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Patricia Michaels comes very close to winning Project Runway






New York Fashion week finale look from Patricia Michaels. Photo from Project Runway website.

Fashion designer Patricia Michaels of Taos Pueblo almost won it all on the season finale of Project Runway on Thursday night.

Michaels, who is the first Native American to appear on the show, presented a 12-look collection at New York Fashion Week. She won praise from the judges for her unique designs, which incorporated her own textiles and innovative fabrication methods.

Designer Michael Kors, who served as a judge for the first 10 seasons of the show and was the guest judge for the finale, was among those impressed. In seeing her looks for the first time, he felt they were refreshing and represented the work of a real artisan.

"I don't think we've ever seen that type of attention to artistic detail," Kors said on the show.


New York Fashion week finale look from Patricia Michaels. Photo from Project Runway website.

But Michaels, whose collection was inspired by trees, had to make do with being the runner up. She lost to fellow competitor Michelle Lesniak Franklin, whose designs were seen as more wearable.

"I took chances and risks," Michaels said after learning her fate. "I reclaimed my space as a designer."

Michaels brought her two children, her mother and her stepfather to New York City for the final show. Michaels introduced herself in the Tiwa language on the runway and her mother shared some poignant words with her in their language when she was passed over for the top prize.

Michaels and her fellow competitors will return to the screen one more time for a reunion show, due to air next Thursday.

Get the Story:
Taos fashion designer comes up short in ‘Project Runway’ (The Santa Fe New Mexican 4/26)
Taos designer Patricia Michaels: Oh so close on Project Runway (The Taos News 4/26)

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