Project Runway recap: 'Real' Women Have Feelings, Too

Ven treats his full-figured client with shocking cruelty, but good prevails in the end
Ep. 06 | Aired Aug 23, 2012

TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR Ven turned what should have been a dream opportunity for a lovely woman and turned it into a nightmare with his disparaging comments and inability to see a plus-size woman as fashionable and elegant.

Barbara Nitke

In this heart-tugging episode, Ven Budhu went from a designer I was entirely apathetic toward to the most vile personality this series has ever seen. There's a difference between being a drama queen (Gunnar) or total pain in the ass (Elena) and being a purely selfish and soulless bully. But I'll try to not be overly harsh toward Ven because a person doesn't turn out like that on his own.

Of course, the "Real" People challenge always sets the designers on edge, but as a whole, this year's crew took the news much better than they would another team challenge. Aside from Ven's miserable behavior, this episode was kind of sweet. Heidi brought in a group of style-averse non-models along with the people who love them and think they deserve to feel glamorous for a day. Everyone but Ven respected what this challenge meant to the clients.

Sonjia was paired up with Amanda, a young social worker who expressed a lack of confidence in her body, which was why she constantly hid herself under sweats. Fabio consulted with Ko-rely, a filmmaker and extreme tomboy who wouldn't be caught dead in a dress. Dmitry advised a tall woman who was one good haircut away from being a stunner.

Then we got to Ven, who I've always thought had the charm of drainage buildup. He got "stuck" with Terri, a heavier set woman who works in finance. Immediately, Ven saw her as little more than an unsatisfactory clothes hanger. He said, "I'm in shock, I'm extremely disappointed" and promptly pointed out Terri's wide hips and waist. Who knew Ven was a gorgeous 115-pound editorial assistant at Vogue? Did you know that? I didn't know that. He bellyached about other designers like Dmitry and Fabio having an "unfair" advantage because they had skinny clients, even though that's so not the case. Did it ever cross Ven's peanut M&M-shaped head that the judges would be extra-dazzled if he accentuated the positive features in a full-figured woman? Gunnar, whose model was just as full-figured if not more so, certainly saw the advantages and ran with them. He called his client Kim his "driving force to get through this challenge." (By the way, ever since last week, I've grown to legitimately like Gunnar. Chalk his early-season bad behavior to immaturity, being on TV, and frankly, being very bitchy).

NEXT: Ven's offensive putdowns keep on coming, and coming, and coming...

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