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Misses USA and Universe Want Your Business Card

Pageant queens like to fight models.Photo: Getty Images

Saturday was paradise for anyone fond of watching reality-TV shows in which regular (yet good-looking and tall) people are magically transformed into models. First, former Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency model Chris Jones appeared in oatmeal-colored Hammer pants at United Bamboo, then Niki Taylor showed up at Alexandre Herchcovitch with the entire cast of Make Me a Supermodel, albeit sans Tyson Beckford. Taylor is, as you would expect, both very tall and quite pretty (although refreshingly kind of regular-shaped), and she was swamped after the show by admirers and autograph-seekers. Make Me a Supermodel is kind of terrible — sorry, Niki — so we can only imagine that these are fans who fondly remember, as we do, the years when Niki was on the cover of Seventeen every other month. Of exposing her model wannabes to Fashion Week up close and personal, Taylor told reporters after the show, “I just love seeing their faces.” We would’ve liked to have seen their faces at the prospect of walking anywhere in Herchcovitch’s shoes — chunky-heeled affairs that stopped short of the ground save for a one-inch-long wooden peg. Sounds like a broken ankle in the making.

We also spotted both Miss USA Rachel Smith and Miss Universe Riyo Mori taking in Herchcovitch’s aggressively pageant-unfriendly looks. While Miss Universe was content merely to pose for photos, Miss USA actually popped out of her seat to introduce herself to Ladies’ Man, Man’s Man, and Man About Town Nigel Barker, and purloin one of his business cards in the process. We’re curious to know what it said. Let’s hope it read, “Noted Fashion Photographer,” but we enjoy imagining that our latest Fashion Week obsession might also run a thriving side business as a foot masseuse or purveyor of generally above-average wigs.

The Misses USA and Universe were seated across from their polar opposites, a very scantily clad Leigh Lezark and the rest of the MisShapes, who found all the attention and whistles from the photogs highly amusing. Lezark was a lot more animated throughout the show than we would’ve expected from a girl who prefers not to smile in pictures, and we couldn’t stop wondering why she — in a backless tuxedo dress, bare legs, and open-toed patent shoes — wasn’t freezing. Either the girl has a driver on call, or her internal thermostat is cranked way up into the hundreds. Now, if she could just teach us that trick. —The Fug Girls

Watch a slideshow of the United Bamboo collection.
Watch a slideshow of the Alexandre Herchovitch collection.

Misses USA and Universe Want Your Business Card