A Boho Ballerina

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A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon Rie through her blog Rie Victoria Aoki. Her styling and bohemian flair really inspired me and led me to reach out to her for a photo-interview. Rie is a professional ballet dancer from Japan, who is currently residing in Wilmington, DE. She has been featured on the Free People Office BLDG 25 blog, DISfunkfashion Magazine blog and popular instagram pages such as Free People, Urban Outfitters, Novella Royale etc.
For this collaboration, the location Rie and I settled on was Fishtown, Philadelphia. Fishtown happens to be my favorite neighborhood in Philadelphia because it never ceases to surprise and inspire me. The locations used include La Colombe Torrefaction, Jinxed (thrift/antique shop), Philadelphia Record Exchange and various streets in the area. By the way, I ended up taking that James Dean record (prop used in photos below) home to enjoy!
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Tell me a little bit about your education background and what you are currently doing.
 I’m a professional ballet dancer and that’s all I’m doing in my life! After I finished all of my school programs in Japan, I went to Kirov Ballet School of Washington DC to finalize my ballet education.
What made you choose to go into ballet?
I’m not sure… When I realized, I was already super passionate and into it. 
What do you like most about it (ballet)?
I can speak to people/audience without a single word.
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How did you get into fashion blogging and what do you love most about it?
I always loved styling since I was a little kid. I used to have a fashion blog when I was in high school in Japan! What I love the most about it is that I get to tell people what my own point of view is.
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What is your greatest achievement thus far?
I was able to have shoots with Free People!
What are your future goal(s)?
Be somebody’s style goal. 
Are there any designers you look up to or find inspiring?
I don’t have any specific ones, I get inspired by so many.
 
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What are your top fashion style icons?
Always but especially for spring/summer looks, Vanessa Hudgens is my boho style queen!
 
What are your inspirations (please specify what these inspirations are towards aka ballet, fashion etc) ?
For styling, I get super inspired by colors and patterns. I love those fashionistas out there who nail pattern play!
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Do you have any hobbies?
I love going on vintage shopping! I also love taking photos, not just being in front of a lens!
 
What are some causes, issues or ideas you are passionate about?
Preserving arts.
 
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What advice can you give to anyone trying to do what you are doing?
I’m so not sure there is someone who is trying to do what I’m doing, honestly, but… just keep doing what you are doing and appreciate everything you get ❤

If you liked the interview and want to keep up with Rie, follow her on her instagram! Otherwise, till next time! Ciao!

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An Evening With Carter

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It has been a little over two years since I have been photographing many of my friends and acquaintances portraits. Instead of only posting photos, I decided to do a mini interview with my subject so my readers could get better acquainted with the individual behind each portrait. For this post, I decided to feature Carter Agvent, a fellow PhilaU alumni with whom I stayed in contact even after graduating.

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Tell me a little bit about your education background and what you are currently doing.

I have a bachelors in industrial design from Philadelphia university. Currently working as a footwear designer at Cole Haan.

What is your greatest achievement thus far?

My greatest achievement so far is probably the release of my first shoe design – the Timberland Flyroam.

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What are your future goal(s)?

My future goals are to design for and own my own footwear company.

Are there any designers you look up to or find inspiring?

Tinker Hatfield.

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What are your top fashion style icons?

Pharrell Williams and John Mayer.

What are your inspirations?

I’m inspired by music, fine art, my family and friends, sex, drugs, and rock & roll.

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Do you have any hobbies?

My hobbies are playing basketball and playing guitar.

What are some issues or ideas you are passionate about?

I’m passionate about design, art, music, politics, and wanting to be the best person I can be and making the world a better place.

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What advice can you give to anyone trying to do what you are doing?

Anyone trying to be in my position, my advice would be to do your research to find out exactly what you need to do to get in your field, kill people with kindness, always leave people with a good impression, work hard, put in the time!
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If you liked the interview and want to keep up with Carter, follow him on his instagram! Otherwise, till next time! Ciao!

Daniel at Cira Green

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Now that I have finished my degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management at Philadelphia University, I am able to spend my available time editing and uploading my photography.

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I met Daniel at PhilaU a couple of years ago and I have always been impressed with his dress game. The man is always impeccably dressed. Every. Single. Day.

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Daniel and I have been meaning to do this shoot for the longest time and I’m glad we were finally able to find a time. Although I am the fashion major, I did not worry about what outfits he would choose and, as you can see, Daniel did not disappoint!

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The location of this photo shoot was at the open rooftop park in Philadelphia, Cira Green. I love this peaceful spot, especially if I want to read outside. Its also a great place to have a picnic!

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I hope you guys liked this set as much as I enjoyed taking it! Feel free to let me know your thoughts.

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Guru in a sari on Diwali

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I have always had a certain fascination with sari’s, which are one of the most common outfits worn by the women of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Lately, I’ve been catching myself admiring sari’s and realized that I really wanted to do some portraits with an individual in a sari.

 

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For this shoot, I reached out to Guru Talwar, one of the faces behind the Moda Ninja blog. I’ve known Guru for about two years now and I am really glad that we were able to collaborate and create these photo series.

Being that it was the beginning of November when we took these photos, I asked Guru to choose a Sari that could complement the fall foliage. She did not disappoint, bringing a lovely sari made up of yellow, orange and pink hues.

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Coincidentally, the day Guru and I chose to do this project was during the Hindu holiday Diwali. Often referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’, Diwali is one of the major festivals of Hinduism. This festival signifies the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.

Diwali also indicates change, the start of something new. In the beginning of the shoot, Guru and I were going for a more traditional and lovely Indian woman, until eventually, we progressed into a more independent and strong female look.

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The location I chose for this photoshoot was the abandoned Rail Park,  which is located on top of the abandoned Viaduct Tunnel. This park has one of my favorite views of the Philadelphia skyline, it’s always a pleasure to visit.

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The Rail Park has recently been funded by the state and will eventually be turned into a public park for Philadelphians. Although I find this to be great news, I am sad that I will no longer be able to see the secretive, overgrown and forgotten version of this space. I think I will go back and photograph/see it before it becomes renovated.

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One of goals in photography that I have set for myself is to photograph as many ethnicities and cultures as I possibly can. I have always been interested in cultural anthropology and traditional/ethnic fashion of the world, therefore, I hope to do more of these type of photoshoots  in the near future.

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The Philadelphia Flower Show 2016 Recap

Every early spring, Philadelphia is home to one of the the biggest flower exhibits in the world. This years theme was “Explore America”, featuring displays inspired by the various national parks found throughout the United States.

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A fox constructed out of plants.

“In the Flower Show’s acres of trails, exhibits and attractions, guests will discover the range of horticulture in the national landscape, including the rainbow of wildflowers, desert blooms, coastal flora, verdant meadows, fragrant pinelands, and ancient redwoods”, PHS Philadelphia Flower Show stated as their purpose for this year’s exhibit. There were even park rangers walking around answering questions! One of the reasons why I liked this year’s theme was because it reminded me of my USA cross country roadtrip.

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Throwback to last summer at Yellowstone National Park.

Another favorite display of mine was the was the ‘Chandelier Tree’ created by the Philadelphia-based American Institute of Floral Designers. This particular exhibit was inspired by the Redwoods found in California. When a person walked into the ‘tree’, they would be able to view a series of red chandeliers hanging inside its bark.

Another favorite was Lisa Fedon’s “A Gratitude Map USA,” which celebrates the history and culture of our country through a state-by-state display of gifts donated by residents of each state.

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Here are some other pictures I took while roaming through the displays.

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The week of the exhibit went by so quickly and I am glad that I found time to go. The Philadelphia Flower Show is always a pleasure to visit and I already can’t wait for next years!

Silver Lining

 

Showstopper….is one of the words that comes to mind when describing this outfit. I kid you not when I say that people kept on stopping and commenting on this look. I, myself, felt like a duchess wearing it. Even though the look is vintage, it felt like something straight out of a Vogue magazine.

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Here’s what I love most about this look. Even though this pantsuit is, quite frankly, vintage, it is still a very classic look. Meaning that it can be worn now as well as in the future. The texture and shine of the fabric gives the clothing a feeling of couture. I would definitely wear this outfit in order to make a statement since it really is a strong attention grabber. Also, because it is vintage, it stands out with its uniqueness and you can bet that no one else will be wearing anything like it. I also really like the fact that it is a very simple, yet elegant garment.

OUTFIT DETAILS

This is one ensemble, a pant suit that was bought at Malenas Vintage Boutique, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. For more information on the boutique and what it offers, please visit their website and for new updates, follow their instagram!

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All of the photography for this post was done by Magdalina Bel. I enjoy working with her and love how editorial worthy her photos are. For more information on Magdalina and her photography, visit her website and follow her instagram!

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I hope everyone liked this look as much as I do! Let me know in the comments below!

 

The Story Behind The Apple Ad Photo

These past couple of days I’ve been congratulated over and over again on being one of the faces in the ‘Shot on IPhone 6s’ campaign. Therefore, I decided to go ahead and share the story behind the picture (instead of retelling it each time). Before I jump into the tale, I would like to thank Zeynep Ozdener, the photographer behind the photo. Also, I would like to give her a resounding “CONGRATULATIONS! You Did It!!”.

It all started one positively freezing Saturday morning in Philadelphia. Prior that week, Zeynep and I had agreed to meet up for a shoot. Therefore, when the time came, I grabbed a couple of outfits, jumped in my car and sped away for this shoot. The place for the meetup was Strawberry Mansion (I know, not the best neighborhood….*nervous laugh*) near the Dell Music Center. Mind you, I have never been in this area. Ever.

Of course, being the explorer that I am, unfamiliar territory did nothing to deter my coming. With GPS in hand, I drove up to the designated parking area, where I saw Zeynep waving at me. Excited that I had found the location, I drove into the parking lot, which was a VERY steep incline. This was when I heard an awful screech/scrape. Let me tell you how I am not a car person but even I could tell that the sound was full of impending doom. Okay, I am exaggerating but it definitely was a misfortune. As I parked, I quickly ran out of the vehicle to examine the car (as if I had the expertise to understand what would be wrong with it). There was some neon green liquid escaping my automobile!!!

Panicked, I rang my father on my cell. Meanwhile, Zeynep is trying to help me figure out this dilemma. For all my knowledge in cars, this green ominous liquid might blow up my car! Alright, I doubt it would’ve been that drastic, but hey, I have a wild imagination – especially when it comes to things I know nothing about. Anyways, my dad made me look inside the car hood and tell him the situation. Except I don’t know the situation because I have ZERO knowledge of the mechanisms found beneath the hood of a car! My poor, frustrated father gave up and said to wait for him. This decision was followed by the issue of explaining my location. My bewildered father was totally taken aback with the fact that I was in the Strawberry Mansion hood, where (by the way) he has also never been, just to take some pictures.

As I was waiting for my father, Zeynep and I decided to go ahead with what we planned. We scoped the area and took photos in various locations. Zeynep is such a comfortable person to shoot and talk with that time flew by quickly. Sometime throughout the process, I was told to stand against a red background with only my wrap/poncho.

OH MY, however did I forget to mention the absolute freezing temperature of that day. It was positively horrid. I almost froze, I kid you not.

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    Anyways, my father arrived and inspected the vehicle. The news was not good- I broke something (can’t remember the name of what it was) and had to get towed. Mind you, it has been about two hours since the tragic scrape and I was hungry. Zeynep kindly offered to go with/take me to Chinatown for some ramen.. (I love you Zeynep!!! *wiping a grateful tear).

A couple of weeks later, Zeynep contacted me for my info. Apparently, her photo of myself was selected to be potentially chosen for the campaign and she needed my permission to let it be released/chosen. I thought to myself, “Well that would be totally awesome if something positive came out of this whole experience”. Especially since I had to pay for the towing and car repairs. This is why I was excited to find out that the photo was chosen. Now Zeynap’s work is posted on billboards/bus stops all over the world! Who knew that such a crazy day would lead to such a crazy opportunity?

A couple of days after the release of the campaign, my friend Stefan Suchanec saw the ad in a subway in Philadelphia. So…. we decided to go and reenact the image.

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In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone for their great wishes! I especially want to thank Zeynap for being supportive during my whole ordeal and for taking the photo and I would also like to thank Stef for finding the photo and for shooting the re-enactment.

Here are some quirky images Stef captured that I really liked…

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For more photos by Zeynap, follow her on instagram ! If you’re interested in Stef and his work, give him a follow on instagram also!