Friday, June 30, 2006
HANGING OUT After spending all day doing patterns, cutting dresses and preparing for the Trunk_Show I will be a part of in NY in two weeks (more on that soon!), I sometimes just want to end my day hanging out with friends. And if there is a special event that I get invited to, then all the better the excuse to go out! Last week, I attended a special party for "The Devil Wears Prada" held at ICandy, the West Hollywood bar featured in the Logo show, "Open Bar". I cannot wait to see the film and its depiction of a ruthless fashion magazine editor(fabulously played by Meryl Streep I hear) and her assistant. I am also curious to see Patricia Field's (of Sex And The City fame) costume and wardrobe styling. I went shopping at one of my favorite stores, Marc by Marc Jacobs, on Melrose Avenue(the good side!) and got myself a great "Al Gore" T-shirt , with the assistance of my friend John Wade, who works there and does all the wondrous windows for the store(he really would have kicked butt in the "Banana Republic" Window Display Challenge by the way!) To the left are photos from this event, in which John Wade attended, as well as producer and friend, Woodie Woodbeck , friend Luca Guzman and others. Also, in a recent Chicago Magazine, in the "Party Pix" section, they featured a photo of myself with Chicago Gen Art Director, Kelly Ryan O'Brien. This photo was taken on the day of the Chicago Casting Judging that occurred several months back. I was her date for the Chicago Magazine Summer Fashion "Backstage" Party. It reminded me of how much fun I had judging all the hopeful Project Runway 3 Designers and the great time I enjoyed during my sojourn in Chicago . I wish I would have had more time there. But I will be going back to the "Windy City" soon!!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
This morning Andrae and I got to spend time chatting it up with radio stations all across the country. We had such a great time not only speaking with different radio shows and promoting the new Project Runway Season 2 DVD, but also hanging out with each other. Most of the shows will be airing our interviews on Thursday, June 29th, so if you get a chance tune in and try to catch us, I can assure you that you will be entertained!! Here is a list of the radio stations we spoke with: WBZN Kid & Meredith Portland ME WBEC Big Mike Pittsfield MA KPRS Julee Jones Kansas City MO WGTZ Mallory & Campy Dayton OH KKLS Trav & Tammy Sioux Falls SD XHTO Juicy & Big Al El Paso TX
Monday, June 26, 2006
This past weekend , I was forwarded these wonderful "DFilms" that Project Runway 2 fans had put together, for the "DFilm" contest exclusively on Blogging Project Runway. These films, in particular, featured me in one form or another. I am loving how young, fit and cute they make me look. Thanks for the "makeover" on me! It's like having my very-own "Barbara Walters cheese-cloth" over the lense--You know the kind that always make her look younger and better than the guest she is interviewing! Anyway, I thought the films were so creative and ingenious that I figured I would post a link to them. Some of you might have already seen these, but for those of you that have not: microwave some popcorn, make yourself a drink, and enjoy!!! The fun, light-hearted creativity of PR 2 fans never ceases to amaze me. Santino_and_Nick Chloe_and_Santino
Sunday, June 25, 2006
On Friday I had a great time revisiting my girls, Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez, on their show Reality Chat. They were just as fun as the first time and this trip I arrived with gifts! I gave them each a piece of Nick Verreos/NIKOLAKI clothing and they loved it! I had a great time spending another afternoon chatting with them and promoting the DVD release of Project Runway and the new season 3. Tune in on Sunday, June 25th @ 7pm (with repeat on Tuesday June 27th @ 4pm) or check HERE for the listing in your local city.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Hello All! Tonight I was a judge at AIU's Portfolio 2006 Graduation Fashion Show. I had a blast and I will post more on that and several other things this weekend, but...........for now, I just wanted to remind everyone to RSVP for the Billion Dollar Babes Event in Los Angeles this weekend. It is at a new venue, Sony_Studios in Culver City and I am excited to test this new forum out for the first time. Since it is usually in Hollywood, it is finally time for all you Westsiders to get your shoppin' on!! I will be there on Friday evening around 6ish and again on Saturday at around 3PM, so please come by and say Hi! *WARNING* come early!! There are some serious shoppers who attend these events and things go fast!! Click HERE to RSVP for Saturday
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Finals are over and I am one happy camper for that! Above is a wonderful photo taken on the last day of one of my Technical Sketching classes. I am a little afraid of how much I blend in as one of the students. Note to self: Must dress more like a Math Professor and less like a Fashion Designer(or an "Urban Outfitters" sales associate!). This Quarter was difficult for me because of all the other wonderful things going on in my life but it helped that I had amazingly devoted students. One of my favorite courses is an "Elements of Fit" class, where I actually bring in my fabulous model, Amara and show the students my gowns on an actual live model. Onto my supposed "Summer Break", a time for R & R, turning in that "Spa Gift Certificate" that I got back months ago for my birthday and getting massages and masks, and so on.......NOT!! It seems that I am almost busier than when I was teaching. First I am busy prepping for the Los Angeles Billion_Dollar_Babes Sample Sale as well deliveries and orders. On Saturday , I was invited as a Special Presenter of the Fashion Design Award at the FIDM Graduation Ceremonies at the Greek Theater. This was such a treat, because I was seated on the stage with all the department heads and the president of the school and other dignitaries. When they called my name to introduce me, 2000 people , including graduates , friends and families began cheering as if I was Kelly Clarkson or Bo Bice. Absolutely crazy. I was completely overwhelmed. I will hopefully post photos of this event soon for you guys to see. Today , I was invited back to FIDM again to be a "surprise" guest speaker at their annual "3 Day Fashion Bootcamp", geared for High School Seniors and Juniors from all over the USA, who visit the campus to find out more about the school . These students are interested in fashion and FIDM does a great job of introducing the school as a viable option post high school. I spoke to about 300 students about my experience and what made me not go to fashion school right after high school and what to expect if and when they attended the school. It's not at all like the MTV show, "The Hills" presents. It's a lot of hard work ! So I hope I didn't scare any kids away from pursuing their dream. My favorite part was afterwards I got to sign A LOT of the kids' bags and as a special surprise, I sketched fashion illustrations on them too. I warned them that I would be looking out on EBay if anybody tried to sell them! Tomorrow night, I have been invited to judge the American InterContinental University Final Portfolio Fashion Show Gala at The Avalon in Hollywood and I am very excited to see the final collections of these up-and-coming student-designers. I will have photos of this event soon!It seems that Summer Break for me means School and more School!!!! Happy School Daze!!!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I know it is the Summer and everyone is taking their lovely vacations to places such as Cabo, Cancun, Bali, and so on. But not I. I will be "schoolin'". The Learning Annex approached me several months ago to give 3 seminars on "How to Break into the Fashion Industry" in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. These will be 2-hour sessions in which I will give insight , lessons, and recommendations on how to break into the fashion industry, what to do to start your own line, as well as re-count my experience in starting my line, Nikolaki. Through my mistakes, I will give you insight on what NOT TO DO, and what TO DO. An added bonus: students can bring their portfolios and/or actual garments and, time permitting, I can give you a candid evaluation and suggestions on how to improve on what you have, especially if you may be thinking of "applying" for future season's of "Project Runway". I am so excited to be doing these "Learning Annex" classes and cannot wait to meet everyone! For more information on the LOS ANGELES class click HERE For more information on the SAN FRANCISCO class click HERE For more information on the SAN DIEGO class click HERE
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Alright all you Southern Californians, The Los Angeles Billion Dollar Babes Event has finally arrived! It's time to get yourself some Nick Verreos/NIKOLAKI and have a few cocktails! Make sure to RSVP below. You must be on the list to attend. I will update with even more details as the event gets closer.

Click HERE to RSVP


Photo from New_York Billion Dollar Babes Event

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Recently I was approached to write a fashion and style column for "Frontiers" magazine. This is my first article that was published in the June 20th "Pride" issue. Unfortunately, it isn't available on their website online, so I thought I would share it here. Hope you enjoy it! After taking a look at some photos of the fabulously dressed guests arriving to the recent Metropolitan Museum of Art’s party for “Anglo Mania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion”, an obvious trend emerged: Gay Designers as the new Accessory. They are the new Hermes Jane Birkin bag. John Galliano, the designer for Dior, looking like a drunken tranny from the island of Cyprus, with Charlize Theron; Alexander MacQueen dressed as a Scottish Highlander with his arm-candy, the fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker; Michael Kors (wearing aviator sunglasses at night!) with the beautiful Angie Harmon. The designers, of course, are trying to suggest to us that these actresses are “clients” and/or friends. Please! It does not hurt that they might be the face (as in Charlize Theron’s case) of the company’s perfume ad campaign. The best however was Donatella Versace. Leave it to her to take this trend to a whole new level. She arrived with Rupert Everett, the “out” gay actor. Donatella trumped them all! She gets instant “Atta girl!” points in my book. I quickly pondered the idea, “I need to be some actress’ Rent-A-Date.” It would make my entire life come full circle. Back in high school I was the quintessential Rent-A-Date for the local all-girls Catholic School where I lived. Now all I need is the perfect outfit and a multi-million dollar cosmetic contract to lure in the ideal A-list actress. I would probably wear a tuxedo jacket, a vest, a slim tie and a pair of those new skinny jeans. The skinny on the jeans: On the subject of skinny jeans, I recently decided to take the leap of transitioning from wearing my boot-cut True Religion and Rock and Republic jeans to skinny ones. I began paying attention to these jeans as I noticed them on the “Rock En Espanol” and “Faux Goth” kids on the streets of Mexico City. Then, more recently, I saw more of these styles on the young Latino kids walking around my hood in Echo Park and Silverlake. I consequently thought that they were cute, sexy, and a great alternative to a sea of boot-cut/flared jeans. Soon enough, skinny jeans would become the latest must-have for the stylish young woman (and now man). I just got back from New York City and EVERY girl had on a pair. It seemed as if any girl worth their “fashion salt” in NY received the following e-mail memo: Put Those Boot-Cut, Low-Slung Jeans AWAY and Get Thee a Pair of Skinny Ones ASAP! I decided to experiment. I bought a pair at H&M, where you can pick up a pair of jeans for under 50 bucks. H&M is the perfect place to test out those questionable trends without breaking the bank. On the pricier side, True Religion also makes a great style for men. Do-it-yourself skinnies: Another option, if you are not ready to put down $200+ for an item that might be “done” when Fall rolls around, is the following (Warning: Sewing/Fashion Industry terms on the horizon!): Take a pair of jeans that you stopped wearing because you bought a newer pair and turn them inside out, pin the excess at the inseam (inner leg) and in the crotch (just grab that extra fabric!) and turn on your sewing machine. Yes, this requires some sewing. Sew the pinned area and Voila: “Breakfast is served” (stealing a line from Sixteen Candles), you have skinny jeans. If you are not the sewing type, then you can go to your local Tailor or Dry Cleaner and have someone else alter your jeans for you at a price much lower than purchasing a new pair of Chip And Pepper. As Tim Gunn would say: Make It Work.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
.....I was invited by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to present the Latin Newspaper Article of The Year to Lupita Figuereiro for her stunning article in El Mensajero SF newspaper. I was nervous about my speech so I ad libbed a little bit by addressing the attendees in Spanish in the beginning of my speech and by "outing" myself as somewhat of a "Bay Area" native(I attended High School in Millbrae , a city 15 miles south of San Francisco). I was honored to have been asked to present this special award and more importanly to use my participation in Project Runway to promote GLAAD's cause to educate , destroy ignorance and misinformation in the media. Others attending included hostess Meghan Mullally from "Will & Grace" in a slinky navy silk charmeuse gown, Carson Kressly from "Queer Eye", who fixed my pocket square(I admitted to him that I must have missed that "Queer Eye " episode where he showed how to wear a pocket square kerchief ), "Cat Woman" diva Julie Newmar, actress Sharon Gless from "Queer As Folk", and actress Jennifer Tilly, who was honored with a "Lifetime Achievement" award and gave one of the funniest speeches of the night in her fierce Dolce & Gabbana leopard-print dress. After the awards, my friends and I went out and Carson met up with us causing a slight surreal scene in a certain SF bar, where people were doing double takes seeing Carson and myself. Quite funny! I had a great time during my short San Francisco visit, highlights included dinner at Lime, where the chef personally came out and greeted us and gave us a "Tasting" dinner from the menu, which was incredible! I have to give a special THANK YOU to Woody Woodbeck and his team of San Francisco Merrymen for making my 2 days incredible ! I met him while he was a producer for a segment on "PR" and we have been "pinky swear" friends since. He said he would show me a "good time" in SF, and he did not let me down! I also, made a fashion pitstop at H & M where I did A LOT of damage and found out that almost all the SF H & M sales associates were HUGE Project Runway fans! I also met several FIDM SF students who were so kind and supportive of my designs and teaching. I love the City by the Bay and cannot wait to return next month, where I will be doing a "Learning Annex " seminar. To learn more about the class I am teaching in SF, LA and San Diego, click HERE
Friday, June 09, 2006

Lately I've been noticing more and more visitors to my blog from countries other than The Good Ol' US of A. At first I thought it was a fluke, computer-savyy fashion-followers out in the international "bloggersphere". But then when they started stating comments about how the show just began actually airing in their country, I have to say, it did take me aback. Having people in the USA watch the show is surreal enough, but now Taiwan, Sweden, Estonia, South Korea, Hong Kong, well , it's beyond my scope of thinking. I know you may not believe this but I really thought I was doing this "little show" on Cable that no one would watch, except my best friends and my mom and dad. Ooooops!

In fact, I just did three phone interviews with Singapore!! They asked me the same questions American interviewers have asked me and yes, they asked if Santino and I were still so-called "enemies" (if someone asks me that one more time , you might hear the scream somewhere in Nepal!) Just recently, someone from Venezuela e-mailed to say that the show is now being seen there and that they are very excited and proud of me. Well, that really did it for me!! Shivahs Part Four!! Since I grew up in Caracas, I will always reserve a special corner in my heart for Venezuela, its beautiful women (4 Miss Universes and 5 Miss Worlds, my mom and my sister!), its food (arepas!!), and it's music (I swear I get emotional every time I hear the Cuatro playing and the harps playing a traditional Venezuelan melody). So to think that Venezuelans are viewing the show makes me LOCO!!!. BBC and Discovery Networks are the carriers of the show through Mexico and Latin America, including Venezuela. Click HERE so you can take a peek on how South America sees Project Runway 2

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Proyecto "Cinta Verde" That means "project Green Ribbon" to those anglophiles with less than Spanish 101 knowledge. As you know, last month I was asked to design and create the "Heineken Green Ribbon" to promote music awareness within the Latin community and it was showcased at the recent "Latin Billboard Awards". In the July edition of People En Espanol, with Mexican heartthrob-crooner, Luis Miguel, on the cover, there is a wonderful photo of myself with Ozomatli member, Raul Pacheco, pinning his Swarovski-crystal encrusted "bling-bling" pin that I designed. You can also spot the more simple "green Ribbon" I designed for the mass audience , pinned to my white jacket.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Janice Dickinson: The World's First Supermodel Premire Party, West Hollywood. My friend Chip, who works for Out and Advocate magazines, invited me to attend the Premiere of Janice Dickinson's reality show involving the behind-the-scenes look into the beginning of her modeling agency. Well, who else to drag with me as my "date'', my buddy, John Wade of Project Runway. I was sportin' my Penguin Polo with a vintage Hermes tie and velvet jacket while John showed up in a Marc Jacobs-meets-Helmut Lang ensemble. We met Miss Janice, who first looked at us a bit nonplused, but then admitted that she was a fan of the show and my work. Miss Janice is everything you would think she is, a Diva. Her body , I must say is out-of-control, like that of a 20 year-old Estonian model. After the party we headed to East West, a lounge-bar in West Hollywood, where we continued the celebration in a more intimate setting with Miss Janice and her posse, where we snacked on a cheese plate and some chilled Champagne. Would you expect anything less from her? And by the way, she did not touch the cheese, in case you were wondering! Funny anecdote: towards the end of the party, my aforementioned friend Chip asked me to help take down the posters advertsing the show. I reacted (jokingly) something to the effect of "How dare you ask me to do such manual labor" Chip (without batting an eyelash) then said: "Huney you were No. 5 !!! So start helping me out!" Needless to say I got the posters and helped him pack up...... With love, Nick No. 5
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