- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 22, 2009

“I’d pick a Washington woman over a Hollywood woman any day,” says season-two “Project Runway” contestant and Los Angeles-based fashion designer Nick Verreos.

He’s had a chance to do some style comparisons while shuttling between coasts and recently was in the nation’s capital, where he gave a lecture at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and took a private tour of the White House.

“I was pinching myself. I was walking around with my jaw dropped,” Mr. Verreos recalls of his first exposure to the presidential abode.

Although he had a chance to view the White House kitchen and meet Cristeta Comerford - the executive chef at the executive mansion - he was slightly disappointed to have “just missed” first canine Bo Obama “by about fifteen minutes.”

“They had to take him to the vet for a checkup,” Mr. Verreos says.

Not even the president’s dog gets away without getting his shots.

But, we digress….

In addition to creating his late-spring and early-fall collections, the designer is gearing up to be a TV Guide Channel red-carpet commentator for the upcoming Hollywood awards season and explains that he’s hoping to see more Washington understatement and conservatism on the backs of starlets.

Blasting what he describes as “hooker wear,” Mr. Verreos laments the “short, tight” looks he’s seeing lately.

Another faux pas in his book?

“Stylists. I think you’ll see less of them,” he says. “The studios aren’t paying for them right now. The days of paying $5,000 a day for a stylist are gone, and besides, all the movie stars of the past, like Grace Kelly, did not use them.”

If you’re a mega-watt celebrity working the carpet or a wannabe socialite in the District on her way to a holiday party, Mr. Verreos says you can’t go wrong with “a Grecian goddess” ensemble.

Just makes sure it fits properly, or you’ll look like a “stuffed sausage.”

Backward thinking

We all look forward with great anticipation to the new year and the approaching new decade. Still, we couldn’t help ourselves from looking back at some of the year’s worst predictions, with some help from Foreign Policy magazine:

• Don’t hire Rahm Emanuel as a psychic; FP rated the White House chief of staff’s ineptitude with a crystal ball No. 1 on its list.

“I do know this. At the end of this first year of Congress, there will be an energy bill on the president’s desk,” Mr. Emanuel prognosticated on ABC’s “This Week” in April. The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed the House this year but is stalled in the Senate, nowhere near the president’s pen.

• Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke won’t be subscribing to Business Week much longer. It presaged last January that Big Ben’s days were numbered. “Declaring that his work is done, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will announce he’ll leave the Fed upon the expiration of his four-year term as chairman on Jan. 31, 2010. He’ll be succeeded by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Secretary under the Clinton Administration.”

In fact, President Obama announced this summer that he was appointing Mr. Bernanke to a second term. On top of that, Mr. Bernanke capped off the year by being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. This is one prediction we’re glad never became reality.

• The Report to the President on U.S. Preparations for H1N1 in August predicted “infection of 30-50 percent of the U.S. population this fall and winter… [leads] to as many as 1.8 million U.S. hospital admissions during the epidemic… [and] [causes] between 30,000 and 90,000 deaths in the United States.”

As Foreign Policy deadpans, “A bad flu season to be sure, but nothing close to what the advisors were expecting.”

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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