A new designer has risen.
On tonight's Project Runway season finale, Stanley Hudson, Michelle Lesniak Franklin and Patricia Michaels watched their professional dreams come true as they all showed collections—even Stanley, who was more down to the wire than any contestant in series history—at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
And while we love us some Zac Posen, former full-time judge Michael Kors was back just in time to add some much-need snark to the proceedings.
As promised by the fierce leather "lone wolf" coat she teased her collection with last week, Michelle trotted out the assortment of structured, urban-warfare-ready (but yet feminine at the same time) pieces we were expecting. Mustard and brown aren't our favorite colors, but the shapes were all pretty divine.
And the shapes in Patricia's colorful and flowy collection were actually pretty wearable. It may have taken her till the 11th hour, but the textile specialist finally managed to rein in her patterns so that the models' bodies were properly accented. For the most part.
Last to walk down the runway were Stanley's models, some of whom were sewn into their garments just moments before showtime. And consider us as "flabbergasted" as Tim Gunn was when he saw Stanley frantically sewing backstage: While his garments probably the most Lord & Taylor-ready of the three finalists, his collection was the least interesting.
So, who won?
"I find it even more intriguing because I truly have no backstory with them at all. 'Yay,' 'yay,' 'nay'—and that's what I did," Kors told Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Posen after the show.
And, with nothing but what was in front of him to judge, the fashion-industry vet helped award Michelle the season 11 title. (But it was totally an all-girl ballgame, and Patricia came in second!)
"Michelle did real clothing and a real fashion show," Posen applauded, while Nina found her to be very "aware of the zeitgeist."
"Wow, you are shaking," Heidi said, giving the winner a hug. Lucky for everyone, Michelle was in the mood for a hug for a change.
"If I can get through all of these challenges in the most emotionally and phsycially demanding runway of my life, I really can do anything I set my mind to," she said, visibly relieved. "I can really tackle every mountain that lies ahead of me."
She wins a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine and $25,000 from L'Oreal Paris EverStyle.
Do you agree with the judges' choice? Sound off in the comments!