NICK APPEARANCES.....Attending The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party at the Beverly Hilton: Photo Recap + Red Carpet Video!

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 Tony Awards Celebration: Attending The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Nick Verreos--On the red carpet at The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

This past Sunday, I had the honor of attending The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills along with my partner David Paul. Every year--for the last 20 years--The Actors Fund puts together a FABULOUS Black Tie Tony Awards Viewing Party. It has become the official West Coast viewing party for the Tony's. I have attended the event for many years and of course, this year I couldn't miss it!

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps all professionals in the performing arts and entertainment, providing services for those who are in need, crisis or transition. My very good friend of over 30 years (Yikes!) Louie Anchondo is The Actors Fund's Director of Special Events and I love supporting him as well as the organization.

This year's party was wonderful--celebrating this year's Tony Awards as well as honoring three very special people including John Holly, actress Jomarie Ward and...

Florence Henderson: Ms. Henderson received the Julie Harris Award for Artistic Achievement at Sunday night's party--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Opening the Party with a very special performance by the one & only Sheryl Lee Ralph of "Dreamgirls" fame and "Moesha"...

Diva-licious: Nick Verreos with Sheryl Lee Ralph at The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party

Here are more photos from the night:

Ballroom Party: the scene at The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Dinner and Dessert: Chicken with vegetables and ice cream with berries--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Auction Posters:

During the party, there was a Silent Auction with many very popular items including this "Hamilton" signed poster as well as many others. My partner David and I bid on one of the posters above and we WON!! (not telling which one)--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

(L to R) Nick Verreos, Louie Anchondo and David Paul--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Almost Birthday Boy: My friend Louie's birthday is next week but The Actors Fund's staff decided to give him a DELICIOUS chocolate cake as an early birthday dessert gift

Nick Verreos and David Paul on the Red Carpet--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

David Paul and Nick Verreos--The Actors Fund 20th Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party, The Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills

Click below to watch an interview I did with Mingle Media TV on the Red Carpet at The Actors Fund 2016 Tony Awards Viewing Party:

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2016 Final Competition: Winner Deshauna Barber "Miss District of Columbia USA" and The EVENING GOWNS Recap!

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Queen Deshauna: Deshauna Barber Miss District of Columbia USA wins Miss USA 2016, Las Vegas Nevada

Sunday night were the Finals of the 65th Annual Miss USA beauty pageant. Fifty-two contestants representing the 50 US states, District of Columbia plus a "Miss 52 USA" competed for the coveted title. In the end, it was 26-year-old Deshauna Barber "Miss District of Columbia USA" who got the crown, sash and all the fabulous prizes. This was the first time in 14 years (and only the third time in history) that Miss District of Columbia has received the Miss USA title. She will now go on to compete in the Miss Universe 2016 contest scheduled for later this year.

Crowning Moment: Deshauna Barber "Miss District of Columbia USA" gets crowned Miss USA 2016 by last year's Miss USA Olivia Jordan and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

5' 10" tall Deshauna Barber was born in Georgia and a military brat, she has lived in North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia, as well as D.C.. She is an Army Reserve officer and IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce and holds a master's in management information systems and services from University of Maryland University College.

Deshauna Gorgeous: Introduction and Swimsuit--Miss USA 2016 Finals, Las Vegas Nevada

Deshauna was a standout during the Finals as well as the Preliminaries which were held earlier in the week. After seeing her during the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition, she was definitely one of my top favorites--and this was only based on swimsuit and evening gown. During the finals on Sunday night, she basically clinched the crown during the interview portion of the contest when judge Joe Zee asked a question about women in the military and their roles in combat. Barber answered intelligently, with aplomb and very eloquently. It was definitely a "Go On Girl!" moment.

You Got This Girl: The final Top Two moment with Deshauna Barber "Miss District of Columbia USA" (left) and Chelsea Hardin "Miss Hawaii USA" (right). Miss Hawaii USA was a favorite to get the crown and you could tell from watching the Finals. She was a definite stand-out; gorgeous, perfect body and answered her controversial "Will you vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump" interview question well. In the end, Chelsea came in second.

OK, now it's time to discuss the Top Ten Miss USA 2016 Finals Evening Gowns, beginning with the eventual winner, "Miss District of Columbia USA":

Miss District of Columbia USA/Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber: Deshauna wore a gold and silver shimmery gown that really made an impact onstage. The gown featured long sleeves, a lace sequined applique torso and "Liza With a Z"-like bugle bead sequined fringed bottom section. This was a gown change from what she wore during the Preliminaries...

Golden Girl: Gown designed by Juan Carlos Pinera worn by Deshauna Barber at the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition. I liked both choices and can understand her dress change; the second fringed one was more "Stage Impacting". In addition, there were SOOOO many of those overskirt/overlay gowns during the Preliminaries that she probably decided that she didn't want to be part of the Gown Trend crowd. I am sure she probably could have still won the title wearing the golden gown above.

From Best to "Uh Oh", here is my Gown Recap of Miss USA 2016 Finals:

Miss South Dakota USA Madison McKeown: Out of the 10
Semi-Semi Finalists during the Miss USA 2016 Finals--in terms of evening
gowns--Miss South Dakota USA SHUT IT DOWN. When she appeared onstage, I
immediately knew that we had gone into non-Sherri Hill Couture Territory!
Madison wore an ivory silk crepe gown that had an attached dramatic cape. She
OWNED the stage and runway. The gown featured a hand-painted dip-dye of blue
and silver. The gown was created by Lebanon-based Couturier Tony Ward and it
was from his Tony Ward Couture Fall/Winter 2015/2016
collection. It is worth $50,000. I still want to know if she bought it or if
the Tony Ward P.R. people allowed her to borrow it...for free.

Miss Hawaii USA Chelsea Hardin: Chelsea was a definite stand-out at the Miss USA 2016 Finals. I honestly thought she was going to be the winner. Until Miss District of Columbia answered her interview question. It sure felt as though the audience was all "Team Hawaii" for sure. I liked her gown. It wasn't my all-time favorite but on Chelsea, it looked amazing. It was very Zuhair Murad Couture-like. If there was any critique, it would be those nude platform heels. Those were #tacky. Especially with such a gown. Silver strappy heels would have been more "Red Carpet/Fashion Week" perfect. Chelsea is already very tall, I just didn't understand the need to wear those. Other than that, her gown looked like a Winter's Storm Couture Icicle!

Miss Georgia USA Emanii
One of my favorite gowns
of the Miss USA 2016 preliminaries was this ivory design worn by Miss Georgia
USA. And I am glad she didn't change her gown for the Finals. Emanii wore this
crepe column gown that had a sequined shoulder detail and chiffon cape. I
thought she looked regal and goddess-like. If there was any criticism, the bust
had awkward fit issues and the plunging-ness was a couple of seconds from
hoochie-licious. The gown was from Sherri Hill Fall/Winter 2016 NY Fashion Week. But, overall, I
liked the design and cape /shoulder detail. Oh, and yes, Emanii was one of the
MOST BEAUTIFUL contestants of the night!

Miss Virginia USA Desi Williams: Desi looked amazing in her choice of a red halter silk jersey gown. The dress featured a fitted waist midriff and silver sequined trim. This gown fit Desi PERFECTLY! And she looked BEAUTIFUL. I am normally not a fan of the halter neck dress (it's very 1990s Pageant) but Desi worked this OVERTIME!  #Perfection

Miss Alabama USA Peyton
Peyton wore this white
with gold sequin trim "Grecian Goddess"-inspired gown. I thought it
was an impressive showing and great gown design. The fit was perfect and I
think she nailed the "Fashion" and "Pageant" components. This
was one of the best ones of the Top Ten.

Miss California USA Nadia Mejia: Nadia was a favorite coming into the Finals, especially with her Celeb father 90's rapper/singer Gerardo (famous for "Rico Suave") as part of her bio/lineage. During the interview portion, poor Miss California USA froze and didn't do so well. But in terms of her evening gown, she did OK by me. I loved the bright orange color and gathered Grecian Goddess style. But, what I really loved was the fact that she didn't style the look with some tacky platform "Stripper" heels...

 Instead, she wore the prefect gold strappy kind. Gracias Nadia!

Miss Arkansas USA Abby Floyd: Abby wore this ivory and silver lace gown with a very plunging neckline and long sleeves. This was a Gown Change from what she wore during the Preliminary Competition...

Both were nice styles. Which one do you guys like better? Personally, I would chose the one on the right, from the Preliminaries.

Miss Missouri USA Sydnee Stotlemyre: Sydnee wore a one shoulder white gown with insets of nude with silver crystals. It was very Versace circa late 1990's. I liked it except for the placement of that thigh nude/crystal inset section; this was dangerously close to showcasing her you-know-what. On another note, this was the same gown style she wore for the Miss USA 2016 Preliminaries but in a different color-way:

White or Blue: Miss Missouri USA at Miss USA 2016


Miss Connecticut USA Tiffany Teixeira: Tiffinay wore this off-the-shoulder red satin overkirt/overlay gown with sequined bodice. Tiffany was very pretty and I didn't dislike this gown style even if it was a bit 1996. But, what I really was not a fan of were her shoes...

Tacky-Licious: UBER high Tacky Stripper Lucite Heels. This is a definite No. Sorry Tiffany. But, NO. Not Ever.

Miss USA Smiles: Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber with the rest of the Miss USA 2016 contestants

Congrats to Deshauna Barber! Our new Miss USA--Gorgeous, confidently beautiful,  intelligent and yes, FIERCE!

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition TREND ALERT: The Overskirt Gown!

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Overskirt Miss USA: Contestants from the Miss USA 2016 Preliminary Competition in Las Vegas Nevada showcasing their overskirt gowns

Leave it to Pageant Queens to take an Evening Gown Style Trend and RUN IT TO THE GROUND! This year's Miss USA Preliminary Competition was no exception: There were more overskirts than well...a Zuhair Murad Haute Couture runway show from a couple of years ago. Yes darlings, it usually takes about that long for a runway trend to take effect and grab hold of the pageant gown world. Check out these looks from Zuhair Murad Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014:

Zuhair Murad Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014

Now, if you really wanted to get time-specific, one could argue that this overskirt gown trend began back in the late 1980s/early 1990's with Christian Lacroix and Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel bringing back a slight nod to those Marie Antoinette panier-and-crinolined 18th Century court dresses...

 Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, 1990

Christian Lacroix Couture Overskirt 90's Pouf

So...with all that said, here are examples of how this year's Miss USA contestants took the Overskirt Trend and ran it into the Pageant Runway Ground:

Miss Connecticut USA Tiffany Teixeira--Red strapless overskirt gown

Miss District of Columbia USA Deshauna Barber--Gold and nude overskirt organza gown

Miss Hawaii USA Chelsea Hardin--White lace-and-nude gown with tulle overskirt

Miss Idaho USA Sydney Halper--Red sweetheart neckline satin gown with iridescent organza overskirt

Miss Louisiana USA Maaliyah Papillion--Black sequined tulle gown with black satin organza overskirt and attached inner leotard

Miss 52 USA Alexandra Miller--Red halter neckline satin charmeuse gown with chiffon overskirt

Miss Alaska USA Ariane Audett--Off-white column gown with gold sequin applique and overskirt

Miss Vermont USA Neely Fortune--Teal blue stretch velvet strapless gown with taffeta overskirt

Miss North Dakota USA Halley Maas--Ivory halter neckline gown with sequined waist and satin overskirt

Miss Maryland USA Christina Denny--Gold and nude sequined gown with gold taffeta overskirt

A) Is this a Pageant Gown Trend to Stay? Or is it already Sooooo Last Week? I'd love to read your thoughts. 

B) And if you had a FAVORITE of these Overskirt Gowns, which one would you pick??