Saturday, November 29, 2008
Bahamas Party Recap--Part Three of my Islands of The World Fashion Week ReportThe first ever Islands of The World Fashion Week wasn't all about the runway and seeing and judging beautiful clothes from all over the world. It was also about the major parties that engulfed the island nation of the Bahamas to celebrate the fashion week's debut. Welcome to the Bahamas: Junkanoo Performers greet Islands of The World Fashion week guests As "VIP guests", both David and I were invited to all the parties and special events, which ended each Fashion Week's night with food, dancing, showcasing what Bahamians know best: How to party! Every evening, there was something to do---and a limousine waiting for us to get us to the festivities! Yes, kiddies, VIP all the way (loved that!) Limo Ridin': Susan Stein, David's Mom, Conchita, Louis Sarmiento, and Vanessa Pritchard We were joined by my fellow judge, the fashionable DIVA and El Paseo Palm Desert Fashion Week Director, Susan Stein, Fashion Week Daily Publisher Louis Sarmiento (such a cutie--sorry Louis!), David's lovely mom, Conchita, who came all the way from San Diego, California to see our show and our hostess-with-the mostest, Miss Vanessa Pritchard (who we coaxed, kicking and screaming, to model in our NIKOLAKI show!) . Modeling Muse: David Paul, model and VIP Hostess, Vanessa Pritchard (in NIKOLAKI), and Nick Verreos Vanessa comes from a long dynasty of Bahamian creme de la creme, as I call it. Her family began and own John Bull, originally a Tobacconist started by Sir Asa Pritchard, now a retail chain of boutiques which sell all the high-end international brands exclusively in the Caribbean, such as Gucci, Fendi, Rolex and Cartier---you name them , they've got it! Welcome Night Party: Dancing Queen: Nick Verreos dancing up a storm at Islands of The World Fashion Week Party The day after we arrived in the gorgeous Bahamas, David and I went directly to work, meeting the models, doing fittings, and casting our show. This took A WHOLE DAY, I kid you not. But we had 30 gowns to fit on 15 girls, and to also match shoes and accompanying jewelry of course. After a full day of work, we were ready for some fun: The first night we were treated to a "Opening Reception" at the Greycliff Humidor Churrascaria Brazilian Restaurant, where we drank Champagne and ate local hor d'oeuvres. Here, I was introduced for the first time to many of the participating designers from all the various island nations from the Caribbean and beyond. We also posed and took what was to be the first of many, many photos (watch out MySpace and Facebook!) Culture and Arts NightThe second day , I took in a day's worth of runway shows since I was one of the official judges for the Eco-Sustainable and Culture and Next-Gen Designer Awards. That night, we were picked up by our trusty driver, and shuttled to this fabulous estate, where the event's organizers treated us to a fabulous "Welcome Party" highlighting the Culture and Arts of the Bahamas, with a strong emphasis on Junkanoo--the Bahamian New Year's Celebration. I know I had really only been in Nassau three days, but this was by far my favorite night so far! The evening began with a fabulous Bahamian song-and-dance number by an ensemble cast of local performers, then there was limbo dancing (with fire-lit limbo sticks!), a powerful drum performance by an acclaimed local artist and even a celebratory Junkanoo procession of costumed tuba and brass--playing musicians and dancers (see above). Click below for wonderful video of what greeted us at this "Culture Night" at Island of The World Fashion Week:
Marley Resort Party:Caribbean's Next Top Models: Nick Verreos and David Paul surrounded by the Top Models of the Caribbean at Marley Resort and Spa Fashion Week PartyMarley Resort Party: The next night, we attended a late-night party at the Marley Resort, in Cable Beach, Nassau. Originally a governor's mansion, Marley's widow, Nana (Rita) Marley bought it and now runs this expansive and lush resort and we were privileged to have been there. We dined and danced the night away with other attendees of the Islands of The World Fashion Week, as well as all the models and participating designers. A Thousand and One (Bahamian) Nights: Nygard Cay ResortThroughout the entire week, we were forewarned about the "Final Night Party" and how unbelievable it would be. As we got into our "Super Stretch" limousine, we knew something special would be ahead of us. After an hour drive from our Atlantis Resort Hotel, we ended up in Lyford Cay in Nassau, New Providencia, then passed by a glorious gated community, through an obviously tony upper class neighborhood with colonial style mansions galore--including Sean Connery's home as well as other Hollywood A-Listers. Center Of Attention: The Bar at Nygard Cay We then arrived at the famed Nygard Cay, a 6 acre/150,000 sq. ft. resort founded by Clothing Designer (based out of Canada, you can also find his designs at Dillard's) and Multi Millionaire Peter Nygard. We thought we had arrived in another world altogether! We look up and there were these immense architectural masterpieces of Mayan style temples greeting us. Nygard supposedly lives in the "Private Area" of the resort but it is available to rent--for $42,000 a day! Oprah Winfrey has. He also has his own private Boing 727 jet. Bahamian Vollyball: A view of one of the many pools at Nygard Cay I think my mouth was completely open (in a permanent awestruck pose) for about an HOUR after arriving at Nygard Cay. It is really one of those things that you just have to see to believe. Countless pools, a private theater, your own secluded beach, a complete discotheque and even a bedroom that juts out from the main "temple mansion" and hovers inexplicably over the ocean. I swear it was something out of a James Bond movie! If you can make so much money and be able to own a jet and a mansion like this selling at Dillard's then sign NIKOLAKI up! Nygard Disco: The view of the Nygard Cay Resort Discotheque ( Peter Nygard made a rare appearance--he's the blond man with a turquoise sweater around his neck, to the right of center) Nikolaki Sandwich: David Paul, model Kamela, and Nick Verreos at Nygard Cay Party The party was INCREDIBLE!! Everything was taken care of: From the endless buffet of delicious food to the fully-stocked open bar, to the various artists, singers and dancers who entertained us, it was as if we were celebrating New Year's Eve in major VIP fashion! LA Fashion Week: LA-based Designer Kevan Hall, David Paul and Nick Verreos of NIKOLAKI at Nygard Cay There were even models strewn throughout the resort , semi-naked, in full body paint, serving jello shots (Click on video below!) We danced, ate and drank the night away, until we couldn't anymore---and like Cinderella, we had to catch our "carriage" back to the Atlantis. It was a fabulous ending to an incredible debut of Islands of The World Fashion Week. Click below to watch a fun video of LA Designer Kevan Hall, Nick Verreos, David Paul, Vanessa Pritchard and other guests partaking in the "Islands of The World Jello Shots" at Nygard Cay Resort Party!!