American embassies might be burning, our civil liberties are under attack, but I’m going to channel my inner Obama and write about fashion. Because I need an outlet.
I have to sort of admire Project Runway’s contestant Ven Budhu. Ven was born in an Indian family in Guyana and immigrated to the US at age four. It must be his third world background or the fact that he’s presumably gay (well, he’s a fashion designer, and no, I don’t have gaydar). Whatever it is, he opined that men are usually better designers while women are more practical.
Although this opinion might be difficult to absorb in some cicles, Ven was stating the obvious. Women usually design something we’d like to wear. It can be elegant, like Donna Karen, or have counterculture appeal, like Anna Sui, but female designers have themselves in mind. Men, on the other hand, use female bodies and cloths to create wild flights of fancy. In feminist lingo it’s called objectification. Ven could have made his opinion more biting, and simply say that men are visionaries, and women are not, but he didn’t. Seeing how he’s set up as jerk of the season, Ven is unlikely to be eliminated any time soon.
To be sure, people in creative professions are jerks. Visionaries are jerks. Ven Budhu is most certainly a jerk, given how he treated a plus-size client of his (and it’s not like he is in great shape himself). Ironically, Ven himself is a designer with clear mainstream appeal. He can cut a garment masterfully, to be sure, but it’s easy to see why his fellow contestants think of him as a one trick pony. He thought of a great way to use folds to make his gowns look like flowers, and he keeps doing it again and again. Most women would like a dress with a prominent flower on it, I know I would. I’m sure he can be the toast of the year, but staying power requires greater vision.
Ven is in a much better position than, say, Elena, who fancies herself avant guarde, but from what I’ve seen lacks vision. She a big psycho, though, and her entertainment value alone can be her the ticket to Bryant Park.
Speaking of people who didn’t deserve to go to Bryant Park, let alone win, Anya joined the judges in the last episode. She didn’t have much to say about the designs she was supposed to evaluate because she doesn’t know how to design. Oh well. That’s reality TV.