Project Runway’s Kara Saun: Where Is She Now?

Name: Kara Saun

Age and Locale: 41, Los Angeles

Where We First Met: Kara Saun was one of the very first contestants to “make it work” as a participant on Project Runway‘s debut season. Known for her skillful sewing, top notch designs, and easy going attitude, she launched into the final three, alongside her good pal Jay “JayBird” McCarroll (who took it all home with the big win), and the villain we all loved to hate, or just plain hated, Wendy Pepper. Throughout the competition, Kara Saun took home four wins in individual challenges, more than any other player, before placing second. “From the time that I started preparing for it I always knew it would be an amazing experience,” she said. “You just felt it. It was one those things where there’s just something in the air and I knew from the time I went to the audition, I was going to do this show, and I always felt it was going to be amazing. Meeting Heidi Klum for the first time, and meeting the contestants; it was so surreal and I just thought this is something I’ll never ever do again, and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.”

Where She’s Been: It’s been a few good years since Project Runway’s first season, and though she didn’t win the competition, she’s sure made a winning with her current Hollywood career as an in demand costume designer, fashion expert, and clothing line entrepreneur. She’s racked up credits on shows like “What I Like About You,” “Eve,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and “How Do I Look,” to name a few. “I’m getting back to going into the 4th cycle of America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV. I costume design that show and create the looks for all the crews. Reality TV is very fast paced. We usually have up to 60 dancers and maybe two days to pull everything together before we get on stage. I also have my own line of red carpet gowns and dresses. I tell people all the time that Project Runway is honestly an amazing experience and is really a walking resume; I did the Cheetah Girl tour last season and designed 200 costumes in like 15 days for their 50 state tour after the director called me up and said ‘I saw you on Project Runway.’ To this day I have producers and directors from all over who saw it, and saw my work, and they see how you deal with other people. It was important to show what you can do regardless of how it ends because a lot of great things will come of it.”

“I didn’t think, ‘oh, we’re going to be sewing and then eating worms!‘ But you never know what some reality shows are going to make you do!”

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From Being on Reality TV…to Working on Reality TV: “I saw Magical Elves, who produced “Project Greenlight” and “Last Comic Standing,” was doing Project Runway, and I knew they would do a quality reality show. So I didn’t think, ‘oh, we’re going to be sewing and then eating worms!‘ But you never know what some reality shows are going to make you do! They truly focus on the talent. Yeah, in the beginning, you’re like, reality? Is this a good move? But I felt comfortable because I knew they would do a really quality production. And now, I think it just gives me better insight. I’m doing many reality shows and it’s funny that I started out on reality and just found my niche and love doing it. I love the pace of it, I love the fact that you’re in for a couple months and then you have some time off which allows me to work on my line. It allows you to understand what the contestants are going through. I’m able to speak to them and really know, this is what you need to do, or stop reading that, or don’t play into those things. It just gives me better insight to be able to deal with them.”

Best Project Runway Moment: “Meeting Tim Gunn for the first time and Tim Gunn telling me he knew who I was from before I got there! I was like, ‘what!?’ This was our first meeting, and the other designers were around, and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want them to think I know anybody here!’ But I had, many years ago, done a renegade fashion show on the steps of Bryant Park and Tim Gunn remembered it and said everybody at Parsons was talking about that show. That’s always stands out in my mind. Because going forward Tim was such an amazing mentor. He was really concerned about the designers, and he is what you see, and he really is a great person.”

Getting to Know the Real Heidi Klum: I worked with Heidi for a while after the show; I did a lot of her pregnancy clothes. She’s a really fun girl. We used to sit in her walk in closet on the floor just talking. Heidi is just a nice, fun, person to deal with. Very upbeat all the time. I’ve never seen Heidi have a bad day in all the time I’ve worked with her, both after the show and during the show.”

Dishing Advice: “In reality TV I think a lot of people feel like, ‘if I get the most attention people are going to remember me.’ But I think if you’re on a show about talent, focus on your talent. Don’t try to be the villain; be who you are, but know it’s a walking resume and people remember things forever. Even though it’s just a clip of your life, that’s who people think you are. I just caution people to go there, work your tail off, and really let people see what you can do as a designer. Work your hardest to get to the final three and final one but in the end people will remember your work.”

What’s Next: “It’s been great because things out of the blue will present themselves. I have another reality show right after America’s Best Dance Crew, for NBC, but I can’t talk about that just yet, and I’m working on my line, and working on a few things where I’ll be on air and on camera. It’s all about continuing to do what you love and being creative and I thank Project Runway for giving me that broad audience that’s allowed me to do some other things.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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