Saturday, October 28, 2006
Halloween Costume Ideas by Nick Verreos NPR--National Public Radio , asked me, as well as several Project Runway designers, to submit some Halloween costume ideas for their story on NPR.org. They asked for a costume idea for "Adults" and one for "Children". I jumped at this invitation, since I am a big fan and supporter of National Public Radio and I love to sketch so I wanted to show them what my ideas would be for Halloween. Initially I wanted to draw Madonna in a Malawi costume with her new child, but thought that might be a bit controversial! Instead I chose to sketch "Flavor Flav" and his "lady-friend", "New York". The idea came to me because earlier in the week, I accompanied Andrae to the "Reality Remix Awards" in Hollywood. He was nominated, and won (of course) for "Best Crying Scene of 2006". It was a mess of an event with all those "reality show" stars, and I use the term loosely, from shows such as "Amazing Race", "Survivor" and "Meet The Carters". "Flavor Flav" and "New York" were there and I instantly thought "Oh, there's going be a lot of people dressing up as them for Halloween". The thought was in my mind when I put pencil to paper and then sketched my idea for "Adult" costumes. I think they turned out quite fun! The children's costumes were easy, simply because I thought that Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" was such a big hit that many kids would be dressing up as Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley's characters. And if I had my way, that's how I would dress my niece and nephew to go Trick o' Treatin'. The sketch is dedicated to them. Click HERE to see the entire NPR article and all the sketches from the other Project Runway designers.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
CHOP! CHOP! CHOP! Get your Nick Verreos Top Chef Apron and start cookin'!!! I must admit that when Bravo asked me to design the apron, I was surprised, since I don't even cook. But I don't think they knew that! I can make Venezuelan Arepas--the bread of Venezuela--thanks to my mom and Mamaita (my grandma), but that's about it. So for those of you who want to pretend you cook and look good while doing it, here is your perfect apron. It is an alternative to those cheesy old-school ones with the turkey and bread illustrated on it. I think it makes a perfect gift for a "Housewarming" or even for the upcoming Holidays (Listen to me, I sound like I am on QVC pitching these aprons!!!) I wanted to design something cool, young-looking and colorful--like you could wear it on the Island of Capri while hanging out with Paris Hilton!! Click HERE to order yours now!
Gen Art Fresh Faces Fashion Show Gala Last Friday, I was asked to emcee, along with actress Garcelle Beauvais, the 9th Annual Gen Art Fresh Faces In Fashion. I attended the event with David and my friend, Amara, the fabulous model, whom I lent one of my newest NIKOLAKI creations, just for the event. It was a great event and I had a fun time at the Santa Monica Barker Hanger . Props to Jennifer Egan, Director of Gen Art Los Angeles for making the event such a success and for asking me to be part of it. To debut my weekly blog for BravoTv.com in its "Fashion Forward" section, the whole recap can be found HERE
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Sorry for the late posting this week. I have been busy, busy, busy!! I spent the early part of the week at an appearance in Seattle (more on that later), and somehow still managed to write two articles for people.com --"Uncle Nick's Top Five Moments" of Season 3 plus my final weekly recap. I also had my own Finale drama in Seattle since Bravo/NBC sent the episode there for me to take a look at before writing my recap. I will probably write about it for my new blog on BravoTv.com . I actually liked the Finale because it was more about the clothes and less about the drama. However, the whole Jeffrey accusations , I felt seemed to be "swept under the rug" a little bit, but in the end, he made it to become the winner. His , admittedly, was the most "forward" collection. I felt, in my eyes, Uli's was the best. I love her design aesthetic, Uli's girl is the same girl who would buy my dresses. We think alike--maybe I was an East German girl in my past life! Click HERE to read my inside dish on the Project Runway Finale and then Click HERE to read my Top 5 moments from Season Three
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I am very excited to "unveil" the brand-new "Nick Verreos Top Chef Apron". About a month ago, I was asked to design the "Top Chef" apron that would be sold on the Bravo website in conjunction with the debut of Season 2 of "Top Chef". Initially, I was a bit confused in regards to what "designing" would entail. Was I going to add my infamous fishtails to the apron? Or could I somehow create a bias-cut apron with an asymmetrical hemline? No and No. Thank God. I then decided that I wanted the apron graphics to be fun, colorful and modern. I don't really cook--I order out and I microwave, that's how I cook, and I am embarrassed to say it. However, when designing the apron, I thought of what kind of apron I would wear, when microwavin'! I also thought of all those tacky old-school aprons that our moms would debut while serving the Thanksgiving turkey or that big plate of home-cooked paella. This apron would not be "your mom's old apron". I wanted to design a hip looking apron that you could see in a sexy editorial from a magazine like "Wallpaper". From the beginning of my design, I always wanted the apron to somehow incorporate a large cutting knife, especially since that is already part of the "Top Chef" logo. At first, I wanted the apron to say "I'm going to CUT you!" , but then I decided that might be, how shall I say this, a bit too mean. So I went for "Chop!". I hope you guys like it and I think it will make a great gift for all those other microwave-cookers as well as real Chefs. Click HERE to read all about it on the Bravotv.com website.
I've moved my Blog!!! Click and bookmark the address below to join me NOW! And make sure to forward this to any of your friends who might be interested. http://www.uber.com/nickverreos
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I cannot believe that this season is almost over. And what a season it was. I love these four finalists and I was really eager to see their finished collections when I went to New York Olympus Fashion Week last month (check out my recap of their collections here). It was fun to see four such different designers do their "thang". This first part of the Finale was great. It was fun to see Tim in his Roadster , just driving along like the Parson's stud that he is!! The biggest trest was seeing him sit outside without his jacket AND shoes!!!! Oh Dear. I bet it took Michael Rucker and the other producers HOURS to convince him to "let his hair down". I'm glad they did! The designers collections look great, especially Laura's and Jeffrey. As I stated when I recapped the actual shows, I really liked Jeffrey's collection and how forward and innovative it was. I could not refer it to any other designer's. As to the "scandal". You know there always has to be DRAMA. I hope it works out well for him and all the rest of the designers. As, Mary J. Blige says "No More Drama", just give us FASHION!!!!! My people.com recap is up! Click HERE to read all about it.
Friday, October 06, 2006
PLEASE BUY MY CHICLE....at Windsor!! Almost a year ago since I appeared on the show, I have received hundreds, if not thousands of emails and requests by fans of the show wanting me to either make them a "Custom" dress for their prom, a pageant gown, or just a cocktail dress for a fancy event they might be going to. Because of my crazy schedule--designing my line, Nikolaki, teaching almost full-time at FIDM, plus flying out to various diffent cities across the US to make appearances and give seminars, I barely have time to sleep!! I do design custom gowns for private, and celebrity clientele, obviously, but usually the prices ($2000 and up) are out of reach for most women. Not long ago, Windsor Fashions, approached me to design a line of 10 cocktail dresses and gowns for the 2007 Prom Season. Well, of course I jumped at the chance , since this would be the way to reach the "masses" and allow that 16 year girl, or that future "Miss Teen USA" contestant, or the 35 year old mom, or that fabulous Drag Queen, to get a piece of "Uncle Nick". The label will say "Nick Verreos for Windsor". The dresses will debut in January and I have designed a variety of 50's inspired taffeta backless dresses, plus Grecian-goddess ones, featuring the draping, asymmetrical hemming and yes, some fishtails that are a staple of the "Nikolaki" look. California Apparel News, the well-respected Industry newspaper for the California apparel industry, just got the exclusive on the news and below is the article. I have also added some exclusive photos from the recent shoot I was part of for the Ad and Print/catalogue campaign. Windsor and Project Runway’s Verreos Head to the Prom By Alison A. Nieder Executive Editor Los Angeles–based young contemporary retailer Windsor will unveil a collection of dresses in January under the Nick Verreos for Windsor label. The new collection is designed by Nick Verreos, co-designer of contemporary label Nikolaki and veteran of the second season of Bravo TV’s hit fashion reality show “Project Runway.” The collection, which will be in stores in January, will include 10 styles in cocktail and gown lengths ranging in retail price from $99 to $149. The styles will feature many of Verreos’ signature details such as fishtail and high-low hems and asymmetrical necklines. The dresses will be produced domestically to allow for rapid reordering throughout the prom season, according to Ike Zekaria, Windsor’s president of merchandising.The idea behind the Verreos collection for Windsor was Zekaria’s, although the retailer only recently began watching “Project Runway” regularly. Zekaria first became aware of the popularity of the reality show after meeting with a group of students attending a fashion design camp. The students were on a field trip to a Windsor store when Zekaria had a chance to talk to them. They were a relatively quiet group, Zekaria recalled, until the subject of “Project Runway” came up. “These girls started screaming and I thought, ‘Interesting …,’” Zekaria said. The retailer had a chance to meet Verreos when they both were presenting scholarship awards at a graduation ceremony for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, where Verreos teaches fashion classes. At the mention of Verreos’ name, the crowd erupted in applause. “I saw his work on “Project Runway” and thought he really understands our market, our girl,” Zekaria said. Plus, “He’s got this magnetic personality.” Still, the retailer wasn’t sure whether the partnership would work until Verreos sketched a few ideas. “In the end, it’s his designs that sold it,” Zekaria said. Verreos was confident that he could tap into the Windsor market. “I don’t think they realized what a perfect match we are, that I can translate the Nikolaki look for the upscale junior,” he said. Prom promotions and retail rolloutThe line will hit Windsor stores in time for the retailer’s peak prom season. To promote the line and the connection with Verreos, Zekaria said the retailer is planning to advertise the collection in prom-focused publications such as Seventeen and Teen Prom. Verreos will also be appearing at a few Windsor stores throughout the year, according to Zekaria. The retail chain is on a growth tack now with several new stores in the works. A store in the Dos Lagos mall in Corona, Calif., opened on Oct. 6. Three more stores are planned within the next month, one in the Arrowhead Towne Center Mall in Phoenix, set to open later in October. Windsor will also open its first Florida stores, one in the Westfield Brandon Mall in Tampa and one in the Florida Mall in Orlando, in November. By the end of 2006, the retailer will have 40 stores nationwide. And it has more stores planned for 2007, including a location at the upscale Westfield Topanga mall in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Capturing the Windsor look Zekaria and Verreos got their first glimpse of the collection as a whole when the retailer shot its upcoming Spring ’07 catalog and e-tail campaign on Oct. 3. The theme this year is “A Glamourous Affair.” Shot by Larry Bartholomew at the romantic La Boheme restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., the campaign will feature Verreos and his designs. For Verreos, the deal with Windsor is a long-hoped-for opportunity. “Early on, I would say, ‘I wish a manufacturer would approach me to do a prom dress line because I think there is a viable market here,’” the designer said, adding, “I’ve been working in this industry for 15 years. I’ve learned how to translate a $2,000 gown from the runway in order to sell it for $200.”Verreos’ line Nikolaki, which he co-designs with partner David Paul, is a contemporary sportswear collection, although the designers also create one-of-a-kind red carpet gowns for celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Patricia Arquette, Brenda Strong and Nancy O’Dell. And while there is an age and income difference between the Nikolaki customer and the typical Windsor customer, Verreos sees an added benefit down the road. “The Windsor customer will be the Nikolaki customer in 10 years,” he said. But it was after appearing on “Project Runway” that Verreos realized how many fans he has in the junior to young contemporary age range. “I can go to Bergdorf’s and not many people will stop me,” he said. But I walk into an H&M and it’s like [“American Idol” finalist] Clay Aiken walked in. My partner David said to me, ‘This is your market.’”Since season two aired, Verreos has also received an avalanche of fan mail, much of it from teenage girls who became fans of his glamorous designs from watching the show. “I get so many e-mails from girls saying, ‘Can you make my prom dress?’” he recalled. “It’s sweet but it’s a bit na├»ve. I would love to make every dress, but I can’t. So now I can say, ‘Go to Windsor.’”
PROJECT ALMA--CHICAGO Way back in March of this year, I got a call to participate and be a "Special Guest" in Chicago at the annual ALMA --Association of Latino Men For Action Fundraiser, dubbed this year "Project ALMA". Of course I said "Yes" for two reasons: It was a chance for me to return to Chicago and actually get to see some of this beautiful city (remember the last time I was there, I was a judge for Season 3 Casting) . The second reason was that I respect and believe in the cause that ALMA stands for. ALMA aids young Latino gay and bisexual men , especially ones newly arrived in the USA primarly from Mexico and Central America, who have been chastised and kicked out of their homes because of being gay and arrive into Chicago and do not have any place to turn to. ALMA helps them, amongst other things , giving them a sense of community and a feeling of not being alone. It also educates in trying to end the long-established homophobia that is prevalent in Latin America. My weekend began with a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant, DINOTTO. The owners of the restaurant were so kind, generous and classy, they had rolled out the "Red Carpet" for me, even going as far as having personalized Menus for us! We then went to a very "VIP" club , where for some reason I was greated by some of the most beautiful Indian women I have ever seen---It was like a "Miss India" pagaent or something. The club itself was very "upscale hip-hop". I joked that it was a club for gorgeous Indian women...and the African-American men who love them! After much champagne, David and I retreated to the House of Blues Hotel, where we were staying at overlooking the amazing Chicago skyline. On Saturday, my hosts, gave me a tour of Chicago, including "Boy's Town", of course, plus other neighborhoods. We also got to see Wrigley Field, and David's highlight of the tour, seeing the "Harpo Studios" , where the Oprah Show is filmed. That evening was the "Project Alma" event, which I co-hosted and schmoozed with guests and fans of the show alike. The event was held at the Flatfile Gallery in the newly-hip "Loft" area of Chicago. Speaking of Lofts--Chicago seems to have done the "Loft" thing right---as opposed to Los Angeles. There are great shops, tanning salons and "doggie-grooming studios", etc. in the street level of every renovated Loft--in former really bad neighborhoods. You come to Los Angeles, and at the ground level of every loft is a crack dealer pushing a cart! We have a long way to go here in Los Angeles, to achieve the level of "metropolitan living" that Chicago has achieved. At the ALMA Fundraiser, there was a great fashion show featuring several Chicago designers, of Latino descent. I was very impressed by the styles of these local designers seen on the runway. The event helped raise funds for ALMA with a Silent Auction as well, so it was all done for a worthy cause. I felt as if I was in NY in a fashion event in a SoHo gallery. The ALMA boys and girls should be proud of their organization and of the fabulous event they produced. It was a complete success and I was all too happy to have contributed to it with my attendance. I must thank all the oustanding members of ALMA, Carlos, Julio, Gus, Jorge, et al, for being such generous hosts and so kind and helpful. And , finally, Thank Chicago for being such a visually beautiful city!! I was amazed at the architecture, the lakefront views, as well as the warm people.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
REUNION SPECIAL- PEOPLE.COM RECAP Boy, what a show last night! From last week's previews, I knew there was going to be drama, but I didn't realize how much! These Project Runway Reunions are always a doozy: First Season had one of the designers actually leaving the Reunion, after getting drunk and spilling wine all over the floor; Last Season, there was the bringing out of the models to discuss Zulema's "Walk Off" , as well as Guadeloupe's 5 Cosmos-later banter. What you guys didn't see is that she actually FELL OFF the stool she was sitting on, almost hitting the designers that were sitting next to her, as well as in front of her!!! That's when Santino remarked,"Can I have what they are having?" It looks like the producers must have skipped the pre-reunion cocktails this time around--even though some of the designers look like they needed it! Keith thought he was Oliver Stone with his "conspiracy" theories of the producers being against him, Vincent insulted all the designers, calling them amateur, as well as showing his "serious ugly" side when the producers did not clean his shirts. Poor Michael Rucker (PR hottie producer) had to deal with that!! Jeffrey and Angela still got unresolved issues, and as Robert suggested, they need to get it "over and done with" and start dating!! Weird sexual tension there. The fun clips were good, and by the way, Bradley looked very cute all clean-cut and, were those braces on Michael?? Read my recap on People.com HERE, hope you enjoy it!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
ALPHA STORE DVD SIGNING-West Hollywood One of my favorite stores in Los Angeles, Alpha, on Melrose in West Hollywood. Darren Gold, who runs this fabulous "SoHo"-esque haven of shopping, asked me to make an appearance for a special DVD signing. I was thrilled to find out that I would be joined by Andrae and (this is when I just about DIED!), Miss Jody Watley. Jody just released her new CD and was also making a CD-signing appearance. When I arrived , I greeted Andrae, looking very "Resort 2007" , in flip-flops, a short-sleeved shirt and casual pants. He looked so cute ,likehe was about to board a Gay Cruise. I, on the other hand, was "giving" Professor Verreos, with my Zara shirt and skinny tie. When Jody walked in, with her lovely mother and daughter, I just had to say "hello". I whispered in her ear something about what she thought of people wanting us to sign CD's or DVD's without writing "To (fill in the name)". We both screamed "EBAY!!!" at the same time. Instantly we became "BFF's". Jody is an icon and looked every part. Even though she was extremely nice, funny and very warm and friendly, she was still every minute a DIVA. And it turns out that her, her mom and daughter were huge PR season 2 fans. Love them even more!! A lot of shoppers and fans alike came by and we chatted about our experience on the show, we dished about Season 3. Speaking of Season 3, guess who made a special apperance, Kayne's model, Amanda Fields. She is in town to do Los Angeles Fashion Week , which begins next week and came by to lend her support. I even did an exclusive interview for Beverly_Hills_People.com--check out their site for more photos and an exclusive taped interview from the event.
Monday, October 02, 2006
"Jacket Required"-Trevor Project Fundraiser Neiman Marcus Last week, I received an invitation to an event that intrigued me on two levels. First it was a Fundraiser for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization established to promote acceptance of gay and questioning teenagers and to aid in suicide prevention among that group. Whenever I am asked to lend my presence to a respected association that is doing amazing work, particularly for young gay kids, there is no question of whether or not I will attend, of course. The second item that intrigued me was that there was to be a Fashion Show showcasing the 2006 Fall trends of Menswear--and I had just bought a black Double Breasted jacket and was looking for just the right event to wear it! And since the title of the event was "Jacket Required", then there was no question what "Uncle Nick" would be sportin'. A couple of actors, including the very cute Jesse Garcia and David W. Ross, stars of the indie hit, "Quinceanera" , were to join me as "special guests" of the event as well as amateur auctioneers of the special auction that would follow the fashion show. The fashion show was great, yet sitting in the audience watching the 6 foot tall, 28-inch waist male models do their "thang", somehow I felt like the biggest cow in the audience; I can understand how women can feel totally inadequate when they see those 5'10" Amazonian , size 2 models sashaying on the runway! I was, however taking some ideas on the styling of the outfits, which was outstanding. The one I will try--and in fact Jesse, David and I poked fun at onstage, was the new trend of wearing boots outside your skinny jeans, or cargo pants. I might look ridiculous, but heck, I'll always try something once, until my friends tell me not to do it again! All the sweaters, jackets, coats were a little much for the Angeleno crowd, including myself, since here in Los Angeles, we really don't have a "Fall/Winter" season. We just have about two weeks of below 65 degree weather and a bit of rain, and that's it. But even then, it's amusing to see how we dress for our "Fall" season: We still wear the cargo shorts and flip flops, but we now add a sweater or a zip-up hoodie/track jacket to the outfit. Southern California is the capital of casual, for good and bad. My favorite part of the evening was auctioning 7 high-end denim jeans to benefit the Trevor Project. Out came 4 shirtless models and I suddenly became the ringmaster of his male pulcritude show! The opening bid, was about $300 and (sit down for this one!), I got it up to $1700!!! I have to say that was the highlight of the event. The only downside to the evening (for me), was that I was so busy auctioning, introducing and "workin" the event, that I didn't get to finish my dinner--I took two bites, and then it was taken away from me, as I was whisked onto the stage. When we left, I told David to take me to "Jack In the Box" --A very "unfashionable" ending to such a fashionable and rather high-brow event!
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