Lara Trump kicked off 2024 scandalizing the MAGA folks with her revealing New Year's Eve attire -- though the backlash is rooted in jealousy, according to the dress' designer.

"Project Runway" alum Oscar Lopez, who designed Lara's NYE dress, tells TMZ he's sticking by the thigh-high split/plunging white gown, which was branded 'trashy,' 'inappropriate' and 'disrespectful' by folks on social media ... saying he actually designed it with sensuality and elegance in mind.

He says he worked closely with Lara to ensure the final creation aligned with the empowering message they wanted to portray ... while staying true to Lara's confident personal style -- though Oscar notes the gym bunny looks great in anything cause she's got a fantastic figure.

Oscars says Lara was content to wear the final look ... and he's got no regrets about working with her.

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As for the controversy, Oscar notes fashion is a subjective and interpretive art form, eliciting a range of reactions -- it's just a shame his skin-baring design has divided opinion.

He confirms Lara's aware of the scrutiny -- but she ain't letting it faze her cause she respects the diverse opinions that come with being in the public eye.


He adds, "It's important to recognize that public figures often face differing opinions, especially if your last name is "Trump," and each individual responds to such situations in their own way. In Lara's case, this does not faze her in the least."

Tim Gunn Heidi Klum Doesn't Eat 900 Cals/Day ... She Snacks That Much!


Tim Gunn is comin' to his pal Heidi Klum's defense after rumors spread her daily intake is a paltry 900 calories ... a number he says she easily hits just between meals!

We got Tim at LAX and we asked him if he could confirm or deny the Heidi's calorie count reports, and he's certainly doing the latter here.

He playfully says one of Heidi's snack breaks would add up to the bogus total folks are claiming ... and applauds the supermodel for keeping her incredible physique while eating normal portions.


For those unaware, Heidi responded Tuesday to the noise on Instagram, denying the 900 calorie allegation. It all started when she got candid online about her weight earlier this week, and she says that's when folks really ran with the phony number.

She also told her followers she's never had to count calories before -- which is a pretty big flex, BTW ... especially considering how great she looks at 50!!!

'Project Runway' Star Wishes No Ill Will Toward Chrissy ... Responds to Claims He Humiliated Singer


1:39 PM PT -- British singer Leona Lewis has now accused Costello of humiliating her at a 2014 charity event ... claiming Costello refused to alter a dress to fit her for a fashion show.


Lewis claimed she was relegated to sit in the audience after Costello, whom she says was assigned as her designer, didn't show up to a fitting the night before the show and offered no explanation. The singer says she doesn't discount Costello's experience but is speaking up because "the pot calling the kettle black in this situation doesn't sit right with me."


Costello tells TMZ ... he's confused because he says he's a huge fan of hers and her team has continuously reached out for him to dress Lewis, even as recently as May 17, 2021.


Costello said if she felt this way he wished she had spoken to him in the handful of times their teams have talked. As for the charity event in question, Costello says he left options with the charity team for her.


He says he’s reached out to Lewis on IG following the claims ... but she hasn’t responded.

Michael Costello says he's not out for revenge after claiming Chrissy Teigen's trolling nearly drove him to suicide, but he does want her to contact him if she's genuinely interested in expressing remorse.

The "Project Runway" star tells TMZ ... he's still waiting for Chrissy -- and anyone else who bullied him -- to reach out to him. He says if she truly acknowledges her past actions were wrong, he'd welcome her with open arms for a real conversation.

He said, "I want to be clear -- I do not wish ill on anyone. We are all works in progress and we deserve the opportunity to prove that we can do better. But progress takes time. We must show through actions that we have changed. After all, action speaks much louder than a 10-minute apology written on a notepad."

As we reported ... Michael accused Chrissy of a yearslong campaign to get him blacklisted from the industry after she mistakenly thought he posted something racist back in 2014.

Michael says that post turned out to be doctored, and though he tried his damnedest to set the record straight with Chrissy -- he claims she instead used her power to get brands and companies to drop him.

Michael says he suffered so much from all of this, he thought about taking his own life. He adds, "Nothing takes away from the years of trauma being bullied and blacklisted in the industry has left me. I am not out for revenge. I only wish to only speak my truth because I have been silenced for so long."

Originally Published -- 12:40 PM PT

'Project Runway' Star Chrissy Teigen's Bullied Me So Much ... I Have Suicidal Thoughts

Michael Costello says he nearly took his own life because he could no longer deal with the trauma -- personally and professionally -- which he claims Chrissy Teigen brought down on him.

The "Project Runway" star's accusing Chrissy of a yearslong campaign to get him blacklisted from the industry, because he says she mistakenly thought he posted something racist all the way back in 2014.

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Costello claims no matter what he did to try to convince Chrissy the racism allegations were untrue -- he says Instagram proved it was a Photoshopped comment he didn't write -- she persisted, and told him his career was over.

He also posted screenshots of the alleged messages from Teigen, in which she says, "racist people like you deserve to suffer and die" ... and issues the veiled threat about his career.

Michael claims Chrissy, along with stylist Monica Rose, followed through with this by using their power to get brands and companies to not work with him.

The designer says he's suffered tremendously, and is opening up about it now in an attempt to set himself free from depression and suicidal thoughts.

Costello claims it's gotten so bad recently, he told loved ones he thought taking his own life was the best way out.

Of course, Michael's allegations coincide with Chrissy issuing a lengthy apology for her past behavior online ... which she called trolling, and attributed to her own insecurities and immaturity.

If true, it seems the Michael situation is a different beast with different context ... but it's certainly not any more tolerable.

We reached out to a rep for Chrissy ... so far, no word back.

'Project Runway' Star Christian Siriano Files for Divorce ... From Hubby Brad Walsh

"Project Runway" star Christian Siriano is finally making things official after he and his husband split nearly 3 years ago -- because the designer just filed for divorce.

The season 4 'Runway' champ -- who's become a mentor on the Bravo series -- just filed legal docs seeking to dissolve his marriage to Brad Walsh ... who Christian's been married to for around 5 years.

They got hitched in 2016 after getting engaged in 2013 -- but their relationship fell apart and they announced they were separating in the summer of 2018.

At the time, Walsh went public with the breakup ... taking to IG to write, "Bit more than a month ago my husband and I separated." He explained the story of their split was going to come out in the media, but he preferred to break the news himself to his fans.

Unclear what caused the rift, but in any case ... Christian was first to hit the courthouse in NY to file his divorce petition. There's not much more in the way of deets at this point -- divorce cases are sealed in the Big Apple.

The couple didn't have any children together, though, so that issue's off the table.

Both guys are pretty successful in their own right -- Christian has a fashion line, which is wildly popular, and Brad is in the music business. No word on whether a prenup is in play.

Jill Biden and Kamala Harris Pick an American Designer For Inaugural Ball ... Michael Costello Says

Jill Biden and Kamala Harris should go America first as they hunt for someone to design their dresses for the inaugural ball ... so says famous fashion designer Michael Costello.

The former "Project Runway" star tells us the First Lady and Vice President-elect should absolutely wear an American designer when the ball rolls around in January, which would only underscore their love of country.


The way Michael sees it ... inaugural balls are a huge platform for up-and-coming designers to get a huge career boost, so Jill and Kamala should try and find a diamond in the rough and transform that designer's career.

Remember ... Michelle Obama picked Jason Wu to design her dress way back in 2008, and Jason's career immediately took off thanks to the First Lady's endorsement.

Melania Trump, meanwhile, went with well-known French-American designer Herve Pierre.

While Michael's angling to design a matching dress and face-covering for Joe Biden's wife, he also tells us why Kamala should consider an African-American designer.

'Project Runway' Star IDGAF About the Met Gala ... It's a Waste of Money!!!


Designer Michael Costello's not shedding any tears over this year's canceled Met Gala, because he believes the funds raised at the pricey benefit should be going to charities now.

The former "Project Runway" star tells us there's no love lost between the famous fashion gala and him -- he's never been invited -- and he doesn't understand where all the money from the event goes.

The annual New York City gala's been around since 1948, and since 2005 it's been held the first Monday in May. That would've been tonight, but the coronavirus had a different plan.

Michael says tickets to attend go for $30-50,000 a pop ... something he suggests is both ridiculous and suspect.

He tells us even though he looks forward to what celebs and designers bring to the table every year, he'd never dish out that kind of dough to go ... and believes it should go to helping people in need instead.


That's what Costello's been doing lately. As we told you, he's converted his factory into a mask-producing operation in L.A. to benefit frontline workers.

He says he's still focused on that, and won't even check in on the virtual Met Gala going down Monday night on YouTube.

Vogue's calling it "A Moment with the Met" -- but Michael won't even give it that much time.

Oprah Throws a Mean Pizza Party For 'Project Runway' Star


Oprah partied like it was 2004 ... invoking her most famous catchphrase when she delivered trays upon trays of pizza to surprise "Project Runway" star Michael Costello.

It all went down in downtown L.A. at the fashion designer's store where she showed up with servers and 14 pepperoni pizzas in tow. Michael was celebrating the 1-year anniversary of his joint on Monday, but had ZERO clue about what was gonna happen next.

With everyone gathered around, in came Oprah ... who earlier this month held an "O, That's Good!" pizza contest. Michael just so happened to enter the contest and, yes, he was one of the winners.

Cool moment is when Michael peels off a pepperoni and feeds it to Oprah, who congratulated Michael. They sipped on some bubbly but not before Michael dropped the obligatory "You get a slice! You get a slice!" reference.

Oprah, of course, had to join in. Party attendees included Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills, entertainment reporter XiXi Yang and host Diana Madison. And, an awesome time was had by all.

'Project Runway' Star Sued You're a Snake ... For Ripping Off My Face (Mask)!

Designer Michael Costello ripped off a makeup artist's face mask and tried slithering away with his own version on the runway ... this according to a new lawsuit.

The "Project Runway" darling from season 8 has been sued by special effects makeup artist Lauren Mountain, who says Costello hijacked her "Under the Skin Human Mask and Snake" face mask concept and used it in a fashion show without her permission.

According to the suit, obtained by TMZ, Lauren says Michael's relative, Stephanie, reached out to her to license Lauren's human skin mask design for a 2015 show she and Mike had planned for NYC Fashion Week.

But instead of paying her for the work, Lauren claims the Costellos recreated her mask on their own and strutted a model across the catwalk. She says they did credit her as the inspiration, but Lauren still isn't satisfied.

She's asking a judge for damages of at least $150,000. Michael's team tells TMZ "LOL," adding the validity of the lawsuit is ridiculous, and that the masks were, in fact, inspired by the '80s TV show "V."

Christian Siriano Co. Countersues I Killed Our Deal 'Cause ... 'Just Love' Dresses Were Just Crap!

Christian Siriano is firing back at a retailer that says he pulled the plug early on a licensing deal they had with him, calling a batch of their clothes low quality and unapproved.

The "Project Runway" winner's company filed its own lawsuit against M&A Imports -- which owns the Just Love brand -- saying they're actually the ones who breached their contract ... by selling crappy dresses with his name on it that they allegedly didn't run by him first.

In the docs, Siriano says he only agreed to let M&A use his 'Christian Siriano' brand if they got his approval on pre-production samples of garb they planned to sell -- but says they failed to do so last summer, yet still moved forward with an inferior product.

Christian says the dresses were basically crap -- made of cheap fabric with major stitching, hemming and packaging issues ... which he was embarrassed to endorse with his name.

He claims he had every right to end their OG contract, adding M&A never paid him for 'Christian Siriano' clothes they're still selling. He's asking for at least a mil in damages.

Christian Siriano's Co. Sued We 'Just Love' Take-Backs Your Name Goes On Our Panties & PJs!

Christian Siriano allegedly tried pulling a classic retail move on a company that wanted to use his name on its gear ... by taking back the deal.

The "Project Runway" winner's company, Christian Siriano Holdings, was just sued by M&A Imports for allegedly breaking a contract he signed in 2015. The deal gave the company permission to slap Christian's name all over its women's line -- panties, bras, PJs and the like.

M&A -- which owns the famous Just Love brand -- claims its agreement with Siriano gave them exclusive rights to plaster 'Christian Siriano New York' on its products for a minimum of 3 years, but he pulled out last month without explanation.

In the docs obtained by TMZ, M&A says his abrupt U-turn cost the company a fortune ... to the tune of more than $10,000,000. They're asking a judge for at least that much ... plus interest.

We've reached out to Siriano's camp for comment ... so far no word back.

Harvey Weinstein Banned for Life from TV Academy

Harvey Weinstein just got another lifetime ban handed down to him -- this time it's the TV Academy who's saying he's persona non grata ... for the rest of his days.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences held a hearing Monday and its governing board voted to expel Weinstein from the Academy for life. His former company, The Weinstein Co., has produced a number of TV shows over the years -- most notably, perhaps, being "Project Runway."

In a statement, the Academy says it supports those women speaking out against Weinstein. They go on to say they're horrified by the widespread claims of sexual misconduct in the biz and are conducting a review of their membership codes of conduct.

The Academy finishes by saying ... "We are determined to play a role in protecting all television professionals from predatory harassment, ensuring they are able to practice their craft in a safe environment."

Weinstein has already been banned from the Producers Guild of America, and is under investigation by a handful of law enforcement agencies.

Mychael Knight 'Project Runway' Star in Frail Shape at Last Fashion Show


"Project Runway" finalist Mychael Knight was still hard at work one month before his death, but an intestinal disorder was already taking a visible toll on his body.

TMZ obtained a video of Mychael at what's believed to be the last fashion show he attended ... on September 8 in NYC. While the beloved designer was posing with models ... irritable bowel syndrome left him looking incredibly fragile.

As we reported ... the season 3 sensation died Tuesday morning in a Georgia hospital where he'd been getting treatment for IBS ... which he said was destroying his immune system.

He was 39.

'Project Runway' Finalist Mychael Knight Dead at 39

Former "Project Runway" finalist Mychael Knight died Tuesday morning in a Georgia hospital ... TMZ has learned.

Knight died after recently checking into the hospital. We're told he'd been getting treatment for intestinal issues when he passed at around 7:30 AM. While it's still unclear what caused his death, a few months ago Mychael revealed he'd been battling IBS -- irritable bowl syndrome -- and made it clear it was wreaking havoc on his immune system.

Knight was famous in the fashion world after his successful run on season 3 of 'Runway' ... going on to launch his own lines of clothing and lingerie. He also once designed for Starbucks, and even created his own fragrance brand, MajK.

Knight placed fourth during his season on 'Runway,' and won the Fan Favorite Award as well.

He was only 39.

'Project Runway' Finalist I Need to Be a Skinny Bitch ... I'm Getting Lipo!!


Michael Costello, fashion designer to the stars, is slimming down to comply with what he calls the industry standard -- "skinny bitch" -- and he's using lasers to do it.

Michael finished 4th on Season 8 of "Project Runway" and told us about the moment at a friend's wedding when he knew it was time to fight the fat. One button can change a lot.

He went to Dr. Rollins at Elite Body Sculpture in Bev Hills on Friday to get Airsculpt Laser Liposculpture on his stomach and waist. The procedure uses lasers to soften up your fat, then they vacuum it out. Michael says he dropped 2 sizes instantly.

Michael recorded the good doc going to work on him. Check it out ... if you can stomach it.


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