Project Runway is only two episodes into its tenth season and already the show seems to have a frontrunner in Guyanna-born designer Vengsarkar “Ven” Budhu who has wowed judges with his flawlessly executed, complex but seemingly effortless designs.
During the “Candy Couture” episode that aired last night, Budhu talked about attending the very prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology where he won several awards as a graduating senior with a BFA in fashion design. So, I took to the ol’ interwebs to check out Budhu’s pedigree and it is intimidatingly legit! During the 2006 FIT MFA Fashion Show, Ven was competing against more than 100 other designers also receiving a BFA in fashion and he took home the top prize of 2006 Designer of the Year for this stunning strapless white evening gown with a train of circular pleated drapes:
^ Photo: Amina Lakhaney
The Fashion Institute of Technology MFA show is often used as a barometer for upcoming trends as well as the level of talent entering the industry. The judges’ panel was comprised of fashion industry big wigs such as Calvin Klein Creative Director Francisco Costa, CosmoGIRL! Creative Director, Jacqueline Azria-Palombo, Macy’s women’s ready-to-wear fashion director, Nicole Fischelis, fashion photographer Jordan Doner, and Council of Fashion Designers of America associate director Lisa Smilor. Needless to say, Ven had a great deal of promise and exposure before he ever signed on for Project Runway!
So what has he been doing for the last six years? After graduating from FIT, Ven packed his bags and continued pursuing his fashion education at Polimoda in Florence, Italy.
Ven Budhu would eventually return to New York City where he founded his own clothing line, Gavaskar, in 2011. Here are some samples from his collection (click thumbnails to see larger images):
Ven was one of four finalists chosen to participate in the first ever Polyvore Live fashion show on February 13, 2012 — during New York Fashion Week. (So he shouldn’t be intimidated if he makes it to the final three on Project Runway!)
Here is a video after the Polyvore Live event featuring some footage from the runway show, including Ven Budhu:
Ven not only appears to have an early lead this season, but his “style” is so immaculate that he doesn’t seem to be a big risk to flub a challenge. Normally designers on the show with his tailoring ability seem to lack flair, but Ven seems to being it all with a lot of creativity paired with incomparable execution. If reality competitions had bookies, I know where my money would be right now!
White dress photo: Fashion Institute of Technology / Lorenzo Ciniglio
Gavaskar photos: GavaskarNY.com