TAKING OFF: Michelle Franklin won “Project Runway’s” ninth episode challenge with a chartreuse satin color-blocked shift in chiffon and microsuede trim. She’ll be soaking up the accolades at Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue on Friday, where the challenge was held and shown on TV Thursday night. The designers were instructed to draw inspiration from Lord & Taylor’s signature “American Beauty Rose,” create a look suitable for L&T clientele, and finish it off with pieces from a wall of accessories provided by L&T. Franklin’s dress, priced $259, will be sold at certain Lord & Taylor stores and on lordandtaylor.com and will be displayed in the windows.

Franklin has had no formal design training, but always designed garments for the big events in her life, like her prom and wedding dresses. After a career in the Oregon wine industry, she decided to follow her passion and create her own clothing line, Au Clothing, which has been shown at Portland Fashion Week. She describes the look as “geek chic.”

This story first appeared in the March 22, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.