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Modeling

#FID2012 Fashion In Detroit 2012 – Bachrach

A little late, but I’m going to run off a series of posts featuring images from the annual Fashion In Detroit runway show. The show featured looks from several designers, but due to prior obligations, I was only able to make the second half of the show and catch about 5 of the designer’s runway shows.

I’m going to keep the chit chat at a minimum, but I will start by saying that I enjoyed the Bachrach portion of the show. While I felt that some of the looks were a little too much, and some of the models clearly had to be rushed through being dressed, I’ve always enjoyed the type of clothes they sell there.

So enjoy this handful of images, and I’ll be back tomorrow and/or the next day with images from another designer.


The Outrageous, Fashionable, and Famous People of Fashion Week

Upon approaching The Lincoln Center plaza during Fashion Week, I quickly learned that the show outside is just as entertaining as the one inside. I’m pretty sure that New York City is a place where people want to be seen, and what bigger stage to be seen than Fashion Week? Fashionistas from around the world pack into this one small area for an entire week, wearing the most lavish and extravagant outfits they could find in their closets.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 was not only my first fashion week, but it was my first time in NYC as well. I’ve been all over this country – LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas – but NYC and Miami have eluded me. Arriving in New York, my focus was to make sure that I was prepared for the runway shows and presentations. I was mentally ill-equipped for what I would see during my down time.

I’m sorry, but if someone steps on THOSE shoes, killing the offender is a justifiable reaction. I’m just saying. lol

The next time I return to New York for fashion week, now that I know what to expect, I will put much more emphasis on my street photography. This is a fraction of what I got, but what I got is a fraction of what I saw. I need to get enough street portraits to last me a few dozen blogs.

I like the look on the young lady above, particularly that piece around her neck.

The woman above reminds me of an older version of Krista, the winner of America’s Next Top Model a couple seasons ago. That hat is like a church hat on Super Mario mushrooms. lol I’ve also found myself wondering how I look in the photo that the man behind her is taking.

I did a blog on the young lady pictured above! Check it here ——> https://michaellacombe.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/mercedes-benz-fashion-week-ss-2012-caught-in-a-crowd/

Another common phenomena at fashion week is celebrity sightings. I saw more celebrities in my few days at fashion week than I did during my entire 2 years living in California. Granted, that’s an easy number to top since the only “celeb” I saw in Cali was Cornel West when I went to his book signing. I didn’t always have a camera ready, but I was still able to capture a few celebs during my time in NYC. Again, the  next time I go, I’ll know to be ready at all times. I’m mad that I missed opportunities to photograph the likes of Lindsey Lohan, Susan Sarandon, Tim Gunn, and others. Anyway, here’s a few that I DID get…

Miss J from America’s Next Top Model.

Uber fine model, Selita Ebanks. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Object of my thirst that no Gatorade can quench, celeb stylist June Ambrose.

I had all kinds of hilarious insult-captions, but I’ll behave. Omarion. lol

Husband of the star of “Lala’s Full Court Life,” Carmelo Anthony. I think he plays a sport, too. Badminton maybe? 🙂

Philadelphia 76ers forward, Andre Iguodala. Are they even called the 76ers anymore? They’re officially just the “Sixers” now, right? When I saw him walk into the show I was photographing, I tweeted him asking if it was him that had walked in, and he actually responded. He also (obviously) posed for one of these pictures. NICE! Props to Iggy!

And last but not least, one of the most-hated women worldwide, Kim Humphries. What? She’s not married anymore? News to me. Well I guess it’s Kim Kardashian, then. Like her or not, this photograph was a huge score for me. While the reason for her fame may be … non-existent … her fame itself is undeniable. Photographing Kim K was one of my biggest wins during all of fashion week.

On that note, my friends, my coverage of #MBFW is finally at an end. It’s been real! I hope you all have enjoyed my coverage a fraction as much as I enjoyed living and chronicling it.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Tracy Reese … and a special must-read shout out.

Even though I shot a few more shows, this will be my last runway show post from #MBFW. I think I’ve dragged these photos out long enough. I have one more post coming up about the different types of people you see at fashion week, but this will be the last post featuring images from shows.

Aside from Kimberly during the Project Runway show, Tracy Reese is the only black designer that I saw at fashion week. Hell, I don’t know if there were any other ones anyway. That’s part of the reason I was pulling for Kimberly so much. Anyway, I have very mixed opinions on what I saw during Tracy Reese’s show.

 

For the most part, there were a lot of very elegant pieces. I loved the summertime hats and umbrellas, and I felt a lot of the pieces had a classy southern look to them, but updated for 2012.

There were still a few things I found troubling about the show, though. My main issue with the Tracy Reese show can be seen in the image below:

1. That shirt…ugh. That print looks so cheap and janky – like a bad curtain or table cloth. She uses it (or a variation of it) several times in several different ways throughout the collection, and it always looks very Salvation Army-ish. That print looks like it’s not good enough to be sold at Family Dollar, let alone be featured at fashion week.

2. That bird’s nest hairstyle. It looks like she couldn’t care less about how her models looked going out on the runway on the largest stage in fashion. This was my first fashion week, so I can’t speak as to how the hair styles typically look, but that just looks sloppy/messy.

3. You can’t see this one in the photo above (but it’s probably visible in several of the other photos in this entry), but a lot of the models sported VERY visible baggy eyes. Again, I don’t know much about what is “supposed” to happen at fashion week, but baggy eyes seems like it should be an easy fix for a fashion week makeup artist. Why was no care given to that? If you’re the only black designer at fashion week, shouldn’t you be making sure that all you’re “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed? Why send models down the runway with messy hair and baggy eyes?

For obvious reasons, I choose to feature only the best photos from a show on my blog. If I have a photo that is out of focus or poorly framed, I won’t post it. Additionally, if I think a model just looks bad in a photo, I won’t post it either. Tracy Reese benefited greatly from this. There were a lot of images that featured the 3 things I didn’t like about this show, and I’m choosing to only post the one. But, take my word for it. There were several instances of that ugly print being used, lots of sloppy hair, and many pairs of baggy eyes.

Aside from those three things, as you can see, there was a lot to like about the collection. Personally, I’d like to see more from what I believe to be the only black designer at fashion week. If I were the sole representative of my race/gender/ethnicity or whatever, I’d make sure that I brought my A-game in every aspect of the presentation – from hair, to eyes, to clipped toenails. This is part of the reason that I was so disappointed that Kimberly from Project Runway seemed to be dismissed so easily as not being “as good” as the other contestants – but I won’t harp on that.

I hope you all enjoyed my posts from #MBFW and Project Runway. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m so thankful for anyone that played even the slightest part in molding me into the photographer I am today, and making it possible for me to go to New York. I’ve met so many great people since I moved back to Detroit, and the kindness within our art community can not be stressed enough. People who barely knew me at all have helped me along the way, and during the course of the time I’ve been back, have become highly-valued friends. So again, thanks to all my Detroit artists who helped, encouraged, or motivated me, and thanks to anyone who has ever commented, shared, retweeted, or even viewed any of my blog entries. None of it is lost on me.

Finally, I want to thank myself. I know that sounds very arrogant, but you guys have NO IDEA how hard I am on myself and how little credit I give myself. I constantly find ways to take away from my accomplishments, and the time for that is at an end. While I owe a great deal of thanks to a great many people, when it comes down to it, I did this. I picked up a camera 3 years ago. I taught myself how to use it, and I brought myself from offering free shoots on Craigslist just to learn, to photographing at the biggest stage in fashion, and it’s time I give myself the pat on the back that I deserve.

Thanks for reading. Share, reblog, and/or retweet this post, and I’ll catch you guys in a couple of days with some street shots from New York.

(UGH! It’s that print again! lol)


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Viktor

 

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Heading into Thursday night’s “Project Runway” finale, Viktor is probably the favorite to win. Over the course of the past 4-6 episodes, Viktor has increasingly ran away with the competition. He’s been strong, week-in and week-out, and has created some truly stunning pieces.

For the finale, he took his creativity up another couple of notches. Note the dangling bit of glass on the top above, and the … well, the EVERYTHING below. lol

Viktor showed a little bit of everything he could do during the final runway show, and my gut tells me that it will pay off for him. I absolutely love what Kimberly put together, but the momentum is in Viktor’s favor, and this collection speaks for itself.

However, while I don’t think Viktor drops the ball on any one piece in his collection, I will say that the look above and the look below don’t really speak to me or evoke any sort of emotion. I find both of them to be …. meh. And I didn’t find ANY of Kimberly’s looks to be “meh.” #JustSayin

While I do find a couple of Viktor’s looks to be somewhat bland, he does have one huge thing playing in his favor: The Jacket. The jacket shown below was not only a huge hit on Twitter, but also among his fellow finalists as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think my photo does it justice (well, if you enlarge it, it does…), but it truly is an amazing piece of work.

Viktor has the support of the judges, the fans, and the quality work to back him up. His chances of being the winner are strong, and while a large part of me prefers Kimberly, I would have absolutely no complaints – not one – if Viktor wins. Check out a couple more of Viktor’s pieces, a shot of Viktor himself, and join me on Twitter ( @Michael_Aaron) Thursday night as I live tweet the finale. Ciao!

 

 

 


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Kimberly

Kimberly went from being one of the least noticeable designers on the show, to one of my favorites. Her improvement as the weeks went on was remarkable, and she’s clearly quite talented. The collection she put together to show at #MBFW, in my opinion, puts her in a strong position to be the first African American individual to win.

Kim, (I wonder if she’s OK with being called that…) became known for being able to design a mean pair of pants. But it was when Kimberly ventured away from the pant, that she really began to shine. Some of her strongest looks in her #MBFW collection are, as I would like to say, pants-less.

I love how the way all of her models are styled. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve seen any of the designers feature any bags – much less one so gigantic. lol I like it though, and it works well with the dress pictured above – which I find to be stunning, and fits the model perfectly.

I also love the diversity I see in Kim’s collection. There’s diversity in wardrobe, and well as style/color. For instance, there’s the elegant and sexy dress 2 photos above in a solid blueish/purple. Then above we have the silver jacket, which I feel is great (although I’m not sure I like it with that … what color is that? Fuschia? lol … with that fuschia dress). Although on its own, I also dig the (fushia?) dress. It appears to be cut very well, and fits the model magnificently. Then, as you’ll see below, she goes in a completely different direction…

… and again, I feel like she largely succeeds. Then below, you’ll see she goes back to her trademark pants, and again meets with success.

The skirt below did not go over well with the judges on the first part of the finale. What did they call it? Bubble butt? I like it though, and she uses it well here.

Overall, I think Kimberly SHOULD stand a very strong chance of winning it all. I think it comes down to her or Viktor. While I’ve absolutely loved Viktor’s work over the course of the past few episodes, for obvious reasons I’d love to see Kimberly become the first African American individual to win. While I’m new to all of this (fashion photography, that is), I’m aware of the difficulties that blacks face breaking into this industry, so it would be truly inspiring to see her go from being virtually unnoticed, to becoming the winner. Come back tomorrow to see photos from Viktor’s collection, and join me Thursday night on Twitter (@Michael_Aaron) while I live-tweet the finale! See you tomorrow!


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Joshua McKinley

 

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Joshua McKinley is one of the more interesting designers on “Project Runway,” and I’m not even referring to his sometimes abrasive personality. He often finds himself in a situation that I find both frustrating and envious. Joshua McKinley is a man that is gifted with what may be TOO MUCH creativity.

Joshua often finds himself at odds with the judges because they feel he went “too far” with his designs. He may take what starts off as a good design, and bedazzle it into an oblivion. He may have the courage to take a chance on something wild that no one else would do, but find that no one likes it but him  – and more often than not, his own approval is all that he needs. I respect that, though.

As a photographer – I struggle with calling myself an “artist,” and only recently came to terms with calling myself a “photographer” – I often find myself yearning for more ability in the creativity department. I wish I could come up with creative ideas as easily as someone like Joshua. That’s why it’s kind of a sore spot for me to see him get ragged on for being “too creative.” He has creativity to spare, and my creativity tank is frequently running on fumes. I’m always looking for ways to improve in that category.

Take, for instance, the image above. Individually, I like the pieces. I like the jacket, and I like the fabric used for the dress. But together? It just sort of seems like too much. Or, look again at the image at the top of the page – enlarge it if you have to. Look at the belt. Is that the same style of belt they use on shopping carts at the grocery store? lol Again, another example of him doing something someone else probably wouldn’t do, and that may not go over well with a lot of people. At the same time, you have to respect someone who is willing to do something like that.

 

 

I think that, ultimately, Joshua’s inability to tone it down will cost him this competition. It seems that, even when he tries to tone it down, he doesn’t know how. He only knows “extra.” lol He will be alright, though, because there will ALWAYS be a market for people like him because there will always be consumers who thrive for “extra.”  I don’t even want to make it sound like there’s something wrong with him. There’s not. I’d much rather have the problem of being too creative, than my current problem of not being creative enough. I definitely respect Joshua, but I suspect he will have to settle for a runner up position on this season’s “Project Runway.”

 


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Anya

 

 

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I make no bones about it. Anya is my favorite. Not only is she beautiful, but I admire her ability to enter into the competition only having sewn for 4 months, and produce such amazing work. Week in and week out, she has sent amazing piece after amazing piece down the runway – sometimes despite various mishaps and misfortune. Remember the outfit she made for $11?

 

(I dig the belt here.)

So, it goes without saying, as soon as I found out I would be shooting the Project Runway show at #MBFW, I immediately began to look forward to seeing what Anya would send down the runway. While I was not disappointed, I was not floored either.

Anya’s designs often left me in awe on the show, but while everything she sent down the runway at #MBFW was nice, nothing really jumped out to me as stunning. In fact, I’d argue that the  best outfit was worn by Anya herself.

Maybe my expectations for Anya were too high, and what she sent down the runway will be good enough for her to win. She also has a great story – having only been sewing for 4 months prior to the competition – and I know that reality TV shows eat up the “good story.” But for me, none of her designs really struck me as fresh or fashion forward. I was expecting to see something jaw-dropping that I’d never seen before – something that women worldwide would clamor for. I didn’t.

There was a cohesiveness in her collection, which I can appreciate. But I wish it could have been cohesively AWESOME. I wish Anya the best of luck, though. No matter what happens, she will still be my favorite because I’m a shallow man and she’s gorgeous. lol

 

 


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Laura

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Clearly, Laura is a fan of sheer clothing. lol As you will see later, even Laura herself was sporting some sheer clothing when she introduced her collection at #MBFW. Laura was the first designer to show her collection, and I had no clue what to expect.

The first thing I noticed was that Laura brought more creativity to her collection than I was accustomed to seeing on the show. She did something a little different with the sheer tops, but I don’t want to assume that was her stepping out of her comfort zone. Maybe the Lifetime Channel isn’t a big fan of nipples. lol Very few (if any) of the other Project Runway designers went that route, so it helped Laura stand out.

While Laura did bring some nice pieces to the table, nothing really jumped out at me as stunning. This may be why she left the show at the time she did. She rarely (if ever) sent some trash down the runway, but she also rarely knocked the judges socks off as well.

I did note one thing (just now) that was pretty cool. See the image above? It appears that very same dress is being worn by the model that graces the background of Laura’s Twitter page (@LKathleenDesign). I’m not sure why I find that cool – it’s not like I took the photograph. 🙂 Also, I dig the golden arm bangles she has on each model’s right arm. I don’t know why I have such a thing for right wrist decorations, but alas… it seems that I do. I’m not a big fan of the hair – looks rather unkempt and has a “just got out the bed, lemme throw this in a ponytail and run to the supermarket” kind of look to it. Overall, I feel Laura did well, and that she will find success as a designer, but I didn’t see anything that made me feel as if she should got eliminated too early and that she should be in the running to win.

 

 


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Bert

 

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Bert was one of my least favorite designers on the show. I didn’t particularly care for most of his designs. He had his moments, but for the most part, his designs seemed quite dated. He wasn’t the worst by any means, but he did send some of the most tragic outfits down the runway.

So, when I saw Bert come out to introduce his collection, my expectations were quite low. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

While I’m not a big fan of the pockets on the dress – women with their hands in their pockets just look weird to me – I appreciate the general elegance of his collection. Most of his pieces were quite classy, and definitely more than I was expecting from Bert.

I noted a lack of accessories on Bert’s models. The designs are strong, but maybe some expertly-chosen accessories would have enhanced them even more. Since Bert is an older man, I figure he probably looked at accessories as a crutch and didn’t want to draw attention away from the clothes. A nice necklace wouldn’t have hurt, though.

It’s clear that, had been Bert had the opportunity to stay longer, he possibly could have flourished. Overall, I’m glad I was wrong about his ability to put out a nice product. He had a good showing at #MBFW and I wish him the best of luck in the future.

 


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Project Runway: Anthony Ryan

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With the final contestants determined for the Project Runway finale, I figured it’s about time I start cranking out photos from the Project Runway show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. There are 4 contestants left on the show, but the remaining 9 designers that were still on Project Runway when #MBFW took place all showed their individual collections during the runway show.

The show opened with Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, and Nina Garcia coming out and posing for photos for the media, as you see above. Afterward, Michael and Nina took their seats, and Heidi started the show.

Before I start showing photos from Project Runway contestant, Anthony Ryan, let me first give a little bit of background. When I first became interested in photography, I read book after book, and website after website. Once I started shooting, I realized there was only so much that one could learn from books. You have to get out there and shoot.

My second realization was that I could be a better photographer if I understood modeling better. So in order to supplement the shooting I was already doing, I decided to start watching America’s Next Top Model – much to the chagrin of my male friends. lol While ANTM at this point seems to primarily be little more than an over-the-top reality show, I’ve still learned a great deal from it in regard to what I as a photographer should expect from a model. I’ve also learned what I should WANT as a photographer, and from the model. Most importantly, I learned a lot about fashion photography.

As I shot fashion shows around Detroit, I started to really enjoy fashion photography. I started researching fashion photographers, reading fashion magazines, and attending/shooting more and more shows. Once I realized that fashion photography seemed to really be striking a chord with me, I became concerned. I knew nothing of fashion. Nothing. So, just as I did when I realized I didn’t know enough about modeling, I decided to (in addition to my customary reading) pick up a fashion-related reality show. So, that is how I began watching Project Runway.

I respect creativity a great deal. I feel it is the aspect of photography in which I am the weakest. This is unfortunate, seeing as how (in my opinion), it’s probably the most important aspect. This is why I respect the designers on Project Runway so much. Yes, week in and week out, some of the designers have sent out their models wearing the clothing equivalent of a flaming bag of shit. However, each and every one of them is an extremely creative individual. I respect their ability to find inspiration, and create a design from scratch -especially when someone else is telling them what their design has to revolve around. I respect them, even when their final product is bad.

Back to the show. The Project Runway show was my first show of #MBFW. As you may recall from a previous post, there were “issues” getting to New York in time, and I missed my entire first day. I heard that the Project Runway show was one of the hardest to get into, and even though I had confirmation, I still struggled to get in. For some reason, I wasn’t on the list. Thankfully, I had my invite and the phone number to the PR rep, and she was of the utmost assistance and was able to get me in. Unfortunately, I did get in late, and was forced to shoot from the side of the risers (as would be the norm for the duration of #MBFW for me).

Seeing as how this was my first show, I was in something of a panic. I didn’t know what to expect. At all. The Project Runway show certainly was not a blueprint for what to expect during the week. It was a long show, with 9 designers, each speaking before their portion of the show began. I basically had to learn on the fly. I had to figure out my camera settings, get an idea for how the show(s) would progress, and generally just work around the fact that everything that took place was new to me – all while trying to make sure I got good shots. (Forgive me if this is poorly written. It’s 12:30 am, and I’ve been up since 3 am. I’m really tired, but I want to knock this post out before I go to sleep.)

I said all that in order to say this: My thoughts on what I saw during the show, greatly differ from my thoughts now. There were a million different things going on, and I wasn’t really able to pay attention to the actual runway show. Now that I’ve spent all these hours working on these images, my thoughts on what I saw from the individual designers has changed as well.

I’ve finished working on 6 of the 9 sets of images, and so far, Anthony Ryan’s are my favorite. It seems clear to me that he was cut from the show too early. Although, I can’t say definitively that I would have kept him over any of the remaining 4 because, right now, the remaining 4 are my top 4. Additionally, I have yet to view my photos from 3 of the remaining 4 designers. So I may end up liking all 3 of those collections more than Anthony Ryan’s. Nevertheless, I find this to be a strong collection from head to toe.

All of the designs are fresh. You won’t see anyone walking around wearing these clothes right now. Anthony Ryan’s designs remind me of my approach to photographing fashion. Fashion is fresh. It’s ever-changing. It’s progressive and cutting-edge. When done right, there is nothing “typical” about it. That is how I like to shoot it – with a fresh and different perspective. I want to show fashion in a way that people are not accustoming to seeing it, and a lot of Anthony Ryan’s designs look very new to me. Of course, I’m new to fashion as well, but that’s why it’s so awesome that art is subjective. I can like it, you can hate it, and your opinion will remain meaningless to me. 🙂

I also love how the models were styled. From their hair, to their makeup, to their accessories, right down to the blue paint on their right wrists (which I absolutely love!) … I think Anthony Ryan totally killed it. The entire collection screams originality, and I as I love to say, I fux with that. I fux with originality and creativity. That’s all for now. Check back with me DAILY over the course of the next few days for images from the other designers. Ciao!


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Caught In A Crowd…

(CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE … I highly recommend you do this.)

I spotted this young lady amid a huge crowd in the Lincoln Center plaza following a fashion show. I was wandering around the plaza, looking for people to photograph for posts just like this one. I did particularly well that day, for the record.

Anyway, for obvious reasons, she caught my eye. While my goal was to photograph people with an interesting look, when you spot a pretty young lady and your camera is at-the-ready, you’d be a fool not to take the photo. I raised my camera, and as soon as I went to press the shutter, some asshole walked in front of my shot. lol No, he didn’t do it on purpose, but yes, he is still an asshole. Well, at least he WAS.

Upset that my perfectly framed photo had been ruined, I snapped a few more photos and went about my business. When I finally looked at the photo in the back of my camera, I thought, “Hey, that ain’t half bad! This may require a closer look on the monitor.” Sure enough, when I viewed the full size photo, I was stunned. Not only did  I like my mistake, I loved it. The fact that the passing gentleman’s silhouette (yes, he’s now a gentleman and no longer an asshole) perfectly curved around her face, turned what I originally perceived to be a missed opportunity into a stroke of good luck. The fact that only her face is in focus, adds some mystery to her. Who is she? What is she looking at? Where is she? What is she thinking? The fact that there is no story, is the story.

Anyway, I figured I’d throw this photo up here for today’s blog post in order to buy myself some time to figure out what fashion show I want to post on Wednesday. lol I hope you guys like the photo, but it doesn’t really matter because I like it. 🙂 Oh, and here’s one more photo of her, unobstructed.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Marlon Gobel

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This show was interesting for a number of reasons. For starters, I got to shoot backstage for this one. Shooting backstage always has the potential to be interesting. Out of all the photographers who walk the face of this Earth, very few get the opportunity to photograph Fashion Week in New York. Of those few, even fewer get to see what goes on backstage prior to a fashion show on the biggest “stage.” Cameras flashing, interviews taking place, makeup being applied, hair being done, clothes being tried on (nudity, lol), and just a furious rush to make sure everything is ready in time for the show.

Having said all that, THIS backstage was fairly uneventful. lol I dropped the ball on getting the full backstage experience because I didn’t realize there were TWO of them – on entirely separate floors. The one I shot in was just for hair/makeup, and there was an entirely separate one for wardrobe on another floor.  I didn’t discover the wardrobe one until it was time for me to secure a spot in the risers. No worries, though. It wasn’t my only backstage experience during fashion week, and these shots are bonus.

The second interesting thing about this show was the backdrop. Note the bags of potato chips in the background. lol Real bags. Hundreds of them. Yet, I still felt awkward when I considered taking one. I don’t even eat chips. The colorful background went well with the colorful collection, though.

The third interesting thing about this show was that Omarion was in attendance. That was probably the most random sighting I had during all of fashion week. lol Even more wild was the fact that they brought him in like he was Barack Obama. lol Everyone was seated, the lights were down, then I heard someone say “OK, bring him in.” Then he was quickly ushered in to his front row seat. I got excited. “Who is that??!?” Then… “Oh. It’s just Omarion.” lol

I liked some of what I saw at this show. I’m a fan of the colors … photographically. They look good in images. I could never see myself actually wearing something that loud. I’m also not totally on board with the man bag phase just yet. Some of them I like – those that resemble briefcase, or even over-the-shoulder ones that you can wear across the body. Whatever the man in the picture below is carrying … I’m straight on that. lol I love the photo though!

Shit looks like a fashionable laundry bag. Gotta take your clothes to the laundromat in style, right?

Anywho… check out a few more pics, and return on Monday for… I don’t know  yet. But I’ll be posting SOMETHING on Monday!

For a full gallery, head here —–> http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157627663621319/


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Venexiana

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At the end of the Venexiana show, I proclaimed it as my favorite show at #MBFW up to that point. It was still early in the week, and it would be surpassed. However, at the time, I enjoyed it. I liked the looks quite a bit – I even tweeted from the show that any woman wearing these clothes could get it. lol

Let me rewind for a second. A couple of months prior to leaving for New York, my laptop died. I wasn’t sure I was going to New York at the time, so I didn’t see the purpose behind buying another laptop since I never took mine anywhere. I could spend less money, and get a desktop with superior specs than that of a laptop at the same price. So, I bought a desktop.

Well, once I found out I’d be going to New York, my decision to buy a desktop came back to haunt me. I had no laptop to bring with me, and the person I was going with was in the same situation as I was. This meant that I would not be able to edit/post the pics immediately, as I would have preferred. (This will change before I go back in February, FYI. I WILL be posting FROM New York.)

The point of that back story is this: I never got to see my images outside of the LCD on the back of my camera until I got back to Detroit. Once I started to look at the images on my computer, I still liked the clothes from the Venexiana show – but the models? Not so much. lol

The Venexiana show was the last one of the day. I believe it didn’t even start until 9pm. Following the show, I went to dinner with a few amigos. I proclaimed over dinner that I liked the show, as well as the models. Upon viewing the photos on my computer, I immediately began to regret that proclamation. Of course, I’m only going to post the best images to this blog, but a lot of the models were making really odd faces on the runway. One kept making this face where she was sort of side-smirking – you know that thing you do with your lips where you twist them to the side when you don’t believe what someone else is saying? Yeah, that. Another kept making this really intense face – like she was angrily attempting to stare a hole through your forehead. (I did insert a pic of her below. See if you can spot her. lol) It was really odd.

Additionally, several models stumbled coming down the runway – this was the only show that I saw where this occurred. I initially thought this was probably the fault of the models, but as fashion week progressed, I started seeing familiar faces. The same models were working multiple shows. So why would several models stumble at one show, but not at others? Are the shoes to blame? Food for thought. I’m far from finished in regard to editing fashion week photos, but I have a new favorite show for now. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start working on another show and find a new favorite. Anyway, check out some more pics, and come back on Wednesday for some pics from my ultimate celeb spotting of #MBFW. Ciao!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ———> http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157627638024171/


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Celeb Spotting: June Ambrose

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I first ran into celebrity stylist June Ambrose following the Tracy Reese runway show at #MBFW. Well, “ran into” is being generous. “Viewed from a distance” would be a bit more accurate. I had a long zoom lens on my camera, and was able to snap a semi-respectable shot, but I was far from satisfied. I was super far away, it was dark so I had to use flash, and people were swarming her. I was never able to get a set shot.

Fortunately for me, I (as well as a couple other photographers) caught Ms. Ambrose again outside in the plaza a bit later in the day, and she was generous enough to pose for a few photos. As you can see, she looked absolutely stunning/gorgeous. I didn’t get the opportunity to speak with her, but I hope to one day. She has such a positive vibe/energy, that was incredibly infectious. She seems to be a genuinely kind person, which only serves to enhance her natural beauty.  I’m very fortunate to have photographed her.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Lela Rose

#MBFW was my first time ever going to New York. Prior to going to NYC, I’d been to pretty much every city worth going to – with the exceptions of NYC and Miami. I’d heard many stories about the sort of craziness that goes on in New York, and I was fully prepared for whatever The Big Apple could throw at me. I wasn’t, however, prepared for what mother nature would throw at me on the drive out there.

About 2-3 hours away from NYC, my friend Chris and I got stuck in Pennsylvania. There had been a hurricane a day or two before, and the leftover water had essentially run down into central Pennsylvania, overflowing the Susquehanna River. They blocked off the highway on the route we were traveling, as well as all the other routes in/out of the city.

Following several harrowing experiences, Chris and I decided to craft our own route out of the city. We were forced to take a detour from our detour, and were driving in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a torrential downpour. It was an experience neither of us will ever forget. We finally made it back to the original highway that had been blocked off, but there was no way I was going to make it to NYC in time to shoot ANY of the shows I was supposed to shoot during the first day of #MBFW. I was devastated… momentarily.

We DID make it to NYC around 4-5 o’clock. My last show that I would have shot started at 2:30, so I missed that. However, 4-5pm was still early. There was still enough time to take a nap (because neither of us had slept more than 2 hours over the past 36 hours), and hit the streets of New York City for Fashion’s Night Out.

We met up with our friend Tafari at Bloomingdale’s, and he gave us a first-class mini-tour of New York City. We saw Times Square, had some great food, and some great drinks. Chris and I got completely wasted, had no clue how to get back to our hotel, no clue what to do on the trains, got completely lost, and had to take a cab back to the hotel. Any time that happens, you had a good night. lol

I started my actual #MBFW shooting a day late, but I certainly got caught up. The Lela Rose runway show was a surprisingly good experience. I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed the show itself. I was more surprised that I was actually able to make it into the show, much less come away with good shots. I can’t remember what time it started – I want to say 11 am – but whatever time it was, I was shooting another show at 10:30am.

I shouldn’t have been able to pull that off, but I actually managed to find a way to weasel myself backstage for the 10:30 am show. Actually, that show was a presentation (refer to the previous post for a reminder on what the difference is between a presentation and runway show). I got backstage for the presentation, snagged some shots, then entered the area where the presentation was being held prior to it even starting. As they lined the models up, I got my shots. By the time they let everyone in, I only needed about 5 more minutes before I had all the shots I needed/wanted. I was able to jet out of their early, and head over to the Lela Rose show.

I liked the vast majority of looks I saw during the Lela Rose show – particularly the more colorful ones. I am, and always have been, a big fan of vibrant colors (and black, I’ve always liked black, can never go wrong with black). I shot a few shows that featured drab/ugly browns and greens – not a fan of those. By this point in my #MFBW experience, I was starting to recognize  models from other shows. I assumed that each designer would have his/her own  models. It appears that there is just one pool of models, and they all work different shows.

The following girl, I saw several times.  I liked her look, and I thought she was pretty attractive. But for some reason, at EVERY SINGLE SHOW I SHOT that she was in, I was never able to get a good close-up shot of her. For some reason, my camera refused to focus on her face – EVERY SINGLE TIME. That fact still eats at me. lol

Check out a few more pics, and head over here for a full gallery ————–> http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157627707487474/

Be back with another post in a couple of days.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 – Rachel Roy

 

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Well, I’m nearly a week late, but the first in what will be more than a dozen blog entries revolving around Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has arrived. The fact that I have a dead laptop is the primary reason for the delay. If I had a functioning laptop, I’d have been blogging FROM New York instead of waiting until I got home. Seeing as how there are so many blog entries to be posted over the course of the next few weeks, I won’t spend too much time talking about fashion week as a whole. I’ll just say a little bit in each post. Also, FYI, “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week” will be referred to as “#MBFW” from this point on.

I’ll start by briefly explaining how these images will differ from the vast majority of the images in future posts. During #MBFW, there are runway shows and presentations. I’m sure all of you are aware of what a runway show is, and what it looks like. During a presentation, the models just stand there and allow you to photograph them. Generally, whenever someone holds a camera up to them, they’ll look at that camera and begin posing. It’s a VERY convenient way to get stunning head shots and mid-length (or full-length) poses.

So, that is what I did. I shot 2 or 3 presentations during my time at #MBFW, and I decided to use those shows as an opportunity to take head shots and mid-length shots. As you’ve probably figured out by now, Rachel Roy’s presentation was one of those shows.

I was fortunate enough to be able to get to Rachel Roy’s show early, and get my photographs in before they let in the general public. There will be more in a future blog post on just HOW lucky I was.  Seeing as how I did in fact love the clothes, I didn’t want to take JUST head shots. So, I went to each model (well, not ALL of them) and photographed them at about mid-length in order to capture some of the clothing, and then I grabbed a few head shots.

Honestly, I WOULD have taken full-length shots as well, but I only had a long zoom lens on my camera and a standard fixed lens in my bag. I left my wide angle zoom lens in my hotel room. Seeing as how this presentation took place on a balcony, I would have had to levitate 30 feet above the ground to get full body shots with the lenses I had on me. lol

Overall, I’m VERY happy with how these images came out. This set of images is probably my favorite out of all the ones I’ve edited thus far – and it was the easiest shoot. All I had to do was point and shoot. The outdoor balcony was well-lit, the models were gorgeous, and their looks were crafted to perfection. Check out some more pics, and you can head over here to see a full gallery —————————————————————————————————–> http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157627581412993/

For future posts, I’ve decided that the format will be images (of course), and the text will be partially about that specific show/designer, mixed with a little bit of inside info about my first time in New York as well. Enjoy these images, and I’ll be back in a day or two with another #MBFW post.


Fash Bash 2011 at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Now in its 35th year, Fash Bash is a highly anticipated event in Detroit. Seeing as how this was my first year going, this held especially true for me. I’ve been back in Detroit for a year now, and I could spend an entire SEVERAL blog posts discussing the things I’ve experienced and learned in my time back. However, in the interest of being brief, I’ll say that I’ve become  somewhat deeply involved with the art/fashion community in the city, and Fash Bash sat atop my list of most anticipated events of this year.

Fash Bash was held at the DIA for the first time, and the DIA provided an amazing backdrop for a night of champagne, dancing, and of course, high fashion. The night opened with a party on the steps of the DIA, which featured a live DJ and open bar. The ambiance did not come cheap, however, with tickets costing as much as $500. The high costs did not stop the event from selling out, and guests came dressed to impress, the drinks were phenomenal, and the weather was perfect.

The party moved inside around 8:30pm, and the fashion show began promptly. I met with a number of struggles in trying to get good shots – the reasons for which I am only semi-clear on – and overall, my experience shooting the show, in my opinion, went poorly. Yes, I got some shots I’m proud of, but I was largely displeased with the quality of my images.

I have a pretty good idea of why this happened, and it largely revolves around my strong desire to not use flash during a fashion show. I also have a pretty – let’s just say “unique”  – idea for remedying this problem, but I’ll have to save it for Detroit Fashion Week in mid-September.

(I like the above image because it looks like she’s floating across the runway).

The party moved back onto the DIA steps after what was undoubtedly the shortest runway show of which I have ever been a part. It MAY have ran for half an hour, but it felt like about 20 minutes. Of course, what Fash Bash lacked in duration, it more than made up for in QUALITY. Fash Bash was also the absolutely BEST runway show I’ve seen since I’ve been back in Detroit, and I’ve shot quite a few. The quality of the clothes, and the professionalism with which the show was ran, make Fash Bash stand head and shoulders above any other fashion show this year.

Check out some more pics below, and check out my Facebook fan page (and LIKE it!) for a full gallery of images: http://www.facebook.com/michaellacombephotography

 


HoneyBoom Launch Party & Fashion Presentation

This past Sunday marked the launch of HoneyBoom, an up and coming online pop-up shop featuring vintage sportswear, streetwear, jewelry, & accessories ( http://www.hnybm.com ). Created by  Christine “Ris” Tena, the HoneyBoom Launch Party took place at The Alley Deck, which sits atop The Magic Stick in downtown Detroit. With downtown Detroit as the backdrop, HoneyBoom launched with beats by the great DJ Sicari, $3 margaritas and sangria, and a rooftop fashion presentation – complete with blow up swimming pool!

A good time was had by all in attendance, including yours truly. I always enjoy a good fashion show, hanging with cool peeps, and of course a strong drink or two (or five). Detroit’s finest models were draped in several different looks apiece for the fashion presentation portion of the party. I saw some stuff I liked, including the sunglasses on the model below. I don’ t think a man could pull them off, but I think they’re pretty dope glasses nonetheless.

My focus was solely on getting dope shots, and I think I achieved that goal. All of these shots were taken with my nifty 50mm f/1.4 lens (dats ma baybee!!), and I think my favorite shot of the event is the one at the top of this entry. I know Ris was probably upset about the rain, but the overcast sky provided a great light, and downtown Detroit provided an amazing backdrop. Taking great photos couldn’t have been any easier, but much credit is due to Ris for the great clothes – and whoever did the makeup did a great job too. So congrats to Ris on an unquestionably successful launch, and a shout out to the homie Jess Noel ( @JessNoel on Twitter ) for doing a great job organizing the event. Everyone involved did a great  job. Check out some more pics, and if you want to see the full 86-picture gallery, head over to my Facebook fan page (while you’re there, don’t forget to “like” me as well!). http://www.facebook.com/michaellacombephotography

 

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A Little Downtown Summertime Fun!

Over the weekend, among many other things, I did my part to help an aspiring model get her portfolio together. It’s been a while since I’ve done a portrait session. There have been dozens of events, some self portraits, some sessions with my son, and even a couple weddings, but no portrait sessions. I was a little rusty, but I’ve learned a lot since the last time I did a daytime portrait session. I’ll be delivering the images to the client tomorrow. I spent several hours perfecting them, and I expect her to be fully satisfied. Still, you’re always a little nervous that they may not be satisfied. Let me know what you guys think, and I’ll be back very soon with some wedding images and some big news!

 


Oh, That Child Of Mine!

He is becoming a long and lanky little man child! And those eyes? They become more expressive by the day. He won’t shut up. His vocabulary expands by the hour. He sings all of the songs from the Kidz Bop commercials. This is my son at 3 years old, and I couldn’t possibly love anything or anyone more than I love him.

 


Bravo Bravo!: A Glutton’s Dream

It doesn’t matter what you’re a glutton for – food, alcohol, dancing, music, or all of the above – it was easily acquired and consumed in mass quantities at the 12th annual Bravo Bravo! event at the Detroit Opera House. I’m sure that even a few people who are a glutton for this…

… went home as satisfied customers.

Done in support of the Michigan Opera Theater, this year’s event hosted over 40 restaurants and beverage companies. Yours truly took far more advantage of the beverage companies than the restaurants. 🙂

All of Detroit’s finest came out to support and celebrate, including local celebrities, politicians, entrepreneurs, and the movers and shakers.

Every floor was lined with food from Detroit’s finest restaurants, as well as any type of alcohol that one could possibly imagine – all included in the price of admission.

I was even able to try some new liquors from my favorite companies, Firefly and Absolut. Firefly had a pink lemonade vodka drink there that rocked my world, and Absolut floored me yet again with their Orient Apple vodka. They shook my very soul to the core at an earlier event with their new Wild Tea vodka.

Shamefully, despite there being remarkable foods from Detroit’s finest restaurants, for some reason, I spent most of my night eating McNuggets. So, I can’t really speak on the food. It all LOOKED phenemonal, though. I just didn’t feel like waiting in a large line for a small sampling of food.

The turnout at this year’s event was amazing. The entire Opera House was PACKED, and I ran into several friends of mine, met some great new people, and snagged some great photographs.

Above is one of the event’s organizers, Piper Carter, along with DJ Sicari. I was also able to get some great photos of, and with, some of my friends. Here’s fellow photographer, man-about-town, and the undisputed Captain of F*ckery, Tafari, simultaneously dancing, NOT spilling his drink, and showing off his new up-do. lol

One of my favorite photos of the night was TECHNICALLY a mistake, but I loved the way it turned out. It’s me, and my buddies Nicole and Margarita.

If you missed Bravo Bravo! this year, SHAME ON YOU! Save up your money and schedule the next morning off work next year, because you won’t want to miss this event again. Check out some more photos, and I’ll post a link shortly to a full gallery.

 


Braylon Edwards: The Diamond Life

Oh yes, the champagne was flowing and all the beautiful people and celebrities came out last night for Braylon Edwards’ “The Diamond Life” event at Cauley Ferrari in West Bloomfield. (Sorry for the long first sentence.)

The event was a fundraiser for the Braylon Edwards Foundation (http://www.braylonedwardsfoundation.org/) and is only the beginning of a weekend full of events set to rake in money for a good cause.

There was a veritable smorgasbord of food options, including chicken and sushi. Of course, Braylon wins major points with yours truly for the open bar. : ) I was drinking Ciroc all night!

Celebrities were in the building as well, including of course Braylon himself, who was not difficult to find for multiple photo opportunities. I also got to chop it up with the reigning Miss Michigan, Channing Pierce, who was a very cool and down-to-earth person.

The highlight of the evening for me (aside from the unlimited Ciroc) was seeing Braylon get serenaded. This is the most wholesome pic I could post. lol

The Braylon Edwards Foundation continues it’s great effort to raise money for others tonight in Ann Arbor with his charity basketball game. Head to the site to buy tickets, or you can donate if you can’t make it. Check out some more pics, and I’ll see y’all next time!


“WALK” It Out

Saturday night, The Roostertail in downtown Detroit played host to the WALK Fashion Show. The event showcased the work of more than a dozen designers, and offered a night of food, drinks, and music.

The show was split into 3 portions: the urban portion, the couture portion, and the couture and high-fashion portion. Each portion was preceded by a musical performance by a local artist.

The Roostertail was jam-packed with eager fashion fans, and the show did not disappoint. Many portions of the show received standing ovations from the excited crowd.

The crowded venue did, however, present several obstacles for me as a photographer. For one, there were A LOT of photographers there. Photographers tend to be … how do I put this nicely? Assholes. They behave as they’re the only person there, ignoring any thoughts of common courtesy or decency – assuming those thoughts even occurred to them in the first place. So I had to spend the vast majority of the show “dealing with” less-than-savory individuals.

Secondly, The Roostertail sits off the water and has giant large glass windows for walls. This provided a stunning light for the show, and the sun stayed up fairly long. So, had the show started on time, the light would have been phenomenal. Unfortunately, by the time the show actually started, the sun was long gone, and the venue was VERY poorly lit.

Despite cranking my ISO way up and attempting to shoot at f/1.4, I was STILL not getting an acceptable shutter speed. So, I was forced to do something I have literally NEVER done while shooting an event: Use fill flash. I took the time to get the settings right to a point where the flash was as unobtrusive as possible. I think the results look pretty natural, and most people probably would not know I used flash had I not just said so.

The show had its issues, but all in all, I think the creators of the show would consider it a great success. Check out some more pics after the jump, and I’ll get back with you guys very soon with a “different” sort of post. 🙂

To see the full set of pics, head right on over here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157626381271210/


Imagine That!

Last week, I had the opportunity to cover the International Academy of Design and Technology’s “Imagine Fashion Show” in Royal Oak, MI. The event showcases the work of IADT students and alumni, and a “Best of Show” award is given to the top designer at the end of the show.

IADT packed the Royal Oak Music Theater full of eager fashion fans, and the show was definitely a hit. Hosted by William Malcolm and 2011 Miss Michigan, Channing Pierce, the show featured up-tempo music complemented by killer designs.

My night featured several highlights. For starters, I love getting to sit up front. Unobstructed up-close views are the bee’s knees.This enabled me to vary the angles of my photos as I pleased. Though I was working with a fixed focal length lens, I had the freedom to move around, so it wasn’t much of an issue.

Secondly, as has become the norm at any fashion-related event I attend, I got to see a lot of familiar and friendly faces. I’m very fortunate to have met so many awesome people since I’ve returned to Detroit. SO, follow them on Twitter! @NotoriousBYG @AsiaWillis @FO2LA and @TheSaleRack !

Third, there was alcohol. 🙂

On the photography side of things, shooting the event was fairly simple. While it was dimly lit – causing me to up my ISO quite a bit – I enjoyed not having to use flash. I HATE using flash at these sorts of events. I don’t like to tamper with the light that’s there, deal with recycle times, factor in various degrees of necessary light output, and all other sorts of tomfoolery that goes along with using flash.

All in all, I had a good time at the show and hope to photograph more fashion shows in the VERY near future. All of this will ultimately culminate in my achieving one of my major goals for 2011: Attending New York Fashion Week in September. So in closing, check out some more pics after the jump, and if you want to see the full set of images from the show, head over to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157626171880917/