In the "materials challenge" — the designers are asked to make clothes out of something unusual. This time, it was candy from Dylan's Candy Bar in New York (not-coincidentally a company founded by a daughter of Ralph Lauren).
As you can imagine, results were mixed. Some designers had licorice peeling off their dresses and falling on the floor. Some creations were just plain ugly.
Then came a dress by contestant Ven Budhu. An award-winning Fashion Institute of Technology grad, Budhu saw the challenge not as something to survive, but as a chance to wow the judges (and the world) with something amazing.
He crushed rock candy to create a stained-glass effect and created a divine short dress that looked like a piece of fine art, worthy of a museum.It was a career-making move, and he won the week's challenge. He also cemented a reputation as one of the most creative evening-gown designers around. Don't be surprised if Michelle Obama shows up in one of his dresses.
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In interviews, Budhu stated simply that he has always wanted to design couture, and that he knows his niche is evening gowns, and that he's good at it.
Then, he went out and proved it. All eyes will be on him for the rest of this season to see if he can keep exceeding expectations. But whatever happens, that stained-glass dress will be a calling card for him for years to come. He's got a thing that sets him apart and makes him unique.