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‘Project Runway’ takes off at Fashion Week

Of four reality show finalists, only three will make finale
/ Source: The Associated Press

The four finalists on Bravo’s “Project Runway” staged presentations on the same catwalk used by Betsey Johnson and Luca Orlandi of Luca Luca during New York Fashion Week.

Only three of the four aspiring designers will be seen when the fashion reality show’s finale airs March 8, but supermodel-host Heidi Klum didn’t want the media to spoil things for viewers. One of the four — Chloe Dao, Daniel Vosovic, Santino Rice and Kara Janx — will be booted.

“You have to play tricks for the TV,” Klum said with a smile after the showings Friday, the final day of Fashion Week.

Dao’s collection featured several gowns heavy on puffed sleeves and sleek silhouettes with open backs. Golds and browns were strong, with a sharp pant outfit in brown that was shown with a lace bodice and puffed-laceover. Dao, 33, from Houston, said the collection was “her baby.”

Vosovic, 24, from New York, was considered the favorite. His collection centered on earth tones using brown floral lace prints. His white swing coat with brass buttons looked sharp and ready to hit the stores.

“I’m really proud of the collection,” Vosovic said backstage. “It took a very long time to get it done and I hope I made a lasting impression with it.”

Janx, 29, from Johannesburg, South Africa, showed off gowns and shirts in multicolored cascading layers and blazers over T-shirts with cropped pants that looked sort of like huge gray diapers. Her models sported embroidered hats and gloves, giving the collection a hipster feel.

“This collection rocks,” she said.

Rice, 30, from Los Angeles, is the designer everyone loves to hate. Or hates to love. His collection was noticeably muted in comparison with his work on other episodes, often criticized as being too loud. Rice used lots of rose and lace, but threw in a brown leather corset with capelike sleeves.

“Maybe he listened to what we’d been telling him,” Klum said.

Judge Nina Garcia, fashion director at Elle magazine, said she was impressed with the collections.

“The fashion world is a tough place,” she said. “They’ll face even harder challenges than what they face on this show, so the designers really have to be prepared.”

The winner of “Project Runway” will receive $100,000 in seed money to help launch his or her own fashion line and a mentorship from the Banana Republic design team, according to the show’s Web site.