Perhaps he said it best himself, looking directly into the camera and asking, “Hello, did you have a doubt?”
Christian Siriano, this season’s Project Runway favorite — and, at 22, the youngest winner ever! — took home the top prize in the show’s finale Wednesday night.
“I don’t believe it yet,” Siriano told PEOPLE at the TRESemme Finale Party in New York City, where guests watched the show in the Tribeca Grand hotel screening room. “I’m so excited. It’s fabulous. I have no words!” (He did, however, have text messages — more than 50 shortly after the finale concluded.)
“I did, I cried on the runway,” he admitted after watching his emotional moment in front of the judges. “I was scared! I thought I should win — I thought I deserved to win, but I really didn’t know. Rami and Jillian were so good.”
In fact, all three designers heard rousing applause from the screening room audience, which included their season 4 costars Chris March, Sweet P, Ricky Lizalde and Jack Mackenroth.
And for the runners-up, it was also well-deserved. Jillian Lewis tells PEOPLE she’s officially started her own company, Jillian Lewis Inc., and she’s meeting with buyers to sell a new line. “All of us did such different things, it’s like comparing a shoe designer a hat designer and a bag designer,” she says. “But when Christian’s story played out I thought he really has a strong vision and I understand why he won.”
Meanwhile, Rami Kashou may have a new celebrity client in Heidi Klum, who expressed an interest in wearing some of his creations. “She already pulled some of my clothes for fittings,” he says. “So that’s great. Anybody would want to dress Heidi!”
The Project Runway party wouldn’t be complete without show mentor Tim Gunn, who doled out warm hugs to the designers and addressed the audience before the show. “To Christian, Jillian and Rami,” he said, “it is a phenomenal race and all of you are winners. I’m thrilled and proud of each of you.”
As for the judges’ decision, Gunn “celebrates” the ruling but admits, “It was a tremendously difficult decision.” And despite some early reservations about Christian’s collection, Tim tells PEOPLE, “When I saw the runway show my concerns evaporated. I thought, this is fabulous.” –Rennie Dyball