Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Best in Gown: Miss America Edition!!!
Tilted Crown: Miss Wisconsin wins the Miss America 2012 title over the weekend, Las Vegas, NevadaNow kids, we know that there was a big awards ceremony on Sunday--The Golden Globes--which has kept me busy doing red carpet commentating for NBC Los Angeles as well as doing the first of my TV Guide Network Fashion Wrap for the new year. However...there was another "awards ceremony" over the weekend which occurred: The Miss America Pageant! As you know, I LOVE ME some beauty pageants, and yes, especially the beauty pageant gowns. So, I had to put my "Golden Globes Red Carpet Hat" down and replace it--for a night--to check out the Miss America 2012 Final Telecast Evening Gowns. So, darlings, here are my "Hits" and (some) "Misses", from that beauty pageant evening gown "parade": The winner--as we all know by now (so don't EVEN send me a nasty comment that I am spoiling anything!)--was the lovely brunette, Laura Kaeppeler, who was Miss Wisconsin. When she was named the winner--bless her little heart--her NOT waterproof mascara began to run down and smudge her lower eyelids and yes, she was like, two minutes away from looking like Tammy Faye! But somehow, she (instinctively) realized "Wait, I'm a Beauty pageant Girl!" and soon tried to wipe the not-so-glamorous smudge that was staining her beautiful face. Now, let's get to the gowns: I actually thought that, for the most part, these Miss America 2012 contestants (the Semi-Finalists who got the chance to be in the Evening Gown portion) did a swell job in terms of their gown choices. I admit, I was surprised. Why? Well, for so many, many years "Miss America" evening gowns were, as I like to say, very "1980's Dynasty Nolan Miller" (and I'm talking about all the way into the millennium!): big quarterback shoulder padded top sections, beaded of course; over-corseted torso/bustiers...think Linda Evans and Joan Collins. But...it's 2012, and there seems to have been (little by little) a STYLE INTERVENTION, of sorts, in regards to what gowns these lovely ladies are choosing, purchasing and wearing to the pageant finals. That doesn't mean that, there were still some girls--and gowns--who were stuck in the (semi) "Dynasty" era. Let's take a look: Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler-- Laura--the eventual winner--wore a black crepe back satin gown. It was elegant, red carpet-worthy. It wasn't the best one of the bunch and did have elements of a "Mother of The Bride" at a fancy evening wedding. I also didn't like how it seemed that you could see the bust cups under the black lace. Score: 9.0 Miss Texas, Kendall Morris--I LOVED this gown, probably my favorite of the night. It was a one shouldered, gold beaded number which fit her perfectly and also looked very expensive. The golden color worked sublimely with her skin tone & hair. The length was just right and it was refreshing to see a gown in a beauty pageant with no slit...and somehow it still had impact and sexiness to it. Score: 9.7 Miss Arizona, Jennifer Sedler-- At first glance, I was impressed by Miss Arizona's gown. It was "different" and didn't reflect the "Miss America Pageant Betty" gowns of recent years--no visible breast OVER-cleavage, no too-high slit, no Cathedral-length train, etc. The one-shouldered almost-cap sleeved gown featured very heavy-to-light crystal beading and sequins as well as interesting see-through swirly sections. It looked very "Miss Venezuela"-contestant-esque--and I liked that. However, I think it could have done with one less see-through swirly section. Other than that: Well done. Score: 9.5 Miss Iowa, Jessica Pray--Next up is Jessica Pray, Miss Iowa. She wore a "Crayola" red crepe back satin gown that featured all those now-stereotypical "Pageant Gown Elements"--Sweetheart neckline with too-exposed breast cleavage: Check. High side slit: Check. Beaded top section: Check. But somehow, the overall effect was still OK to me. She didn't make any earth-shattering gown news with this and yes, any girl in 1996's Miss America could have worn this same dress...but at least she kept her hair modern and up-to-date with 2012, by having it not be Big and Pouffy. Score: 8.9 Miss New York, Kaitlin Monte--Kaitlin was probably my favorite to win the tile on Saturday night. She seemed perfect for the "new" Miss America Organization; she had that actress background, great presence, and I could see her like, TOMORROW as an "Entertainment Reporter" for EXTRA or E! Again, like Miss Iowa, this gown was a bit of a "throw-back" to the 1990's (the bicep, sequined arm pieces, the too-high slit). I do think, however, that her poise and presence "made it work". Score: 9.0 Miss California, Noelle Freeman--Nicole chose a simple white jersey gown with long sleeves (wow, rather covered up for a pageant gown!), and a semi-plunging v-neck neckline. It was almost too-basic for me. I get what she might have been going for but (I fear saying this!), it almost needed more. Score: 8.7 Bree Boyce, Miss South Carolina--Another white gown was worn by South Carolina's representative Bree Boyce. This time, the fabrication was satin and it was sleeveless. But of course, same semi-plunging v-neck neckline. I liked this gown a little better than Miss California's because at least it had a little more detail. I also liked that she accessorized it with the long necklace and bracelet (she could have then done without those big ol' earrings!). Score: 8.9 Miss Louisiana, Hope Anderson--There were a couple of gowns that featured this sequined lace applique over mesh--usually done in the torso area of course--giving a peek-a-boo air to the gown. I designed a gown in this "genre" back in 1997 for Ali Landry when she gave up her "Miss USA" crown back then. But let me reiterate: THIS WAS 1997. Just sayin'. Now, let's get to Miss Louisiana's gown: to me, it was just "fine". The top section of her gown looked like a sweet U.S. Figure Skater, but her semi-big hair, big earrings and a little-too-much make up made her look like a 42-year-old wife of a GOP Presidential Candidate. Score: 8.4 Kristina Janolo, Miss Florida: Here's the other mesh-and-applique girl: Miss Florida. I loved her, mainly because she added some "color" to an otherwise very white Miss America Pageant. Yeayyyy for the ONE ethnic girl in the bunch!!! This black satin, illusion, and sequined applique gown was VERY Figure Skating Costume...for that "sassy" Eastern European competitor. And, as you may know, I do love me some figure skating costumes. Score: 9.0 Miss Illinois, Hannah Smith--Hannah is very pretty, almost Rita Hayworth-like, I liked her hair and simple earrings but the gown was rather "Pageant Typical". The nude/golden coloring is very IN right now--especially on the red carpet, so she gets points for that. She just didn't get my "Fashion Designer" heart beating any faster with this. Score: 8.7 Miss Tennessee, Erin Hatley: Oh huney! Aren't you just cute as a Button! Look at that face. Look at that hair. She is straight out of "The Bachelor" Central Casting! And this poly-satin, one shoulder silver-lilac beaded gown: straight from a Tennessee Pageant-and-Prom Boutique. Score: 8.4 Betty Thompson Miss Oklahoma--Tiny Miss Oklahoma almost won the entire thing (not sure why) but instead ended up with the First Runner Up Title. She wore one of my least favorite gowns of the night. This white jersey with blue and silver beaded gown had a very fitted sweetheart neckline, bustier section, fit-to-flare skirt and a draped fall in the front. It was seriously straight out of a 1990's Beauty Pageant Gown Catalog. It might have been "Picture Perfect" then, but in 2012, the entire thing looked a bit dated. Score: 8.2 Miss Alabama, Courtney Potter--As they say in The South: Bless Your Little Heart! During the Final Telecast on Saturday night, Courtney was saved by the eliminated delegates during the Swimsuit Competition, to then be able to compete in the Evening Gown portion. And Thank Goodness she did! Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to see this! I think I almost fell off my couch and spit out the red wine I was drinkin'! What. Is. That. Thing. On. Her. Shoulder??? She looked like some left over Christmas Wrapping attacked her shoulder! I gotta give her some points for just going there but yes, overall, she gets my Fab Tacky-licious Award for "Miss America 2012". Score: 7.5. But a TEN in "You Go Girl!" points. Until The Next Pageant Kids---