Kara Saun in The New York Times
[The New York Times]
September 11, 2005
To the Runner-Up Goes the Sitcom
By DEBORAH STARR SEIBEL
It worked for Clay Aiken on "American Idol" and Trista Rehn Sutter on "The Bachelor." Now Kara Saun, the last aspiring fashion designer eliminated on Bravo's hit "Project Runway," is learning that finishing second in a reality competition can still make you a winner: Ms. Saun has been selected as head costume designer for the coming fourth season of the WB comedy series "What I Like About You."
"We're going to funk it up a bit," Ms. Saun said in a telephone interview from her office on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, Calif. "Make it a little edgier." Ms. Saun, 38, who became known on "Runway" for her glam-funk designs, had already made some inroads designing for movies and television, most notably by creating a new look for Queen Latifah in 1999 and outfitting the surviving members of the group TLC, Rozonda Thomas, better known as Chilli, and Tionne Watkins, called T-Boz, , for their UPN reality series, "R U the Girl," which began its run earlier this summer.
Unlike those jobs, the new position is full time. Ms. Saun said the show's producers saw her work on last season's "Runway" and called her. She has spent the last month haunting fabric shops and putting her staff of five costumers to work "building," as she describes it, new clothes for the seven regular cast members, including the series' stars, Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth, who play sisters sharing an Upper West Side apartment. "I'm hardly ever in the office," said Ms. Saun, who will use a combination of original designs and off-the-rack looks. "I'm in the stores, shopping."
Or moonlighting for UPN's "America's Next Top Model." Ms. Saun recently designed 13 gold
metallic leather dresses worn by the "Top Model" contestants for the latest ad campaign for the show. The clothes were in ads in September magazines and in commercials for the show. "People always come up to me and say, 'Oh my God, Kara, you should've won,' " Ms. Saun said. "And I tell them: 'You know what? I did win.' "