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FIDM....San Diego Open House 2017: RECAP, Photos!


FIDM....San Diego Open House 2017: RECAP, Photos!

 Everyone Say "FIDM San Diego!": Nick Verreos takes a group photo with attendees at FIDM San Diego Open House February 2017

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to San Diego for the FIDM San Diego Open House. My Alma Mater, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, was holding their Open Houses throughout all its four campuses and as a former grad/alumni and Spokesperson for the College, I got to do my "Open House Talk/Presentation" at the San Diego campus. Open House is a chance for anyone interested in a career in fashion design, social media, styling, graphic design, interior design, digital media, apparel business (as well as many more) to tour the campuses, meet instructors, alumni, and get to find out more about what FIDM offers...

In order to travel to San Diego from my home in LA for my appearance, I decided to do something I have never done before in my 30+ years of living in Southern California...TAKE THE TRAIN!!!
Train Happy: When I usually have an appearance at FIDM San Diego, I travel by car with my NIKOLAKI partner David Paul (who happens to be from San Diego) but this time, he couldn't come so I had to travel solo and I didn't want to do the 3+ hour--sometimes more--drive by myself so...I realized "hey, maybe I should take the train!". I took the Amtrak "Pacific Surfliner" train from Los Angeles' Downtown Union Station to Downtown San Diego: It was so relaxing and so nice. I got to read my book, relax and nap...and now, I am a CHANGED MAN!

On my way to the Open House, there was a small street fair in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year, and I got to snap a photo of this young girl doing something I could NEVER in a million years do:

 Stretch Princess: Young performer at San Diego Chinese New Year street festival

And now, onto the FIDM Open House February 2017 Appearance:
 Ready for my Open House Talk: Nick Verreos at FIDM San Diego Open House February 2017

Class Is In Session: Nick Verreos during "Special Appearance" Talk/Presentation--FIDM San Diego Open House February 2017

Raffle Fab: So excited that my book "A Passion For Fashion" was one of the Raffle Prizes at the FIDM San Diego Open House February well as FIDM branded water mugs, backpack and tickets to the FIDM 3 Days of Fashion. 

Following my Talk/Presentation, there was a Meet & Greet of course, where I got to take photos, sign books, and meet some of the wonderful attendees of the FIDM San Diego Open House. One of the BIGGEST HIGHLIGHTS of this was reconnecting with someone I had originally met TEN YEARS AGO:
Before...and Now: Believe it or not, I met the beautiful--and very tall--young lady on the right TEN YEARS AGO, at a "The Learning Annex" seminar I did in San Diego back in the day when I had just been on "Project Runway". Her name is Hannah and she attended the seminar because she was a big fan and she even got my "Project Runway My Scene Barbie" (from the Challenge I won). To my surprise, Hannah was at the FIDM San Diego Open House and showed me the photo and well, I just about cried!

Here are more fun photos from my FIDM San Diego Open House post-Appearance Meet & Greet:
 Meet & Greet Smiles: Nick Verreos and attendees at FIDM San Diego Open House February 2017 (LOVED the young fashionista in red printed dress in the lower photo collage! She made her own dress!).

NV Glam Divas: Nick Verreos with FIDM San Diego's Denise Baca and Christina surprised me when I showed up for the FIDM San Diego Open House, wearing my NV Nick Verreos designs they had bought from EVINE Live TV Shopping Network! #LoveThem

 Until Next Time FIDM San Diego!! XOXO


SASHES AND TIARAS.....Top 20 Worst Gowns in a Beauty Pageant of 2016 (and early 2017)


SASHES AND TIARAS.....Top 20 Worst Gowns in a Beauty Pageant of 2016 (and early 2017)

That's A LOT of Gown!--Did Miss Universe Kazakhstan Make my Top 20 Worst Gown in a Beauty Pageant List? Maybe...

In my last "Sashes and Tiaras" post HERE, I blogged about my list of Top 25 Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2016--and early 2017-- since I had to include the most recent "Miss Universe" Pageant. So, now is the "UH OH Sister" of that list: My Top 20 "Oh No Huney! Gowns of 2016/early 2017". As always, there's always some not-so-good that come along with the FABULOUS...

Too Muchey and Too Tacky: Worst Gowns in an International Beauty Pageant 2016

These are gowns that pageant contestants--from "Miss Grand International 2016", "Miss Supranational 2016", "Miss USA 2016", "Binibining Pilipinas/Miss Universe Philippines 2016", "Miss Venezuela 2016", "Miss Universe 2016" and several others--left me wondering "What the Heck?"..."Do You Have a Pageant Glam Team/Best Gay friend?" and "What Were You Thinking?". I am sure that many of them may have had no other choice or might have been "ill-advised" to wear these styles but in any case, these were Beautiful Women Wearing the Wrong Gowns.

I have narrowed my list to 20 and here are the Worst Dressed Pageant Offenders:
1. Miss Grand International Czech Republic Monika Vaculikova: Well, well, well, look what we have here. Monika wore this ivory tulle and lace applique gown that featured feathers (if the tulle and sequins and applique were not enough!). This is a big ol' mess. Plain and Pageant Simple. It's like a tacky stripper wanted to get married and she decided to wear this. She needs to give this to a thrift store in the Czech Republic. ASAP.

2. Binibining Pilipinas Contestant No. 17 Priscilla Kimberley dela Cruz: Well, where do I begin with this one? Priscilla wore this silver gown with what seemed like Christmas ornaments stuck to her shoulders and all around her gown. It's a bit of a mess. The design was like Star Trek-meets-Christmas...and that's not a good thing. And then, someone gave her the unfortunate advice to actually ADD those too-big earrings and a necklace. This was the definition of TOO MUCHEEY.

3. Miss Supranational Slovak Republic Lenka Tekeljakova: If I can say something nice, it is that she looks ethereal--or like she belongs in a flower garden. Other than that, this is just a Flower Mess. Pink tulle, flower pedal appliques all bunched together in her breasts...what would make her think this was A) Elegant; B) Cute; C) Gown chic; and D) Appropriate for an international pageant contestant? I can see this on a Flower Day Parade (if there is such a thing) or a Spring Dance Recital but for the Evening Gown Competition of "Miss Supranational"? Nope.

4. Miss Grand International Ethiopia Genet Tsegay: Oh No Genet! I just have one question: Did you look in a mirror before going out--or at least, when you chose this gown? Here's the thing--those bra cups/pads SHOULDN'T BE SHOWING. EVER. It's so tacky I don't even know where to start. I feel bad for her since she is quite pretty. The tacky-licious bra-pad exposing gown just ruined her.

5. Miss World Philippines Contestant No. 9 Jan Helen Villanueva: Two words: Oh Dear! OK, let me start with the good: I liked the bright canary yellow color of this gown and liked the semi-one-shoulder neckline but after that, it all went No-No. The gathering at the bust looks bulky, the sequin applique looks cheap--and also heavy. And then WHAT IS THAT IN FRONT OF HER CROTCH!? Who, in their right fashion design mind, would place a pointed sequin applique THERE? It's like a big sign saying "Hey! Take a look at my Cha-Cha!" Nope, I won't. 

6. Miss Supranational Germany Anja-Vanessa Peter: I don't even know where to begin with Miss Supranational Germany and this gown. Maybe I'll start with the obvious: THAT "Peacock"-inspired sequined top! First of all, the fit is awkward; it's way too low and makes her look as if she has "Sagging Boob Syndrome". I also think it's a bit too "Showgirl/Las Vegas". And then (yes, there is more!), IT'S A SEQUINED LEOTARD/BODYSUIT...with an attached ivory double-front split skirt. There are so many things wrong with what I just typed, I am shaking! But God bless her, she is a trouper: Smiling through it all.

7. Miss Grand International Moldova Alina Staicu: I had to Google her and her age because, in this photo (and this Mother-of-the-Bride gown) she looked like she was 50. In case you are wondering, she is only 27 years-old. The whole look is a mess: Too much hair, too much makeup and too 1992-like tacky gown. Oh, and in case you might have missed it...check out her BLACK PLATFORM HEELS. Someone PLEASE give this girl a GAY Fashion-savvy Bestie. ASAP!

8. Miss Supranational Gibraltar Aisha Ben Yahya: When you combine Cha-Cha Drag Queen, Figure Skating Costume and "Folies Bergere", this is what you get. While it is super fun and she's probably a hoot at a party, this is just the kind of gown that will get people talking...but for the wrong reasons. #Gurl #YouAreNotAShowgirl

9. Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell: Miss Universe Canada wore this white mermaid-style gown for the Miss Universe 2016 Finals Evening Gown competition. In front of MILLIONS of viewers! The dress featured a fitted torso with sequins and applique, sweetheart neckline, nude illusion, full mermaid-style organza skirt section and (if that wasn't enough!), a neck piece. It was A LOT, overwhelming, kind of Tacky-licious and waaaaay too 1980s Pageant Betty. Compared to many of the "Miss Universe 2016" Semi-finalist's gowns, this was just unacceptable. On a good note, Siera's hair and makeup (accentuating those Elizabeth Taylor-like eyes!) was perfect!

10. Miss Supranational England Angelina Kali: While I give her points for "Sexy Drama", this white lace gown was Tacky Sexy--in a "Virgin Elvira" sort of way. First off, the fabrication looked like a doily. There were many things wrong with this: The style was just way too revealing; the side front slit, the side midriff cut-out, the shoulder...and then, she had a look of "How Mucheey?" that took it to another Tacky-licious level.

11. Miss New York USA Serena Bocaj: Miss New York USA was a gorgeous contestant who made a wrong gown choice. When her name and state was called during the Evening Gown portion, I could not believe that she walked out in this golden-silver gathered gown mess. She looked MUMSY, like the mother-of-the-bride. Why would she allow herself to be swallowed up in this concoction? And to add insult to style injury, the fit was awkward at best: It is high-waisted and therefore cutting her body off, it is too heavily ruched at the waist and front (it should have been FLAT with no ruching at the front), and the sequin top didn't help at all. I hope she gave this to Goodwill or Out of the Closet.

12. Miss Universe Myanmar Htet Htet Htun: Htet Htet won the Best National Costume Award for the 65th Miss Universe Pageant--and for good reason! Hers was my favorite!--but she's not getting any trophies for this gown from me! This highlighter yellow nude organza, chiffon, sequined dress is just too tasteless and tacky. There's too much going on, too much "boob-age", too much of everything. It's like a gown the wife of a nouveau riche Russian Oligarch would pay thousands of dollars for because she thinks it "looks expensive". Nope, it looks TACKY.

13. Miss Carabobo 2016 at Miss Venezuela 2016, Frinddy Bocaranda: Oh Frinddy! What Mardi Gras Carnival float are you riding in with this get-up? This emerald green colored gown featured jeweled sequins down the front, an iridescent overlay, nude illusion bodice and naturally, if that wasn't enough, there was a tiered back overskirt. This was a Ticky-Tacky, Figure Skating Costume Meets Carnival Hot Mess. Ayyy Dios Mio! #Mija

14. Miss Earth South Africa Nozipho Magagula: I liked the color of Nozipho's gown but after that, she lost me. This look was cheap-looking and off-the-rack. The fabric looked like it came from Downtown L.A. Santee Alley and it was too short where you could see her super tacky sequined platform pumps (right photo above). This gown choice was a miss, and a shame, for such a pretty contestant. Sorry Nozipho. 

15. Miss Supranational Guadeloupe Jenifer Geran: File under "Bless Your Heart". I am sure Miss Supranational Guadeloupe probably does not get the same amount of pageant funding a "Miss Venezuela" or "Miss Philippines" does. And so, I try and cut her some slack but...this iridescent gown is just Tacky-licious. It looks inexpensive and a bit "Happy Hands at Home"--like if her cousin or grandma made it. I used to excuse these things but, when you are competing in such an international pageant stage, these ladies need to bring it! At the very least: Read a Vogue Magazine or look at for Runway/Red Carpet Gown suggestions and see if anyone in that gorgeous island of hers can copy it! Otherwise, please don't even think about packing such a mess of a dress.

16. Miss Supranational Nigeria Adaeze Obasi: Not sure why anyone did not tell the lovely Adaeza that the inner dress of this gown was WAAAY too short. This could have been nice if the skirt didn't stop 1/4" below her CHA-CHA and if the inside wasn't pink and...well, I could just go on and on. This was "Housewives of (fill in the blank)" tacky.

17. Miss Ohio USA Megan Wise: First off, I think that Megan was one of the most impacting and beautiful contestants at Miss USA 2016. She reminded me of a red-haired Shandi Finnessey (Miss USA 2004 and First Runner-up to Miss Universe 2004). During the Preliminaries, Megan wore this sequin-and-feathers gown. to sum it up: it was A LOT. The feathers really took it to Costume Cha-Cha mode and really distracted from her stunning beauty. I just don't understand why anyone would think that the multicolored sequins weren't enough and therefore, they felt it needed layers upon layers of feathers. Sorry Megan but this gown is one of my Worst Picks for Beauty Pageant Gowns of 2016.

18. Miss Distrito Capital 2016 at Miss Venezuela 2016, Yanett Margarita Diaz Dib: There were A LOT of Too Mucheee gowns at last year's "Miss Venezuela" and one could argue that maybe lots of them were a mess (I kinda liked some of them!), but I just couldn't even begin to explain the one above. The design was by Venezuelan couturier Raenrra and featured a pink and silver sequined column gown with heavily appliqued bodice and then, a very over-the-top multi-multi-MULTI ruffled and tiered back overskirt. That overskirt alone could be used as a major flotation device. And I can only imagine the hours upon hours of work to sew that. The gown itself wasn't so bad (OK, it was Showgirl tacky!), but in combination with the overskirt...she looked like a Drag Queen on a float in Rio in 1995. Really Too Mucheee.

19. Miss Connecticut USA Tiffany Teixeira: Tiffany is GORGEOUS and I really didn't have a problem with her red off-the-shoulder overskirt gown. She looked quite impacting and pretty. But eyes panned down and all of a sudden I had the "Shower Scene from Psycho" music playing in my head: THOSE TACKY LUCITE STRIPPER HEELS!!!!!! She ruined the whole look with those darn shoes! Why do these girls do this to themselves? Two scenarios: 1) She just wants to look taller.  (On Wikipedia, it says she's 5' 7" which means she's probably 5' 5") 2) These gown samples are normally made for 5'8" or taller and therefore instead of shortening the hem, they give her some SUPER high platform heels to fix that! Either way, there's really no excuse to wear these, unless you work at Spearmint Rhino Strip Club in LA


20. Miss Universe Kazakhstan Darina Kulsitova: Yes, kids I watched the 65th Miss Universe Preliminaries and during the Evening Gown Competition, I almost spilled my wine when I saw this! Darina wore this bell-shaped ballgown featuring hundreds, if not thousands, of jeweled sequins as well as feathers at the bottom. If that wasn't enough, there was a crystal choker to finish it all off! She looked like the top of a Christmas tree. While I gave her points for making a statement...this was a totally tacky and overdone one.

**Hopefully this post helps any future Beauty Pageant contestants at International Beauty Pageants and what they SHOULD NOT WEAR! I'm trying to help one tacky beauty pageant contestant one blog post at a time :)


FIDM.....FIDM Museum 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition


FIDM.....FIDM Museum 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition

Silver Anniversary: Nick Verreos attending the Opening Night Reception of the 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

This past Saturday, I had the honor of attending the Opening Night Reception of the 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition at FIDM Museum. The exhibit salutes the creativity of costume designers for film with a museum show of outstanding costumes and Oscar nominated designs. There are over 100 costumes from 20+ films showcased in this year's exhibition, including Oscar-nominees for Best Costume Design "Allied", "Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them", "Florence Foster Jenkins" and "La La Land".

Costume Fabulosity: 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
All photos except second to the right, top, courtesy of ABImages

If you love costume design and fashion, enjoy Hollywood films, and are a big fan of anything related to the Academy Awards...this is the "Quadruple Threat" of Fab Exhibitions: A Must-See! It opened this Tuesday and runs through April 22nd,  but here's the best part!, it's FREE! (scroll to the end for all the details!)

 Nick Verreos filming interviews with ABC7-LA Adrienne Alpert--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum

For Saturday's Opening Night Party, as the Official Fashion and Museum Spokesperson, I also had the pleasure of doing some press and TV interviews as well as meeting several of the incredible costume designers whose work is being showcased at the exhibition. Below are some photos from the Party as well as some of the Films and Costumes showcased in the Exhibition!

 With my NIKOLAKI Better Half: Nick Verreos and David Paul--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

Runway Couple: Nick Verreos with "Project Runway" Season 14 Finalist Candice Cuoco--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum

 Nick Verreos and "La La Land" Costume Designer Mary Zophres--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photos courtesy of ABImages 

Costume Designer Sanja Milkovic Hays of "Star Trek Beyond" (top) and "Fences" Costume Designer Sharen Davis (lower photo)--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photos courtesy of ABImages

"Captain Fantastic" Costume Designer Courtney Hoffman (L) and Costume Designer Arianne Phillips of "Nocturnal Animals" (R)--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photos courtesy of ABImages

Some of the Oscars-nominated Best Costume Designs at the 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition:
"La La Land"--Costume Designer Mary Zophres--Did you know that Emma Stone's dress for the dancing scenes where all made for the film and that as the film progresses, the volume of her skirts get more and more "voluminous"--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Lower photo courtesy of ABImages

"Allied"--Costume Designer Joanna Johnston--For "Allied", Johnston had to design for elegant "Old Hollywood Glamour" scenes in Casablanca, as well as WWII war-torn London--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them"--Costume Designer Colleen Atwood--The film takes place in 1920's "Jazz Age" NYC and the costumes reflect this--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Florence Fostern Jenkins"--Costume Designer Consolata Boyle--Boyle had to create a padded bodysuit for actress Meryl Streep and then the costumes were designed to fit that. In addition, she wanted the dresses to be as "outrageous" as Florence Foster Jenkins' voice--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

Here are some of the other wonderful costumes on display at this year's Exhibition:
"Alice Through The Looking Glass"--Costume Designer Colleen Atwood--Atwood has FOUR films showcased in this Exhibition, and these "Alice" costumes are some of my favorites!--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"--Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson--Here's some Costume Dish: Wonder Woman's costume was inspired by Greek and Roman Gladiators and there are (supposedly) about 40 "WW's" initials in the costume. Go to the Exhibition and try and find them!--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Top photo courtesy of ABImages

"Captain Fantastic"--Costume Designer Courtney Hoffman--Viggo Mortensen's red checkered shirt in the costume above was actually the shirt he wore to his wedding (Yikes!)--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Fences"--Costume Designer Sharen Davis--Davis wanted to make sure she was respectful of author August Wilson's work through her costumes--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Hail, Caesar!"--Costume Designer Mary Zophres--Zophres (who also designed "La La Land") said that where most of the costume budget was spent was on actress Tilda Swinton's super chic costumes (second from the left in top photo, and lower photo)--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Top photo courtesy of ABImages

 "Hidden Figures"--Costume Designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus--Costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus research included NASA archives as well as back issues of Ebony Magazine, in order to get the costumes just right--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"Zoolander 2"--Costume Designer Leesa Evans--Evans's imagined male model "Derek Zoolander" and how he would dress 15 years after his fame had peaked and used his icons as Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne. Go figure!--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Photo courtesy of ABImages

"The Huntsman: Winter's War"--Costume Designer Colleen Atwood--The main section of actress Charlize Theron's "Queen Ravenna" (lower photo) costume is made of leather that has been gold foiled and done to resemble Venetian blinds. Seriously!--25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition, FIDM Museum
Top photo courtesy of ABImages

Click below to watch a great segment from ABC7's Adrienne Alpert:
Here's all the INFO. on the Exhibition:
Photo courtesy of ABImages

WHAT: 25th Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition

WHERE: FIDM Museum & Galleries--On the Park, 1st Level
                 919 So. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Corner of Grand Avenue & 9th                            Street)           

WHEN: Open from Tuesday February 2017 until April 22, 2017; 10 am-5pm Tuesday-                                Saturday; Closed Sundays & Mondays.


FOR MORE INFO: Call 213-623-5821 ext. 2224

FOR MEDIA: Contact Shirley Wilson 213-624-1200 ext. 2625