Friday, March 05, 2010
Purple, Wildcats, Cows and Eco Fashion? Yes, I'm in Kansas!Welcome to Manhattan Regional Airport: The plane I arrived in Two weeks ago, I began my "Winter 2010 University Speaking Engagements" in the US Heartland: Kansas! I was invited to speak to the fabulous students of Kansas State University (home of the Wildcats!) located in Manhattan, Kansas. I took an LA to Dallas to Manhattan, Kansas flight--and arrived in one of the quaintest airports I have ever seen: The Manhattan Regional Airport. The plane I arrived in was the only plane in the airport and once we taxied and parked, it dropped us off right in front of the airport terminal door! Front Door Service: The entrance to the terminal as you get off your plane, Manhattan Regional Airport It brings new meaning to Front Door Service! Students from K-State were there to greet me and they proceeded to take me to my hotel. En route, I spotted something that could not be dismissed: A HUGE COW STATUE! Well, I almost made the University student driver get in an accident as I YELLED "STOP!!!!!!!!!!...I need to take a photo!!!". And they did. And of course, I posed in front of this big ol' cow! I'm in Kansas less than 30 minutes and I am already LOVING IT!Kansas State University I finally made it to the University's Campus and got ready for the evenings fashion festivities, entitled K-State Project Runway all organized by the great UPC/Union Program Council. The night would involve a special speaking engagement by yours truly, plus a great Eco Fashion Show featuring designs from Kansas State University Students.I spoke for about an hour an half about how I got into fashion and gave lots of dish on Heidi, Tim and how it felt to be a contestant on Project Runway. There was a great slideshow behind me, showing the latest gowns from my NIKOLAKI Collection (so the attendees wouldn't be bored just looking at me!). The Top Three Designs and Designers, K-State Project Runway Eco Fashion Show/Contest Then the K-State "Eco Fashion" Contest began: Students from the Fashion Merchandising Major--as well some Architecture students--Undergraduate and Graduate, were given four hours to create Eco-friendly designs using materials such as paper, duck tape, markers, magazines, aluminum cans, etc. Each student showed their finished designs to a capacity-filled theater and to a panel of judges--including me! Yes, the entire show was done like a Project Runway Episode. I played the part of Heidi Klum (I was NOT Michael Kors, thank you very much!). And The Winner Is: Winning K-State Student Designer, her model and design, and Nick Verreos After much deliberation, we all agreed on the winner. The student had created a one-shoulder cocktail dress, entirely out of paper folding it and pleating it in ingenious ways. It was very Alexander McQueen and we all loved it.Can I Have a Photo? K-State Students pose while waiting in line for photos and autographs Afterward, I posed for lots of photos and signed lots of "Posters" of the event! It is safe to say--by the reaction of the students, the designers and all the attendees--that it was a VERY successful K-State Project Runway. And I was more than happy to be part of it!The following morning, I had to return to LA, but before leaving I had to get one last parting shot of what is now, my favorite little airport in all of the USA!!! Go Manhattan Kansas! And Go Wildcats Fashionistas! Hope to return soon!