A Private {Art} Affair

Painter Martin Swift, in his signature glasses and vintage sweater, worn as a scarf

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the private opening of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. First, it's a complete dream to be in the museum with only a handful of other people in the middle of the night; the atrium (one of my favorite places in the city) is even more breathtaking. More importantly, the exhibition, entitled "Poetic Likeness," was wonderful. I studied (and wrote) poetry extensively while living in New York and Barcelona, so it was really nostalgic for me to see portraits of my favorites poets. 

I was beside myself with excitement when I bumped into Cat Dawson, who was one of my first friends here in DC (please, ask either of us for the story of how we met, it's priceless), who is off getting her PhD in Visual Studies and generally being brilliant about art and 23,496 other things. After a little meet and greet and wine and dine among the art, our stylish group dashed out for a night at the French Embassy, where Brightest Young Things were throwing their French Underground party. Zut alors, we had a blast! Here are some simple snaps from the night...

Micah Greenberg, looking completely dashing in his pea coat

Cat Diesel Dawson just killing it in leather trousers, Ralph Lauren dress shoes, and the most perfect blazer/shirt combo I've seen, well, ever. The blazer is short-sleeved and the shirt sleeves are black on the botton half for mix-match perfection.

Joseph Palermo in some serious 3-piece tweed

Bonjour, Maison de Francaise!

Morgan West of Panda Head Magazine in a modern take on suede/lace prairie chic. She put together the beautiful feathered teepees and headdresses...trés chic.

The ever-stylish Amy Vong - creative, model, wild woman extraordinaire. Letterman jacket? Oh yes please.

In the Studio with Ra Ra Rasputin

There are few challenges I love more than trying to document other artists and creatives at work. There's something about trying to capture that passion, the lust for expression and creation that is so dynamic! So I headed into the studio with local indie dance rockers Ra Ra Rasputin for one of their final rehearsals before their 5-year anniversary show (which is tonight!) to document behind the scenes.  There was dance-inducing rock music! Leather jackets! A few too many beers after! Lively discussions about the nature of communism, the DC creative class, and how Brock shouldn't wear jorts for photos! Generally top notch all the way around.

So, I'm happy to introduce Brock, Patrick, Josh, and Ken of Ra Ra Rasputin. Also, come to the show at the Black Cat tonight (tickets HERE), where I'll be hanging out and shooting for the band some more. Everyone and their mom seems to be coming, so you should too! Click through for some awesome rock 'n roll style and vibes.

Heat Street

It's time for some more sweet street style! I've been out shooting street on assignment for some awesome style publications - most are still under wraps (shh) but THIS set of summer sundresses came out in Refinery 29 last week and I'm really excited to share it with you! I took these other photos while out shooting for that, since I just couldn't resist. You can see why, I'm sure. It's been meltingly hot here in DC (seriously, the tarmac at the runway melted two days ago), so the fact that these Washingtonians manage to look so fresh is a miracle. Hats off, for sure. Enjoy, and happy weekend!

PS - I'm going to TRILLECTRO tomorrow (many thanks to Modi for the all-access hookup!) and will be shooting some awesome festival style and giving away Uber credit and swag. Get your ticket, come find me (tweet me to do that) and show me your rad style. Hope to see you!

There's more!

Dwayne Brice of Hu's Wear is one of DC's most stylish gentlemen, and I took these snaps when I popped into the store to say hey and visit. 

Deena and her wedge sneakers are so incredibly trendy and I love it.

Performance artist Holly Bass getting her sundress spin on

Billy Mode on Film

During the creation of the Water Street Project, I spent many days in a row at the warehouse documenting the creation of the pieces. I have some rad stop motion videos that I'll be sharing soon, but here is a film film I took of artist Billy Mode in front of his piece. Awesome! I'm loving becoming friends with the DC street artists; I think their work is really inspiring and am looking forward to sharing more of it here.

Happy Sunday...I'm off to Baltimore to shoot Hon Fest for Washingtonian Magazine! You know I've got my beehive hairdo and cat eye glasses on! Shazam!

GoKateShoot for the Corcoran: Holly Bass' Moneymaker

A couple weeks ago, I had the great honor of photographing performance artist Holly Bass for her dance marathon at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. I shoot for the gallery, but was excited when they asked me to shoot Holly, who I am blessed to call my friend. Suspended in a plexiglass box over the entrance to the museum, Holly danced for 7 hours for her piece called Moneymaker, in which she straps two gold basketballs to her butt as a commentary on how the media portrays black womens' bodies. This moving piece of work was complementary to the gallery's show 30 Americans, which highlighted 31 black artists' work. I was very moved by Holly's ability to infuse a sense of fun and style into the serious nature of the ideas behind her performance in a way that made the piece accessible to everyone there. It was beautiful, so many thanks to Holly to having me. Enjoy!

Corcoran, Student Exhibition

As many of you may know, I am excited to be photographing a long-term project with the Corcoran College of Art + Design, helping them completely re imagine their website and print materials. The students and artists that compose the community of this hallowed institution are themselves completely inspiring; their art, personal style, and ways of addressing the world are diverse and unique. In addition, I have the chance to create evocative imagery around the gallery spaces there as well, meeting, photographing, and being inspired by many greats. GoKateShoot is so much about how people choose to communicate visually, and where better to go to do so then one of the best art galleries and schools in the city. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to engage in an artistic dialogue once more. While I look shooting street style, it is my larger, more creative projects that get me inspired and excited. I come from a studio art background and miss the lively intellectual rigor of critiques, hours spent intensely crouched over a canvas, and the free-wheeling, intuitive, and emotional thought process behind developing a communal body of work. DC has been incredible for this, and I have found artistic souls with whom I am blessed to create work (much of which is yet to be realized, as we continue to plan, but you'll LOVE IT, I promise). My own work has shifted and evolved, and I am looking forward to seeing how those changes meet the challenge of communicating what is incredible about the Corcoran. 

A local jewelry designer pears through the case holding her work, above. I adore the strong, intricate details. 

This young artist is wearing 4 different prints, has half his head shaved, and has a strong visual sense of self. The last statement is the most important. 

Artist Nick Cave spoke to an attentive packed house about his work, the incredible sound suits. 

I love this woman's beautifully thick belted coat. This is just the right kind of bulk. 

GOLD SHOES. !!!!! Enough said.

Mother daughter duo, with matching tights. Trend. 

This artist covered her nails in stickers because she was inspired by the colors. That's reason enough for me!

A jewelry students work speaks to an industrial marriage of organic forms and a modernist mentality. I love it!

Fashion Film Overlay

Here is one of the fashion-oriented shots from the New York film. I love the overlay of frames and the colors are so beautiful in this. In a marathon of eventing, I went to three different parties in two hours last night: crazy! I took some really cool photos, met some amazing people, and can't wait to share it all, so keep an eye out over the weekend. 

Happy Friday!

Two Stylish Days

I had a pretty stylish week, and by that I mean the people in my life have been extra stylish this week, and it's pretty wonderful. 

On Wednesday, I went to a panel as part of #DCWeek that discussed the Future of Fashion in DC. It was a pretty intimate crowd of regular DC fashion offenders, and a panel that included a mix of local designers, boutique owners, fashion industry business people and politicos, of course. There was a rousing discussion about how to best grow the local industry and the role of the various stakeholders. It got me thinking about how I can engage more directly in my creative endeavors, so my little brain is going a mile a minute with lots of new ideas. 

As usual, certain ladies looked lovely. 

Tamika, assistant to local designer KAS

Elise Peterson of It's Vintage Darling, Desireé of Fashion Empowering Women, and Tamika 

Elise loves a maxi dress and the 70's in general. Shocking. Never would have guessed. On our way to meet a friend, we stopped at the Atlas Theatre on H St. to take some snaps.

I rocked a perfect tweed dress from Pretty People Vintage earlier this week; the tailoring was impeccable and the wool was super-toasty warm! 

After the Atlas, Elise and I continued along to meet up with the unmatched and stylish Eliot Payne, founder of local bow tie company Accoutre Me. How we met is very modern and appropriate I suppose; he tweeted me during our look book shoot last weekend, and I quickly discovered just how dapper he is and we became fast friends. We met up at Dangerously Delicious Pies for a little nosh and chat...and quickly made vintage-oriented plans for the next evening. Of course, we took some snaps at the Atlas before calling it a night!

Can we talk about his epic mix of prints?! And pink cardigan?! Look at that tie. 

Despite his assertions that he is not a photographer, he got two lovely little shots of me off before I hopped in a cab and whisked away for the night. 

I'm wearing a mink from Pretty People Vintage that just seems to match everything I own, and elbow-length houndstooth gloves that I bought with my mother years ago. Its a shame I don't have photos of my whole outfit, because it featured an amazing taffeta skirt with a crinoline that was just to die for...but the waist was so tiny I was glad to get out of it at the end of the evening!

The next night, I met up with Eliot and a few other characters at Dr. K's, one of my favorite vintage shops and overall places to hang out. I don't ever really go when he's actually open, and more often than not I come to eat dinner in the back, drink a few beers, and generally shoot the shit with the revolving cast of characters that use the shop as a hangout. And I don't actually shop; the owner, Somkiat, is a lovely man who buys me things I didn't even know I needed until I walk in and he says, "I have something special for you, I've been saving it!" He's responsible for almost everything I'm wearing for the Tweed Ride and a half dozen other items that I'm lusting over. His pieces are incredible; buyers from Ralph Lauren come to him to source things to imitate. It's always just men (and me) hanging out, and I've received an incredible education in vintage so far. 

I am so grateful to have such interesting and stylish friends! The last time I was in he had a vintage Birkin that went viral after I posted it, and I certainly wasn't disappointed this time! This doctor's bag is from the 1920's and still smells like medicine; it is so special with all the history attached.

Somkiat was benefitting form Washingtonians' Tweed Ride preparations, and brought out this gorgeous vintage Harris Tweed for me to peep. 

And of course, the dapper Eliot Payne brought the style noise...plaid pants and yellow brogues?! Amazing, I love it! 

Collins, the head of security at local night hotspot Marvin came down to hang out with us as well. He is known as one of DC's most stylish men, and you can see he brought his tweedy best to showcase how men can dress for the upcoming Tweed Ride. 

Elbow patches, waistcoast, and the perfect mix of prints; I love it!

Eliot had QUITE A TIME trying on everything in sight in the store. It was his and Collins' first times in the shop and both stylish gentlemen were going nuts for Dr. K's goods. 

Eliot taught me to tie bow ties...what do you think? Not bad for the first time, eh? I was twitterpated to learn and he was very patient; I can't think of a better person to learn to tie one from, he's a certified expert!

And then he fell in love with a silk smoking jacket and it was allllll over! 

Eric Channing Brewer of Dandies & Quaintrelles stopped by as well. We had such awesome tweedy gentlemen and such a good repoire with the whole crew, chatting late into the night about all things style, life, and otherwise. 

Travel Snapshots of the Final Days in Istanbul

On my second to last day in Istanbul, I calmed down about working a little. I rode the ferry from the Asia side of the city to the European side while drinking tea (read: spilling tea) and watching the sun rise as I had most days before. But instead of going to deal with project organizers, models, or vintage clothiers, I lost myself with two other artists in the back streets of the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul has a pulse, a life, and it was important for me to capture that. 

So we shopped. We haggled and bargained our way into 4 kilos of Turkish spices apiece, leaving the young man at the market smiling but scratching his head at how we got such a deal and how we would get it home. We ran our fingers through silks and cashmeres, inspected handmade bowls in hues that mirror the light inside the Hagia Sophia. Spices assaulted our senses. I sat on the steps of the city center mosque with my eyes closed and listened to the rhythm of Istanbul. The light smell of roasted corn on the cob wafted from every direction, and I could feel the hems of ladies long burkas brush the ancient stone steps as they went to pray. In a way, I prayed too, a small and soaring prayer of thanks to the city of Istanbul and its people. 

Photos by Monika Rizovska where noted

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska

Monika Rizovska


While in Istanbul, I got my hair cut in a basement vintage shop. I wandered in and loved what I saw, but couldn't find any clothes that were quite right; everything was just a little too small or too big. Over the course of shopping, I became acquainted with the owner, a young, stylish Turkish gentleman named Bora. We got along well, so I was distraught when I couldn't find something to wear. I noticed that he had a barber chair in the corner of the shop, so I asked if he could cut hair. He replied that he could, so I proposed that he cut my hair then and there. He agree, and away we went. 

Here are photos from the vintage shoot we did two days later; Bora kindly let us use his shop to outfit the models for the shoot. I'm wearing a vintage silk dress, glasses, and sporting the rock and roll Bettie Page haircut he gave me. 

Captured by the amazing Turkish photograpaher Ilke Şahin.

Press Preview: 30 Americans

I had the pleasure of attending the press preview for the new exhibit at the Corcoran, 30 Americans. The exhibit, which runs through February 12, features 31 African American artists and their commentaries on racial, sexual, and historical identity. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with the curator of the show, Sarah Newman, and developed a deep appreciation for the thoughtful process and months of work that go into curating a show like this. In each space, Sarah centered the installation around one master work and coupled it with emerging artists who were influenced by that older generation. I found the work to be incredibly diverse and engaging, and will absolutely be returning to spend more time in the space. 

I'd like to thank the Corcoran for hosting, particularly the lovely PR staff. 

Work below includes that by Nick Cave, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Shinique Smith, and others. Video courtesy of the Corcoran.

Nick Cave Soundsuit Performance from Corcoran Gallery of Art on Vimeo.

GoKateShoot Presents: Charms City Company

So by now you've seen lots of the photos from when Cat and I trekked to Baltimore for Artscape. We had a blast stuffing our faces with food of questionable nutritional value, listening to live tunes, and checking out the art and jewelry vendors. We were having ish luck (though I brought a CRAZY jade beetle in a glass box!) until we came upon Charms City Company

Beautifully designed and handcrafted by the lovely Katie W. and Rachel B., the jewelry pays a whimsical homage to yesteryear. Cat and I flew into a tiny frenzy and proceeded to buy several of their pieces. Though I loved the binoculars pictured below, I ultimately settled on a sweet multi-chain with an equestrian fastener, and a necklace of the warm brown wood links. I have some pretty loud pieces already, so these are perfect to layer and add some depth. 

Their stuff is for sale at Nana in Mt. Pleasant here in DC, or you can reach out via their website that I linked to above. Happy shopping, and enjoy the photos!