Georgina Chapman is the "trophy second wife" of Hollywood bigwig (and Project Runway owner/producer) Harvey Weinstein, which explains why she's a judge on the show. To offset any perceptions of nepotism, Weinstein lined up Isaac Mizrahi, who brings enough star power to the show to make up for any lack of it among the rest of the new cast. Although Mizrahi had been working with Magical Elves (the original producers of Project Runway, who had to give the show up when Weinstein moved it to Lifetime) doing a fashion show on the Bravo network, Weinstein had backed and produced the Mizrahi documentary Unzipped, which is what made Mizrahi such a big star -- and explains why Mizrahi jumped.
I don't know what Angela Lindvall is supposed to bring. She doesn't seem to have any more knowledge about fashion than Heidi, and she has even less personality. But Joanna Coles is a great choice as the advisor in place of Tim Gunn, because she's so totally different than Tim. Coles started out as a serious reporter, not in fashion. She wasn't even particularly interested in fashion until she became the #2 editor at a women's magazine, and since then she's made a name for herself as the anti-Anna Wintour fashion editor. I'd rather work with Tim Gunn, but I think Joanna Coles is more likely to tell me how successful my line will be.
(BTW, did you all know that Isaac Mizrahi went to Parsons School of Design when he was a student?)
It's just too soon to see what criteria these judges will use to pick a winner. But one thing I've noted with them is that, through three shows, a male has won each challenge (Rami, Austin, Michael) and a female has gone home (Eliza, Sweet P, Gordana). And yet, it's hard to disagree with any of the dismissals, so it appears that they don't worry about the appearance of bias in their dismissals -- which is something that I think the regular judges DO worry about, to the show's detriment. My only complaint about the winners and boots so far is that I thought Rami's outfit was clearly the best this week (the Miss Piggy challenge).
I posted this before, but I think Michael Kors and Nina Garcia put a much greater emphasis on how well the designer can present himself or herself -- because presentation is SUCH a huge part of success in the fashion industry. In terms of presentation, Gretchen was great . . . way beyong Mondo. In terms of clothes? Not.