On last night’s season finale of Project Runway, it was no surprise when Leanne Marshall was crowned the winner.  When she showed her collection at Fashion Week a few weeks ago for the finale taping, almost everyone sang her praises afterwards and predicted that she would win.  It turns out that those former Project Runway contestants knew what they were talking about and Leanne was the last woman standing.  As the winner, Leanne received an editorial feature in an issue of ELLE Magazine, a cash prize of $100,000 from TRESemmé hair care to start her own line, the opportunity to sell a fashion line on Bluefly.com, and a brand new 2009 Saturn VUE Hybrid.  Today, she took a few minutes out of her hectic schedule to talk to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Well, first of all congratulations and I’m just wondering what was going through your head when you found out that you were the winner.

Thank you. I mean, it was crazy and I was, of course, in shock for a good two minutes after Heidi said my name. But it’s just so exciting and exhilarating and I couldn’t have been any happier!

Going into that final runway show at Bryant Park, how confident were you in your collection and your ability to win?

Well, I definitely loved my collection but you know, I think that all three of us had some great work. Though all the exhaustion and nerves and everything, sometimes you wonder if it’s gonna be enough. I did my best and I loved what I did it but it’s a whole other thing to wrap your mind around what the judges are gonna say about it.

How much work and how much effort goes into designing a final collection for the show?

So much! I mean, so much more than anything I’ve ever done for other fashion shows, the fashion shows that I’ve done in Portland. The whole world would see this and not only that, I wanted to win so bad. It had to be my best work ever. I thought a lot about it, took a lot of time to really plan it out, and make sure that every step along the way that it was going the way that I wanted it to.

What was your reaction to having Tim judge the finale instead of Jennifer Lopez?

Of course, I was surprised. We all were really surprised but I think he was a good judge and he was able to set aside everything and just be objective about our collections.

Was it helpful that he knew you guys better and your work throughout the season better than the judges or do you think he left that at the door when he sat in on the panel?

I think that he probably left at the door. I think he was a fair judge but maybe it is helpful having a little of his insight and knowing who we are as designers and what we create, what we’re capable of versus J Lo or some outsider that might not have a good vision of the whole picture.

I was at Fashion Week and as I was standing on the runway afterwards, all anybody was talking about was your collection. I’m wondering what you think it was that made it stand out for people, especially former designers. They had nothing but great things to say about your work.

I’m so flattered and it’s incredible having that feedback. I didn’t really get to hear a lot of it because it was all happening so fast afterwards. I heard later on through other people. It’s just amazing. I did my best work and I worked so hard on that collection and it showed. I’m so happy that other people were really taken by it.

In panel, Michael Kors said he didn’t want you to become “the petals queen”.  Did you take what he said into consideration and will you apply what they’ve taught you into your work from now on?

Oh yeah, absolutely.  I laughed about it too, because honestly, if I had to create another petal, I don’t think I could.  I’m all petaled out!  It’s something that I’ve been into in recent months and I’m always evolving.  I’m always developing new things and it’s gonna be an evolution of something else for next season.  I’m certainly not a one trick pony.

I’m sure this has been such a whirlwind for you but have you been able to put any thought into what your future plans are now?

Yeah, I’m moving to New York and I’m going to develop my line and have people helping me finally so I don’t have to sew around the clock all day and do everything myself.  I want to show at Fashion Week again.


Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans because you have a lot of them here at BuddyTV?

Aw, just thank you to everybody.  I’m just in awe by all the support.  It’s an incredible feeling and it’s just incredibly heartwarming to have that kind of support.

– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Gina Scarpa

Staff Writer, BuddyTV