This Sunday is the season finale of HGTV Star.  I can not believe how quickly it flies by.  It makes me reflect on the massive amount of energy it took to not only make the cast, but produce such a huge show.  There are many faces that go into a show like this.Collage editedNow that I personally know the other 9 talented, and dynamic designers that competed, I have an understanding of how much the audience doesn’t know.  I wish that everyone could see the many sides to our personalities, but that’s the name of the Reality TV show game.  It makes me sick to my stomach reading some of the hideous comments some viewers make about myself and my friends/fellow designers, especially when remarking on our physical appearance.  It’s a very cowardly thing to do; sitting behind your computer, hating on those who are brave enough to be vulnerable and their talents judged by millions of unqualified strangers. It’s especially frustrating knowing we have little control over how we are presented in the first place.

I thought I would share a tiny sliver into what it takes to create an appearance for a television show such as HGTV Star.

The weeks leading up to filming, during the same time we were designing our wallpaper and fabric patterns, we were asked to send in options for our camera interview looks.  The look had to represent our personal style, solid colors preferably but no white (looks bad on camera) or green (hard to edit when filming in front of a green screen), and be easily replicated as we would need to wear it several times each and every episode. Every detail had to be precisely replicated , including hair and make up, to create continuity throughout the season, so this was not the time to experiment with a new look.

A stylist advised us on what looks best on camera and asked us to send in a few pictures of a few different options, only from the waist up as this was the angle of the shot.  These picture would be dissected by HGTV Executive Producers who ultimately made the final decision on what we would wear.

This was my first choice and what I really, really wanted to wear

Face Collage Black Leather_Fotor

I wanted to wear that BGBC leather T-Shirt SO badly (Sold Out, but similar style available here).  This look is very much “my style” simple but edgy, black and gold, trademark glasses and red lips.  Plus I knew it would be blazing hot during filming (A/C units can’t be run because it compromises audio) so I wanted short sleeves.

The second option was identiacal, but with a neon green blazer from the Gap added. (Sold out, similar style here)

Face Collage Neon Green_Fotor

The third option I sent in was, again, the same as the first, but with my signature leopard print infinity scarf.

Face Collage Leopard scarf_Fotor

That scarf is as close as a security blanket as I’ll ever have.  I purchased it at H&M for $12 two years ago for one of my HGTV auditions and have rarely taken it off since.  (Similar style here)

As you can probably tell, I was hell bent on wearing that leather top.  Until the stylist called back and said no black. And please send over a colorful option in 20 min.


So I yanked out a red convertible sleeve top and my favorite gold chain necklace.  This is what I wore to my final audition in NYC, paired with my controvertial leather pants, so I knew the producers liked it.

Face Collage Red_Fotor

But I gave it one last shot to rock some leopard print action.

 Face Collage Leopard top_Fotor

They ultimately chose the red, but asked that I come up with jewelry in a different material. I was scrambling to find something as 90% of my jewelry is gold.  I managed to locate a seriously terrible rinestone number that I hadn’t worn sinc Prom ’99.  The execs liked it and is the final product…


We also had to figure out several outfit choices for our promos as well.  I knew I wanted to wear a black jumpsuit, and tried several, but this was by far my favorite…

Face Collage asos jump suit_Fotor

And to my delight, the HGTV execs agreed!


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So glad I was able to rock my gold necklace that Al has lovingly nicknamed the “Mister T” necklace. Men!

There was one last outfit that I sent in, and it is a good one…

Face Collage asos top_Fotor

My all time fav dress! God I love it!

And it just still might get a lil HGTV face time….you will need to tune in this Sunday to HGTV Star at 8pm/7c to find out! 😉


  1. totally watching this Sunday! SO excited I will get to see you again. I adore this dress….I almost got it but was weary of not being able to try it on before the purchase…..its so amazing!! Looks amazing on you. I can imagine the stress of having to chose what to wear….I thought you looked so fabulous and are so beautiful cannot understand if there is someone out there who does not agree!

  2. Karen Vahl says:

    You look great in anything you put on, Jess! Yellow is one of my all time favorite colors but I also really like the black jumpsuit on you as well. I can’t imagine the stress of going through all the nitty-gritty details important to a production like that. Thanks for giving us a glimpse.

  3. super cute photos! you are adorable

    xoxo navy & orange

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