SEATTLE WEEKEND This past weekend, I was invited to Seattle, Washington to attend the Finale Fashion Show of The International Academy of Design and Technology (IADT) as a Special Guest as well as do a Workshop for the students. This was my first time in Seattle and I have to say, I have fallen in love with the city! As the plane was descending, it took an amazing full "U-Turn" view of the city--From above I got a "mini-tour" of what I would later see down below: the famous Space Needle, the wonderous architecture of the Sports Stadiums, the harbor and its Cruise Ships and the Boeing plants. It was gorgeous from up above. The weather was also beautiful. Not exactly what you would expect from seattle. It was sunny and everyone was in shorts and flip flops! I expected dark and rainy. Friday night was the Finale Fashion Show, dubbed "Le Mode". It was a presentation of all the final design work of many of the students from the school. It was not your typical runway show, more of a theater presentation, with "actors", dancers and stories to tell, set with a "silent movie"-era theme. Afterwards , after a wonderful introduction by the Dean of Fashion, Monir, I was invited onstage , where I said a few words regarding the importance of schools such as this and the need for students to showcase their designs. There was an after-party where I got to sign what felt like HUNDREDS of autographs and take many photos with the invited guests and students. The next day , I did a Workshop at the campus of IADT. The school itself is barely two years old and was stocked with enviable spankin' new sewing machines and model-forms in every shape and size. I was really impressed with the superb workrooms and state-of-the-art equiptment. There were even seperate "PC" and "MAC" rooms. In the Workshop, I spoke on how to get the most out of design school, how to get started in the fashion industry, and the "dos and don'ts" of starting your own line. IADT students and attending instructors alike felt that it was a worthwhile two hours. After the workshop, David and I met with a friend of ours that lives in Seattle, Cindy. She was happy to give us a driving scenic tour of this beautiful city. We first had an amazing lunch at the Sazerac Restaurant located at The Hotel Monaco, then we sauntered to Pike Market, famous for the fish throwing that occurs there. We also drove through all of Seattle's picturesque neighborhoods and even saw Bill Gates' (creator of Microsoft) estate. Eventually, we even visited a local mall, Bellevue, where we made a pit-stop at a store called "Lush", a unique beauty experience of unpackaged products, delicious smells and the friendliest staff. So nice were they at Lush in Bellevue that they handed me a large Gift filled with the best of Lush's products!! Well, that's one way to get to Uncle Nick: A box filled with skin care and bath products! Needless to say, I love me some Lush. We ended our Seattle weekend with a night out on the town. Another friend of mine, originally from Venezuela, but relocated to Seattle, took much pride in showing us some of the eclectic nightlife Seattle had to offer within the Capitol Hill neighborhood. We had drinks at a brand new bar called "Purr" and then headed to "The Chapel", a bar located in a former mortuary. Yes, I said : mortuary. Think "Six Feet Under" meets "Herman Miller" interior styling. my short time in Seattle, I became a "Seattle convert". It was a gorgeous city--it reminded me of San Francisco BUT cleaner, if you can believe that. My Seattle friends were so eager to show us their town and now I can understand why. You never get this sort of eagerness from Angelenos to show an out-of-towner Los Angeles. They did remind us, however, that as beautiful as Seattle was to us , it has a "darker side" believe it or not--they said: "There's a reason why Kurt Cobain came from here..." Well, nevertheless, I was ready to move! As we were landing back in LA, David and I basically let out an under-our-breath remark about the nasty smog yellow color of the LA sky, and how unattractive this city is, compared to green and picturesque Seattle. All in all, a quick yet wonderful weekend in Seattle.