I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC this past summer. I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course. The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy. Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows. I mean her skin glows! She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light. It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.
One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course. At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age. I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty. She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets. The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her. She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.
Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening. I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.
As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.
Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.
Sarah Charness @sarahpinkviolin jumped off Brooklyn Fashion Week 2018 on a passionate note. It was the perfect introduction to the very sexy, womanly street wear of Hood Goodie. The collection, with a mix of street, dance, professional business woman and beachwear, definitely had more than one voice projected on the runway. The designer’s best moments were those that showcased her talents the best. Her combination of prints and graphics. The one standout piece was the fatigue print long coat with the recurring theme of women’s power on the back “New Girl Order”, also printed on various garments throughout the collection. The best styled outfit goes to the designer herself, wearing her logo sweatshirt layered over an large denim top with lace tied leggings and a Sabrina shoe. Serious gangsta girl on top and sexy vixen on the bottom. Hood Goodie, the perfect conflagration of neon, sweatshirts and fishnets.
Gospel artist and Philly native, Tamika Patton performed at the Stellar Independent Artist and Quartet Showcase and mesmerized the audience. Her rich, full bodied voice moved everyone as she sang her new single “Lord Fill Me Up”. The winner of Radio One’s ‘Best Inspirational Singer in America 2011’ contest, Ms. Patton has traveled the world sharing her God given talent and spreading the word through her ministry. Her talents can be seen on stages as an actress as well, performing as Mahalia Jackson with Loretta Devine and Don B. Welch productions. She’s also shared the stage with gospel greats CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin and many more.
Here is a snippet of video of her performance at the Stellar Awards event.
The 33rd annual Stellar Awards, aired on TV One, Friday March 30th at 9Eastern/8Central and will continue to air through May 6th. The esteemed event showcased the top gospel artists and celebrated those that have dedicated their lives and talent to the genre. The red carpet event, held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, included top artists like Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, JJ Hairston, red carpet host NotKarltonBanks and more. The artists were in regal form with printed vibrant suit jackets and brilliant gowns, exemplifying gospel imagery at its finest! The Stellar Awards red carpet is itself an event not to be missed. Visit http://www.stellarawards.com for more information.
Plus model extraordinaire, Jeannie Ferguson, hosted her respected, Walk This Way workshop in DC this weekend. The always effervescent and lovingly spirited model, is known for her amazing and one of a kind walk. She’s opened the runways of fashion productions nationally. The show cannot start without Ms. Ferguson taking the first step on the catwalk. Her experience as a fit model, print model, her unforgettable walk and her personality are what keep her workshops booked, up and down the Eastern corridor. This weekend her workshop focused on runway walks and how to become a consistently booked model. Her honest feedback will help those that are ready to take the next step to professional modeling. If you are in the North Carolina area, catch Ms. Ferguson at The Power Plus Weekend March 23-25th and at the Stories of Empowerment Brunch in NYC on March 31st. Follow Jeannie Ferguson on Instagram @plusmodjeannief and shop her designs at @shop_bgu
Honoree Tamela Mann is this year’s recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the genre of gospel. Mrs. Mann was formerly with Kirk Franklin and the Family before having a successful career in acting. Mrs. Mann can be seen in many Tyler Perry productions and presently stars in “Mann and Wife” with her husband, David Mann.
This past weekend was a tidal wave of information at the Synergy Global Forum in New York City. All the speakers, from Guy Kawasaki to Richard Branson, had a golden nugget to share on entrepreneurship and life lessons. The weekend started off with ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ author, Guy Kawasaki, an Apple enthusiast and Venture capitalist. He was followed by panel discussions and talks with top influencers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jack Welch, Robin Wright, Steve Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell, Ray Kurzweil, Jimmy Wales, and Kimberly Guilfoyle. In other words, the functioning top ten percent that are running the world in science, tech and influence.
Richard Branson explained how he came to become such a successful and fearless CEO. He blames his mother for it. He said he had to do a lot to impress her. Most impressive fact is the future space giant, he revealed his moon jet is the only one designed with wheels for easier landing. It gives passengers the opportunity to land on earth without using a parachute and into the sea.
The red carpet was resplendent in color, textiles and gold. Many celebrities wore African inspired clothing with red being the favored color. Lupita Nyongo wore Cushnie Et Ochs with jewelry by Douriaen Fletcher. Chadwick Boseman was casual with garments by Fear of God. The striking Danai Gurira wore a red dress with gold embellishments by Lois Kelly. Zinzi Evans wore a black ruffled dress by Temperley London.