Project Runway's fashion guru says there's no truth to published reports that fewer wannabe designers than usual are trying to land a slot on the show. In fact, as Tim Gunn tells TV Guide, there are more applicants than ever. "We broke the numbers from last year," he says, adding that there have been "several thousand applicants" thus far for the fourth cycle, which Bravo has just announced won't premiere until 4Q. What

has changed, Gunn says, is that far fewer

students are auditioning. Only five percent of the applicants this year have been in school, versus 85 percent for the premiere season. "Season 3 raised the bar for the show," Gunn says, explaining that now the show requires a more mature point of view and greater technical proficiency. "Thankfully, it scared off the students." - Reporting by Ileane Rudolph