Friday, February 28, 2014

Casa La Hermosa - The Most Beautiful Gowns in the House

WINNING STYLE: Casa La Hermosa Exclusive

Robin Ross Fleming shares her tips and trade secrets on hot styles and trends, appropriate silhouettes and what to wear on a big occasion.

La Casa Hermosa is a team of stylists that works with competitive, bridal, prom and special occasion gowns.  The mission is for clients to feel their best whether it be on the pageant stage or the red carpet. This boutique dresses you to win, so look no further for the winning gown to win you the crown.

Hottest Styles:  Eye Candy
Each year brings new fashions and trends but this year’s lineup showcases Tarik Ediz, a unique collection that is reasonably priced.  The touches are crepe with amazing finishes such as a stunning open back with illusions and Swarovski stones.  The finishes are often a focus on embellishments and accents at a very responsible priced.

Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013
Miss America/Miss USA
La Casa Hermosa boasts Nana Merriweather and Mallory Hagan as clients that have won the prestigious crowns in their specialty gowns. The styles vary by each pageant, so it is important to pay attention to what the style of a Miss America gown is opposed to a Miss USA gown. Miss American definitely errs on the side of a more classic style, whereas Miss USA is the sexy girl next door. It’s not necessary to show more skin but you can push the envelope more in this system. No matter what each gown should be flattering to you and accentuate your figure.

Nana Merriweather, Miss USA 2012
Know Your Area and Your Stage
It’s important to remember that no particular gown will win you the pageant. Also keep in mind the region and area that you are competing in, because it matters. Regional differences play a part in the color selection that a judge will look at.

LA has a more couture feel and Florida is all over the board with a heavy Latina cultural flair. Girls competing in Florida can get away with wearing a very sexy gown that is still tasteful. Plain and simple, pick what the judges will love. Dress for the job and remember what is appropriate for each pageant.

On a Budget
Many dresses are priced inexpensively if you are on a tight budget and but still want to look like a million bucks. Crossover gowns can be found that will transition from Miss America to Miss USA. The Royalty collection, a line of affordable pageant gowns that can also double as a prom gown. Clients don’t have to break the bank to find their winning dream gown.

White Doesn't Always Win
According to Robin it’s not about following a formula, it’s about standing out. Wear the color that you wear best. Different skin tones will look better in white than other tones, so white will not always win the pageant. It is important to remember to keep in mind your skin tone and what looks good on you when selecting the color for your gown.

Luis Calvero
A resident expert who does a weekly fashion segment in Miami. Luis answered viewer’s questions which covered the preferences for both plus size and petite women. La Casa Hermosa has a line called Fabulous which is a collection designed with a curvier figure in mind and caters specifically to plus size figures. For petite sizes figure out a gown that is flattering to your figure with a print or shaping that compliments, such as a vertically sequined gown. Subtlety with accents that elongate the shape of the body is key. For example, a trumpet shape is flattering because it accentuates what you want to emphasize.


Viewers can email their questions to La Casa Hermosa at and follow on Twitter. Any viewer that watched and commented $25 gift certificate toward any purchase of a cocktail dress or gown.

Ask the Crown Exclusive Interview with owner, Robin Fleming


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Next Miss USA? Haley O'Brien, Miss Minnesota USA

Ready for the Job

Haley O’Brien can hardly believe she really is Miss Minnesota USA. The night she was crowned was a surreal moment for her and she still wears her crown around the house.

The reigning Miss Minnesota USA is not your typical beauty queen. A self-professed nerd who is out to prove that beauty queens can be both beautiful and smart. Not only is she studying to be a doctor but she also finds opportunities to go after her passion of modeling. Haley has modeled for Sherri Hill and had the privilege to model a gorgeous collection of gowns she wishes she could take home. Her ultimate modeling job would to walk 
in the iconic Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.

It is evident that a stigma is held that pageant girls are not very smart and have a misconception that it is like Toddlers and Tiaras. A down to earth, sensible woman, Haley is out to prove that titleholders can be just as smart as they are beautiful. She is proud that she enjoys pageantry and not afraid to prove that beauty and brains can go together. Growing up people never thought that she would do pageants because she loved Math and Science, so Haley is determined to break the “dumb pageant girl” stereotype.

Not only is Haley is out to break pageant stereotypes but she is ready to break gender stereotypes as well. Haley has her sights on being a reconstructive facial surgeon and doesn't feel that being in a male profession should determine what you want to do. “Do what you love and it doesn't matter what gender you are, it matters what you are passionate about.”

Miss Minnesota Teen USA

A former Miss Minnesota Teen USA, Haley doesn't feel that’s what won her the Miss crown since the
two pageants are not the same in the level of preparation. She practiced and prepared as much as she could for the Miss Minnesota USA title because she knew the stakes would be even higher. This year marks a record breaking win for former's so Haley is excited to join her 2010 teen sister queens at Miss USA.

Strong is the New Skinny

A social media movement, it focuses on being the best version of you and celebrating a strong healthy, body. Haley strongly supports this movement. The vision is to focus on what is healthy and strong and not be influenced by the messages of body image in the media.

Miss USA

Haley has aspirations of going to med school, so if her plans change and she is crowned Miss USA then she is not going to compromise on either one. She would wait to go to med school and fulfill her duties as Miss USA. Haley knows without a doubt why she wants to be Miss USA. She would be the most dedicated USA, doing whatever it takes to fulfill her duties. She knows what it is like to idolize a Miss USA and what the iconic title signifies. She wants to be a role model who looks gorgeous on a stage who can take off her makeup and sit down with the girls that look up to her.

How does she juggle it all? 

Nicknamed by friends “the energizer bunny” Haley loves to be on the go and takes on a packed schedule head on. She offered some advice on how to be successful: organization is key as well as having confidence in yourself that you can accomplish the things that you set your mind to. Another good tip she gave was to label everything and pick stuff that you love-the gown, the swim suit, everything. If you love your gown, it will show!

Follow Haley’s journey to the crown by following her on Twitter at @RealMissMNUSA and on Facebook at Miss Minnesota USA 2014.

Ask the Crown Interview with Stephanie McGrane

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