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]