Los Angeles designer Jeffrey Sebelia won Bravo's reality
TV show Project Runway in an episode that aired
on Wednesday, wowing the breakout hit series' judges with a
collection praised for its innovation and cohesiveness.
"We loved what
you did," the show's host, supermodel Heidi Klum, told
Sebelia, the flamboyant and often ornery designer whose
rock-and-roll aesthetic marked his designs during the course
of the show's run.
"You have a great
style, you're a great designer, and we want to see
more of you," Klum added.
Sebelia, 36, who
spoke on the show of his troubled past, including once
having planned to hang himself as he struggled with drug
addiction, seemed genuinely surprised by his win over
runner-up Uli Herzner, an East German native who's now
a Miami Beach-based stylist.
"Are you kidding
me?" said Sebelia, who won $100,000 to start a
clothing line as well as a 2007 Saturn and a spread in
Elle magazine. "I'm in shock," he later added.
The collection of
12 outfits that Sebelia showed in September during New
York's Fashion Week at Bryant Park surprised the judges, who
included designer Michael Kors and Elle's Nina
topped youthful, gentle tiered dresses and skirts, and
lightweight skirts flowed freely; several outfits seemed
geared toward L.A. beach culture. Broad stripes of
green and gold appeared in both a tailored jacket and
garden party dress.
for her colorful, patterned, beach-themed designs, was
praised for producing "a beautiful collection that every
woman would want to wear." But Sebelia's range, paired
with his vision and focus, clinched the win for the
Cosa Nostra label founder who has designed for rock
stars such as Madonna.
Bennett, a Manhattan architect and mother of five with a
sixth on the way, and fan favorite Michael Knight, a
self-employed Atlanta designer, were eliminated before
designers competed in weekly challenges during the third
season of the Emmy-nominated show, which has proved the
Bravo network's biggest hit.
competed in design tasks ranging from creating couture
dresses to assembling outfits from materials salvaged from
a recycling plant to performing makeovers for the other
contestants' mothers--all on tight deadlines.
Dogs, Miss USA, and fashion icons such as Audrey
Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe also inspired the weekly
included the ejection of one contestant for possession of
pattern-making books, while an eleventh-hour charge by
Bennett that Sebelia might not have completed all his
sewing himself threatened to derail his Bryant Park
Lauded by critics
for its inspired connection to the world of high
fashion, the show regularly featured its share of reality TV
staples such as histrionics, tantrums, and accusations
of cheating. (Reuters)