'Project Runway' crowns Dom Streater its twelfth-season winner
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/18/2013
Project Runway crowned Dom Streater its twelfth-season winner during Thursday night's finale broadcast of the Lifetime fashion design competition.
Dom, a 24-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, was chosen as the winner of the competition by judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, and guest judge Kerry Washington in addition to the input provided by the contestants' mentor Tim Gunn.
"Dom, you took a huge risk and it worked. Your collection was really fresh, original and playful," Heidi told Dom.
"I've never experienced anything ever even remotely close to this feeling -- ever in my life, and seeing my family come out on that runway just..." Dom said in tears following her victory, making a gesture that signified how overwhelmed she was with joy.
"I think I fell asleep awhile ago and I'm still dreaming. It's a huge deal for me. I mean, I'm poor. I'm working two jobs, people. I mean, I'm always working. There's never enough time for me to devote to my craft and what I love to do. So for me, this will change everything. When I get home, I'm going to sleep -- a lot. And then, I'm going to get up and get right to work on my next collection, because winning is inspiring, and they're expecting a lot out of me and I'm going to give them a lot."
Dom won with her collection entitled "Retro Redux," which she unveiled during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. The designer explained her collection was inspired by the idea of the future being viewed by artists and writers pre-1960s. It had a very "retro-Judy Jetson" feel to it and she designed all the prints in the collection herself based on that vision. Dom's collection featured bold colors such as dark purple, blue and black.
As the winner of Season 12, Don received a prize package worth more than a half million dollars -- including a 2014 Lexus vehicle; $150,000 from GoBank, the mobile bank account used byProject Runway contestants throughout the season; $50,000 of technology from HP and Intel to help launch her new business; a year's supply of Natural Spring Water; an all-expenses paid spa retreat for two to the Maldives; a chance to design and sell an exclusive collection at Belk; a complete sewing and crafting studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery; a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine; a $100,000 fabric allowance from Tide Pods; and a $50,000 styling contract with L'Oreal Paris.
Dom's model, Rayuana Aleyce, will receive a fashion spread in Marie Claire and $25,000 from L'Oreal Paris for walking in her designer's ensembles on the runway.
Project Runway's judges noted that determining the twelfth-season winner was one of the toughest decisions they've ever made. They had to choose between Dom and runner-up Alexandria von Bromssen, a 38-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, who currently resides in San Mateo, CA.
"I feel let down," Alexandria said after the results were announced. "I'm happy [Dom] won. She's a good person. I sincerely mean that. I tried, I tried."
Justin LeBlanc, a 27-year-old from Tampa, FL who currently resides in Raleigh, NC, finished in third place. He never won a challenge all season but was previously saved by Tim because of his great potential and passion in the competition.
"I am forever, forever grateful that I was given this opportunity. Just growing up being a deaf person, and having people constantly tell me that I'm not capable of doing things that I want to do, that's definitely something that's scarring. I mean, Project Runway has given me opportunities to prove these people wrong. The biggest thing I want to tell everyone is to think big and you'll get there," Justin explained.
Fourth place went to Bradon McDonald, a 38-year-old from Lowville, NY who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
"I feel like I had a really, really strong collection, and I know that this will not be my last runway show. Project Runway's changed my life in a lot of ways. In my dance career, I was at the top of my game, and it feels great to know that there is something else out there that I can be successful at," Bradon said.
In addition to the eight original pieces each designer had to execute in their collections, each contestant also had to create one ensemble made entirely of "unconventional materials" -- something that could not possibly be considered a fabric -- in addition to a look that could be washed at home rather than dry cleaned.