Last Saturday night was the much-awaited Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising/FIDM Debut 2011 Gala. In case you didn't know, "Debut" is the only show like it on the West Coast-- it annually attracts more than 8,000 people over 3 days and features design by graduating students in FIDM’s Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design Advanced Study Programs as well as work from the Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Textile Design Students.
FIDM Debut 2011 Trophy Girls: Fashion Designer Nick Verreos and his NIKOLAKI gown-clad models, Amara (Left) and Brianna Barnes (Right)
The Saturday Night Gala is a black-tie event for VIP sponsors, donors and Fashion Industry Leaders such as editors, designers, clothing company owners and the like. It is held at the Santa Monica Barker Hanger with well-appointed tables and chairs, full three-course dinner, cocktails and of course, the fashion! I was invited to assist in handing out the Scholarship Winners for next year's Debut 2012--along with Barbara Bundy, Vice President of Education at FIDM. As a bonus, I was asked to bring two of my NIKOLAKI gowns so we would have our very own "FIDM Tropy Girls" wearing NIKOLAKI Couture on stage as we handed out the Scholarships. One of them--Brianna Barnes had a Project Runway Connection:
She had modeled in BOTH Kara Janx's Season 2 Bryant Park Project Runway Finale Runway Show as well as...
The Gala was FABULOUS with a Capital "F" for sure. I, of course, donned my White Dinner Jacket, black bow tie and braces (that's "suspenders" darlings), naturally (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Dishing Fashion: Nick Verreos and Kelley Nelson, FIDM Debut 2011 (photo courtesy of Alex J. Berlin/ABImages)
Bow Tie Heaven: Nick Verreos with Jim Holmes and Peter Helenek from Mattel (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
The Advanced Fashion Design Graduates' Debut 2011 Collections ranged from chic Parisian Audrey Hepburn-inspired separates, "Upscale American Apparel" Sporty-Spice, colorful and very innovative knitwear, menswear, FABULOUSLY tailored Little Boy's wear, to exaggerated ruffled red carpet gowns.
Here are some photo highlights:
Pretty in Stripes: A navy-blue silk skirt and striped top by Hannah Childs (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Let's Get Physical: Knit off-the-shoulder top, sheer and PVC leggings, Kristine Flanigan (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Debut 2011 Graduate Pamhidzai Mbanga and her Africa-inspired "boys" (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Best Dressed 1st Grade Plaid: Plaid double-breasted jacket, denim pants ensemble by Kamelia Stojanikova (Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Ready to Rumble: Denim overalls and sweater combo from Kamela Stojanikova (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
I'm On The List: Strapless jumpsuit with inter-woven detail from Ethan Bartlett (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
St. Petersburg Queens: Three knitwear looks from Adelle Louise Burda's Russian-inspired collection (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Edwardian Foxtail Boy: Asymmetrical coat, mustard pants, and rust-colored cardigan from Alexandra Paulus (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
London Calling: Blue leather side-zip front jacket, brown skinny pants with inseam patches and mustard-colored hoodie, from Alexandra Paulus (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Brunch at MOCA: Red pocketed tunic with wood (yes, WOOD!) "collar", from Airi Isoda (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Dinner at Nobu: Felt and chiffon ensemble with knitted "Ankle Warmers", from Airi Isoda (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Leopard Who Lunches: Black-and-white Cheetah print top with "coned" sleeves and black ankle-length high-waisted trousers, from Paul Hernandez (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
Ruffled Diva: Black organza one-shouldered cocktail dress, from Paul Hernandez (Photo Courtesy of Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
All in all, it was a fabulous Debut 2011 Show. It's always great to see what the "Designers-of-Tomorrow" are doing and of course, as a former FIDM Debut Graduate myself (don't even THINK of looking up what year!!!) it's always nostalgic seeing these shows for sure, as well as the young talent up there on the runway. Naturally, I had to get a final photo with the very hard-working security team at the Debut 2011/Santa Monica Barker Hanger. They were AMAZING and so sweet and respectful to me--especially "my guy" Rick Young, who at the very least, made me look as if I was actually someone important...
Until Debut 2012...