A Costume Party!White Before Labor Day: Nick Verreos walks the red carpet for the "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibit" Party
Over the weekend, I was invited to the exclusive Opening Party of "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition at the Downtown LA campus of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM. In its fourth year, this exhibition is always an event where costume designers, academia, stylists, news media and entertainment executives get together to celebrate the costumes of TV programs shown in the past year. As my date, I brought David Paul, of course. David is a member of the Costume Designers Guild and received his Masters from UCLA in Costume Design and prior to designing with me, he worked on numerous TV shows, including NBC's Passions, MTV's Undressed and Bravo's Queer Eye For The Straight Girl. In other words, this is "his thang", as they say. Tudor Couture: Costumes from Showtime's The Tudors FIDM knows how to throw a party (remember the "Wizard of Oz 70Th Anniversary" one?), and this was no exception. Adjacent to the Exhibit, the Hope Park grounds were transformed into an outdoors party with several fully stocked bars (costume designers drink kids!) and hors d'oeuvres tables (they also eat!). For a change, instead of heading for the bar and the food first, I went right into the exhibit in order to take in the drama and beauty of all the clothes. Coco Madness: Costumes from Lifetime's Coco Chanel This year, the exhibit spans a wide range of "TV Style", from Period Dramas like Showtime's The Tudors (love those Corsets!) and HBO's John Adams as well as Lifetime's Coco Chanel (costume designers Stefano De Nardis and Pierre-Yves Gayraud did an amazing job of reproducing those iconic Chanel suits!) to more contemporary shows, such as Gossip Girl, The L Word, and Without A Trace. Polka Dot Dance Partner: Costumes from ABC's Dancing With The Stars One of my favorites on display were the fun exuberant costumes from ABC's Dancing With The Stars. As you know, co-host Samantha Harris and judge Carrie Ann Inaba wore my NIKOLAKI gowns on the show so David and I have a special fondness for the program. We always marvel at those costumes. All that intricate beading, all those backless, illusion-mesh handkerchief hemmed swirling dresses; we always wonder if costume designer Randall Christensen must have a staff of 500 petite mains trying to get all those finished--and in one week's time! Tie that Scarf Darling! Costumes from HBO's Grey Gardens I also loved seeing the costumes from HBO's Grey Gardens. I thought Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange's performances were amazing and so did the Emmy voters since after all, they were both nominated for Best Actress. Costume designer Catherine Thomas did a great job of showing the extremes--in their wardrobe--of "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" and their glamorous Upper East Side beginnings and their sad yet elegant latter years....And The Winner Is? Leanne Marshall's Project Runway Bryant Park Collection A nice surprise capped this exhibit of "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design": Leanne Marshall's winning Project Runway Season 5 Bryant Park Collection. Mannequins stood on a raised runway as if waiting for the designer to take her bow. Next year maybe they will have a retrospective of Tim Gunn's Banana Republic suits or Heidi Klum's mini-dress outfits that she has worn on the show. I'd pay to see those! Speaking of paying: The Exhibit is FREE!!! So get thee to the FIDM Museum and Galleries, on the floor level of their Downtown Los Angeles Campus. The exhibit runs from July 29-September 6Th. Click HERE for more info.Costume Spectators: Nick Verreos and California Apparel News' Alison Nieder, enjoying the Dancing With The Stars costumes Oh, and in case you wanted to know: Once I made it out into the party after the exhibit, the bars were closed and there was no food left. Well, just one potsticker which David and I fought for. Oh well, that's the price you pay for enjoying a wonderful exhibit! Until next time...enjoy your favorite TV shows--and make sure not to miss the wonderful costumes!