Massapequa’s Christopher Palu, 25, a “Project Runway” finalist, is “out.” So declared host Heidi Klum on Thursday night’s finale of the Lifetime-TV hit reality-competition show, where Palu and two other finalists, Fabio Costa and Melissa Fleis, were defeated by Dmitry Sholokhov, 33, of New York City.
Despite the fact that Michael Kors said his 10-piece collection, “started with a ka-boom,” and Nina Garcia added that Palu has a “most wonderful ability to take a fabric and make it feel light,“ the judges, who included Kors, Klum and Garcia, along with guest, Jennifer Hudson, felt that Palu’s vision lacked cohesiveness.
Palu, who accepted his token “auf Wiedersehen” kiss off from Klum, was both thankful to and gracious toward the judges. He watched the finale with his family and a slew of friends at home in Massapequa. It was a supportive crowd. “They all clapped and were very proud of me,” Palu said.
Despite the disappointment, Palu said, “On a positive note, I feel the show gave me courage, strength and confidence. I mean, it was my very first fashion show, and it was at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.”
Palu described his finale collection, comprised mostly of dark leather separates and his signature fabric feathering, as a study in “deconstruction and reconstruction. A print (the only print in the competition) was modeled on an actual X-ray. “I made a print out of them to turn something negative into something positive,” Palu said. Overall, his looks were edgy, tailored and smart. Palu described his customer as “The girl who wears Louboutin’s to a dive bar.”
What’s next for the young designer? “First, I have a lot of personal appearances for the show. Then I want to head in the right direction, get a good job and move forward. I don’t want to stop here. I want to update my resume, update my portfolio and become an assistant designer for a great label. And someday, I want my own great label. But right now, I’m looking forward to the next step.” So are we.