Everything We Learned Behind the Scenes at the 'Project Runway' Finale

Lauren Schuster
Project Runway Season 18 Finale Behind the Scenes Details
Finale Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

Project Runway is famous for introducing fabulous looks from up-and-coming designers, but what really goes on behind the scenes? Who is in the audience? How do judges deliberate?

We got a glimpse at exactly how the magic happens at the Project Runway Season 18 Finale!

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Family Is Everything

While the designers have been busy for weeks working on the show, the finale runway offers them a chance for their families and loved ones to see their hard work (and them!) in person. Many seats at the show were filled with parents, relatives and spouses of contestants there to give them all of their love and support.

You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home

From past winners to eliminated contestants, the finale is always filled with Project Runway alumni supporting this season's finalists. They know better than anyone that it always helps to have someone in the audience cheering you on.

Project Runway Season 18 Finale

(Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

The Audience LOVES a Special Guest!

Just because the show is over doesn't mean the judges go home. Special guest judge Serena Williams stuck around after the show not only to talk to friends and members of the press, but also to greet fans. Selfies were snapped in excitement upon meeting the tennis icon.

A Celebration of Inclusivity

Models of all shapes, sizes, skin tones and abilities were welcomed to the Project Runway catwalk. Audience members and judges cheered as models with wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs strutted their stuff.

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And the Winner Is...

Contrary to what you might think, the winner is not announced during the runway show. As the collections are presented, the judges take lots of notes and converse with each other in hushed tones about what they see. While they make sure to take in everything that they need to make a decision, that decision is not revealed until a separate judging panel.

Inside the Designers' Minds

Every designer has an inspiration for their collection, but what sparked the creativity in this season's finalists?

Victoria Cocieru: "The Revelation"

Victoria shared with the audience that her collection was inspired by her home country of Moldova as well as her beautiful mom. The day of the finale taping was also her anniversary with her husband, whose support and love she celebrated.

Project Runway Season 18 Finalists

Finalists Nancy Volpe-Beringer, Sergio Guadarrama, Victoria Cocieru, and Geoffrey Mac (Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo)

Sergio Guadarrama: "Ocean Anthem"

Sergio shared that his collection was inspired by his role as an ambassador for The Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, whose mission is "trying to stop overfishing, drilling and mining" in the Arctic Ocean. He hopes that he will be able to "change the world one dress at a time" and dedicated the collection to his partner.

Nancy Volpe-Beringer: "Sustain Our Ability"

Nancy shared that her collection was made up of "sustainable, zero waste, wearable art," which was meant to reflect her brand's "mission of sustainability and inclusivity." She dedicated her collection to her husband, her sons, her fellow designers, her mentors, and everyone who has overcome challenges to follow their dreams.

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Geoffrey Mac: "Purple Heart"

Geoffrey shared that his collection was about "survival and bravery." He also thanked all of his friends and family for their support of him and his dreams over the years.