April 2012

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DC LIFE April 2012

Cultural Fusion for Social Change

Inner-Peace and a Good Merlot

She Said Photo: Eugene O. Smith, Jr.

Fashion First Impressions

10

Iconic Moments in

Fashion & Art Beauty Foods Found In Your Local Market

Filmfest DC 2012 Screening For Social Change

Ar ticles | News | Hea lth | Lifestyle | Food




Contents 12 Beauty Foods A collection of ten beauty treatments whose ingredients can be found at the local market. 16 Urban Herb Garden Jenna Makowski shares tips to cultivate an urban farmer’s bounty. 20 Career Corner Liam Hickey discusses the finer usage of bullet points in resumes.

23 Le Menu at Sofitel’s Le Patio Daphne Domingo visits Sofitel D.C.’s Le Patio to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival with drinks from their 2012 Cherry Picks menu. 24 Livingsocial-Inner Peace and a Good Merlot Jeanette Zuleger visits the new Livingsocial building and redeems her social life with a Yoga+Wine event. 28 Ten Iconic Moments in Fashion and Art Mutsa Meda gives us a history lesson in iconic style. ON THE COVER | EUGENE O SMITH JR./PHOTOGRAPHY; LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA, WASHINGTON, DC/LOCATION


34 He Said She Said Two of DC’s leading dating experts shares tips on first impression styling. 36 50/50 Maha Chaudhry discusses divorce in America. 39 Filmfest 2012: Screening For Social Change Jenna Makowski sheds insight to the film production process of four filmmakers whose films demand a call to action for social change. 42 Q&A With Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Ryan A. Cole Tishawn Seaton interviews local Howard University graduate about his latest film Bittersweet.

49 International Couture Fashion Show Leslie Morton covers the Howard University DC Alumni Chapter signature scholarship fundraiser. 50 DC Nightlife Review Yalda Moslehian visits Mister Days in Arlington, Virginia for late night dancing.

52 2nd Annual Fashion Law Week DC 2012 Monika Pearson covers the fashion show presented by Howard University Law School. 55 Music Review Q&A with local musician Adrian Krygowski, and DJ Speechless interviews Amiss O.mega. GENERAL INQUIRIES & COMMENTS | COMMENTS@DCLIFEMAGAZINE.COM DCLIFEMAGAZINE.COM | FACEBOOK.COM/DCLIFEMAGAZINE | TWITTER.COM/DCLIFEMAGAZINE


Publisher: Mestizo Media Group, Inc General Manager: Eugene O. Smith, Jr. Managing Editor: Gigi Smith Copy Editor: Rebecca Hession Contributors: Jennifer Jordan Harrell, Jason (The Daygamer), Mutsa Meda, Maha Chaudhry, Jeanette Zuleger, Tishawn Seaton, Monika Pearson, Daphne Domingo, Jem Bahaijoub, DJ Speechless, Jenna Makowski, Leslie Morton, Andy Morton, Yalda Moslehian, Liam Hickey

Advertising Sales DC Life Magazine P.O. Box 272 Dumfries, VA 22026 Phone: 877-275-5569

Subscription Inquiries Please address all requests to Mestizo Media Group, Inc. at subscriptions@mestizomedia.com. Subscriptions are available at $48/year or $70 for two years.

Copyright Š 2012 by DC Life Magazine TA: Mestizo Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved


FROM THE EDITOR W

elcome. I hope you find value in this wonderful April issue, and I hope that we help you discover a side to Washington, DC that’s fresh and exciting. Our eclectic staff of contributors ranges from foodies & fashionistas, to professors & bloggers. The result is a diverse monthly creation of content that shows the district as the cosmopolitan capital that it is destined to become. This month’s issue echoes our campaign for “CulturalFusion for Social Change” with a feature about Filmfest DC. We celebrate art and fashion and even offer some great perspective on shopping and even dating attire. I cannot tell you how much it pleases me to have your readership to witness our publication continuously grow to exceed our expectations.

Thank you.

Eugene Smith / Editor In Chief


Contributors

Yoga + Wine Jeanette Zuleger 24

Iconic Fashion Mutsa Meda 28

“No culture can live if it By Mahatma Ghandi 8 DC Life Magazine


DC & Divorces Maha Chaudhry 36

DC Nights Yalda Moslehian 50

attempts to be exclusive.� DC Life Magazine 9



“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Beauty

10 Beauty

Foods Found at the Local Market By Echelle Demure As scientists race to new technological advances, we are learning that most of our outer beauty is an “Inside Job”. Yes, the untold fortunes spent to sell women beauty products could all be put to a better use--cleaning the air, water and saving rainforests. Humanity has a strange way of looking past the painfully obvious and creating a more complicated life than necessary. I have scoured my resources to bring you a short list of ten beauty aids that can be found at your local market or stored away in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy. Feed Your Face Lately there has been a bunch of talk about the importance of CoQ10 and alpha hydroxy acids that come out of a tube or bottle. The truth is that you can get this nutrition for your skin right out of the wonderful organic foods at the grocery store. Get your coenzyme Q10 and AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) from pineapples! Gently rub the rinds on your face, leave on for 10

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to 15 minutes and rinse. Pineapple juices dissolve and dislodge dead skin cells, brighten the complexion, shrink pores, and even skin tone--not to mention they’re delicious to eat, too! Juice Beets To Detox The Mini Beet Protocol (*A Detox Blog) shows more of the benefits of beet juice. This protocol reportedly removes belly fat, infertility, wrinkles and more. Robert Von Sarbacher, who is credited with the MBP, recommends that you should eat an apple after consuming the red beet juice. The apple helps to absorb toxins and fight nausea, which may be a side-effect of detoxing with red beet juice. One last note on the benefits of beet juice: When juicing beets or even buying beet juice, always insist on organically grown beets. If you want the benefits of beet juice for detoxing and health reasons, it makes no sense to add poisons to your health drink.


According to the one page website of the inventor of the Mini Beet Protocol (aka MBP), Robert Von Sarbarcher, this juicing remedy will cure:

In order to do this protocol, you’ll need:

Fluoride Poisoning Pesticide Poisoning Mold and Fungal Infections Crow’s Feet Infertility Heavy Metal Poisoning Love Handles & Cellulite Hormonal Imbalances Free Radicals Scars Gray Hair Parasites Mycoplasms Nano-Insects

INGREDIENTS (organic, if possible): * Ground Cinnamon * Beets * Asparagus * Apples (any kind) * Carrots

MATERIALS: A juicer

Robert Von Sarbacher’s extensive instructions can be found online at http://robertvon.com/mbp.html (His web page is best viewed in Internet Explorer; Firefox has a character display issue.) This beauty tip is adapted from the Mini Beet Protocol created by Robert Von Sarbacher. After you try this juicing

cure, please send us your feedback at beauty@dclifemagazine.com Tea-Freshing The old method of “tea bags on the eyes” might not be anything new, but Moni Schifler of blog Vegetarian on the Cheap, gives reasons to try it again. The next time you drink a cup of green tea, don’t throw out the used tea bag. Instead, put it in the refrigerator until the next time you need some eye relief. “The tannins in tea act as an astringent to help shrink puffy eye tissue,” Schifler says. The cool temperature will also add to the effect. Cinnamon Lips I found a great tip for the perfect pout:

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Get lips moist with a bit of coconut oil (Or your favorite lip balm will work), and then put a pinch or two of finely ground cinnamon in your palm. Generously buff it across your lips in mini-circular pattern to exfoliate. The spice will act as a gentle “exfoliant” and its added benefit–cinnamon naturally brings more blood to the surface, making lips appear more full, red and plump.

quarter-sized pile to your shampoo (sulfate-free, of course) and the baking soda will help remove any built up residue left behind by styling products (especially if you haven’t fully weaned yourself off the less-than-green brands). The result is an amazing hair day with extra bounce and shine.

Reboot Your Roots

This recipe is courtesy of Noreen Finneran, “Incredible Edible Spa.”

Use the Arm & Hammer for your hair…. yes, your hair. Add a

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Invigorating Coffee Scrub


Ingredients: 3 T Coffee grounds (organic-caffeinated) 1 T Salt (optional) Brew a fresh pot of coffee. Enjoy a cup, if you like. Put grounds (and salt) in a small bowl. Use grounds within 20 minutes of brewing before oxidation occurs. Scrub mixture over entire body while in the shower. Rinse. Tone. Moisturize. Whitening Teeth with Strawberries Procedure: Brushing teeth using mashed strawberries It is also not advisable to brush your teeth with strawberries long-tern. Strawberries get their power to brighten teeth from ascorbic acid, and acids are harmful to teeth. Be sure to follow up the strawberry mash immediately with fluoride toothpaste, and then floss as usual. Pumpkin Pulp Facial Mask This recipe is adapted from one found from Vogue. It is created by facialist Chanel Jenae of Santa Monica. In the article, Jenae says pumpkin is loaded with natural exfoliating acids and antioxidants. She uses pumpkin pulp in her facial peels at her salon “to brighten, calm breakouts, and soften the appearance of fine lines and sun damage.” Ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin pulp 2 eggs 2 teaspoon almond milk (for dry or combo skin) 1 teaspoon honey (for dry skin) 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice (if you have oily skin) Purée the fresh pumpkin pulp into a thick paste. Add the egg (this acts as a binder). If your skin is dry, stir in a splash of omega-rich almond milk and the honey. For oilier complexions, instead stir in apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice. Mix well. Apply the mask, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes, depending on your skin sensitivity. Rinse with cool water and moisturize as usual.

your own by following these instructions) Vitamin E Oil Optional Ingredients: Olive Oil Tea Tree Oil Apple Cider Vinegar Lavender Water Mini Spray Bottle -- you can pick up a cheap one at a local drugstore. Steep the tea in 1/2 cup boiling water. Although most recipes call for just the usual strength tea I like to make mine extra strong for extra antioxidants! Let the tea cool to room temperature. Add the rose water. Rose water helps keep skin moisturized, fresh, and balances the pH. Add a couple drops of Vitamin E Oil. Vitamin E Oil acts as an antioxidant which prevents the formation of free radicals on the skin and also has antiinflammatory properties. In addition it prevents water loss from the skin and helps to retain its natural moisture. Pour into spray bottle. Keep it in the fridge or carry it around in your purse. Spray as needed for a refreshing mist! Enriching Hair Mask This recipe is taken from the Organic Authority website and was written by Andrea Manitsas. A Mask for Overall Hair Greatness Ingredients: 1 ripe avocado 1/2 cup coconut milk 3 teaspoon olive oil Mash your avocado completely. Add the coconut milk and olive oil, stirring rapidly to combine it all. Warm up your mask on the stovetop until it’s slightly warm. Apply the mask from roots to ends, massaging it into your scalp. Leave on for at least thirty minutes or as long as you can, and then wash your hair.

Hydrate with Facial Mist High end spas always have a facial mist to help hydrate skin. This recipe was inspired by the white tea facial mist, and will keep your skin cells healthy and hydrated: What you’ll need: 1 green tea bag or loose tea leaves 1/2 cup boiling water 1/4 cup Rose Water (available at Wholefoods or you can make DC Life Magazine 15


5 Tips for Urban Herb Gardening By Jenna Makowski With its status and demographic as a major urban center, it’s easy to forget that Washington DC is a mere hour’s drive away from arguably some of the most prolific farmland on the east coast. Dozens of northern Virginia farms sell their produce at numerous farmers markets in DC and its suburban counties. And organizations like the Loudoun County Master Gardeners (http://www.loudouncountymastergardeners. org/) create programming and outreach to push the green thumb trend beyond the farm fences and into the cities. At a recent forum, Master Gardener Karen Holick lent some advice to aspiring urban herb gardeners, in a move toward bridging rural lifestyles with urban ones. Here’s a summary of one Master Gardener’s 5 tips for urban dwellers interested in growing their own herbs.

Broaden your understanding of herbs People tend to think of herbs from one dimension only – as food seasoning. But, as Holick argued, herbs are more multi-faceted than that. Beyond the culinary function of taste, herbs pack a punch nutritionally. Parsley, for example, is rich in vitamins K and C, while cilantro is full of antioxidants and has natural cleansing agents. Herbs can also serve aromatic and cosmetic functions. Growing basil brings a distinct fresh aroma to the room, in addition to its pesto potential. Other herbs like lavender are grown primarily for their aromatic or cosmetic purposes in oils and hand lotions.

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If you plan to grow herbs, think about what function you want them to serve first.

What are your tastes? Advice for beginner herb gardeners varies widely when it comes to the easiest plants to grow. Holick’s suggestion is to ditch that advice altogether and hone in on what you like. If you love the taste or smell of a certain herb, grow it. Your motivation to take care of that plant will be that much stronger.

Location, location, location Urban gardening may carry with it the association of kitchen gardens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a kitchen is the best place to grow herbs. It’s essential to have a southern or western facing window to ensure that the plants get optimal sunlight. If that window is not in your kitchen, don’t grow anything there.

Don’t kill with love According to Holick, what’s the #1 cause of plant-related death? No water. What’s the second cause of plant-related death? Too much water. Different herbs have different requirements for optimal health and productivity. Once you decide which herbs you want to grow, do some research on care for that particular plant. Find out what the best balance of soil composition, sunlight, water and nutrients is to help it thrive.

Use it! Herbs, like pets, require regular attention once they begin to grow. Pay attention to their progress and cut them when it’s time. Even if you don’t have an immediate use for the fresh cuttings, dry them or freeze them for future use.

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Career Corner

Résumé Bullets: Factual Bragging By Liam Hickey Résumés. I know that’s what you want. You want to find that magical bullet (pun intended) that will transform your résumé into an attention-getting interview driver. So today, I will talk about the biggest thing people do wrong … or don’t know how to do right: résumé bullets. (NOTE: This applies to private sector résumés. Government applications are very different.) Most of us—myself included—learned how to write résumé bullets from one of two places: job announcements or government applications. This has trained us to write down the tasks we did at each job. WRONG. It’s just like dating. A man wants certain things in a woman, and a woman wants different things in a man. Candidates want to know if they can do the job (a task breakdown). Employers want to know how you produce results. They 20 DC Life Magazine

want to know that you can make their lives easier, and maybe trim the amount of hours they have to work (many project managers work 60+ hours per week). The formula is: Results + Task = Bullet So, what makes for a good “result?” First off, numbers. Numbers impress and provide detail, which lets the readers imagine you doing these things. The more real you seem, the better your odds of receiving those interview calls. What else? Think like managers. What do they want and need? Ask yourself what you have done in each of your positions to: • Reduce workload or streamline processes • Increase customer satisfaction • Generate more business • Improve communication • Otherwise reduce your boss’s stress level or hours per week Also, ask yourself how your contributions

fit into the organization’s big picture. This demonstrates that you understand what really matters to the business. Here are a couple of examples: • Old: Upgraded some database from <old version> to <new version> o New: Helped accelerate launch of new product line three weeks by upgradingdatabase, allowing faster analysis of target market • Old: Posted flyers to advertise new business o New: Created an advertising campaign by designing and posting flyers atchoice locations in target areas This makes up the first part of each bullet. The second part is by <doing what you normally write on your résumé>. I recently worked with a former NFL player on his résumé. He prefers not to mention that experience, so we left it out, but I couldn’t let this bullet go to waste. I figured I’d use it here as an example for you:


Provided team with competitive advantage through field position by making split-second decisions on running plays and kick returns

Remember, though, no matter how good your bullets sound, a typo can be the kiss of death. Have someone else look at your résumé with a fresh pair of eyes … someone with good grammar and an eye for detail (OCD helps).

Damn, I’m good. I hope you found your magic bullet. Now, make it happen. Résumés are about factual bragging, just like parts of this article. To phrase a bullet properly: state what you did (second part) in an impressive way (numbers) in a context that matters (first part). As long as you back up what you did with the details, you’re good. Actually, you’re better than that—you’re impressive … and that’s what gets interviews. Interviewers (both hiring managers and recruiters) invest themselves when hiring someone. The recruiters stake their annual reviews and bonuses on the candidates they recommend. Managers add to their 60-hour workweeks to interview people they hope can do the work that isn’t getting done now. Hiring the wrong person turns into a big deal. It costs in time, energy, and money. And then there is still a decision to make: train the person more or replace the person with another new hire? Replacing a new hire with someone else is an admission of failure, which people don’t like to do. Additional on-the-job training takes time away from people who are already handling extra work (because of the vacancy). You see the dilemma. Employers want “a slam dunk.”

Liam Hickey currently works as a career consultant, writer, and editor. He has several years of IT experience as a Network Systems Consultant and a Data Analyst, as well as experience with a startup. For years, he has helped others find career opportunities, write résumés, and prepare for interviews. From this, he has written a book on job searching—Hold My Hand! … and find me a job— and started his own business for career coaching. Liam grew up in Munich, Germany as a military brat. After graduating high school there, he attended the University of Maryland, College Park and earned a degree in German Studies in 1995. In his spare time, Liam enjoys practicing Tai Chi and Kung Fu, studying human behavior and psychology, reading on a variety of topics, watching History International, and salsa dancing.



Cherry Picks Soirée at Sofitel’s Le Patio By Daphne Domingo

Nothing like springtime in Paris–or is there? Last week, the Sofitel Hotel re-opened Le Patio with its annual Cocktail Soirée, celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival with tasty picks from the 2012 Cherry Picks menu, refreshing sips by house mixologist Vincent Gernignon and hip DJ tunes streaming from the downtown corner hotspot on 15th & H Sts., NW. It’s not too late to celebrate the season and enjoy the lovely sidewalk café with hospitality that only the Sofitel could provide. Notable entrées include: Pickled Cherry Glazed Branzino; Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Jus; and Grilled Scallops Pistachio with dry Cherry Gremolata. Desserts are also well known at the iCi Urban Bistro and Pastry Chef Bitauld compliments entrées with traditional themed desserts of Cherry Clafoutis and Cherry Feuilleté. And to wash them down, colorful cocktails like the Cherry Moon featuring Grey Goose Cherry Noir or the Cherry Mojito with Bacardi Cherry Torch will tickle you pink.

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Health

Not Your Typical Downward Dog Experience By Jeanette Zuleger If you are anything like me, you have probably fallen to victim the sweet siren call of Livingsocial and Groupon more times than you would like to admit. With sweet deals like a three course lunch for twenty bucks and hour-long massages for fifty dollars, it is hard not to do so. The city of Washington, D.C. has definitely never been lacking in fun things to do, but when I heard that the company Livingsocial opened up a brand-new building right in the heart of D.C., I was over the moon. After doing some online digging, I came to find out that the newly opened sight is now home to some of the most unique experiences, such as a Bonbon-making class with Prosecco tastings, plus a globally inspired cooking class with 24 DC Life Magazine

cocktail pairings conducted by Chef Frederik De Pue. However, like any newbie intimidated by a sudden wealth of opportunities and information, I decided to dip my toe in before going for the whole cannonball experience. With that in mind, I decided to sign up and purchase a voucher for a Yoga + Wine “experience.” Granted, I am more of a Pilates type of girl, but when you slap the word “wine” on the end of something, I am game for pretty much anything. Twenty dollars later, I found myself one voucher richer and an appointment on a Tuesday night for some relaxation, inner peace and a good Merlot. The Tuesday of my adventure started out tedious as any usual workday, but the prospect of something new and exciting really helped my day of endless meetings fly by quickly. As I pulled up to the building located on 918 F Street, I was immediately


Photo: David Garber Photo: David Garber

impressed, not just by the adorable and trendy ambiance that the building exuded, but by its surroundings as well. The fact that the building is situated in the middle of a great shopping area right across from stores like Zara and Macy’s, makes the Livingsocial building not only a great place for something fun to do, but also a prime location to make a full pampering day for yourself. Immediately upon entering the newly remodeled state-of-theart building, I was greeted by an adorable girl at the front desk bedecked in her Livingsocial gear sitting in front of an enormous multi-screened panel that flashed bright and colorful images at me. After checking me in, I was then lead into a gorgeous, and of course, tranquil studio already filled with my Yoga classmates; soon I was introduced to our instructor who had us relaxed and feeling at peace in no time. It was bliss: the kind of bliss you feel as stress almost physically rolls off you while your muscles lengthen and stretch. This Yoga class however, did not end with the typical “Namaste.” Instead, my classmates and I, Yoga pants and all, were lead into another large room bathed in darkness and bright blue lights that had a very modern and

industrial feel. The room was lined with large velvet couches, plush black drapes, and beautiful wallpaper in combination with exposed brick. We were immediately handed large glasses of wine paired with healthy hor d’oeuvres of veggies and hummus, which I happily munched on while sipping my crisp Chardonnay. While we sat and relaxed, my classmates and I chatted and listened to lovely guitar music played live just for our little group. –Sigh-… If only all workdays could end on such a note of relaxation and happiness. Luckily for all of us here in D.C., such experiences do not have to be few and far between. Aside from the Yoga and Wine experience, the Livingsocial building located on 918 F Street is constantly posting new and fun experiences, such as cooking classes with well-known local chiefs and Mixology classes, where you can learn to make a mean martini that will impress even those who do not drink vodka or gin. All of these adventures can be found on the website, https://reservations.livingsocial.com/ . My next exciting activity, you may ask? Cooking for sure! I could use all the help I can get!

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Fashion

10 Iconic Moments in Fashion & Art “Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.” --Francis Bacon By Mutsa Meda Coco Chanel once stated, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street… fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Fashion is based off a concept, or inspired by something previously created, so the line between fashion and art is often blurred. Artwork, artifacts, politics, culture, filmmakers, photographers, and stars have had incredible amounts of influence over what we wear for centuries. Let us review some of the most iconic moments for fashion and art. What: Ancient Greece, Ancient Egyptian Empire, Ancient Roman Empire Who: Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Mythological Goddesses When: 27 BC - 1435 Why They’re Awesome: We have ancient history to thank for the Greco-Roman trends that are still alive and well today, such as draped one shoulder garments, gladiator sandals, and Egyptian inspired trends like thick eyeliner, sharp bangs and ornate jewelry including headbands and arm cuffs. Since there are no photographs to go by, historians study ancient artifacts, sculptures, hieroglyphics and paintings to get a glimpse of the way human beings lived in ancient times. 28 DC Life Magazine


What: The Gibson Girl Who: Charles Gibson When: 1901 - 1919 Why It’s Awesome: The pouter pigeon, an S-bend shape, was the typical silhouette for the Edwardian era, also known as La Belle Époque. Art Nouveau (linear designs and flowing curves) held a particularly strong influence during this period, and graphic artist Charles Gibson, incorporated all these things and created the “Gibson Girl,” who became an American icon. Gibson designed this fictional character to be uniquely American and empowering for women. Her chignon hairstyle and flowing gored skirts became the standard look for women during this time.

What: Old Hollywood Glamour Who: Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, Veronica Lake, Sophia Loren etc. When: 1930s – 1950s. Why It’s Awesome: Marilyn Monroe will always be regarded for pioneering the “bombshell” look. She pulled off body-hugging dresses, blonde curls and red lips with ease, giving women everywhere the confidence to flaunt their curves. Veronica Lake was known for popularizing the “peek-a-boo” hairstyle which was fairly long, covering one side of the face and cascading down in soft waves. Katharine Hepburn made wearing pants look “cool” for women. Sophia Loren epitomized Italian style and had an on-screen presence that socialites everywhere tried to emulate. Old Hollywood is drawn upon for inspiration to this day in everything from fashion collections, to hairstyles, and to wedding and prom themes.

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What: The Mod Look Who: Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol When: 1960s Why It’s Awesome: The innovation and popularity of pop art made Andy Warhol one of the most iconic artists in history. Not only did socialite Edie Sedgwick become Warhol’s muse, she was also the poster child for the urban “Mod” look. Mod styles often featured stripes, geometric shapes and solid colors, and since the Mod look was initially influenced by hippies, the look became the predecessor for bohemian chic. In the beauty department, Sedgwick’s cropped hairstyle and heavy eye makeup gave a great alternative to the Alice-band look that was dominant during the 60s.

What: Breakfast at Tiffany’s Who: Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy When: 1961 Why It’s Awesome: Costume jewelry first made an impact in the 1920s, and it made its comeback in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The jewelry usually featured multiple strands of beads, rhinestones or pearls, all of which were made popular by Audrey Hepburn, who wore the accessories in the iconic opening scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. The iconic dress Hepburn wore was designed by Givenchy (Hepburn was his muse), and from that moment, the little black dress became a must-have item for every woman.

What: The Power of Music Who: Madonna When: 1982 - Present Why She’s Awesome: Madonna is one of those musicians who are timeless. Since her debut in the 1980s, she has reinvented herself time and time again with great levels of creativity, and has even been a muse for the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier. She has inspired and kept a myriad of looks trendy, including the “club-kid” look, the “bombshell” look, the “bad-girl look,” and even classy looks influenced by Eva Peron. The attitude of not caring what anyone thinks, and pushing fashion envelopes should really be attributed to her (we’re looking at you Lady Gaga!).

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What: The Last Emperor Who: Valentino Garavani When: 2009 Why It’s Awesome: The term “emperor” often conjures up images of men that are viewed as powerful, dominant figures in society that are entitled to the respect of the people. By watching the documentary about the final designing days of Valentino, an old-school head couturier of a successful global fashion brand, viewers get a sense of the struggles one faces when your passion and vision must incorporate other parties and the changes of the times. As a viewer, you cannot help but respect Mr. Garavani. For 96 minutes, the documentary allows viewers to get insight into the stress of weighty business decisions, luxury Italian living, and the impressive career of the creator of the infamous “Valentino Red.”

What: Black Swan Mania Who: Natalie Portman, Amy Westcott, Spring 2011 Designers When: 2010 Why It’s Awesome: Amy Westcott, costume designer for the 2010 film Black Swan, probably did not think that her designs would spark a global interest in ballet inspired looks. To come up with the ethereal and dark looks for the film, Westcott worked with fashion heavyweight Rodarte. This resulted in the many multilayered tutus, feathered, and lightweight garments appearing all over Spring 2011 runways, once again emphasizing the power of the influence of film in fashion.

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What: Savage Beauty Who: Alexander McQueen When: 2011 Why It’s Awesome: McQueen is viewed as a brilliant creative mind that was taken far too soon. He stood out from many contemporary f a s h i o n designers because his designs were as unique and innovative as his shows were fantastical. To honor the artist, an exhibition was held in New York in 2011, showcasing his haute couture and accessories arranged in six different galleries heavy with symbolism, especially classical and romantic motifs.

What: Colorful Prints Who: Global tribes, Artists When: Throughout History Why They’re Awesome: Let’s face it: fashion would be boring if all that was available were solid colored garments. Luckily, we do not have to worry about that thanks to the artists and patternmakers all over the globe whose designs are printed onto textiles for everything from clothing to furnishings. We have the option of choosing from various African prints, watercolor patterns, paisley prints, Tartan prints, plaid prints, Aztec prints, Indian prints etc., which certainly makes shopping a little more interesting.

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Dating & Relationships

He-Said She-Said Does Styling Matter When It Comes To First Impressions? Jason is a Dating Coach and body language expert—his website is Daygamer.net. Every month, Jason will offer up his advice, and invite one of his female colleagues. Our guest writer is Erika Ettin Founder of A Little Nudge and this month’s topic might break the bank before that first date takes place.

He Said Style is more than just how you dress--it also includes how you carry yourself. So, let’s talk about some good ways to make a good first impression (other than being on time). When people are interested in each other, they tend to ask questions, be responsive and hopefully share of themselves. Some other good signs : good eye contact, touching occasionally, laughing at each other’s jokes, putting themselves in your proximity, and in the case of women-play with their hair. Yes, I am simplifying things a bit--I could write several articles about body language and flirting (and may yet).

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If you don’t have it, adopt comfortable (and open) body language (including good posture). This is something you work on over time. As an example, if you come off as nervous because you are fidgety and speak quickly, then you can work on calming your hands and speaking more slowly. If you come off as closed because you block yourself with crossed arms, scarves, turtlenecks, a drink, etc., then you can work on opening yourself up-your throat, chest, and groin should not be blocked by anything. Being seen as unapproachable is a problem that many women have, especially in cities like DC and New York City. Always dress well, even if you are just going to 7-11 for two minutes. You never know where you will meet someone, and clothes that don’t fit (or flatter) you or are worn out are never appropriate. Gym clothes are appropriate when you are exercising. Women for some reason tend to have negative impressions of pleated Dockers and Hawaiian shirts on men (well, probably on anyone). I am fine with jeans as long as they are nice jeans and are not too fatigued; I like Express jeans (especially since they text coupons so are a good value), but if you have the funds for higher end jeans like Joe’s ($160 a pair), that works as well. Women notice details, including a nice belt, pair of shoes,

etc. Yes, women DO look at your shoes (including the backs of the shoes for shine), so nice (and shined) shoes help. Men don’t usually look at women’s shoes, but for women, clothes or shoes that make you feel confident or sexy can help. If you dress average, then you seem average. Is that the impression you want to make? If you need it, get help! Most people have stylish friends they can ask about style advice, but various stylish clothes stores have knowledgeable employees—if they are pushing your limits a bit, that is alright. A good style website for men is Kino Wear, and they guy who runs it performs style consultations for men (in New York City). You can also find a variety of good websites that teach you how to match colors (often with the aid of a color wheel). Yes, we all know, black shoes and shown belts do not match, unless you have one of Jon Wye’s belts that contains both brown and Black. If you like pendants, try Creative Art & Soul. -Jason, Dating Coach www.daygamer.net Make sure to look for our next DC Life dating column. Send questions and comments regarding this column to dating.column@gmail.com. Some of the emails we receive will be answered in


future columns or electronically.

She Said “Go home and get dressed for a date before you go out or wear something that allows you to shift gears after work?” Ah, the age-old question of what to wear on the first date… Now, I’m not saying we should all be fashion mavens (I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but my store of choice is Wet Seal, and as long as it still fits, I’ll be shopping there ‘til I’m 80. (If you don’t know, it’s a store for teenagers.) For the first date, it’s important to put yourself together nicely. Some first dates are right after work (a happy hour drink), so that’s easy--just come in your work clothes. It can’t hurt to take some extra time getting dressed that morning, though, to make sure you’re wearing work clothes that are appropriate for getting a drink afterwards. But some outfits aren’t right after work. I always have to laugh because on my first date with Jeremy, I wore a very heavy sweater dress because I had actually made plans afterwards to go to this après-ski party in case he was a dud. (Luckily he wasn’t, and I ditched the party.) But that wasn’t a good first date outfit, and we still joke about it because it was not representative of my clothes and didn’t show off my figure in the least. (I recently donated it, actually.) For women, if you’re coming from work, a nice business casual

outfit works well. Try not to look too “business” and no fun. A nice pair of pants or a skirt, and a top that shows off your shape (but isn’t too revealing) works well. Save the low-cut, curvehugging stuff for going dancing Saturday night. When it’s cold, try not to wear anything like a huge turtleneck (or the dress I wore) because it makes you look very closed off from the guy’s point of view (like he’d need a lock and key just to get to your neck), and in the winter a good pair of tall boots is very sexy. For men, all I can say is that the iron is your friend. I can’t think of anything worse than a guy showing up in clothes that are completely wrinkled. Heck, I’m not even saying you need to iron anything yourself. I often bring my shirts to get dry-cleaned because I really just want them pressed. Don’t tell! Other than that, just go with your style. Check your teeth; make sure there are no stains on your shirt, and you’re good to go. One final note: If you go on a date with someone you consider a bad dresser, remember that while her personality may not change, her fashion styling can so don’t let it be a deal breaker. Although Jeremy and I like most of each other’s clothes, there’s a certain blue striped sweater that I subtly (or maybe not so subtly) mentioned that wasn’t my favorite. Oddly enough, I haven’t seen it since. So, go get dressed and enjoy your date! Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she offers services from online dating profile-writing to e-mailing potential matches to planning dates. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.

DC Life Magazine 35


Relationships

50/50 Does It Embody the “All American Dream”? By Maha Chaudhry America is known to be great for so many things. We strive for equality, and we’re the country that offers opportunity for which so many would immigrate. Some would consider us spoiled. And perhaps we are in ways that we don’t even realize. Sometimes we want, and then we want some more. It’s hard to not get sucked into the “All-American dream.” After all, it was instilled in us from a young age that if we work hard enough, we can have all the things we ever wanted. But this article isn’t about America or the benefits of living here. It’s about marriage and the fact that the term divorce is associated greatly when speaking of this country now. I wonder at times, have our western views about “having it all” and “making it big” in the land of opportunity distorted our traditional views about marriage? Are we being presented with too many false ideas and fantasized expectations about the perfect marriage and spouse? Maybe some of us just aren’t willing to 36 DC Life Magazine

fight to make a marriage work anymore because life is hard enough. Whatever the reasons may be, the fact remains that the divorce rate in America is at its all-time highest. The number 50 represents the percentage of marriages that will make it, and the ones that will eventually come to an end. That’s one out of every two couples. According to Divorcerate.org, 50% of marriages today end in divorce, and at the rate we’re going, this number could increase. The same website also indicates that most divorces occur in the younger age groups (Teen marriages? Early 20s? Late 20s?). But what I found to be most fascinating is how you are more prone to getting divorced for a second time if you have already been divorced once. According to the Enrichment Journal, the divorce rate for first marriage is 41%. The divorce rate for the second marriage is 60%, and the divorce rate for the third marriage is 73%. Either we’re becoming pickier over time or something is off here.

But I am sure divorce lawyers aren’t complaining. They are the ones who aid in working sensitively on the need of their clients during the difficult time. Now you can even conveniently find the top 50 in your area. There was an article on The Washingtonian for the top 52 divorce lawyers in Washington D.C., so perhaps finding a lawyer during the process may be the least difficult part of it. Now, I am no opponent or advocate for divorce, just somebody looking in through hindsight. I understand that marriage is another world and that issues can arise at any time in a relationship depending on different circumstances. I also recognize that there are some very justifiable reasons for getting a divorce. But my mindset is this: divorce should never be the easy way out. It should be the last resort unless, of course, the trust is gone or you’re faced with unbearable conditions. According to psychotherapist, Dr. Linnda Durre, certain things should


be considered before making the ultimate decision to get a divorce. She says that a couple should first understand that having fantasized expectations can be a sure guarantee for failure. They must realize that every relationship has its slumps and hard patches. The second thing to consider is not expecting your significant other to meet every single need, because that is unrealistic. The third is to be independent. A couple should give each other space and make time for their own personal life and their own friends.

I believe it’s important for a couple to ask each other all kinds of questions before getting married and even once they are already. You should know your significant other’s lifestyle before you have to adjust to it and get to know who they are close to, family included. Be realistic and understanding. Don’t act impulsively. Nevertheless, if your instinct tells you something is off, believe it. Also, if you have no control over the situation, do what is best for you and your family, even if that means getting a divorce.

“A lot of people are avoiders and don’t want to take responsibility for their problems or communicate with each other about what’s not working. Counseling is important. You must find a counselor that you both feel comfortable with and work hard on your issues. If there is violence, or if your health and well being are being harmed, that’s when divorce should be an option,” advises Dr. Durre.

Fortunately for us, America is the land of the free, which means we have the freedom to do as we wish and live the way to which we choose. However, there should be a balance. The value of power should never outweigh the value of marriage, love, and commitment. It is important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage, just like there is no such thing as a perfect life without a little struggle.

There are ways to prevent getting a divorce even before you commit, like not rushing into marriage, openly communicating with your partner, and being honest about your feelings.

DC Life Magazine 37



Screening for Social Change Filmfest DC Showcases International Call to Action

“Let’s start with a round of introductions.” The moderator passed a microphone to the first speaker on a panel facing a crowded back room at Busboys and Poets. All chairs faced the makeshift stage, arranged auditorium style. Waitresses carefully balanced coffee pots and plates of scrambled eggs while navigating the uneven rows occasionally broken by breakfast tables. The Saturday morning salon kicked off the 26th annual Washington D.C. International Film Festival, an event showcasing over 80 films by both established and emerging directors and highlighting voices from around the world. Four filmmakers were chosen to speak at the salon to offer their perspectives on the creative processes of film production.

DC Life Magazine 39


On The Cover: Filmfest 2012 As the microphone made its way down the panel, the speakers’ introductions formed a core representation of the festival’s wide geographic reach and diverse range of topics. Writer and director Storm Saulter, whose first feature-length film “Better Mus’ Come” was shown in the festival’s themed series “Caribbean Journeys”, was born and raised in Jamaica. The film, a love story set within a solidly researched historical context, has already been identified by Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner as “the new benchmark for Jamaican films”. On the other side of the world, Palestinian-born Emad Burnat spent over 7 years collecting the footage on which his documentary “5 Broken Cameras” is based. His village’s resistance to Israeli occupation coincided with the birth of his

son, which in turn coincided with the purchase of his first video camera. That camera, which was intended to document the early years of his son’s life, ended up capturing daily life in a Palestinian village caught in the throes of violent struggle and resistance. Canadian-born Sheldon Larry’s movie musical “Leave It On The Floor” takes place on the dead-of-night streets of Los Angeles. Chronicling the existence of dance houses that serve as substitute families for kids kicked out of their homes for being “different” – homosexual, bi-sexual and transgender – the film uses a musical theater approach to bring hard-to-face issues of prejudice and intolerance to light. Acclaimed producer Ravida Din holds an executive position on the National Film Board of Canada. Her timely film “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” explores the hypocritical gaps between feelgood messages sounded by corporate philanthropic cancer organizations and the daily reality of cancer patients. Shaped by experiences in activist organizations, her background formed the critical perspective needed to ask poignant questions that hold corporate charities accountable. Despite the diverse range of film topics represented on 40 DC Life Magazine

the panel, two distinct themes unfolded as the discussion progressed, unifying the four creative minds together. Each filmmaker has, as his or her end goal, using film as a call to action. From raising awareness to stimulating conversation or protest, the four artists see film as a medium through which to convey a message. But what unified Saulter, Burnat, Din and Larry even further was the intensity of their messages, which was rooted in their personal – even intimate – attachments to the respective subjects of their films. Saulter’s deep interest in 20th-century Jamaican history was tied to his childhood experiences. Like many kids of the

post-Cold War generation, Saulter grew up in a neighborhood divided by gangs and marred by violence. He noted a process of gradual realization that the beginnings of Jamaica’s social challenges lay in a geopolitical struggle far beyond the reach of the tiny island’s shores – a topic never broached in his high school history classes. The Cold War literally played itself out on the streets of Jamaica like a chess game, with neighborhood groups-turnedgangs through gun sales and provoked conflict. But when the war ended and the world powers left the arena, they also left behind a changed Jamaican society. “Jamaicans aren’t inherently bad,” Saulter stated, trying to get at the core message of his film. The drama is meant to show the gang violence that has become such an underlying presence in Jamaican society– and the image of which is projected to the rest of the world as “Jamaican” – in its true historical context. To educate the post-colonial generation about the roots of their present day society and daily reality. While Saulter’s “Better Mus’ Come” attempts to understand violence and conflict by bridging the present to the past, Burnat tries to illuminate similar understanding by shining Continued on page 54


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Bittersweet

By Tishawn Seaton Entertainment Publicist, Tishawn Seaton of Celestial Caring Enterprises, LLC played phone tag for many days until finally catching up with Emmy Award Winning Director and Producer, Ryan A. Cole, during mid-afternoon on a very beautiful sunny day. Ryan A. Cole is an inspiring filmmaker that has touched the lives of many college students by motivating them to strive towards their dreams of becoming a Film Director and Producer. I was very excited to have the opportunity to interview a young African-American man that has attained major accomplishments in the film industry in such a short span of time. Mr. Cole discusses in depth his new upcoming film Bittersweet. The trailer of Bittersweet literally kept me at the edge of my seat; with my mouth wide open; thinking to myself, OMG! His films always show real life experiences and this film definitely hits close to home for many! He also is thrilled in discussing his next film to come.



What led you to create the film, Bittersweet? All of my films are based off of real life experiences. The main key message I wanted everyone to get out of this film is, “betrayal.” I never got cheated on by my girlfriend or fiancée to be, but I just know how betrayal weighs on a person that is affected [by it]. I felt as though there hasn’t been a movie about a male getting broke[n] up with and still maintaining [his] masculinity. A man goes through stuff just like women go through stuff.

Why did you choose to name your film, Bittersweet? Bittersweet has a double meaning. It is just mainly about love and the things that are bitter about love, but it’s also sweet. The main character goes through the sweet part of love in the beginning of the movie. He’s goes ring shopping at the store. He just loves everything. [He loves] the essence of love. He finally finds the woman of his dreams. Then he goes home and his girlfriend cheats on him. It’s a downhill spiral and that’s the bitter part of love. He thinks there is nothing good about love and [wonders] why do men even fall in love. Then he comes to find out 44 DC Life Magazine

that he is actually redeemed by an older lady [with whom] he falls in love at the end. So he realizes that love is not as bitter as he thought. The whole movie goes back and forth: bitter, sweet, bitter, sweet… I thought that would be an appropriate title. What makes this film differ from your previous films? A lot of people that have seen Bittersweet have said that this movie is really mature compared to what they expected from me. My last movie was called C.R.E.A.M. I felt like it showed

more of a representation of my age, not immaturity, but a lack of experience. My content was equivalent to that. This film is more mature and it shows my growth. What was difficult during the making of Bittersweet? It’s a lot of different things, but the most difficult thing was making the film; finding the crew (especially as an independent filmmaker when your budget is not that big) and getting the whole crew involved. Finding funding was difficult because everything costs [money]: food, celebrity, people, crew, cameraman, etc. I don’t have any

investors, so that was difficult. Also, making the film: being on the set, giving guidance and direction to the whole crew and to the actors. All of us are maintaining the vision of the film because it still has to come out good. Then you have to make sure the sound is good and all of the compositions of the camera angles are fine. Also, I edited the whole movie; therefore, I would have to bring in the post production, which was real[ly] late nights and countless hours. Your films are based off of real life situations that hit home for many. Did any moments occur when a character had a hard time acting out a part? It takes awhile for a character to get into character, especially the lead. However, that is difficult for any actor before you fully know all the layers of a character. It takes a while for you to get into the body of the person you are trying to portray when you are recreating those layers of the fictional characters to make it look real. We were constantly rehearsing and doing different takes to see which person was the best representation for the character. It wasn’t really difficult once we did all the practice, but I feel like that is normal for any film. I don’t think anyone, even Denzel [Washington], can just hop into the character. It takes awhile, but once you get into the character, it is pretty much smooth sailing from there. What did you learn out of directing and producing Bittersweet? I think [in] every project that I am a part of, I always get something vital from each project. This one was mainly marketing. I have learned more that it is not necessarily about the film if no one is…watch[ing] the film. So now, it is more strategic. I’ll write the script, but I would have to get the right people to play the roles and the right location so it looks good. I am more of having a bird’s eye view of the overall process instead of just [the] tunnel vision of “I


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just want to direct and make a good film.” I would say that I have learned mainly marketing and getting the product seen.

blessed enough to get to a place where I can actually make something that looks authentic. I have been making movies for ten years now and I am finally starting to get it. Do you have a proposed date when Bittersweet will be released to the public? Yes, that is the only hard thing. Even though the movie is done, there can be no public viewings or showings prior to the premier at the film festival on June 30, 2012 and I will find out on May 26th if I am selected. The official date will be in the summer of 2012. How has your career changed since receiving the Emmy Award for Best Student Production?

What was one of your most memorable moments when filming Bittersweet? I would have to say that it was the last set when we shot the Big Tigger scene, only because I have never shot a movie with a celebrity who is seen on TV, that everyone knows on camera, and then having him actually on my set. That was the most memorable because it is just the beginning of a long career for me, and it showed me that this is what I am supposed to do. I’m only 23 years old; lack of experience is my weakness because people think that I am too young to be doing this. [The scene] was very professional. He was hilarious. He was very humble [with which to work]. That was definitely memorable! We shot it in two hours [on] the same night as the festival. It was a long time coming.

I think it is that people [respect] me more. Instead of me having to prove myself, I was already led into the door and then it’s like, “Let me see what you have,” instead of knocking on the door, ringing the door bell, and [when] they finally open it… you still have to prove yourself. It’s like the door is open, but then I still have to prove myself, however I don’t have to constantly trying to show that I’m worth proving. That happened when I was still in college. My life wasn’t really changing. It was more my confidence that changed. I feel that the National Academy of Television, Arts, and Sciences, if they can appreciate my work, I feel like I should definitely better appreciate my work and everyone else should appreciate my work too. It’s a confidence booster. Like I said, I was still in college, so it’s not like I got to go to Hollywood or Steven Spielberg was calling my number and all that; it just gave me the reassurance that I was doing something right. I didn’t think Bittersweet was actually going to be this big, but then it goes to show you that as long as you are constantly putting out products and working, you never know what blessings will be put on your lap. I thought that this was going to be a something little that I was going to do on my spare time, but then the views started getting up. Then different people got attached and the interest just grew. What vision do you have for your next film?

What feedback have you received since the March 22nd release of Bittersweet? Bittersweet actually didn’t come out just [then], we had to push it back. However, those that have seen the trailer loved it! I have had great responses from the trailer. The best responses I have ever received from anything thus far are that everyone is saying that it was very professionally done. People really don’t know all the effort it really takes and how much work and blood, sweat, and tears I put in just for [those] comments. For someone to say that it looks just like a real movie….That’s a blessing! Every filmmaker shoots for their film to look real, but it is hard to actually attain that. It just doesn’t turn out right when you watch it. I feel like I am

My next film actually came with a title yesterday called, T.S.O.P. (That’s the Sound of Philadelphia). It’s basically a film spotlighting the 1970’s Philadelphia Soul Movement with Teddy Pendergrass, Patty LaBelle, The Introducers, The Spinners, just everybody. Everybody knows about Motown Detroit, but Philadelphia during that time opened up their own record label just as a rival to Motown so that everyone that couldn’t cut it in mainstream Motown went to Philadelphia, and had their own sound called the “Philly Sound.” It is going to be huge. What is the proposed release date for your next film, T.S.O.P.?


in history. They say he is the most powerful African American man in Hollywood and he said that he can green light a movie anytime he wants. So I say that it isn’t really about the film. Many people ask me how [I can] watch a man who dresses up like a woman. It’s about the movie, it is about the message behind the movie. What has been your best experience thus far as an Emmy Award Winning Film Director & Producer?

I haven’t start writing it just yet. I am thinking that it would be released in the summer of 2013. What mistakes do you intend not to make with your next film? I would like to have a full team. I plan to really map out my next film, which is a 1970’s piece, with all my eggs in order with a professional team. Everyone on the team will have their different responsibilities and all will get paid. Everything will have to run like a well oil[ed] machine on the next project. There [will not] be any loose ends. I feel like definitely planning and definitely my team [will be my priorities]. I had a crew about 5, but I would like to have a crew of probably 25. That is what I learned and would change [next time]. People do not understand how [stressful] it is, even if you are organized. People do not understand that directing is an automatic headache just trying to get it right, so if you put any added stress, you would just go crazy. I just will make sure that it is stress free as possible. In the film industry, what does success mean to you? My goal is to be the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Direction, which has never happened before. I feel like success to me is when I can start green lighting films, because there’s no African American in Hollywood that has the power to green light a film. So success to me is not valued by money, but more so power. When I can finally have not only me, but younger people that come behind me, really motivated and say, “I don’t want to be a actor, but I want to be a director,” that is where the true power is. Once you have that, that is definitely a success. The money will come and go, but power will be there forever. People always ask me if I want to be like Spike Lee or Tyler Perry. My favorite movie of all times is Malcolm X. I would have to say [though], Tyler Perry just like the point that you just made. It’s bigger than just making films; I would rather have a movement. Tyler Perry has his own studio, which an African American man has never owned 48 DC Life Magazine

I speak to Howard University once a year to give them confidence and show them what I am doing, because I was there just two years ago. I just spoke to them last week and one of the students [was] like, “I was feeling depressed, but after meeting you and seeing your film, that is what I want to do. I want to do film.” Another student was like, “I have always wanted to do film, but I got so depressed because it is hard…to make a film, but after seeing someone like you, I want to get it now.” That was the only purpose I came to the class, to give that reassurance that they are as smart as everybody else, just because you don’t have an Emmy like me… When I was in Howard, I didn’t get an Emmy until I was on my way out. So you guys could be better than me. You guys can be great. You guys don’t have to be stuck in this class making documentaries. I feel like at the end of the day everybody is just trying to leave their message behind, because no one is here forever. I am just real conscious of my purpose in life and one day I am going to pass away, and if I could just have all these people say, “Ryan Cole, he really changed film for us. He really made us feel like we can be Spielberg, we don’t have to be Spike Lee.” Just for that student to say, “I’m re-motivated” or just motivated period. I feel that this is one of the greatest moments. Change the course. When they first got into the class, they didn’t know I was speaking to them. Then when they walked out saying, “Yeah, let’s get this movie made” or “Okay, let’s start writing.” That spark would not have even been there. I told my teacher a lot of times [when] you go to college, you come in with a little candle with a flicker of a flame, but a lot of professors just [put] that flame out quickly. I feel like I would like to ignite that flame into a forest fire. You can still learn this curriculum, but never lose what you already had before, because that is what is going to give you your own voice, your style. They tried to do that to me about what they wanted to teach me, but I was like, “No, I want to add on to what I already have and then be shown how to do it the right way.”


Photo Credit: Andy Morton

Photo Credit: Andy Morton

Local Events

Howard University Presents: International Couture Fashion Show By Leslie Morton

forward,” Green, said.

The sights and sounds of Africa came alive with beautiful music at Howard University, in a settling of spotlights and giant palm trees, as guests entered the Blackburn Center Ballroom adorned in authentic elegant fabric gowns topped with decorative geles, for the Howard University DC Alumni Chapter signature scholarship fundraiser.

Honorees included the Founder’s Library, founded in 1939, which has provided exceptional service to Howard University for over 70 years. Rebecca Wilson, a senior Theatre Arts major at Howard University, was this year’s scholarship recipient. Also honored was C. Bryan Williams, Howard University graduate and Founder and Executive Director of Step Afrika!, who was recognized for his innovation of the arts and his exceptional and dedicated service to the global community.

‘Perpetuating Our Global Commitment through Design and Dance’, held Sunday, March 25, on the HU campus, was emceed by WHUR-96.3 News Anchor Molette Green, who called the fundraising effort “An event with a purpose that provides college scholarships to deserving students.” “Over 400 Howard University students spent their Spring Break volunteering their time and talents to service projects in this country as well as in Haiti. Now, everyone knows how important a break is for college students, but these amazing individuals are paying it

Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by Charles Wood Jazz Ensemble and Africa Royale, a fashion segment. Models took to the runway for this year’s event featuring several international designers who showcased their new spring lines. The grand finale featured Step Afrika!- the internationally acclaimed dance company based in Washington, D.C.

DC Life Magazine 49


Arlington’s Mister Hotties By Yalda Moslehian Arlington’s Mister Hotties are hanging out at Mister Days! I will guide you through my personal experiences, and share details on places around the D.C. Metropolitan area and the demographics of the crowd: whether there are more creepers than good lookers or grenades vs. beauties. That way you know beforehand where you can go out for a ladies night to de-stress from your hectic work/school week, or where you and the fellas should go to for affordable drinks so you can buy something for a beauty you just spotted. Well, you wouldn’t want to spend too much money anyway since she might not be so cute the next morning when you’ve sobered up. Just saying! I wish that someone could write reviews targeting young adults regarding DMV’s hot spots. It is especially harder for someone who recently moved into the area or turned 21 to know which places are poppin’ or a caution of a waste because 50 DC Life Magazine

“time is money.” I am best to write this topic, since I am a social butterfly and have been going out to D.C. since the age of 17 thanks to my fake I.D. (we don’t need to tell my parents about that). I am single, 22 years old, and soon about to graduate from George Mason University this May. I go out frequently to D.C. and Northern VA places with friends to have a good time, dance the night away, and meet new people. Mister Days: As I walked into Mister Days for the first time on a Friday night, my jaw dropped. It was like walking into a beautiful candy shop of men, and my ears were heightened with good music, and the taste of affordable drinks… This place just couldn’t get better, or could it? I can see why many of these cuties go to Mister Days; for one, there is NO cover. Secondly, the environment is laid back and relaxed. There are many televisions playing sports and games for those to watch. Drinks are affordable, and bartenders are

generous with liquor. The dance floor is great for those who want to enjoy dancing the night away, and mingle with others. I think the highlight of my night was when the DJ played the , Fresh Prince of Bel-Air show’s theme song while the crowd came together and sung in unison. Age Demographic: Young Adults. Post grad/Full time working. Average age range 22-29 yrs. Creeper Status Level: Low (I did not run into any creepers neither did my girl/guy friends) Phew! As my friend Anna said, “So many boys in here, where do I begin?” Great place to go if you’re single and ready to mingle, or if you are hanging out with friends and wanting a good time while not spending so much money. Friendly crowd, good music, decent size dance floor, and affordable drinks! Will I go back? Duhh! Mister Days gets my stamp of approval!



2nd Annual Fashion Law Week™ DC 2012–“Intelligent Design: Protecting IP in the Fashion Industry”


By Monika Pearson

7.) DIVA DELICIOUS (handbags)

The evening began with an exhibit of Momolu’s very regalesque collections showcased to the right of the entrance door. I was very impressed with the models that were staged as live mannequins. I know I wouldn’t have been able to sit still that long while camera lights flashed, and people crowded around to stare.

8.) The JEM Collection (scarves)

Fashion Bloggers from all along the East Coast gathered to take part in the festivities and show their support. Bianca Chardei from America’s Next Top Model and Korto Momolu from the show Project Runway were two of the notable TV figures in attendance of the Howard Law School fashion Show held at the Mansion on O Street last week. The list of designers was as follows: 1.) Korto Momolu 2.) Studio d’Maxsi 3.) Kim Schalk 4.) Diamantina (handbags) 5.) Stella Bonds 6.) Gwen Beloti

9.) Tashia Senn 10.) Elizabeth St. John Collection (bridal couture) Natalia Pereverzeva, Miss Earth 2012 from Russia was in attendance of the show along with Miss Awurama Simpson, Miss Universe Ghana 2010 who actually hosted the event. I really loved this fashion show for more than just the beautiful mansion encompassed many facets of art. I really appreciated the rainbow of beauty that the ladies of Howard Law School highlighted within their presentation. Beautiful models from a multitude of nationalities all took part and joined forces to make this event a true success. The open bar and option to dine on Italian cuisine was also an added bonus for an individual like myself with a healthy appetite. Overall, I give this event two thumbs up, five stars, and an A++ for being entertaining while also increasing awareness of legislation that affects fashion designers.

Images of 2nd Annual Fashion Law Week™ DC 2012–“Intelligent Design: Protecting IP in the Fashion Industry” at the Mansion on O Street on Friday, March 2, 2012. Photographs courtesy of Monika Pearson.

DC Life Magazine 53


Continued from page 40 the spotlight directly on the present. Personally connected to the subject of his film in a way that became painfully apparent when he spoke, Burnat articulated his choice to keep his film centered on his personal point of view – and on his family’s and friends’ home video footage. Citing the story of the day his brother was taken away by a group of Israeli soldiers while his family stood by, forced to inaction, he raised his camera as the only voice able to speak in opposition. Determined to fill the gap in a litany of documentaries aimed at understanding the root of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict from a distance, Burnat hopes to bridge that gap through personal experience. Filming the violence has become his way of speaking out against it. Sheldon Larry’s call to action through film manifested itself via a different route. It developed out of a journey to raise twin daughters as a single gay man which, he stated, led to his fascination with the concept of family. It also developed out of his realization that the equality movement for the LGBT community has not been distributed equally across

the board. He noted that the message has been slower to gain traction in the African American community in LA, for example, where the film takes place. Marrying personal experiences with a wider incentive to raise awareness of continued inequality and intolerance, the resultant film seems is entertaining

and thought-provoking. When asked why he chose to address such heavy topics through the form of a musical, his response was simple. “I want people to laugh, to cry and to think,” he explained. “But I do not want them to be bored.” He hopes to grab audiences’ attention through the film and to continue holding it in the conversations and dialogues that follow. When she grew disillusioned with large-scale, corporate activist groups acting hypocritically, Ravida turned to filmmaking as her answer to a personal call to social justice. Merging that call with a personal encounter with cancer, she chose to take “Pink Ribbon, Inc.” beyond an expose of corporate hypocrisy and develop it into a response to that hypocrisy. That response takes shape through the voices of the ordinary women she chose to speak throughout the film. The message, she explained, is that cancer is not always perceived by the ordinary people who fight it as a beautifully packaged message of hope, despite what organizations like Komen portray. The aim of the film is to give voices to those experiences running counter to Komen and other similar foundations. As the forum ended, reactions popped up among the dispersing audience. One woman leaned over to her neighborhood and sympathized with Burnat’s struggle, wondering how such violence could be managed on a daily basis. Another

conversation cropped up in the bathroom as a group of women related their own experiences with cancer to Din’s and the women in her film.

The filmmakers’ messages, each so personally experienced and artfully articled in the forum, had transferred to a listening audience and gained new meaning as audience members, in turn, related those messages to their own lives and experiences. Sheldon Larry opened the forum with an impression from childhood–the darkness of a movie theater, and the vulnerability of an audience immersed, however briefly, in that darkness. As a filmmaker with a message – much like the other forum speakers and, undoubtedly, all the directors, writers and producers represented in this year’s festival – that moment of vulnerability is his chance to transfer his message. That process of transference, and the dialogues and discussions that follow it, are the ultimate markers of success in a film festival. The four filmmakers on the forum conveyed their messages so poignantly through their own voices and film snippets that the darkness of a theater wasn’t necessary to lend credence to their work. But it can certainly make their messages that much more powerful.


Music Review

Local Talent Review Submitted by Jem Bahaijoub ImaginePR.com Folk/Americana rocker Adrian Krygowski will be celebrating the release of his new EP “Hope For Us” at a CD Release Show on April 20th at The Dunes. Adrian’s songs conjure the punk inflected folk of The Avett Brothers and the “Americana Soul” of Delta Spirit, while his vocals draw comparisons to Bob Dylan and The Hold Steadyʼs Craig Finn.

What makes your standout from other musicians? I really don’t think there are a lot of local bands that play our brand/genre of music. We’re a string band with a pedal steel guitar, upright bass, fiddle and acoustic guitar. The sound is high-energy, and our stand out flavor is southern-influenced original rock music that gets people dancing.

What has been your greatest challenge as a musician, and what is your work ethos like in the studio? My greatest challenge will always be writing lyrics that surpass my standards as I’m a perfectionist. My work ethic in the studio is an interesting dynamic. With my latest EP, it was great working with producer Ed Pettersen as he bought a balance to my work. He would say things like “Adrian, it sounds great, let’s move on to another thing..” We ended up using a lot of the first takes in the final product of this EP. What impression do you want your listeners to go away with after listening to your music? I want them to think that I have the whole package - great lyrics, great music, great band, and great performance and energy. It’s a lot to aim for but I try my hardest!

What are your biggest musical influences? My lyrics are heavily influences by John K. Samson of The Weakerthans and Greenbelt-MD-born Joe Pug. However, my musical writing is anything and everything from Bruce Springsteen to Bluegrass.

What’s on your ipod right now? I’m listening to everything from Ryan Adams, Hayes Carll, Ray LaMontagne, and Bob Seger. I also listen to a ton of DC local bands such as Derek Evry, Rene Moffatt, Wes Tucker, and Justin Trawick.

What’s been the biggest break in your career so far? I’ve had a few but opening for Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog at IOTA Club & Cafe was a real highlight for me.

www.adriankrygowski.com


An Interview with DJ Speechless DJ Speechless interviews local talent Amiss O.mega. What do you accredit your sense of style? My family, I was Raised to be real, no faking, no fronting, all grind and work. My style is universal I grew up around different races. What musical influences did you listen to growing up that helped to mold you into the DJ you are today? The 90’s influenced me, Styles P is my favorite, Dmx, Rakeem, Nas, Az, Mase, B.I.G, Tupac, Big Daddy Kane, Jadakiss, Big Pun, Black Rob, Jay- Z the old Jay-Z, T.I., Outkast, Mobb Deep. What do you have as an artist that makes you stand out from the rest? I’m real, what you hear in my music is what you get if you meet me in person to a “T”. Plus I won’t sell my soul that is also rare, and I wear pants that fit. That’s what makes me stand out from others. Your solo album “Best Thing Out” has been making waves across the country. How did you come up with the concept for this project? Well a lot of people have low self of steam and a lot of people don’t feel high about themselves, I want people to start feeling like they are the best thing out without materials. My album is going to bring my people up not down. What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career? Being in a position to get distribution from Universal. Universal will help me help myself which will help me help others. What are your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic in the studio? Greatest challenges dealing with the lames in the industry. My greatest attributes is I don’t sleep, all grind, all work, no faking, no fronting. I’ll out work any artist out there, and I never run out of lyrics. I have lyrics for days. 56 DC Life Magazine

What do you feel distinguishes you “an artist” from a musician? My song writing ability, and my creativity, I can give you any story, situation or topic from any aspect of life. What impression would you like your listeners to be left with after hearing your music? What will people be able to say about you as an artist? I want them to hear my work ethic; I want listeners to hear my thoughts on being real people no matter what they are going through. I want them to say I’m the realest and best to do it from VA. If we could listen to your iPod, what are some of your favorite artist that are downloaded right now? All Styles P and the rest is Amiss O.mega. If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be? For artist to be more real and not puppets and soul sellers. We need to take are industry back. When did you first discover your love for music? As a kid changing the tapes in my big brothers double tape deck while they was playing Basketball, I was a DJ I guess. What made you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music? When I was locked up for a stabbing incident, I wanted to be successful doing something with myself other than street moves, music was the path God gave me. When did you know that you were going to make music a career? Once Stu Rick from Sony Distribution told me I had what it takes, and he gave me my first distribution deal with Red Sony. Do you have other interest or talents you would like to share with us? How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?


I have always been good at numbers and marketing; I also have the means that could make a really good book. When I do relax it’s usually a mix of four main things; God, family, reading, and I can’t live without listen to music. What projects do you have in the making and what are your plans for the near future? Untamed Aggression mixtape is out online check it out on livemixtapes.com. “Best Thing Out” solo album coming this summer 2012. Is there anyone you would like to thank? First God, without him nothing happens. My family, my mother, my brothers they are all I have. My music circle all my entourage “E-Squad” E-loc, B Da Brawla, D.O.C, Jaffe, Dj Speechless, Dj Ratchet Rell, King Kutz, Nano Band$. Where can we find you? www.facebook.com/amissmusic www.twitter.com/amissomega Seach Amiss O.mega via www.youtube.com