Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Congratulations Miss Japan!
Congratulations to Riyo Mori for winning the title of Miss Universe 2007. She looked chic and stylish in her Gucci Spring 2007 gown. I'm sure Nina Garcia approved of this dress! Nina looked stylish and elegant herself.

This video was very unfortunate. Rachael Smith never looked comfortable from the start of the contest. I think that the weeks of feeling unwelcome by the Mexican population was weighing on her and our sources tell us that besides being booed at the National Costume Parade and preliminary judging, the booing started from the moment she was introduced at the National Auditorium and reached it's climax when she answered her final question. The fall was unfortunate but what was even more regrettable was the unsportsmanlike attitude of the audience.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
It's Pageant Time Again!!

Tomorrow (Monday) is the "Miss Universe 2007" pageant and besides being Memorial Day it also means one thing: Get out the Guacamole and chips and Margaritas, it's time to get your score card out and rate those gowns!!!!
But really, because of my sister's involvement in beauty pageants and having designed many "Miss USA" and "Miss Universe" gowns, as well as the gown Nancy O'Dell wore to host last year's telecast, this is my other "Academy Awards"! As you may remember, I went to last year's telecast, which was held in Los Angeles, at the famed Shrine Auditorium. This year, the pageant, is being held in Mexico City, Mexico featuring almost 80 girls from all over the world.

I was going to go for the weekend to "El D.F.", but I was called in for a job assignment over the weekend which ended up being a lot more lucrative. I was hoping to return to Mexico City and visit some family and friends (my sister's ex-husband's family is from there and my nephew and niece were born in Mexico City), but alas, I could not. I was even more disappointed when I found out Olympic Ladies Figure Skater, Michelle Kwan, would be one of the judges for the event. This would have been my chance to "slip in" one of my dresses to her, amongst all her Vera Wang's (Wang is her one and only designer).

Just recently, I had a "double" run-in with Miss Universe, when I attended my friend, Brook Lee's wonderful Baby Shower, thrown by her best friend, comedian Alec Mapa. At the party, all of sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I recognized another guest, former "Miss Universe", the beautiful Justine Pasek , from Panama. Well, I just about died! But of course, I could not show it. I was calm, cool and collected (as much as "Uncle Nick" can be!) We ended up talking for a long time, like old Panamanian girlfriends! Brook almost had to pull us away! She was like "Excuse me! This is MY Baby Shower!" She did tell me that she was on her way to the Mexican capital to judge the preliminaries of the Miss Universe Pageant. I just kept thinking of what my Missologist (pageant experts) friends would think of this moment: Brook Lee, Justine Pasek, and myself; I had to capture it with a photo.

The contestants have been in Mexico City for about a month and last week were the "National Costume" and "Preliminary" Contests. There was a bit of a scandal during the open air Parade of Costumes show, when the gorgeous "Miss USA", donned up as a sexy "Elvis" impersonator(she hails from Tennessee), was booed and jeered by the Mexican audience. Poor girl is getting the brunt of a whole country's feelings towards the US Government and especially its immigration policies. It reminded pageant-watchers of an incident that occurred the last time the "Miss Universe" pageant was held in Mexico City, when the Mexican audience also booed --for an hour--the contestant from the United States. She was continually booed when she made it into the Final 10, during her presentation on bathing suit and evening gown, as well as when she made the Final 5. An entire country looked tacky and "unsportsmanlike". History repeated itself.

Amongst other minor gossip, Jessica Simpson-hairstylist Ken Paves, has declined to appear as a final telecast judge, and was replaced by a Mexican soap-opera actor. Also, former "Miss Universe" Cecilia Boloco from Chile has declined an invitation to Monday night's show. This would have been the year celebrating the 20Th Anniversary of her crowning. Instead she opted to "lay low" as a result of recent scandalous topless photos of her that have appeared in the media showing her having an affair (she is married to the former President of Argentina, Carlos Menem).

But on to more fun stuff: Who are my favorites? Miss Venezuela (of course), Ly Jonaitis. She really is beautiful and will wear a stunning Angel Sanchez gown, designed especially for her. Some say she can "take it all". As long as she shows a "real, more down to earth" side of herself. Miss Venezuela's are known to always be perfect; from the hair to the gown to the surgically-enhanced body. Miss Venezuela is perfect from almost any angle but she can come off as rather robotic and rehearsed. Those savvy international panel of non-pageant watcher judges are looking for "realness"and personality, not necessarily a "pageant Betty". My other favorites include, Miss Korea, Miss Thailand, Miss Guatemala, Miss India, Miss Spain, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Greece and Miss Japan (she will be wearing Gucci directly from the Milan runways!) Lastly, I am certain that Miss Mexico and Miss USA will also duke it out for that coveted crown. You can go to one of my favorite sites Global Beauties and check out all the contestants and their swimsuits and especially, their gowns. Some are absolutely a mess, and you wonder "what were they thinking?" with slits going up to their cha cha's and way too much whickety wack! While many of the "Top Tier" girls that I mentioned above chose beautiful, elegant and sexy dresses. May the best gown, I mean girl, win!
Saturday, May 19, 2007
New York Diary: Survivor:Fiji, Karolina, Whoopi, Laura Bennett, Daniel Vosovic, and Jay McCarroll
Where do I begin? How about with : I love New York!!! It is, by far, my favorite city in the world! It almost pumps blood into my creative veins; being surrounded by all the fashion, art, architecture, the "hustle and bustle" of the original Metropolis, the shops, the models, the restaurants. The whole city thrills me like no other. It is "real", and a nice break from the "It's not what it seems" surreal world of La La Land.

My trip to New York City was bookended by work and the "Survivor: Fiji" Finale, in which my sister, Rita invited myself and David to attend. In between, however, was some "play time". As soon as we arrived , I was off to work, doing some fashion segments which I will talk about later next month. I got the privilege to do some more "red carpet" interviewing at an event for Katie Couric's Colon Cancer Foundation at the Chelsea Piers.

The highlight of that event was meeting Whoopi Goldberg. The Oscar-winning actress, came up to me, as I tried, nervously to introduce myself , "Hi , Whoopi, I am Nick Verreos from..." She stopped me and said, in her own unequaled way, "I know who you are...and I loved you! You should have been in the Final Three!" Well, I almost died and became speechless (rare) and of course, thanked her profusely. She then asked me for my business card. Unfortunately, I did not have one! I just about died a second time. I also became nauseous. And then, in that one-of-a kind Whoopi voice, she murmured in my ear, "Nick, you NEED to have a business card... AT ALL TIMES!" Needless to say, I reached for some paper and wrote my information and handed it to her. Lesson learned: Always have business cards. I don't like giving them out, I think it is cheesy and so "LA", but in this instance, it would have certainly been appropriate.

Immediately following my Red Carpet duties I rushed to the opening of my friends (Andy and Taylor pictured to the left) new gym STATION. Located in an absolutely fabulous building in the Meatpacking District (next to the Gansevoort Hotel), STATION offers these amazing vibrating exercise machines that are all the rage in Europe and are just now being offered here in the states. RuPaul as well as editors from W and all the top magazines were on hand to check out the buzz on this new hot spot.

I also got the chance to attend a chic opening party for a new Soho store called "Curve", which one of my favorite Supermodels, Czech beauty Karolina Kurkova was hosting. The party was filled with a "Who's Who" of A-List fashion types. Stylist Rachel Zoe (wearing an amazing dress and even more amazing Cartier Panthere diamond jewelry) with Hal Rubenstein, editor of "In Style" Magazine, designer Rachel Roy, model Bridget Hall, as well as a bevy of Upper East Side socialites that you always see on the "People Are Talking About" section of "Vogue" Magazine.

I also made a pit stop at one of my favorite bath and beauty product stores, "Lush". They were having a "Grand Opening" of their Soho store and asked me to stop by. Of course, I obliged and ended up buying my Mom a "Happy Mother's Day" gift box of "Lush" goodies, which I am sure my niece and nephew will use, instead of her. I also posed for photos with some of the shoppers in the store.

During my week, I got a chance to visit some of the East Coast "Project Runway" designers. I met Daniel Vosovic for a relaxing FOUR HOUR lunch where we ran into singer Jody Watley, who was in town for a special performance, staying at the same hotel I was. I also got to visit Laura Bennett at her spacious Manhattan Loft. I thought my Loft Studio was big, but WOW! This was my first time there, and I finally got to hang out (and play a little bit) with her kids. The "Project Rungay" boys were also there at Laura's pad, witnessing some heavy "off-the-record" dishing that will never get printed!(sorry guys).

I even got to visit the Poiret Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was gorgeous and inspiring. Everyone must go, especially students of Fashion Design. Paul Poiret is credited with being the designer who de-corseted women in the early 20th Century, with his loose chemises and then-shocking Kimono robe ensembles. His designs look so contemporary, especially now, during this season when every other dress is off the body and shapeless.

On Sunday,the day of my sister's "Survivor: Fiji" Finale (and Mother's Day), I spent the most amazing time with my beautiful 6 year old niece, Casia and 9 year old nephew , Alain and my lovely mom, of course. I took the kids to the Times Square "Toys 'R Us" and told them they could buy anything as a "treat" from "Uncle Nick" for being such good students and getting the wonderful grades this year. We even got to ride on the Ferris Wheel that is inside the store and demolished the candy section. Later that afternoon, we headed to their hotel to prepare to go to the "Ed Sullivan (David Letterman) Theater", where the Finale would take place. My mom wore a custom "Nick Verreos/Nikolaki" design I had made for her. She looked radiant on this very special day. My sister, I later found out, also wore one of my cowl-draped tops from my collection.

We were at the theater for FIVE HOURS, from 6 PM until 11 PM. The time actually went quite fast. We watched the final episodes on flat screens in the theater plus the live finale. We were thrilled to see that towards the end, host Jeff Probst (please get rid of the choker!), asked Rita a question about being a Mother and she spoke lovingly of her kids. We had been told, during the commercial beforehand that the camera would show the kids and to have Casia hold up the "Happy Mother's Day" sign they had made for Rita. When the time came, it was all so sudden, that Casia got nervous and forgot to hold the sign. If you saw the snippet, you might have noticed me nudging her to pick up the sign. But it was too late. Oh well, they still got their three seconds of fame and I am sure they were the Stars of their respective schools when they returned to San Antonio.

My beautiful friend, Ali (pictured to the left), then invited us to the official "Survivor: Fiji" After Party at "Pop Burger" in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, hosted by Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca, of "Survivor" fame. Jenna was stunning in a puffy-sleeved shirt dress and Ethan, well, one word: HOTTIE! I never told him this for sheer embarrassment, BUT, all I wanted to do was run my fingers through his ringlets! He was the perfect host. My sister mingled with her fellow contestants , introducing me to them, soon discovering that a lot were fans of "Project Runway".

Since this was the last night of my New York trip, I decided to go out with a "bang". After the party, we headed to Hiro at Maritime. Hiro is one of my favorite hangouts on a Sunday night in New York City. It is always packed and always fun. I always wonder if anyone has to go to work the next morning by the looks of all the people there dancing as if it was a Friday night. We quickly went upstairs for a drink and out of the corner of my eye, in the "VIP" section, I spotted NY Diva Amanda Lepore, Celebrity gossip queen Perez Hilton, AND (wait for it!) Kylie Minogue!!! OK, this is what I am talking about: I LOVE New York!!! If that was not enough, , I feel a tap on my shoulder, and I turn around and it is none other than Jay McCarroll!!!! Jay was looking very incognito in his over sized black sunglasses (Note to Jay: I would love to get me a pair!). My night, and week, was therefore, complete. I headed back to my friend's Chelsea apartment for much needed rest for my next day flight back to La La Land. I hope to be back in NY very soon!!!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I apologize for not posting in awhile, but I just finished spending a crazy, fun-filled week in New York doing several projects including attending the finale of Survivor: Fiji in support of my sister who was a contestant.

One of the best moments was when they showed my beautiful niece and nephew during the reunion portion of the show. It was Mother's Day when the show aired live and Casia had made Rita a beautiful, big card. She brought it to the show and was told to hold it up when the cameras went to her. Unfortunetly, it got stuck under the seat so she didn't get to show her card to the world but both Casia and Alain got their cute little faces on camera and I'm sure on Monday they were the stars of their school!

I had a great time and will do a complete review of all the exciting things that happened during the week when I actually get a second to breathe!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Last weekend, I went to Bakersfield, California (about a 2 hour drive North of Los Angeles) to make an appearance at the "Look and Feel Your Best Expo". I was invited by Mimi Dorsey and her company, Unique Image to bring a little bit of "Project Runway" to that city, as well as consequently, speak about my experience as a Southern California fashion designer and how I ended up on that Bravo television show.

The Expo itself was a trade show, featuring beauty, spa, hair and even plastic surgery professionals, set up in booths showcasing what they have to offer the population of Bakersfield and its nearby areas.

It was a scorching hot afternoon but we were treated to an indoor air conditioned (Thank God) auditorium and I was "whisked" off to my own dressing room to get ready. They told me that Gwen Stefani had just been there, in the same amphitheater the weekend before! I felt like saying "Oh, I'm sorry that now you get me!" The security personnel as well as the entire staff could not have been nicer and more accommodating. I even got my own three models , from a local agency, who wore three of my gowns to showcase a mini fashion show that followed my speaking appearance. The models were fabulous and very pretty.

One wore the black and white patterned gown that was seen on Bravo's "Work Out" and was the style that "Miss California" chose to wear (but we made it entirely in black silk satin) for last month's "Miss USA" contest. Another model wore the navy and creme flower printed silk gown that former "Miss Universe", Brook Lee wore to the "Miss Universe " pageant last year. And the last one, modeled an aubergine-colored jersey Grecian Goddess dress from my Fall Collection.

Afterwards, I came down and did a meet-and-greet and met all the fans that came out, shook their hands and took photos. I especially loved the kids from the fashion design and sewing class of a local high school, as well as the models from Taji, a local hair salon. David and I are very grateful to the Bakersfield fans who braved a hot Saturday afternoon to come out and see me--instead of spending the beautiful day at the Magic Mountain water park!!! ( I would have been there!)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Prom Advice- We Asked Nick!

I know for many of you, the Prom Season of 2007 has come and gone and hopefully everyone had an amazing time.
But in case you are one of those girls who has yet to experience the big night and are still looking for some advice, look no further than PromAdvice.com!

This website was developed through FIDM and recently I did a great interview that hopefully offers up some much needed advice on everything from finding the right dress for your body type, Good Prom Hair vs. Bad Prom Hair and even includes a little bit of advice on what to do if somebody shows up wearing the same dress as you!

There are also great questions (and answers) on how to ask that special someone to be your date and what to do if your date doesn't like to dance or if all your friends hate your date!!

And lastly, it's not too late to get that Nick Verreos for Windsor Dress. This was a limited collection and once the season ends they will be gone!! Don't be one of the thousands of people that emailed me begging for a way to get a Barbie!! Snap them up before it is too late. The Summer Dress is perfect for any party (it doesn't have to be the prom) and is in the color of the season YELLOW!
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