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Internal Investigation Rocks ‘Runway’

Competition all sewn up.

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H ow bad at sewing is Project Runway final-four contestant Jeffrey Sebelia? A few months ago, the show’s uneliminated contestants left the supervision of the producers to go home and work on their collections. But when they returned for their group show at Bryant Park, fellow contestant Laura Bennett accused Sebelia of cheating. Three weeks earlier, Tim Gunn, Parsons fashion design chair and the show’s mentor, had visited Sebelia in L.A. and declared, “He had a lot of work to do.” Word reached Bennett, whose mother had met and become friendly with Sebelia’s mother. Upon seeing Sebelia’s miraculously finished collection, Bennett told the producers she believed Sebelia had outsourced his sewing—which would disqualify him. “His collection was very ambitious,” says Gunn. “I wasn’t born yesterday.” Adding fuel to the fire was Sebelia’s rather unfinished style of construction throughout the show. “We took the accusation very seriously, and we did a very intense and thorough investigation,” says Gunn. Bravo would not allow him to reveal the resolution. The three finalists will be revealed September 27, and the winner October 18. Sebelia didn’t return calls.

See also
Q&A with New Yorker Laura Bennet
Q&A with Tim Gunn


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