Vitamin Water: Check. Throat Lozenges: Check. Outfit to wear in front of High School Students: Check. It's FIDM's Three Days Of Fashion!
Last month, I got the chance to visit all of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising's California campuses in a flourish of activities that the school plans out during Summer Break. Traditionally, FIDM plans out an event called the Three Days Of Fashion for high school students throughout the country who are thinking of coming to fashion school or going into careers in fashion. As FIDM's spokesperson and as an alumni and an instructor, I was asked to make special appearances at all their campus--all within a span of two weeks. Let's just say, I got to know airports and the Southern California freeways very well! Lest you think it's all "flossy flossy", I flew Coach and drove myself to these events!
I began my appearances in a rather "dazed and confused" state. My first, San Francisco event was set for the same day I was flying back from New York City filming my MSN "Dress Like You Mean It" fashion segments. And I had to be in San Francisco by noon. I left NY at 5 AM , arrived in SF at 10 AM and drove straight to FIDM SF. No sleep and not enough Vitamin Water to keep me going. But somehow I did it! One of my oldest of friends, whom I consider like a sister, Didi Simon, greeted me at the airport and then took me to a much needed power breakfast before heading into the city. Love me some Didi!! Since I spent my adolescence in the Bay Area, I always love returning to the City by the Bay. After I was greeted by the energetic FIDM SF staff, I took a look at their window displays of original student designs of garments they made from hospital smocks. Yes, you read it right: Hospital smocks! They were great by the way. Note to future Project Runway segment writers: This is a challenge worth doing. I then spoke to the over 150 high school students about school, FIDM, and of course, Project Runway. I also signed autographs and posed for lots of My Space photos.
Next stop was home base, Los Angeles. At this Three Days of Fashion, I brought along a surprise "guest star", model Amanda Fields, who was on Season Three of the show (designer Kayne Gillespie's model). She models here in Los Angeles now, and I thought it would be a fun addition to the appearance to bring her along to model some of my dresses. Needless to say, the kids loved it--and you know Amanda was eatin' it up too!! The FIDM grand ball room, as I call it, was filled to capacity with eager students wanting to know more about fashion, designers and , again, my experience on the little ol' show.
A couple of days of rest, and I was in my car , taking a sweet ride down to San Diego, for my next stop in my "Nick FIDM World Tour" : San Diego. Because of the infamous Southern California traffic, I almost did not make it on time. But, once I did, I was whisked right into the event, and all that nasty traffic was forgotten once I got to meet and greet all those wonderful students who had shown up to do the San Diego FIDM Three Days of Fashion. The staff had decorated the room I would be speaking in to make it look like a Moroccan souk! With an added runway( you KNOW I had to do my runway walk!). It was so much to meet all of these future fashion designers and to see their excited faces once they meet me and want to take photos with me, it makes it all worth it. So many of them told me "You have inspired me to be a designer..." Boys and girls alike. As an instructor, I always feel that if I can inspire just a couple of my students for doing better and wanting to succeed, then my job has been done.
My final stop was the OC! Land of Laguna Beach and MTV's The Hills. This was my first time visiting the campus and was eager to see was it looked like. First of all, the FIDM Orange County campus is FABUUUULOUS!!! The building itself is very modern and all one story. Then you walk in and its got bright bubblegum pink floors. Love it! I felt right at home. There were over 200 high school students--and their moms--waiting for me to make my appearance. I was told that they had already spent the morning and early part of the afternoon taking draping classes and putting together story boards, as well as illustrating. My appearance was supposed to be a surprise but I guess word got out. Once I walked out, I was greeted by the same amount of applause and screams I think Lauren Conrad of "The Hills" gets (OK, maybe not so much, but indulge me in a bit of fantasizing). I had a great time speaking to the students and then afterwards meetin' and greetin'. After it was all over, I had such a great time doing all the Three Days of Fashion and look forward to the next round. Maybe next time, I'll pack lots of Vitamin Water and throat lozenges--and try to upgrade to a better airplane seat, or a better car for my driving.
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