ODE TO 2013

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Written and photographed by Walter Grio.
More photos below.


Before this past fashion week season in New York, I told several people that I was finished with fashion week and probably wouldn’t go back. This was my 10th fashion week overall including Paris, Berlin, Miami, and New York. And not trying to sound facetious, quite frankly, I was over it. All the fashion weeks blended together and I couldn’t decipher between seasons anymore. The sounds and the sight and the smell as I walked inside the tents of Lincoln Center made me cringe. In truth, a part of me felt that I’ve taken fashiontographer as far as I could. Was this really all fashiontographer could do? Given that this wasn’t my full time job, I felt that I couldn’t do much more to improve it. I wasn’t sure how to take it to the next level. And in some strange way, I felt that it was not successful.

That said, ironically, this past fashion week in New York ended up being one of my favorite fashion weeks of all time. And I must thank my dear friend and fashion editor, Lais Lacher. This past season, in my opinion, she helped catapult fashiontographer to that “next” level with the type of invitations we received. I even showed my surprise when they would find my name on the “list”. Are you Walter Grio? Yes, that’s me! I think so!

Between seeing and photographing Coco Rocha who is my all time favorite model — to all the backstage access fashiontographer received including Zac Posen, Alice + Olivia, and Carolina Herrera — it felt like it was my first time again at New York Fashion Week. I also had a chance to say hello to top models Karlie Kloss and Lindsey Wixson, who did an impromptu beauty photoshoot with me before Zac Posen’s show.

Thanks to Sara Kerens, we were also invited to Christian Siriano’s afterparty. I was so exhausted by the third day that Lais and I decided to skip a PR party scheduled at 10pm. We ended up turning Alice + Olivia’s presentation at 6pm into our own afterparty. In our defense, that presentation had some pretty awesome cocktails. As if that wasn’t enough, thanks to Elyse Moody, we also had an opportunity to have lunch inside ELLE magazine’s building — as well as take a tour of the office. Needless to say, it was spectacular. When you include our now traditional trip to American Ballet Theatre and meeting the 2nd recipient of the Shoot for Change Scholarship as well as inviting the 1st recipient to more fashion shows — this was truly one of my more memorable fashion weeks.

Without doubt, 2013 has been one of the amazing years for me personally as well as professionally. Between reaching nearly 500,000 Facebook followers to meeting Zuhair Murad and Coco Rocha, and photographing the President and the First Lady dance at the Inaugural Ball, this was truly one of the best years. And on a personal standpoint, I couldn’t be happier.

While I’m still not quite sure what to think of it all, I learned one important thing.

I think with anything in life, you can either stand pat and keep plugging along or you can strive to reach a new level. The challenge though is that if you are striving to get better, it gets tougher and tougher as you move up. While it may seem like we’re all trying to achieve our goals, in truth, there is no “Superbowl championship” when it comes to life. But success doesn’t have to be defined by that. Success can simply be defined by doing what you love.

PARIS

*  Received media accreditation to cover Haute Couture from the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers and Créateurs de Mode
*  Photographed Zuhair Murad’s Prêt-à-Porter collection in his showroom, with Mr. Murad in attendance
*  Interviewed Zuhair Murad
*  Elie Saab – Prêt-à-Porter
*  John Galliano – Prêt-à-Porter
*  Issey Miyake – Prêt-à-Porter
*  Leonard – Prêt-à-Porter
*  Tsumori Chisato – Prêt-à-Porter
*  Sat front row at Zuhair Murad – Haute Couture (MM)
*  Sat front row at Andrew Gn – Prêt-à-Porter (MM)
*  Elie Saab – Haute Couture (MM)

NEW YORK

*  Invited recipient of the Shoot for Change Scholarship at the JKO School at ABT to New York Fashion Week
* Awarded the second Shoot for Change Scholarship at the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre
*  Collaborated with ELLE Copy Editor, Elyse Moody, on writing Profiles and Stories
* Zac Posen
* Coco Rocha
*  Carolina Herrera
*  DVF
*  Monique Lhuillier
*  Rebecca Minkoff
*  BCBGMAXAZRIA
*  Christian Siriano
*  Billy Reid (SK)
*  Misha Nonoo (JH)

LONDON

*  Burberry Prorsum (KM)

MILAN

*  Vivienne Westwood Men’s (HG)

AUSTIN

*  SXSW 2013 (LL)

WASHINGTON

*  Photographed Barack and Michelle Obama dancing at The Inaugural Ball
*  Hosted the American Ballet Theatre dancers for a cocktail reception at Peacock Cafe
*  Interviewed Jason Wu
* Featured in the Mercedes-Benz event in Ballston Arlington, VA (personal favorite)
* Co-hosted an event with Bloomingdale’s in Chevy Chase to benefit the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home

NOTE

All events attended by Walter Grio, except for the ones that are marked:
*  MM – Mila Morales
*  KM – Konstantia Mamada
*  HG – Hugh Gilmore
*  JH – Jennifer Harlow
*  SK – Sara Kerens
*  LK – Lisa Klein
*  BG – Baille Gelwicks
*  LL – Lais Lacher

RELATED LINKS
+ MORE FASHION WEEK PHOTOS
+ MEET THE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS – ALEXANDRA AND ISABEL

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