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'Project Runway' winning spring dress on sale at Lord & Taylor

"Project Runway" competitor Michelle Lesniak Franklin, 34, poses

"Project Runway" competitor Michelle Lesniak Franklin, 34, poses with her winning design at Lord & Taylor in Manhattan. (March 22, 2013) (Credit: Matthew T. Murray)

Lord & Taylor has long been involved with TV design competition "Project Runway," but Thursday's episode brought a new challenge -- “interpret the rose."

The rose has been the iconic department store's symbol since Dorothy Shaver became president in 1945 and set her eye on promoting classic American style.

The winning design, as host and fashion guru Tim Gunn explains, would be reproduced and sold at Lord & Taylor stores nationwide and online. Contestants paired up in teams to design and construct a spring look that would fit the clientele Lord & Taylor attracts. Designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin, 34, of Oregon, was the winner.  

Franklin celebrated the launch of her design Friday morning -- a chartreuse, satin color-block shift dress -- at the Lord & Taylor’s flagship store in Manhattan.

“Spring is the time for color,” Franklin told Newsday while wearing her own sunny creation under a navy blue trenchcoat. “Everyone’s sick of winter’s black and gray and those dreary skies.” 

Other contestants churned out colorful prints and chalky pink looks. Franklin’s deviation from the norm had host Heidi Klum swooning.

“When spring begins to happen, right when the buds begin to bloom, there is this beautiful moment,” Franklin explains of her inspiration for the dress. “It’s this bright, fabulous chartreuse color.”

It is now available to the public at select Lord & Taylor stores including Manhattan and Garden City and at lordandtaylor.com in sizes 4 through 10 for $259.