Chet and Vikki Prado’s formalwear boutique, The Prado Collection, has dressed women from country singers to prom queens. Now the couple have added a new credit to their name: styling an “American Idol” finalist.
The Prados provided two outfits for Lauren Alaina Suddeth to wear on the Fox network’s top-rated show.
One was the now-famous purple sequined minidress she wore when judges announced the Top 24 finalists. Mr. Prado said he believes the other will be worn in one of the Ford commercials made by “AI” finalists.
Mr. Prado said the couple met Lauren through a mutual friend who was a customer. Because “Idol” contestants do not receive wardrobing help from a Los Angeles stylist until they reach the finals, the couple volunteered a complimentary styling for the Rossville teen. Lauren came to their store just before leaving for taping of the Top 24 episodes.
“We did it mainly because she’s local, and we’re proud of that; and, of course, the publicity we get from it,” Mr. Prado said.
During the Top 24 episode, “AI” host Ryan Seacrest said the sequined and ruffled dress “had as much personality as Lauren does.” He also nicknamed her pink leather and sequined footwear “Barbie cowgirl boots.”
Judge Jennifer Lopez asked Lauren, “Tell me about that outfit. Did they make that special for you? Yeah, I can tell.”
Indeed, Vikki Prado custom-fit the sequined dress on Lauren only hours before she left for Los Angeles.
“Lauren hadn’t told us when she was leaving. She came in about 4 one afternoon and said she was leaving the next day and needed her outfit. At 6 p.m., we brought the alteration lady over and Vikki literally fit it and sewed it right on her body. She had tried on the dress previously; we modified it. We shortened it, cut away some of the tulle ruffles (underneath the skirt) to make cap sleeves and modified the ruffles around the edge,” said Mr. Prado.
The Viché leather boots Lauren wore sell for $229 in the Prado Collection boutique; $900 in Las Vegas, he said. Mr. Prado said they’ve sent five pairs of the boots in different colors to country superstar Loretta Lynn.
Lauren’s dress not only caught the attention of Seacrest and the judges, but viewers as well.
“The morning after she wore that dress, we were No. 1 on Google,” said Mr. Prado said of the boutique. “We’ve gotten almost a dozen orders for that dress or a similar Jovani style. You can find dresses similar to it and videos of Lauren wearing it on our website, www.thepradocollection.com.”
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...