Saturday, April 29, 2006

Red Carpet @ the Latin Billboard Awards

Greetings from Miami, or as they say "Saludos de Miami". Without sounding too nostalgic, I forgot how much I loved Miami. It was , in fact, the first stop my family and I made when I arrived to the US from Caracas , Venezuela over 25 years ago. With the perfect blending of Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, and South American influences, I feel at home in Miami, as if I was back in Venezuela.

I was asked , as you know, by Heineken, to design a "Green Ribbon/Pin" to raise music awareness within the Latin community for the Celia Cruz Foundation which was to be worn by the presenters and performers at the Latin Billboard Awards as well as the "Special Pins" which were worn by Los Angeles-based band Ozomatli. Last year , designer Narciso Rodriguez designed the pins for the Grammy Awards, so I was beyond honored to have been asked.

Tarah and myself @ the National Ribbon Unveiling

Tarah and her sister Sabrina in Nick Verreos

Lenny (Tarah's Beau), Myself and David

I first met up with my "Project Runway 2" model, Tarah, whom I had not seen since I left the show(as well as her beautiful sister Sabrina) to attend an "Unveiling of the Ribbon/Pin Party" at the fabulous "National Hotel" in South Beach. Tarah and I were so giddy together, it was as if we were 10 years old! She is looking more beautiful than ever (if that is even possible) and it was just really nice to be reunited with her. Tarah has such a positive energy and exudes kindness and warmth --I forgot how much she was the glue that was holding me through the mess that was going on during the filming of the show. Along with David, Tarah's boyfriend, model Lenny came along as well. We joked how much he looked like a "Ken Doll" to her "Barbie"! I dressed both Tarah and her sister in my silk-print cocktail dresses that were perfect for the balmy 85 degree weather. They loved the dresses and looked sexy and very "Miami" in them. We had a lot of fun at the party and were surprised to find so many Miami locals who were big fans of the show and loved my work.

Ribbon unveiling by the pool @ the National Hotel

Red Carpet @ the Heineken Ribbon Unveiling

Ozomatli and myself on the Red Carpet @ the Ribbon Unveiling

The next day , along with Ozomatli (who were so great by the way, we are totally going to hang out back in LA), we arrived at the awards show, via a limousine to do the Red Carpet and attend the show. We joked how no one would know who we were and they would be saying "Who are these guys?". Much to my surprise, fans in the bleachers were calling out my name and wanting to take photos. We were interviewed by many reporters including Telemundo, NBC affiliates as well as other news sources. It was a bit difficult to change from Spanish to English and visa versa every two minutes, and at times, I became a bit nervous at the whole process, but overall it was lots of fun. For the actual awards show, David and I had great seats and enjoyed the show immensely. Highlights were seeing Shakira shake her "thang", cutie Alejandro Sanz, and seeing "Reggaeton" idol, Daddy Yankee, perform. I was even more excited to see my Ribbons on the lapels of some of the performers who went up to receive their awards. I also have to add that it was a treat to see how different Latin performers, actors, singers, dress to these events (as opposed to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, Grammy's, etc). It was nice to see that not everyone was "safe" and "boring". Were there train wrecks? Yes. Was there fabulousness? Yes. It was great "eye candy" to see how everyone dressed for this event. All in all, Miami was amazing. The weather , the beach, the food, everything was great! I am definitely coming back! Special thanks to Heineken and the beautiful team of Diane Von Furstenberg wrap-dress clad gals at Shorefire Media --you rock! Now I have to moisturize the slight burn I got from laying out in South Beach! Ciao.

Ozomatli and myself on the Red Carpet @ the Latin Billboard Awards

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Hello All- I am in Miami attending the Billboard Latin Music Awards! I was asked by Heineken to custom design a special Music Awarness Ribbon that will be worn by the amazing Latin fusion band Ozomatli. It is a beautiful sterling silver pin that is encrusted with emerald green swarovski crystals and a red enamel star. Last night we had the unveiling at the beautiful National Hotel here in South Beach where Ozomatli performed. The best part of this whole experience for me has been reuniting with my beautiful model Tarah. She has been living in Miami since November and it was so great to see her last night! I dressed her up in a special Nick Verreos creation and we walked the red carpet together. I will post some photos as soon as I get back to LA.
Tonight is the actual Awards Show and it will air at 7pm on Telemundo. Also, look for the pre-show airing before the Awards. I will be walking the "Green Carpet" and talking about the ribbon I designed which benefits the Celia Cruz Foundation.
7:00pm HARD ROCK LIVE @The Seminole Hard Rock Resort & Casino, Hollywood THE BILLBOARD LATIN MUSIC AWARDS LIVE!!!
Produced & Broadcast by Telemundo
Monday, April 24, 2006

Friday Night I went to the opening of Leeza's Place, a wonderful foundation created by Leeza Gibbons in honor of her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Apart from hangin' with celebrities and getting a nice goody bag, it is so great to see the work that she has done in creating such an amazing foundation to aid people afflicted with this dreaded disease. Click on the title to learn more about Leeza's Place.

On another note....tomorrow I am on my way to Miami for the Latin Billboard Awards. I am doing a special project for the Awards Show and I will post more on that later.

Friday, April 21, 2006
School Daze
On Thursday, April 20th, my alma mater, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles, held a special "Panel Discussion" for "Project Runway 2" Los Angeles designers. Besides myself, enigmatic Daniel Franco, witty Raymundo Baltazar, and fun Guadalupe were all present (Santino was invited yet did not show up). It was a packed house at the FIDM Lounge. We all answered questions ranging from "Why did you decide to do 'Project Runway' ?" to "What could you have done different with the outfit that got you off the show?"
It was an event held exclusively for FIDM students as well as Instructors and administrators. I had a lot of fun with the discussion and was proud to be up there , not only as an alumni, but also as an instructor, sharing with the students what it takes to get into the show, as well as reaffirming the passion and determination one must have to follow in our footsteps.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jessica makes amazing pieces of jewelry and the night of my premiere party for Project Runway 2, she gave me this razorblade necklace. I love it and have been wearing it constantly ever since December! I always get compliments on it so I thought I would post it here. Visit Jessica's website at: jessicaelliot.com. She does amazing pieces for women and has a shopping cart on her website. We are working on a project together as we speak and I will post more about that next week.

xoxoNick

Monday, April 10, 2006
I wanted to post these photos from the GLAAD Awards on Saturday Night. I had a great time! Unfortunetly, things are so crazy right now I don't have time to add any commentary to these photos, but definitely go to Andy's_Blog for a great rundown of the nights highlights. I'll try to add my 2 cents when I get a second!
Miss Universe 1997, Brook Lee and Myself

Posing with Bravo Producer Andy Cohen

Andrae, me and the boys from the Amazing Race

Sunday, April 02, 2006
As I was clearing up my TiVo (built up from being out of town every other week!), there were 8 episodes of "Olympic Ice" still waiting for me to watch. While watching these shows, it reminded me of how campy and fun this show was. For Figure Skating fanatics, this was a dream come true. Mary Carillo and her"posse" were the perfect postscript to the competition. It was as if my friends and I were discussing what had "gone down" the night before(by the way, I am still NOT OVER the "stare down" by the Italian Ice Dancing team!! Huney she was EVIL!!)
It also led me to post this video reminding me that many people had left comments saying that they were "bummed" that they had missed my segment and my accompanying fashion commentary. Here it is, hope you enjoy it. And by the way, I do LOVE Russians!!!
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