Thursday, September 03, 2009

BPR Interview With Malvin Vien

BPR: Malvin, we are very sorry to see you go! Were you writing a farewell message to the designers at the end of your episode? What did it say?

MV: Quite observant - It was a call for the unconventional, advice for the remaining designers to take risks with their designs... a challenge to design with the intent to "say something" versus "play safe." Innovation comes from risks and risks are spurred by an authentic infatuation with one's own unique perspective. This will define an aesthetic.

BPR: How did you get the silk fabric to resemble feathers?

MV: I pleated silk organza to create the initial base volume and then, built upon this foundation with frayed strips and sewn edges to give the look a visceral appeal. I also made use of the selvage, which was cut to resemble feathers and sewn on as ties for closure.

BPR: Were you sequestered in another apartment after your elimination? Did you and Ari become friends?

MV: ...We bonded over Kombucha.

BPR: After taking another look, your "red carpet" design was very inventive. Was the pleating detail something that you have incorporated into other designs or did you create it just for this?

MV: Thank you...yes, the red carpet design was an original. A lot of work went into planning and orienting seam lines, zipper placement, drape, ensuring pleat memory, etc... With that in mind, the show as a "competition" never really occupied me until I was eliminated. I realized the extent to which Project Runway contenders apply their past designs during each challenge, which is smart and game-savvy...I would have done the same, but that wasn't my intention. I came into the competition with the aim of developing my skills and perspectives. I was just itching for a non-traditional material challenge...

BPR: Besides fashion, what do you love?

MV: Ahhh, too many Wait, I do love science. In fact, when I was a kid, I seized our upstairs bathroom and transformed it into a dilettante laboratory. Flower vases and wine glasses went missing to become impromptu test tubes in which I mixed shampoos, baking soda and anything I could get my hands on to falsify exuberant discoveries and cure-all elixirs.

BPR: Have you been watching the "Models of the Runway" show? What do you think?

MV: Val is my gal!;)

Thank you Malvin, please keep in touch!

All photos courtesy of