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I “Xperienced” the “Trendy” Walk Fashion Show

Layana Aguilar Project Runway
This mauve, skater, neoprene dress designed by Layana Aguilar brought the audience to their feet and generated the loudest applause. The designer has received 50+ orders of this dress since it was presented on Sunday. Photo: Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Ricky Da’Vista 5th Annual “Xperience” the Trendy Walk Fashion Show Gala which featured Project Runway season 11 designer Layana Aguilar. This is my recap.


Ricky “Trendy” Da’Vista was already well-known in the Connecticut dancehall circle as the flamboyant wardrobe stylist, promoter and accessory eyewear designer. When he landed his Tuesday gig on WZMX Hot 93.7 giving the ratchet report and reality show recaps, he became one of the most revered and feared radio personalities in the area. Feared because it didn’t matter if you were a friend, foe or stranger, if he caught you looking or acting ratchet you were guaranteed to become the topic of his next broadcast. Revered, because everyone that knows his story knows how passionate and driven he is.

Guest at the 5th Annual "Xperience" The Trendy Walk Fashion Show Gala who answered Da'Vista's call to wear what we fear
Guest at the 5th Annual “Xperience” The Trendy Walk Fashion Show Gala who answered Da’Vista’s call to wear what we fear. Photo Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

I met Ricky for the first time last Fall and despite my trepidation I was pleasantly surprised at how nice, approachable and humble he actually was. Maybe I met him on a really good day but I was just grateful that I didn’t make his ratchet report. I was also beyond elated when I received the invitation to attend his annual fashion show as part of the press core last week.

Aria Banquet in Prospect, Connecticut. Photo by Shane Blackette of Emotion Photographers
Aria Banquet in Prospect, Connecticut. Photo by Shane R. Blackett of Emotion Photographers

The event was held at the Aria Banquet nestled high in the hills of Prospect, Connecticut. The venue was pristine, sophisticated, offered plenty of parking and panoramic views of the surrounding hills.  There were three welcome tables, one of which was just for the media (bloggers, photographers, traditional media, etc). We received press badges, were organized (seating, etc.) and guided through the red carpet arrival.  As a blogger, I can’t tell you how much times I have attended events where I have had to justify my presence, even with an invitation or have had to wait while someone goes to find someone else around the back so that I could be granted access to an event. It was really welcoming to see personnel and resources dedicated to the media and that our presence was truly valued. 

Event producer Ricky "Trendy" Da'Vista and host Kristin Campbell. Photo by Shane Blackett of Emotion Photographers
Event producer Ricky “Trendy” Da’Vista and host Kristin Campbell. Photo by Shane Blackett of Emotion Photographers

The fashion show started at 8:30, instead of the advertised 8:00 pm. However, unlike other events that I have attended, I didn’t notice the late start because there were 100’s of people to air kiss (it was very well attended event), a stocked and proper bar, outfits to covet, vendors to visit and really excellent food to munch on. All of these things pretty much kept me preoccupied until the lights dimmed and the emcee, the lovely Kristin Campbell [@lamodetique] made her appearance wearing an original, peach floral applique, convertible dress designed by the team at Vice Versa Boutique in Hartford.

Heather Nicole Couture
Yanni Smith models this avant garde dress designed by Heather Nicole Couture. Photo by Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

The show started with a collection of avant garde designs from Heather Nicole Couture followed by presentations from Stacy Lawes, Accessorize You Boutique, Ur Mizery, Salvatore Gianni, Saints by S.J. (Tach) and ended with the collection by featured designer Layana Aguilar. I loved Aguilar’s designs, but my favorite collection of the evening, was the all white collection, controversially named Cocaine by Saints S.J. (Tach) of Connecticut.

Cocaine, the collection by Connecticut based designers Saints by S.J. (Tach)
Cocaine, the collection by Connecticut based designers Saints by S.J. (Tach) Photo by Ossie Channer for One Woman’s Style Blog

The models were confident and the audience, 98% of us anyways, adhered to Ricky’s dress code of wearing what we fear. Although I didn’t like some of the designs or the choice of music (I think chillout lounge music would have been the icing on a very delicious cake) the show did not disappoint. Hands down, this event was one of the best, organized, best attended, group fashion shows featuring emerging designers that I have seen here in Connecticut and New York City for that matter.

Part of the proceeds of the event was donated to the American Lung Association of the Northeast in honor of Da’Vista’s grandmother who died from emphysema. 

Da’Vista is currently sh0oting a pilot for his own reality show entitled “The Ricky Da’Vista Project”. I am excited about what the future holds for this Connecticut native.

XoXo, Natasha

About Natasha Samuels

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  1. I loved your review of the Rickey Trendy fashion show and I agree it was a lovely event and i too was presently surprised by the way the whole event was put together very professional I am definately planning on continuing to support for many years to come. I especially like the pictures you posted of my daughter Ayana Smith (she is the young women with the blonde short hair) you have wonderful pictures of her on your webpage a nice representation of her if I say so myself…….. I would like to keep in touch with you so as my daughter continues down this path she is pursuing in the modeling industry I would love it if you could blog about her……

    • Hi Tina,
      Thanks so much for your comment and for dropping by. Your daughter was one of the fiercest models that night. Her look, her walk, her confidence made her the standout model of the evening. Even if she was wearing a potato sack she would have pulled that off. You should also check out Shane Blackett’s page on Facebook. He took some really awesome photos at the event as well. Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how Ayana is progressing.

  2. Such good reporting. I felt like I was there receiving an air kiss and coveting the designers style and the models physique. What did you wear? Thanks a Bunch!
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