Archive for July 2011

fashion in clarendon

posted by Walter Grio

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In two months time, eleven 60x40 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week canvas pieces were purchased by the fantastic and fashionably educated crowd of the Peacock Cafe customers in Georgetown. The first time around, three pieces were sold before I could even hang them up.

Since I live in Clarendon, I thought I could also hang them up here. This time, they were on display at the dry cleaners located near my building. I thought it would be a good experiment. And it's a nice place actually and the wall was perfect for a single 60x40 piece. So I started off with the Lhuillier piece (top seller along with Anna Wintour). Their customers were excited to see the piece, but it did not sell. After a few weeks, we switched it with the Anna Wintour piece. The customers recognized the person, but again, it did not sell. The Siriano piece followed and nobody said anything. This weekend, I switched it to the DVF piece to see if anyone would recognize it. The first customer actually chatted with me because ironically enough, she was just picking up one of her DVF dresses from the cleaners. This led me to believe that the customers are pretty knowledgeable of the designers I was displaying and that they just weren't interested in buying a 60x40 canvas piece.

The owners of the dry cleaning place are very excited about my work and they love seeing it in their place of business. But they also mentioned that their women customers are less luxurious in their clothes than the men. They have about 2 or 3 women that bring in the high-dollar clothes, but for the most part, their women customers are of the Banana Republic/Ann Taylor types. There's nothing wrong with that, but I did find it a little odd that Clarendon did not have the Lhuillier/DVF crowd. I thought for sure by now that this young neighborhood would have reacted more positively to the pieces and that eventually, I would have gotten at least an email.

Could it be that they're displayed in a dry cleaner place or that the dry cleaner place is in Clarendon?  And who would have thought the men in Clarendon would have higher priced clothes than the women?

On a side note, these are the current top sellers. And for the upcoming S/S 2012 collection, I'm going to see if Michael Kors, Tory Burch, or Vera Wang can sell in Clarendon. =)
  1. Anna Wintour/Herrera - 3;  Lhuillier - 3
  2. Legs/NY Fashion Week - 2;  Siriano - 2
  3. DVF - 1

    project inspiration day 2

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    Like the first day, our second day for the Project Inspiration photoshoot went very well. I am completely amazed by how these types of projects go without a hitch. And the one common theme when it comes to successful projects is that you have an amazing group of people who share their talents and time to make it all work. It is a humbling and amazing experience to work with such an A-List group of people.

    The second day of shooting happened at L2 Lounge in Georgetown and I couldn't be more pleased that they would let us use their space. I'm extremely excited as well that the exhibit on November 16th will actually also take place there. There are a total of 17 individuals that are being photographed, styled, and made up. The fact that we haven't had any problems yet is nothing short of amazing. It's one thing to be able to plan a project, but to be successful, you need people to execute on the plan. The opportunity to work with people like Christophe Jouenne, Violetta Markelou, Tray Rogers, Brittney Tiarra, and Elaine Mensah is an incredible treat.

    Additionally, I was happy when one of the participants bought the trench coat we used on her. It saved me a trip back to Banana Republic.

    project inspiration day 1

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    Trying to schedule twenty people to meet you on any day is already a daunting task, let alone when it's a Saturday and it involves stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, and directors of several nonprofit organizations.  So the fact that we were able to photograph seven individuals in a full blown old hollywood glamour photoshoot without a single problem or issue was a testament to everyone involved.

    What made it even challenging is that The Kreeger Museum was quite full of visitors for a summer day.  I'm grateful for the museum staff for keeping the traffic clear and for letting us work without any interruption.  And as always, a successful photoshoot would not be possible without a talented team behind it.  Special thanks to the wonderful team of Laura Bateman, Tray Rogers, Anastasia Lambrou, Neven Radovic, Isabel Azocar, Kenyetta Kemy Greene, and Maritza Savage. So lucky to work with so many talented people!  And to the leaders of the 7 nonprofit organizations who came out today - you were fantastic.  Can't wait for Day 2!

    the project inspiration team

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    Christophe Jouenne, Neven Radovic, Isabel Azocar,
    Brittney Tiarra, Maritza Savage

    Laura Bateman, Kenyetta Greene,
    Tray Rogers, Violetta Markelou

    Anastasia Lambrou, Elaine Mensah

    Walter Grio

    mercedes-benz fashion week miami

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    During fashion week in New York, they hand out free Diet Cokes. For swimsuit fashion week in Miami, they have a free Skyy Vodka bar. Need I say more?

    This was my first time in Miami, ever, and I can honestly now understand why LeBron would take his talents to South Beach. In a heartbeat, I would totally do the same. And I’d probably do a three hour special on ESPN and then give all the proceeds to charity.

    The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM 2012 Miami event was held at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach and there were two tents where the shows were held called CABAÑA GRANDE and OASIS. In between these two tents was a large resort type swimming pool with palm trees and several outdoor bars. There was no shortage of adult beverages. Lounging around this swimming pool were some of the most beautiful people you’ve ever seen. And we’re not even talking about the models.

    With the beach all around you and beautiful people on your sights, one would think this would be paradise. And it is. But when you’re photographing a major fashion production such as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, it is not all paradise. Just as in New York, there is plenty of waiting. I do have to admit that the free Skyy Vodka bar helped alleviate some of the waiting. But at the same time, I’m quite surprised I didn’t pass out in between shows. =)

    Unlike New York, when you’re waiting to get in a show in Miami, you’re actually standing on a sandy beach with all of your photography gear. And when you’re carrying a ton of gear, the beach starts to feel like a desert. After a while, you can hear other media folks screaming “Just let us in!” and “Oh my God, I’m gonna die out here.” At first you laugh at them because how silly can you be when you’re out here photographing fashion week featuring swimsuit models and there’s a free Skyy Vodka bar? But I do know what they mean. I would have preferred to be mingling with the pretty people rather than wait in line with other photographers to save my spot only to stand tightly next to them on the media riser like sweaty sardines.

    In some ways, they are correct. It is a ton of work and you do have to wait an awfully long time to get in the air-conditioned tents. And of course, once you get in the air-conditioned tents, you have to wait some more. It is quite inevitable that there’s waiting involved when it comes to a fashion show.

    Considering that this was only my second Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week event, I was pretty pleased with all of my shots. I learned a lot while shooting the one in New York so I applied those lessons in this one. The first one was to bring my wheeled Gator hard case so that I didn’t have to carry my gear. I could wheel them around like a suitcase. Unfortunately, this lesson also generated another lesson - you can’t wheel things around when you’re on a beach. When you’re in Miami, bring a backpack.

    However, I was able to use my hard case while I was on the media-riser. I could stand on it and give me an extra foot or two to be higher and shoot over the other photographers. Brilliant. The other lesson I learned was to have a monopod. This is similar to a tripod except it has one leg and it is quite helpful to get steady shots. But more importantly, when you’re shooting six shows back to back to back, it can definitely help lighten the load.

    Overall, it was a great trip. I didn’t think I would notice the difference between the swimsuits. By the end of each night, I could actually tell which were better and how they were different from each other. Then again, maybe it was because I was stopping by the free Skyy Vodka bar every single time after each show.

    You can view the SWIM 2012 photos here:

    mbfw swim 2012 miami photos

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    allsaints spitalfields

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    AllSaints Spitalfields opened up a brand new Georgetown store in Washington DC and I was invited for a press event to take photos of the store. I didn't know this when I arrived, but we all ended up receiving a $100 gift certificate for being there that day. Nice. More photos here.