PR: Ven Budhu Decoy Collection

Posted on September 26, 2012

Darlings, if we do this, do you promise to not mention his name every time you see a fabric rose?

We were mighty annoyed while we watched this collection walk the runway and tweeted our disapproval throughout. But now, weeks later, we see that it really wasn’t a bad collection at all. In fact, it’s beautifully executed and there are some really nice looks in here. But as we all know, Ven returned to the origami rose technique one time too many on the show and when he was eliminated, it was because he proved to the judges that when you take that technique away from him, he doesn’t seem to have much else to offer.

We went back and looked at Leanne Marshall’s finale collection before rating this one, because she also went to the petal pleat well too often. The difference with her collection (which we praised to the heavens) was that it wasn’t the exact same technique over and over again. She used the collection as a platform to explore her pleating technique and find interesting ways to utilize it. With Ven’s it comes across more like an obsession that he can’t seem to shake.

Let’s start the show.


Very pretty. We like the champagne color, but we’re not in love with the shininess of the fabric. We groaned when saw it, though, because of course, we’d already seen it before. Your finale collection should not be expected. It should be surprising. Jay McCarroll didn’t send down a bunch of Chrysler building dresses and Christian Siriano didn’t send down an all puffy-sleeved collection. Or look at a decoy like Kara Janx, who wowed everyone in the tent with a collection so bright, colorful, and funky, that she wound up launching her career off it. There wasn’t a person in that tent who didn’t think “Of course,” when this walked out.



We generally like Ven’s taste and aesthetic, limited as it is, but this is one of the few looks we didn’t like. That bodice is overworked and the slit is too high.


This is pretty. He kept the pleating to a minimum and added a pretty detail at the waist and some interesting seaming.


This is also very pretty. He really should have taken this look and run with it for the whole collection, because it challenges your perception of Ven. Those pants are a little too embellished, though.


Taken on its own, this is gorgeous. His technique seems to look more sophisticated in black. It helps that it’s relatively toned down. The belt is a nice touch.


Credit for not pleating it and for some interesting seaming, but this looks like lingerie.


From the side, which is how we saw this, it looked awful. Those tit roses may look interesting from straight on, but they add enormous volume to the bust, making even size 2 models look like top heavy.

The pleated pants are terrible – and the whole collection is starting to look like a cheap box of Valentine’s candy.


Again; taken on it’s own, it’s not a bad look. We love the jacket. We were never as in love of that vortex-style pleating technique as the judges were. Too much. Too overworked.


It’s at this point that it becomes inarguable that Ven just doesn’t have much else to offer or stubbornly insists on only offering this. You have a mere ten looks to make an impression and this is the third gown with a rose on the bust.


Fourth. Four gowns out of ten looks with only slight variations in the skirts and the color. That’s ridiculous.

And he really shouldn’t be so in love with this technique because it makes tiny women look much larger than they are, which means it’s practically impossible to make money selling stuff like this. Quite a few of these looks are tasteful, beautiful, and perfectly executed, but the point of a collection is to showcase a range of looks, usually based around some sort of theme. It’s not an opportunity to hammer a theme into the ground and inadvertently prove to people that you’re a one-trick pony. We don’t know if he was just stubborn about it, or if he has some sort of compulsion to repeat this type of look, but unless he’s happy being a custom dressmaker, he’s going to have to get the hell over his rose obsession. A talented designer with taste, but a very limited one, from what we can tell.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Overworked, and yet, somehow completely forgettable. Then there’s the odd proportions and his tendency to make things that are very aging looking.

    • This. Also, that hair is perfect for this collection and I don’t mean that as a compliment!!!

    • MilaXX

       I always sad his stuff read granny to me. Someone else referred to it as rich bitch. It’s like a collection for the cast of Dynasty.

      • My biggest beef? He seems not to be able to edit his desire to pile too much volume up top. His proportions get really skewed, and he often makes these wafer thin models look wide.

        • SouthernGirlRena

          I wonder if that is why he can’t start with a “wide” woman – she would end up looking like a fullback – in full pads.

      • I could see this collection going over well in Dallas….

    • Sorry to correct you, Kiltd, but the 3-finger ‘salute’ is the Girl Scout salute. The Boy Scouts only use 2 fingers.

  • Jill_3

    What a stubborn, one-way monkey.

    • Aly Light

       Sure, though my take on his decoy collection is that he’s not so much trying to launch his career as a solo designer as he is looking for a job at an established fashion house. He’s playing to his strengths repeatedly, and while it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to launch his own line, he’s not without talent, and he could be put to good use by a stronger senior designer.

      • e m

        As pattern maker maybe, but not as designer. With this collection he showed the industry, that he can only design one single thing.

  • Susan Collier

    Those gowns will look nice on some tiny starlet on the red carpet, but yeah, one-way monkey all the way.
    The second (mini) dress with the slit; it looks like the slit is gauged by an (almost!) invisible zipper.

    • Kimbolina

      I was thinking the exact same thing about the slit with a zipper.  Tacky!

    • Frank_821

      The zipper effect was the same thing he did with terry’s skirt in the makeover challenge. It’s not needed.. the dress is already over-designed as it is

      What a pity he didn’t try for more separates. what a wasted opportunity. It’s like he’s stuck in student mode. Who cares how many awards you won in school if you don’t evolve and grow from it

  • BazoDee

    If you count the black -I count 6 of those pleated rose top things – over half! 

    • Lisa_Cop

      The hot pink cocktail dress had bra cups I associate with early Proenza Schouler (which I loved).

  • I kinda of love those sparkly, over-embellished pants. Of all of his looks they were my hands-down favorite. Paired with the simple feminine black top, it’s just an outfit that looks elegant & classy, and just a wee touch over the top. It would make a nice change of pace for a red carpet appearance, I think. Of course, I like sparkly lady pants. LOL. Hopefully Ven will tire of roses in the near future and explore something else. It’s a shame for so much talent to get mired down in one technique.

    • Jill_3

       That was for sure the best outfit. There was an easy elegance to it that not of his over-worked pleated vortex exploding boob flowers have.

    • Sobaika

      I dig those SO MUCH. The entire look was so chic. If that had been the tone of the collection I’d probably be ranting and raving somewhere about how Ven was robbed.

      BRBR, I need to find some embellished pants off the rack.

      • Do you have a Bedazzler? 😉

      • MilaXX

        I liked them as well. The pants had the same sparkle as the rest of the collection without being the same satin-y fabric and the black chiffon or whatever it was made for a nice contrast against all the shiny. I would love to see a lady celeb wear that look on the RC with a simple sandal, either black or silver and simple earring stud.

    • Kayceed

      I agree – I think they are great. I would like to see how they would look without pockets and pleats, as well, although that would perhaps change the “easiness” of them too much.

    • Lily-Rygh

      I was thinking the same thing: this outfit would make a stunning red carpet look, where “just a wee touch over the top” would read as subtle and elegant. Julianna Margulies could wear the SHIT out of this look. 

    • Buffy

      That was the look I liked the best as well.  I could see a lot of starlets rocking that look in the RC

    • VivianAdvanced

      I sort of liked those embellished britches myself, even though I hate embellishments (except to laugh at, as in QVC’s Quacker Factory) and wouldn’t wear these in a zillion years. I can see some elegant-looking 85-year-old rich lady going to a fancy fundraising event in these.

    • Christy Laub

       Funny, they reminded me of something someone might produce in a “remake my wedding gown” challenge.

  • A. W.

    I actually love those white embellished pants. They’re one of my favorite items out of ANY of the runway shows. You could wear them to everything from work to a cocktail party to a night of debauchery.

    • Not TOO debauched, or your drycleaning bills will be horrifying. 

      • NCDFan

        And I doubt if you could sit down in them without turning them into a hot mess of wrinkles.

    • I know this is just my personal feeling, but I loathe those pants.

      •  Embellished pants are generally a love or hate item, I think. 

        • Lisa_Cop

          On the Fashion News video of the PR collection, that white satin looked like very cheap fabric. Wonder how it looked in person (TLo)?

  • MilaXX

    I only like the 3rd  & 4th looks because they are the only ones that look like he even thought to explore beyond that tired origami rose pattern. Still overall I disliked this collection for being not only repetitive, but too damned shiny. I don’t mind if he want all reds and dark pinks, but vary the fabric to make things interesting. This collection read like a David’s Bridal commercial.

    I also can’t figure out if Ven truly thinks this is beautiful or if this is a stubborn eff you to the judges. Either way, I’m over Ven and his tired roses.

    • Sobaika

      The shiny fabric was my biggest issue with this collection – the rose motif too, but it wouldn’t stick out as much to anyone who hadn’t been following PR.

      The fabric reads as cheap and fug no matter what.

      • AthenaJ

        Agreed, I’ve been looking at tons of wedding dresses lately and so many have that nasty ass satiny fabric. Unless you’ve got the $ to buy the expensive fabrics, that shinyness will always look cheap.

      •  Oh dear god yes!  The shiny poly satin (and I don’t share the poly hate so many have), it’s so awful!

        And how many people who aren’t paying attention to PR are going to give an instant to this collection?

        • MilaXX

           I don’t care if it’s silk charmeuse. It’s too much of it.

          • There’s too much sameness — the fabric, the technique, the styles, the type of garments, all the same.  You should really only be picking one of those (maybe two, MAYBE) and varying all the other elements.

          • MilaXX

            Agreed. and I think that’s what makes the collection look cheap

          • VivianAdvanced

            The collection is almost enough to induce a diabetic coma. It’s kind of like having the whole wedding cake pushed in your face. Bring insulin to a Ven showing.

    • Kayceed

      Thinking about that red suit – I think of a dressy suit as something one could wear to a variety of events, but the shine plus the enormous, but enormous, rose vortex makes me think that I would not wear it twice – in a way it is too memorable to be wearable – which I can understand for celebrity gowns, but not for non-celebrity suiting.

    • formerlyAnon

      “I also can’t figure out if Ven truly thinks this is beautiful or if this is a stubborn eff you to the judges.”

      I believe he thinks it’s beautiful – which I think it mostly is, even if it shows neither enough depth nor a sure enough feel for marketability. Because no one wastes their one shot at a well-attended FW runway show on a stubborn gesture, do they?

  • Are we done with him now? Please say yes. Let’s burn some sage and purify this place. Ven is gone, hallelujah. 

    • VivianAdvanced

      God, let’s hope they don’t rake him back in for an All-Star show in a couple of years!

  • siriuslover

    I can’t shake the feeling that the white pants / red blouse combo are the items from his PR interview.

    • kaycem

      i thought the same! didin’t he also make an identical (or nearly) look for the first challenge?

      • MissMariRose

         yes, he did.

        • Lisa_Cop

          The pleated white pants certainly look like what he brought to the audition interview.

  • RoxieRider

    Plus the styling isn’t helping. They all look like Lana Del Rey. Or like he got a discount on models if he only showed half their faces.

    • AthenaJ

      Oh God, can you imagine if Ven paried up with Lana? I’m pretty sure that’s one of the signs of the apocalypse…

  • That red top would work well if you had a unilateral mastectomy.  I can see it now “Boob Illusion, by Ven Budhu”

    • AthenaJ

      ‘Boob Illusion’  I love it!! Though I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what my Vicky’s Secret bras do every day 🙂

    • NCDFan

      A specialty career providing the illusion of breasts?

  • gabbilevy

    The black and red gowns are conventional, but let’s be real: there’s a huge market for conventional gowns on the red carpet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those (or something quite similar) show up on the skinny frames of some timid starlettes. 

    • Kayceed

      The black gown is very good. The restraint elevates it.

  • dickylarue

    In 25 years when all of earth is wearing clothing embellished with origami roses because our planetary ruler Ven the Humorless demands it, you’re gonna love this shit or you’ll be melted by his death ray. Fear not though, we can all look forward to the origami roses being scratch-n-sniff. So there’s that…

  • nannypoo

    Well, since he only wants to dress tiny model-type people and none of those “real” ones, the ones so fat that belts are not made big enough to circumnavigate their enormous girth, the volume issue should be no problem.

  • janetjb

    I promise not to mention Ven every time I see a fabric rose, but I’ll probably think of him!

    I like the third and fourth looks best.  His gowns would be lovely on the RC, but that’s a very limited market.  His execution is very good, but he’ll need to lose his obsession if he wants to continue as a designer.

  • In_Stitches

    His construction skills are hugely impressive.  That pink lingerie look?  So much seaming and yet, no puckering.  He lacks taste, vision, versatility and an understanding of what is going to fit and flatter the human form, but he can mold fabric like a master.   I mean, there’s probably at least three looks up there that would have been, not just suitable, but successful Emmy looks in his collection.  He needs to think about his client and once he does so, he might be able to find a niche in the business. 

    • MilaXX

      but that makes him a seamstress, not a designer

      • Sara LaBatt

        Is there a male version of the word seamstress?  Seamster?

        • Terrie_S


    • Lisa_Cop

      If Ven did make the floral gown Kenley wore to the Emmys, IMHO he made a very successful gown. Yes the shoes were incomprehensible but the dress (which had gathering but no rose) was very pretty and well fitted.

  • Actually aren’t you supposed to down a shot every time you see a rose in Ven’s collection? 

    • Terrie_S

      Here at T&Lo, we discourage alcohol poisoning, so no.

  • Bjorn Shotwell

    I want Joe Zee to help him out.

    • janierainie

      oooh that would be so good!! Smackdown by Joe Zee!

  • kaycem

    it’s sort of like tim’s “monkey house at the zoo” analogy (directed originally at chris march, s4)… ven’s so close to his flowers that he doesn’t see it as repetitive or over-used.  i’d bet, if asked, ven would say that each dress is different — maybe even vastly different — than the others because of tiny details no one else notices or cares about.  it’s not without merit that he’s known as the most obtuse contestant this season, and his designs prove it.

  • Winter_White

    Seeing this for the first time now.  My first thought was, he totally ignored the judges’ criticism!

    But no, the problem is that Ven doesn’t seem to be able to HEAR criticism in the first place.  At least three times during his run we heard him recounting comments he got — from the judges or Tim — and each time he glossed over any actual criticism in the retelling.
    Example:  his client in the Real Woman challenge, who was giving off Richter-Scale-level vibes of disappointment and discomfort, said something like, “I can see that’s it’s a nice outfit…it’s just NOT ME.”  And here’s how Ven described her reaction to another designer:  “She said that, while she might not wear it ALL the time?…that it was a beautiful design.”  Was that pride, or delusion?

    •  I haven’t watched much, but if Ven has close ties to his Indian heritage, as an Indian myself I think it’s kind of a cultural thing to be a bit deluded or to deny things as they really are. Especially when you’re trying to save face. I’ve seen it happen a lot in my own family, sigh. It’s depressing- and can lead to sad results like this.

      • Winter_White

        Interesting, Wordy. Come to think of it…y’know who else does that, as a sort of unconscious defense mechanism?  True creative geniuses!  Maybe, despite what we saw here and on the show, Ven is actually a creative genius and one fine day he will surprise us all.

        •  Ah, hope springs eternal. If he can do the hard work of meeting a client/audience halfway, he could make a run of it. If he wants to keep championing his own vision without accounting for others’ opinions, I think he’d end up more as an avant-garde artist. Less marketable, but maybe with a niche fandom.

  • minnye

    I think the last dress would be beautiful if the good china weren’t quite so ventilated. I think I hate the shiny fabrics here more than the rose pleats. Seems like Ven decided early on that his strategy would be to create a “trademark” and just couldn’t get unstuck from it. Didn’t he win awards in design school? Wonder what those pieces looked like.

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Pretty enough, really.  Nothing wrong with his taste level.  I actually kind of dig the over-embellished pants, which is weird for me, since I like making sure as little attention as possible is paid to my legs. I think he’ll have a nice business for upper-middle-aged wealthy women looking for clothes to wear to charity events.  It’s not a niche to sniff at, but it’s not all that interesting, either.

    Also, I like the little cocktail dress with the embellished waist. Perfectly pretty.

  • msdamselfly

    Some of the looks are gorgeous

  • piecesofconfetti

    Putting his personality aside, and taking each on their own, the individual pieces aren’t bad (except the lingerie look). I can see women who would want to wear a pretty gown like some of these, but they strike me as a bit too bridal/bridesmaid-y. I can see an overpriced bridal shop having dresses similar to these.

    I would really be interested to see the boob roses from the side. I absolutely believe that they’d look bulky and unflattering.

    Taken as a collection, it’s too repetitive and underwhelming.

    • piecesofconfetti

       Edit: the second dress with the zipper slit (?????) is horrendous.

  • Coco Cornejo

    The Veronica Lake hair is not helping. It’s certainly not making his collection modern looking.

  • Almost the entire collection reads bridal to me.  I can actually see him having a future doing custom bridal and bridesmaid gowns, but if he doesn’t expand his repertoire I don’t think he’ll get much further.  Of course, he could always reinvent himself as Origami Rose and sing sad torch songs in smoky drag bars!

    • Glammie

      The problem with Ven and bridal is that brides are one of the most high-strung type of customers you can get.  Ven needs better people skills to work with brides.  

  • imspinningaround

    Thank you for mentioning Kara Janx’ decoy collection.  I’ve always thought it was one of the best collections ever to come out of Proj Run.  I would still kill for one of those fluffy, colorful hats.

  • GorgeousThings

    Beyond the repetitive roses, my biggest problem with the collection is that his fabrics look like cheap polyester satin. Maybe it’s the light; maybe they looked beautiful in person, but I doubt it; maybe it’s that the decoys had less money than the “real” finalists. Regardless, they are way too shiny to be silk. They look like a collection for Kohls.

    • 3boysful

       Agree.  In my head, it’s the Real Housewives of New Jersey collection.

    • PinkLemon


    • Call me Bee

      You are so right, GT.  I went to a charity thingie last week, and you could spot the woman wearing real silk a mile away.  There’s no comparison when it’s side-by-side with even high-end poy.  (I wore wool…) 

  • Jennifer Coleman

    I believe he designs fronts and maybe backs but does not take into consideration the sides, which he should do with the dimensional bodices. Maybe he then could see the volume he is adding.

  • he appears to be very limited as a designer (and completely charmless as a person), but i think he could be successful in red carpet and bridal.

  • This could almost be a bridal collection. 

  • AthenaJ

    It’s obvious what needs to be done – just consult the manual and change Venbot’s settings.

    • Ven and Julie Chen could create a Master Race!

  • Zippypie

    The satin, the satin!!  God, that killed this collection more for me than the repetitive roses.  If he had chosen different fabric instead of every one being a friggin’ wedding/bridesmaid satin….  My favorite look is the embellished pants and blouse.  He was foolish not to go in that direction.  Now he looks like a stubborn mule and no one is going to want to work with him, let alone sell his garments.  You just shot yourself in the foot, Robotboy.

    • PinkLemon

       and it’s not even that expensive looking. it works for some of the gowns, but all the other pieces look cheap.

  • Ceur

    The embellished pant look stands out from his collection. It’s not ‘wow!’, it’s just so comparatively good. He should create a designer duo with someone who is a little more funky and modern and who can smack him in the backhead every time his hands start creating flowers. That was also the one girl I wanted to hang out with. His dresses are boring, embellish pant girl is laidback and cool.

  • Judy_S

    You nailed it: the “make a dress from a Valentine’s box of chocolates” challenge. Except this wasn’t supposed to be a challenge.

  • I have so many things to say for such a very boring collection… odd.  First, I applaud you for responding to the comparisons with Leanne — I hated her collection, but that was a personal taste thing.  And can I talk about the Emmy dress NOW?!?  Seriously, it’s killing me!  Onto the actual collection, though.

    1)  Guys, not just everyone in the tent was thinking of course.  I’m fairly sure that through a rarely documented psychic phenomenon everyone on earth had the words “Of course” flit through their head at the exact moment that came out onto the runway. 

    2) Is this the wedding nightgown for after you take off the first dress? 

    3) Really wish I could see the neckline better.  What I’m seeing though feels like it would work for an afternoon outdoor wedding, for a cocktail dress minded bride. 

    4) Not particularly appealing to me, but at least it’s something different.

    5) It’s nice.  It’s lovely, but like everything of Ven’s always has, for me it lacks something — even when I can see the skill and the talent behind it, there’s just something not quite hitting the mark.

    6) OH MY GOD, WHY?  WHAT’S WITH THE SHINY EYE-SEARING PINK?!?  I don’t mind the color sometimes, but it’s one of the very few colors he seems to know exists!

    7) The rose thing is so unflattering.  The pants, however, interest me.  I can see the concept behind them, and I like it — I just don’t know if it can ever work.

    8) It’s just awful — it reminds me of bad Michael Jackson in the 80s for some reason.  I have no specific thing to back that up, no element I can point to, just a gut reaction so it might just be me.

    9/10) I don’t even know what to say about this.  I’m not sure how one points out the problem here to someone that removed from reality. 

    And for my personal irritation: WTF with that Emmy dress!?!  How does someone win a challenge based on a design that will not be used?!?  Other than the vaguest of possible ways, Kenley’s dress bore no freaking resemblance to the dress Ven made on the show.  And Ven, if you’re reading this, please, seek psychiatric help.  You have a serious problem.  After losing because you couldn’t do anything but the rose, and making a collection that was at least 1/2 roses as a “screw you” to the judges (which was stupid), you then blow your next shot at exposure by taking what was a cute if inappropriate for the occasion dress and swapping it for another inappropriate dress that has a folded rose bust made from a freaking rose print!!!  

  • mhleta

    You’re preaching to the choir here, TLo.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    I think he would do really well in the Bridal industry.

  • afabulous50


    • PinkLemon

       exactly. BOOORIIING.

  • YourLibrarian

    Most of these look like bridesmaids’ dresses.

  • A big SNORE! 

  • thewitofthestaircase

    I was just thinking that those tit roses would make even a normal-sized rack look INSANE… but then I remembered that DesignBot3000 would never deign to design clothing for people with normal-sized body parts.

  • Six out of ten looks had variations of the strapless draped pleating technique for the bodice. But then Sirano’s final collection featured black skinny pants in seven out of twelve looks. (shrug)

    I never thought it was a f*** u to the judges; it’s something he’s fixated on. He’s one of the most technically skilled designers ever on PR. All that shiny satin and not a pucker in sight. The seaming in that lingerie dress is insane. He lacks range though and whether he will eventually develop it or chose to stay in the Bridal ghetto remains to be seen.

    • I had hoped it was a FU because it would show some emotion.  He is so closed off and is convinced his rose motif is perfect.  He has a big dose of reality coming his way and it won’t be pretty.

  • mjude

    what drives me crazy about PR is that most all get to have a show at fashion week when they are clearly not ready to do so.

    • SewingSiren

      Part of the problem isn’t that they don’t have the skill to put together a 10 piece collection, but that they have an insanely short time frame to do the whole thing themselves from start to finish.

      • mike__tv

        Another example of how project runway is more about tv than fashion. Give them more time for the final and you’ll see better shit, which is all anyone on the show wants. ugh 

    • Stubenville

      Agree completely. The Fashion Week exposure should be reserved for the final three, not every Tom Dick and One Way Monkey. This can launch a career and it shouldn’t be given to everyone for just showing up.

  • nancylee61

    I don’t watch PR anymore, so some of these are surprising to me. I like the rose technique, but in one or two looks, not 6. And I love the black shirt and sparkly pants!! Love sparkle for evening!! Although I never go anywhere to wear it. 🙁 He has some talent, but from what I read, he is a schmuck. And is gone now.

  • fashionablylate

    In all honesty, I think this is a beautiful collection. Definitely one of the better decoys from all seasons. Is it my style? Not at all (except for the third dress, which I think is absolutely gorgeous). It is extremely well-executed and has a distinct point of view. It is not a winning collection, or even top three, by any means, but Ven does not have anything to be ashamed of or to apologize for, design-wise. For sure, it’s a niche collection, but there is a customer for this niche.

  • Laura Osborne

    The styling and makeup on the models looks very OLD. And it all looks very bridal. As in . . . David’s Bridal. Not high end bridal.

  • Winter_White

    “Darlings, if we do this, do you promise to not mention his name every time you see a fabric rose?”  Haha!  Fair enough…I’ll just silently resent Ven for occupying that space in my brain!  If I’d never seen Ven’s work I would’ve been in love with one of those Badgley Mischka FW gowns:  silvery (or very pale celadon-silvery?), with a large rose bodice.  The rose had a beautiful shade of faded gentian at its center — that dusky blue-purple color of old ink.  But I could barely look at it:  “Gah.  Ven.  Next!”

  • SewingSiren

    I think this is a very pretty bridal/evening collection. I sort of wish he had gone on and put bridal head pieces on a few of them. I do think that the four full blown rose bodices in a ten piece collection is about 2 too many. But since he is not competing for the prize, I think his focus was to show his very strongest pieces to an audience of industry professionals, in hopes that someone may like what they see and contact him.
    For a young designer who is starting just starting out , being narrowly focused is not a bad thing. He needs something to be remembered by and known for. Michael Kors and other such designers certainly did not start out with multiple lines and collections. The branch out very gradually over their careers. Most of the time they have very little to nothing to do with the lower price “sub” lines that have their name or label on them.

    • Call me Bee

      But–when he put this collection together, he didn’t know he wasn’t competeing anymore.  Isn’t that the same with all the decoys–they didn’t know who the finalists were at this point.  I just think if you had this opportunity, you’d dial it up a notch and show stuff really innovative and differant along with showing your skills.

      • SewingSiren

        No, all the contestants know who the finalists are and who the decoys are. They do not start working on the collections until the last challenge with the final elimination is completed. The producers just have the contestants who are eliminated after Fashion Week do a decoy so the viewers won’t know who has already been eliminated before the shows air.

        • Call me Bee

          Oh ok.  Got it–thanks! 

  • His line is pretty enough, but agreed that there’s not much variation here. Also, most of his dresses look like something you can find at just about any bridal/prom shop. 

  • SapphoPoet

    So here’s my question: are you still a designer if you only design one thing? 

    I liked the black evening dress, the pants and top, and the short red dress with the rose. Everything else looked really repetitive and SHINY. 

    •  Better question:  are you still a designer if the only thing you can “design” is a copy from plant evolution?

      • Yes, I absolutely believe that you are still a designer if the only thing you can design is a copy from plant evolution.  Plants are an incredibly diverse batch of living things.  There are endless ways to get inspiration from them, from the multitude of leaf types, to flower structure, to roots, and from the huge tropical crazy trees to little teensy decpetively devolved arctic low-liers.  I was a plant evolutionist in a prior life and saw a lot of species in a lot of different environments.  Still, to be a good designer working off plant inspiration takes a special imagination and eye.

  • NCDFan

    It’s all so shiny. And from what little can be seen from the back, they’re totally uninspired. The little red suit with a plain skirt would have been interesting but that is the only thing I can muster even a little interest in.

    • janierainie

      I thought the same thing. If that skirt had been plain it would have been more interesting. 

  • StellaZafella

    Boob Roses = Drunken Bridesmaid’s Nightmare
    Boob Roses in shiny fabric = Drunken bride wakes up on knotted bed sheets in sleazy motel.

  • I just can’t get past the total hypocrisy of his not wanting to dress a plus size woman and yet expecting to be able to buy nice clothes for himself.  Every time I see a picture of him, I think “Not thin.  Not thin at all.”

  • Citric

    Alright, so I’ve been watching the anime Wolf’s Rain. It’s about a group of wolves who are searching for a place and one of their hints is the smell of certain flowers. Last night I watched an episode where they find a “flower maiden”, who sings a song and they all fall asleep. This collection reminded me of that a bit.

  • mike__tv

    Grooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaan! ¬_¬

  • I felt that Ven’s rose on the chest did make the skinniest of models look top heavy. This is why he was in such a pickle when he had to dress a fuller figured woman. At least he knew the rose effect would not work on her. Is this all silk chiffon? 

  • Anathema_Device

    So much of this looks so much alike, and much of it a retread of his PR looks. He obviously has the skills to design something else. I’m curious why someone like him, who is fairly serious about his work, can’t objectively view it and see that he has painted himself into a corner.

    I liked the embellished pants and black blouse. That was a good look. The gowns are pretty, but as you point out, there are too many of them and they all look  alike.  Of his pleating/flower pieces, I like the flat one on the red skirt the best. It reminds me of a cool quilt square.

  • marilyn

    Too shiny and lingerie-ish for me.  Also, lack of variety in style  The hair should not have been on the shoulders, since the design is at the shoulder. I see him as a designer for beauty pageants, not high fashion.

  • l_c_ann

    Those vibrant red dresses should garner him attention for the red dress thingy that is done every spring in New York.  We see a lot of red dresses from that event that are not as interesting as these.    Forget (hypothetical forget) that we’ve seen it before,  most of what’s out there has been reworked only slightly. 

    He does shiny fabrics better than most, as well. 

  • leftcoastpickle

    I almost forgot he was gone! One way monkey, indeed. On the red top with the wide pleated white pants – The foldy thing sticking out of the blouse top reminds me of the folded fleur de lys we used to make out of linen table napkins at a restaurant I worked at once upon a time.

  • l_c_ann


    Does Weinstein et al. own all the designs produced for PR on Lifetime?If so (comparable to the seasons on Bravo), I can totally understand someone not in the running for the money prize who would choose to show (and give away) NO new ideas.

  • Laylalola

    He needs to make the rose-bust dress just once for his sister — and then he’ll have a whole new appreciation for why it hasn’t taken the fashion world by storm.

    • sashaychante

       I agree.  Maybe this is why a regular size person threw him off in the client challenge…he already knows he is limited to this pleated rose technique, and knows it won’t work on anyone that isn’t a size 0.  The whole collection is a bore.

  • It all looks like bridesmaid dresses to me, not actual fashion.

  • tired_mommy

    Ven’s only 28. Maybe he just needs some aging time to gain perspective??

  • turtleemily

    Darlings, if we do this, do you promise to not mention his name every time you see a fabric rose?

    If we say his name three times fast into a mirror while holding a fabric rose, will he appear?

    • snarkykitten

       just like Tuxedo Mask

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    There are actually a number of looks that I like in Ven’s collection. The first gown is quite lovely, as is the black gown, and the black top with ivory/champagne pants. That said, he really needs to let go of the techniques that he has worked to death, during his time on PR and in his decoy collection.

    • blondie65

      I agree…the first gown is lovely…I just hate how shiny the fabric is.  The pants have real possibility with the right top, on the right person. And the black gown I also really like…probably b/c in the photos, there is no shine. I can only imagine how pretty a few other pieces might have been if the shine-factor had been dialed down and he took the fabric rose idea in a different direction….like  dear Leanne did with her petals.  Alas, he stayed true to being a one way monkey.  I will say though, I do love that red jacket.  Would have been stunning paired with … well…anything that was not the same shiny fabric  and, of course, absent the damn fabric rose.

  • SophiaPehawkins

    Ven is such a one-way monkey. I’m glad he was eliminated. This collection is so one note, it’s depressing.

  • The 3rd dress would make a lovely short wedding dress.  Otherwise…Ven is clearly on the autism spectrum.  Obsessed with one thing, much?

  • I found him to be a very self-congratulatory person. He felt he was a cut above the rest of the contestants. Is he (outside his self-perception)? Well, this sculpted rosette he’s appropriated is not easy to render, and not every designer necessarily knows how to do it (well). In that respect, it demonstrates technical prowess. It also seems to be some kind crutch, some kind of prop. Ask him to deliver a garment containing design interest NOT generated by draping and sculpting techniques, and he struggles, which is a shame because he clearly knows how to tailor (the jacket in look # 8) and do beautiful work with seaming (look # 6). He has the skill-set, but his work is narrow in scope. Most of these garments are replicas of looks he’s presented during the show (Hello rose-bust and pleated, flowing pants!) or included in his portfolio (look # 6 is the EXACT garment he showed during the casting, except that one was red and this one’s purple– no other alterations whatsoever.) Expand your work, V. You have the technical background to enable that.

    • Part of the problem is that he’s just not very, well, fashionable. What he thinks of as “elegant” is this narrow range of rich-older-woman looks from the 1980s. When he looks at anything that to us is more interesting, he thinks of it as less elegant and therefore not something he aspires to make.

  • Call me Bee

    I promise not to mention He Who Must Not Be Named each time I see a fabric rose.   I’ll admit I did mention HWMNBN when I saw the farbic roses on the shoulders of Rebel What’s-her-face.  I am so sorry…

    Anyway–all the folded bodices remind me of Marchesa.  So even though they are very well done, they are not innovative.  The only look that is a teeny bit interesting is the cute short white dress with the cap sleeves and sparkly belt.  It seems fresher and more youthful than the rest. 
    The pink one also stands out, only because it is so incongruous. With bad boobs. 

  • It’s a shame that this is just so repetitive, because he clearly has the goods.  And if he would just see how branching out and doing something different would work for him – look a those blinged out pants!  A lot of us here are loving those, myself included.  Doesn’t he see that he really could do so much more than those tired roses.

    • DCSheehan

      Agreed. It’s so darn frustrating to see an obvious talent just not going from good to great. Who knows why he didn’t or couldn’t make that leap. He’s still young so perhaps a few years will make a difference.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i honestly think that, had he either been or at least acted like a nicer person, he wouldve launched a career designing for the red carpet from this stuff. not everyone who steps up for a première is interested in going avant garde. very often almost nobody is. & he makes a glamour dress. it takes almost no effort to stretch my mind around seeing these on this website, worn by people i dont really recognize, for openings of movies i will never see, in, say, maybe six months to a year. chris march did it. this guy coulda done it too.

    but i also think he killed this possibility when he attacked, then added fifty pounds to, his slightly pudgy client. no woman’s gonna want the first, few are gonna want the second & theyre all gonna have in the back of their minds, & this w/ some cause, that he’s gonna do the same as he did to her, to them. boy what a mess he made of his career.

    i could be wrong, maybe people will bypass his behavior. i dont think so. & off the red carpet he’s gonna get the same reaction. no idea what he’s gonna do from here on out. one of the better examples of self-sabotage i have seen in awhile.

    [as an aside, i like chris march’s work much better but i have a feeling a lot of women would prefer this, more basic kind of fussy elegance.]

  • Bozhi

    While I found a few of his looks quite beautiful, I find the whole collection too shiny and just more of the same pleating.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    He obviously has a talent but he really needs an editor because it’s just TOO SHINY ALL THE TIME!

  • I promise not to reference Ven if you promise to cut down on “serving up (something something) realness.”

    Or at least explain to me where the phrase is from. 🙂

    • It’s a drag phrase.  You hear it ALL the time on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  • Marcela86

    I like them all, it’s a beautiful collection!

  • Blah, more of the same.  Instead of taking the opportunity to show he can do something beyond the origami rose he does 10 of them!  I keep looking at these pictures thinking his models are surely tiny women yet their bodies are all sorts of deformed in these shapes, for the most part.  Still I can see gaudy ladies with a taste for the gauche eating this shit up…for me it’s too much of nothing.

  • Clacey

    Who is actually buying these clothes? Seriously. The bulky florigami elements make runway models look big, even though it’s obvious by looking at their limbs these girls are your typical, skinny, walking hangers. I don’t know; if he could scale it down to subtle, tasteful embellishments instead of dominating every garment and essentially screaming “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO WITH SHINY BLACK/WHITE/RED FABRIC!!!” I’d like this collection better. But he didn’t, so I don’t.

  • dharmabum8

    The difference between Leanne and Ven is that Leanne used her sculptural techniques to enhance her artistic vision for the collection, while Ven’s sculptural techniques ARE his vision. Leanne and Jay’s collections are still my all time favorites.

  • Compared to Leanne’s collection, this looks like student work.

  • s k

    What a lost opportunity! There are so many ways to push himself even with his trusty ol’ Origami Roses.  Imagine if he did those vortex roses with sheer fabrics or with prints; if he played with scale and placement of them; or even if he did one as the back of a casual jacket?  I would love to see the sculpted roses rendered in some type of organza, or painted with an ombre effect.  Why are pleated palazzo pants here again?  stop trying to make “fetch” happen, Ven.
    Promising moments with the sequinned pants (love) and the curved-seam dress… but the rest is utterly anticlimactic.

  • lilazander

    As single pieces without the reference to the collection, there are many with an RC potential. As a collection, however, too repet

  • lilazander

    As a collection, I agree with you guys, but I would like to sport the red skirt with the rose-origami pattern once in a while… I really would.

  • ccm800

    its not even pleating its just rectangles sewn one on top of the other hiding the end seams. meh. 

  • VivianAdvanced

    When you see one of Ven’s pieces for the very first time, you’re very impressed and it looks highly glamorous. But then … Maybe Ven will do OK in the bridal and prom world, but if he can’t come up with some other concepts, even the brides are going to get sick of this stuff and he’ll be searching for another career. This collection does look like an Ode to Valentine’s Day Candy-Box Lids. Not my style at all, that’s for sure. One-Way Monkey, indeed.

  • kathryn_dc

    He should move into fabric wall hangings. 

  • This guy will make a ton in the world of bad bridal wear…

  • kaydenpat

    I loved him at first, but I have to agree that his designs are limited.  And he needs an attitude adjustment.  I can see why the Judges got tired of him.

  • kikisayshi

    Barf. Some of these are nice, but they all look a little “matronly” (to quote Mr. Gunn) to me. Not a very youthful collection.

  • The origami technique is stunning but doesn’t detract from the fact the designs of the garments are downtown LA Bridal shop.