Thursday, February 7, 2013

EDITOR'S LETTER: February 2013

In light of certain unforeseen circumstances that had happened to me at the beginning of this month, I have to apologize for not posting my February Editor's Letter on the first of the month as I usually always do. While I am horribly dissapointed for not providing content for the past 7 days of this month, today DOES mark the first official day of New York Fashion Week, and the beginning of the Fall 2013 collections. This season I will be tracking the collections with my twitter account (@inmyfashion), so be sure to check it out periodically and follow me so you can be informed as to what is most sartorially interesting this coming season. I've already posted some new and strong looks of which we can aspire to achieve this coming season. 

After a year of growing our hair naturally, this is how our hair has come along so far. An afro has always been a strong symbol of pride among people of color, and we are proud to represent our culture through our hair. 

Having watched In Vogue: The Editor's Eye this past December, I was able to understand the mindset of a Vogue Fashion Editor, and fashion is certainly for me! Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, who was Vogue's Fashion Director and Editor-at-Large from 1985-1995 said, "I work because I love." Polly Mellen, Ex-Vogue Editor from 1966 to 1991, said she loved working as hard as she did for Vogue for the many years as she was there. Current Contributing Editor, Camilla Nickerson and Executive Fashion Editor, Phyllis Posnik are consummate perfectionists. Nickerson said she is always under a high state of anxiety, hoping that she will create that image that transcends time and poses a question, which, in my fashion, is absolutely poetic, because, as current Fashion Director, Tonne Goodman says, "Time is a special part of our lives, and to be able to freeze a moment whether conjured or not is really a gift." I realized quickly that a great fashion editor of Vogue must have a strong will for getting that magical image. Current Creative Director, Grace Coddington, has been the editor most famed for her ability to produce a great photograph in the R.J. Cutler film, The September Issue. My drive to style my hair this past year has helped me to realize how much drive one must have if they are going for a particular image. I have a particular vision for my hair, and I am relentless in the pursuit of the image I want to achieve for myself. Through my training in photography, I have learned how to communicate fashion through an image, and all I care to do is to become an asset to this world by creating magical imagery that inspires people to dream. As I postulated in my Style Maven post for Haider Ackermann, Coco Chanel said, "The life we lead is nothing, the life we dream of is the existence that matters, because it will continue after death." A perfect example of this is, Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the shortest month of the year, there is a lot going on. It is Black History Month, Fashion Week is well on its way in New York, and soon will be in the other major fashion capitols of the world. Valentine's Day is around the corner, and so is my Birthday! Personally, I've started a new position at my job, and I will certainly bring my "Just Do It"-drive to my new position. This past year I have grown much as a man, and have learned a lot about establishing healthy habits that keep me moving upward in my life. As St. Jerome says, "Begin to be now what you will be hereafter." In my fashion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination, and that journey requires discipline. The growth that comes with discipline is a gift that continues to pay dividends long after the effort has been made. This month will be a busy month here on #IMFblog, and, in my fashion, this spirit of "Just doing it" will be the key to bringing some worthwhile fashion coverage.

This month being Black History Month, in lieu of the pioneering African-American we now have as President for a second term, it got me to thinking of the pioneers in African-American history that have made a difference in fashion. Martin Luther King, Jr., has always been a huge influence for me, and many others on the front of equality and prosperity. He is the reason why I have always felt that the most important part of life is to feel like an asset to the world at least in some small way. Considering Obama's inauguration speech in which he stated, "America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; and endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention," in my fashion, all of us have the capacity for upward momentum, just as Martin Luther King quoted in his sermon at the Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on February 4, 1968, quoted in the above Bit-O-Inspiro. Obama's new bold style will certainly be on watch these next four years as this youth generation takes charge of America's future. First Lady, Michelle Obama has made her statement by cutting herself some bold new bangs, which really speak for the changing of the times in her husband's new term as President. As Vogue said in the February 2013 issue, "clothes aren't just clothes, they are the outward expression of spirit indomitable."

Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2013 Inaugural Ball. Michelle Obama in  her red chiffon and velvet ball gown, by Jason Wu.
On that note, I am going to celebrate Black History Month by taking a look at Vogue's Black Cover Models. Bethanne Hardison, Pat  Cleveland, and Beverly Johnson, were three prolific models during the rise of the fashion industry, and they shared their experiences as models in the HBO documentary, About Face: Supermodels Here and Now. Their accounts of discrimination in the fashion industry inspired me to want take a look at other black models that have paved a way for the proliferation of black beauty, helping models such as Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Tyra Banks, Chanel Iman to become successful themselves (I am especially excited to see Naomi Campbell's show to air on Oxygen, "The Face" which premiers this February 12th). For one to appear on the cover of Vogue is a monumental event in anyone's life, but for an African American to appear on the cover has often been controversial and thought provoking to the pubic considering the discrimination African-Americans have endured throughout history. The black models that have appeared on Vogue's covers have helped to expand the view of beauty in America at times when the majority of people saw black people as unattractive. This month, while taking a look at these models, I also want to share what I have learned about black hair care, and the ways in which people of color prefer to take care of themselves. Last year, the natural hair trend made its way into the spotlight in Italian Vogue, and this month #IMFblog will be dedicated to exploring this trend deeper. 

Model, Naomi Campbell wearing Issac Mizrahi in Vogue, February 1991, "Fashion Individualists: Bright Thinking"

I also have a few specials planned for the rest of the month as well. I opened an Instagram account (inmyfashionblog) earlier this month, and I have already posted some photos of items I found that would be great buys for  anyone to consider for their home. Please take a gander at what I found, for they came from a place of which I plan to reveal later on this month in a special post in celebration of Black History Month. I also have a few suggestions on how to display one's love being that next week is Valentine's Day, so be on the look out for my thoughts for the special day of love.

Model, Veronica Webb in Vogue, September 1992, "Great Buys: A Model Wardrobe" shot by Dewey Nicks

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