HIGHLIGHTS OF MY TRIP TO TORINO Sorry for the delay in posting this, but I just got back from New York and I am still barely unpacking from my trip to Torino. I wanted to post some highlights and observations from my recent trip , where I did some fashion commentary on the Olympic Ladies Figure Skating, amongst other things , as you will read... --After a 12 hour flight to Turin(Torino) via Munich, Germany(the Munich airport was fabulous, like a 'Wallpaper' magazine editorial, very sleek and minimalist!) , I finally arrived in Northern Italy. It was a horrible flight due to the fact that , sitting behind me were two women who talked for the entire TWELVE HOURS! I am not kidding. I wanted to turn around and ask what the heck could they be talking about for TWELVE HOURS! Needless to say, when I arrived at my hotel, I felt like a truck had run over me. While waiting in the lobby of the hotel, Ross(the 'Intern' from 'The Tonight Show'), happen to be walking by, and we spotted each other , said 'hellos' and took some photos. It got a little crazy in the lobby. Ross and I together is a funny show waiting to happen!
--The next day , I did a segment for 'The Olympic Zone', which would prefix the prime time Olympic coverage on local NBC affiliates. My assignment was to style/makeover the Bronze-winning Ladies US Hockey Team(see above photo). Cameras in tow, I took the atheletes to a very chic boutique in Torino that carried Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana and I "made over" one of the ladies into a very sexy , feminine bombshell, a la Sofia Loren. One of the girls even commented that this day was better than winning the Olympic Medal! I highly doubt that, but it was flattering nonetheless. It was a really fun segment to do. While waiting for the ladies near the boutique , I spotted Sarah Hughes and her sister, so as you can imagine , I became a crazed fan and proceeded to get my camera out to take a photo of her while she was not looking. The next thing I realize , Sarah is coming right at me yelling "Aren't you Nick from Project Runway? Oh my God!" It was a bit surreal, because we ended up being mutual admirers of each other's work and talents. And believe me Sarah and her sisters KNOW each and EVERY episode! I love Figure Skating....
--The Final of the Ladies Figure Skating competition was occurring and it was a Sold-Out event.We tried to get tickets via my NBC contacts to no avail--even Sarah tried to get tickets for us! David and I decided we would go to the Stadium(the Palavela) to see if we could "find someone" who was selling tickets. There were a lot of people wanting to BUY tickets but no one selling them, except for some sketchy men with long black overcoats and cell phones to their ears who were asking 600 Euro , that's about $750 for ONE TICKET: Not! While trying to "scalp" tickets , it became a bit embarrassing for me, because there were lots of Americans who recognized me from the show and kept stopping me, wanting to take photos. I could see the blogs now: "Nick from Project Runway: Arrested for scalping tickets to Ladies Figure Skating!" David and I went back to the hotel and watched it for free on TV.
--The next day was the segment on the 'Olympic Ice' show, which aired on USA Networks. I did fashion commentary on the costumes the ladies wore to the Figure Skating Final. Right after I arrived , they sat me in the chair , between Mary Carillo and Jamie Sale, and said "You're ON!" No real prep time or rehearsal. But I was ready since I had watched the Finals the night before and was armoured with David's expert knowledge of the sport and history of costumes! It was a dream come true to meet Jamie Sale and David Pelletier as well as Mary Carillo and the incomparable Dick Button, in fact Dick Button turned to David and said "Who's this guy with the Funny Haircut?" What a treat!
--The rest of my stay was consumed with shopping, sightseeing, and eating lots of focaccia bread pizza! I visited some great museums, the Museo Egizio(Egyptian Museum) and the Museo del Cinema, where I took an elevator that shoots you up to the top , where you can see all of Torino, similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was breathtaking! I also went to Milan for a couple of days , where I visited all the flagship stores of Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, as well as met up with some friends who own a Production/Studio called Mars Studio(www.marstudio.it) where they do fashion consulting and styling for photo shoots and music videos. I also had a great meeting discussing the possibility of producing my line in Italy as well as sourcing fabrics there as well. So I got to mix in some business with pleasure.
--My trip to Milan seemed brief, but we rushed back to attend the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games. Again I tried to procure tickets somehow, but ended up paying 350 Euros each for a ticket(not from a scalper, from an official ticket agent, Thank You very much!) . It was a once-in-a-lifetime event, filled with great costumes, fireworks and Ricky Martin! We had great seats on the same level as the stage and felt like we were part of the show! An amazing experience.
--Italian Policemen, the Carabinieri, must have their own Model Agency! I swear they are all good looking and impeccably dressed(see photos above). Those uniforms are to die for!
--Fur, Fur and more Fur! There seems to be law in Northern Italy where EVERY woman over the age of 50 MUST own a full-length mink coat! Or , it must be the traditional "25th Wedding Anniversary" gift a husband gives to his wife. It is one or the other. I did not spot their younger counterparts in so much fur ,though, but definitely the older generation is covered in it! PETA does not exist in Northern Italy, that's for sure.
--The Seniors of Italy(over 65) were impeccably dressed, even for a daily stroll down the cobblestone streets! Elegant and well styled, from the bag, to the gloves, the scarves, the shoes. Impeccable. I was very impressed. All the men were like older versions of Cary Grant. They make the American Seniors look like homeless bag ladies and men. The young kids , however, take their cue from Southern California/LA lifestyle(or at least what they THINK it is) Brittany and Kevin(unfortunately) are their inspiration. They achieve it by wearing Italian versions of "LA looks"--D & G and Replay are popular with them.
--Fred Perry is still very big in Italy, sweaters, polos , of every color. Men also had a penchant for wearing orange and olive colors, particularly in scarves, jackets, sweaters. These colors were popular for men. And I saw lots of women wearing "boy shorts"(cropped tailored skinny pants above the knee) with high stiletto boots. Very big look for women there.
All in all, I was honored to have gone to Torino and asked to do my fashion commentary on the Olympic Ladies Figure Skating costumes. It was a dream come true not just for me, but especially for David as well. Every minute I was there I took mental photographs that I could remember when I returned back to Los Angeles. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be going to Torino to cover the Olympics as a result of my participation on 'Project Runway', I would have laughed at them. So I treasured this trip.