Thursday, September 29, 2011

MBFW S/S 2012 Covered for MyDCStyle

It's been a couple weeks since MBFW S/S 2012 and I wanted to show the photo galleries of the eight shows I covered there for MyDCStyle. I enjoyed being in NYC again and felt so much more comfortable traveling around there.

In walking up to Lincoln Center there was a incredible feeling of excitement. Although I was here last fall in covering S/S 2011, I was looking forward to seeing what changes had taken place and to seeing the new collections. The new front facade was cool and sleek and once I was through the doors I was in a fashion metropolis. It seemed like everybody there was uniquely dressed to impress and picture taking was the norm, as everybody seemed to want to capture and be captured by cameras.

I'm glad to have captured a good number of shows during my two and half day stay at MBFW. Here are photo galleries of just the runway portion of the fashion shows I covered:

Betsey Johnson

Badgley Mischka

Vera Wang

Herve Leger by Max Azria


Michael Kors

Milly by Michelle Smith

Elie Tahari

There you have it. Although there was a lot of time spent waiting and through the challenges of getting the best spot I could, and all the processing of the images, it was worth the trip there. Overall it's a great experience and I think I would do it again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Virgin Atlantic Celebrates 15 Years of Connecting Washington DC and London

September 22, 2011 - Virgin Atlantic Airways celebrated a milestone birthday marking 15 years of connecting two of the world's major airport hubs: Washington DC and London. There was a private celebration at Lincoln Restaurant in Washington DC.

The combination of Virgin Atlantic and Lincoln hosting this celebration made for a complementary display of decor and a delicious array of food and drink for guests. There were four ladies who are actual cabin crew members wearing their uniforms, greeting guests and serving drinks. Desserts were provided by Lincoln and also from Bakeshop in Arlington, VA.

Chris Rossi, Senior Vice President, North America, Virgin Atlantic was there along with other staff to say a few words about this birthday milestone and everyone celebrated throughout the night. Local celebrities such as Paul Wharton, Cat Ommaney and Mary Amons came out to celebrate, and Solange Knowles graced us with her presence and DJ skills, adding more groove to the evening. It was a jet set kind of celebration and the party was pretty fly, going on till about Midnight.

To further celebrate their anniversary, Virgin Atlantic is launching a week-long sale fare to and from Dulles International Airport to London Heathrow. The rates start at around $266 one way, so now is a good time to fly. I've always wanted to visit London. Maybe someday. We'll see. Check out the Virgin Atlantic website.

Here's a gallery to view my photos from the event:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pink Jams 'Pink Rocks the Runway' Launch Party

September 20, 2011 - Guests were asked to break out their best pink attire for a cocktail party to launch Pink Rocks the Runway (PRR) for 2011. The venue for this party was at one of DC's newest and hottest places called Dirty Bar, which is adjacent to Dirty Martini in a very popular area off Connecticut Ave, NW between M and N streets. Special appetizers and cocktail menu was available with a $1 from each cocktail and $2 from each specialty 'Rock the Pink' cocktails sold to benefit Pink Jams! and their breast cancer awareness efforts.

Pink Rocks the Runway™ (PRR) is an annual breast cancer awareness fashion event with couture fashion and live rock music (by Charm City Devils) to get the message out about the importance of early detection for breast cancer. The show is headlined by celebrity designer Christian Siriano who will showing his entire 2012 collection, and there will be several other designers presenting pieces from their collections. There will also be a pink couture gown fashion show that celebrates and features breast cancer survivors under 40. Athletes from the Washington Redskins and DC United will also be part of the show. PRR is hosted by and in support of Pink Jams! It works to promote breast cancer awareness, self-exam and mammograms for men and women under the age of 40.

Toward the end of the event, Pink Jams! will provide a special grant to the Capital Breast Care Center in support of their work. The Capital Breast Care Center was chosen as the 2011 community grant recipient and works to provide women in the Washington DC area with mammograms and health screenings regardless of their ability to pay for them. The CBCC is currently diagnosing breast cancer at two times the national rate.

We're looking forward to Pink Rocks the Runway on October 21st, 2011 featuring Christian Siriano's full Spring 2012 collection. Thanks to Christa Floresca, the President and Founder of Pink Jams! Her and her team have and are working hard to make this PRR event an amazing one for the cause. For more information about the show, go to

Monday, September 19, 2011

Betsey Johnson Rocks at MBFW S/S 2012

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - On Monday afternoon September 12 I arrived in New York City to cover some of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for April of MyDCStyle. It was great to be back in NYC and I'm starting to get used to visiting. I felt very comfortable traveling from my hotel room to Lincoln Center and the first thing I did was pick up my credentials for photographing the shows. It was wonderful to see the courtyard and fountain again, and it was cool to see the sleek new facade for the MBFW entrance.

The Betsey Johnson runway show was going to start at 6pm in the Theatre, so I arrived early enough and waited in the media line to get in and get a spot on the media riser, also called the media pit. There's a good amount of waiting but it also gives the media time to prepare for covering the shows and to capture the people walking in, milling about and seated.

I've been to a Betsey Johnson fashion show as part of the ALL ACCESS: FASHION three-day event at Tysons Galleria in Tysons Corner, VA. If you've seen one Betsey's shows you'll know that she knows how to rock the runway with her clothing collection, the models and their expressiveness which is no doubt part of Betsey's style. Betsey knows how to put on a show! When the runway show started I'm sure eyes popped and jaws dropped because Betsey Johnson delivered another stunning runway show.

With Betsey Johnson's Spring 2012 collection she blends modern and vintage styles inspired by Brigette Bardot and Burlesque dancers of the 1940's. From flirty to sexy, patterns and peek-a-boos, and mixing prints, shapes and colors with splashes of glitter, Betsey creates an alluring and edgy collection that is sophisticated, sassy and playful.

After the show I ran into Jenny of the Betsey Johnson Georgetown DC store, so it was good to see a familiar face there. Even though this was the only runway show I photographed this day, it was an excellent one to cover. Oh what a night!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Photo Shoot for Elizabeth St. John

I've known couture designer Liz Stajka for a little while and have seen her Elizabeth St. John collections at various fashion shows in the DC area. Liz's work has also been featured recently as her designs have been worn by Miss DC 2010 Stephanie Williams and when New Jersey Housewife Teresa Giudice recently renewed her wedding vows. The wedding was featured in In Touch magazine. I have been looking forward to working more with her and I was invited to take photographs of Elizabeth St. John dresses with John Barley of SilverLux Studios.

The photo shoot was to have photos to preview the Elizabeth St. John collection that will be shown on September 24th for "Nuit de la Mode," an Art Soiree/Alliance Francais event where fashion, culture and art collide. The Salon Emage Style Team will styled hair and did makeup for the shoot and they will also be doing that for the Nuit de la Mode event.

The location of the shoot was the gorgeous Hillwood Estate and Museum where the event will happen presenting the latest ready-to-wear and bridal collections by Elizabeth St. John, Camille Pascal, and Marina Asta. Tickets for the event may be purchased at the The Art Soiree website below.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Expo - DC

September 10, 2011 - In an interview by Andrew Ramos of photographer Nigel Barker who is also a judge on America's Next Top Model, Nigel was asked why he came back to the Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle (FBL) Expo a second time. He basically iterated that it's because it was a fun day of style, fashion and beauty where he can meet the fans, and hang out. Nigel continued on saying that he enjoys sharing and of course these subjects are things that he's passionate about. There are lots of questions people have about the industry and there are answers to be found there in the six hours of the event, and there are also lots of experts there.

FBL is in it's third year now and we can see how many people in Washington DC have a growing interest in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry. Consumers and vendors alike are very involved in this event and many other events related to it. Along with Nigel being the host, Project Runway Season 5 Runner-up Korto Momolu was a featured guest designer and co-host. One of the featured models who walked in the runway shows of the day was America's Next Top Model Cycle 8 Winner Jaslene Gonzales, and the crowd cheered every time she appeared. DJ Neekola was there providing some energetic tunes to rev up the atmosphere and add to the high energy of the runway shows.

Another noted person there was sports personality and former Redskins linebacker Lavar Arrington, who currently hosts a WJFK radio talk show and DC50’s “SportsWeek with LaVar Arrington.” Arrington was featured in an afternoon seminar about wellness and fitness, and it was also an inspirational time of sharing.

One of DC's style icons Paul Wharton was also at FBL throughout the day. He met fans and had a booth at FBL to share about his new television pilot he is producing called “Paul Wharton Style.”

The event was produced by WDCW-TV, Tribune Broadcasting (the CW affiliate in Washington, DC) and the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce. FBL 2011 presenting sponsors were Cole Stevens, Med Tech and Salon Virage, and there were many other FBL Sponsors that helped to make FBL 2011 a success.

FBL 2011 Schedule

12:00 PM-FBL Doors Open

12:45 PM-Meet and Greet w/Miss Virginia

1:00 PM-Designer: Tsyndyma

1:30 PM-Seminar - Sports is a Lifestyle with Lavar Arrington

1:45 PM-Meet and Greet w/Jaslene- ANTM

2:00PM-Designers: Bridal Designer- Vanessa Mason- Layne Corban

2:30PM-Seminar: Healthy Eating with Celebrity Chef - Chef Huda

2:45PM-Meet and Greet w/ Lavar Arrington

3:00PM-Designers: Korto Collection Spring 2012

3:30 pm-Seminar: Zumba! - Denny Montas

3:45 pm-Meet and greet w/ Nigel Barker

4:00 PM-Men's Wear Designer- Andrew Nowell

4:30 PM-Seminar: Beauty Equation with Nigel Barker

4:30 PM-What not to Wear: Monica Barnett of Blueprint for Style- (on the Stage) and the Runway Walk-off (from stage)- contest

4:45PM-Meet and Greet w/Korto Momolu

5:00PM-Fashion Show- Vendor Boutiques (Hush Boutique, La'Q, Catwalk, Stella Dot)

5:00PM-Seminar: Hair Therapy with Cole Stevens Salon & Spa

5:30PM-Grand Finale Fashion Show: Bebe

5:45PM-Meet and Greet w/Paul Wharton

6:00PM-FBL Doors Close

It was a another great year and hopefully you'll be able to attend next year.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

From 9/11/01 to 9/11/11 and Beyond

This picture was taken on a visit to NYC on 1/1/05.

We all know what happened on 9/11/01. We remember. Through the years till this day of 9/11/11 we reflect upon this history. We have our memories, memorials and resources to draw from and it's become a part of us. We appreciate those who have served and made sacrifices and it continues. We have all experienced loss of some kind. We know we must move on. Were doing the best we can to live the life we're called to live, and may we do that together. We don't know how long we'll live, but it's good to focus on how we're striving to live well each day. Even in such an imperfect world, may we live a life full of quality moments. As we continue on, we must inevitably consider our investment in the future and where we'll end and live ever after. Hope to see you in that perfect place.

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14

NYFW Flashback - S/S 2011 - 9/12/10

September 12, 2010 - As part of New York Fashion Week there were some satellite locations for shows. At the Metropolitan Pavilion I was there to photograph the shows for Gudnitz Couture and Belle Parish (Ali Landry). I was photographing on behalf of Elaine Mensah of Svelte LLC. James Cornwell who works on Fashion BS with Elaine was working backstage on hair, makeup and styling.

Later in the afternoon Elaine and I went to 500 Skylight West to see the Korto Momolu fashion show. We ran into Krystal Ugo from T.H.E Artist Agency. Several celebrities were in the building and anyone who is a fan of watching Project Runway Season 7 would likely recognize Anthony Williams and Jesus Estrada. In the front row was Tyson Beckford and friends. It was a great location and show. It's great to see this Project Runway Season 5 Runner-up keep on producing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fashion's Night Out - Georgetown, Washington DC

September 8, 2010 - Fashion's Night Out was IN! With so much buzz about Fashion's Night Out (FNO) in NYC, DC and worldwide, many people enjoyed being a part of it. This was FNO's third year as a global initiative in celebrating fashion, restoring consumer confidence, boosting the industry's economy, and putting the fun back in shopping. From Manhattan to Milan and from Atlanta to Australia, stores in over 250 cities and 1000 retailers in NYC alone, FNO is fashion's best party in history.

Fashion's Night Out started in 2009 with a partnership between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York. FNO is getting bigger and better each year. It is fitting that FNO is in the same week as New York Fashion Week so it complements it well and adds to all the interest and investment in fashion.

There were over 100 stores, restaurants and salons that took part in FNO Georgetown which was presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District along with the 2011 Fashion’s Night Out Host Committee. Thanks to all who were a part of FNO Georgetown, from the planners to the retailers for putting on special events, and to the consumers who came out to be a part of FNO. Despite the rain in DC, the party went on.

FNO Georgetown Photo Gallery by Vithaya Photography

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MBFW S/S 2011 - Flashback 9/11/10

It was the first time that MBFW was at it's new location at Lincoln Center and the morning of September 11, remembering what happened on this day in 2001 was surely on the minds of everyone. As much as this day was a somber reflection, it was also a day that MBFW and NYC did their best to move on and continue to live their lives. The MBFW shows for the day still went on.

I arrived to Lincoln Center early and saw Diego Binetti’s collection presented at the box which marked his first year showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. His collection seemed to draw from Mother Nature giving an earthy and yet ethereal look and feel to his presentation at the box.

Next up was Cynthia Rowley's show on The Stage. Cynthia's collection made a statement with circles with some seemingly "hole punched" and other circles embossed in a pattern. Much of the fabric had sheerness to it and the colors were mostly a muted palette yet some multi-colored striped shirts were added in along with a splash of mustard yellow. The collection felt like a blast from the past with 70's style, yet the circle cut-outs also seemed to peek into a futuristic theme.

Another show on The Stage was Z Spoke by Zac Posen and it came with a rainbow of colors and youthful playfulness. The collection embodied a combination of faces, fruits, some flower power and oodles of flirtatiousness. Adding to the fun was the MBFW debut of Steve Madden shoes in Zac's Z Spoke collection for this runway show. The collection rated high on the fun factor.

Everywhere one looked, fashion made a statement and throughout the day several celebrities were part of the scene. Some of the celebrities spotted this day in the front rows of shows and walking around were Tinsley Mortimer, Nicky Hilton, Rebecca Romijn, Jay Manuel, and J Alexander. Thanks to Svelte LLC for having me photograph MBFW. In hanging out with Elaine Mensah and James Cornwell, I was introduced to several fashion industry insiders, and that always makes for a good picture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Product Review: Military Tech Laptop Case

I like excellent, functional and stylish gear, so when I walked into the ACE Photo camera store in Ashburn VA to kill some time and browse, I found something I had to have. The ACE Photo camera store has an extensive collection of photography gear including a big room of camera bags and cases. It can be tough going into a camera store and "convincing myself" of what I need, but I don't want to have GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Getting a new bag to hold my laptop and some other gear was on my mind recently as I travel with my laptop from time to time.

I already have a very slim laptop case, but there are times I wished the bag had just a little more room. There are times when I need to carry my laptop comfortably for lengthy amounts of time and even take it with me while biking. So in a sense I also wanted a messenger-style bag, but it had to have a low profile and not be bulky. I was specifically looking for a durable bag that could carry my laptop in a variety of ways. I also wanted the bag to stay close against my back while allowing me to carry other things on me and being able to access them easily.

Being properly equipped gives me a sense that I can accomplish a task at hand. Maybe it's a guy thing and watching action movies or television shows with lots of cool gear in them is exciting. It reminds me of the military too, as I served active duty in the U.S. Army, and I enjoyed being geared up and ready to move.

Sometimes I wish I could design and produce my own products because it would fit the specifications of what I need. After practically looking at every bag at the store, I purchased the Naneu Military Tech MT-17 Laptop Case. When I got home I took a couple photographs of the laptop case to post here, yet check out the NANEU website for a more in-depth look at the case and it's features along with their other products. As the NANEU website says, it's "Not.Just.Another.Bag." Hooah!

MBFW S/S 2011 Flashback - 9/10/10

In reflection of last fall at MBFW, I wanted to share more about my experiences as we lead up to MBFW S/S 2012. Just this past year was an amazing milestone in fashion history. To think that New York Fashion Week started in 1943, which was then called Press Week. It was the first organized fashion week in the world and ever since then it's made quite an impact in society, both in form and message with passion and purpose. It is showing the world more of who we are and how we live.

The excitement of MBFW continued as I walked toward Lincoln Center in expectation of the kind of things I experienced the day before and more. My day started out with seeing the presentation of Tadashi Shoji in a box location where models stood in an enchanted forest-like setting. The designs were elegant showing a subtle mix of greys and beige colors. Tadashi was there in the crowd greeting guests and it was a magical experience in seeing the presentation.

The next show on my schedule was BCBGMAXAZRIA and the elegance in the clothing shown continued. There was a sense of softness yet modernism in this palette of beautifully practical and wearable clothing for any day.

I had not seen Edition by Georges Chakra before, but was impressed by the beautiful combination of colors and construction of the clothing. The designs seemed to lend a nod to medieval times in terms of the theme, yet they were just as fitting for the modern-day woman.

After a day at Lincoln Center there was still much to look forward to as this evening was Fashion's Night Out. I went to Macy's Herald Square, the largest department store in the world and throngs of fans turned out too. It was a star-studded event at Macy's as P. Diddy, J-Lo, and Kimora Lee Simmons turned out to celebrate FNO with consumers and fans. Oh what a day and night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MBFW S/S 2011 - Flashback 9/9/10

It's that time of year and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) is here. From September 8-15 New York City and the world over will be shining ever so brightly with what the fashion world has to offer. The Spring/Summer 2012 collections will be shown at Lincoln Center and other NYC area locations and be broadcasted to the world during New York Fashion Week. Indeed Fashion's Night Out on the 8th will be represented in cities all over the globe to celebrate the love of fashion where consumers, designers and celebrities will come together.

For the first time MBFW was held at Lincoln Center in September 2010, moving from the tents of Bryant Park and gaining an additional 17,000 square feet of space. The year before in 2009, the world witnessed the infusion of technology and innovation all the more in the fashion world as some designers broadcasted, marketed and sold their collections online. Fashion and technology were mixed together as some designers had iPhone applications and Vivienne Tam had models walk the runway carrying Hewlett Packard mini notebook computers. Along with the new location at Lincoln Center came a partnership with Fashion GPS that offered quick check-in and seating for guests at shows.

This year the front end design of Lincoln Center has a more modern and sleek look to it, yet it's also carrying a message of employing the use of digital integration and other technological enhancements as fashion walks forward to the future.

I was able to photograph the Spring/Summer 2011 collections at Lincoln Center last fall through Svelte TV, and how exciting that it was the first time MBFW was at Lincoln Center. Mostly everything was in that one place so it made it easier to get around. People watching and photographing is an attraction in itself. It's a rush to get to a show and there there's the wait, but it's worth it for seeing a runway show. I wanted to share a portfolio of pictures I took on September 9th 2010 in which I included images from Christian Siriano's show. Enjoy the look back and get excited about S/S 2012.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Luke's Wings Endless Summer Beach Party

September 1, 2011 - It was a beautiful night as summer was still in full effect. Luke’s Wings held its 3rd Annual “Endless Summer Beach Party” sponsored by HeiTech Services Inc. The chic L2 Lounge in Georgetown was again the venue for this annual bash and the theme for what to wear was Saint-Tropez style. It's good to know that a lot of tickets were purchased for this event, discounted tickets were given to uniformed service members and the event was free for wounded warriors.

Even though the sandy beaches and palm trees were a bit far away, Luke’s Wings transformed L2 into as much of a tropical paradise as possible. Guests enjoyed specialty cocktails, gourmet hors d'eourves from Leopold’s CafĂ©, beach games and prizes. This event raised over $7,000 and all proceeds go towards Luke’s Wings to purchase airplane tickets for hospitalized wounded warriors and their families. Luke's Wings is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization and is always in need of donations to support the constant needs of soldiers and their families all over the country.