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Project Runway Finale Cloaks One Designer in Victory

The tastemakers have spoken.

Months ago, following Fall 2010 Fashion Week at Bryant Park in New York City, Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge Faith Hill picked the winner of the seventh season of Project Runway.

And tonight, we got to find out who that was!

Each finalist showed awesome clothes, from Seth Aaron Henderson's badass black-and-white dresses to Mila Hermanovski's '60s-style tunics to Emilio Sosa's jaw-dropping red-carpet gown.

But, as Heidi reminded us constantly, only one could be the winner. So we have a riddle for you:

What's black, white and purple all over?

That would be Seth Aaron's winning collection.

The 38-year-old husband and father of two who lives in Vancouver, Wash., was—as we guessed when we saw his cohesive, edgy collection—applauded for his innovative, boundary-pushing designs.

Sure, the judges expressed some concern about his use of purple and the costumey aspect of a few of his combinations (lots of black-and-white-striped tights with other prints, detailing everywhere, etc.), but the risks were all worth it.

Best of all, Seth Aaron's handiwork was all over the clothes, from the slanted zippers and huge lapels on the coats to the black and white palette and geometric patterns.

Project Runway, Seth Aaron Henderson Lifetime

"This is kind of overwhelming," he said, emotionally reflecting on his victory. "I can' t believe I just won Project Runway. I'm showing my kids that hard work and love for what you do pays off, and I see it in their eyes, they're proud of their father…And I think that's what this is all about for me."

Seth Aaron gets a fashion spread in Marie Claire, $100,000 to start his own line and a $50,000 technology suite from Hewlett-Packard for business and creative purposes.

His win means that his main model, Kristina Sajko of Croatia, also made off with a spread in Marie Claire and $25,000.

But poor Emilio. He looked like he'd been socked in the stomach when he found out he didn't win, after Mila was dismissed and it was down to him and Seth Aaron.

Having been so strong all season (minus his hardware-store bathing suit, of course), the native New Yorker by way of the Dominican Republic gave us reason for concern when Tim Gunn visited him at home and found a bunch of high-neck, primary-colored separates that could have clothed any flight attendant cira 1966.

So weren't we pleased when the collection he ultimately showed was youthful in cut and color and completely wearable. Loved the three-quarter-sleeve coats, the generous use of turquoise and his hand-designed multicolor print. And a standing O for the earthy green, one-shoulder Grecian goddess gown he trotted out for his finale. So stunning.

The cut of his clothes didn't push the envelope the way Mila's and Seth Aaron's did, though, and perhaps it all looked totally wearable because none of it was mind-blowingly unique. Michael Kors noted that, while Emilio's clothes were certainly the most flattering and easy to wear, he "was showing a line, not a collection."

"In the words of our wisest contestant, Anthony Williams, you don't have to have the crown to be the king," Emilio said afterward. "I'm thinking of this as a learning experience, a stepping stone, to bigger and better things."

And though she was the first to be declared "out," Mila showed a perfectly wearable, buyable collection that had tons of great shapes—if you like tunic, trapeze and shirtdresses, of course.

"Having the opportuntiy to compete on Project Runway has made me realize I'm really meant to be a fashion designer," the career TV and film costume designer said. "I'm disappointed…but I think that lots of great opportunities lie ahead for me and I'm so grateful to have had this experience."

And so are we.

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Be just like Heidi and pass judgment on the clothes in our Fashion Police gallery!

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