Earlier this year, the folks at Project Runway promised EW that the move to L.A. would mean lots of celebrity guest judges. They’ve made good on that promise so far, and now we can add one more to the pack. Rachel Bilson, she of the formerly zeitgeisty show The O.C., will be pulling up a chair next to Nina Garcia in this Thursday’s episode. Judging by the sneak-peek photo, the petite actress loves ruffles even more than Annie Barrett and I do. (Which is saying something, believe me.) She also apparently has a penchant for busy, elegant legwear (that Mandi Bierly would like to own). Best of all, the picture proves that Bilson will be smiling 100 percent more often than this season’s first visiting critic, Lindsay Lohan, who pretty much sat in her chair scowling the whole time. That comeback tour of goodwill is working out great, Lindsay.

What might this week’s challenge be? Bilson and her Jumper costar Hayden Christensen have been engaged since February, well after the long-delayed sixth season was filmed, so a wedding theme is probably not in the cards. (Plus, they’ve done wedding dresses before.) We know there’s going to be a beach challenge this season, and L.A. native Bilson’s certainly got the sunny So. Cal. persona down, so that’s a possibility. Or wait…maybe we’ll finally get an entire episode dedicated to the tragic under-appreciated fashions of Orange County! You know, in honor of Bilson’s once popular show! (Ha!)

What do you think Bilson might be judging this week?

Photo Credit: Lifetime

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Project Runway

Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano guide undiscovered designers through the harrowing rites of fashion.

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