Michael Kors stepped out for dinner with two friends at The Stand in New York. The designer and his pals all ordered classic burgers with American cheese, onion rings and fries. Says a source of the Project Runway judge, who's always quick with a snarky quip: "He was polite and relaxed." – Kristin Boehm
When she auditioned for Project Runway, she admitted she'd only been sewing for four months, but now Anya Ayoung-Chee is a bona-fide designer – with more than $100,000 in the bank.
The former Miss Trinidad and Tobago won Project Runway, a well-kept secret not revealed until Thursday night's episode.
"I finally feel like I can enjoy it now that I can tell everybody," Ayoung-Chee tells PEOPLE. "It's really overwhelming. I came from not expecting to go past the casting because of my sewing skills ... it's just the most unbelievable story, and I'm just along for the ride."
It came down to four.
The finalists of Project Runway's ninth season – Viktor Luna, Joshua McKinley, Kimberly Goldson and Anya Ayoung-Chee – had five weeks and $9,000 each to create a collection to be showcased at New York's Fashion Week.
So, which designer made it in the end? Keep reading to find out:
A lot of designers are out – but four are still in. Project Runway chose its finalists Thursday night, and in a not-so-surprise twist (it's happened before) all four remaining designers were sent through to New York City Fashion Week.
When Heidi Klum told the Project Runway contestants they'd have to "spread [their] wings" this week, no one would've guessed she was being literal.
But designers met Tim Gunn in the workroom, and were greeted by four live birds – the inspiration for Thursday night's challenge.
The remaining six were split into teams of two and tasked with designing garments based on the bird assigned to their team. But Tim soon threw in a twist: teammates would actually be working against one another, creating their own looks. One team member would end up on top, the other in the bottom three. The winner would have his or her look featured in a L'Oréal advertorial – and win $20,000.
When everything that can go wrong does go wrong – well, sometimes, it's not necessarily a bad thing. That seemed to be the motto of Thursday's Project Runway, which centered on a frazzled Anya – who ultimately came out on top.
This week's assignment was to create a look inspired by the 1970s (not to be confused with their last challenge) and the winning garment would be produced and sold on Piperlime.com. Designers had $100 for their trip to Mood; some went for muted shades, some grabbed prints – and Anya lost her $100 after it fell out of the top of her pocket-less dress and disappeared into the rows of fine fabrics.
With no cash, the Runway standout had to scrape together whatever change her fellow contestants would give her; she ended up with $11.50 (courtesy of Anthony Ryan), enough to buy minimal yardage of a black-and-tan printed fabric, some buttons and a zipper.
With a warning from Heidi Klum that "image is everything," designers set out to New York's Rockwood Music Hall on Thursday's episode of Project Runway, and learned of their toughest challenge yet: making menswear.
With the help of Garnier's Peter Butler, Tim Gunn introduced the Sheepdogs, an unsigned Canadian band that landed on the cover of Rolling Stone this August following an online vote. The up-and-comers needed a signature look to "take them to the next level," per Tim, so contestants were split into two teams. Olivier, Viktor, Kimberly and Josh were Team Untitled. And Laura, Anya, Bert and Anthony Ryan formed Team Harmony. Each designer would have to style one band member head-to-toe. The team's four looks didn't have to be cohesive.
Anya and Kimberly were particularly nervous about the challenge; neither had ever designed menswear. But Olivier, who specializes in the field, seemed to have a leg up. So after learning the Sheepdogs like suede, denim, boots, everyone dashed to Mood and got to work.
Lessons learned on Thursday's Project Runway: a man can't always define his significant other's personal style. And the only body part men think to highlight is, well, boobs. At least that's what happened when nine guys were invited into the workroom and teamed with designers to create garments for their wives and girlfriends.
Every designer chose a man to work with, thinking Thursday's challenge was about menswear. But as it turned out, contestants had to rely on these males to describe their ladies' personal style and preferences, and then take them to Mood to shop for suitable fabrics. Some designers fell right into step with their clients, but others, namely Olivier, had a very difficult time taking orders from another person.
In the workroom, the men had "unique" ways of describing their loved ones' tastes. The only thing Bert's client, Anthony, could focus on was his wife's ample chest, while Anya's partner, Mike, couldn't seem to name a color his wife didn't like.
When Heidi Klum is carrying her button bag, you know that's a bad sign. That proved to be the case this week as the Klum of Doom helped place contestants on two leaderless teams, leaving volatile contestants like Josh, Bert and Becky to work together in an intense challenge.
Tim Gunn met the designers in the workroom, where he introduced the HP/Intel challenge: create several textile designs from scratch, use those textiles in a five-piece collection and produce your own runway show and include background video and music. Designer Betsey Johnson popped by to offer a few words of wisdom, too.
Teams got to work conceptualizing and choosing names. Team "Chaos" – named for its busy textiles – consisted of Anthony Ryan, Anya, Viktor, Olivier and Bryce. Team "Nuts and Bolts," which got its name from the clock theme it chose for its collection, included Josh, Laura, Kim, Becky and Bert. "Josh, Bert, Becky all on one team? That is just a disaster waiting to happen," Anya said. She was right.
With kids returning to class this week, it was the perfect time for Heidi Klum to send her Project Runway designers back to school to "further [their] education." And she did, handing them off to Tim Gunn and 11 students at New York's Harlem School of the Arts, where they paired with teens and did some painting to inspire avant-garde creations.