After nearly being eliminated in last week’s “Project Runway,” local designer Anthony Ryan Auld staged an amazing comeback to take the win in Thursday night’s challenge.
“I’m so excited!” the LSU alum shouted,adding with a laugh, “I’m not a bridesmaid anymore. I’m a bride.”
Auld, 28, had finished in the top three in at least three challenges, but had yet to take home a win. Last week, he was in the bottom two in a team challenge filled with infighting and angst.
Thursday’s challenge called for the 11 remaining designers to collaborate on a painting with a student from The Harlem School of the Arts. Auld was paired with 17-year-old Wu Qing, and the two painted portraits of each other, complete with crowns on their heads.
The contestants then had to design an avant garde look inspired by the painting.
Auld crafted a nude gown and attached colorful fabric swatches made to look like brush strokes of paint.
Judge Heidi Klum, who last week wanted to send Auld home, praised his look as “sexy and modern.” Judge Michael Kors commented: “I think today he pulled it off.” And while guest judge designer Kenneth Cole thought Auld’s look was a “little short on execution,” judge Zanna Roberts Rassi, a Marie Claire editor sitting in for Nina Garcia, called it “a very cool dress.”
Probably just important as the win for Auld was the perk that came with it: he has immunity from elimination next week, a real advantage as the designers get fewer and fewer.
Designer Joshua Christensen was told to pack his bags -- for the second time. The Los Angeles designer had been sent home earlier in the competition, but came back last week after designer Cecelia Motwani quit. Kors said Christensen’s dress looked like “a Victorian cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.”
The winner of “Project Runway” will get $100,000 to start his or her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on piperlime.com.