10 Questions With... Nick Verreos
Project Runway's own Nick Verreos answers Andy's questions.
Oh Nicky you're so fine, you're so fine you blow our mind - Hey Nicky! Hey Nicky! My phone is ringing and it's "Project RunGay" sensation Nick Verreos on the line!
HEY NICK VERREOS... HOW IS LIFE AS A "PROJECT RUNWAY" SUPERSTAR?
Oh please! I think you're using that word loosely! It's been different. Everyone told me my life would change...I thought I went to summer camp and it would all be fine. The show started and it's been crazy and unexpected. It started little by little in unexpected places - changing airports at Christmastime was insane. There I was at LAX and people were staring and saying "Oh my God we love you" and on and on at various airports. I've learned not to go to the smaller gay clubsin LA because I feel like I'm on Sepulveda at 5:30 rush hour with no way out of the traffic! At the same time it's nice but I'm shocked by the response. At least they're saying nice things and I bring out an emotional response.
ARE YOU THROWING THE BOYS OFF YOU?
Oh stop it please! The funny thing is at least when I go out they say "I've never stopped anyone before but I feel compelled to stop you and say you're cute and we love your dresses." We've been getting fan emails and people have been sending some pretty racy stuff. It's a little wild. Will I come home to a cooked rabbit on my stove one day? The lead singer from Foo Fighters chased me out of a restaurant the other night! That was so cool. Of course if it's not Kylie or Madonna I have no clue who they are...
YOU DESIGNED A DRESS FOR "DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE" BRENDA STRONG FOR THE SAG AWARDS!
I've done some celebrity dresses years ago - Ali Landry and Patricia Arquette. I got a call from her publicist raving about the Nicky Hilton dress.. They liked my approach of making ladies look like Hollywood glamour girls. She's a perfect muse. She's a superstar, a dream to work with, knew what she wanted but wanted me to have freedom in my design.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DRESS YOU'VE DESIGNED SO FAR ON THE SHOW?
I really love the first outfit that I made (out of muslin)... I dip-dyed it and did a backless gown - I was surprised I wasn't up there on top in that episode! I also love the Nicky Hilton dress - I thought that really was me. I love the color, cut, style, the back. I felt like this is what I do - these are the girls I dress for and they're gonna purchase my dresses hopefully. I was so proud of what I did. And of course the Barbie one - it was just fun. It wasn't my style exactly but it worked!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHALLENGE?
Barbie! Because I won and it was fun. I was so happy and felt like I could win it. And figure skating was great. My partner of 14 years, David, and his friends have been obsessed with figure skating forever. I'm like a football wife. All of a sudden I show up to that ice rink with all that on my shoulders - THAT'S why I was jumping up and down like a giddy fan. I was thinking of David and his friends seeing the show. It was like karma for me because I've been mocking them about figure skating for so long. I knew I had to make them proud. I was disappointed I wasn't one of the top that week - I was happy to be in the middle group though. I got autographs from Sasha for all my friends - the night the episode ended I passed them out as gifts and they loved it.
ARE YOU STILL PISSED OFF AT ZULEMA ABOUT THE "WALK OFF"?
You know it's funny at the time in that bubble I was so pissed and hurt and it hit me bad. Tarah and I developed a relationship in a short amount of time. I was so lucky to have her - she's so beautiful, a flawless walker, and most importantly very sweet. A perfect muse that I wanted to take to the end. When Zulema did that I tried to hold my emotion but I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. It was painful at the time and I was discombobulated in that challenge. Now we are in reality and have Hamas in the Middle East, Bush still President, starving children - so outside of the bubble I know I was just queening out.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SANTINO?
I have to admit I think he's a really funny, funny guy. I like him. I like being with him - I can party with him. He had such a strong personality and is so self-absorbed that it's hard to work WITH him. For the Banana and lingerie challenges it was difficult. I was a willing participant in his vision. I got him. I understood him. Thank God he started singing or imitating Tim during challenges - he brought the tension level down. We had some deep moments of honesty off-camera back in the apartment so I know who the real guy is. Watching him say stuff on TV has been a little disconcerting because I was there when he came out of the confessional but I didn't know what he was saying. I can understand why people think he's a self-driven creep. I am a little shocked but also not shocked at what he's said privately to the camera. I did figure if he was talking crap about everyone else he'd be talking crap about me. But I don't hate him for it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE JUDGES? ARE THEY FAIR OR WHAT?
I do think they're fair. Michael and Nina and Heidi all have their different tastes and where they're coming from but they are all fair. I am really in the Michael camp - I laughed sometimes onstage at his comments but I do think he's right on. I never disagreed with them or had a problem with how they judge. Women judging clothing I think bring whether they would wear the outfit themselves into the equation - I don't know whether Nina and Heidi did that but I do know that women sometimes bring that into the equation and you want to say "I didn't design it for YOU - YOU weren't the client." Sometimes you see Nina with a pencil skirt a few episodes in a row and you think you might start designing a pencil skirt!
EVERYONE WISHES YOU AND DANIEL V. WERE A COUPLE... AND YOU GAVE US ALL HOPE WHEN HE SAID HE LOVED YOU LAST WEEK.
I know! What is that about!?People have been thinking we're a couple. He's a great guy - a really nice guy. We still talk and I have nothing but positive things to say about him. He's so nice and young and I respect his designs. He'd be one of my students who I'd give an A to.
CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW GAY THIS SEASON OF RUNWAY IS?
I know! We were calling it "Project RunGay" while we were shooting it!! Last season there were a few people who were gay but this season we all are. And you can include Kara and Chloe in that group - they are honorary gays! At times it seems stereotypical that we're all gay designers but it's fun.