Project Runway Finale Recap: Did the Right Designer Win Season 18?

Project Runway Finale

On the heels of last week’s elimination cliffhanger, the judges unanimously decided to send all four designers to New York Fashion Week on Thursday’s Project Runway finale — but their work was far from over.

The final four’s first stop was the CFDA offices, where branding gurus Sara Kozlowski and Rachna Shah offered each designer some advice about their collections’ overall concepts. Echoing the judges’ earlier critique, they told Victoria Cocieru to tone down her personal logo; Nancy Volpe-Beringer was tasked with focusing on the message that her brand is sending; Geoffrey Mac was encouraged to lead with the story of his strength-focused designs; and Sergio Guadarrama was warned not to pigeonhole himself, while also finding a way to modernize his collection.

With those words of wisdom — plus a 45-minute Mood shopping spree on a $400 budget — the designers were off to put the finishing touches on their final collections, which received some much-needed styling critiques from returning guest Karla Welch.

Though each collection played well on the runway, the designers’ emotions were running understandably high on the big day: Nancy fought back tears as she addressed her family in the audience, Geoffrey remained visibly shaken after his minor emotional breakdown the night before, and Sergio made the event even more monumental by proposing to his boyfriend. (Don’t worry, he said yes.)

At last, the results: “All of you showed extraordinary work on this runway, but today, the winner delivered a warning shot of what’s to come in the future of fashion,” host Karli Kloss told the final four, before declaring Geoffrey Mac the winner of Project Runway Season 18.

Of course, anyone paying close attention to the judges’ post-show critiques could have predicted this outcome. They hailed Geoffrey’s collection as “the Billie Eilish take on fashion,” calling it “the spark of an idea that can grow into something.” Brandon Maxwell even admitted, “It actually moved me emotionally.” And that’s truly an accomplishment.

(That said, my favorite critique of the finale — purely for reasons of melodrama — was Nina Garcia telling Sergio, “Unlike the icebergs, which are melting, this collection feels frozen in time.” Seriously, when did RuPaul start ghostwriting for the judges?)

“The confidence that I have right now is insane,” Geoffrey said as his fellow designers showered him in champagne. “It’s been an incredible ride and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” As for what’s next, he says, “I’m going to take a break. I’m going to take at least four days off… in a row.” What a concept.

Do you think Geoffrey deserved to win? Vote for the designer you would have chosen in our poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on the finale.