Hollywood on the Potomac

House of Cards Designer

April 2, 2015

“I have not met Dr. Biden,” New York Designer Alvin Valley told Hollywood on the Potomac just prior to her arrival at Ann Hand Boutique in Georgetown for a special trunk show in his honor.

Often referred to as The King of Pants, the Cuban-American was recently appointed to the White House’s Initiative on Educational Excellence to work with and inspire Hispanics of heritage, like himself.  “The initiative focuses on empowering Hispanic students to make new choices. A huge amount of Latinos go into the Army or Marines, but this initiative is working on encouraging them to get higher education and to dream big,” he recently remarked on how he hopes to encourage Hispanics.

Not to diminish that initiative, but guests were more interested in his affiliation with Season 3 of House of Cards for which he designed the wardrobes: “I met with Robin Wright. Most of the time I work very closely with the person who is wearing them.”

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A Cautionary Tale

March 29, 2015

Imagine, if you will, that you and a colleague are working on a project and a month or so later you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a maelstrom. That’s exactly what happened to Neal Broffman and colleague Elisa Gambino while on a shoot for Johnson and Johnson’s maternal and infant health and their global initiative in Africa in March of 2013.  The shoot was like any other shoot and would have continued to be such had they not also been working alongside Sanjeet Tripathi.  We’ll connect the dots.

Broffman and  Gambino are two former longtime CNN international journalists based out of CNN’s London, Rome and Moscow bureaus for more than a decade. They covered revolutions, upheaval and human triumph across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. They subsequently created One Production Place with a collaborative approach to film-making grounded in their vast experience for a unique artistic vision. But what happened in March of 2013 was not on their storyboard.

“The day we came back from the shoot, Sanjeet went back to New York and Elisa and I went back to Atlanta. We had worked together for a couple of weeks,” Broffman told Hollywood on the Potomac. “It was on that day we got back that was the day Sanjeet found out that his brother Sunil had gone missing. We offered as much emotional support as possible and helped with some video work while they were looking for Sunil.”  Both Broffman and Gambino followed the story for a month from Atlanta.

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Color Me Irish

March 26, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny (The Prime Minister of Ireland) has come and gone, but for the 33.3 Americans of Irish descent that live in the US, the spirit lives on.

“We’ve had a wonderful, exhilarating day. The sun is shining. Every door has been opened to us in Washington, and the welcome could not have been warmer,” said The Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson at a reception in honor of An Taoiseach and Mrs. Kenny at the historic Willard Hotel on St. Patrick’s Day.

“I think you all know the Taoiseach’s CV already: His four decades in political life. His extensive experience as minister. His leadership of his party since 2002. Of course, what is most important is the Taoiseach’s leadership of the country over the past four years – such an extraordinary journey, and the unique, extraordinary relationship between our two great countries.”

Mr. Kenny is proud of the growth of his country and pointed out the differences that have occurred over the past four years. “Let me say to you I came here to Washington just over four years ago when our country was in a very bad situation economically. We were blocked out of the markets, the banks had gone over the edge, we lost 300,000 thousand jobs, immigration was hemorrhaging our system, and we’d lost our integrity and our credibility. That’s all in the past. It was a difficult time. We made difficult decisions. Because of the sacrifice of the people, we’re now in a better place. We’re actually in a situation where unemployment is falling from 15% down to 10%. Exports are booming. Investment is very strong in the country. Irish companies are being set up that are growing globally and exporting, which is great. We’ve had almost 90,000 new jobs created in the last 3 1/2 years, expecting to get 40,000 more jobs.”

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