September 11, 2006 12:00 PM

KAYNE: How he lost (and keeps off) 110 lbs.

When Kayne Gillaspie’s mom, Judy, visited the show with his childhood pictures, it prompted the Norman, Okla., pageant-gown designer to admit that he was once 110 lbs. heavier. “Growing up, my family was all about good ol’ southern cooking—deep-fried meat and vegetables, baking grease,” recalls Gillaspie, 27. “Awful, but it tastes incredible!” By 16, he topped 310 lbs. yet was surprised when a clerk steered him to the Big & Tall department. “You don’t realize how big you are until a moment like that,” he says. That day he went home “and threw [out] all the fattening food.” He then turned to an expert: Richard Simmons, via VCR. “‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies!'” laughs Gillaspie, who later joined a gym and took off 70 lbs. that first year. (For the past five, he has weighed between 185 and 193 lbs.) Today, besides swearing off fried foods for grilled fish, buffalo burgers and salads (hold the cheese), he does cardio and kickboxing with boyfriend and business partner Warren. “I will never,” he vows, “be big again.”

LAURA: It’s another boy!

Remember what they said about Ginger Rogers: She did everything Fred Astaire did—only backwards and in heels? Laura Bennett can relate, as she completed her PR challenges while pregnant and in heels, prompting even ornery Jeffrey Sebelia to ease up. “He said, ‘I can’t pick on a pregnant girl!'” Bennett recalls. Of course, with five children already (four sons and a daughter ranging in age from 3 to 18), “she would remind us this wasn’t the first time she’d been pregnant,” says PR‘s Tim Gunn. “She’s a trouper.” Bennett, 43, didn’t even fuss about not having maternity clothes with her: “I’d wear these stretchy T-shirt dresses.” During the current break in taping, Bennett is home in Manhattan awaiting her baby boy’s November due date with her architect husband, Peter, 60. “Poor guy, he was the last to know,” she says. “[Michael Kors’s mother] Joan knew—but my husband didn’t!”

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