Sunday, November 26, 2006
I may not be too old, but I have already decided where I wanted to retire: Palm Springs. Or at least, have a "weekend retreat" from the bustling metropolis that Los Angeles is. But first, I have to earn enough money to even make this a reality. As of now, it is a far-off dream.
Just recently, during the Veteran's Day weekend, I got the chance to check out my future "home away from home" when I got invited to the opening of The BodyFactory (www.bodyfactory.com) in Palm Springs. The BodyFactory is a unique Southern California experience. It is a smoothie bar, beauty store, tanning salon, and ultra luxe candle and scent boutique all rolled into one. There is one in Hollywood and it has become a favorite haunt for all the perfectly-ab'ed boys and girls of LA-LA Land and all the celebs featured in magazines such as "US Weekly" and "Life & Style". Palm Springs is about a two hour drive (depending on traffic) from Los Angeles, and during the "Winter" months, it is delightfully cool and tepid. I actually stayed in the nearby town of Rancho Mirage off of Dinah Shore Drive (I am not kidding!) at an expansive resort called The Mission Hills Villas. It looked like a golfer's paradise. Unfortunately for me, I do not golf. I just sew, do patterns, drape, and shop!!!!
The Opening Night of the Palm Springs BodyFactory had its own "Red Carpet" and I was greeted immediately by its owners, the handsome Robert Green and Bob Sliter. There were lots of guests who were either from the Palm Springs' "A-List" or who drove in from LA just for the party. We were treated to some delicious hor' dourves as well as an Open Bar. I also got a taste of what has to be one of the best tasting (and healthiest) smoothies known to man: Body Fuel. Body Fuel is made of alfafa, apple, broccoli, cherry, echinachea, and Shitake mushroom, amongst other things. It sounds a bit nasty, but trust me, it is GOOD!! And totally healthy. One of those, and it makes up for the 4 Vodka Martinis you had before--or after!
The Body Factory also has the best smelling Voluspa candles and incense and carries one of my favorite Men's Grooming Lines, Jack Black. I love the Face Buff, Beard Lube and the All-Over Wash. I know I am sounding like Jessica Simpson pitching Pro-Activ, but trust me, I cannot get out of the house without these products. (Hello, Jack Black, I can be your spokesperson, call me!!)
Besides the party, I also got the chance to check out the new stylish Parker Hotel, which reminded me of one of those amazing homes that stars such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had in Palm Springs. The sprawling gardens are amazing and a great area to get lost in! I just loved the uniforms the hotel staff were sporting. The salmon-pink colored jackets and white shirts and pants were oh-so-chic! Finally, I also went shopping at the Cabazon /Desert Hills Premium Outlets, where I had to check out the Prada, Gucci and Barney's Outlet stores. I made some retail damage at the last one, unfortunately. I finally ended the evening having dinner at the Palm Springs Hamburger Mary's while the Veteran's Day fireworks were exploding outside. What a fitting ending for such a relaxing and fun weekend in what I predict will be where I set up my very own "Nick Verreos" boutique for all those Paris Hilton's who want to come to Palm Springs for the weekend and may need a fishtail, asymmetrical-hemmed bias-cut dress to go out on the town and hang out at the Parker or The Viceroy.
Monday, November 20, 2006
This past Saturday night, I was invited to the 35th Anniversary L.A. Annual Gay & Lesbian Center Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century City Plaza Hotel. I was asked to give a speech and present the Corporate Vision Award to the Bravo Network. Attendees included Vice President of Production and Programming, Andy Cohen (who accepted the award), "Project Runway" Season 3 designer Robert Best, Season 2 designer Raymundo Baltazar and actor and activist, Wilson Cruz, who gave an emotional and inspiring speech for the Distiguished Achievement Award he received. You can see us in the photo , posing with the president of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Lorri L. Jean. Also present at the Gala was the entire cast of Bravo's "Workout" (who were being filmed for Season 2 of the show) as well as the lovely Betty Fraser, one of my favorite chefs from "Top Chef". There was also a accompanying auction with hundreds of items up for the guests to bid on , from trips to Argentina, Mexico and New York (we bid on the last one, but lost) to training sessions, beauty product packages, jewelry, and even a visit to the set of "Desperate Housewives". I also put bids on a very modern CD Stereo. We kept on playing "bidding wars" with one person the whole time. I even bitched out loud who this other person was who did not want me, under any circumstances, to get the stereo. David then whispered in my ear that the guy was standing right behind me, eyeing "his" stereo like a hawk! I walked away , giving him a dirty look of "It's YOURS!!" I never had bid on any auction of any kind and wanted to go home with my own X-mas present--or at least one for David's upcoming Birthday. Ah well, we had a fun time with the bidding war anyway and enjoyed the drama of it all!! I also donated a disposable camera, in which I took photos from my recent trip to Palm Springs (more on that in a later post) as well as to the Los Angeles' Ovation Awards. I am sad to say that no one bid on it. I later told David that we should have bid on it, so I could get the camera (and film) back! I also donated an exclusive illustration I did of my "My Scene Barbie" outfit. Someone (Thank God) did bid for this and I believe the sketch went for $150. All for a good cause of course. The event itself was filled with poignant as well as lots of funny moments. Drag Diva extraordinaire, Miss Coco Peru was the emcee and she did an amazing job. She even did a kick-up your heels ode to Chorus Line with her sexy back-up dancers. Ever since I first saw her perform about 10 years ago in NY's Barracuda, I have been a fan of Miss Coco. The Bravo Award was the first of the evening so my presentation and speech was one of the first. I was a bit nervous but thankful that it was out of the way, and then I could enjoy the show. Actress and Icon, Lesley Anne Warren was also a special guest, sitting on Miss Coco's "couch" for an interview. At the end of the night, I posed with her for photos.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Tonight, Saturday, November 18th, I have been asked to present the Corporate Vision Award to Bravo's Andy Cohen at the LA Gay & Lesbian's Center's 35th Annual Gala and Auction. I will be joined by fellow "Project Runway" Designers, Andrae Gonzalo, Raymundo Baltazar and Jeffrey Sebelia, as well as the entire cast of Bravo's "Workout". This is an exciting and fun event.
As a bonus , the Center will be auctioning off a disposable camera, in which I took photos from recent events I attended, plus a one-of-a-kind original illustration I did of the winning "My Scene Barbie" outfit I designed for the Project Runway" Challenge on Season 2. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
As you can see , I have changed the format of my blog a little bit. I decided it was time for "face lift". Let's just say I smothered it with some anti-wrinkle moisturizing creme perk it up! But enough with the cosmetics analogies. Last week, I was invited to several events/parties here in Hollywood. Even with my crazy schedule, somehow I found the time to speed my way through the crazy traffic-ridden streets of Los Angeles after 9 hours of teaching and designing to make it to a couple of these. The opening of the "Original Penguin" store on Melrose Ave. was a fun one to attend, where we danced to Brent Bolthouse's DJ'ing, munched on Dolce's yummy hors d'eouerves and ran into my Project Runway friend, Andrae Gonzalo. I know, you have to ask "Where's Andrae?", well on that night, he was with me , at the "Original Penguin" store opening. I also went to TMZ'z First Anniversary Party at Republic on La Cienega. The last time I was there was at the "Entertainment Weekly" magazine party, and I wanted to attend since I love TMZ and all those "gotcha" videos of celebrities and party professionals such as Paris and Lindsay getting caught doing (and saying) things they would probably regret. I ran into the creator, and "master" of one of my favorite other blogs, "Pink Is The New Blog", Trent. Here we are posing for a photo from that party. The T-shirt I am wearing in both photos was given to me by a student of mine, who has a great new line of T-shirts, NDCENT, featuring some cool screen prints. Just this last week , I attended a fabulous event in Palm Springs and I just returned from Kansas. I will soon post articles here as well as on http://www.bravotv.com/ on these.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
FRONTIER'S MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Femme Boys Rule I am posting one of my recent "Frontier's Magazine" articles, in which I wrote about "Femme Boys". These are the guys who give you fashion androgyny in terms of their wardrobe, grooming and the accessories they wear. One of my best friends (as I wrote in the article) has been doing this for years, but recently I have been noticing this change in men's fashion, especially at FIDM, the design school I teach at. Before the young students felt compelled to fit a "certain mold" that the media keeps feeding these kids, yet luckily now there are some that beat to a different drum. I celebrate that! The final straw that catapulted this new style direction for menswear was the MTV Video Music Awards. It was refreshing to see all these new bands looking more femme than a drag queen at the West Hollywood Pride Parade. Hope you enjoy it and I will soon post more of these published articles.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Halloween 2006: Ahoy Mateee! Last night I attended Heidi Klum and Seal's Halloween Party at Hollywood club, Privilege. I decided to use the illustration I did for NPR as my inspiration and do a "Pirate" theme, however, you know I had to take it to a whole other level. I was John Galliano as an Indian Pirate. I used his fabulous Men's Spring 2005 Collection as my springboard. My costume began as a regular ol' Pirate and I "tested" it at a party over the weekend but everyone kept coming up to me saying "You look like John Galliano!". So for Heidi's party, I decided to "own it" and be John Galliano, but as a Pirate! Heidi Klum looked amazing as "Original Sin", the Apple and the Serpeant from the Bible. Seal was Eve. I could not get past his blonde wig and the leaves stragically placed throughout his shift of a dress. Hilarious! I did the Red Carpet and posed for photos with fellow Project Runway designers Santino Rice, Raymundo Baltazar and winner, Jeffrey Sebelia. I also did an exclusive "Live from the Red Carpet" for Heidi and YouTube has a video of the fun and a peek into the fabulousness of the party. Check it out HERE I will also do a more complete posting of the goings-on of the party on www.bravotv.com with more great photos!
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