Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Even though I am a fashion designer, living in Los Angeles, the land of film and entertainment, you can't help but get "caught up" in crazy La-La Land. I do feel detached because I am not really an actor or a producer or a director, so sometimes I am less interested in who wins what, and am more enticed by what the stars are wearing on the Red Carpet and what the supposed "fashion experts" will incorrectly say about their outfits during those pre and post shows.

For years, along with my partner, David, we would either go over to a friend's apartment and attend their intimate annual Oscar's Party or stay at home and eat a lot of chips and guacamole dip, drink lots of margaritas, and be our own "armchair" fashion critics. This year was different. I was invited to several of those exclusive "Oscar's Gifting Suites" that were occurring the days leading up to Sunday night's show. I attended most of them and got manicured, massaged and facial'ed. On Sunday, I was invited to several Oscar's viewing parties in West Hollywood and decided to throw our yearly pattern of staying home off kilter and get dressed up and go out!

First, we attended the Tom Whitman Presents Trevor Project/Instinct Magazine Oscar's Viewing Party at the Here Lounge . Season 3 model, and newly-transplanted Angeleno, Amanda Fields, also came along. Earlier in the week, we had fittings at my studio where she chose to wear a silver cowl-halter backless gown featuring a feathered silk attached skirt. She looked like a statuesque goddess in the gown. Once she stepped into the party, everyone wanted to come up to her to tell her how gorgeous she looked and how they loved her gown. She would quickly respond by telling them that it was one of my designs. I felt like a proud papa!

The party was filled with Gay A-listers such as Reichen Lehmkuhl, "Amazing Race" winner and former arm-candy/boyfriend to Lance Bass. Lance showed up, but quickly left after someone told him that Reichen was also at the party (Oooops!). I also said "hello" to J.P. Calderon, from "Survivor" and the "Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency Show" , who asked me when I would design a suit for him! He obviously never saw that last episode where I tried to make a suit for Daniel Vosovic!!!We hung out with "Amazing Race Season 7" boyfriends, Lynn and Alex and tried to watch the show ."Tried" is the operative word here, since there was so much going on at the party and it was so loud that the awards telecast was almost secondary to just socializing. The only time the party fell silent was when the Best Supporting Actress Award came up and Jennifer Hudson won. I think ALL of West Hollywood fell silent right then and there, quickly followed by loud yelling and screaming.

After the show was over, we quickly sauntered over to another party, DIVA and Metro Source Magazine's Oscar's Party held at the East West Lounge on Santa Monica Blvd. The whole time I was holding Amanda's gown as if I was a flower girl at a wedding. We immediately took photos on the lounge's "Red Carpet" and said hello to "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" Jai Rodriguez, designer Andrew Christian and other Southern California gay "glitterati". Actress Sara Ramirez of "Grey's Anatomy" was also at this party. We finally decided it was time to call it a night, drove home, put our pajamas on, and FINALLY watched the Oscar's as well as all those unending pre and post shows, in the comfort and privacy of our own "lounge". Thank God for TiVo.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Lots of news on the Prom Dress front!
First off, if you haven't checked out the dresses I designed for Windsor click HERE. And after you've finished picking out your favorite head on over to PromAdvice.com to WIN your very own Nick Verreos Prom Dress and a slew of other goodies worth $1,000!

I will also be appearing in Windsor Stores every weekend in March. I will give complete details in a few days. But so far it looks like I will be at two stores in Illinois, Ft. Lauderdale, FL., Arizona, Glendale, CA., Cerritos, CA. and Riverside, CA.

And keeping in the spirit of the Prom, I recently attended the Hollywood Prom Party thrown by Niki Shadrow with "The Hills" Audrina Patridge being crowned Prom Queen. Click HERE to read all about it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Before the Fall Quarter began late last year, I was called into "the Principal's office" at FIDM. My stomach quivered, thinking that I had done something wrong. I almost felt as if I was fifteen years old and back in Junior High School, having been called in for that pen I stole from Suzy. OK, of course I lie. I don't think I was ever called in to any Principal's office back in my adolescent years and I did not know anyone named Suzy and no, there is no "real" Principal's office for the Instructor's at FIDM. But you get the picture! I was called in by one of the Department head's of the school who informed me that Lauren Conrad "LC", from MTV's hit show, "The Hills" was returning to FIDM to take some classes, one of which was a Fundamentals of Sketching course that I, in fact, teach. Would I mind , a) Being filmed while teaching for "The Hills", and b) Be Lauren's instructor.

Of course I said "Yes", as long as the filming did not disrupt the environment of the class and the student's. Having had a bit of prior experience with "Reality Shows" and production, this was not going to be, as I famously said "My first time at the Rodeo". I also knew that they would not show much of me on the show, since I know that "The Hills" is more about Lauren and her day-to-day interaction with her girlfriends and paramours, as opposed to concentrating on her attending school and the classes she was taking at FIDM.

The class she took is one in which I teach students in the Product Development Major, how to sketch flat/technical sketching--a very important skill to have under your belt. Since approximately 98 % of the sketching one will do in the "real" world of fashion involves flat/technical sketching as opposed to stylized fashion illustration. For ten weeks , I show students the basics of how to learn this skill and eventually know how to sketch technically by hand. Afterwards they take another class to learn how to to this through the aid of a computer.
It is not a difficult course, per se. I always joke with my students that "this isn't Rocket Science kids!", but some students just cannot grasp the fundamentals of eye-to-hand coordination and have a difficult time progressing from crooked stick figures. Lauren was exceptionally good, however. I asked her if she had taken some classes in drawing or art, and she told me she had. Well, you could tell. She had a great sense of proportion and caught on pretty quickly in terms of the work. It is interesting to watch the show, since I did not discuss with her anything beyond school work and did not get into her private life. Obviously she had a lot going on besides school, but then again, so does everyone. That is what life is about, managing it all and somehow making it all work.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Watch for me on tonights episode of The Hills. But don't turn away from the TV for too long or you'll miss me! It is a very brief appearance. I was Lauren Conrad's Instructor for a class she took this quarter at FIDM and they asked me to be a part of the show. I will do a more in depth posting on how this all came about and a little behind-the-scenes take on the whole experience!

If you miss it don't worry you can see the whole episode HERE.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I know it sounds selfish to say "Happy Birthday" to me, but "Happy Birthday to Me! There I said it! My mom always tells the story that I was supposed to be born on Valentine's Day, February 14th, and that her and my father were going to name me Valentino. Can you just imagine: Valentino Verreos? There is already the great Italian couturier, Valentino Garavani, and there could never be two Valentinos. Although "VV" could make a good insignia for purses and sunglasses I have to say!
According to my parents, there was a snow storm in St. Louis ,Missouri, where I was born and my dad was en route from Washington DC (he worked for the US State Department as a Diplomat) as soon as she went into labor. I was born a day early, on the 13th and not named Valentino. I was named after my Godfather (and Uncle) Nick. For the last year, he has had to deal with people calling him thinking they were talking to me, since we have the same name. Sorry Uncle Nick.
On a side note: We just received some fabulous photos of my designs, taken by Los Angeles-based photographer Mark Oberlin www.markoberlin.com. One of which, shows the model in one of my gunmetal-colored taffeta gowns with the Athenian Parthenon in the background. It could almost be an ad for NIKOLAKI! The other photo shows one of my striped silk taffeta wrap dresses that is sold at EMc2 in New York City. For my Birthday, I am giving you guys a sneak peak of the shoot . There are a lot more photos where this came from and I will post them in the future. Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day and make sure to hug and kiss someone you love!






Thursday, February 01, 2007
Recently, I was asked to comment on mobile phone designs for CNET, a web/news source for software technology, electronic gadgets, camcorders, digital cameras and the like. It is ironic that I would be asked to say something about cell phones, because in less than six months , I have lost or had to replace mine THREE times!! The last time, I lost my RAZR in New York City while I was ending my New Year's Holiday in the Big Apple.

I was at the La Guardia Airport check-in gate, when I discovered that my cell phone was missing. After calming down, I realized that the little skinny RAZR must have slipped out of my coat pocket during my cab ride. I therefore blamed the loss on several things , including a poorly-designed welt pocket on my trench coat, as well as me being slightly careless for even putting it there and not checking the cab seat before getting out. Nevertheless, I did not blame it on a poorly-designed phone.

I like my RAZR, I just wish it was one of those gold "Dolce & Gabbana" kind--those are fabulous! I wish Barbie "My Scene" would come up with a "Nick Verreos Barbie" phone; it would be apple green with a Pucci-esque swirly print on it--it would just scream "Paris in CAPRI!" Just recently, I received a Blackberry as a gift, which will come in handy for work. I promise that you won't see me typing out emails/text messages while sitting down at lunch or dinner with someone though. Not only is that way too "Hollywood", it's also rude. I'll go outside and do it!

Click HERE to read the article on what I think of mobile phones deisgns , and especially the men who CLIP them on!!!
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