Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase

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An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and the aroma of culture, filled the venue as I walked in the door. I had finally arrived, after a one hour plus drive to the all interesting city of Richmond, Virginia.  I came for the fashion extravaganza presented by actor, producer, and first time designer Mr. Tim Reid, along with his lovely wife Mrs. Daphne Reid, who slayed the runway with her first design collection.

Perfection may be an understatement when describing Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase. The RVA event space was lit on April 27th with local and international lovers of fashion. Well-dressed attendee’s mingled about, smiling at one another, greeting folks who’ve attended in the previous years, from my observation the event was some type of reunion amongst fashion connoisseur’s. People watcher number one, that would be Moi, was here for all of it…..insert handclap emoji three times!

The breathe taking beautiful co-producer and event host Salome was mesmerizing, wearing her beautifully unique designs as she graced the stage hosting simultaneously with Tim and Daphne Reid.

“Fashion models enhance the designers creative masterpieces”

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Step to the side while I shout out the sharp dressed male runway models, wearing designer Malcom Staples, of Malcom’s Custom Made to Fit. The women in the audience began to “oooh and ahhh”, snap fingers, while displaying the biggest smiles as the older more distinguished models hit the runway. Malcolm’s classy fitted suits gave favor to a trendy vintage look, full of pops of color, and fun patterns. I loved the sexy-sexy female tuxedo suit, well put together featuring a cute top-hat, perfect for a swanky dinner party. I haven’t worn a women’s suit in a while, however, if one can be created for a special holiday party, with a little sparkle, I’m all in for it.

Actress, producer and first time designer Daphne Reid, hit the runway with flowing color pops, floppy hats accentuated the swing jacket style, giving you the NYC street look of an older woman, out and about her business of the day. Comfy, eye-catching designs to turn heads, as you walk on by….

I’m excited to attend Tim Reid’s fashion show again, unfortunately I had a family emergency in the middle of the show, causing me to leave early. I missed a lot of amazing designers, international and local. All the fashion chatter for weeks after the event came across super positive, highlighting the charity who benefited from the proceeds, congratulations to the recipient Legacy Media Institute.

Bravo to all on a job well done…

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville

 

 

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You Do Not Have Permission To Quit!

Mikia Shae Troche – Founder and CEO

What does the word “ENDURE” mean to you? Many of us would define the word as a form of suffering, or going through something to achieve a specific end goal. If you’re a living breathing human being, you are at some point in your life enduring through a storm. For some, it may be a little less difficult than others, which would have a person in the midst of enduring without even realizing it.

On Saturday, June 1, 2019 my spiritual soul was set ablaze from the moment I set foot into the Semi-Annual Enduring Conference, held at the Holiday Inn, in the lovely city of Virginia Beach. Author, visionary, motivational speaker, and business mentor Mikia Shae Troche greeted her conference attendees looking simply angelic in an all-white attire. You could feel the peacefulness in the room, filled with eye-catching  tones of yellow and blue, as encouraging sounds of gospel music played in the background.

I pride myself on being able to pick up positive energy vibes. Every single speaker who spilled their life’s transparency, gave me inspiring levels of goose bumps! I’ve always heard, sharing is caring, yet somehow in the process of sharing, each and every single testimony intentionally gave the room full of attendees, food for thought. Anyone who was in attendance will more than likely tell you of at least one important aspect he or she learned as a knowledgeable take-away. When you can gather together our young millennials, and our respected senior generation at the same table, smiling, chatting, and breaking bread, you’ve accomplished diversity. Vendor stations created a very relaxing experience for those who enjoy stumbling upon something a little special to take home.

Quote of the day: Neisha Himes – G.R.O.W. Foundation

“Your crown matches every outfit, never take it off”

This well-organized event included a wonderful host, comedian Ryheem Johnson captured the audience with his clean cut, and let me add entertaining humor straight out of the gate. His intermittent jokes proved to be just what was needed to change up the mood during the conference. Life is not always kind, healthy discussions of how to step up and endure any adversity being thrown at you is a topic we should all be interested in hearing. Telling a story in mime, or standing on a stage takes courage, but the healing begins way before making a choice to share your life with others. Manny Mitchell spoke enthusiastically on the storm of rejection, how starting a career with no arms proved what we all know to be true….”What GOD has for you, is for you”…

We all have a story, are you empowering others with your enduring journey?

I had the pleasure of a short interview with the founder of the Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, her spirit of authenticity glowed as bright as any diamond in the swankiest of jewelry stores. Having survived a stroke, being wheel chair bound, amongst other adversities, never gave her permission to quit. This beautiful queen endured every negative emotion imaginable, she cried, she prayed, and then with the help of her loving husband, she got up for the win.

Mikia captured the attention of her audience with a powerful heartfelt speech as she ended the conference. The topic, “You Do Not Have Permission To Quit”, resonated throughout the entire room, as if she were standing on stage with a bullhorn.

Every head nodded in agreement, without blinking an eye….

Thank you, for the amazing opportunity to blog your event, while interacting with your panel of fascinating speakers. Every testimony held value to someone in the room. Bravo Sista!

Honorable Mention: Nicole Armstrong, Juanita Ricks, Ryheem Johnson, Manny Mitchell, Jada Danielle, Jay Harris, Suzette Meeks, Neisha Himes, Shakeya Nesbitt, Tanisha Thompson, and keynote speaker Mikia Troche

Follow Enduring Conference via Facebook, be sure to attend the 2nd Semi-Annual conference on January 25, 2020.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, Dakota Somerville

 

 

Teach One ~ Reach One ~ Invest

 

 

Plant the seed, and show them the way…

Nonprofit organizations serve many purposes. Feeding the hungry to name a few, however, nothing stands out more than a community group with a vision to serve our youth. The children are our future leaders, they are our future in a nutshell. Our beautiful brown babies from impoverished neighborhoods deserve every single opportunity of exposure to learn the when, where, and how’s of success.

 

I am truly honored to share with my readership a group of young boys who are truly making a name for themselves here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. They are learning a multitude of important life skills from some very influential pillars of our community. The Young Investors of Virginia Club comes highly recommended for any young man who has a desire to learn about entrepreneurship, real estate, and the beginnings of stock market investment. This newly formed group in my humble opinion speaks volumes to the idea of teaching one, while reaching one.

Young Investors of Virginia Club Mantra:

I am a young investor

I invest in myself

I invest in my community

I learn the generation before

I teach the generation behind me

 

Her smile is infectious, her soul is contagious, her energy is magic, and all the accolades of community merit go out to the founder, Ms. Keyzia. We first met about two years ago, at a summer dinner celebration. She sat across the table from me, filled with her vision, ready to share with the whole world, how she literally wanted to make a change. I was a bit mesmerized at first, and then I began to really listen to what she was saying about the importance of creating opportunities for our young boys to enhance their life skills. It was at that very moment, I knew she was going to embark on something special. Congratulations queen, you are the epitome of motherhood, taking a stand to help children from the lower income and high crime areas of Chesapeake, Virginia, to see a whole new world beyond their wildest imagination.

 

“A sense of pride and opportunity can make a difference”

Many of our young African American boys face an uphill battle on a daily basis, systemic poverty, and the juvenile judicial system are more often not interested in how a young man may be making strides in turning their lives around. Two of the fifteen year old’s in the Young Investors of Virginia Club, are facing unfortunate circumstances. Joining the group created a sense of leadership, they were able to see hope, and began to recruit the younger boys in their neighborhoods to join the group as well. In September of 2018, the group had a fantastic opportunity under the leadership of a licensed real estate agent to host an open house, allowing potential buyers to see their young efforts.

What about our young girls you may ask? Well, as of June 2019, Ms. Keyzia has now implemented a Sister Section to the group. I am certain, Young Investors of Virginia Club will flourish as they grow with love, and support from the Hampton Roads Community!

Contact: via Facebook Page  – Nonprofit Organization

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Young Investors of Virginia Club/ Keyzia Nikole

 

 

 

 

A Dream Girl’s Spectacular Sale

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The Double R Mansion as we know it has a NEW Name—Now known as the Double L Ranch.

Yes, the Suffolk Ranch Is SOLD. The luxurious historic mansion at Double L Ranch, located upon 32 acres of pristine privately owned property in Suffolk, Virginia, was quietly sold & closed on February 27, 2019 by Hampton Road’s very own Queen of Real Estate. This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average. She will tell you that failure is not an option. Claudine Ellis is a top-notched real estate agent who is sought after around the world. Dream Girl of Real Estate, Claudine L. Ellis, CEO/Broker accomplished the largest residential property sale of her fifteen plus year career. Ellis can take credit for singlehandedly raising real estate values in the rural 23737 area as this was the most expensive home listing in Suffolk.

“This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average”

Claudine is outstandingly talented and well versed in the area of luxury, residential, and commercial real estate sales. A million dollar home in Hampton Roads usually averages a year on the market from list to close, but our readership shouldn’t be the least bit surprised to know that this queen sold the mansion in record time—less than 90 days.

The mansion itself holds many special memories, as a premier event venue. I’ve heard about the first floor classic billiard room, theater room, and the exquisite white baby grand piano, captured in the lavish wedding portraits of couples from near and far.

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“Nothing speaks luxury like the alluring tone of a baby grand piano”

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Beauty, brains, and a savage beast at what she does, would sum up the challenges Claudine faces on a daily basis with her clients. What I admire most about this real estate professional is her ability to not judge her clientele, anyone who wants to purchase a home can contact her for a property showing, whether it be a huge multi-million dollar mansion, or a simple two-story traditional colonial. As a first time home buyer, you can attend one of her training sessions, affording you the knowledge needed to make a wise decision, based upon your family’s needs.

“In addition to a successful real estate career, Claudine makes it a priority to give back to and serve the community”

I personally support her non-profit endeavors, each and every first class charity event sponsored by DREAM DAP, Inc. has been a huge success, designed specifically for any Hampton Roads single parent seeking home ownership. The mission statement to help single parents with down payment assistance in purchasing their first home, should warm the hearts of any one reading this blog post. Congratulations are definitely in order, Claudine L. Ellis has made her presence known in the real estate world, as a million dollar agent, the one to watch, as well as, the one requested across the globe.

Written by: Dakota Somerville

Edited by: Claudine L. Ellis

Photo Credit: The Double R Ranch, Claudine L. Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity Personified With Elegance

 

strawberriesChocolate Dipped Tequila Infused Strawberries

February is the month of love, it is a time when giving comes second nature, the air is filled with decadence and luxury. We find ourselves thinking of others, our heart’s beat to a different drum, charity can also be described as a universal gesture of love. I stopped by to share with my readership all the juicy deets from an outstanding philanthropic event that took place in Norfolk, Virginia, held at the impressively alluring Slover Library, on Saturday, February 9th. A charity with a godly purpose will attract those who support a noble cause. I can’t begin to think of anything more important than lending a supportive hand to a single parent needing down payment assistance, while holding near and dear, a deep desire to become a home owner. Claudine L. Ellis, CEO of Dream DAP, Inc and her team are making it happen.

“HEART FOR HOMEOWNSHIP FASHION GALA 2019”

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Regina Mobley, Queen Claudine Ellis, Quenie Burnz

Hollywood hit Hampton Roads, as each and every guest was greeted with valet parking, and baby it was cold outside. Walking into the venue proved to be upscale upon being welcomed at the door by actor and model Mr. Jack Rose, adorned in white glove attire. Bellissimo, is an understatement describing the ambiance, and elegant décor, I felt so much love in the room as the jazz band played a medley of mood setting tunes. The highlight of entertainment literally flew, twirled, and flipped magnificently above the beautiful architecture, capturing stares from the balcony to the lower level. Can you imagine a beautiful aerialist, floating with the grace of a butterfly? She did just that!

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Hampton Roads has quickly become well noted on the east coast as a mega fashion hub, providing some of the best professional models in the game. I want to personally bow down and congratulate all of the event models for a wonderful job done on the runway. Special mention and all hand claps go out to the one model who turned the catwalk, and staircase into an unforgettable theatrical performance. Screaming bravo…bravo…bravo to model Shawanda Lamb, you my dear are a show stopper, with the epitome of what is commonly referred to as the “It Factor” in the industry.

Shawanda Lamb – Queen of the Runway

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As I buzzed around mingling with the distinguished guest, it suddenly came to my attention everyone was smiling, dancing, chatting it up with one another enjoying all the special moments of the night. This is the foundation envisioned as a successful charity event, hashtag happy people. The V.I.P guest co-mingled with the general ticket holders, which is something special to see, in my opinion. Food galore, delicious edibles made the rounds, one tray after another, filled with crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops, steak kabobs, fruit kabobs, cake pops, and my personal favorite of stuffed mushrooms. For all the foodie lovers in the room, heaven had officially landed in a scrumptious kind of way!

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“One thing is for certain, Dream DAP, Inc has arrived in a major way”

Major kudos go out to the DJ, Mr. Dave Champion for the music selections of the night. The media deserves special mention as well, I saw the lovely Ashley Dennis supporting the cause, along with many celebrities, photographers, and lets just say the who’s who tribe of Hampton Roads. We were especially honored to see the prestigious Virginia Beach City Council woman, Sabrina Wooten in the building. I have a very keen eye for celebrity spotting, without hesitation, this freelance writer made her way over to capture a quick video with Patti LaBelle’s exclusive holiday decorator, LaVoris Pace and friends, what a dapper looking trio they were. All V.I.P guest received personal catering with delicacies’, compliments of the Executive Chef from Plaza Azteca restaurant, and jaw dropping Furry Swag Bags complete with unexpected high-end goodies, including fur gloves, exotic soaps, designer glasses, and more. Don’t fret if you missed the 2019 gala, team Dream DAP has already put the wheels in motion for the Heart for Homeownership Fashion Gala 2020…..

“Congratulations Claudine, I deem you queen of the red hearts personified”

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Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Facebook, Dakota Vibe, Organixx Photography

Follow: Dream DAP, Inc. via Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Magic Exemplified

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“My heart is singing a tune of black girl magic on auto repeat, it’s like not being able to un-see the most beautiful women in Hampton Roads, Virginia”

What am I talking about, you may ask? Well, I’m talking about a vision that turned into a fabulous reality, on Sunday, September 16th in the heart of downtown Norfolk Virginia at the highly popular Slover Library. Dream Dap Inc. launched a charity program to help support single mothers and fathers with down payment assistance needed to purchase a home.

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Queen Claudine Ellis, Sequoia Youngblood and Celebrity Hip-Hop Artist NO Malice

Hurricane Florence was somewhat lurking in the midst of this successful event, but with hard work, lot’s of prayer warriors, and angels smiling down on the purpose intended, this party became the talk of the town. As I mingled inconspicuously through the huge crowd of attendees, everyone glammed in blue jeans and white tops with a lovely glow of happiness, set off with the biggest of smiles. Queen Claudine greeted her guest as if we all were celebrities in her eyes, from pictures on the red carpet to line dancing in the main room, O’ my goodness, how can I not mention the VIP lounge and its colorful ambience. From my personal perspective I deem this charity fundraiser as perfect in every way possible!!!

The Gourmet Appetizers were Impeccable 

Chicken & Waffles…Crab Balls…Cucumber Cream Bites

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Chef Tasha*Chef Beatrice*Chef Dominique

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Vendor*TraciLynn Jewelry*Treavce Whitmore

We are magic when we come together as a community of intelligent beautiful women, who aspire to a level of success. Special recognition and kudos’ go out to a dedicated single mother for beating the pavement to make sure everything and everyone lined up as envisioned by the founder of Dream Dap Inc., Riika Wright you are a real MVP.

1st Ever Facebook Party*Riika Wright*Energi Logan

DJ Dave Champion entertained the crowd with a diverse music sound, a bit of old mixed with the new. Group “KARAOKE” was as much fun to watch, as it must have been to participate, judging from the laughter and enthusiasm of the party goers. The fabulous stage host Ginger Savage killed her themed outfit with studded six-inch heels, every woman in the room, including myself had major shoe envy…..

Ginger Savage and Dakota Vibe enjoying the rooftop

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Vendor*Pink Zebra*Candle Wax Display Smells of Heaven

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When your heart is filled with a giving spirit, it becomes a vibe that will attract an awesome tribe. Let us all raise our glasses to the future success of Dream Dap Inc., single mothers and fathers who connect with this wonderful charity will forever remember Claudine Ellis, we however, like to refer to her as Queen Claudine.

~BRAVO JOB WELL DONE

For information: Visit Dream Dap Inc. via Facebook

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe and Facebook Attendees

#1stEverFacebookParty

 

A Party With A Purpose

DREAM2 Claudine Ellis

Philanthropy never looked so beautiful, with her vision, and a dream to help single moms and dads become home owners.

Hampton Roads, better known as “Southeastern Virginia” is well-known for it’s highly publicized social events. On September 16th, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be a part of history in the making. Dream Girl Claudine Ellis will set the Slover Library on fire, with her new project launch, Dream DAP, Inc.

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The 1st EVER Facebook Day-Party will not only bring together many of the areas movers and shakers, this clearly thought out brainstorm will unite a very supportive community of volunteers and those who have a village mindset of togetherness.

WHEN: Sunday, September 16, 2018
WHERE: Slover Library, 235 Plume Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
TIME: 1pm-5pm
THEME: White Top and Blue Jeans

Come out, take Pics on the Red Carpet, win prizes, shop vendor stations, while you enjoy scrumptious food items, but don’t get too full, because dancing is highly recommended for this lit day party. I have one hundred brand new business cards ready to go, as I mingle about, blogging the DEETS of the DAY, in all my Cuteness!

Norfolk, Virginia has never seen anything of this magnitude when it comes to a day party in a downtown library. The Slover Library and its magnificent glass architecture is the perfect venue to kick-off all of the hard work, media chats, and long hours of planning put in by Claudine and her dream team.

                   “A PARTY WITH A PURPOSE”

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Good food shall be consumed, laughter will fill the room, friendships will be made, while positive inspiration overtakes the hearts and minds of all who attend…..

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville, Claudine Ellis – Photographer 

 

A Well Dressed Valentine

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……Mr. Jared J. Howe in all his eclectic glory

First of all what do you see? Are you captivated by the glow of love that permeates from every angle?

A well dressed Valentine may be only a far-reaching dream to some, yet for others, he’s just the cool guy who lives next door. Effort has always been sexy, a well-groomed bearded gentleman who can wear red like this deserves all the two snaps and hand claps, from any fashion critique.

The glass reflections give an amazing hue of every tone, every color reaching out on a universal vibe of love me, love me long time…for the writer in me, I find this photo to be extremely poetic, somewhat magical in still form, like a special “Valentine” should be!!!

Author: Dakota Somerville

Male Model: Mr. Jared J. Howe

Styled By: Miguel Suits 

Event: Heartbeat ❤ Gala 

Virginia Beach Aquarium

VA *Battle of the Beards* Launch Party

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VIP Balcony Beard Aficionado’s

Hampton Roads kicked off its official battle of the beards competition on Saturday, December 2nd at the soulful Jhane’s lounge, located on Granby street in the heart of downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Upon entry, all female guest were greeted with a warm ambience filled welcome from the classic man himself, Mr. George Berry, followed by event directives from a very organized team including a professional photographer.         BEARD9

Keyzia Hendricks-Actions Speak Louder TV, George Berry & Team

This is just the beginning of the beard lifestyle events here in the area, stay linked via social media and be sure to come out and enjoy the quarterly celebrations, beard contest, music and food, all leading up to the ultimate beard festival in October 2018, slated to be the biggest bearded event in all of Hampton Roads.

BEARD2 Jared Jalil Howe

…BATTLE OF THE BEARD CONTESTANTS GAVE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL LADIES AN EYE POPPING EXPERIENCE AND I PERSONALLY ENJOYED EVERY SINGLE SALACIOUS MOMENT.

BEARD1 Mr. Beautiful Smile

A well-groomed beard attracts the attention of many who appreciate the art of beard life connoisseur’s, it’s all a matter of taste and style.

BEARD3 Amp Brewer MOT

…The ladies in the building displayed a level of energy you might compare to a front row seat at the hottest NBA Basketball game.

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HOSTESS ALIROSE PATTERSON & BATTLE OF THE BEARDS CONTESTANTS

…Bravo to the fabulous queen in all white, the impeccable Alirose Patterson, as she sashayed the event floor, slaying every movement with her black girl magic.

BEARD10 Winner: Big Sam Hunter

Congratulations to the Virginia Beard Fest committee for an unforgettable night of great food, hip shaking music, laughter and not to mention a top-notch “grown and sexy” social setting.  

Everyone was dressed to impress the beard of their particular choosing, while placing a monetary bid during the bachelor charity auction.

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…We are looking forward to the next battle of the beards event here in Hampton Roads, Va., featuring more beards of all ethnicities from each and every one of the seven cities.

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Until the next time, keep those beards healthy and poppin…

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Val Garnes Gregory

#battleofthebeards #beardlife #beardlovers  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Metallic Gala Fashion Review

Metallic7 Mikasa La’Charles  gave Norfolk Virginia a magnificent night of haute couture.

Screenshot_2017-04-04-22-09-08Model: Shalea Poole

Fashion, Art and Literacy have always been near and dear to this big ole heart of mine. I was truly honored to have the opportunity to attend “The Metallic Gala” fundraiser event sponsored by the Slover Library, more importantly created, directed and (slayed to the gawds) by emerging fashion designer MikasaLa’Charles.

Metallic3Model: Shalea Poole

Every model walked the runway literally and professionally on fiya for fashion. As the audience turned their heads left and right in amazement, two snaps apply to the entire team of designers, models and crew who supported this well put together event.

Metallic5 Model lineup           Metallic6.png Model in Metallic Slay

Speechless and ever so mesmerized is exactly the reaction of the audience as the beautiful model Monee Jarmon gracefully made her entrance down the golden stairwell. Black and White slayage with an oversized hat gave the look of pure royalty. Designer Angelias Couture I scream “BRAVO” darling.

Metallic9 Model: Monee Jarmon  

Congratulations to Mikasa and the Slover Library Team for a successful fundraiser event to support youth programs of Norfolk, Virginia. I loved each and every moment from the VIP reception, live music and delicious menu selections available for the guest to enjoy. ~BRAVO TO ALL~ 

Photo Credit: Kevin Higgins

Author: Dakota Somerville

Fashion Designer/Director: Mikasa La’Charles  – http://www.houseof7jewels.com