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rock the runway

Haute Haus Agency fuses live music and high fashion at a rooftop pool to benefit Music Unites.

By Erica Moody 

rock the runway

Paul Wharton and Lynda Erkelitian with models from T.H.E. Artist Agency (Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)

The music was rocking and the fashion on point last Saturday at Haute Haus Agency’s inaugural Rock the Runway at VIDA Penthouse Pool Club at The Yards, “a fashion-music infusion like no other” that featured the alternative blues music of Amber Sands and the iconic fashions of Marchesa, along with select styles from Rent the Runway. Guests were also treated to a song from Grammy-nominated artist Wayna.

Carl Ray (Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)

Jamie Hyder and Carl Ray (Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)

Washington showed up in style on the sultry summer night as partygoers mingled in private VIP cabanas, relaxed on lounge chairs and rubbed elbows with illustrious guests including the First Lady’s makeup artist Carl Ray, THE Artist Agency’s Elizabeth Centenari and Lynda Erkiletian, “True Blood” actress Jamie Hyder, Music Unites founder Michelle Edgar and television personality and style expert Paul Wharton.

Photos by Vithaya Phongsaven

A sampling of standout looks from the runway show (Photos by Vithaya Phongsavan)

Haute Haus Agency came up with the concept for Rock the Runway at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York when one of its founders, Heather Mahoney was attending.

Mahoney tells Washington Life, “Working in the industry and attending some of the world’s top shows I began to understand the importance of music and fashion. Musical accompaniment to collections convey the aesthetic of a designer’s work in ways that presenting the collection on its own cannot. Live music is now adding to the manifestation of runway; the shows of many major fashion houses now like concerts, its musicians their muse; a concept D.C. just hasn’t had yet… true couture collections set to original music.”

(Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)

Amber Sands (Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)

Marchesa generously lent gorgeous pieces for the show directly from the fashion powerhouse’s New York showroom. Gowns from Rent the Runway included beautiful, gala-appropriate selections from Raoul, Christian Siriano, Rachel Zoe, Versace and BCBG, all exhibited by THE Artist Agency models who expertly strutted a unique elevated runway illuminated by the glow of the pool. As for the crowd of attendees, we saw brightly colored cocktail dresses, an abundance of stylish jumpsuits, some chic all-black ensembles and plenty of seersucker-clad men, perfectly suited for summer.

Heather Mahoney and Baille Gelwicks (Photo by Elliott O'Donovan)

Heather Mahoney, Will Roberts and Baille Gelwicks (Photo by Elliott O’Donovan)

A portion of the proceeds from the night go to Music Unites, the leading charity organization supporting music education by providing at-risk youth with after-school programs in areas where funding has been cut.

Mahoney tells us, “Haute Haus Agency was founded on the belief that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, but opportunity may only exist when you pay it forward. The base of our services are in public relations/events but our true business model is to give back, with at least one large philanthropic event per year, to honor Washingtonians that have supported us all these years – friends, colleagues, media, etc.”

View more photos from the rocking event here

Paul Wharton

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