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.
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
Michaels and her fellow competitors will return to the screen
one more time for a reunion show, due to air next Thursday.
Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated
both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.
The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited
for over 1000 years. We welcome you to visit our village when
you travel to northern New Mexico.