The winner of the Project Runway NZ series will be decided next week and it could be Kerry Ranginui from Whanganui.

The Auckland-based pattern maker was named one of the top three designers on the penultimate episode of the show on Monday night.

The challenge, this week was to create a runway look, that gives a taste of the look and feel of the clothing line the designer would create in the final show.

Ranginui's choice of acid yellow (he called it chartreuse) lace seemed a highly risky and uncharacteristic one.

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It was a calculated risk as it turned out because the beautifully tailored pants and jacket he teamed with a sheer black, ruffle collared blouse looked absolutely stunning on red-haired model Christina Zingel.

Model Christina Zingel wears the suit that got Kerry Ranginui in to the Project Runway NZ final.
Model Christina Zingel wears the suit that got Kerry Ranginui in to the Project Runway NZ final.

The designer says the look was inspired by "a very ugly time" in his life when he was getting over a difficult break-up.

The look represents a transition from darkness to brightness he says.

"It feels amazing to make it to the top three and so surreal that this was the last challenge."

As enthused as the judges were about Ranginui's tailoring and bold colour choice it was competitor Jess Hunter's pink and red leather creation that won the top spot.

Ranginui's only disappointment on the episode was saying goodbye to his Project Runway roommate Judy Gao.

"We had been room mates the entire time and every night before we went to sleep, we would talk about the things we wanted to achieve.

"She felt like the underdog on the show because of her lack of formal training but I was in awe of her talent."

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Gao's work on the show has caught the attention of the international fashion elite and she has been invited to show her work at fashion weeks in Paris, London, Milan, New York and Vancouver.

Ranginui says it is hard to believe that 11 other contestants have now been eliminated.

He now faces fierce competition for the top prize - a brand-new car, $50,000 cash and six-page spread in Fashion magazine.

His main competitor is Benjamin Alexander - a 23-year-old designer from Auckland who appears to be Ranginui's arch nemesis.

"Kerry thinks he's top dog but he's not," Alexander told the camera in Monday night's episode.

Benjamin Alexander has been Kerry Ranginui's arch nemesis. Photo/Supplied
Benjamin Alexander has been Kerry Ranginui's arch nemesis. Photo/Supplied

Throughout the series Alexander has grudgingly acknowledged Ranginui's skill and experience while claiming that he has no taste.

Judges loved Alexander's heavily ruffled brown creation on the second to last episode but criticised his lack of finishing.

The other member of the top three Jess Hunter also a 23-year-old from Auckland and a retail assistant has proved to be the dark horse of the series.

Jess Hunter has been a late bloomer on Project Runway NZ. Photo/Supplied
Jess Hunter has been a late bloomer on Project Runway NZ. Photo/Supplied

She appeared to be melting down in a couple of episodes and did not win any challenges until recently.

Now she has come out fighting and told a pouty-faced Alexander that she really believes she can win.

The final episode of Project Runway NZ will screen on TVNZ 2 at 7.30pm on Monday December 17.