Heather French Henry is Miss America 2000, and now she's a designer! We asked Heather to give us the skinny on pageant style.
fourpoints: What is your opinion of the old adage, "white always wins"?
Heather French Henry: I can count on one hand the number of Miss Americas who won in white over the past two decades, so, I definitely believe white doesn't always win. When choosing a gown, I believe it's more important to choose a gown that fits "your" style, "your" body, and "your" coloring.
fpts: What is a cost effective way for girls to afford evening gowns?
HFH: I had this very problem when I was competing. I had three jobs, and was a full-time college student. I do feel that great gowns are worth saving for. When you go for quality, then you can use one gown many different ways. It can go from your evening gown to talent gown to eventually a walk-on gown. One gown can last you several years if you choose well.
fpts: How do you keep a teen contestant looking like a teen?
HFH: It is important to look "age-appropriate" in a teen competition. I had difficulty here because I always looked older. I feel sticking with a soft color palette in the wardrobe can help was well as toning down the make-up and hair.
fpts: How can contestants incorporate their personal style into the pageant wardrobe?
HFH: This is the one area most judges complain about–the contestants not choosing their own wardrobe. I believe guidance is good, but in moderation. The beauty of the Miss America system is that all of our contestants are unique in style as well as opinion and it should show.
fpts: Explain the concept of styling and outfit.
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