MUSEUM MINUTE.....Viva Oscar! My Top 20 Looks from the Oscar de la Renta Exhibition at the de Young Museum San Francisco

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 Oscar Fabuloso! Nick Verreos visits the Oscar de la Renta Exhibition at the de Young Museum San Francisco

This past week, I flew to San Francisco--along with my partner David--to enjoy a quick overnight trip at the invitation of David's mom Conchita. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Embarcadero with Conchita's friend of 58 years, Susan Burns...

(L to R) Susan Burns, Conchita Encinas-Hansen, Nick Verreos and David Paul--The Waterfront Restaurant Embarcadero San Francisco 

View of the San Francisco Bay Bridge from The Waterfront Restaurant

Susan happens to be a docent at the de Young and procured tickets for us to attend the fabulous Oscar de la Renta Exhibition/Retrospective at the de Young Museum. The retrospective lasts until the end of May so we HAD to see it!!!

Nick poses a la Oscar--Oscar de la Renta Retrospective de Young Museum San Francisco

 (L to R) David Paul, Conchita Encinas Hansen and Nick Verreos--Oscar den la Renta Retrospective de Young Museum San Francisco

As a young aspiring fashion designer--when I lived in the S.F. Bay Area--I loved fashion and I was especially obsessed with Oscar de la Renta. My mom even took me to see him when he was making an appearance at the San Francisco I. Magnin many, many years ago. I was thrilled that there was a Latino fashion designer--and a very elegant looking one--that was representin', as it were! Needless to say, I was more than excited to attend this fabulous retrospective giving an homage to one of my design influencers.

There were so many fabulous looks in the exhibition, it made it hard to choose which ones I liked best, but here are my Top 20 Favorite pieces from the Oscar de la Renta Retrospective at the de Young Museum San Francisco--in no particular order...

#1: Battle of Versailles--Oscar de Renta silk georgette and jersey looks from the iconic "Battle of Versailles" in 1973--I am obsessed with these pre-Disco era designs for their fluid asymmetric silhouettes and how un-Oscar de la Renta they seemed. Where's all the pouf? I kinda loved pre-pouf de la Renta!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#2 and #3: Flamenco Oscar--These Spain-centric designs were some of my favorites from the retrospective. I was a big admirer of Oscar de la Renta's designs as a young fashion-loving adolescent and especially his overt references to España--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

 #4 Watteau Couture: As part of the "Marie Antoinette/Flower Garden-inspired gallery, this was one of my top favorite looks--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#5 Black and White Flower Train--This black and white flower printed silk satin gown was truly one of my top looks from the exhibition: Gown fabulous!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#6 Sequined and Embroidered Mink Trimmed Coat--This decadent UBER luxe coat is the definition of Haute Couture; the unbelievable sequin and embroidery craftsmanship, the mink trim and notice how you barely see where there is a in-seam side all blends because of the handwork of the sequin applique...Stunning!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco 

#7 Blue Duchesse Satin Coat--I love this gorgeous duchesse satin coat worn by Annette de la Renta. It is dramatic and so architecturally beautiful--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#8 Flemenco Tiered Ruffles--More Flamenco-inspired fabulousness! Si!!!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#9 and #10 Caftan Fab--I have never met an Oscar de la Renta caftan I did not like! I can just see the ghost of Elizabeth Taylor blushing over these designs--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#11 Pantaloon Ensemble--Orientalism Couture at its best! Lord knows I wish I was one of those Ladies-Who-Lunch who could wear this on their next Orient Express First Class Trip!Oh and yes, Miss Barbara Walters wore that stunning red and black sequined jacket to an event as well!(in 1989)--Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#12 and #13: Gown Gorgeous--These two gowns are more recent examples of the late fashion designers' work; in fact this collection was more attributed to being designed by the genius (and very controversial) John Galliano--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#14 Sequined and Embroidered Coat--Very over-the-top, very Louis XIV and very fabulous! Oh and yes, Art Doyenne Ann Getty wore it...that's enough for me!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#15 Fur-trimmed gowns--This tableaux consisting of three fur trimmed flower-printed gowns was Couture beautiful; just three simple gals sitting on a bench waiting for their Champagne!--Oscar de la Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#16 Gown Fab--A Museum tableaux recreation of a U.S. Vogue Magazine photo by Steven Meisel---Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#17 Pouf Sleeves and Turban. Those two things amount to a definite inclusion in my Top 20 List!--Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#18 Asiana Luxe--Asiana-inspired Tunic and Sable-trimmed pants worn by Couture Doyenne Nan Kempner. Can you just see her greeting her guests for aperitifs and dinner at her Manhattan this?---Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#19 Custom Oscar de la Renta gown worn by Sarah Jessica Parker at 2014 Charles James Met Ball Gala--To be honest, I was not  a big fan of this gown that SJP wore to the 2014 Met Ball; it was a little tacky to see the designer's signature on the dress and almost verged on provincial and common; it reminded me of those 1970's Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. But for good or bad, it has become iconic and people do remember it--Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

#20 Gown worn by Taylor Swift at 2014 Charles James Met Ball/Gala--Now this was a gown that I did like from that 2014 Met Ball; the simple silhouette was contrasted with such a dramatic back bow and train detail. It reminded me of a John Singer Sargent painting come to life!--Oscar de La Renta Exhibition, de Young Museum San Francisco

 (L to R) David Paul and Nick Verreos--de Young Museum San Francisco

 Outstanding views from the Hamon Observation Tower at the de Young Museum

NICK VERREOS FIDM.....FIDM Orange County Open House 2016: Special Appearance BLOG RECAP!

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 FIDM OC Open House 2016 Photo Collage

All photos courtesy of David Paul

This past weekend, I had the honor of visiting the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM Orange County campus for their fab FIDM Open House. The FIDM Open House is a chance for anyone interested in a career in anything from fashion design/styling/interior design and much, much more to check out the FIDM OC campus, instructors and alumni.

Nick Verreos--FIDM OC Open House 2016

FIDM College Catalog + FIDM "MODE" Magazine

Besides the fact that the FIDM OC campus is perfectly situated in the heart of Southern California's Activewear fashion capital, it is also a stones throw from the headquarters of the iconic St. John fashion brand and the campus itself is designed like an artists' loft, giving the immediate sensation that you are in a creative environment. The FIDM OC campus currently also has a wonderful display of the FIDM "Chairing Styles" designs--a collaboration between the Fashion, Interior and Textile Design students:

FIDM Chairing Styles--FIDM Orange County Campus

As part of the FIDM OC 2016 Open House, I gave a very special "Inspirational lecture" discussing why I chose to attend FIDM plus much, much more. I even brought two of my very special high-end NIKOLAKI evening gowns...

NIKOLAKI gowns onstage at FIDM Orange County Open House 2016

Following my "special appearance" and lecture, there was a fun Meet & Greet session to take photos with attendees (Hello Instagram Pics!)...

 Smile! FIDM OC 2016 Open House attendees getting ready for my "Group Selfie"

Meet & Greet Posing Fab--Nick Verreos with FIDM OC 2016 Open House attendees

Nick Verreos and FIDM OC 2016 Open Hose attendees

Group #Selfie--FIDM OC 2016 Open House

THANK YOUUUUUU FIDM Orange County and to all who attended this past Saturday's FIDM OC 2016 Open House! 

And don't forget: If you are interested in a career in Fashion or thinking about studying Fashion Design, Visual Communications, Apparel Industry, Product Development, Social Media, Digital  Media, Business Management and so much more...Check out the FIDM site HERE!

NICK HOSTS.....Excited to Host the I.N.C SUMMER EVENT at Macy's South Coast Plaza SATURDAY April 30th!

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I.N.C Summer Event Hosted by Nick Verreos--April 30th at Macy's South Coast Plaza

Hello Summer Fashionistas! Join me SATURDAY April 30th at the Macy's South Coast Plaza as I HOST the fabulous Macy's I.N.C SUMMER EVENT!! I.N.C. International Concepts Summer is all about the perfect MUST-HAVE pieces to HEAT up your Summer wardrobe! The I.N.C. Summer 2016 collection includes lots of gorgeous Maxi dresses, printed easy-breezy tops and dresses plus much, much more...

Saturday's event will feature a Fashion Show presentation which I will host, a live DJ, and I will also be dishing out HOT SUMMER FASHION Tips so...Don't miss it!


INC Summer Event Hosted by Nick Verreos

INC Summer Fashion Presentation, Live DJ + Much More!

Guests will receive a complimentary gift with any INC purchase of $75 or more!


Saturday April 30, 2016, 2 PM


Macy's South Coast Plaza

Women's Fashion Building

3333 Bristol Street

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

1st Floor, INC Department


Call (714) 556-0611

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss Philippines Universe Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Finals EVENING GOWN RECAP!

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Evening Gown Best & Uh Oh: Bibibining Pilipinas Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Finals

And the Winner Is...Maxine Medina is crowned Binibining Pilipinas Miss Universe Philippines 2016

Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook

The finals of the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 occurred Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines. The winner of Binibining Pilipinas becomes "Miss Universe Philippines" and goes on to represent her nation in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant slated for the end of this year.

 Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina

There were 40 total contestants vying for the coveted crown and the winner was #29 Maxine Medina representing Quezon City. Medina is an interior designer and model who, according to Wikipedia, stands 5' 7 1/4" (that 1/4" is very important!). She will now try and follow in her predecessor's high heels (!)--last year's winner Pia Wurtzbach--who won the Miss Universe title. Speaking of Pia, she was present to crown the new winner and for her traditional "Farewell Walk". She looked radiantly gorgeous in a white satin gown with nude illusion top section:

Byeeeeeeee!!!!! Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach during her "Farewell Walk" at the Binibining Pilipnas 2016 beauty pageant

                                         Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook

Best Costume Design goes to... Bb #3 Angela Fernando in Frederick Peralta

Photo courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook

And now to I want to really discuss: THE EVENING GOWNS!!!

                                        Photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook

Gown Parade: It is always a thrill to see the evening gowns in a top national pageant, such as Binibining Pilipinas/Miss Universe Philippines. This year's gown parade featured LOTS of very "Pageant and prom"-looking gowns. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but as I was watching the show--and then looking at the individual photos--it seemed more and more as if the organizers had gone to one big "Pageant & Prom" store (albeit a little more upscale one!) and gathered up 40 gowns to then be worn by the contestants. There was LOTS of glitter, lots of semi-Pageant Betty, and of course, a mermaid...or three, as well as enough illusion backs to make a figure skater blush with delight! Within the 40 gowns on display, I have narrowed down my Top ten Favorite as well as my top 5 Not-So Favorites. So, let's begin with...

My TOP TEN Favorite gowns of Binibining Pilipinas 2016:

All photos courtesy of Binibining Pilipinas Facebook

Bb #16 Vina Openiano: If I had to pick a favorite, it would be this canary yellow gown worn by Vina Openiano. I loved the color, the sequin applique and the shape fit her very well. She looked like a Pageant Goddess. Her hair and makeup were DIVA-licious, as well!

Score: 9.4

Bb #36 Maria Gigante: coming in a close second was this strapless silver sequined gown with a layer of aquamarine iridescent tulle, worn by Maria Gigante. I though the gown was exquisite and regal-like in its elegant simplicity. The bustier sequin detail was quite nice and she looked fresh and modern with her hair and makeup choices.

Score: 9.35

Bb #37 Jehza Mae Huelar: I thought this was one of the better gown styles, especially because of its clean and elegant lines and no-fuss and overly glittery "pageant" design. The "Mermaid Lite" shape on this emerald green satin gown showed Jehza's silhouette quite well and I loved the diagonal crystal details as well as one shoulder neckline. If there was any critique it was that I would have suggested no earrings with this; keep it clean and simple.

Score: 9.30

Bb #3 Angela Lauren Fernando: Angela's red paillette and silver sequin gown was a stunner onstage, particularly because of the impacting color and royal-looking sequin applique detail. The gown fit well and made a definite statement with the sweeping hem.

Score: 9.25

Bb #31 Kylie Buenaventura Verzosa: Kylie was one of the favorites to win the pageant and instead, she had to settle for the Binibining Pilipinas International tile, or basically, she was the First Runner-up (not a bad place to be!). She wore a very flowy voluminous chiffon gown that featured a fitted sequined top section and violet-hued ombre shaping effect. She worked the stage overtime and was very impacting. It was nice to see a non-fitted design and especially one that was very pretty.

Score: 9.25

Bb #33 Leonalyn dela Cruz: My favorite part of this design and gown is the bust section and that intricate sequin work. I wished the gown did not have that side-front slit, but I get the design decision to put it in there; it's very Pageant-perfect. But for a true red carpet fab gown/design, it wouldn't need that high slit.

Score: 9.10

Bb #13 Joanna Louise Eden: Simple, elegant...chic. Love the emerald green color, the lack of sequin cha-cha-ness (quelle surprise!!??). This is a gown that would truly be worn at a top red carpet awards show and/or worn by Queen Rania at a Gala fundraising event; very elegant.

Score: 9.15

Bb #32 Jennyline Carla Malpaya: Love the blue and white strapless gown worn by Jennyline. The bold sequin design is almost national costume-like but it makes such a strong impact.

Score: 9.15

Bb #27 Dindi Joy Pajares: I love a good one-shoulder gown and this was a nice one. While I am not so sure how necessary it was to add that iridescent organza cascade over-layer, it did add a multi-dimensional interest to the gown silhouette. The nude pumps, however, were a MISS! Silver strappy heels would have been much, much better!

Score: 9.05

Bb #1 Gail Doraine Ventic: Finally, in terms of my Top ten, I wanted to add what I thought was one of the best of the Mermaid Queens. This blush colored gown with white scroll-like applique was impacting and made a statement on the stage. I would argue that the pointed lace applique at the hem of the gown wasn't necessary, however. This was a simple case of leave it alone...keep it simple, elegant and chic.

Score: 9.00

Honorable Gown Mention: 1990's Over-the-Top Good

Bb #26 Jennifer Ruth Hammond: Finally, I want to add Jennifer's gown and design in my Top Ten list as a "Gown Alternate". First off, in terms of any negatives, it is A LOT of gown and yes, it is a bit 1996 in it's design. But...the red color looks beautiful on her and the sequin work on the torso is quite nice. Does this gown remind one of a Figure Skating Costume gone Gown-haywire? Probably, but, Jennifer still worked it overtime!

Score: 8.99

And now...My "Uh No!" List-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bb #17 Priscilla Kimberley dela Cruz: Well, where do I begin with this one? Priscilla wore this silver gown with what seemed like Christmas ornaments stuck to her shoulders and all around her gown. It's a bit of a mess. The design was like Star Treck-meets-Christmas. And that's not a good thing. And then, someone gave her the unfortunate advice to actually ADD those too-big earrings and a necklace! This was the definition TOO MUCHEEY.

Bb #20 Geisha Naganuma: I am assuming that there was a pearl and sea theme to this gown design. This might have worked if it was a Fashion Student design competition inspired by French Polynesia. But as a gown for Miss Universe Philippines...nope. The cray-cray holes in the gown were dumbfounding. Truly.

Bb #34 Sarah Christine Bona: For a hot minute, I almost thought this gown design was kind of fabulous. But then I put down my glass of red wine. On a positive note: I do like the gold applique detail which is very "Met Museum Guo Pei-like" but the nude iridescent organza (tacky) and the pointed applique right there in her YOU-KNOW-What...even more tacky. Sorry Sarah, this was an 'Uh-Oh" gown for sure.

Bb #24 Niza sabrina Sophia Limjab: This green lace and silver sequined strapless gown looked cheap. Plain and simple. I think the combination of the bright green and silver was not a good thing but I especially think that it did not help to bring so much attention to her...sistahs! This design was verging on something a Vegas stripper might wear to one of her clubs "red carpet events".

Bb #35 Mariella Castillo: At first glance, I thought "OK, this seems to be an OK gown". But then I put on my reading glasses (to get a close-up look at the gown) and saw these awkward darts on the bust. I IMMEDIATELY knew what they were about: the gown did not fit the beautiful Mariella correctly and someone--the alterations person--decided to do a "Mickey Mouse" (what I call a quick sewing fix) and alter the bust to fit her better. But kids, I noticed it, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one...

Bust Side Dart Not: In fact, it looks like a store-bought dress that has been altered at the last minute by someone who had about one semester's worth of sewing class. As they say in the South: Bless Her Heart.

Last but not least, I have to add the Winner--the beautiful Maxine Medina--and her gown choice, in my "Uh Oh" section...

Bb #29 Maxine Medina: While I LOVED the deep raspberry/fuchsia color of her gown and the fit was perfection, the overall design was two seconds away from a Pageant Betty/Prom & Pageant-licious Gown. I might be slightly too design critical but, this design was not worthy of the winner of Miss Philippines Universe and I sure hope she looks somewhere else when it comes to what she wears at the Miss Universe 2016 pageant. What took it over the tasteless edge for me was...the bow in the back. While it was sweet and pretty, it was rather amateur; I wish the bow was more of a couture-like Obi or abstractly-draped bow, but just a regular ol' bow?? A future Miss Universe doesn't wear bows on her gown; that's for her 15-year old cousin.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Winners and to Maxine Medina, the new Binibining Pilipinas 2016. Let's hope she stays away from Pageant Betty bows.