'Project Runway': Philly's Dom sews it up

Dom Streater

Philadelphia, we have another "Project Runway" winner.

Dom Streater, a 24-year-old graduate of Moore College of Art & Design, made it work when it counted and last night on Lifetime was named the 12th winner of the Emmy-winning fashion design competition whose last local winner was the show's first, Jay McCarroll.

"Scandal" star Kerry Washington was among the judges for the finale, which pitted Streater against three other finalists, Swedish-born runner-up Alexandria von Bromssen, 38, of San Mateo, Calif.; Justin LeBlanc, 27, of Raleigh, N.C., the show's first deaf contestant, who based his collection on his transition after getting a cochlear implant at 18; and Bradon McDonald, 38, of Los Angeles, a former ballet dancer.

Streater takes home a prize estimated to be worth more than half a million dollars (including at least $150,000 in cash, a 2014 Lexus and, bizarrely, a year's supply of spring water).

"It's a huge deal for me. I'm poor. I mean I'm working two jobs, people," said Streater, who before "Runway" hadn't been able to find a job in fashion design and was taking care of animals by day and hostessing at night while continuing to design on the side.

Streater, who stood out on the show both for her designs and her demeanor -- in a workroom full of high-strung Type A's she never seemed to lose her temper or her smile -- exuded an almost childlike enthusiasm for most of Thursday night's finale.

But there was nothing juvenile about her collection, which featured prints she'd designed herself.

"She's a very sophisticated lady. I don't think she knows how sophisticated she is yet," remarked designer Zac Posen, one of the season's regular judges, who later told her, "You are beautiful inside and out."

(See? Nice girls can finish first. Maybe she'll start a "Runway" trend.)

Judge Nina Garcia called Streater's portion of the runway show -- which was filmed in early September -- "extremely entertaining," adding, "Without any words, you told the story."

(I'm not sure, but I thought that just might be a mild rebuke to certain contestants inclined to talk a little too much about how their personal lives inspired their work.)

Calling her collection, put together in six weeks, "Retro Redux," she described it as a vision of the "future as it was viewed by artists and writers, pre-1960s," and name-dropped Judy Jetson.

Asked by the judges why she should win, she said: "This is just more than just I need money. I need life. Like this is my life. I know that I can take this and turn it into something spectacular."


Philly's "Project Runway" star is already a winner

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