Tuesday, May 1, 2012


And so, the process begins towards growing  a
healthy and lustrous Afro! 
If you can recall from my "April Letter from the Editor" I had mentioned that I was going to be revamping my style to accommodate some "edits" to my mindset and how I will approach situations that occur in my life. I have decided to follow suit with the Natural Hair Trend and grow a large 'fro. As you can see from my recent fashion coverage, the Fall/Winter 2012 runways confirmed natural hair to be a hot trend for this coming season. Is it because of our heightened realization that all natural is the way to go in our overly-industrialized society? Or is it because of the recent rise in celebrities dawning natural tresses (i.e. Viola Davis, Elle Varner, Julia Sarr-Jamois)? Or would it be accurate to assume that our society is moving into another Hippie movement in light of the "Occupy Movement" that has been organizing since 2011, as well as other large protests that have occurred as of late all over the nation for various reasons? For me, in light of my post this past April on "Editing our Style for Success", I am making a steadfast commitment to grow my hair in that it is representative of my strife to reach my highest potential in life. Anyone who understands African American hair care is aware that if you want to have healthy, illustrious hair, it takes a lot of effort and dedication. Have you ever seen a black woman become fumed with anger after getting her hair wet? I wanted to grow my hair because for me it symbolizes how in lieu of my personal follies, I wanted a tangible representation of how I plan to continually strive for positivity and growth in my life and stray away from self-destructive habits that keep me from my goals in life. I know exactly how I want my hair to look by the time I get it to the length I want, and I know the type of care and attention I am going to have to put into it to get it to that point. The type of care and effort I will putting into my hair, is comparable to the care and effort I will be putting into exuding good character to have great style.

Natural Hair making a comeback in fashion
 In my fashion, among other factors, the most attractive of persons is someone who carries a certain level of integrity about themselves. Integrity is defined as a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. What do you stand for? Looking back to my post on my theme for April "Serious Style: Editing Your Style for Success" I tried to make the point that in life it takes a certain level of self-discipline and commitment to progress in life, which is why this month I want to emphasize “Living for Your Style". When you live for your style, you are making that commitment to yourself to only act in accordance to the evolution of who you will be at your highest potential. Living for your style implies you are strong and wise enough to know what decisions in life are best for you to make on your journey of life. Think of living for your style as the big picture as for why we dress up day to day. I like to think that when I dress, I want exude three different qualities about myself: fun, professional, and intelligent. Because I want to exude these qualities I have to align my attitude with these qualities, and so, I make sure that my actions adhere to this image of a fun, professional, and intelligent individual. Because of my personality type, I am most comfortable when I act with these three qualities in the back of my mind, so in turn, I would hope people understand that this is what I bring to the table in regard to my capabilities in this life. Living for your style is the foundation of leading a fulfilled life for it branches further than just dressing the part, but it deals with how you value life, and what you decide is most important for your personal development.

Julia Sarr-Jamois, Dhani Jones, Solange Knowels, and
Pharoahe Monch are my largest inspirations hair-style-wise
 For me growing my hair is like a three pronged sword in regards to showing how I intend to live for my style in that it shows 1) my pride in my heritage, 2) as it grows, it shows how I myself am growing as a person, and 3) it shows my support for the growing diversity in fashion in regards to the endorsement of natural hair styles and hair care. These are all aspects of me that I take pride in and want to express to the world through my look. In my fashion, caring for an afro as an African American has stood for someone who wants to exude a strong and confident presence. I think the reason I feel so liberated right now is because of my adoration of the 60's and 70's. If I were alive during that time, I would rock the mess out of some flare bell bottoms, and bright prints, and afros. I'm very inspired by people like Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Frederick Douglas and not just because of their afros. I am inspired by the type of ambition, drive, strength, determination, intellegence, and will to rise above adversity and stand up for what is right attitude they possessed. People are ready to think for themselves again and express themselves in the same proud and confident manner we witnessed in the flower/mod time period. Corporate influences have made us too comfortable, and with this economic storm we are in right now, we are looking for ways to get back to the basics of survival and use our new advancements in this digital era in a way that isn't so superfluous.
Kathleen Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis and
Frederick Douglas wore their natural hair proudly and stylishly
In regards to the fashion arena, I feel that we are moving out of the “democratization of fashion” era, and I think there is nostalgia in the air for the way people used to think about fashion and style. The world’s recent popular interest in fashion has made it apparent that people are not as easily swayed by corporate marketing to spend exorbitant amounts of money to look glamorous, and want to know how to discern the reasons for why they are buying what they are buying. They know there are different ways to be fashionable aside from simply where you buy your cloths. People are realizing that it’s primarily about how you put it together, and for what purpose as opposed to who made it, and how much it costs. People know want to know how to know how to make a commercial piece mean something substantial for the individual, and this is where I see consumerism going for the "informed" individual.    

Elsa Schiaparelli (left) and Muccia Prada (right)
This month I would like to focus more on substance. In lieu of this year’s upcoming Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, featuring  "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" we can see fashion is reflecting on influence of World War era fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, and new age fashion designer Muccia Prada. This exhibition is to examine an imaginary dialogue between to two designers analyzing their tastes, thoughts, and values on the front of class, status, sexuality, power, and beauty. I am excited to see what matriculates of this exhibit and what fashions we will see at the MET gala. We are going to take a look into the past, before the communization of fashion, and how people used to live for their style striving for substance, rather than being guided by the superficial values of corporate greed. We don't want to be spoon fed our ideals for living; we want to make our own ideals and form our own paths to our own ideal of life. In this growing global market, consumers are looking to make sense of all the possibilities there are for comfortable and fulfilled living, and we are finding that a lot of what is being "spoon fed" to us by corporate influence isn't all cracked up as they would like for us to think. In my fashion, you cannot have great style in the present without the influence of the past, or the possibilities of what the future has to bring. The global market's mindset on consumerism is continually evolving, and I find its progression and changes are very interesting to follow. Please follow ME @InMyFashion, and here on IMF.blog to see where I think we are headed.

In light of this month’s focus on living for your style, I leave you with this Bit-o-Inspiro*:

*Aside: "Inspiro" is taken from the latin root meaning to inspire. Look for the orange box on my blog that will have other Bit-o-Inspiro Posts to inspire you to use your style for a good reason.

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