Thursday, January 29, 2009
Here is the entire show from my last TV Guide Network Fashion Wrap w/ Lisa Rinna, where we discussed the "Best" and the "Least Best" of the SAG Awards last Monday---This week was especially a fun week at the TV Guide studios with Miss Lisa and the "gang"---so much fun that I made Lisa Rinna CRY!!!! Yes, it's not easy to make Lisa Rinna cry, but I, Nick Verreos, did!!! Well, she cried from laughing so hard....Click above and hope you enjoy---and hope I don't make you guys cry... Oh, and see you Monday February 9th for the Grammys TV Guide Fashion Wrap.
Menswear Runway Fashion Shows: Milan The Twins taking their DSquared bow, in their white dinner jackets and high-heeled boots DSquared2: The twins at DSquared designed another romp of a collection featuring their hot sexy and very pumped up boys. Lots of vests, bow ties and shrunken shearling jackets. Since it's a Fall/Winter Collection, there wasn't ONE half-naked model down the runway, which, if you follow DSquared fashion shows, is usually a VERY COMMON sight!
DSquared2: Shrunken Shearling
DSquared2: Don't throw your vests out of your closet just yet
Gucci: Think 1960s rock band musician meets glam rock punk trust-fund baby. Tight, skinny and very shrunken (Is SHRUNKEN the theme of choice for Menswear 2009/10?) Skinny ties, lurex shrunken suits and lots of tight skinny pants. It looked fabulous on the 18 year old Manorexic male models but I wonder how those looks will look on the 50 year old men who will actually be able to afford a $800 pair of pants or an $6,000 suit. This collection has Mick Jagger written all over it!
Gucci: Shrunken cardigan, skinny tie and skinny pants
Gucci: Shrunken suits
Click BELOW for both the DSquared and Gucci Menswear runway fashion shows
Paris Menswear Fashion Week--Galliano's Flight of Dandy Fantasy
As is tradition, Menswear Designers show their collections to the world in Milan and Paris right before Haute Couture Fashion Week. And of course, this season was no exception. One of the highlights I wanted to show you was John Galliano's collection. It was a decadent flight into his vision for what men should be wearing come next Fall/Winter: Imagine the mythical "Pan"--Half-man half-goat then throw in some Colonial Dandies in 18th-century decadence (and 21st-century micro-mini underwear), add a dash of "Slumdog Millionaire"/Bollywood music and throw in 20,000 candles and an acre of crystal shards and glitter....and well, you've got yourself a very entertaining vision only Galliano's mind could conjure up. And some actually very wearable shearlings, vests and fierce jackets (oh, I swear I wasn't going to say FIERCE!) Click BELOW for John Galliano Fall 09/10 for Men runway videos
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Paris is abuzz with the Haute Couture runway shows, and in a time of economic recession, reporters have one question on their minds: Why and how would someone want to spend $30,000 on a jacket or $150,000 on a gown? To that question , John Galliano, of Christian Dior answered THIS on Style.com: "There's a credit crunch, not a creative crunch. Of course, everyone is being more careful with discretionary purchases. I am. But it's our job to make people dream and to provide the value in quality, cut, and imagination" You go Girl!
Chrisitan Dior
For his Dior Spring/Summer Haute Couture, Galliano was inspired by Dutch and Flemish painters; Vermeer, Van Dyck and Monsieur Dior of course. You can see in the re-working of his 1947 New Look Jacket Shapes and his full skirts and ball gowns toward the end of his collection. Dior's women DO NOT SIT for cocktails, they stand and look fabulous holding a Vodka Martini! Forget about sitting for dinner in front of a table--try doing that in one of those Haute Couture fitted dresses with full-circled front "attachments" with eight inch wide Horsehair encircling almost every single hem. And be sure not to miss the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy soundtrack in his runway show (click below for the videos). Bless. John. Galliano. Marvelous!
Christian Lacroix
For Spring '09, Christian Lacroix continued doing what he does best: His masterful and one of a kind creations blending the feminine with the romantic with obvious nods to historical costume references, and deftly mixing 8 different fabrications IN ONE seemingly simple and elegant cocktail number. Perfect for that Dubai debutante in need of a dress for attend just another Friday night party!
Click below for Part I and II of the complete Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2009 videos, as well as an edited video of Christian Lacroix's Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2009 show
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
video While attending and hosting the California State Society and FIDM Presidential Luncheon and Fashion Show, I was interviewed before the show by VOA reporter Amra Alirejsovic. We spoke about Michelle Obama's fashion choices and how they will impact the fashion world. And because of my collection inspired by first ladies ranging from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama, we discussed the impact of past First Ladies and fashion. It is a great report which shows wonderful highlights from the show. *If you are having problems viewing the video above click HERE
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Yes, it is Awards Season, and my so-called expertise has been called upon once again for the TV GUIDE NETWORK. I will appear tomorrow night on the SAG Awards Fashion Wrap With Lisa Rinna. I really have a fun time with everyone doing these and I'm sure we'll be on our "best behavior"---NOT! Be sure to catch it Monday, January 26th @ 7pm and replaying at 8pm, 9pm and 11pm. * Above is the video from last weeks Golden Globes Fashion Wrap, in case you missed it!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Party-Hopping DC Style Step-&-Repeat: Nick and DC reporter (and Project Runway fan), at Inaugural Night Party, L2/Leopold's Kafe I was honored and humbled to have been invited to host the California State Society and FIDM Presidential Luncheon and Fashion Show in Washington DC and to be there during this historic Inaugural. But, of course, I also hoped that maybe David and I could "hit up" some parties while in the US Capital. Unfortunately, I was not invited to any of those fabulous Balls (there were MANY!), but I was invited to several very cool and fun Inaugural parties during my stay. Welcome to the Embassy: The Ambassador of Kuwait's wife, Rima Al-Sabah with designer Tory Burch The first party I was invited to was Sunday evening's illustrious Cocktail Buffet Party given by the Ambassador of Kuwait and his stylish wife, Rima Al-Sabah to celebrate the Inauguration of President Obama and Vice President Joe Bidden. The party was also hosted by world-renowned architect Leo Daly and his wife, former Chief-of-Staff for President Reagan, Ken Duberstein and his wife, and DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife and CEO of the Washington Post, Donald Graham. Rima Al-Sabah is known to be THE unofficial Hostess of Washington DC, and is always on the "Best Dressed Lists" of the world. Runway to Cocktail Buffet: Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer (above photo) and the stunning Balenciaga dress (Fall 2008) she wore to the Kuwaiti Embassy Inaugural Party The party was held at the Kuwait Ambassador's residence. Upon entering the home, all the guests gathered in the immense inner Courtyard which featured a gorgeous fountain right in the middle of it. Republicans Unite: Actress Bo Derek and Colin Powell at Kuwaiti Embassy Party There were hundreds of guests; all of them the creme-de-la-creme of Washington DC, Hollywood and NY. I was in CNN and BBC World News Heaven: I recognized Wolf Blitzer, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and his lovely wife, actress Alexandra Wentworth, Colin Powell, Opera Diva Renee Fleming, socialite designer Tory Burch, Estee Lauder heiress Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer (in black Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere--see above), actress Bo Derek and even Linda Carter, of "Wonder Woman" fame. Thank God David came with me as my "date", since I did not know anyone. Kuwaiti Couture: The black Alexander McQueen dress (on the right) worn by Mrs. Al-Sabah, wife of the Kuwaiti Ambassador, sans the mask of course I did say "hello" to the hostess, Mrs. Al-Sabah and complimented her fabulously chic Alexander McQueen black side-draped cocktail dress, from his Spring 2008 Collection. I was happy to have bumped into "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry. We ended up DISHING on Project Runway. There were full bars in almost every corner and a dining room featuring a Middle Eastern-inspired buffet with such delights as Kubideh beef, chicken and rice, Falafel, Hommus, Filpino lumpias, and the most yummy shrimp which I later found out Mrs. Al-Sabah has flown in all the way from KUWAIT!!!!!! Better Late than Never: Toby shows up to Host the Artists and Atheletes Alliance Inaugural Party On Monday evening, I was invited to attend the Capitol File Magazine and Artists and Atheletes Alliance Inaugural party at DC's Cafe Milano. It was hosted by "Spiderman" actor, Toby Maguire. The party went from 7- 10 PM. Toby showed up at around 9 PM, did a "lap" to greet guests and take photos. Strike a Pose: Jennifer Lopez gives it to you! Also at the party were Jennifer Lopez (in a gold mini dress-she must have been really COLD!) and her hubby Marc Anthony. I also ran into the always stylish Judith Light, actress from "Ugly Betty". There were several open bars and lots of hors d'oeuvres being passed around and in buffet style (which I heard was rare for some of the larger Balls and parties so I guess we were lucky). A guest told us that they had gone to the supposed much-larger Latino Ball and decided to return to this party that we were at to eat something, because there was NO FOOD (at the Latino Ball)!! I ended up spending the party having my photo taken with a lot of the guests--I guess Washington DC has a lot of Project Runway fans... She Bangs: Actress Jessica Alba at Inaugural Night Party, L2/Leopold's Kafe The last party I attended with David was on Inaugural Tuesday night, the Artists Making An Impact Party at L2 and Leopold's Kafe in Georgetown. During the Kuwaiti Embassy Party a couple nights before, I befriended a guest who happened to be a talent agent with United Talent Agency/UTA visiting from Los Angeles. He was gracious enough to invite me to another party held by Artists Making An Impact. It was the only party we would attend on Inaugural Night and the fact that we were leaving for Los Angeles on a very early flight the next day (7 AM!) helped us make it an "early night". It was a lovely event, very low-key and classy, with finger foods, deserts and lots of Champagne to celebrate. We spotted actors Ben Affleck and Jessica Alba (who was there with husband Cash Warren). Everyone was very well dressed in either gowns, cocktail dresses or tuxedos. I chose to wear my white Dinner Jacket and bow tie. After a couple of glasses of Champagne and one delicious Margarita later, David and I called it a night and took a cab back to our hotel to try and get at least 4 hours of sleep before being picked up by our Airport "Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage". Thanks for a fabulous week Washington DC!!!
DC Fashionista Host With The Most: Nick Verreos wearing his Tarina Tarantino-designed "Liberty Pin" onstage at the Ritz Carlton Ballroom
Beyond my "Sightseeing Day" of visiting the Washington and Lincoln Monuments as well as taking far away snapshots of the White House, not to mention my lengthy all-day excursion to the Smithsonian Museum, the main purpose of my once-in-a-lifetime visit to Washington DC was to host the California State Society and FIDM's Presidential Inaugural Luncheon as well as Fashion Show. As part of the fashion show, I was going to show a selection from my most recent NIKOLAKI Spring 2009 Collection. While I was designing the collection, many months ago, I found out that I was being invited to Washington D.C. for this event and decided to design a group of gowns around famous US First Ladies. However, because of the secrecy surrounding this event, I couldn't say so at the time--until now.Welcome to DC Baskets: Nick Verreos in his hotel room
The night I arrived into DC--after a whole day of traveling cross-continent--I was greeted by the most INCREDIBLE basket of goodies and a GORGEOUS bouquet of roses and balloons waiting for me in my hotel room. I just about died and went to Champagne-Cookies-and-Obama Pin heaven! My gracious hosts at the California State Society were responsible for this "Welcome" and I had to capture a photo of it. Both David and I tried to pick up the one "Goodie Basket" and our non-Gym-Bunny bodies almost broke our backs! It was a wonderful way to arrive into DC.Nick and his First Ladies: Saturday Press Meet-and-Greet
The Saturday prior to the event, we held a "Press Meet-and-Greet". Various journalists, writers and reporters of local websites and newspapers, including the Washington Times, were invited to preview the gowns which I would be showing on the runway. As I noted previously, these gowns were loosely inspired by First Ladies. They included Martha Washington, Dolley Madison, Louisa Adams, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. My designs were modeled by the most gorgeous Washington DC-based models, who originated from far-flung places such as Uganda, Poland, Russia, and even New Jersey!
Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, Luisa Adams and Dolley Madison, as imagined by Nick Verreos
In my press "Meet-and-Greet", I explained to the press to first of all "suspend their belief" of how they remember most of these First Ladies, especially Mrs. Washington, Madison and Lincoln. I wanted to "re-invent" them, fashion-wise. This was my "Nick Verreos Make-Over" of how I would see these famous women in 2009! For example, in my research, I discovered that Mary Todd Lincoln was probably the first Fashionista and loved to shop, therefore I designed a very "high fashion" gown with an impressive back cascade and directional one-shoulder strap detail. Nick and the "Luisa Adams"-inspired silk chiffon sequined gown
Luisa Adams was known to wear bejeweled turbans (gasp!), and therefore my gown for her was a silk chiffon sequined gown with a corset, as a nod to the early 1800's fashion. For the more contemporary First Ladies, I either stayed close to how we remember them or gave them a bit f a make-over. Nancy Reagan was known for her sleek James Galanos one-shoulder gowns so I designed a black sequined one-shoulder number for her. The gown inspired by Jackie Kennedy was in ivory duchess satin and featured a Watteau back "cape-train", reminding me of the gowns she wore in her official visit to France. Hillary Clinton has always been fond of her blue pantsuits so I took some liberty with her and designed a very feminine gown that featured turquoise blue, as well as draped celadon-colored silk.
Where's The Presidential Ball? David Paul and Nick Verreos pose backstage with their "First Lady" models
Finally, for Michelle Obama, I was inspired by her tall statuesque frame and love of color. Mrs. Obama has such strong shoulders, I created a strapless architectural fitted gown in a candy-apple red. As we know now, she chose a full-skirted one shoulder design by 24-old NY-based designer Jason Wu. Of course, I have to admit, I kind of like my design just a little better...Pep Talk: Nick Verreos thanking the Dressers backstage at the Ritz Carlton Ballroom
The event, which took place the Sunday before Inaugural Tuesday at the very exclusive Ritz Carlton Washington DC, was a complete success. I wore my Marc Jacobs suit with a fabulous Tarina Tarantino "Lady Liberty" pin which she designed especially for the Inaugural. Notable guests included California Senator Diane Feinstein, as well as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Former S.F. Mayor, the always stylish Willie Brown, and many others. Nick and Leanne: Nick Verreos posing with models in Leanne Marshall's Project Runway Finale Collection
After they enjoyed their lunch and some wine and champagne, guests were "good-and-ready" for the fashion show, which besides my 9 First Lady Gowns, included the designs of FIDM's Advanced Study Fashion Design and Theater Costume students as well as an exclusive showing of Project Runway Season 5 Winner Leanne Marshall's Finale Bryant Park Collection, which was bought by the school through the Bravo Website Auction. I had an amazing time hosting as well as meeting all the guests and taking photos with them-- I ran into many people that were present at the Luncheon/Fashion Show at various Inaugural parties days later and they all felt compelled to stop me to say how fabulous the event was and how much they loved my "hosting" of the show...Ahhhhh, that really made my week in DC!!!!! Below are four great articles about the Luncheon and Fashion Show--as well as my First Lady-inspired Gowns: Click HERE for an article on Washington DC's RollCall.com site Click HERE for an LA Times.com article Click HERE for the COVER STORY featured in the Washington Times Click HERE for an article on Style.gay.com Click HERE for a great article at the Washingtonian.com
Thursday, January 22, 2009
OBAMAMANIA!Nick Verreos and David Paul...and The Washington Monument Sightseeing Monday--------------------------------------- The day before the Inaugural Swearing-In, David and I decided to do some sightseeing and check out the National Mall and the Washington and Lincoln Monuments. We also thought it would be good to get the "lay of the land", in the event we decided to venture out the next day to witness the actual Swearing-In. After surveying our map of DC, and putting on about 5 layers of clothing-- we walked out of our One Washington Circle Hotel and began our trek to the National Mall. The hotel was very centrally located in the Foggy Bottom area of DC, near George Washington University, and it was about a 15-20 minute walk to the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall area. We cut right through the University, in an area which reminded me of my days back in Westwood at UCLA, and made it to one end of the National Mall. There were HUNDREDS of people there! We really did think "Oh, no one will be sightseeing today and so it will be really easy...." NOT!!! Of course, being the day before the Inaugural and Martin Luther King Day, everyone and their Mom seemed also to decide that Monday was their "Sightseeing Day".
Click above for a video I filmed when we arrived at the Lincoln Memorial video
And click above for a brief video on the "frozen lake" at the National Mall Once we got to the Lincoln Monument, it was closed for actual viewing so people were gathering at the foot of the immense building that houses the Lincoln Statue taking photos. All of a sudden, I noticed that there were throngs of people lining up and I suggested to David that we join in. Boy, are we glad we did. They actually opened it up for just one hour and we happened to be part of the lucky group who was allowed to go up.Nick and Lincoln: Nick Verreos stands in front of the Lincoln Monument I felt almost solemn looking up at the immense statue of Lincoln, it was as if I was staring at the great Sphinx in Egypt! David and I posed for photos and as soon as we did that, scores of security began directing us to come back down and that the "tour" was over...I just felt that luck was on our side on this prodigious beginning to our "Sightseeing Day".After walking down from the Lincoln Memorial, we passed hundreds of Port-a-Potties (officials say that there were 7,000 of them in preparations for Inaugural Tuesday) and walked beside the frozen lake (yep, it was that cold) and ended up at the opposite end, at the foot of the Washington Monument. Afterward, we decided that there was only one place left in our "Sightseeing Day": The White House. On the way there , we passed by my father's old "stomping grounds", the State Department (my father was a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department) so I had to take a photo in front of one of the buildings' entrances--hopefully he's smiling right now as he sees his son in that crazy winter "get-up"!We approached the White House area and once again, there were tons of people gathered in front of the gates that overlook it. Finally, we made it to the prime "photo" area, and got our White House Photo (see above). Interesting fact: The photo you see is of the back of The White House, not the front. Not many people realize this. Tuesday January 20th, Obama Inaugural Day 2009-------- Bundled Up: Nick Verreos and David Paul, on Inauguration Day, in the National Mall, alongside 2 million other people The day of the Inaugural came and both David and I decided the night before that we would go to the famous National Mall and partake in history. After all, we were in Washington DC and this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Believe me, we had our concerns, mainly the weather (sub-freezing). In case you are wondering, I had no "VIP" tickets, since I was not part of Beyonce or P Diddy's "posse". Even though my former Project Runway mentor, Tim Gunn-- a native of DC--recommended to "Stay Home!" in a recent PBS interview when speaking about being at the Inaugural Swear-In, David and I still did it! Was it freezing? Yep. Where there a lot of people? Yep, 2 million estimated. The minute we got outside, there were many people making the same "pilgrimage" so we followed them. Camouflaged military were stationed on every DC corner, along with Military Hummer Trucks. Once we arrived, there were even "Obama Greeters"; volunteers in red "Obama caps" who welcomed us with a warm smile, saying "Welcome to the Inaugural..Have a Fabulous Day!". I kid you not. Two Million Strong: The Crowd exiting the National Mall We walked and walked. The farthest we could go--until it was just impossible to get through the crowd--was right next to the Washington Monument, very far away from the actual Capitol Building, but we did not care. Stationed near one of the many "Jumbo-trons", we watched the Swearing In Ceremony for the next two hours, alongside all the other million+ crowd. I cannot state this enough: It was an UNBELIEVABLE MOMENT. After newly-sworn in President Obama finished his speech, we all began making our way out, away from the Mall. But here's the problem: There were over a million people trying to do the same! I couldn't believe what was happening before my eyes: The most orderly exit of a million people I could ever have imagined. No fights, no pushing, nothing. Later I heard that there was not even ONE ARREST. It was like people exiting the Superbowl--but without the alcohol, Thank God! I love Tim Gunn, but I am glad I did not listen to his advice to stay home. Inaugural Tuesday 2009 was an unforgettable moment. Click Below for a video I took once we got to our "Viewing Area" of the Swearing-In:
video
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Nick's "Day At The Museum" Nick as President? Nick Verreos standing at a makeshift podium at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Last week, I traveled to Washington D.C. with David to partake in the history-making Barack Obama Inaugural. In actuality, I was invited by the California State Society and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM, to host and show 9 gowns from my Spring 2009 Collection, which were "inspired" by U.S First Ladies at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon/Fashion Show occurring on Sunday. On Friday (the day after arriving), after getting acquainted with the bone-chilling 18 degree D.C. weather and checking in with my hosts, I decided to take advantage of my "semi-day off" and went to The Smithsonian for the day. First stop: The National Museum of American History. After walking into the Museum, we realized that this was the building that housed the famous First Ladies at the Smithsonian exhibit. How apropos, since I was about to show my gowns inspired by the First Ladies of the past and present. The exhibition, which began in 1914, if you can believe it, currently features 14 dresses-- from Martha Washington to Laura Bush- and more than 90 other objects, including portraits, White House China, personal possessions and invitations. You can only imagine how excited I was to see it all. And luckily, they allowed us to take photos.Highlights of the exhibit included Helen Taft’s 1909 white-silk chiffon inaugural gown, which was appliqued with floral embroideries in metallic thread and trimmed with rhinestones and beads—the first to be presented by a first lady in 1912 to the Smithsonian. This gown was gorgeous, and it was one of my favorites on display. Also showcased is the red Chantilly lace and silk satin inaugural gown with crystal beading worn by Laura Bush in 2001. I was surprised at how almost "off-the-rack" it was, like a gown one could see at the "Evening Dress" department at Saks Fifth Avenue or even Macy's. Another gown that stood out for me was Jacqueline Kennedy's yellow-silk one shoulder gown. She wore this Oleg Cassini Sari-inspired gown to the first state dinner of her husband's Administration in 1961. It was a gown that could work in 2009 on the red carpet (with a few changes, like maybe more fitted around the hips).Finally, another dress that stood out to both David and I (it was one of our favorites!), was Grace Coolidge’s flapper-style evening dress, in a burnt orange silk velvet featuring asymmetrical tiers and jeweled drop-waist accents. It was so modern and again, I could totally see someone like actress Natalie Portman wearing this similar style at a movie premiere. It was really exciting to see these gowns, but I wished to have seen more in the exhibit, especially all those fabulous James Galanos gowns and Adolfo suits that First Lady Nancy Reagan wore and maybe a couple more from Jackie Kennedy would have been nice (at least for me). Judy Judy Judy: David and the Ruby Slippers worn by actress Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" After leaving the First Ladies Exhibit, David and I wandered to another section, where the Museum exhibited items more famous to our contemporary "pop culture". The highlight of this exhibit were the infamous "Ruby Slippers" worn by actress Judy Garland in the 1939 MGM film "The Wizard of Oz". The magical shoes, changed from the book's silver slippers to those with an iridescent red hue, were created by Gilbert Adrian, MGM Studios' chief costume designer, and played a central role in the film. You know we had to get photos posing with those shoes--or else a lot of my Judy Garland-loving friends back in LA would not be happy! Adjacent to the "Ruby Slippers", was a fabulous costume--completely beaded in multi-colored sequins--worn by the Cuban-born Diva herself, Celia Cruz. So, naturally, I had to pose next to this costume , or else, my Mom would have been very mad at me if I did not!

Nick and Stephen: Nick Verreos poses with the newly-displayed portrait of TV personality Stephen Colbert--on the way to the bathroom

After walking out of these two last exhibits, I saw something that made me do a double-take: A painting of TV "Conservative" host and commentator/pundit, comedian Stephen Colbert. The portrait-- actually three portraits in one-- depicts a debonair Colbert standing at a fireplace in front of a similar portrait of himself posing in front of the same mantel with a third picture of himself. It hangs now at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery in Washington for a six-week showing in what the museum considers an "appropriate place" --right between the bathroom near the "America's Presidents" exhibit. I must say, there were more people taking photos by this painting than at any other painting!

President Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat and Suit

The First Fashionista: Mary Todd Lincoln's purple-colored velvet gown

One of the other standouts at this museum was visiting the just-debuted "Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life" Exhibit. It was a very somber yet impressive exhibit, displaying everything-and-anything Abraham Lincoln, from his famous top hat and suit to his wife's purple-colored velvet gown (made by her freed-slave dressmaker) to manuscripts he kept, a mask/cast made of his worn face and strong hands, plus even a piece of fence rail, said to have been split by Lincoln.

Jeweled Diva: The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian After spending hours at the National Museum of American History, we decided to brave the cold, walk outside and go to the nearby National Museum of Natural History. My first stop was to see the unbelievable Hope Diamond. The supposedly cursed Hope Diamond is one of the largest--and most perfect-- diamonds on the world, at 45.52 carats! According to history, this blue-violet colored diamond, originated from India, and was passed on to various European rulers, including King Louis XIV. Click HERE for more of its history. We spent a long time in this exhibit, which besides the Hope Diamond, also featured some of the rarest and most expensively gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, crowns and earrings from all over the world. In fact there were a pair of diamond earrings that were previously owned by Marie Antoinette! Besides stunning diamonds, there were also sapphires, ruby's, emeralds; you name the it, it was there. From Cartier to Harry Winston. Finally, we slowly made it to the main halls of this Natural History Museum and I began feeling like Ben Stiller in the film Night At The Museum. Right in front of me was the immense Mammal Exhibit, with animals from all over the world, from all geographical areas, as well as the exhibit featuring animals from the Sea, starring the largest Blue Whale suspended from the ceiling above us...Finally, I couldn't leave without saying "hello" to all those Dinosaurs. While I loved looking at all those priceless jewels, my nephew and niece would have really enjoyed the Dinosaur section of this museum. And with seeing the life-size skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, I had to bid "adieu" to my "Day At the Museum".... Click Below for a short video of me at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: video
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It's COOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!! Chillin' In DC: Nick Verreos standing outside the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History On Thursday evening, I landed in Washington D.C. and after getting my luggage, stepped outside and almost froze my fragile Southern California used-to-85-Degree-weather body. It was a chilly 18 Degrees. Yep. Cold. Really cold. I praised the Fashion God of Marc Jacobs for making the knee-length parka coat with fur-lined attached hood that I brought with me---as well my my friend, John Wade, who works for Marc Jacobs and convinced me to buy it, even though I was in LA at the time and it was 75 Degrees! As you may know, I was invited to the Nation's Capital, to host and showcase my "First Lady" inspired gowns at the California State Society and FIDM presents the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show, which is tomorrow Sunday January 18Th. I'm a bit nervous for tomorrow's event since finding out that many illustrious guests , including California Senator Diane Feinstein and San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom as well as former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, have confirmed their attendance. So far David and I have been busy with rehearsals, fittings and some sight-seeing (even though it really is too cold to be outdoors sightseeing unfortunately). We did get to visit the phenomenal Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the nearby Museum of Natural History (I know, I was feeling "cultured"). I will have fun photos and even video after I return to LA. Several web blogs have already posted some press regarding the event tomorrow, including the CaliforniaApparelNews.net and Loreen's Blog of Celebrities/OK! Click HERE and HERE to read more...
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