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The Girl Next Door

Exclusive! "Project Runway" Mentor on Katie Holmes Post-Split: ‘She Was Tough!’

Life & Style Weekly

Just days after Kaie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, the star shockingly kept her commitment to taping an episode for the second season of "Project Runway: All Stars" as a guest judge.

And despite her difficult week, Katie was "tough!” one of the series’ stars tells Life & Style.

Runway mentor and Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles spoke to Life & Style about Katie's first appearance after filing for divorce — and her judging skills.

“An hour after the divorce was announced, her publicist called and just said, 'I want you to know, Katie is committed to doing the show; she has no intention of letting anybody down.’ Everybody was thrilled,” Joanna told Life & Style at the DreamBall to benefit the Look Good Feel Better program on Sept. 27. “She was so professional, so nice and actually so calm! Everyone was really impressed by her.”

Nobody was more excited about Katie’s appearance than the contestants.

“When it was announced who the guest judge was, the designers nearly collapsed,” Joanna says about the taping on July 2 (four days after Katie had filed for divorce). “They couldn’t believe that we literally had the most wanted woman in the world in the room. I mean, it was an astonishing moment — and she was superb! She looked tremendous, and she took it really seriously. Everybody was very impressed.”

Despite having begun divorce and child-custody negotiations, Katie, who presented her Holmes & Yang line at the recent New York Fashion Week, a first for the label she co-designs with her stylist, Jeanne Yang, stayed mum about the split.

“She very specifically didn’t talk about it,” Joanna says. “Nobody asked; everybody just knew that she wanted to get on with the job at hand.”

So what did Joanna think of Katie’s "Project Runway" critiques? “I thought they were spot-on. “Katie really knows what she’s talking about. She knew which designers were weak. She knew who’d done a good job that week, and she knew who hadn't pulled it out — she was tough!"

Check out Project Runway All Stars when it premieres on Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.