Annaborgia Stella Dress

The next few weeks are gonna be very exciting! After shooting Annaborgia Look Book in Venice Beach a couple of weeks ago, it’s time to unveil week after week Annaborgia’s new designs. I am thrilled about the enthusiastic welcome the Stella Dress has received on social media today! I love the versatility of this dress.. It was designed as a luxe bridesmaid dress, but it can also be the perfect solution for an unconventional bride. Most importantly, its minimalistic design will ensure you can re-wear it on multiple occasions. That’s a key element of all Annaborgia’s designs. See more photo details of its sexy back and read more on the Stella other qualities  (from being cruelty-free to eco friendly)  on Annaborgia’s blog.

Annaborgia Stella Dress

Thank you Orange County!

I have been so busy since I have landed in California that I had no time to update this blog for the past two weeks, Annaborgia always comes first these days :)  I have just returned from a memorable trip to Orange County and Los Angeles area. Although it was not my first visit there, this time I so enjoyed my stay I did not want to leave! I have to say my friend Elisabetta really spoiled me prepping a vegan dinner on the evening of my arrival… and she kept indulging me taking me to the best cruelty free restaurants of OC and introduce me to some of her awesome friends. I am thankful for the great positive energy I filled up with in just a few days. Besides the great company and vegan delicacies,  my goal during this trip was to photograph Annaborgia’s Look Book, with the amazingly talented Katya Linnik as Annaborgia’s Face.  I will soon share some exclusive images in our newsletter so you better sign up for it if you’re curious :)

Katya, Elisabetta and I  had planned and brainstormed over this shoot about a year ago while eating sushi in Manhattan Beach (vegan style, of course), so it was such a great feeling to make it happen, at last! Everything went perfectly, besides my usual nervousness while scouting the Venice Beach Canals location :) Once I saw Katya through my viewfinder, i knew everything would go smoothly! She lights up the scene, with her versatility she’s such a joy to work with.  I also wanna thank the very professional Reyna Khalill for Katya’s perfect Make Up. If you need a MUA in the area, I highly recommend her! Last but not least, a BIG thank you to my friend Elisabetta for her endless and tireless support, and for shooting a few behind the scene images!

Daniela at work in Venice Beach

Selfie of Dream Team in Venice Beach

So now that I am addicted to Orange County, I have already made plans to return very soon.. because, you know, once you start brainstorming, you can never stop, especially with a group of creative and passionate women!

California On My Way

It’s time!! Finally ready to return to my beloved California. Of course the to do list for Annaborgia is endless, but I am definitely ready for some fun times and give back to my amazing community. In fact, first off this coming Sunday, I will be volunteering once again as the official photographer at “Ryan’s Ride”

Ryan’s Ride is the largest children’s bike ride in California in memory of Ryan Phua. Ryan tragically passed away from Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood on July 8, 2003.  I knew Ryan since he was six months old, having had the pleasure of being hired by his parents for a portrait session. Ryan and his twin brother Matthew were a joy to photograph, and I kept capturing precious memories for the Phua family in the following months ending up forming a close friendship with Ryan and Matthew’s parents.

ryan's ride 2015 posterLoosing Ryan was so shocking for the entire community, but the Phuas have been such an inspiration, pulling through the pain and envisioning a way to celebrate Ryan’s joyful spirit with “Ryan’s Ride”.  Hundreds of kids gear up in their stylish cycling outfits and their latest gadgets… so irresistible to my camera.

It’s been fun to see the same cute faces throughout the years, the community keeps supporting this great cause as it creates a special moment of aggregation with its festive atmosphere. And at the finish line, there’s ice-cream and medals for everyone!

California here I come!

Annaborgia Sneak Peek

Last thursday I got behind the camera again. A friend of mine agreed to help posing for me with a couple of Annaborgia‘s designs as I wanted to show how easy it is to re purpose Annaborgia’s bridesmaid attire into a casual look.

I admit I was nervous like it was my first job. I am so emotionally involved in Annaborgia’s project that I don’t think I was completely at ease and lucid while taking pictures. Pure pressure!! :)

So, are you curious of the turn out? We’re giving an exclusive sneak peek of our photo shoot in Annaborgia’s June Newsletter.

I personally write the newsletter once a month and truly enjoy sharing news about our start up progress, our plans or something unique before it gets out through Social Medias.  And when our eStore will be launched, we’ll have Discount Codes for our subscribers! If you want to join the list simply add your email in the Newsletter box at http://www.annaborgia.com/contact.

Hurry, the newsletter goes out next Tuesday!!! :)

Lily Bustier Sneak Peek

My recipes: Asparagus Lasagne

Vegan Asparagus Lasagne

I love when I can cook my vegan recipes to my meat eater friends. Usually they are also quite curious to know what the heck do vegans eat ;-)

Everyone knows it’s a good habit, when cooking for guests,  to prepare recipes one is familiar with, that have been previously tested. But along with my recent hits Chickpeas Arancini and shell pasta with Pistachio Ragu  I decided to take a risk and try a new dish. Yes, I like to live dangerously ;-)

It’s asparagus season here in Italy so when i was chopping them preparing an Asparagus Risotto a few weeks ago, my mind started fantasizing about a new recipe. Asparagus lasagne. This time I was better organized and had my camera handy to capture all the important steps, although I wished I had better lighting conditions and more time to dwell on each frame. Never mind my professionals pedantry, let’s focus on the recipe.

Use fresh asparagus and cut off about two inches from their ends. Remove the green skin from the stems, it’ll make the pulp  softer.

Asparagus

Then put the asparagus (tips included) into the food processor and blend them until they are pureed. They should look like the picture below.

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Sautee this lovely pulp with onions and olive oil and a bit of water for about 15 minutes, until the pulp is cooked and it reaches a creamy consistency. You could add more spices to the mix. I prefer to taste the simple flavor of the asparagus.

Asparagus Cream

Believe it or not, we’re almost done. Now you’ll just have to layer your lasagne (I bought egg free kamut lasagne), the asparagus paste and a besciamella sauce substitute (I used a rice cream) in this order until you run out of ingredients. I was able to build about 5 layers, it all depends on the quantity of your ingredients.

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Cook in the oven at about 30 min at 400 F. or until the top gets a golden color.  This dish is actually great served cold. That’s what I did since the day had been particularly hot. I’ve cut the lasagne in small squares to serve them as appetizer bites with a cool prosecco.

Asparagus Lasagne Bites

I am happy to report my guests loved all I’ve put on the table, including a quick but lavish dessert, fresh strawberries with my latest find, a delicious vegan cocoa spread.

One of my favorite comments of the night, was when a friend told me he felt good about having eaten a guilt-free meal. That’s all I needed to hear! Do you have any vegan lasagne recipes to share?

The Importance of Communities

I remember when I started my Photography Business in 2000, I had no idea there were many Photographer Communities I could reach out to. I guess it was because I was kind of new to the area and still unaware of the professional perks of working in United States.  Only many years later I connected with my local colleagues in California, I joined the professional meetings realizing how much I would have benefitted from such a support system in my early stages.

Many times I heard and even said myself that Americans are  individualists (included yours truly, Proud American!) but actually, based from my own experiences, that’s far from being true.

Conversing with a fellow photographer in Italy, I found out that there is no such thing as a Photographer’s Group or Community in our area (near Venice), on the contrary, professionals are quite guarded towards their work and they rather not share much about their own trial and error.

So why say that America is such an individualistic society when instead it is so  Community driven?

Now that I am in the process of launching my fashion line I am using my past experience and don’t wanna miss out on the importance of having the right support to make wise choices for my business.  I have done my research and I think I am connected with all the important organizations that help emerging designers, I follow their blog, social media channels and I participate in their twitter chats.

In particular, I have been following the inspirational blog Start Up Fashion which is an amazing source of all the key elements of running a fashion business.  I took endless notes from Founder Nicole Giordano and from her experienced contributors’s posts.

What impressed me about Nicole is her genuine no bullshit approach. I feel the passion, the care, the enthusiasm she conveys to her readers and she doesn’t forget to give designers reality checks when needed. Let’s face it, we are artists, and artists  live in la la land. Nicole has a gentle way to bring us back to earth reminding us we have a business to run! She makes it look easy and almost pleasant, so we oblige and follow her precious advice.

After being on my radar for so long, I finally decided to sign up to join Start Up Fashion Online Community, I felt like I was missing out on much more! And I was right! Just few days in, and I feel  it’s the best money i have spent so far on my start up (a drop really, if compared to the thousands of $ I spent for Annaborgia to this day).

 

Start Up Fashion

Being able to connect with my peers and listen to their past experiences (good and bad) makes me feel relieved that I am not the only one having difficulties getting things done or taking some time to find the right team to work with. Apparently it happens to almost everyone. That means, I can do this!

The Designers Community at Start Up Fashion is a great Hub to learn, share and compare professional experiences that are invaluable for me to make the right choices moving forward. Imagine the time, the money and most of all the grief, that I can save in the future.  I deserve it! :)

Entrepreneur Photographer turned Fashion Designer

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