Grace models a dress designed by Chloe Dao, who won the "Project Runway" competition last night. For being on the winning team, Grace will be featured in a spread in Elle magazine.
'Runway' prize goes to underdog Chloe
In a surprise victory, Chloe Dao was crowned the winner of Bravo's "Project Runway" in the fashion-competition show's finale last night.
Dao snagged the title after she, Santino Rice and Daniel Vosovic, considered the favorite, staged presentations during New York Fashion Week in the season's last showdown, taped in February and kept secret until the finale.
"I'm still shocked that I was chosen," said Dao, who has a pattern-making degree and 13 years of design experience.
The Houston native wowed supermodel-host Heidi Klum and judges Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Debra Messing with her elegant runway collection, which she called her "baby."
"I think my collection was the most cohesive, and I think I did step out of my own boundary," Dao said.
Her 13-piece Fashion Week presentation featured several gowns heavy on puffed sleeves and sleek silhouettes with open backs. One gown was a standout, with a detailed pattern of five slender cutouts in the back.
As the winner of the show's second season, Dao receives $100,000 in seed money to help launch her own fashion line.
Dao, who was 8 when her family moved to the United States from Laos, said she plans to stay in Houston, where she hopes to expand her successful boutique, Lot 8, and design her own line.
During the season, judges questioned whether Dao had the passion to win. "People are going to hate me (for saying this)," she said, "but I'm really happy with my life and I'm really happy I'm the winner and I'm really going to try to make something out of it, but am I going to be the next Vera Wang or Ralph Lauren? I don't know."