Monday, August 20, 2012

Vegas Goes Country, Again

Country Superstar couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met the press in Las Vegas August 7th, announcing the details of their long-rumored Las Vegas residency. Great news for the 1,815 people a night who'll be populating the Venetian come December and the four months that follow. The couple insists this is not a "residency"—preferring to go with "limited engagement" instead.

"We're in the process of building the show now," said McGraw, "but we can say that the production's going to be cutting edge. We want to do really cool stuff, things that certainly we haven't done before and probably some things that haven't been done before (by anyone), in a lot of ways. We're gonna do some things you can only do in a beautiful setting like this."

As exciting as the news is of our Nashville Royal Couple making a stop in Las Vegas, let us get to judging what they wore.

Faith was wearing a short black cocktail dress and looked stunning. She was all sparkly and her make-up was flawless. The big hair is kinda her thing these days and I must say this is the best it has looked of late. The dress could have handled being a tad longer, but with legs like that, I say go for it. Tim looked fantastic. His shirt could have had one more button closed and his pants are definitely too long. A nice little tailoring would have made a huge difference. All-in-all, Tim and Faith made a huge announcement and looked great doing it! Way to go guys!

Photo credits: Steven Lawton/FilmMagic,

Another day at the office. PR Ep5

Drama was full-on for this week's episode. There was not more than a minute without. This week the crazy lady from the Ukraine packed the hour with bitching. Elana is clearly the most hated member of this cast. We still got some bitchiness from Raul and Gunnar, but they were overshadowed this time around. This was another team challenge and they were to design a collection of clothing for a working woman. The winning team would get an editorial spread in Marie Claire @work. We had team 5 which included Gunnar, Fabio, Ven, Christopher and Nathan (who I barely ever remember). Team 6 had Elana, Melissa, Raul, Sonjia, Dmitry, and Alicia.

Alicia Hardesty and her team decided not to just give each designer one look to do. They went with the idea of doing what they do best. This meant that Alicia was given pants as her task. She did not disappoint. They were fantastic and fit well. We got two diverse looks by her doing one wide leg and one skinny pant. She seemed to work well in the group, even if that meant staying pretty quiet. It makes it hard to judge her looks though, as she just did the pants. But props to her.
Gunnar Deatherage's team went with the concept of designing a whole look per designer. Gunnar was not happy with his team or their choices of fabrics. He let this distract him for several hours and then produced a sub-par look. The dress was boring and unflattering. I do think the judges made too big a deal about the suffle-ish boob area. He was subdued again for most of this episode with just moments of the bitchiness. Or maybe he was just so overshadowed by the cray cray of Elana, I gave him a pass. Yet, I must admit he is finding himself really close to leaving the show if he does not turn it out next week.

And the winner is.... Melissa Fleis. I have talked to several people and they all agree with me, this was not work wear. It was a fantastic dress, but NO ONE would wear it to the office outside of a fashion magazine. It photographed fantastically and moved well on the runway. It was, without a doubt, the show stopper amidst some very boring looks. But if the challenge is something to wear to work, then she should not have won this round. I mean, they mentioned that Dmitry's look could not be worn to an office because the back had tiny cut outs. Come on now judges! But Congrats to Melissa, I really do like her a lot.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Woman on the Go! PR Ep 4

The show started off with "Oh no, Andrea is gone." The drama unfolded, well kinda. Needless to say Andrea has left the show. The big shocker was that Kooan also left the show and was not talked into staying. So being down two designers left the producers nothing to do but bring back a previous offed designer. Raul came roaring back in, talking himself up big time. He was sent home for a reason and he should not have been brought back IMO.

This week the challenge was to design one outfit that could take a woman on the go into day and night in their design aesthetic. Who better to get that started than Michael Kors himself?! He designs for the woman on the go and has been very successful at it for years. With the motto of jet-set, sophisticated and chic, he gave them a lil rundown while they got to admire his flagship lifestyle store in NYC.

Alicia Hardesty was able to get back to her aesthetic this week. I must say I kinda dig it. Her woman is not the most elegant and not everyone would wear this, yet it works for me. My only exception is the crotch of her shorts is ill-fitted. With a tad more altering she could have really done something great here. With the right styling her design could easily be worn into night. She was not the winner, clearly, but she made great strides in my eyes.

This week I felt like Gunnar Deatherage was almost there. The design of his skirt was good. With the right fabrics I think he would have had a really good skirt. This is when editing needs to come in. Because the top with that skirt does not work. Either of these pieces paired with something else might have worked. I definitely think that this is a day/night look and that it shows his aesthetic. He was clearly safe, but I do not think this look shows his potential. I also liked seeing that this week his bitchiness was not so prominent, that they let Christopher take the reigns a bit.

And the winner is.... Sonjia Williams. I knew it was only a matter of time before she got a win. I have liked most of her work up to this point. I think I would have picked Dimitry as the winner, but hers was definitely great! I would have left off the cascading sash at the hip. It makes it all a bit busy and it is to dressy for most people to pull off during the day. I love the color and the way it fits though. It was a well crafted piece and I can see how it got the win.

Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dressing the "stars"; PR Ep 3

Episode 3 was almost painful to watch from start to finish. They dressed designers from previous seasons for the Emmy's red carpet—most of which I really had no desire to see again. They plopped the new Lexus in the middle of a street and told the designers to match their designs to the cars. Just plain silly. Then, to add to the drama, this was the pairs challenge. And drama there was! So I am just going to hop right into our southern folks and the winner of the challenge.

Alicia Hardesty was paired with Raul Osorio for this challenge. Alicia and Raul went on and on about their background in menswear and how they were not gown designers. They were to dress Mila Hermanovski from season 7. Mila likes a tough look and is often wearing blazers and pants (which she was when they met her for the challenge). Yet these two decided to go for a full on gown. What we got was a hot mess. They picked a red and black print to begin with, and after Mila said no, they went black. They obviously ended up in the bottom and ultimately Raul was sent packing. Alicia will find herself ousted very soon. She is still not performing at levels to stay much longer. She seems so sweet and, I am sure, talented, but she is not playing to her strengths.
Then Gunnar Deatherage was teamed up with Kooan Kosuke. From the minute they were paired, I just knew they would implode. They did not, however, because Kooan just moved over and let Gunnar take over. They were in charge of designing for Irina Shabayeva, the winning designer from season 6. She was by far the most difficult "star" of this challenge. She was miserable from the beginning. Gunnar did not let this stop him from doing what he wanted to do. The result landed them in the top two. Granted, they should not have been in the top two, but I will get to that in the winners section. The  fabric choice was very odd for a gown, but the judges seemed to praise it. From a distance it looks great, up close some serious issues in the gown.
Once again this week, Ven Budhu won the challenge. Fabio Costa was his partner on the challenge and they had to dress Kenley Collins from season 5 and All-Stars. The dress was so very Ven, it was quite obvious that he designed it and Fabio was his worker bee. The dress is cute and well made. The color and fabric are a bit boring and it would not be a great red carpet gown, but their client was in love with it. It was a dress Kenley would for sure wear. It would not have been the winner if I were judging, but alas it was. I do believe it would have been in my top 2 though. I would have had to pick Dmitry Sholokhov and Melissa Fleis as my winner. They designed for April Johnston from season 8 and All-Stars. It was a silver gown that actually flattered April who is not normally a shiny girly girl. (I am not picturing it because I am covering only the winners and southern contestants.) So congrats to Ven again!
This episode was full of drama, which the producers love. Yet, it was low on design. I was not drooling over any of the looks. I am looking forward to the next episode to find out how the Andrea drama unfolds. Until next time....

 Photos: Barbara Nitke for

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sweet as Candy: PR Ep. 2

As Heidi and Tim pointed out several times on this episode, it was their favorite challenge. For ten seasons the unconventional challenge has proved interesting. This year they went with a candy challenge. Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan, invited the designers to her upscale candy boutique. They had 500 dollars to spend.

Let's get started with Alicia Hardesty. I was really hoping for her to shine this week. She let me down with this one. She was safe and should have been. Yet, her look was pretty much forgettable. I have little in the way of a critique, other than to say: I hope she can do more than this and soon.

Gunnar Deatherage made a pretty good look. I am not so sure I would have him in the top three, but it was not a bad look. I personally hate peplums on just about any look, so I instantly was not a fan of this look. It was also not a new or Earth-shattering design concept, but it was an overall good look. I think his "candy" styling really put him in the top three (in my opinion). So kudos to Gunnar on his top three and for not being quite as bitchy this episode.
And the winner is...Ven Budhu! I have no real problem with this win, other than it was just not my favorite. Ven did make the most wearable piece and I was impressed. It was hard to tell that it was even candy from a distance. The pastels are slightly boring and he once again used a rose motif. The design of the dress is up to par with current trends and he did a wonderful job on the construction. So props to him.

Photos: Barbara Nitke for