Laura Bennett

Laura Eugenia Bennett (born August 2, 1963 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American architect and fashion designer and one of the four finalists on Bravo’s July 2006’s Project Runway (season 3).

Bennett received her undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in the same field from Columbia University in New York City.

Mid-season in Project Runway she revealed that she was pregnant with her sixth child. She has one daughter Cleo (born 1988), from her first marriage. She has five sons: Peik (born 1996), Truman (born 1999), Pierson (born 2002), Larson (born 2003), and Finn (born 1 Dec 2006) with her current husband, architect Peter L. Shelton.

She works part-time at his design firm, Shelton, Mindel & Associates, best known for its design of the Polo Ralph Lauren headquarters in New York City.

Her designs for Project Runway tended to be mostly conservative evening wear, and on more than one occasion the judges expressed their concerns that she was aiming strictly for an older market, although she did win one of the weekly challenges. She was also known for completing her garments in short amounts of time. Tim Gunn has joked on her speed often in his podcasts.

In the next-to-last episode, while preparing for Olympus Fashion Week, she accused fellow finalist Jeffrey Sebelia of hiring outside help to complete his line (which Michael and Uli had also raised concerns about). After an investigation by Bravo producers, no substantial proof was found for Bennett’s claim and Sebelia continued in the competition. Bennett ultimately was the second runner-up; Sebelia was the winner.