Tim Gunn says ‘Project Runway’ finale to pick winning designer will be ‘a matter of taste’



By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – Tim Gunn won’t say which three “Project Runway” designers had their collections judged during New York Fashion Week, but the fashion mentor does reveal that the reality TV finale will come down to “a matter of taste.”

“I’m so glad I wasn’t a judge,” Gunn told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “It truly was the stiffest competition we’ve ever had.”

The two-part finale of Bravo’s popular reality clothing design competition was to begin Wednesday night. The winner will be crowned March 5.

“The work is at such a high level and is so well executed, it really is a matter of taste,” Gunn said. “It could go anywhere.”

Five contestants – Jillian Lewis, Christian Siriano, Rami Kashoum, Chris March and Kathleen “Sweet P” Vaughn – showed their collections at New York Fashion Week earlier this month. Only three were to be featured in the “Project Runway” finale.

“Sweet P” Vaughn was eliminated in the Feb. 13 episode, while Lewis and Siriano were guaranteed spots in the finale. That leaves elegant draper Kashoum and over-the-top costumer March vying for a place in the final round. Wednesday’s episode was to feature the pair showing the three best pieces from their collections.

The judges are Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Heidi Klum and guest judge Victoria Beckham.

Prizes include $100,000, an Elle magazine editorial spread, a 2008 Saturn Astra and the opportunity to sell a fashion line on the Bluefly.com Web site.

A fifth “Project Runway” season is in the works, Gunn said.

“We begin auditions next month,” he said. “We always tape in June. So we have to get a great group of designers together if we’re going to start taping in June.”