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Project Runway‘s Ashley makes a strong statement by using plus-size models

This season of Project Runway is coming to a close, starting with Thursday’s finale Part 1. Four (yes, four) contestants brought three of their designs to the judges, including Ashley Tipton, whose plus-size models set a new standard on the runway.

More: Project Runway eliminates a fan favorite: Was it a huge mistake?

Tim Gunn
Image: Lifetime

Ashley Tipton’s designs have brought her to the top of the heap this season, and now, she’s part of the final four, along with Kelly Dempsey, Candice Cuoco, and Edmond Newton, brought back by Tim Gunn’s save this week. Tipton’s designs have been favorites with the judges, and her eye for designing for women who aren’t the conventional model size has endeared her to fans. In her runway show on Thursday, Tipton’s models were plus-size, which thrilled Twitter.

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The judges weren’t without their critiques of Ashley’s pieces. Zac Posen thought her fit needed work, and Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn felt she should be more strategic in using her flower crowns. Some of Ashley’s fans, while excited about her models and the idea of designing for plus-size women, were underwhelmed by her pieces.

There was no elimination this week, just suggestions from the judges as to how the designers might improve things. Next week, however, only three designers will show at Fashion Week. If Ashley is the winner of Project Runway, she’ll be the first plus designer to go all the way. If she doesn’t, though, her runway show in this episode, imperfect as it might have been, was an important moment for fashion, women, and the modeling industry.

Heidi Klum
Image: Lifetime

More: Project Runway: Fans shocked as Tim Gunn loses his mind

What did you think of Ashley’s runway show? Were you excited to see plus-size models? Flower crowns: yay or nay? Are you rooting for her to win it all?

Project Runway Fashion Week slideshow

Image: Malike Sidibe/SheKnows

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