Alexandria von Bromssen’s line, House of AvB, was created in 2008, celebrating an endogenous style of fashion, catering to both men and women. Hailing from Sweden, Alexandria first entered the fashion world modeling throughout Italy, Spain, Greece, and Australia. She later fell in love with designing and holds a Masters of Arts Degree from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Currently based in the San Francisco/Bay Area, she opened her Red Square Boutique in 2010, which also serves double-duty for her Camp Couture, a children’s sewing camp. Aside from all this, she is probably best known for being runner-up on Season 12 of Project Runway. She was definitely one of the most popular and talented contestants the series has ever had. One of her many current projects includes giving back to the community at large and nurturing less privileged youths by exposing them to discovering creative joys through the beauty of fashion and design. It’s clear that the doctrine of creating our own destiny is what has taken her to where she is today.
Alexandria von Bromssen presented her 2017 Winter/Fall Collection at SACFW this past February, where she also included and featured young designers from Camp Couture. Alexandria has traveled the globe three-times over, from the Egyptian pyramids to scaling the peak of Kilimanjaro, finding haven in natural vortexes. All of these organic energies are clearly being channeled through her latest design collection. They are both tortured yet romantic; both organic and otherworldly; both feral and raw, yet exquisite in every divine detail. Earth, water, fire, and air are all represented in a mastery of illusion.
It’s probably no coincidence that she believes in equality for all, and relishes in the diversities of all. The presentation was titled – A Twisted Fairy Tale. Best be described as a mad genius mash-up of American Horror Story, meets Snow White, or even The Adams Family, meets Chronicles of Narnia.
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.
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.
SACFW 2017 started off the week with the Boutique showcase at one of Sacramento’s largest and most historic venues, the Sacramento Masonic Templeon 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.
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 Railyardsbuilding 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.
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.
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.
For 2017 with the Friday and Saturday designer showcases held at the historic Sacramento Railyards, we 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.
This red dress was pulled from Lisa’s closet, which went well with the ambiance of the venue.
After producing so many well-attended events targeting only a small niche of women Karie sought after creating an event that could help a larger market of women and that’s when the Sacramento Women’s Expo was born. To REBUILD, REJUVENATE, EDUCATE, and EMPOWER the lives of women in the community.
The Sacramento Women’s Expocurrently runs one full day, but it was jam-packed with a variety of actives. They ranged from Workshops and Demonstrations tailored to women’s needs partnered with a Fun, Entertaining, and Shopping atmosphere.
This year Sacramento Fashion Week joined the activities with a specially created backdrop by SACFW production designer Yennie Zhou
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 LewisandFrance 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beauty students and Hair stylist joined their glam squads at Federico Beauty Institute Thursday night February 25th for the Emerging Next showcase presented by the California Endowment. The designers featured were; Hagen Valencia, Angelina Martin, Zenzele Nuru, Jose Raul Rosales, Amal Lqbal, Christy Jahlea Jahlou, Kirsi sasso, Seekham Thao, and Leo Tills. Style’s varied from fancy to funky, street style,exotic wear to colorful, and overall unique. These emerging designers blossomed into the spotlight.
Don’t the models look exquisite on the runway with their sleek moves and divine gowns?
You’re probably thinking, “wow, male models at the show too?” Yes indeed and they did a great job at it. The look was structural and incorporated color blocking. I also enjoyed the outlining of the clothing giving it a pop art feel.
When viewing this particular design coming down the runway I thought “dreams do come true!” The finally ended with women wearing exotic dresses, not something you can just go by at the mall. Definitely one of a kind and definitely the magnum opus of finales.
There were so many beautiful professional models so I was inspired to interview a few of the models. Q: How did it feel modeling?
A: I was nervous of course, but I think I looked good (starts laughing). Q: Did you like what you were modeling?
A: Yeah I did, it’s not something I usually wear but I still liked it. It shows a different side of me I didn’t know I had! Q: How long have you been modeling?
A: I’ve always wanted to model since I was little, but I’m glad that after high school I got the opportunity to do this kind of thing. I really want to continue. Q:Who was your favorite designer?
A: I would say Angelina Martin, it was unique and exiting for me.
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.
Sacramento’s Fashion Week is right around the corner so we took a couple of minutes to sit down with leading photographer Igor Kondrya to get to know him and find out how he has gotten the privilege be apart of such an amazing event. He also gives advice to other aspiring photographers and models to help them make their dreams come true.
Q: Every artist has a story pertaining to why they have decided to pursue their chosen craft and yours is photography. Can you tell me why you have decided to pursue a career in photography? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: As a kid growing up, ironically, I really disliked be photographed but I was always curious about being the photographer. After learning more and more, I remember realizing that photographs can freeze a moment in time. They can bring back so much emotions from a special or bad day. Once I understood how the camera worked and what it could do for people, I knew that photography was for me. Because I am a very quite person, the idea that my can work can visually speak for itself was also quite appealing to me.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: I get my inspiration from my surroundings, the family that I was blessed with, and my friends. There’s a saying, “surround yourself with great people, and greatness will surround you.” I truly believe in that. Music and art also play a vital role in my life. I attend art events, there’s a lot to learn from different types of art styles, I always strive to capture something different and exciting. This drive to find and then showcase unique perspectives is what keeps me inspired to grow. My advice to photographers is to find what inspires you and chase it, never wait to be inspired.
Q: From what I have discovered about you is that you are a well seasoned photographer! You have been a leading photographer for Sacramento’s fashion week in the past and are the leading photographer for Sacramento’s fashion week again this year. What an amazing accomplishment! What do you love about being a recurring photographer for a huge show like this?
A:In 2011, I was introduced to Duane Ram, the director of SACFW and that’s when I really delved into the world of Fashion. What I love most about this opportunity is the photographers that I get to meet, learning about the different styles that each of them bring is what makes this event very special. The networking opportunities and the fact that it brings people in the industry together is just the kind of place I feel I thrive in.
Q: Outside of shooting in the fashion industry what are some other areas that you like to photograph?
A: I mostly find myself photographing weddings; that’s where most of my clients come from. Secondly are portraits. Portraits can be challenging as each person has an idea of what they look like and I want to show them how my skills can make their dreams into reality. Putting both of our ideas together to make something great is extremely rewarding. I not only do professional portraits but family portraits. This is my personal favorite thing to do. Capturing those special moments of a growing family is so special and I always hope to give the family photos that they will treasure forever. Knowing that your work will hang on someone’s wall inside their home is priceless.
Lastly, fashion photography is where I get to showcase dynamic photographs. As you can see, having been with Sacramento Fashion Week, and various other shows I have had a lot of experience in the fashion industry. It gives me an opportunity to show my more edgy style of photographing subjects. There are so many types of photography I truly never get tired of it.
Q: There are a lot of aspiring photographers and models out there, what tips and advice would you give them in helping make their dreams come true?
A: Some advice that I would give to other photographers would be to never rush into buying equipment. Learn about your products first. Photography is a like a science. It’s not just point and shoot and your done. Learn about lighting for example. Light has varying qualities. It can be reflective and therefore just by manipulating light, you can change the entire mood or feel of a single photograph. As for the aspiring models, be prepared to wait a lot, start small and don’t expect a lot at first. Discover what type of model category you want to delve into? Editorial? Print? Before you start anything, do you research. The more informed you are the more competitive you will be in the end.