"Project Runway" has wrapped out it 11th season, which Tim Gunn said his "favorite season ever," with the finale aired on Thursday, April 25. Michael Kors returned as a judge to help decide which one of Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Patricia Michaels and Stanley Hudson deserved to be the winner.
All three finalists showcased their collections at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Michelle fascinated the judges with her "Pacific Northwest geek-chic" style, which incorporated various fabrics and made her creations very wearable.
The Portland-based designer was ultimately declared the winner as judge Zac Posen said, "Michelle did real clothing and a real fashion show." She took home the $100,000 prize money, the Lexus GS 350 and the fashion spread in Marie Claire.
Michelle's win might surprise some as she almost gave up in the competition. She admitted that when she was given a "do-or-die moment" in lieu of being sent home, she "asked to quit." She shared, "I really did. I couldn't believe what I was passionate about was so terrible compared with what was up on runway. I was ready to give up. I was in a dark place." The producers, however, convinced her "to think this through" and a few hours later, she's back on the game.
Having gone through the emotional moment, 34-year-old Michelle is now more optimistic. "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. "I can really tackle every mountain that lies ahead of me."