Saturday, February 8, 2014

UNDER THE GUNN.....Nick's Take: Episode 4 "Unconventional Vampire", My Inside Dish!

 "Under The Gunn" Photo Bomb: Host and "Big Daddy" Mentor Tim Gunn, stylist Jen Rade, Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi and "Vampire Academy" actress Zoey Deutch

Hello again "Under The Gunn" fans and faithful readers of my "Inside Dish" here on my blog---This week was the 4th episode of Lifetime Network's "Under the Gunn" entitled "Unconventional Vampire". The challenge was to create a look inspired by the new film "Vampire Academy" and use a mix of both "regular" fabric as well as unconventional.

I loved the whole spooky imagery created by the lights and scenic production team of "Under The Gunn". The entire "set" was AMAZING! It was all done at Grand Hope Park right outside of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM campus, yet these professionals "turned it out"; making everything look like a scary movie, of sorts. There was SO much dry ice "fog" air that, several times, we could barely see Tim introducing the challenge--or "Vampire Academy" actress Sarah Highland--and therefore filming had to be stopped, and re-shot.

So let's get to my "Inside Dish" and yes, Miss Isabelle...

The Tim Nudge: When Tim Gunn and I went into the workroom to visit my designers--and specifically Isabelle, she was ALL OVER THE PLACE. When she was trying to explain to both of us what she was doing, it was evident that she needed to focus. When Tim Gunn nudged me as she was talking, it was as if he was saying to me "That Isabelle is CRAY CRAY...and Good Luck!".

Inside Beauty Dish: Something you guys didn't see on the episode was the fact that during the hair-and-makeup time, and after Benefit Cosmetics and Blow Pro finished their job of making her model look fab, Isabelle was NOT HAPPY (she looked perfectly fine, BTW!). She decided to take her model, sit her in a Benefit "Pretty Room" chair and re-do her model's hair.

Benefit "Pretty Room"--Under The Gunn

She was OBSESSED with this and shaking at the thought of her model going out during the runway with what the actual professionals had done. I tried to tell her that the Blow Pro stylists had done a great job on her model's hair but she was totally against it so she went "Hair Rogue". In the end, her model's hair was OK and not an issue but I, personally, thought it was rather disrespectful to do this.

The Judges: "Under The Gunn" host Tim Gunn with stylist Jen Rade, fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, actress Zoey Deutch and fashion designer Trina Turk--Lifetime's "Under The Gunn" Episode 5

 Runway--"Nick's Group" of Designers....

Natalia Fedner: Natalia's wine-red silk dress was a good one. Behind the scenes, she struggled a bit with this but in the end, she pulled it out.

Inside Dish: The black netting midriff was the issue, but like I said., it all worked out.

Stephanie Ohnmacht: I LOVED Stephanie's ivory fitted "Vampira Chic" dress. I have to say that it was one of my faves and not just because she was one of my designers. Her design was sleek and reminded me of a Stephane Rolland or Rolland Mouret dress. This look, however, was not problem-free.

Inside Dish: Stephanie used this black netting "unconventional" material which she incorporated in the neckline. The netting was very harsh and itchy and eventually made her model cry as it rubbed up against her skin. Her whole neck was red from the irritation. I reached out to the production people to get some medical tape that possibly could be put against her skin to lessen her pain. To make a long story short, we got it done. But her model gets TEN RUNWAY POINTS for not CRYING through the whole runway experience.

Oscar Lopez: This was my favorite look of the night and I was surprised it did not win. Oscar hit the whole "Vampire Academy Chic" look on the nose!

Inside Dish: Oscar used red "unconventional" material and black jersey. He completely doubled this jumpsuit in the jersey fabrication. Completely. During the fitting with his model, however, we hit a problem: it was too short in the torso. He miscalculated the model's torso length. I came in and suggested to Oscar that he add a 2-2 1/2" waistband in the black jersey and sew it to the waist to "extend" the torso. Not only did Oscar do that but he also (wisely) added it to the red front panel. No one would ever notice the "mistake". I was in awe of his quick sewing "fixing" ability.

 Me Gusta Oscar--Designer Oscar Lopez and Mentor Nick Verreos "Under The Gunn" Episode 5

Isabelle Donola: Oh Miss Isabelle. Let me just say that when Tim and I went into the workroom, I quickly got the sense that she A) did not want to be mentored (at least by me); and B) she wasn't going to listen to my suggestions. I liked her idea but asked her to edit and think about having her look be less kooky and more fashion-friendly. I also asked Isabelle to do an "Option 2" in terms of a wrap-around red accent. Only because I thought her first idea would be considered too "avant garde" and would not be flattering for her wearer.

Oh Dear Isabelle: The following day, I found out that she had not done as I suggested and half-made the inner-dress. I almost choked when judge Zanna Roberts Rassi said that the aforementioned inner dress was so well-done (if Zanna only knew that it was half sewn!). But in "Project Runway"-style, Isabelle made it work. But trust me kids, this experience with Isabelle made me think twice about choosing her as one of my group's designers. It was beginning to be obvious that she did not like me, respect me or wanted  my advice.

With The Judges: (left to right) "Under The Gunn" host Tim Gunn, actress Zoey Deutch, Nick Verreos and Trina Turk--Lifetime Network's "Under The Gunn" Episode 5

Style Hint: Above is a close-up of my "Under The Gunn" Epsiode 5 "Unconventional Vampire" outfit--a shiny jacket from ASOS, Emilio Pucci pocket scarf and Topman feathered bow tie...

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I discussed my "Nick's Looks" style of this episode...

**In case you missed it, watch the full Episode 5 "Unconventional Vampire" episode HERE!