Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Behind the Orange (Fashion) Curtain!
Double Breasted in Orange County: Nick Verreos at the Style Week OC Active Ride After Party If you've been keeping up with my lovely blog here, you may remember that last Monday, I went down to the Irvine Spectrum Center in Orange County to shoot a TV segment for "Good Day LA", Southern California's most watched morning news/talk show. The reason: To promote Style Week Orange County and the fashions that would be shown this year. Well, three days later I was BACK! The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS as David and I made our way to Orange County and checked in to our OUT OF CONTROL home for the next few days, the Pelican Hill Resort (more on that in another post!). We got ready and headed to the Irvine Spectrum to check out the fashion shows. I was "blown away" by how fabulous everything was--from the modern and chic stark white runway stage to the stunning models hand-picked from LA's top modeling agency LA Models to the sectioned off area for red carpet and VIP guests. It was like Smashbox/Mercedes Benz LA Fashion Week but outdoors under a balmy evening breeze and 75 degree weather. In other words: It was better! The Greek-Venezuelan Michael Kors: Nick Verreos judges the Needle and Thread Competition, Style Week Orage County The evening began with the SOLD OUT (!) Designer Showcase Fashion Show and the Needle and Thread Competition, a contest sponsored by Ezekiel and Active Ride Shop. Six fashion school grads--who just happened to be ALL from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, my alma mater (Go FIDM!)--were chosen to design looks inspired by the Ezekiel Spring 2010 Collection. Mentor Nick: Nick Verreos flanked by Needle and Thread Contestants Liz Sandhoefner, Brenda Ahamad, Valentina Vardanyan, and Adrian Manuel By coincidence, it happened to be that 5 out of 6 designers were former students of mine, so it goes without saying that even though I was "officially" there as a judge, I still felt like a "proud poppa". All six did amazingly well! They created designs that were "spot on" in following the Ezekiel brand but at the same time, injected their own design "DNA" into each garment.And The Winner Is: Nick Verreos announces the winner (and Second Place) of Needle and Thread Competition It was a tough decision but we ended up choosing the talented 21 year old San Jose native (now residing in LA) Adrian Manuel as the winner. When his designs came down the runway, my fellow judges (all female) were emitting "oohs" and "aahs". Of all the 6 "contestants", he really nailed it! Therefore, we awarded him with the $4,000 (I know, shut up!) Top Prize. Second Place went to Liz Sandhoefner (who was a Debut FIDM 2009 Grad, along with Adrian). She received a $2,000 second place prize. As I announced them as the winners I think I saw tears come down their ecstatic faces. Yes, I was clutching my pearls for them! Can You Spell Your Name? Meeting and Greeting at Irvine Spectrum Active Ride Shop After Party Following the Needle and Thread Competition and Fashion Show, I was whisked off (by security guards no less--who am I Miley Cyrus?) to the After Party at the Irvine Spectrum's Active Ride Shop, where guests drank Champagne and mingled with all the designers. One...Singular Sensation:Nick Verreos and fans do their best Chorus Line Pose I was also there to do a meet-and-greet with all the fashion show guests. I was humbled to see a long line of fans and fashion show guests alike (I'm just happy if two people show up!) and proceeded to sign and take lots of photos. Miss Iraq: Nick Verreos poses with Iraq-born designer Oday Shakar and his models Afterward, as I made my way back to my awaiting town car (yes, the clients got me limo! Love them!), I spotted a stunning six-foot tall model in a black gown so you just know I had to approach her. As it turned out it was a model, the Nigerian-born Tracy Acholonu, along with one of the Style Week OC featured designers, Oday Shakar (I missed his show because of the autograph signing). Of course, she was wearing one of his designs, along with a couple of other models. I might have missed his show but I got the "VIP Viewing" up close and personal--and it was all COUTURE!! Next Up: My Macy's Appearance at the Irvine Spectrum....but first, I had to get a good night's rest at the fabulous Pelican Hill Resort...Toodles! Click Below for a Video of Me Announcing the Needle and Thread Competition Winners at Style Week Orange County (and a "Nick" runway demonstration!):