Friday, October 31, 2008
Model In A Corner: Amanda Fields in NIKOLAKI/Nick Verreos David Paul (photo by Evans Vestal Ward) Who Knew? Vogue.com has this fabulous web-documentary about models and Miss Amanda Fields makes a cameo--in one of my NIKOLAKI cropped bolero jersey tops. Seen above, Miss Amanda is modeling the rust/wine colored version for my NIKOLAKI Website Look Book. In the Vogue.com documentary, she can be seen wearing the same style , but in a caramel color way. Click HERE--Model.Live Episode 5 and she can be seen right in the middle of the episode, waiting in a model casting line. It's so crazy how most of the models are as tall as her--and darlings, Miss Amanda is tall--she's almost 6 feet! Kisses, Nick
Gay and Gayer: Project Runway Model Amanda Fields, Nick Verreos and actor Wilson Cruz Here is an article published on Gay.com about what my favorite places are to eat, shop and much more....in the City Of Angels. Hope you guys enjoy and get some dish on where I like to shop, eat and drink!
I was recently asked by FOXNEWS.com (I know , shut up!) if I would give my "two cents" on Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's fashion style and under a dazed stupor, I actually said "Yes". I think she dresses the part of a "Vice President"---it helps that the RNC gave her $150,000 to spend! I actually like her suits--I think she looks crisp, executive-like and I even went further and said that "she looks like an executive at Estee Lauder Cosmetics"... Of course, as of late, the scandal has been more about those $150,000 that the RNC spent on her. For someone who is supposed to come off as "one of us/everyday 'Soccer Mom'..." it seems a bit hypocritical to me. I think that's why people were so incensed about it. After all, Ms. Palin had the option to say "You know what...I'm not taking these clothes...it will make me look like a hypocrite...especially since I am just trying to be an 'everyday Main St. Soccer Mom'...." My sister, Rita Verreos, is one of those supposed "Soccer Mom's" and she certainly doesn't have a $150,000 clothing allowance....Just sayin' Click HERE to read the entire article.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A Nick Chic Peek: Marc Jacobs Spring 2009 Last weekend, my good friend, John Wade, West Coast Manager of Marc Jacobs stores, invited me for an exclusive "preview" of the recently debuted Spring 2009 Collection. Of course, I did a quick "spritz", stopped my 14-hour pattern making and draping of my Spring '09 Collection which I was working on, and headed off to see what almost every fashion editor called "The Best Collection from NY Fashion Week". Every season , about a month after the runway show, Marc Jacobs sends the collection on a "Tour", with stops at all the major stores. Emails and invitations are sent to all the "preferred clients" to come and view the collection and take "pre-orders". it's a way to see the clients' reaction and "feel" the buying public. These clients will be the first to wear Marc Jacobs Spring 2009---and for the Hollywood "elite"; actresses, agent's, director's and producer's wives and/or girlfriends, this is a must. They want to be first to be seen in the collection and be the supposed envy of their fashionista circles. While I was there, I spotted several. One of these to get a special preview was a fabulous LA-based jewelry designer and personal psychic (yep, you read that right!), Tori Hartman, who was there with her "girls" (who were showing off Tori's great bracelets and necklaces). We all had a fun time seeing the collection before anyone else. She also scared me when she began talking about my long-deceased grandma (whom I loved immensely and whom my new collection is loosely based on) and proclaiming what colors my new collection had (she was right!). Of course, I was excited to see the clothes up close and personal. I especially wanted to see those snippy little straw hats that were shown with the collection. Straw NOT!! Try metallic sequined-like fabric woven to look like simple straw-like material. One of the gorgeous MJ staff was on hand to "model" pieces and I was glad to photograph them for you guys. One of my favorite pieces was this bias-cut tweed boucle strapless bustier and Capri-pant look. The strapless top looked just like any other strapless top. Until you get up close and realize there is a whole boned corset built into it, which holds the wearer to a 1/8th of an inch of their well-toned upper torso body! It even had a silk satin yoke attached at the hem that no one would get to see---to prevent the bustier from peeking out of a tucked-in outfit (as in the photo). This was a perfect example of details one would never get to see--and reasons for why a "simple corset"/strapless top can cost over a thousand dollars. This top was shown on the runway with these Capri pants that seemed to be of a shiny brocade fabric. Until you got up close... There were sequined paillettes hand-sewn into the fabric!! Crazy! Again, on the runway, you could not even tell. I loved seeing the jackets from the collection. Marc did these great little jackets with capped shoulder padded sleeves in various fabrications , from tweed, boucle, to metallic striped wool. His dresses were gorgeous , of course as well. I thank John Wade for allowing me to marvel at the clothes up close and see the beauty, workmanship and detail that one would normally not see on a runway video or Style.com fashion photos. I love having these "exclusive previews" , especially when they involve looking at the almost-couture garments of Marc Jacobs!
Friday, October 24, 2008
In Two Weeks: Nick Verreos Will Debut ''09 Spring Collection at Islands of The World Fashion Week--The Bahamas Nick Verreos and David Paul, designers of NIKOLAKI, at W San Diego Fashion Show, Spring 2008 Less than two weeks (and counting) and I will be flying to The Bahamas to debut my Spring NIKOLAKI 2009 Collection, along with my partner, David Paul at the first ever Islands Of the World Fashion Week. The once-in-a-lifetime-event will showcase the designs of 39 designers from all over the world, including fellow Los Angeles designer Kevan Hall. The event will also honor Kenneth Cole, for his amazing contribution to the fashion world as well as to all that he has done for AIDS awareness. I will also be judging, so I am getting my Michael Kors/Nina Garcia judging cap on!Next week, I will divulge the Theme and Inspiration, but for now, I will just give you a "peek" via a sketch (see above) . Don't worry, there will be more where that came from...Heidi Klum in NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos, David Paul Actress Marlee Matlin in NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos, David Paul, 2008 Academy Awards I have dressed women as diverse as Supermodel Heidi Klum, Academy Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin, and Kathy Griffin, so it would come as no surprise that my collection might have a "little bit" of "Red Carpet" in it, in terms of DIVA style.Comedianne Kathy Griffin in NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos, Bravo A-List Awards For the last 5 months, we have been working OVERTIME on creating an amazing collection: First, David and I spent weeks working on the designs of the collection and edited it down to the amount we wanted to show. Subsequently, after we decided on the designs, I draped EVERY SINGLE PIECE and did the patterns for it (not many designers can say that!), David had his executive "touch" on every muslin and every fitting and then our unbelievable seamstresses did their "magic"! We have had 14 hour days of madness for the last three months especially--ordering fabric from India, Italy and Japan that has been late in arrival--or still has not arrived at all!! But that's "business as usual" for any designer. As Tim Gunn famously states: You have to "Make It Work". Let's just say we haven't slept much lately... Stay tuned. Click HERE for a video from the President of the Islands Of the World Fashion Week.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Hours After being Crowned the Winner: Leanne and Nick Verreos at Official Wrap party (I did not know she had won of course!) Finale Wrap-Ups....Since last week was the final episode of Season 5 Project Runway, I thought it would be fitting to do some "Season 5 Wrap Ups". During my trip to New York City last month to attend the Bryant Park Show, I was lucky enough to have been invited (along with David, of course) to a Post Finale Brunch as well as to the Wrap Party that occurred the same day of the Finale Show, and hours after the last "And the Winner Is'" episode was shot. I saved these fun photos and my recap of the day (and night) until now....Hope you enjoy! Bloody Mary or Mimosa?Brunch Dishing: Saturn's Lisa Gilpin, Nick Verreos, and friend Taylor Schultz Every season, after the Project Runway Finale Bryant Park Show, it has been the tradition for Bravo to throw a fabulous "Post-Show Brunch" at Bryant Park Grill next to the tents. It was a great way for clients, producers and former Project Runway alum, to mingle, dish on the show and grab some delicious omelets and Mimosas...However, for some reason, this season, this Bryant Park Grill Brunch was not occurring. David and I were ready to head back to our hotel and have our own intimate post-show dishing brunch---until my good friend, Lisa Gilpin, of Saturn (and my Front Row seat-mate at the show), invited us to a "hush-hush" brunch at the stylish Royalton Hotel, being thrown for clients and sponsors of the show, including L'Oreal, Tre Semme, Bravo and of course, Saturn. David and I also brought our NY friend, Taylor Schultz, who attended the finale show with us (he was tickled of course!)Royalton Post Show Brunch: David Paul, Laura K, and Molly, smiling after a couple of Mimosas Once there, we were so happy to see the entire Blogging Project Runway "crew", Miss Laura K., "TBone" and "The Scarlett". Between all of us, we set up our own Project Runway booth at the restaurant and proceeded to have a delicious brunch and one too many Mimosas and Bloody Mary's. We discussed who our favorites were, who we thought should win, whose collection was the best (and the worst) and so on. It may not have been like the traditional Bryant Park Grille Brunch, but we had a great time nonetheless. The Official Wrap Party: White Pants After Labor Day? John Wade and Nick Verreos Break the Rules, New York City, September '08 After the wonderful Royalton Hotel Brunch, David and I returned back to our hotel, The Hudson, to grab a "Disco Nap" so we would be ready for what the evening had in store for us. Well, because of the early morning "call time" for the Finale Bryant Park Show, our supposed brief nap, turned into a full-blown 4 HOUR SIESTA!!!! Once up, I checked my Blackberry and got messages, inviting me to the Official Wrap Party being given by the producers of the show. On our way out of the hotel, guess who we ran into? Season 2 Designer and Marc Jacobs West Coast Manager, John Wade! He was in New York to attend his boss' New York Fashion Week Spring '09 Collection, as well as for the Marc Jacobs "Buys"-- when all the stores' managers survey the collection and decide what they will order for their boutiques. By coincidence, he happened to be staying at The Hudson and was returning after a 14-hour workday. I begged him to come with us to the Wrap Party, but he could barely keep his eyes open. He did just for the two seconds it took to take a photo(see above).Wrap Party Sandwich: Saturn's Lisa Gilpin, Nick Verreos and Season 5 Finalist, Korto (looking REALLY HAPPY!) Once at the Wrap Party, I was happy to say "Hi" to all the Season 5 Designers and "feel out" the ones who showed at Bryant Park (to see if I could take a good guess who had been crowned the winner of Season 5). I immediately greeted Leanne Marshall, and met her boyfriend and friends, who came out from Portland. I assumed she had won, since I thought her collection was the best. I even congratulated her (even though, of course, I did not know who had really won) but her and friends had major "poker faces" on: Her demeanor seemed solemn, sad and to be honest, not one of a "winner". Maybe she was just so tired from it all, which is totally understandable. I then made a bee-line to Korto. Maybe I could see if she was acting like a "winner". She was. If she could have, she would have been dancing on top of the bar's tables! She was dancing, singing, having a Gay Ol' time! So, that left me thinking: Did Korto win? Because she sure was acting like it. Leanne's Muse: Nick Verreos with Leanne Marshall's model, Tia, at Season 5 Wrap Party, New York City, September '08 I also recognized some of Season 5 Models, including Leanne's (Tia), as well as Korto's, the Latinalicious (my tribute to Blayne!), Katrina Munez. Of course, I also made a point to say Hello to the great Magical Elves producers, cameramen, and sound guys present. I tried to get something out of them, in terms of who won. But no one was telling. I left the party thinking that Korto had won, BUT with a little bit of doubt on my mind...Little did I know!! Make Me A Project Runway Supermodel: Nick Verreos hangs out with Season 5 Models at the Season 5 Wrap Party in New York City, September '08
Saturday, October 18, 2008
And The Winner Is..... Front Row and Center:As I previously wrote, I was lucky enough to have attended the actual Project Runway Finale Fashion Show at the Bryant Park tents. I even got to sit front row--almost directly across from Nina, Heidi, Michael and Season 4 Winner Miss Christian Siriano! It was a mixed blessing, to say the least: I was so excited--beyond belief--that I was sitting at such a prime spot, but then when the fashions came down the runway, the Instructor Nick in me could spot every loose thread, every last-minute made-up dart, every not-so-well sewn zipper. I was struck by the fact that there was no "Oh My God, I LOVE THAT!" moment or as a lot of people at the show were saying: There was no Christian Moment or Rami Moment or Jay McCarroll Moment, where you know there was a "Star". I know from experience that TV makes everything look prettier than it really is (I love that--especially in my season and with a lot of the designs I did!) , and therefore was excited to see how the epsiode would pan out... Pre-Show: After Jerell got eliminated, it was down to an All-Girl Season 5 Finale. I figured as much because the other designers (lucky them!) who got to show at Bryant Park (as "decoys") weren't so stellar. So it was not a surprise to see Cut-and Cry Kenley, Korto and Leanne in the Finale Three. They were the best who showed that morning in New York. They had their requisite model casting (no drama there), and met with the L'Oreal and Tre Semme Make-Up and Hair experts to give their vision for their final collections. Workroom: In their new make-shift workroom, the designers made some good use of their limited time: Korto worked on new pieces that she felt she needed to add to her collection while Kenley looked on with disdain and some bitchy jealousy. While "Geeks Unite Empress", Leanne, just focused on her fittings (and making sure model Tia's doggie wouldn't poop on her wondrous dresses!) The Final Show: Kenley:Kenley's designs were nice, but not winning. The fit was good but what struck me, was a sense of "all over the place" from her. There were great fitting Edwardian sleeve dresses in fabulous prints or silk jacquards and I LOVED a black high-neck fitted dress (that model seriously must have had THE LONGEST center front neck to waist measurement I have EVER seen!) but then there were some misses. The bustier with a graphic overskirt screamed 80's back-up dancer for Toni Basil---and that's not a good thing! And the too-short Bridesmaid Dress seem to come from nowhere. Why all of a sudden, Miss I-Love-Vintage Kenley wants to do a dress I can find in David's Bridal is beyond me. The judges thought the collection was a bit too "knock off" of Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. Therefore she was eliminated. Korto: As I said in my recap of the Bryant Park Show, I LOVED Korto's "Sexy Girl In Liberia" vibe--my favorite looks from her were an ivory silk shantung ruffled top and wide-legged pants ensemble. I hope Korto kissed and thanked that model who wore the outfit because she WORKED IT overtime!!! I also loved the emerald green jeweled silk shantung halter gown her model, Katrina, wore. But during that final show, right as she passed the judges---and me--she flashed her g-string underwear, and I thought I had seen to San Juan Puerto Rico and back! But of course, this didn't make it into the final episode (like I said, I love TV!). Korto's collection was good but had some flaws. As I waited for Leanne's, I was still looking forward to that "Christian" or "Rami" moment of fashion epiphany. Leanne: As soon as the first couple of looks exited, I knew Leanne should be the winner: Her collection looked mature, sleek, cohesive and well-executed. Yes, the petal-theme was a bit redundant. But, of all the collections, it was, to me, the best. I especially loved the off-white organza top and powder-blue petal skirt ensemble, as well as her winning Wedding Gown. My only critique would be those wedge heels that were prominently featured. They were not cute. And didn't belong with the collection--or especially that gown. It was a bit of unfortunate styling. They were especially evident in that wedding dress, since the gown seemed a bit too short for the model. But other than that, I thought that Leanne's was the winning collection---and so did the Finale Judges. Congratulations Leanne Marshall--a FIDM San Francisco Graduate residing in Portland, Oregon. Hope to see you at a FIDM event sometime soon!!!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Los Angeles Celebrates End of Season 5 Three Hours Of Sleep, No Food, and a Fourteen Hour Workday: Nick on the red carpet Wednesday evening, I was invited to the Finale Project Runway Bash at paparazzi-central West Hollywood hotpot STK. I had never been to STK, so I was eager to see what it was all about. I only know of it from all those TMZ videos of celebs and not-so-A-list celebs coming in and out of it. I love me some TMZ--it's Entertainment Tonight--but without the "filter". My day began at 8 AM (I swear, cameras should have really been following me on this particular day!) doing patterns and finishing the muslins for the collection I am working on . Then I rushed over to teach my noon-6 PM class. Without missing a beat, I then drove across town to my seamstress to check on gowns she was sewing and somehow, made it back to my home to change and "hijack" David to come with with me to an event I could not miss. Not only was it the Finale of Season 5 Viewing Party, but it was also a "Goodbye and Thank You" Finale Party, being given by the shows' producers, Magical Elves. I have such respect and dare I say, LOVE, for Magical Elves, that I almost consider them like family. From the top producers to the p.a. who gets your Starbucks, there is an understanding, endearment and respect, that you rarely find in a production team. Trust me, I've worked with a few. Party Central: Producer Michael Rucker, Season 5 Runner-Up Korto, Nick Verreos, and John Wade (looking serious and sexy) The Party: After throwing my white "dinner jacket" on, David and I swung by and picked up my friend, Season 2 Designer (and Marc Jacobs merchandising Guru) John Wade and we headed for STK. I immediately ran into Magical Elves' sexy "centerfold", Michael Rucker--looking very "old school" Dean Martin in his tuxedo (between him and I, we could have been a Las Vegas act!). On the "Step and Repeat" red carpet (yes, there was a red carpet!), I said "hello" (in other words PUSHED) Korto, whom I was excited to see. I was not sure that she would make it to this LA party, but I am glad she did! Korto was GIVING YOU BOOTIE, in her black stretch band-collared mini-dress. Her eye make-up matched her pedicure by the way! (Fabulous!) This Spells Trouble: Nick Verreos, Raymundo Batazar and John Wade Soon-- after receiving my Cosmo and Mini Burger hors d'oeuvres (I had not eaten in ten hours!)--I saw my buddy, Season 2 Designer, Raymundo Baltazar, working a bow-tie and distressed denim vest ensemble. You know I had to get him and my other Season 2 buddy, John, to take a photo with me! We also posed with Season 3 Model--and Blogging Project Runway blogger, Amanda Fields--who has been quite busy herself, working the New York and Los Angeles Fashion Week runways. Posing Divas: Season 2 Designer and LA stylist/designer, Raymundo Baltazar, Nick Verreos and model Amanda Fields Speaking of models, I just about DIED when I saw Leanne's winning model (Yes, kiddies, as I predicted, Leanne won, by the way) Tia. I had never met her but seriously, I ran to her the way my niece runs to me when she sees me at the airport! Yes, I love me some models--especially FIERCE ones, such as Tia. Congratulations Miss Tia--see you in Elle Magazine!Winning Tia: Nick Verreos with Leanne's gorgeous model, Tia After making it inside the restaurant/club, I saw Kit and complimented her on her great graphic printed black and white dress--and her boyfriend! We also discussed the show she styles, Dancing With The Stars ( I love me some DWTS!).Girlfriends: Sweet P and Nick Verreos I also saw Sweet P, and almost hurt an innocent guest at the party in order to get to her. She looked GORGEOUS in a one-shoulder ruffled confection of prettiness that she told me she designed herself (of course!!). Let me just declare this now and forever: I . Love. Sweet P. There I said it!Smiley Pants: Season 5 Token Straight Guy, Designer Joe Faris, and Nick Verreos Of course, since the party was a "Viewing Party", there were huge flat screen TV monitors showing the Final Episode, but not many people were paying attention (except for a lot of the Season 5 Designers present of course!) Speaking of Season 5 Designers, I spotted some of their "All Stars" who either flew out to Los Angeles, especially for the party, or were "on their way" somwhere else. I ran into Joe Faris, who was sporting a new haircut and his own studded leather jacket. He was unbelievably nice. I think I drank the "Joe Kool-Aid". I can't believe I am saying this, but: Joe Rocks! He was leaving to Hong Kong the next day for business and wanted to party one last time in LA.Bravo Threesome: Theodore from Sheer Genius, Nick Verreos, and Suede from Project Runway Season 5 I also spotted Suede, who was there... wait for it... with his MOMMY! I almost DIED!!! In case anyone is wondering, he did not refer to himself in Third Person at all, and he did not have a faux hawk (neither did I , thank you very much!).Tan-O-Rama: Nick Verreos and Blayne, from Season 5 Finally, Season 5 Finale would not be complete if I had not seen (how could you miss him in neon yellow?) Blayne. True to form, Blayne was both Tanorexic and Girlicious. The party was fun: I got to see my old friends at Magical Elves, as well as hang out with Raymundo, John Wade, and Miss Sweet P, meet designers from this last season and had my own "TMZ Moment", hanging out at STK. David and I did not get home until about ONE AM and yes, we first, walked our dog and then fell asleep watching the actual Finale Episode, in the comfort of our own flat screen....
Monday, October 13, 2008
Does This Come In a Size LARGE???? Last week, my good friend , stylist Art Conn, invited me to come along and take a peek at the latest "Designer Collaboration" between H & M and Comme Des Garcons. Of course, I had to come along and check it out. I loved the Victor & Rolf for H & M line they did several seasons back (and bought their tuxedo jacket and pants as well as various dress shirts) so I was curious to see what the famed Japanese Design House had cooked up. The Guest List:Polka Dot Heaven: My friends show off the H & M Comme De Garcons Men's Line Once there, at the Sunset Blvd. offices of H & M, I was joined by Art, as well as my other friends, including Johnny Lopez, a wonderful writer for TMZ, as well as fellow US Weekly Fashion Police Commentator. I also ran into E! Daily Ten/ Style Commentator, the beautiful Amanda Luttrell Garrigus (who is like 7 Months pregnant and looking fabulous) as well as Costume Designer and Stylist Extraordinaire, Arianne Phillips. We dished on the current Project Runway Season (Arianne is a BIG FAN!!!), and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres. I also noticed some other stylists and "LA Fashionistas"(I use the term LOOSELY) , but they were giving me dirty looks and staring at me as if I was an alien from Project Runway "Outer Space", so I won't discuss who they were... The Collection:I am not the typical Comme Des Garcons customer (that's best suited for the Gallery Owner/Sundance Festival obscure French Actor) but was surprised at how many pieces I liked from the line. The women's stuff was great. There was a black fully lined fitted "Edwardian Coat" (see above) that our H & M "Greeter" wore, which had a lot of detail and ruffle accents, but somehow it worked. It was less than $300!!! Yes, for H & M that might be pricey but let me tell you, if I tried to make that jacket, my seamstress would have charged me $200 just to sew it! Of course, it was made in China (I checked). One of my favorite pieces from the women's line were the "Hammer Pants" (I call them that!), they were more like Harem Pants (which are BIG for Spring 2009 Ladies!!!). If I was a size 4, and 5' 11" , and a GIRL, I would work those OVERTIME!!!!As for the Men's H & M Comme Des Garcons collection, my friends and I did like several of the pieces, including a black rumpled Pea Coat, a trench coat (I am buying that when it comes out!), and most of the colored dress shirts. We especially LOVED a blue striped asymmetrically button dress shirt. We were feeling adventuresome and went ahead and began to try some of the items on---just to see how they would look. We were basically the only ones doing this. We even voiced our opinion about how "H & M sizes run rather small" and how there was no way that WE--my friends and I---could even possibly fit into there extra small sample sizes. Well, the following day, one of my friends that was with me at the Preview, sent me an article that came out on Racked Los Angeles about the H & M Event, and there was a line at the end of the article that seemed to be referring to us... The quote was: "We did watch a couple guys try on jackets and heard some "runs small" murmurs from the non-skinny-skinnies..." Yep, that was us---Next time, we should use our "Quiet Voice" Ladies....