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Season 10 Q&A: Buffi Jashanmal is Totally Cool with Being Completely Different

By laurareineke Fri., Aug. 10, 2012 ,4:50 pm EDT

Buffi Jashanmal

With her loud hair and louder designs, Buffi Jashanmal made an immediate impression on Project Runway this season - and on the judges, who weren't exactly enamored with her eclectic style. This week we saw two designers flee the show and another brought back as a replacement, but that wasn't enough to distract the judging panel from the design and construction problems in Buffi's garment. The bubbly, personable designer talked with us about her reaction to the challenges, her favorite designers still remaining in the competition, and the thought process behind her wild hair. Check it out below!

Q: What made you apply for Project Runway?
Buffi: I wanted to be on Project Runway since the beginning. I applied for it so many times – I had the application form, filled it out, got halfway through, and didn’t end up doing it. It’s quite a long process; you have to submit a portfolio. I just had too many other things going on. And this year I just said, “Right. I’m definitely, definitely doing it.” I committed myself to putting together a really good portfolio, and I just felt this was the right year to do it.

Q: If you could change your losing design, would you?
Buffi: I think I would 100% stick with what I did. Michael Kors said to me on the runway, “I don’t think you know how to design for the normal, everyday woman.” And the other designers said, “Oh, Michael Kors was really mean to you,” but it’s true! I don’t know how to design for the normal woman going to the office. I’ve never dressed like that. Any time I’ve had an office job it’s been very awkward and weird for me to try to dress corporately. If I went back, I’d definitely do things exactly the same. Majority of the response I’ve had is, “We love you, stay true to yourself.” I’ve never wanted to appeal to the masses; I’m not that sort of person. I think I went out at the right time. I think maybe I’m made for a different competition, but I’m glad I got to show myself.

Q: What did you think of Raoul coming back?
Buffi: I was so happy, because I thought he was really talented. In the first episode, I loved that dress that he made, with the layered flowers – I thought that was super cute. And the challenge that he got knocked out on, that wasn’t his best work. I thought he had more to show as a designer. When he came back I was super, super happy. I hadn’t known him that long but I definitely thought he had more to offer.

Q: How did you feel about Andrea and Kooan leaving?
Buffi: You know what you’re getting yourself into. You know it’s a competition and it’s gonna be difficult. You just can’t run away like that. Andrea is a teacher. What does that say to her students, to her potential students? I was really shocked, because I kind of looked up to her. I just can’t imagine doing that. To not prep yourself, and to run out, I think is kind of pathetic.

Q: Who’s your favorite designer?
Buffi: From day one, Chris has been amazing. He’s so talented, he works so quickly – it’s like he has little sweatshops in both of his hands. He’s pattern-making, he’s draping, he’s making beautiful garments, he’s making his own textiles. I was completely blown away by how talented he was. From day one I was like, this guy is out of control.

Q: Who do you think will win?
Buffi: I have no idea at this stage. I’ve always been in love with Chris, but everyone’s amazing. Ven is so talented! His tailoring is amazing. And I wish I was cool enough to wear Melissa’s clothes – to wear all that black. And Dmitry is just…the dresses he makes are stunning. So I’m looking forward to see how it all unfolds.

Q: What was your favorite challenge?
Buffi: I really liked the candy challenge! I had fun with it. I know the judges really hated it, but I think some of the things they put me down for – they said it looked like it was melting off her – I think they were way too hard on me. Nate’s was so heavy the model had to hold the skirt up! I don’t think that’s very wearable. And Elena’s had fallen to pieces. They didn’t seem to put her down for that. I thought they were deliberately way too hard on me for that one. Regardless, I had fun making it.

Q: What was the best piece of advice you got from the judges?
Buffi: I feel like they didn’t really give me advice. They kind of put me down more than anything. But to me, that was a good thing. I’m so different to them – my aesthetic – that the fact that they didn’t get what I was trying to say or they didn’t like what I liked just made me realize I don’t get what they like. And it’s totally cool that I’m completely different.

Q: Can you talk about your hair? It’s very unique.
Buffi: Yeah, it was a bit of a process.it started about a year and a half ago, and I just did the normal thing – well, kind of normal – I just got one half shaved on the side. And I just love animal print, and I thought, hey, why not get animal print on the side? So about a year ago my hairdresser did it like pink animal print, because I always wear the bright pink animal print leggings. And every time I go back we change it to a different colored animal print. It’s kind of become a bit of a trademark.