Dudamel Day: 'Project Runway' is in the house
"Project Runway" Season 2 contestants Nick Verreos (right), 42, and Raymundo Baltazar, 28, were lounging in their seats, sipping on cocktails and dining on a selection of cheeses.
"I'm very excited," said Verreos, sporting ultra chic green plaid pants, a crisp white shirt and aviator glasses. "I'm very proud that he's here and representing Venezuela."
Verreos, who's part Venezuelan, said he's looking forward to watching the classical prodigy in a few hours -- if only to see his "amazing hair."
But Verreos and Baltazar, like true fashion designers, aren't just here for a night of classical music. They have an ulterior motive.
"It's not all cocktails and cheese," Baltazar said. "It wouldn't be so bad if Eloísa asked us to design some pieces for all the parties she'll be attending."
That would be Eloísa Maturén, a.k.a. Señora Dudamel.
Verreos added: "Totally. I wouldn't mind if the next time someone asks her, 'Who are you wearing?,' she responds, 'Nick Verreos.' She's so freakin' elegant."
Fashion aside, the two designers say Dudamel's arrival is important, especially for young people.
"He's young," Baltazar said. "Look how much he's achieved. Kids will look at him and say, 'If he can do it, so can I.' It's great."
But Verreos is most excited to see the intermingling of communities.
"Only at an event like this will you see the Beverly Hills 'ladies who lunch' with the Boyle Heights mothers who work four jobs," he said. "Everyone comes together. That's the power of Gustavo. That's the power of music."
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Yvonne Villarreal