Nina Garcia has to say about you.  If I wasn't channeling Jay from Season 1 so well right now, I'd flat out call NG a total c*nt right now.  

  4. Don't Have Stupid Dreams

    If you aspire to be a fashion designer who refuses to use electricity and believes Unicorns are closely related to hippos, you might need to re-evaluate your life.  You probably need a trip in a therapy van as you drive around the adirondacks doing worksheets and getting some life coaching.  That's okay.  Just listen to Tim Gunn, fix your dreams, and sparkle on.  

  5. Life Coaching Works

    Anytime Tim Gunn has something to say, you'd best listen.  He gives solid advice, and those that heed it well tend to not get life eliminated.  If you read motivational books and do worksheets and strive to always make it work, you can turn your life around and become a successful reality TV star.  

If you find yourself a contestant on the show, here are my quick tips: Stay away from bathing suits.  They never turn out well.  String and candy do not constitute an outfit.  Do not listen to anything the judges say, except for Heidi.  She obviously controls the entire show anyway, so she's the only one you need to impress.  She likes drop pants and fleurshawns.  

I hope you have found this advice helpful, and can now get off the computer and go sew  your failing life pieces together.  Always be fabulous, like Austin Scarlett, and things will always be okay.