Tuesday, March 17, 2015

spéciale de la mode: Vogue Sweep

Do you ever find yourself so stressed to the point where you feel like you need be swept away for just a moment to reprogram and reboot yourself back to a positive state of mind. Some people go to the fridge for this feeling, some people take a puff of the reefer, but here on #IMFBlog, my fix is the Vogue website. Say I am at work and I dealing with an overflow of calls where I feel I could risk my job at the moment with a giddy erg to just pull the plug from the wall, I pop on over the Vogue website and indulge in the rustling fabrics and juxtaposed textures combinations that Vogue has such a rich history of providing in regards to aesthetic relief. Their sartorial and beauty and content will enliven me, and help me remember the beauty that lies beyond the four walls of my cube. Vogue Sweep is my new segment I will begin this year in which I will highlight my sweep of the Vogue website for the most interesting and eye opening news headlines I find when I visit the website. Let me know what you think of what I find. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

spéciale de la mode: Dress for Success Drive a Big Winner for Charity and TAX

Editor’s Note: Jonathan Copeland set an example that other employees interested in helping those in need can emulate. He found a CVC charity he wanted to help (Dress for Success, which provides clothing for low-income women who need to upgrade their wardrobes for interviews and jobs), trained with them to become a volunteer, brought his idea for a fundraiser to TAX’s CVC Committee, and then led the effort. It was a big success for both the charity and TAX. Remember, classified employees get 16 hours of community service leave a year that is ideal for something like this. 

The trunk of my Jeep is finally relieved of all donations received during the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) Dress for Success Accessory Drive which ran from Nov. 17 to Dec. 5. I traveled many times between TAX and the DFS boutique to deliver the donations. The final tally of items collected was 750, along with a cash donation of $25. Based on the Salvation Army’s Donation Value Guide, and using the mid-range value for each type of item, the total value of the items came to $4,686.

This added a huge boost to TAX's goal of $23,000 for the year. In fact, the drive was the single largest contribution toward the agency's CVC goal.

“I’m amazed at the outcome!” said Bente Clatchey, TAX’s CVC program manager. “It was an awesome idea. I’d love to have other employees come forward who are interested in helping certain charities and work with us. We are always open to new ideas.” 

I was surprised and impressed not only by the number of items that was collected, but the type of items received. Even though the drive was only calling for accessories, I still received many clothes and suits that I delivered to the DFS Boutique. Items that were not suitable to be worn to a job were put aside for use in the 3rd Annual Dress for Success Fundraiser Fashion Show on April 17. 

The Dress for Success Fashion Show Committee says, "Thank you TAX!" Pictured from left are Shandra Thompson, Melisa Ross, Jonathan Copeland, Shantell Malachi, Cathy Durrette and Tiffany Malory
Fashion Show Coordinator Melissa Ross expressed her gratitude, saying that because of the Department of Taxation, the clothing donations received were enough to create six “Recycled Garment” bags. These bags will be given to each participating designer who will be able to recycle the pieces donated and invent three couture red carpet looks to showcase their talent in the show. We hope to bring in 20 designers and have seven confirmed so far. 

“At last year’s show the local talent literally blew my mind by creating gorgeous evening wear looks mixed with casual looks, all created from a bag of random clothes!” said Ross.

Dress for Success is asking TAX for further support in gathering the resources needed to make the show even grander and bring more awareness to the affiliate. Along with recruiting designers/stylists, DFS is asking for donations. 

If you are a designer/stylist or know of any who would be interested in participating, please contact fashionshow@dfscentralvirginia.org. We are also looking for backstage volunteers, make-up artists, hair stylists, and photographers/videographers who are interested in donating time to the DFS mission. 

We are also seeking donations of products or gift cards that can be used for our silent auction, door prizes and raffle. Anyone interested in promoting a business by donating gift cards or products for this event is welcome. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

spéciale de la mode: Follow @inmyfashionblog on Instagram

As I mentioned in my Editor's Letter, the best way to stay connected with me right now is through my social media, namely Instagram (@inmyfashionblog). Below you will see my timeline and all that I have been posting since the beginning of the year. I have been quite busy as one can see. Since working on the Dress for Success Central Virginia Fashion Show, I have been very enterprising as I have been networking and marketing the show to my community. I have a good feeling about the turn out of our show, especially as we are closely approaching the show date. Please follow me to keep up with what #IMFBlog is getting into, and leave me your comments. I love to respond to those that double tap and comment on my photos! Here is a brief synopsis of what has been going on since the beginning of 2015. 

January 2015: 1) Began my social media onslaught by using Instagram and Facebook to solicit for Designers to participate in our fashion show 2) Celebrated my best friend's birthday who is real fashion plate, in my fashion 3) Began developing a business plan to start a Closet Organization Services, coining the name "Closet Auditor" 

February 2015: 1) Was hired as the new Dress for Success Central Virginia Boutique Manager and conducted my first Donation Saturday Volunteer Day. Every 1st Saturday it is my duty to supervise volunteers to update and clean our Boutique and Career Center. 2) In honor of Black History Month, I celebrated 'Black FASHION History Month' in which I highlighted fashion history pertaining to Black History (I even got comments from Clothing Mogul,  Dapper Dan and NBA star, Walt Frazier , themselves, who had left comments under the posts of which I commemorated their place in fashion history!!)

February 2015: 1) Valentines Day I featured Audrey Hepburn and Robert Wolders as a fantastic example of true love 2) I secured my first client as a "Closet Auditor" and received a positive review from my client on Facebook!

February 2015: 1) Fashion Week began and I featured shows of Black Designers for Black History Month 2) Snow days attempted to slow me down but I remained busy as I did market research to better serve my clients in Closet Organization. I even assisted my father in working on completing my parent's unfinished basement! 3) My client ended up wearing the outfit I suggested she wear for her Valentine's Date night which I was very proud to have helped with.

February 2015: 1) Conducted a photo shoot with my good friend, Sophia Briggs (final photos to come on IG and on Dress for Success Central Virginia Social Media)

February 2015: My birthday happened and I had a wonderful day as I made a huge change for myself that day!

February 2015: 1) Milan Fashion week (my favorite fashion week) occurred and I had to feature Street Style from that week as well as the Moschino show which I feel will be a commercial success in stores as it was this past season. Jeremy Scott is really revamping the brand for the current time, in my fashion. 

March 2015: 1) I was invited by local VJ, Clovia Lawrence, to attend the Virginia Legends Luncheon in which civil rights activists along side Martin Luther King Jr. (my all time Idol) were honored for their work to fight for civil rights. 2) Alongside Clovia Lawrence and Dr. Ervin Johnson, I had assisted in Dr. Johnson's DO SOMETHING MOVEMENT in which we prepared lunch bags with soup and passed them out along with blankets to the homeless within our community. We got up early and walked the streets of Richmond to those less fortunate so they could be a little more comforted in this cold weather season. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Phew! It's been a while since I last posted to #IMFBlog! While there has been a shortage of content here on my blog, I have no doubt been busy providing content on my social media outlets (I told you I would get better with social media #NewYearsResolution)!!! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Most exclusively, I have found that Instagram is my primary mode of communication in which I am able to post my daily happenings, and connect my other social media to those IG posts, but my commitment to providing fashion/style inspiration has not faltered!

Dress for Success Central Virginia Boutique
Looking back on the last two spéciale de la mode posts of 2014, you will see that I am working with the non-profit organization Dress for Success Central Virginia, and I am pleased to announce that they have charged me the responsibility of Boutique Manager!! It is my duty to ensure that old donations get filtered out of the boutique and new donations are selected to refill the boutique on a monthly basis. We get a large amount donations from the community, and in my fashion, we get some pretty good quality items! I am most proud to be able to serve the women in my community in this way in that its always great to put fashion to work for its finest purpose which is providing confidence, and self-assurance. I have had the pleasure of corresponding with a Board Member on the Worldwide Board for Dress for Success, Alex Garfield, and a phrase that he said to me always stands out in my mind: "Cause related marketing ought to be a part of every business." He will be being honored a the 2015 Something to Share Gala in NYC on April 16, 2015 for his service in the community by Dress for Success (see below). I wish I could attend, but our Fundraiser Fashion Show will be occurring the next day!!! I hope you plan on attending!!! 

In college, I wrote my graduating Independent Study paper on the Fashion Industry and it's social responsibility. I postulated that fashion has a unique responsibility in that even though the general perspective of the industry is that it is a frivolous business with superficial pursuits, when one approaches one's work with a heart for service, those "superficial pursuits" can mean much more! The efforts of Dress for Success is an example of what I had written about in 2010. I am so proud to be able to apply my creativity and business acumen to serving my community in a unique way that helps to improve employment rates, forward our economy, and foster positivity and confidence within those I help, USING FASHION! 

I have so many projects in the works because of Dress for Success and I am most passionate about using fashion as a vehicle for growth, not just for myself as I work towards my own career goals, but growth for the world at large. I figure there is plenty negativity being promoted in the world through our media, but it comforts me to know that all the while there is plenty positivity that I can contribute to. I have come in contact with amazing people as of late, and it's because I feel the Lord has built me for service. 

"Built For Service" is my new theme for 2015! Service means understanding people and what their needs are. It's about understanding what resonates with people, and what do they want. It's not about me me, it's about what other people are interested in. I think THAT is central theme about the The Secret of Stylists I came to realize in 2014! It's a new season for me going forward. I have under gone many changes in my life and I think they have all been for the better. As I focused on "The Secret of Stylists" all last year I think the key point I came to realize is that styling is all about how well you can understand other people's lifestyles and how they live and how you can help them make their time in life easier! In my fashion, the energy you put out in the universe is the energy you get back, and I can testify to that notion. I have been committed to exuding positivity, and empathy for others. As Audrey Hepburn says about empathy in the movie, Funny Face, "Put yourself in someone else's place!" I have been reaping some amazing blessings because of that notion, and I have new sense of clarity of how I see my life, and I think its mostly in part to having a passion for helping others.  I may not be at Vogue (just yet), but I feel the energy I am putting into the atmosphere is sufficient enough to make me feel whole and complete in my efforts to rise to the top ranks of the fashion industry, because at the end of the day, its all about service.