Dress Up Wine Down 2018

Garrick Wong Photography

Sacramento’s Handle District hosted it’s fourth annual Dress Up Wine Down event on Capitol Avenue.   The annual fashion and wine event that brings together the Lodi Winegrape Commission (LOCA) and Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW).  This year’s event raised just under $5k for Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE).

Kondrya Photography
DMR Photography

The outdoor event held on second Saturday, May 12th, took over Capitol Avenue between 19th and 18th streets with more than a dozen wineries from one of the world’s fastest-growing wine regions provided through the Lodi Winegrape Commission.

Garrick Wong Photography
Tom Huynh Photography

Featured designers were Richard Hallmarq and Ken Adams.  Featured boutiques were Ladybuggz BoutiqueHeart Boutique,  Getta Clue store and selections from Felicia Strati Boutique.

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

Duane Ram the founder and producer of Sacramento Fashion Week oversaw the fashion show presentation and says this is one of the fun shows he enjoys doing.  “Compared to SACFW this event is not as stressful.  Granted I have less to oversee, but we did cast over 30 models for the show which is more then what we had last year.”

 

Tom Huynh Photography

Allure Salon & Spa joined the event this year taking care of the model’s hair needs with the help of Karina Martin as the makeup lead.

Make-A-Wish Reveal Party

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

For this blog entry, we’re gonna get real. We’re going to take a moment to admire someone so strong, they’ll put most of us to shame with our daily griping about trivial things.  Sometimes we need to strip away the material and get to the bare skin truth of it all to feel something real again.

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

At just nine years old, Allayah, or “Lay-Lay,” has already fallen head over heels in love with everything fashion, and dreams about being a “professional fashion designer” someday.  So you may ask, what makes her so special amongst the growing number of young fashion phenoms rising up this day in age? Well the main reason is because as she puts her future plans in line and works towards them, she is also facing some very serious obstacles in her present, and not letting it slow her down.

XSight Photography
XSight Photography

Allayah has been diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a blood disorder in which bone marrow and the blood stem cells that reside in her body are severely damaged.  Allayah has not significantly responded to current treatments, and her low amount of platelets will require a bone marrow transplant in the near future.  In the midst of this hurdle, she manages to smile and keep a positive glow about her–not letting life’s struggles or anything else get in her way or steal her joy.  This was one of many reasons Allayah was selected to have her biggest wish come true.  It was nothing short of an emotional blessing for everyone involved with the big reveal.

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

There wasn’t a dry eye throughout the building as her wish was revealed.  Sacramento Fashion Week  (SACFW) was honored to collaborate with Make-A-Wish, being part of the big Paris-themed reveal party on June 29th, 2017.  Located at the Make-A-Wish Foundation building in Natomas, California, there was a full house as family, friends, media, and community supporters, came together to help this brave little girl experience the happiness of one of her biggest dreams coming true.  Allayah’s wish of going to Paris Fashion Week was granted with the help of Subaru, who sponsored a trip not only for her but her whole family for 6 days.

Xsight Photography
XSight Photography

Models Tamica Michelle, Diamond Mone, and Marizela Huseinovic took part as live mannequins, showcasing a few of designer Yennie Zhou’s stunning gowns in their most high fashion poses.  Complete with mimes, jugglers, and a smorgasbord fit for a day in Paris, you could see Allayah’s eyes light up as she soaked it all in.  When she gets back from Paris, we’re excited to have her as a guest of honor at the 2018 presentations of Sacramento Fashion Week, and expect this fighter to be healthy and excited as she sits front row.

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

SACFW had a blast collaborating with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to make this reveal extra special.  With the help of an amazing team–our beautiful models, hair stylist Jonathan Cheek, MUA Elysa Quintella, designers Yennie Zhou and Anastasia Kryukova, as well as coordinators Duane Ram and Jax Buttle, it was truly a magical event.  We are definitely looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate on many more heartwarming endeavors in the near future with this amazing foundation.

Xsight Photography
XSight Photography
Xsight Photography
XSight Photography

SACFW 2017 in Review

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The anticipation and allure behind this year’s Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) events could be felt throughout the damp cold Sacramento air for weeks leading up to the grand events. So many long hours of planning, preparation, and practice, ready to come together for the grand reveal–a showcase presenting the direction of Sacramento runway and ready-to-wear fashion for 2017.

Designer Yennie Zhou in collobration with Ettores Photographer Mark Gunter
Designer Yennie Zhou in collaboration with Ettorie’s European Bakery & Restaurant
Photographer Mark Gunter

From avant garde collaborations between talented designer Yennie Zhou and one of Sacramento’s finest bakeries, Ettorie’s European Bakery & Restaurant, to chic and sexy Amoirai bathing suits ready to walk off the runway, there was something captivating for everyone to enjoy.

​AMOIRAI​ Swimwear ​​by​ ​Mary Moehring Photography by Alena v Melnik
AMOIRAI Swimwear by Mary Moehring
Photography by Alena v Melnik

 

Backstage Photographer Jonathan Ricardo
Backstage
Photographer Jonathan Ricardo

Now that we can say farewell to the residual specks of glitter found in random places, and scroll through the numerous selfies and group photos taken each day (deleting those embarrassing accidental candids) we have a chance to reflect on all the excitement from the week of February 19th to February 25th, 2017. A week chalked full of tremendous talent and dedication. A week of Sacramento’s finest in fashion coming together to show off their best.

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miss velvet cream collection

 

Authentic Queens Boutique Photography by Igor Kondrya
Authentic Queens Boutique
Photography by Igor Kondrya

 

DMR Photography
Boutique Showcase host Bridgette Loriaux looks on as model struts down the runway
DMR Photography

SACFW 2017 started off the week with the Boutique showcase at one of Sacramento’s largest and most historic venues, the Sacramento Masonic Temple on J Street. Following the opening night were some intriguing and informative events.  On Monday, the Art Institute of California – Sacramento hosted and the students of the Institute produced the Fashion Forum which featured six industry guest speakers.

Photography by Igor Kondrya
top from left SACFW producer Duane Ram, guest speakers Gerry Simpson, Tim Engle and forum host Veronica Castro
Seated from left guest speakers Debbie O’Hearn, Felicia Strati and Seana Brooks
Photography by Igor Kondrya

 

Barbizon Instructor Marizela Huseinovic Photography by Igor Kondrya
Barbizon Instructor Marizela Huseinovic (photo right)
Photography by Igor Kondrya

On Tuesday, newbie models had the chance to receive one-on-one training at the free Model Boot Camp held at Barbizon of Sacramento.  Lluvy Gomez from America’s Next Top Model came out to support and walk for designer Janelle Cardenas at the Fashion On Film event held at Beatnik Studios on Thursday.

Photography by Igor Kondrya
Fashion On Film Event
Photography by Igor Kondrya

This year, the Emerging Designer Showcase was presented by the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena.  The ballroom of the Holiday Inn was twice the size of last year’s venue.

Photography by Henry Huynh
Designer Oxana Artemencova
Photography by Henry Huynh

 

Photography by Henry Huynh
(left image) Designer Lacey Taylor (right images) Designer Jannette Goss
Photography by Henry Huynh

However, when it comes to outdoing a past venue in size, the final two days definitely took the cake. The historic and soon-to-be completely renovated Sacramento Railyards building that housed the final runway showcases was at least four times the size of the warehouse off Richards Boulevard where SACFW 2016 was held. The huge exposed building, although chilly, was intoxicating to be in. You couldn’t help but imagine the history hidden in the rusted railings and expanse of brick walls.

Guest start arriving down the red carpet Photography by Henry Huynh
Guest start arriving down the red carpet
Photography by Henry Huynh

 

Dress display featuring creations by designer Yennie Zhou and dresses from Queens Chair Mannequins provided by the Fashion Department of San Joaquin Delta Collage Photography by Henry Huynh
Dress display featuring creations by designer Yennie Zhou & dresses from Queens Chair & designer Karisa Gold
Mannequins provided by the Fashion Department of San Joaquin Delta College
Photography by Henry Huynh

 

Models in O'Blanc file down the runway Photography by Henry Huynh
Models of O’Blanc filed down the 70ft runway at the Railyards
Photography by Henry Huynh

Project Runway Designer, Alexandria von Bromssen closed out the showcases for 2017 featuring international model Rain Dove and Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s in her line up.

Jane Wiedlin commands the stage in designer Aalexandria von Bromssen Photography by Henry Huynh
Jane Wiedlin commands the stage in designer Alexandria von Bromssen
Photography by Henry Huynh

 

Designer Alexandria von Bromssen takes a bow closing out the showcases for 2017 Photography by Jonathan Ricardo
Designer Alexandria von Bromssen takes a bow closing out the showcases for 2017
Photography by Jonathan Ricardo

It’s so exciting to see Sacramento fashion growing exponentially each year, even bringing out local celebrities like Sacramento Kings Players Willie Cauley-Stein and Ben McLemore.  With the continued collaboration and support of various local businesses and new sponsors like Monster Energy Drink and Boss Lash Club, SACFW along with various community events like it will continue to grow.

As things can now return to normal for everyone who came out, behind the scenes, the plans for 2018 are already in the works. Who knows what SACFW 2018 will bring to the table, but you can be sure it will be bigger and better. Stay on the feed and don’t miss out on the happenings leading up to it, you won’t want to be left out.

That Dress

Henry Huynh - SacFW 2017 Saturday-570
Lisa Gonzales in a dress by O’Blanc and jewelry by Atzi Designs (Martiza Regalado)
with producers Ryan Brough (left) and Duane Ram (right) in jackets by Prince Singh
picture by Henry Huynh

We were excited to have KCRA 3 anchor Lisa Gonzales return and host not one, but both the 2017 Spring Summer showcase and 2017 Fall Winter showcases.  The last time Lisa was a part of the production was in 2015 when she hosted the Fall Winter Showcase held at the California Automobile Museum.

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Lisa at SACFW2015 in a dress from Mrs D’s Fashion Boutique

For 2017 with the Friday and Saturday designer showcases held at the historic Sacramento Railyardswe wanted to mix her into a showcase of her own and ended up with 12 wardrobe changes.  Six per night with dresses from Lisa’s own closet as well as pieces from our showcasing designers.  Here are some of the top picks styled and accessorized by SACFW production stylist Erin Loriaux.

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Dress by designer Anastasia Kryukova picture by Igor Kondrya

This red dress was pulled from Lisa’s closet, which went well with the ambiance of the venue.

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Photography by Igor Kondrya

The short blue dress was pulled from stylist Erin Loriaux personal collection, and the purple dress on the right is from Prince Singh Collection designed by his wife Preet Ahluwalia.

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picture left by Mark Gunter picture right by Igor Kondryaz

 

Fashion for a Cause

Designer Tyniece Hall Salvo Image
Designer Tyniece Hall
photo by Salvo Image

The Falls event center in Elk Grove had a steady stream of visitors for the Fashion Car Gala held on Sunday July 31st.  Models arrived at 10AM for hair and makeup.  Apex Barber Cosmetology Student Professional Supply  (BCSPS) provided support for hair and Alejandro’s Studio provided support for makeup with Tec Italy sponsoring product support.

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By 3PM stage and backdrop designer Yennie Zhou was done with installations and rehearsals were set to begin.  One after the other runway director Duane Ram signaled each model when they needed to walk. Ram’s specialty is quick training models. If anyone knows how to choreograph a show he would.  Ram has been the man behind Sacramento Fashion Week and has choreographed every showcase since it began in 2006. This year he took on the task of up-scaling and infusing a Fashion Show to the production.  The event itself was managed and produced by Jax Butler.

 

 

photo by Rachel Zacapa
photo by Rachel Zacapa

 

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Runway Director Duane Ram, Assistant David Alcarez, Producer Jax Butler, Backstage Manager Noelle Savage, Host Big Al Sams
photo by David Alvarez

Most notebaly,  Dreams and Drivers, Sacramento, CA based non-profit car club that organizes FREE, informal “cars and coffee” type get-togethers surrounded by a variety of cars who organize, promote and host their own monthly fundraisers.  Directed by Kymberly Lindenmuth the cars and their owners started arriving at 4PM.

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photo by Salvo Image

 

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photo by Salvo Image

 

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photo by Salvo Image

By 8PM seating in the main room commenced.   The showcase host was Big Al Sams from V 101 FM Radio who thanked everyone for attending and introduced Colleen Wood the producer and director of the Joe238 Documentary which the event was benefiting.

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Host Big Al Sams with Joe238 Film producer Colleen Woods
photo by Salvo Image

 

Oscar Vasquez
Fashions pictured from left to right – NK Tailored, Maisha Bahati, and ABKE Collections
photo by Oscar Vasquez

 

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ABKE Collections
photo by Sayra Lesso

 

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Designer Tyniece Hall
photo by Salvo Image

 

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NK Tailored
photo by Oscar Vasquez

 

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Denim Spot Boutique
photo by Oscar Vasquez

[Unique File Name Here]
Designer Maisha Bahati
photo by Oscar Vasquez
For more behind the scenes and runway pictures check out Matt Salvo‘s website.  The events official photographer.

To find out more about Joe238 or to become a sponsor for the film.  Please click here to visit the website.

Fashion Car Gala 2016

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This year’s Fashion Car Gala has been revamped with a new mission and a new production company.   The showcases are being produced by DMR productions headed by Duane Ram who has produced a long list of fashion showcases including Sacramento Fashion Week.  The events this year is benefiting “Joe238” an awareness film about organ donation.  Funds raised by the event will go to helping to offset the production cost to finish the documentary.  The film it self will raise and promote awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation.

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Celebrating the 25th anniversary of her daughter receiving the gift of life through a miraculous heart transplant as an infant.  Director/Producer Colleen Stymeist-Wood makes this one of her first feature-length film in a series of stories documenting organ donation and transplantation from different perspectives.

colleen

The Documentary

A grieving father must set aside his own beliefs to honor his son’s last wish to be an organ donor. As time goes by he finds a calling and new “normal” in the reflection of his son’s lifelong legacy of service to others.

On November 26, 2000 Jess and Theresa Chairez lost their 24-year-old son, the city of Sacramento lost a well-respected police officer and the world lost an exceptional young man. Joe Chairez, badge #238, died spontaneously while on duty. Joe had it all. He was handsome, young and driven by a real passion to help those in need. Then suddenly, he was gone.

We follow Jess through his non-stop public awareness efforts and watch him shine as a beacon to donor families at the U.S. Transplant Games. Through multiple stories of grief and recovery, we see that the spirit of heroism lives on in the lives of those it has touched.

The Event

The Fashion Car Gala will take place on July 31st, 2016 at the Falls Event Center located at 8280 Elk Grove Blvd in Elk Grove, CA.  This year’s event will include a fashion show featuring Denim Spot Boutique and also showcasing designers  Maisha Bahati, Tyniece Hall, NIK Tailored and ABKE Collections.

Tickets to the Fashion Showcase on-sale through eventbrite click here

 

The Timeline

4PM    Exotic Car Show in the front parking lot – free and open to the public

6PM    Event center doors open for a reception for VIP ticket holders

7PM    Exclusive first look at the new Joe238 Documentary Trailer

8PM    Fashion Showcase

 

Model Casting

On Saturday July 9th Designers will be casting runway models to fill open slots in their lineup.  Male models need to be at-least 5’10 and Female models need to be at-least 5’7 without heels.

designers

Become a Sponsor

Specific sponsorship opportunities are available to be a part of this mission to raise awareness and support the project.  Tax-deductible donations of any size are also welcome and are greatly appreciated. Click here for sponsorship package

Professional Headshot Clinic

Oscar Vasquez Photography
Oscar Vasquez Photography

Written by Duane Ram –

In this current age of selfies and social media fame.  Everyone with a camera seems to claim to be a photographer.  With the advancement of technology, a simple filter or a quick edit can make most images look like they were shot by a professional.  These images are both creative and fun, but if your looking to use them in your portfolio as a professional model they may not pass the industry professionals.

Frans Loriaux Photography
Frans Loriaux Photography

If your paying someone to shoot your headshot, be sure to check out their website and see how they shoot.  Know the difference between a fashion and a commercial shoot.  Depending upon the industry, the style and current trends can change.  Do your own research and come prepared for the shoot.

Oscar Vasquez Photography
Oscar Vasquez Photography

Models and actors tend to be the group most associated with needing headshots. However, there are differences between the two, as well as within commercial and theatrical types.  A professional photographer should have a clear idea about the markets in which the actor or model is looking to work. If they are aiming for multiple specific markets, it is advisable to create a different headshot for each.  Commercial headshots on the other hand should have as broad an appeal as possible, while also taking into consideration the subject’s niche. The shot should appeal to the potential roles and jobs within that market.  An attractive but not overdone model flashing a bright smile  –  taken from “What’s the Difference Between Actor, Model & Business Headshots?” Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team

Lisa Hansen photographer
Lisa Hansen photographer

On Sunday June 26 photographers David Alvarez, Robin Hagy, Oscar Vasquez and Frans Loriaux will be holding a photo-shoot session for models, actors, business reps, and anybody else wanting a professional headshot done.  This is a one of kind event that professional models and actors in LA and New York pay hundreds of dollars for to shoot with one photographer.

photographers

David Alvarez is a professional photographer that also contributes as writer for the Sacramento Press.  Alvarez specializes in Weddings, Engagements and Maternity photography.  He has been an event photographer for Sacramento Fashion Week since 2011.

Robin Hagy enjoys capturing those unexpected moments, while bringing personalities to life.   Hagy’s specialty is photographing pets, children and families in natural lighting.

Oscar Vasquez specializes in Wedding and Fashion photography.  His objective is to capture the feeling of a moment, and never to force it into something artificial.

Frans Willem Loriaux II started as a model and is able to connect and relate that knowledge with models from behind the camera.  He specializes in Fashion and runway photography shooting runway shows from Sacramento to Paris.

DMR photography
DMR photography

These four professional photographers will have their own station, and clients will be photographed by each photographer (15-20min). Clients will receive 3 digital full resolution files of the edited/retouched headshots from each photographer, giving you 12 shots from 4 different styles from one event. This gives you variety, a chance to work with different photographers, and to practice your modeling as well.
RSVP tickets only available online through eventbrite.  Click here !!

Headshots fee: $120 per client
Makeup artist and hair stylist: $40

Turnaround for photos will be 21 days and under.
Questions, contact Frans Willem Loriaux II via FB or F.Loriaux@gmail.com

Model Profile: Rachel Anastasia Santiago

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

Our 10th Anniversary events this year featured 5 showcases. That is the most we have ever had. They included a Boutique Showcase, a Fashion On Film Showcase, an Emerging Next Showcase, a Spring/Summer Showcase and our finale Fall/Winter Showcase. Rachel Anastasia Santiago quickly rose through the ranks of new models that joined the production last year to participating in multiple showcases which included 4 Boutiques. Sei Bella Boutique, Rire Boutique, Neetu Fashions and Identity Boutique. Rachel was also selected by our official event photographer Igor Kondrya and the event producer Duane Ram for one of three model profile films, that was featured at the Fashion On Film event. To top the week off, Rachel also participated in the designer showcases and walked for designers Amal Iqbal, Rachel Lewis and France Wright.

Q: Tell us about your first fashion runway experience.
A: I started out focused more on film work which lead me into runway modeling slightly unexpectedly. My first runway experience was when I was seventeen. I was working on set with a film project that my uncle was directing in LA. During a social event after shooting I was approached by a local designer in LA who was putting on a showcase the following weekend. My uncle approved of it, and made sure I got to the fitting and was shown what I would need to do. That weekend I did my work on the catwalk for the first time and I have been in love with it ever since.

Q: How did you get introduced to Sac Fashion Week?
A: Over the years I have spent a great deal of time modeling all over California. Last year, a friend of mine and model told me that I should go to the open call and try out for Sacramento Fashion Week. Of course I had already heard amazing things about it before; and I had always wanted to be a part of it. So I took a shot, and I was selected. I had a blast, and was offered a chance to come back again this year. Which was incredibly exciting!

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

Q: This year marks Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) 10th Anniversary. Do you have a favorite designer from our past showcases?
A: My two favorite designers that have shown at SACFW are Michael Kouris and Vasily Vein. Both of them are absolutely phenomenal designers who push limits and come up with very elegant and edgy looks. They create dresses that draw the eyes, and inspire you as a model. Just really beautiful.

Q: What was your day like as a model during out 10th anniversary showcases?
A: The day usually starts out the same as most shows. Even though the showcase are in the evening we are there at 10AM for hair and makeup. There is this sort of underlying feeling of the calm before the storm. I show up in plain face, casual clothes, and meet my hair and makeup crew. There is a lot of downtime waiting. Photographers have little studios setup backstage were we rotate through taking some quick thinking shots. There is a lunch break at 1PM and then rehearsals start at 3PM. Once hair and makeup is complete; it’s time to get dressed. So the team helps me put on each piece for one more last minute fitting. It’s always a bit tricky because you can’t mess up that amazing hair and makeup. Then the time comes. The butterflies are in your stomach. They’ve been building all day long, and this is the part that I like. The rush right before the lights when I make that first step on the stage in front of the world; wearing a beautiful line of clothing that inspires me to do my best as a model, and that I know is inspiring the audience to feel emotions, and deliberate and imagine. During the show it’s just so much fun its almost indescribable, and then once its finished, and we have taken the final walk down the stage with designer and returned there is the incredible feeling of confidence, and gratefulness for being picked to represent that line and that designer. It’s always kind of sad when it’s over.

Oscar Vasquez Photography
Retrospect Vintage Fashion – Oscar Vasquez Photography

Q: Who’s your favorite model and why?
A: There are SO many to choose from, but I think if I had to pick from my top three I would go with Linda Evangelista. She is so incredibly beautiful. She has so many different looks and can literally pull of any style of hair or clothing. She has those eyes that just pop on camera, and a gorgeous figure for clothing and runway.

Q: What would you say is your personal style?
A: My personal style I think is vintage but edgy. I like the look and feel of tight fitting outfits and dresses. I love showing my figure and putting on something sexy and eye catching. But I also love the gorgeous, glittering and beaded looks of the 1920’s and the 1930s. When I go out to formal events I love to dress in glamor; gloves, gowns, etc. My style is very much a mix between Dita Von Teese and Sophia Loren.

Q: Who did you look up to when you were younger?
A: When I was younger I looked up to my uncle Roy Unger. He is an absolutely fantastic director, animator and cinematographer. He has worked on many very large projects in Hollywood. He is really the reason I was introduced to the fashion and film scene to begin with, and he was always very supportive of me and kept me inspired by how hard he pushed and worked. I can’t even keep up with him. His new projects that he has been working on, especially in animation, are unbelievably good.

Kondrya Photography
Kondrya Photography

Q: What inspires you?
A: What inspires me is the art and effect of fashion, and sometimes the dark and ominous way it presents itself. Like a living piece of art; the models become a picturesque moment in time with each photo and each step down the runway. A tangible splinter of framed beauty that will never change or wilt or grow old from that moment; and yet has the ability to inspire and bring emotion to the world beyond itself. Every time I see the world of fashion producing its art for the world. Exhibiting its power as the conductor of the trending and ever-changing world; I often times find myself both in awe, and humbled to think that so few people like us, all of us in fashion, are able to create such ripples of change daily in our world. That is what inspires me.

Q: What do you do on your free time?
A: There is so much. Literally never a dull moment because I like to stay busy if I can. I am a total nerd. I am a big fan of video games and comic book heroes. I will totally defeat anyone on Halo! I love to cook. I can make amazing dishes and I find it’s a great relief of stress to create a great meal that’s enjoyed by everyone. I go to the gym several times a week; When there is nothing else going on; I am always down to go out and get drinks, socialize and dance. Make a wild night of it! If all else fails, I just relax at home and watch TV shows or read. I love some of the Netflix originals, classic movies and musicals.

Zuyimi Photography
Neetu Sfashion – Zuyimi Photography

Q: What are your thoughts of the production compared to other productions you have been involved with?
A: I had an absolute blast being a part of the ten year anniversary of Sacramento Fashion Week from beginning to end. I loved it, and it was even bigger than last year; and I was so blessed to have been able to participate in not just the modeling but in several aspects of the production process this year. Even during the earlier stages of development last year. I do a lot of modeling and runway work for charity shows and such in LA. But this one meant a lot because there were so many personal friends and close acquaintances that were involved in the show this year. So I felt much more of a responsibility to make sure I was on top of my game and putting out one hundred and ten percent, not just for me, but for them as well. There were so many venues this year, new and old. The diversity was incredible in and of itself; and was literally breathtaking to be a part of on stage. The lines were gorgeous, all of them. It was really inspiring and everyone came together through this and really made the whole process very friendly; like a family really by the time it was done. I made a lot of new friends this year, and really cemented friendships with a lot of people from the year before. It was amazing.

Q: What is your advice to young girls and boys wanting to be in this industry?
A: Always keep your focus. From the moment you decide to make this passion your career, live it, never give up, and always keep a strong positive mental outlook on things. It’s difficult sometimes to do that. It’s very important to be realistic about what it takes to be in this industry, but I truly believe that if you put your efforts in the right places with smart and courageous choices; you will come out where you want to be or even further. There is an old saying in Hollywood, “Always friendly. Because the person you speak with at the bottom today might end up being the person you end up looking up to or working for tomorrow.” Always treat everyone with the same respect for their passion as you would have them do for your own, and keep your focus on your goals and dreams.

Film: Igor Kondrya
Makeup: Flo Ayala
Hair: Renne Alejandro

The Magnum Opus Dream

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Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) would not be where it is today if it weren’t for Duane Mykha Ram but the idea of SACFW was originally conceived by photographer Grace Bellesteros over the summer of 2005.   She had gathered a small group of photographers, models and designers to produce a networking event that centered around a fashion show.  One of the models was Mr. Ram and by the following year a production company had formed.  “The early years were difficult” Mr. Ram expressed.   He also states that after a couple of years the stress of the production became too much for Grace to handle.  This left the decision up in his hands weather or not to move on or keep going.  He believed that a Fashion Week event in the Capital was possible and he made the decision to  pushed on investing this time and personal expenses to continue.

SACFW 2007 Models - Photography by Grace Bellesteros
SACFW 2007 Models – Photography by Grace Bellesteros

Q: How did you get involved with Sacramento Fashion Week?

A: Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) started as a mixer.  It was just a way to connect with local designers, photographers and models.  The first ever production was call Magnum Opus back in 2005.  We quickly found out that there was a community of local talent that needed a platform to express themselves.  At the time i was a part-time model and was looking to connect with the community after the company i was working for moved me to Sacramento. Two months after moving out here, i came across a casting and met the producer of the Magnum Opus.  She was a photographer named Grace Ballesteros and we quickly became friends.  She was impressed with my modeling and acting resume and wanted me to train the models for the show.  The following year she produced SACFW under her production company Magnum Opus and i ended up being the show choreographer. The  year after i was her assistant producer.  In 2009 she gave the production to me.  By this time i was pretty much running the show however i took a year off to re-brand it and in 2011 produced the show under my production company DMR productions.

 

Q: How was your first show of Sacramento Fashion Week?

A: Putting on a production like this is not an easy task.  SACFW  is now a full week of events.  We have workshops, forums, and now four different fashion shows to produce within the week.  Granted it took a couple of years to get here.  You can’t come out and do a full week the first year, that’s just not going to work.  In the beginning we had a launch party and one show and we called it “Fashion Week”.   We didn’t have any negative press in the beginning but then again, we didn’t have any press at all.  When we finally started getting coverage, they would point out all the mistakes which was frustrating because at least we were trying to make something happen.  And yes, we were thinking big!  I never gave up on the production and tried my best to make improvements and changes with each showcase.  We can’t do what New York does but we can still try to put on an amazing show. Every city has their own thing; we just have to fine tune it to our’s.  Even though we were thinking big we were enjoying ourselves and doing what we wanted to do.  It was stressful but we were having fun.  Now that i’m thinking back about the first shows i’m like damn that’s nothing.  We were stressing over nothing, we were only doing one showcase.  LOL

SACFW 2011 Launch Party photography by Ken Shames
SACFW 2011 Launch Party photography by Ken Shames — from left Jereen Diaz, Dave Alcares, Savannah Rodriguez, Grace Bellesteros, Duane Ram, Faatui Toele, Dave Icarangal and Chris Johnson

Q: How do you feel producing SACFW when Sacramento is the stage?

A: I don’t really think about how big the production is.  If I do it would just overwhelmed me.  I try to take it one day at a time.   The last few years I’ve had co-producers to help me manage the production and in the last couple of year it has really grown fast.  I’ve always invested my time in the presentation of the showcases and throughout the years you can actually see the improvements and changes that were made.  Sacramento has noticed this as well and the showcases have been selling out every year since 2011.  With that we have needed to move to bigger venues.  So this year I’ve made my co-producers Ryan Brough and Missy O’Daniel my business partners.  This 10 year anniversary is also a new beginning in a way for the production.   It really doesn’t hit me till the designer showcases start that i get a little emotional.  When the lights go down and the music starts pumping as the first model takes the walk down the runway.  It’s an amazing feeling.  At that moment feeling that everything you just went through to get to that point was worth it.

Q: It is now 2016, what are your expectations from this year’s show?  

A: Every year and every showcase is different.  You can definitely see how we have grown and changed throughout the years.  Last year we did an amazing showcase.  One of the longest runways we have ever had. This year we are changing it up with a bigger warehouse venue and i’m expecting it to be even better.  Last year Ettore’s Restaurant sponsored our backstage food but this year they wanted to do something more.  They wanted to be part of the showcase.  Which lead us down the path of creating edible fashion.  We did something similar couple of years back with Kombucha Couture but this would be chocolate and dessert pastries.  I don’t want to give away too much but it’s being designed by our opening designer Yennie Zhou one of my favorite designers.  Mainly because she creates these couture works of art it’s just amazing.  The shows will be amazing and have something we have never done before.

Photography by Tim Engle
Photography by Tim Engle

Q: Do you have any advice for others who would like to take part of this amazing program that is growing every year?

A: First of all you need to know who everyone is in your city.  If you want to be involved with fashion you need to know who these people that make things happen are.  You need to network and socialize within the community.  Go to different events.  Go to other shows.  If you don’t have any reference of other events you won’t appreciate what SACFW does or has to offer you.  Connect with the people in the production.  We put on smaller events throughout the year.  An easy way in is to volunteer to be a part of it.  These smaller events help us get to know you.   

 

Q: What are some success stories out of SACFW?

A: There have been a few individuals that have been apart of our productions.  Richard Hallmarq was one of our original designers in one of our first showcases who went on to Project Runway fame.  He is actually part of our Fashion Forum this year on Monday February 22nd at the Art Institute.  Recording artist Andy Allo who recently toured with Prince was one of our models.  Andrey Ivanov went on to have a successful modeling career and was one of the top Male models in the world.  I wouldn’t say we are directly responsible for their success.  It’s really in the hands of each person to take advantage of the opportunities given them.  Their careers are really in their own hands.  

Tom Huynh Photographer
Tom Huynh Photographer

SACFW 2016 Rehearsal

 

Today at the was Sacramento Fashion Week’s last rehearsal before day one of events. At the Auto Museum, models practiced their walks and the crew prepped backstage spaces to host some of the most influential designers both local and abroad. Wondering which day to attend? Why not the kickoff! It begins tomorrow at 4pm followed by the boutique fashion show at 6pm. For more information, please visit our list of events here. See you there.