Lileet_Miriam: The Latest Vixen

Tara Mordin the latest Vixen in a series by Tony Ward Studio copyright 2024
Tara Mordin. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Lileet_Miriam, Copyright 2024

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling and Creative Direction by KVaughn 

.

When I was contacted by Tony Ward Studio to partake in this project, “The Vixen Series,” I was genuinely honored, very excited, and quite honestly, humbled. I viewed this invitation to be in a league of its own – an elite circle of amazing women from all walks of life who were having their beauty, thoughts, strengths, and tribulations highlighted in a way that exuded power and commanded respect. As I began to ponder more on the concept of what it means to be deemed a “vixen,” I realized that the whole is greater than the sums of its parts. To be considered and included with these other “vixens,” meant that I brought something to the table that is equally powerful, enticing, and worthwhile that goes well beyond having a physical presence. 

Many of us have had moments in life where we are our toughest critics – questioning our worth, doubting our abilities, obsessing over how others perceive us. I think being considered a vixen allows one to fully embrace their true, authentic self and showcases how their individual uniqueness has its place in this vast world. We each have physical and interpersonal traits that make us different from the next. When we acknowledge and accept such attributes and celebrate what they truly offer, it opens a window of opportunity that is filled with confidence, empowerment, even pride. The more positivity and ownership of our value that we portray to others, the more impact and inspiration it tends to have. 

Over time, I feel that I have reached my own prime. I am unapologetically, me. I have grown a tremendous amount as a person, both inside and out. I have come to learn that my qualities do carry inherent value and that my input, time, energy, and overall presence, matter. Being a part of this series has reinforced that for me. It continuously sheds light that there truly is more to a person than what we first may see and that each of us should honor, praise, and recognize our own inner vixen, in all its amazing forms.   

Sightseeing in Paris at night beautiful woman wearing lingerie exposing her beautiful legs as she looks onto the Eiffel Tower.
Sightseeing. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

.

To access additional photographs from The Vixen’s Series portfolio, click herehttps://tonyward.com/the-vixens-series/

Kitchie Ohh: Oh, It’s Nothing!

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

.

Oh, It’s Nothing!

.

If you’ve read my earlier posts here, you know how close I am with my family. They are a large part of the person I am today. If you haven’t, well, that’s kind of an understatement but still true.

Recently, I was shocked to get the several days delayed news that my mother had fallen and severely injured herself. She required immediate surgery and would need to remain in the hospital. It was very little consolation that this injury occurred while she was doing what she and my father love- seeing the world from on board a cruise ship- or that said ship was docked in the gorgeous port of Maui, Hawaii at the time. She was, literally, on the other side of the world, and there was not a damn thing I could do to help. 

When we were finally able to speak, my parents told me of the excellent care at the hospital, the kindness delivered alongside the routine medical services. And, of course, they were thankful that the hospital was near beachfront and they had a gorgeous view. They could still see a bit of Hawaii, despite their situation. 

My siblings and I, unknown to either of our parents, sprang into action, assigning and volunteering for key tasks that would need to be completed before mom came home. She would be unable to climb stairs for 6 weeks, maybe longer. There was no way we could allow her to come home without a plan that was in equal parts for her recuperation and for our peace of mind. We would need to make the ground floor comfortable enough to be a makeshift bedroom for her, clear enough to safely accommodate a wheelchair or walker, private enough to allow for daily hygiene tasks if she couldn’t get to the bathroom.There was more we didn’t know about what she needed, than what we did.  Everything we could think to do, was done, having no idea when -or HOW- they would be getting home. We were as ready as we could be. 

Luckily, my niece was with them and made the necessary flight and hotel arrangements to get them all safely from there to here. Just shy of one week from the day we heard the news, we were planning for their arrival back to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. A week of storms made travel more dangerous, not to mention added the never fun task of snow and ice removal to our to-do list. But that evening, the flight remained on time and we got mom and dad (niece and fiancée, too) home safely, to a clear driveway, and an organized house with only a few minor hiccups not even worth mentioning. 

As we settled them in and listened to all of the details between hugs and tears, the relief everyone felt was obvious. Home is a magical, comforting place. We pointed out all that was done in preparation and made sure nothing was missed, addressing if it was. Soon, all of us were yawning, it was definitely time to rest, but not before confirming the remainder of the plan. 

Reconvening the following morning, we shopped, chopped, cooked and meal prepped, cleaned and did laundry. We made it easy for dad to keep things going while he worried and fussed over mom. We also sat around and did what we do best. We ate, we talked and laughed, made wildly inappropriate jokes and brought back a sense of normalcy. 

Completely overwhelmed, mom repeatedly apologized, dad paced, and both thanked us profusely. As we finished up tasks, made sure every detail was handled, Dad beamed, telling us how proud he was at the way we pulled together; no arguing, no questions asked, just jumping into action when they were in need. 

My first thought was to say “oh, it’s nothing!” but recalled another instance of stepping in to handle a stressful situation for someone else and the response that remark got me.“Don’t ever say that. It may seem insignificant to you, but that small thing, that “nothing” meant so much more than words can express.” And so, standing in the kitchen, drying my hands after cleaning up the last of our mess, I hugged my dad, tightly, and told him, “that’s what we do, right? It’s what you and mom taught us, by showing us. If there’s something you can do to help, you do it. We love you.” 

Honestly, there really isn’t a better lesson I can think of that they taught me by setting this example. It’s not one that only applies in times of crisis or just to family either. An action, a compliment, getting someone their favorite snack just because, being a hug or shoulder to cry on, whatever it may be, however little effort it took, it means something. It could mean everything to that person in that moment. 

It’s the smallest things bring me the most joy, whether I’m providing or receiving them. Grand gestures make me uncomfortable. Words often go unsaid. But the ‘I saw this and thought of you,’ the ‘I did that thing you’ve been putting off so you don’t have to worry about it,’ the everyday mundane, small things, the going slightly out of your way, tolerating a mildly inconvenient moment for the benefit of someone else, unasked….THAT is love in the purest, kindest form. 

So, in this month of all things chocolate, roses, hearts and love, as people bend over backward for their Valentines for one day,  think smaller. It might mean more than you will ever know. 

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-thanks-i-feel-awful/

Savanna: On Swings


Text by Savanna, Copyright 2024

.

On Swings

.

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Creative Director: KVaughn

Hair and Makeup: Octavia Monroe

Lighting Assistant: Anthony Colagreco

BTS: Al B For

Rope Work: Scorpiana

.

Last year, to my delight, I got to meet and get close to someone quite special. This someone turns out to be my inner child, and she is so rambunctious. Lively, mischievous — all she wants to do is have fun. And I think I am becoming one of her biggest fans.

I’ve been thinking a lot about swings (and her) lately. She brings with her memories of twisted-up steel chains, raveling and unraveling at inhuman speeds. Interlocking ankles with friends, swings swinging higher and higher, back and forth until the mishmash of ankles finally comes loose. (We called these ‘banana splits.’) Fast racing heartbeats as she and her friends dared each other to jump as far as they could. She would even place the seat against the middle of her back so she could wrap her little legs around the chains above and swing upside down.

This shoot for The Vixens Series was full of firsts. It was my first shoot in collaboration with Tony Ward, his studio, and his creative team. It was the studio and team’s first shoot incorporating Shibari and rope suspension elements. I love rope. Consensual rope bondage involves using rope as a means of restricting movement, wrapping, suspending, or restraining someone; it is a subsection of BDSM activities and has roots in Japanese rope bondage. When I think about it, I’m not surprised that this is what my adult self has fallen in love with. An inclination to be on the ground and to feel all the sensations internally and externally. It’s the “just feeling” part. Flavors of rope that I particularly enjoy: when my head is in my body, the mental endurance, challenging the reality of pain, the goofiness, the exploratory moments of seeing what my body can physically take and its range of motion, and the connectivity I can experience with others.

If I think about it a little more, I can see the little spirited inner child beside me, along for the ride. And she’s having so, so much fun.

Out of the different looks during our collaborative shoot, my favorite was our rope concept. I don’t have much experience with a fashion editorial-style shoot, and the team hadn’t done rope bondage in previous shoots. We were suddenly on the precipice of something new. We were all explorers! I loved that we were all experiencing something new together — through one another. To me, being seen as a vixen is a shared experience. It is to explore the unexplored with others, feel with them, react with them; it is something everyone contributes to.

.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Savanna currently resides in New York. She enjoys finding new music, traveling, experimenting cooking with different foods, and caring for her plants.  This is Savanna’s first contribution to Tony Ward Studio. To access additional articles by Savanna, link here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/savanna-autonomy/

KVaughn: Winter Collection 2024


Text and Photography by Tony Ward

.

KVaughn Scarves: Winter Collection 2024

.

Here are a series of my latest portraits, subjects cast by designer/creative director KVaughn for his winter collection of scarves, 2024. I selected a backdrop from my archives that I thought was in keeping with the winter season.  Models were styled by KVaughn and were photographed around the grounds of the studio by several notable area photographers including Brian Hunt and Ernest Thomas.  After they shot around the grounds and in the main house,  I got the last crack at the talent before they were escorted back to the dressing room for the next change.  Even though I didn’t have much time to work with these subjects in studio as we were on a tight schedule, I am very pleased with what each of them were able to deliver; style, grace and class.

 

 

Milton White: I See I Like I Buy

Portrait of fashion consultant Milton White wearing KVaughn white scarve.
Milton White wears KVaughn Winter Collection 2924. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by Milton White, Copyright 2023

.

I See I Like I Buy

.

Picture this, it was during the 1996 Christmas Holiday season. While sitting with one of my favorite bartender’s, Dominic, at Mia’s Restaurant at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, a tall enthusiastic guy entered the bar area with a bag, greeting Dominic as if they knew each other for years. After a brief introduction, Kvaughn opened his bag pulling out scarf after scarf, after scarf. There was one scarf that stood out to me, that I had to have. It was a festive black organza embossed with sparkling martini glasses and bubbles reminding me of champagne. I wore it with my New Year’s Eve outfit that year. I was hooked from there. The following year, I purchased not only for myself, but for family and friends as gifts.
 
Soon after, I sought Kvaughn throughout the year for different events that I attended. There are two occasions that come to mind.
 
In 2000, I attended a birthday celebration for Senator Hillary Clinton in New York, first a small private function, then a much larger event at a theater on Broadway. I happened to be wearing a blue Armani suit, lavender shirt and tie with a Kvaughn original, a multi-colored sequined scarf offsetting the color of the combination. During the intermission, as I approached President Clinton, Christian Slater stopped me to say that I looked amazing…I am sure it was because of the scarf! By the way, I never got to President Clinton because the intermission came to an end.
 
I lost touch with Kvaughn, due to my schedule. I lived in Manhattan and worked in Atlanta at that time. On one of my visits back to Philly, this is also one of Kvaughn’s favorite recollections, I was strolling along Walnut Street, wearing olive green Versace turtleneck with Versace couture jeans accompanied with a long velvet maroon/silver iridescent original by Kvaughn, when we ran into each other. I told him that I had been looking for him, because I needed to add to my collection. I took him to Del Frisco’s for cocktails so that we could catch up. 
 
I was exposed to fashion and style at an early age. My parents exuded style. They never stepped outside the front door without being impeccably dressed whether for casual occasions or in party attire. After sitting down to dinner with the family, Dad would put on his smoking jacket and retire to the living room for family time. They dressed my sisters and I in the latest fashions of the day. When I was allowed to pick out my own clothes and it was met with approval, I felt that my mission was accomplished. My style and accessories during my school years were, one might say, impressive.
 
I attended Northeastern University in Boston, and after my freshman year I moved to a townhouse in the South End with a designer friend from Philadelphia who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NYC, and his friend. During this period, I met other designers and models, both print and runway. Newbury Street was full of clothing stores. Finding Louis, Boston, rated Best Men’s Store in America at the time, was like hearing the Angels sing as I crossed the threshold. How does an 18-year-old know how to select a haberdashery? I found select suits, ascots, and other items that truly set me apart from the college male style. As Special Assistant to the Director of the African American Institute, planning events and hosting them, I had to look my best. One year, while still at the school, I was recruited to walk the catwalk at a fashion show and stole the show.
 
Moving to NYC gave me another glimpse of the world of fashion. Working at Just Above Midtown (JAM) Art Gallery on West 57th Street, Linda Goode-Bryant, Curator, introduced me to an array of artists, celebrities, and collectors. Fast forward 2001, the week after 9/11, I met Delores Aitenfisu who happened to be on the Board at JAM while I was there. Delores had her own company, D. Scott Events and I was asked to join her in planning fundraising galas for Young Audiences, which were Black Tie.
 
Travels to Rome, Positano and to the Islands, further enhanced my passion to accessorize my style.
 
I will leave you with this:
 
Diamonds, Pearls, Scarves = Tiffany’s, Chanel, Kvaughn 
.
Portrait of fashion consultant Milton White photo: Tony Ward
Milton White. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023.

.

 
About The Author: 
Milton White is a fashion aficionado, collector and consultant.  He is currently creative assistant to KVaughn Studio.