Buffi Jashanmal never set out to win “Project Runway” Season 10. She knew going in that her design aesthetic clashed with what judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors typically like, so she didn’t expect to get to the finale.
“I set myself up for those three not getting me or putting me down, because I know
that if Heidi can’t wear it she doesn’t like it. If Nina can’t see it in
her magazine she doesn’t like it. If it’s got too much color, Michael
doesn’t like it. I don’t tick any of their boxes so I went into the
competition wanting to be myself,” she tells Zap2it on a conference call with reporters the morning after her elimination. “I wanted to show myself to the
audience just as much as to the judges.”
That said, competing on “PR” was a dream she’d had for years before actually completing the application process, and she couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. “It was such a great platform to show myself and my true colors and not to do anything that wasn’t me.”
Well, she could be a little happier — she wished she’d had just one more week to prove herself. Andrea and Kooan both left the competition, and Jashanmal admits that she thinks if they’d stuck around, she could’ve beaten them. She can’t understand why someone like Andrea, a teacher, would give up such an amazing, exciting opportunity so abruptly.
“As stressful as it is, I just can’t imagine doing that. As much as the
judges put me down on the runway, it’s part of the process. It’s part of
the competition and you’ve got to be able to take it. To not prep for
yourself to that and then to run out, I think it’s a little bit
pathetic,” she says.
Besides, despite the fact that she only made it four episodes, Jashanmal learned a lot about herself as a designer. “It was such an amazing learning experience. It was exciting; it was dramatic. I was pushing myself beyond my limits.”
Even though in the end the judges didn’t like her stuff, she appreciates the experience. The not-so-constructive criticism, not so much. It didn’t make the episode cut, but Jashanmal explains, “Michael Kors said to me on the runway, ‘I don’t think you know how to design for the normal everyday woman.’ It’s true — I don’t know how to design for a normal woman going to the office. I’ve never been able to dress like that, any time I have had an office job it was very awkward and weird for me to dress corporately. I think if I went back I would definitely do things exactly the same.”
But despite the fact that she thinks she could’ve gone on to fight for a few more weeks, Jashanmal doesn’t harbor any ill will toward Raul, who was booted last week and came back after Andrea bolted. When he returned, “I was so happy because in the first few episodes I thought he was really talented,” she says. I felt like he had more to show as a designer.”
And who is she rooting for now that she’s gone? She admires the work of Ven and Dmitry, but Christopher has been her No. 1 pick from the beginning. “He’s so talented,” she gushes. “He works so quickly — it’s like he has a little sweatshop in both of his hands.”
“Project Runway” airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.