Don’t they say fashion trends come in cycles? What was once out is now in: After nine seasons of sending unknown designers to Fashion Week, Project Runway is going retro and bringing back some of its most memorable (Elisa Jimenez) and talented (Mondo Guerra) contestants from seasons past for a 12-episode run. EW has learned exclusively that the 13 returning designers will strut onto Lifetime — some for the first time on that network — on Jan. 5, 2012 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. We don’t get a good look at the fashion in the sneak peek below, but it’s clear that the old contestants and the new judges will be bringing the drama:

It looks like there will be no shortage of bitchery and tears, and will anyone be surprised if judge Isaac Mizrahi makes the runway shows all about himself? A lot of fans are expecting great things from Mondo, but judging from the various shots of him crying, it won’t be a smooth ride to redemption after losing to season 8 villain Gretchen Jones.

Which contestant are you most excited to see return? (My vote would go to the mustachioed Austin Scarlett, who, for the record, is also a “starlet.”) How do you feel about the new judges and host? Will you be tuning in come January?

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Project Runway

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

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