And the drum roll please........ I am proud to announce that I just "inked" a deal with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) to be their "Spokesperson" for 2007-2008. It brings me immense joy to represent the college I teach at as well as where I received my formal education in fashion design studies. FIDM is kind enough to recognize the value I have in possibly inspiring future students of design wherever they may attend school--and I know that that students all over the country still want to hear "inside dish" on "Project Runway".
Besides still doing my duties as an Instructor at FIDM, I will now also represent the school in several of their important marketing and recruiting events, not only in their Los Angeles campus, but also San Francisco and San Diego. The details are still being discussed but I will make "special appearances" at certain FIDM events, such as their "Open Houses" and will write a column for their popular "Prom Advice" website. I will also still be able to travel all over the country and speak to other design schools and universities. I have planned appearances in Tampa, FL and possibly Seattle this year and I will provide more information on those later.
Last week was the beginning of my first "official" duties in my new position. I was the Special Surprise Guest Speaker at the FIDM Debut 2007 Fashion Show, held in Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hanger. DEBUT 2007 is the gala finale show for the top fashion and theater costume design students. Here, they get to showcase their very first 10-12-piece collections or costume designs in front of thousands of Industry leaders, designers and all-around Hollywood glitterati. Over a decade ago (now I am REALLY aging myself!), I was one of those 10 "Debut" students that were handpicked to show their collections. There is a video of this which should be permanently put in a time capsule.
I attended a special "Pink Party" for FIDM's Fashion Club members, held in a tent near the Hanger with a DJ, make-up artists and Marie Antoinette-themed models. I brought my friend and favorite model, Amara to the event. She wore a gold/metallic linen bolero and tulip skirt suit from my line, NIKOLAKI,of course. There were hundreds of students who lined up to pose for photos with us. It was a delight meeting each and every one of them.
Afterwards, I introduced the "Debut 2007" fashion show to a screaming crowd of over 2500 high school students from all over the country. The kids were yelling so loud that I felt like Justin Timberlake!! It was an amazing experience which then lasted after the show, when I posed for more photos with hundreds of kids who were not at the "Pink Party" beforehand. The experience was repeated on Friday with similar results.
The "DEBUT 2007" Fashion Show itself was great! It began wth the Theater Costume designers who were given a "Circus" theme to work with. The production, and the costumes were fabulous! I could see the awestruck faces on the visiting Junior and Senior students out in the audience. Then , the Advanced Fashion Design students showed their collections and I was surprised. It was a definite step up from previous years, where frankly the designs looked awkward and "fashion--student-esque". I could name the page number in the pattern book where the the jackets came from (not a good sign). But not this year. The collections looked fresh, WEARABLE and still creative. Kudos to all the designers. There was even a fun children's collection that brought the house down. Britney's most recent ex-boy toy, Isaac Cohen, also modeled in the show (to more yelling and screaming from girls--and boys--in the audience) One of my favorite collections was from Angelo Estrada. His "Matrix-meets Dominitrix-meets-Secret Berlin Spy" collection (that's what I'm calling it) in wools, leathers and furs, combined the creativity of a futuristic Hollywood blockbuster with the realism of having great sellable pieces.
The "Debut" weekend ended Saturday evening with the black-tie Gala dinner show, hosted by FIDM grad, designer Randolph Duke. Besides my date, David, my dinner buddies included former student, Lauren Conrad from MTV's "The Hills", her lovely sister and her beautiful mom. We had a great time dishing on the show, her former girlfriend, Heidi, and her future plans to launch the "Lauren Conrad" fashion empire! Move over Beyonce, Gwen, and Jessica...
For more on my appearances with FIDM click HERE
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