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Project Runway: Week after week, Bravo’s “Project Runway” has had viewers glued to their sets as they witnessed designer after designer get cut from the show. On Friday, the final challenge came as the remaining four contestants presented their lineups at Bryant Park. Jay McCarroll showed a bold, brazen collection that featured versatile, monochromatic looks with a techy vibe. There was a touch of Tokyo girl and a dash of preppy hipster in his ensemble of a denim sleeveless jacket layered with a tank, button-down, mesh sweater and pants. Austin Scarlett’s 10-piece collection that included a tweed dress with a bolero and a ruffled blouse had a sexy, American Revolution-inspired elegance. Kara Saun, meanwhile, channeled Howard Hughes to create a fantasy fly-girl collection that was both feminine and utilitarian, as in a rust-colored leather and crocodile three-quarter-length jacket with an aviator hat, and a fabulous, low-cut chocolate silk evening gown. Wendy Pepper, clearly the weakest of the bunch, showed too many bustier and corset looks. While TV viewers will have to wait until Feb. 23 to see the winner, our verdict is in. It’s a close call, but McCarroll takes the cake.

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.