Friday, January 31, 2014

UNDER THE GUNN.....Nick's Take: Episode 3 "Red Carpet Showdown", My Inside DISH!

Comin' Around The Corner: Starline Hollywood Double-Decker Tour Bus pulling up in Downtown L.A. getting ready for the "Under The Gunn" Hollywood tour--"Under The Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

This week on Lifetime's "Under the Gunn"....the contestants face their FIRST
Challenge after we, the Mentors, picked our four designers, in other
words now the competition REALLY can begin. Being that we were in Los
Angeles, it was only inevitable that the first challenge was to create a look for the Red Carpet.

 Waiting for the Tour Bus: (left to right) Mentors Mondo Guerra, Nick Verreos, Anya Ayoung-Chee--"Under The Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

I was really excited about this challenge, as a mentor. And after coming off the "designer picking process" and feeling a bit rejected, I was excited because I thought "this was right up my alley". In retrospect, my "Hands On" approach was probably me over-compensating and trying to prove to my designers (and myself) that I was a worthy mentor. And, I also should have known, that the minute I said that "I have this 'in the bag'" on camera is the minute I was going to be in trouble!

On The Bus: "Under the Gunn" designers and mentors (and Tim Gunn!) headed for the Hollywood Tour--designer Shan Keith Oliver (second row, left) is NOT trying to hear it by the way--LOL!)

Let's get to my inside dish "Nick's Take" on the Episode...

As I said before, this was THE FIRST "actual"
challenge-- not only for the designers but for us the Mentors. This
was going to be a test of sorts on how I should mentor for the first
time. Since I had no other guide on what I should do--mentoring-wise--I
went to my "Instructor Nick" mode when I taught at FIDM in my draping,
sewing, sketching and pattern classes. This began right away during the
bus ride when the designers were given their "sketching time".

 Tim Is Worried: Tim Gunn and Nick Verreos--Workroom Visits "Under the Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

HANDS OFF, NICK!: Instead of letting them just sketch alone on
their own, I sat by them and began giving them suggestions and in fact
sketching for them. Now, some of the designers did ask me for
suggestions, since they knew I had knowledge in this "department" of red
carpet dressing. In hindsight, now I realize I should have just let
them figure it out on their own and I shouldn't have been so hand's on.
Then, after the sketching and designers went fabric shopping, I
made my visit to the workroom--along with Tim--and my "hand's on/Instructor Nick"
approach unfortunately continued. This was primarily focused on two of
my designers--Natalia and Stephanie. They were the only ones asking me
questions, asking for my help, etc., and I LOVED giving them my help
(Oscar and Isabelle were on  their own and self-sufficient, for the most part).

Nick On The Floor: Nick Verreos helping Natalia with her gown pattern--"Under The Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

It all came to a crescendo when...Natalia had run out into the workroom hallway/lounge area asking me for help with her gown pattern and I found myself ON THE FLOOR truing her pattern/fixing a seam line. Tim, then ran to us and began (correctly so) yelling at me wondering WHAT THE HECK I was doing??!! It was not until then that a BIG ROCK hit me: What the heck was I doing??!! I completely lost myself in going back to being "Instructor Nick" and forgotten that these designers were NOT my students and realized that none of the other mentors were sketching and/or making patterns/draping for their designers and more importantly Tim would NEVER do any of those things either (Stupid me!). It was too late for me to realize that this manner of "mentoring" was not the right way and if it wasn't for Tim, I might have just kept on doing it (Thank You Tim). Again, I really thought I was helping my designers, but I wasn't.

Watch Tim tell me "HANDS OFF!" HERE...

The Runway:

Tim Gunn and Judges (left to right) stylist Jen Rade, Marie Claire Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi and designer Rachel Roy--"Under the Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

Designers and Mentor: Mentor Nick Verreos with designers (clockwise from top) Isabelle Donola Oscar Gracia-Lopez,  Stephanie
Ohnmacht and Natalia Fedner--"Under The Gunn" Episode 3 Lifetime TV

Here are the looks from my Designers...

Isabelle Donola: Isabelle created a very fitted dress from a golden hued silk shantung. The dress featured a draped cowl front and mesh-like back.

Inside Dish--Isabelle had originally made the dress to be LONG but it ended up being TOO SHORT, she then added a piece at the bottom hem (to make it floor length). When I saw what she had done, I told her that the judges might see that and notice it as a mistake. I suggested that she should do away with that piece and just make the dress "tea-length"--below-the-knee cocktail. And she did, and I think the look was quite chic.

Natalia Fedner: Natalia's gown was of silk charmeuse--a fabric Natalia said she loved using in her own line and that it's one of her "signatures". The gown was one shoulder with gold straps.

Inside Dish: This is the dress that I was ON THE FLOOR trying to help Natalia with. Originally, however, this gown was going to have those gold straps and a gold piece in the front but both Tim and I suggested that under the time constraints, this might be too much work for her. She therefore kept it simple and made it a clean one shoulder plain front with asymmetrical side pleating.

Oscar Garcia-Lopez: I loved Oscar's hunter green gown. This was perfectly made and VERY red carpet. I thought that he would be on top.

Inside Dish: Oscar was done waaaaay before any of the other designers. In fact he had so much time, he began cleaning and sweeping the workroom as a result (bless his heart!). Also, this gown was going to have a keyhole front opening AND he wanted to add a BIG BOW at the back--right on her bootie, as well as give her a TURBAN and long gloves. Not kidding. I suggested that it might be "too mucheey" and to keep it simple. He did and it looked gorgeous.

Stephanie Ohnmacht: Stephanie created a strapless dress with this green taffeta.

Inside Dish: Two things happened to Stephanie that weren't good: her fabric choice and the fact that I tried to help. The concept of the design and dress was sweet--she was going for a dress for the young "Hollywood" girl but it ended up looking prom-a-licious. She wanted to do some interesting diagonal draping and make the dress not have side seams yet still achieve a fuller shape. And even with my "Too Hands-On" help (which didn't really help) the dress looked tortured. Seeing the dress on the runway really also brought it home to me to try and stay HANDS OFF. I was sure that my Stephanie would be going home. But she didn't! (thank goodness).

Out: Who did go home was Camilla Castillo. I actually LIKED this dress; it was simple, modern and a little bit "Raf Simons for Dior". I even liked the origami-like folding in the back. The dress, however, was a little too see-through in the front and the fabric was wrinkled. Camilla also made lots of excuses on the runway/judging which I think the judges did not like. She went home.

The Best: (left to right) Designers Blake Smith (Anya's designer) and Sam Donovan (Mondo's) were the two best looks and rightly so. I loved these two designs and for being such polar opposites of what could be deemed as a "red carpet" look. One was a beautifully constructed va-va-voom of a gown (Blake's) and Sam's was a young, directional-looking jumpsuit for an up-and-coming Hollywood ingenue "It" girl. Sam won and Congrats to him!

Click HERE to watch Tim's take on the Episode and talk about my TOO HANDS ON approach (Oyyy Vey!)