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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss World 2010 Finals: Evening Gown Recap

And The Winner Is...
Kentucky Princess: The newly crowned Miss World 2010, 18 year old Alexandria Mills
Yesterday in Sanya China, a new Miss World was crowned and to a lot of people's surprises, the US representative, 18 year old Alexandria Mills, won. 114 contestants from all over the world competed. She was a favorite to make the finalist roster but not necessarily to take it all. But she did! Miss World--in case you were not "in the know" for international pageants--is a completely separate pageant from the Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe.
Top 5 Gowns: The five Miss World 2010 Finalists Venezuela, Botswana, USA, Ireland and China
While most of the Western Hemisphere (North and South America) consider the Miss Universe Pageant as the premier international beauty contest, the rest of the world (Europe, Africa, Asia) see Miss World as the leader. The Miss World Organization is based out of London and it's "Donald Trump" is CEO Julia Morley.
The new Miss World, hails from Kentucky and is a model with Elite Models in Miami. There is no "official" Miss United States World pageant and, according to THIS, since 2007 Elite Model Management has been in charge of choosing the US representative via portfolios and then sending the "winner" to the international pageant. But enough of the pageant nitty-gritty, let's get to the GOWNS: As usual with gowns we see at the Miss Universe, Miss World gowns tend to also either be "Oh-No-She-Didn't" or "Pageant Elegant" (beading, satin and a high slit somewhere!). While we don't expect to see actual "red carpet" gowns on these girls (one can only dream!), it's nice to see at least some who get it semi-right.
Winning White: The Winner, Miss United States Alexandria Mills wore a very "Pageant Safe" white taffeta one shoulder gown with beading. It featured a fitted silhouette but never went into too-sexy mode (Miss World Organization does not like sexy!) and appropriate for an 18 year old.
Black Peacock: Miss People's Republic of China Tang Xiao (who was a Finalist) wore one of my favorite gowns of the night: A Mermaid-shaped black dress with cascading peacock feather sequin detail. It was elegant, dramatic and impressive. The train was a little too long, however, and she didn't need it. The gown spoke for itself in all its drama without the extra 15 yard train!
South American Red: My favorite gown of the night was this red multi-layered chiffon dress worn by 2nd Runner Up Adriana Vasini from Venezuela. It was one shoulder (of course!) and featured elegant interwoven beading and a high slit (of course, Part Two!). On the stage, she worked that gown OVERTIME! I loved how the color stood against her porcelain skin and very dark hair. It reminded me A LOT of this one:
Worn by Miss Mexico Ximena Navarette, when she won the Miss Universe 2010 title earlier this year.
Canary Queen: An interesting choice was the gown worn by 1st Runner Up Miss Botswana Emma Wareus. It was a strapless bright yellow Mermaid-shaped (popular shape this year) dress with intricate silver and black flower embroidered beading and lots of feathers. This could have gone the "Oh huney that's a mess" route but Kudos to the designer and Emma for OWNING the look and making it work!
Dancing With The Stars, the Miss World Edition: Miss Puerto Rico, Miss World Beach Beauty 2010 Yara Lasanta was very "Dancing With The Stars" in this heavily beaded gown featuring A LOT of chest AND a lot of leg. When you have that amazing of a figure, pick one or the other. She won the "Best Body" already, there's no need to shove it in everyone's faces. It's a little too much, especially for Julia Morley to take. Now, if she was in the Miss Universe Pageant, Donald would have LOVED it!
Miss Thailand Yuwaret Sirirat Rueangsri, looked like a Hollywood (or Bankok rather) film starlet , in this. Love the heavy silver torso beading and deep purple velvet sweeping gown featuring a high slit and open sides/back. I was surprised to see such a SEXY Miss Thailand! How do you say "At A Girl" in Thai?
Penelope 2.0: Although she didn't even place, I still loved the gown Miss Spain Fatima Jimenez wore. It was creme, fully beaded and featured a draped front cowl and gold details at the bust. It was modern, chic and had a 1920's/1930's vibe. Loved the hair bun and the simple drop earrings. Muy elegante.
Beauty and The...Ball Gown: Miss Greece, Diamanto Gasteratou decided to go the Ball Gown route. Hers had a corseted bodice and silver sequin details. She is SO beautiful, I just don't know why she chose such an over-powering gown--that was frankly so Quinceañera. No Miss World since 1996 has won in this type of a gown (when incidentally, Greece won!), so it's a good bet it ain't happening any time soon.
Where's The Steamer: The very pretty Miss Finland Anne-Marie Nurminen unfortunately chose this not-so-pretty gown. I liked the lilac color but the dress itself was uninspired. Besides the wrinkled hem, the bust line had an odd fit problem and I pretty much know that the inner black tulle petticoat should NOT be showing like that. And what is with the oversized pukashell-looking necklace?
Finally, we must end with the winner of The Miss World Best Dress Designer Award: Miss French Polynesia Mihilani Teixeira. It was part Tahitian costume, part evening gown featuring several red tiers of printed crepe satin, feathers throughout and accessorized with an over-sized silver necklace. It's A LOT OF LOOK. If an actress wore this at the Academy Awards, Emmys or Cannes, she would be SLAMMED by the media. But somehow, at the Miss World, it worked for the judges (but not me!).
Click BELOW for the Crowning Moment of Miss World 2010:
Until the next Pageant--And remember: Keep it elegant, simple, modern and don't forget that high slit!

PROJECT RUNWAY.....Season 8 Project Runway Recaps: Finale


Mondo Wins!!! (Not so Much!)
Unhappy Threesome: Top 3 Season 8 Finalists Gretchen Jones, Mondo Guerra and Andy South
Thursday night was the Finale Episode of Project Runway Season 8. Yes, kids, it's OVER! And the outcome, well let's just say, didn't make too many people happy. It was a big shocker. Gretchen Jones, from Portland Oregon, who started out all "I love sustainable clothing...and I'm all about Granola-Crunch and sweet" but then before you could say "Camera's On!", turned into this season's Most Hated "character". It may not have helped that EVERY episode, she was giving her unadulterated opinion on all the other contestants designs...and they weren't so nice.
Pre-Argument Happy: Judges Jessica Simpson, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and Heidi Klum
This Final Episode continued where last week's left off, as the top 3 contestants faced their Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week "Close Up". But first: The yawn-inducing Reunion. It was a bore and a half, with no Ivy Higa Acting Foolish, or Michael Costello crying about how everyone thought he was useless, and so on. Nothing. I really wish they would bring back the liquor-induced fun Reunions of the past of season's past.
Season One:
Season One Contestant Vanessa Riley likes her Merlot, so much so that it lead to a "walk-off" and some spillin'...
Season 2 (my Season):
Cosmos at Parsons Y'all: Huney, I was THERE! And they had a whole bar set up AT PARSONS!!! (is that even legal?) Most of my comrades joined in on the celebration, but I refrained. My Momma didn't raise a fool! I knew what that was all about and I was looking at the m all like "You go ahead darlin' ". Fortunately for the viewers, Guadelupe Vidal had about FIVE cocktails and well, the rest made Project Runway Reunion History. I miss those good ol' days!
Now, it was Runway Show time: Andy South was first to be Auf'ed as he showed a rather boring collection of silvers, grays and apple green silk shantung and just didn't have any of that directional Andy "touch". I missed his Warrior Divas and so did Nina. Those celestial headpieces reminded me of a 8 year-old's ceiling solar system. His theme was Laos and Buddha but...
Some of his clothes were a cross between a high-priced Pattaya Bay "Good Time" Girl and...
Someone's rich aunt in Singapore: Elegant, nice and very Chico's Catalog, but not a NY Fashion Week Project Runway Winner. I actually thought what he was wearing was cuter and more innovative than anything in his collection. Now, let's discuss the Winner: Gretchen's collection was sooooo "Now", the judges argued. Well, not really, if you read HERE (and I agree!). It was very "Coterie Show in NY". Also, all 3 Finale Collections have been for sale on the website and Mondo's ENTIRE collection is SOLD OUT while Gretchen has sold only one outfit!
Acceptable separates for the Contemporary Market. Her color--and print story--was so monotonous though. Take away the styling, the hair, the make-up, and I would never give a second look to this girl walking down the street. Never. And I'd probably say something mean about her shoes (AGH!!!).
The zigzag print was very Missoni-esque and I praise her for the bias-cutting and mitering. She's obviously talented and knows pattern technique. should be aspirational. This wasn't. Speaking of aspirational...

Mondo Guerra's Collection was fresh, young, colorful and REALLY oh-so-now! The models were FAB, the make-up, the hair, the accessories, the details...pom pom shoes, graphic color-blocked tunics, prints a ga-ga, and stuff to make women smile! It was a fun combination of Betsy Johnson meets Christian Lacroix.
The fit on everything was superb. And he also matched those over-sized plaids beautifully! Those pants--if done incorrectly--could make even a size 0 model look like a Hippopotamus. But, Mondo did them right: It's all in the fit, the cut and color.
Mondo, you were my favorite and wish you all the best. You may not have won, but like I said in my Recap...well, never mind, just go ahead and read the WHOLE thing HERE...and make sure to tell me what you thought!
Byeeeeeeeee until next Season kids!

NICK APPEARANCES.....Nick Hosts Project ETHOS LA Fashion Week

Project Hollywood
Plaid Happy: Nick Verreos emcee's Project Ethos LA Fashion Week Presented by Carlton Hair
Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of emceeing Project ETHOS Fashion-Music-Art Los Angeles Fashion Week Presented by Carlton Hair at the Avalon Hollywood. Project Ethos produces events showcasing and supporting indie talent in fashion, music and art.
Fierce Runway: Nick Verreos on stage, Project Ethos LA Fashion Week Presented by Carlton Hair
I hosted a Project Ethos event several months ago--also in Hollywood--and had an absolute blast so I was happy to return and be the Host With The Most. I knew it would be a fun and crazy night when I arrived (and I got there EARLY!), the Avalon parking lot was already at capacity and they told me I couldn't park there! (I told you: Crazy!).
Pool Boy: Nick Verreos flanked by the B. Vika Swimsuit Models, Project Ethos LA Fashion Week
The lines were halfway down to Hollywood Blvd. and I wondered "Is Lady Gaga performing?" Nope, it's all for Project Ethos. The Avalon Hollywood stage was transformed into a fabulous runway perfect for LA's up-and-coming fashion talent to showcase their designs.
Draped: Cardi Wrap by Kymaro, Project Ethos LA Fashion Week Cinched: Cradi Wrap by Kymaro, Project Ethos LA Fashion Week
Besides the near-the-runway stage VIP seats, it was Standing Room Only as the runway portion of the show began. Approximately 20 Designers and over 100 models (all hair styled by Carlton Hair stylists of course!) featured creations ranging from sexy swimwear from B.Vinka, CardiWrap by Kymaro (a wrap that can be transformed into 60 different styles!), UK-inspired designs from Southern California-based Brit Boy Fashions and its founder Brian Terry, Menswear Denim and Graphic Tees from Doctrine, and luxe evening separates from Annie & Jade by Annie Lee and many more.
Nick Verreos and Gordana Gehlhausen on the Project Ethos LA Fashion Week Red Carpet
In addition to the designers above, a big highlight for me--as well as Project Runway fans in the audience--was seeing Season 6 contestant Gordana Gehlhausen's Goga by Gordana line on Friday night as well. Her new line for Spring 2011 was eclectic, fun, colorful and had a very "Sexy Starlet in St Tropez" vibe.
Lady In Red (Skirt): Goga by Gordana Gehlhausen Project Ethos LA Fashion Week
In between runway shows (they were broken up into two sections), LA-based band Voxhaul Broadcast performed. Also, being that we were at the Avalon Hollywood, there was great music to dance to afterward, as the surrounding area near the runway stage quickly turned into a packed dance floor!
Project Runway Connection Part Two: Nick Verreos poses with Project Runway Season 5 Model Runa Lucienne (she dropped out of the show unexpectedly right before one of the runway shows, modeling for Keith Bryce)
There was an After Party as well where VIP'ers--from stylists, editors, buyers, designers to models--could continue the party late into the night. Like last time, I had an immense blast and congratulate all the designers, musicians and artists who took part in Project Ethos LA Fashion Week...and thank you for laughing at my jokes, and clapping to my "Nick Runway Walk"!

NICK APPEARANCES.....Nick Verreos on Logo TV "The Arrangement": RECAP

Flower Couture!
Three's Company, LOGO TV Style: Designer Nick Verreos joins Eric Buterbaugh and Gigi Levangie-Grazer on "The Arrangement" TV show
Last night, the Logo Network got a little more fashionable: On last night's Reality Competition Show, The Arrangement, the Challenge was to create FABULOUS Headpieces--completely made of flowers--inspired by my NIKOLAKI gowns!! I introduced the Challenge since I was the "client" and I also got to be one of the special judges as well (of course!).
Line Dancin' Judges: Traver Rains and Nick Verreos, Guest Judges on Logo TV's "The Arrangement"
Also joining me on The Arrangement Judging Panel were hostess-with-the-fiercest-body Gigi Levangie Grazer, Mentor and Flower Designer DIVA Eric Buterbaugh, and... Traver Rains, former designer to Heatherette, TV personality and photographer.
For Your Next Challenge: Model Lisa Blades (in NIKOLAKI), Nick Verreos and host Gigi Levangie Grazer, The Arrangement
The Contestants vying for the coveted "Next Greatest Flower Designer" title not only had to design floral headpieces for my gowns but an accompanying one for one of my NIKOLAKI cocktail dresses, a gold silk-Lurex one-shoulder number.
Golden Girl: Model Lisa Blades (in NIKOLAKI) and Nick Verreos
When the producers invited me to be part of the show--and challenge--I told them that I HAD to bring my "Muses", no "if's and's or but's"! They obliged and so, of course, I called the gorgeous Lisa Blades, who you may remember from Lifetime's Models of The Runway Season 1, and the incomparable Amanda Fields, to join me and feature NIKOLAKI in the best (TV) light.
Pre-Gowns: Models Amanda Fields and Lisa Blades on location, Downtown LA, "The Arrangement" TV Show
I had SO much fun hanging out with "my girls" and they were--to say the least--such troopers throughout the very long shoot day (it's TV kids!). I had my very own trailer (I know, very A-list!) and so we hung out--in between shoots--watching TV, discussing boyfriend gossip, Project Runway dish and eating Twizzlers (Model Diet, Hello!!)
Cocktail and Evening Gown Flowers: Models Lisa Blades and Amanda Fields show off designs from "The Arrangement"
The competition was tough--in terms of what the contestants brought to the table for this challenge. I was excited to see what they had designed. When I initially met them, they all seemed excited to see me. I hoped that even after I had to judge them--and vote one off, that they would still "Like me...really like me!"
In the end, the Winning Design (above) went to Tara Cottrell, who created a very dramatic design inspired by my black silk taffeta plunging neckline mermaid shaped "Flamenco" gown.
She used Phalaenopsis and Oncidium Orchids as well as Gladiola Pedals; anything with PHALAENOPSIS attached to its name gets my vote! It was the perfect headpiece for such an elegant and striking (if I don't say so myself) gown. Unfortunately, the very sweet Jenny Barker was eliminated. She designed a crown-like flower headpiece that was supposed to be inspired by my turquoise silk jersey and copper sequin waist "Grecian Goddess" gown. All the contestants did an AMAZING job, but it was a competition and someone had to go. Congrats to Tara and I am sure Jenny has a bright "floral future" ahead of her!
To watch the ENTIRE episode click HERE!

NICK APPEARANCES.....Compassion In Fashion APAIT/FIDM LA Fashion Week

Compassion IS Fashionable...
Project Runway Model Sandwich: Nick Verreos poses with Brandise Danesewich (Season 7), Amanda Fields (Season 3) and Lauren (Season 4), Backstage "Compassion In Fashion" fashion show
Last Thursday night, I was invited by my very good friend--and NIKOLAKI client--the absolutely gorgeous Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee--to attend "Compassion In Fashion" Fashion Show for Los Angeles Fashion Week. She was emceeing the entire event and she--of course--was going to wear one of my NIKOLAKI cocktail dresses.
Gorgeous Beauties: Model Amanda Fields and Brook Lee, Miss Universe 1997 and Emcee of Compassion In Fashion (wearing NIKOLAKI)
"Compassion In Fashion" was a fabulous benefit event presented by the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team/APAIT and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM at the amazing Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. APAIT does wonderful work providing HIV/AIDS prevention and care especially for the Asian and Pacific Islander Community. The event was also co-sponsored by one of MY favorite retail department stores--Macy's (Love them!). Upon arriving--and checking in with Brook--I made sure her NIKOLAKI Couture dress was "just right".
Brook Lee, Compassion In Fashion (Photo courtesy of Adrian Sidney,
She chose a salmon-pink silk/linen Lurex strapless very "Mad Men" number from our collection. She looked AMAZING! Hello, she was a Miss USA AND Miss Universe! The line up for the wonderful night included a dance performance by Ek Do Teen/NDM Bollywood Dance Troupe (which was SO good!)
Model Amanda Fields wearing a Red carpet Gown design by FIDM Grad Clay Sadler, Compassion In Fashion (Photo Courtesy of Adrian Sidney,
A FIDM "Red Carpet Gown" fashion show featuring designs by FIDM Grads( Gorgeous!) as well as...
Model in Andrew Christian Fashion Show (Photo Courtesy of Adrian Sidney,
An Andrew Christian Fashion Show (HOT!). Also there was a very special T-shirt Design Contest, where FIDM Student Activities partnered with APAIT to have students design t-shirts for the organization. There was a panel of very special--and distinguished--judges, including my good friend Alec Mapa, star of "Ugly Betty" and LogoTV's "The Gossip Queens", Greg Matsunami, Divisional Merchandise Manager for Metropark Stores, Karla Ferreira, 2009 Quest Woman Of The Year, and Melissa Magsaysay, style writer and editor for the LA Times.
The winning t-shirt designer was FIDM Fashion Design student Larry Le (modeled above by Zdenka). It was an amazing night of great fashion, gorgeous models and more importantly for a very-worthwhile cause and organization of which I wholeheartedly support.
Below are some great Videos I shot of Compassion In Fashion...and for more photos, click HERE. Compassion In Fashion Fashion Show--Model Amanda Fields in a Clay Sadler Design:
Intro Dance Performance by NDM Bollywood Dance Troupe:
Final Walk of Andrew Christian Fashion Show, Compassion In Fashion:
Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee Announces The Winner of APAIT/FIDM T-shirt Design Contest: