What is this, like Season 100 of Project Runway? Okay, it’s only been 9 seasons but last night a new winner was just announced.
After the final four was paired down to Kimberly Goldson, Joshua McKinley, Viktor Luna and Anya Ayoung-Chee, the remaining four were given five weeks and $9,000 to each create a collection to be showcased at New York’s Fashion Week.
After last night, Ayoung-Chee was announced as the winner. It was her Caribbean-inspired final collection that gained her the top spot.
Her win was very TV-friendly. The former Miss Universe contestant learned how to sew just four months before the competition and was competing against trained and skilled designers who scoffed at her style over skill angle.
“Never in a million years did I think I had the chance. When I heard her say ‘you are the winner of project runway’ I kind of freeze and wanted her to rewind so I could hear it again and again,” revealed Ayoung-Chee
But no victory is complete without Heidi Klum whom Ayoung-Chee says was “almost 100 percent” responsible for her win. I guess looking pretty and talking in a cool accent is the motivation needed for some contestants.
Although she emerged as winner, the judges described her collection of long flowing maxi dresses and nightclub meets the beach as sexy though limited.
Other contestants took a different route. Josh McKinley was rumored to be a shoe-in for the winner, but his final collection mixed bright colors with black draped and structured pieces and Tim Gunn criticized him for over thinking it. Viktor Luna used prints with strange see-through tops that the judges did not like, “It’s almost like you showed us two shows,” says Klum. The tailoring was great according to Michael Kors, but the overall vision wasn’t there. Kimberly Goldson combined elegance with urban street wear but judge Nina Garcia says, “The clothes were great, but she’s not there yet.”
During the last weeks of the show, Ayoung-Chee was certain she wouldn’t win. Judges hated two of the three outfits they saw early on and gave her intense notes on her collection.
She originally had a large chunky belt they hated, so she scraped it for a skinny sexy belt. They hated an unflattering bikini with a flowing caftan, so she scraped it altogether and used the caftan as a belt in another look. She also had a gold satin evening gown that, according to the judges, needed to be ditched. Once she edited the collection, it was winner worthy.
“Three days ago, I had pretty much accepted that it was over. It’s an absolute turning point in my life. I’ll never be able to forget this moment.”