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New York Fashion Week, Fall 2008: The Project Runway Finale Show (!)

Fashion week is coming to close and I just experienced my grand finale. How exciting is it to attend the Project Runway finale show?! Very.

I knew it would be a mob scene getting in, and luckily I was on the list (you never know sometimes). I wasn't too far in the nosebleeds — and I was directly facing the panel of judges and celebs. Tons of Project Runway alums were mingling in the crowd, including recent cast off Ricky. But honestly, my eyes were on guest judge Victoria Beckham. When she came out, in her orange draped dress and matching orange shoes, the crowd took notice. After photo ops she sat with Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. She was very poised and calm. Funnily, she took diligent notes during every collection — she was taking her guest judge job very seriously.


Lights down, lights up. Our girl Heidi appears announcing, "Hello everyone!" She introduces the judges, and guest judge, and the crowd swoons. Let the show begin...

To read all about the Project Runway finale show, see my personal runway pics (be warned if you don't want to see the collections before the show airs) and hear my Season 4 winner prediction, read more

One of the most exciting parts was waiting to see who was presenting their collection. You know the little shadow thing they do with the white Project Runway sign at the back of the runway, when someone walks by it but you can only see their shadow? That was the first glimpse of the designer to come. First up? Sweet P.

Obviously emotional (surprise) she was visibly nervous and kept her hello short and sweet. Sweet P's designs were never a favorite of mine but she did manage to pull together a cohesive collection on the runway, albeit a bit sleepy. With a palette of purple, olive green and mustard, her colors were right on for Fall. An olive cape was noteworthy, but some fits were off and black velvet jodhpurs? Next . . .

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Chris! The crowd favorite, he came out to cheers, and he was very humble and sweet. He seemed shocked and calm. He opened with a lovely dyed blue draped dress but then the collection went vampiress. Now I love vampires, but there's a time and a place — this morning at Bryant Park is not it. Oh well, good for Chris for making it this far.

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I know she's not the people's choice, but I've been rooting for Jillian all this time. I think her designs are feminine and smart — and concise. And that is what we saw: short pleated skirts, ruffled knits, a slight military vibe and bustier tops. She may not be the most vivacious, but she's one of the most talented.

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We all knew this one was coming . . . Rami. Rami is also one of my top choices and I was eager to see his final collection, which, as he put it "celebrates women." Rami should really consider going into bridal because his gowns won over both his collection and the other designer's gowns on the runway. His separates — ruffled blouses, intricate draping and magenta pants — were overdone and redundant. His dresses were wonderful. But enough to win?

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Christian has also held his own throughout the season. Definitely the show diva, when Christian was addressing the crowd he stopped and said, "Wow. Everybody looks fierce." It was Fab. His collection, with Starbucks colors of chocolate, ivory and mocha, and lots of black, had Edwardian touches, dramatic ruffles, head-to-toe black and an emphasis on the top half of the body. If Rami should consider bridal, Christian should consider couture. When Christian was taking in applause he did a little sashay to Victoria — she did one right back. It was maja.

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So what's my prediction? Well, in the finale episode on TV there will only be three, so I'm guessing Chris and Sweet P won't make the final cut. For overall wearability and craftsmanship, I'm on Team Jillian. But I have a feeling Christian's over the top concoctions may win the judges vote. As for Posh's vote? Perhaps Jillian, because of her flirty little skirts and dresses, but maybe Rami and his gorgeous gowns. Alas, my favorite never wins. At this point in time, and after reading my run down, who do you think is going to win?!

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