Friday, March 28, 2014

Curves Making History at LA Style Fashion Week by Spruce Dickerson

What?!  Opportunity to make full figured fashion history?!  Why YES, I’d love to! 
Finally in the winter of 2014, Designer Dede Allure and her curvy models converged on Los Angeles to make full figured fashion history; being the first plus size designer to showcase at LA Style Fashion Week!  And, well received we were.  International media loved the curvy girls; from Italy, Germany, Nigeria, Greece, Dubai, Tunisia, Mexico, and Asia!  The comments from people who saw our show, and even those who didn’t see the show, have been so encouraging and supportive.  Everyone felt the energy the curvy models were exuding as we were striding down the runway.  Bloggers and various media were interviewing designer Dede Allure on the red carpet, and other models left and right.  And after our show, I and three sister models had the privilege of being interviewed live on LAPrivy, an LA fashion magazine.  It’s like the world was saying “about time”. 

And, time it is.  Slowly, but surely, full figured women in fashion are being recognized as the beautiful, worthy persons they are.  Why can’t a woman be beautiful and sexy if she’s a size 18, 26, 32, and beyond?  I do say we need to love <who> we are < where> we are while working on being healthy, though.  It doesn’t matter what size a woman is, she still needs to be healthy.  But, fashion isn’t exclusive.  Fashion is inclusive and is for everyone.  No one group should have the market on fashion.  And, it’s time the fashion world recognizes the average size of a woman is 14, and that over 60% of our population is full figured.   ALL women are beautiful. 

My mission is to bring awareness of the beauty of full figured women and fashion to the world, as well as, to the fashion scene of my community in Austin, TX.  I made history in 2013 by being the first full figured model to walk the runway at Austin Fashion Week Awards Night. That was pretty exciting.  So, I’m returning this year for a repeat!  In fact, I was just asked by Project Runway All Stars designer, Daniel Esquivel, to be his model for showcasing his full figured designs on the runway this year!  Plus, I’ll be modeling for another wonderful designer, Rick Gonyo, who also appreciates the beauty of curvy women. 

Spruce Dickerson, I have arrived and I am here to stay
All this to say, the beauty of a woman is in the confidence of her walk, the kindness of her ways, the sweetness of her words, and the light in her heart; not in her size.  The world recognizes when a woman loves herself; and in that moment, they aren’t looking at her size, but how she makes them feel and how she gives them hope.

LA Style Fashion Week experienced a great moment in history when confident, curvaceous women captivated a standing-room only audience with their exuberance of loving who they are.  We laid it down on that LA runway, imprinted in history, and the world loved it! 


Spruce Dickerson
Model, Speaker, Pageant Coach, Philanthropist

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gretchen Carlson - Miss America 1989 and Emmy Award Winner

In Your Corner:
Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson

Miss America 1989 and Emmy award-winner Gretchen Carlson joined Ask the Crown's, Stephanie McGrane, for a get-to- know-you and share some memorable experiences of her career.

Winning the title of Miss America changed her life in more ways than just one. Gretchen went on to become one of the most famous TV personalities.  She has hosted on The Early Show, Fox and Friends, and now has her own show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.  Being crowned one of America’s most iconic women certainly opened doors for Gretchen, and put her on a slightly different career path apart from her law school endeavors. After public speaking, ample radio and TV interviews and being in the public eye during her Year of Service, Gretchen decided broadcast journalism was something she wanted to give a try. Although she got into TV in a "backwards way, “twenty years later she is still at it.

Gretchen has kept involved with the organization that launched her success. She serves on the board of directors for the Miss America Organization, the # 1 scholarship program in the world for women and is heavily involved with the program.

When asked about her 10 year-old daughter pursing pageants, Gretchen said that it would be a decision for her to make on her own. She has in fact not told her children she was Miss America because she wants to send her the right message as how to grow as a young lady and woman. “It is much more than about looking at a crown in a box,” said Gretchen.  Her daughter has a talent for piano playing so Miss America just might be something to consider in her future.

Who is the most favorite person Gretchen has had the chance to interview? The answer might make you bring on the waterworks. Out of all the people she has interviewed including celebrities and family, the most memorable guest that stood out in her mind was the mother of a slain 8 year-old girl in the tragic Tucson, Arizona shooting. Gretchen told the mother's story within 24 hours of the tragedy and it was a very poignant and emotional interview for her.

The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson
Gretchen has the privilege to host The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, which broadcasts live Monday through Fridays at 2 PM Eastern Time. The talk show consists of topical discussions, news of the day, and is comprised of an expert panel conducting debates and commentary.

If Gretchen could interview any person, who would that be?
Having the opportunity to interview him when he was a presidential candidate, Gretchen would love to interview President Obama on the Real Story.

One thing people would be surprised to learn about Gretchen?
Her favorite food is sushi, she can jump rope for 30 minutes, and most notably, Gretchen hasn't played her violin in public for 14 years, which is an item on a perennial list of things to do. Gretchen said that it is one of her goals of 2014 to dust off the bow and violin and perform again.

Plans for the Future
Gretchen is currently writing a book and will star in her first movie role in the film "Persecuted" which debuts May 9th.

"You can be anything you want to be"
An inspiring and practical message, Gretchen believes that having someone in your corner, such as a parent, helps you to believe in your achievements and dreams. Having someone to believe in you is essential from a parental standpoint as it instills seeds of success at a young age. Unless you have had failure, you are not propelled to achieve.  Just because something holds you back in your past does not mean it will determine your future.
One of the shortest Miss Americas, Gretchen beat the odds and took the coveted crown despite some of the people closest to her telling her wouldn't be able to win due to her stature.
 Words to live by and be inspired: Continue to challenge yourself no matter how old you are. And bottom line; to never give up on your dreams.

Exclusive interview with Gretchen Carlson


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Johnathan Kayne - A Success In the Making

A Success In the Making
Not only is JOHNATHAN KAYNE a fashion force on the show Project Runway, but he is a designer to the stars, pageant girls alike, and the Nashville country music scene. Since moving his business back to hometown of Nashville, the true southern gentleman, Johnathan Kayne has kept busy debuting a new collection, a pageant partnership and dressing Country stars for the CMAs.
He is currently collaborating with Project Runway Season 9 and Project Runway All Stars Joshua McKinley and embarking on a journey to China for a factory visit for his new collection. Project Runway catapulted his career to new heights by having exposure on the fashion-forward show. With a huge pageant following, Johnathan Kayne also has garnered Red Carpet and country music star clients.  
Johnathan has teamed up with a new pageant system and is giving away a great prize package to titleholders of the Miss Unite in which he will partner as a sponsor.  The pageant focuses on uniting as well as anti-bullying. The lower entry fee with shoes and the opening number dress included.  A great message to live by, this pageant is growing rapidly and has an open casting call so check it out!
Hot on the Stage
What’s hot in pageantry this season? Johnathan mentioned silk and velvet fabrics, capped sleeves, low backs, fitted to the knee mermaid styles that have a more romantic inspiration along with lace and jeweled necklines. Although Red Carpet and Pageant Gowns are not always synonymous, some designs have crossover elements and are more prevalent. 33% is “Red Carpet,” glam, 33% is pageant, and 33% is a crossover gown, with the typical accent of AB crystals, a mesh between Red Carpet and pageant styles.
Red Carpet looks take fashion risks but are still gorgeous gowns. According to Johnathan Kayne, pageantry is leaning toward a Red Carpet feel and even the “Great Gatsby” has been a huge inspiration. In his 7th year since debuting his shoe line, Johnathan Kayne is launching a fall collection in addition to his spring line. His brand is expanding and he is launching a little-girl’s version of the “Austria “shoe for ages 4-11. Color will also be added into the collection for every day wear as opposed to just formals.
Where does Johnathan Kayne get his inspiration from and when did he decide to be a designer?
Johnathan Kayne gets inspiration from all over the world and what appeals to his customers as well as fabrics and how they lay. Inspiration can come from anywhere, even the construction and structure of a garment which makes the quality and innovation show through. The women Johnathan Kayne dress are his biggest inspiration.
Who is Johnathan Kayne’s favorite Celebrity to Dress and Why?
The most favorite celebrity Johnathan Kayne has dressed to date is Jennifer Lopez.  She is a stunning and sweet woman in person. Johnathan Kayne had the opportunity to team up with JLO to offer a styling session and gown complete with a Dream Quinceanera.

What Do You Think When You See Your Gowns On Other Women?
Every time Johnathan Kayne sees a woman in one of his gowns he has a “pinch me” moment and is honored and flattered that his creation was beautiful enough to select and wear.
The Johnathan Kayne collection is currently offered in sizes 0-16, however sizes can be customized and adapted to fit bigger or smaller sizes. You can also purchase a custom made gown from Johnathan Kayne by going to one of his retailers or trunk shows.  Connect personally with Johnathan Kayne to create a wonderful design and find the perfect fit.
Director of the Miss United States Chris Wilmer joined the show and made a guest appearance by phone revealing that PageantLive’s own host Stephanie McGrane will emcee and owner of the Pageant Planet Steven Roddy will be her co-host at the Miss United States Pageant!

Johnathan Kayne Special Promotion: “Feeling Beautiful in Johnathan Kayne”
Viewers that watch the show can enter the promotion “Feeling Beautiful in Johnathan Kayne.” Submit a photo or story about your moment feeling beautiful in Johnathan Kayne. Tweet it or Facebook it, and don’t forget to hashtag PageantLive! Winners will be able to select any style they want from Johnathan Kayne’s collection!
Follow Johnathan Kayne’s journey and connect with him via Twitter or visit his website at

Exclusive Interview with Johnathan Kayne

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