HughE Dillon: Wilhelmina Models Local Launch Party

Plus Mac's Tavern (aka the Always Sunny bar) opens

About a year ago when I met Will Ball, the booker for Wilhelmina Models, he told me was opening a Philadelphia division of the agency in the near future. Well, the near future arrived the other night when Wilhelmina had its opening night party at Trust in Old City.

ABOVE: Will Ball instructing the models where to line up as they finish getting their hair done by Ettore Salon & Spa and makeup by Carie Brescia.

?ABOVE: Jimmy Contreras instructing the models on their catwalk pose. Jimmy worked with Per Lei Boutique and B. Gross Menswear in Media for all the clothing and accessories that were used for the fashion show on Wednesday. Per Lei Boutique, Wilhelmina and Jimmy put all the looks together. Per Lei had samples from Badgley Mischka, Tibi, and Rebecca Taylor. Plus they used clothing from Alice + Olivia, Mark & James, and Robert Rodriguez. Next week Jimmy will be announcing his new gig … and how it’s going to help you be stylish too.

ABOVE: Modeling isn’t as glamorous as you think. Here, models wait for their call in the basement of Trust.

Ahh, the Front Row. The people in the Front Row can make or break a show as this is where the influencers, fashion writers, fashion bloggers and celebrities sit for unobstructed views the clothing … so they can sit and judge it. ABOVE: Mika Dalton, VP of creative at David’s Bridal and her husband Sean Dalton. VH1’s Tough Love host Steve Ward, Jamyra Perry, Hadas Kuznits, and Crystal Chablis were in the house too.

Food Network host Daisy Martinez (who rocked a John Wind necklace) greeted the audience and introduced the Philadelphia Wilhelmina office staff. Although Daisy lives in Brooklyn, she comes to Philly often as two of her sons live here. One is a captain at Le Bec-Fin, the other is an actor currently in a play at the Shubin Theater. The following day Daisy had lunch at Le Bec and went on to do a signing at Williams-Sonoma for her new book. Wednesday night she enjoyed dinner at Meritage.

ABOVE: The staff of Wilhelmina Philadelphia.

It was a packed house, and having been to Trust for many events, I have to say this was one of the better set-ups.  The cocktail hour was held entirely upstairs. The models were moved from backstage to the basement so they could make their entrance without being seen by the guests. When they were safely tucked away downstairs, guests were then allowed to fill the seats on the first floor. On the sides of the room, behind the chairs, were temporary white walls, which really created an intimate, but serious fashion space. It had that professional look that is used in the tents in Bryant Park. Hat tip to Matthew Vlahos, Vlahos PR.

More Front Row personalities: Matthew Izzo, Andrea Chila, Elizabeth Wellington, Charlie Smith, Kristin Detterline-Munro, Daisy Martinez and Mariska Bogle. (On the far right, the sexy legs of Cari Brescia.)


Wondering why the popular With Love, Philadelphia XOXO poster was on the red carpet at the opening of South Philly native Rob McElhenney‘s Mac’s Tavern in Old City?

Those folks over at the  Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) are always on the ball.  Caroline Bean reached out to the Always Sunny in Philadelphia folks on Monday as she knew they were filming in town this week and offered to send some of their Summer Love Ale over to the group. In turn, they called and told her about the opening party for Mac’s Tavern and together they explored ways to partner; in the end GPTMC co-sponsored the party. They also used their partnership with Victory Brewing and their Summer Love Ale to help provide free beer at the bar for guests.

Glenn Howerton, a very pregnant Kaitlin Olson,
and Rob McElhenney (also known as Sweet Dee and Mac of Always Sunny) arrived on the red carpet about an hour after their prescribed time. Danny DeVito joined the party an hour later, after dining at Butcher & Singer. Check out that rather large doggie bag—looks like someone has a big appetite. On Tuesday, DeVito was spotted at FYE record store buying a few movies. He posed with fans and shook a lot of hands. On this night, he posed with fans, but didn’t pose on the red carpet until he exited the bar near midnight and jumped in a cab for the ride back to the Sofitel. Other special guests that night included Ryan Howard sans new girlfriend SI swimsuit model Selita Ebanks, Chase and Jen Utley, Kelly Murry, Caroline Bean, Morgan Adoff, WMMR’s Marisa Magnatta with Preston & Steve.

The opening of Mac’s gives fans of the hit show a great reason to explore the city where The Gang — Charlie, Sweet Dee, Dennis, Mac and Frank — have done everything from cracking the Liberty Bell to running the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps Rocky-style. In a two-day, two-night itinerary, Always Sunny fans can see for themselves where the ego-driven characters create scenes all over Philadelphia — that is, when they aren’t arguing or scheming in Paddy’s Pub. The full tour — including a stop at Mac’s Tavern — is now available at

Traveling from Hazelton, PA (where you think their favorite show would be The Office) for the party were Kimberely Brekke, Kim Scatton, and Mike Sweeney. Lindsay Romancheck (second from right) goes to school here in Philly. The Kims watch the show religiously and sometimes mimic the characters and spew lines from the show for conversation.  They love Mac and endured the heat and late hour to meet him. I left so I’m not sure if that quest was filled.

If you see me, call me over and maybe you will be in this column next week. And check me out on my personal blog, Best wishes, Hughe