Karlie Kloss crowned the season 17 winner of Project Runway on Thursday with fashion icon Diane von Fürstenberg serving as a guest judge.
The 26-year-old supermodel wrapped her first season as host and judge by announcing Sebastian Grey, 31, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida as the winner.
Hester Sunshine, 34, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, finished in second place and Gary ‘Garo Sparo’ Spampinato, 45, of New York City, came in third place.
Supermodel host: Karlie Kloss announced the winner of season 17 of Project Runway on Thursday on Bravo
Grey took home the $250,000 grand prize, plus $50,000 toward his own studio, a mentorship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, a feature in Elle Magazine and a capsule collection from Nineteenth Amendment.
Fürstenberg, 72, while critiquing Grey’s Reminiscence collection inspired by his memories of life in Colombia said all his pieces had a ‘ying/yang’ quality.
The Belgian fashion designer known for her wrap dress said that Grey’s collection was ‘very casual, very streetwear, and then extremely refined.’
Karlie during the final runway show noticed some sloppy zipper work by master corsetier Spampinato when he presented his Detour Through My Cosmic Mind collection.
Guest judge: Diane von Fürstenberg served as a guest judge on the season finale
Catwalk star: The 26-year-old supermodel walked down the runway while hosting
The moment: Sebastian Grey after being named the winner was hugged by finalists Hester Sunshine and Gary ‘Garo Sparo’ Spampinato
Victory drink: A bottle of champagne was handed to winner Sebastian
‘The seam on the zipper of that dress is literally a mess,’ she leaned over and said to fellow judge fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.
Sunshine earned high praise from Fürstenberg for her Cyber Coco collection of contemporary avant-garde wear.
‘She’s talented,’ Fürstenberg said while watching models strut the runway in Sunshine’s funky designs.
Show mentor: Christian Siriano congratulated all the designers after serving as mentor for the first time
Second place: Hester finished in second place on the fashion competition show
Third place: Garo finished in third place after the final runway presentation
Fürstenberg later during the judging portion praised Sunshine for her bold presentation.
‘She is this young women with both anger and passion and love and you can see it,’ the designer said.
‘The humor of it all really says ”F*** you”. That’s what I love. If you don’t win, you can work for me,’ Fürstenberg told Sunshine.
Bold statement: Hester made a bold statement with the first dress in her collection
High praise: Fashion icon Diane said that Hester was talented
Elaine Welteroth and Nina Garcia both also praised Sunshine while evaluating the finalists, but Grey emerged as the favorite.
‘He has a flawless presentation,’ Fürstenberg said.
‘He has a way to make clothes that would rival anybody at New York Fashion Week,’ Maxwell said.
Sloppy zipper: Garo sent a dress down the runway with a sloppy zipper
Kloss call: Karlie leaned over and told judge Brandon Maxwell, ‘The seam on the zipper of that dress is literally a mess’
Fashion show: A packed house watched the designs by the three finalists
Grey began weeping when Kloss named him the winner and he was hugged by his fellow finalists.
The season finale ended with mentor Christian Siriano, 33, promising that new designers were on the way.
The three finalists earlier in the episode met Fürstenberg while they were still working on their final 10 pieces for their collections.
White dress: Sebastian wowed the crowd with a sheer white dress
White line: The designer insisted on white line makeup in a nod to how the indigenous respect their cultures in Colombia
Sunshine gave the designer a big hug and then offered all of them some sage advice.
‘The most important thing is to be true to yourself and true to what you believe in,’ she told them.
She encouraged them to embrace their mistakes and to reconsider what they consider as failure.
Big hug: Hester gave fashion icon Diane a big hug when they first met
Sage advice: Diane gave the aspiring designers some career advice
‘Your real shelter is inside yourself. Your strength is inside yourself,’ Fürstenberg told them.
The words were particularly inspiring to Grey who said meeting her was ‘one of the most amazing moments in the entire competition’.
‘I need somebody to hit me in my face to see if this is real,’ he said.
Real strength: The Belgian designer told the finalists their real strength is on the inside
Celebrity stylists Marni Senofonte checked in with the designers and offered suggestions along with season four winner Siriano.
Grey took advantage of a shopping opportunity at Mood Fabrics in New York City, but Sunshine and Spampinato opted to keep working.
Siriano encouraged the three finalists to ‘take it in’ before the final runway show and to be proud of themselves.
Helping out: Celebrity stylists Marni Senofonte checked in with the designers and offered suggestions
Fabric store: Sebastian took advantage of a shopping opportunity at Mood Fabrics in New York City
‘Thanks for letting me help guide you along the way, being a new mentor was hard. I was very stressed a lot and I hoped I helped you a little bit,’ he said.
Siriano and Kloss were newcomers to Project Runway following the departures of Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn.
Project Runway first aired on Bravo in 2004 and then moved to Lifetime before returning to Bravo for season 17 for the first time since season five.
The judges: Diane, Elaine Welteroth and Nina Garcia judged the runway collections
The moment: Karlie for the first time announced the winner of Project Runway
Getting emotional: Sebastian hid his head in his hands as his husband Matthew clapped in the background
The winner: The designer raised his arms in victory after being named the winner