Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Condolences to a Colleague of Style

Cherish life, and the ones you love!
I have some unfortunate news to share here on, for a fashionable co-worker of mine, Lenore David, is mourning the loss of her daughter, Tira-Lee Lewter. This troubled me for Lenore is a beautiful woman who always wears the most elegantly bright outfits that accentuate her ethnicity, and who she is, on a day to day basis. Her bold colors and womanly elegance are strong statements of pride and dignity that brought me such joy and inspiration to see daily. Tira-Lee, who had a heart condition, passed the morning of July 24, 2012, and I feel the pain of this gorgeous, strong women immensely as I know what her daughter meant to her. I say this: cherish life, and the ones you love! Everyone is on this Earth for some reason or another, so make sure your actions contribute to prosperity, so you may be prosperous in turn. As we lay her to rest today, for now, we have to accept that she is in better company now, and to Lenore, I end my post on this scripture:

"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
                                                                                                                             ~ Joshua 1:9

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bit-O-Inspiro 7

True words, from a true yogi! Find out more about Swami Sivananda and how yoga can enhance your style and how you approach life here. I will be continuing to post more information on yoga in the future on

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Style Watch: Carine Roitfeld

Carine Roitfeld's, CR Fashion Book
Another person making continual moves in their lives is Carine Roitfeld. If you recall in March, I had highlighted her as an Style Maven, for in my fashion, she does an excellent job of making the right moves in her career by knowing when to exit, and always looking toward her next stepping stone of life. As we know, Ms. Roitfeld had left her position as Paris Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief  in the latter part of 2011, and she has her own fashion magazine in the making with publisher, Fashion Media Group LLC (publisher of Visionaire, V, and VMan), which will be called, CR Fashion Book (CR for short). As reported by the New York Magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut, Roitfeld describes her new magazine as a definite departure from Vogue, which will be “trendy and timeless”, “not necessarily safer, but different”, with an edge that is “more mental than physical”. I am anxious to view what perspectives Roitfeld will incorporate into the CR Fashion Book. The link to a video that has been circulating on the web of a behind the scene view of a photo shoot for the magazine is below. The CR is slated to debut this September.

Style Watch: Katy Perry

In my fashion, Katy Perry sure did put on a show for us with her sophomore album, “Teenage Dream”. It feels so long ago, but I still remember back in 2010 when the album first came out, and Dwight and I rushed, in between classes, to buy the album for we knew based on her 1st salacious video, California Girls with Snoop Dogg, she had a well-thought out game plan with such a simple but enchanting album concept. I had deemed “Circle the Drain” one of my favorite songs, off bat, as we blasted the songs in our car on our way back to campus. Since then, Katy Perry has taken us on a whirlwind of modern teenage fantasies that really spoke to all, and I mean all, perspectives of, well—teenager’s dreams. I think the real shock effect is that I don’t think anyone was prepared for such a fluid and cohesive concept to come from cutesy, Katy Perry, and for such a long period of time going strong as a dominant entertainment figure. Katy did a really good job of keeping herself in line with her fantasy even apart from being on stage and in videos. Off the screen she was still making playful splashes in the public wearing darling and whimsical looks that gave her a sort of fluttery appeal as she casually made appearances like when we seen her at this past Fall 2012 Paris Fashion Week as the talk of the town in her edgy blue hair cut, not to mention her variety in red carpet costume throughout the past two years (she even married and divorced within in the “Teenage Dream” time period for goodness sake).  Now she has a 3D movie entitled, Katy Perry: Part of Me, to be released July 5, which aims to expose her journey during, “Teenage Dream”, and in my fashion, she did very well at creating an aura of true fantasy by creating her image in that of a literal modern fairy tale. She has really embodied the meaning of living out loud, and is exactly what I mean by getting out, moving, and experiencing life as you see it! This video for her song, “Wide Awake”, would be a perfect ending to her reign in entertainment for the “Teenage Dream” era, and hopefully this will parlay quite nicely into her next chapter.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Destination: Inspiration *2012 New York City Gay Pride*

In light of having an adventurous spirit this summer and getting out in the world and exploring and trying new things, Dwight, a few friends, and I did some traveling of our own this past weekend. We made up to the Big Apple on Sunday for New York City Gay Pride! Mother Nature must have been on board for the festivities herself, for it was a glorious day with wonderful weather along with a certain energy in the air full of positivity and optimism, openness and excitement, and just sheer fun as we walked the streets of Chelsea and Soho, Times Square, the Village, and the Meat Packing District. As always for, I made it my duty to document our time, and show the splendor of a certain community that is in the forefront of the national agenda in regards to civil rights. Obama took to Twitter of Saturday supporting the national pride events across the nation, and in my fashion, I feel his support is completely in line with the Constitution from which we govern our nation upon, and I support those who support me, and my community. After all, as Deborah Mathis postulated in the Richmond Free Press the week Obama stated his feelings towards the acceptance of gay marriage, who has heard of, “anything in the Good Book that tells me I should do unto others as I would hate for others to do unto me?”

Take a look see and get some fatastic clothing ideas from some of the most confident people who strutted their pride on the streets, taking a stab at daring looks that take someone with true creativity and conviction to pull off.

Click through to see more photos of the day...Even more photos will be available in my July Letter Editor From the Editor post, available, as always, on the 1st  of the month! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Destination: Inspiration *Tianjin*

Next on my list of places to go is the city of Tianjin in China. As I mentioned before in my first Destination: Inspiration post, China is classified as one of the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and is said to be the greatest economic power by 2050. Tianjin, a port city in China, is working on bringing itself up to par with its sister city to the north, Beijing, and according to based on its beautification and urban renewal programs, it may well do that soon. All aspects of entertainment from other countries are helping in its growing popularity from the realms of sports and music, to film and media (especially with Chinawood becoming a modern day version of Hollywood). With all of the future development and attractions, Tianjin will certainly contribute to China’s assent to global economic power.

Tianjin is often overshadowed by Beijing in tourist popularity which is 117 miles apart, but thanks to China’s high speed, Bullet Train, you can get from Beijing to Tianjin in 30 minutes. China is a vast land, and in my fashion, I would have to explore China on this train that is said to get up to 124 mph. I would soak in all the ancient sights and interesting ancient and modern architecture of the cities of China (knowing me I would probably try to see what each culturally austere building looks like inside). I would especially want to visit the Tianjin Radio & TV Tower to see how far out of Tianjin I would be able to see from an aerial view of the bustling city. Next on the list, I would just have to partake in some sort of sartorial activity, of course a must by standards. I would have to go get fitted for a bespoke suit at Pinya Chi-pao which is said to have one of the best made to order experiences in the city. I would also have to check off going to Golden Street and Ancient Cultural Street on my list as well, for between these two shopping centers I know I will find not only something new, modern and unique on Golden Street, but I would hope to find something antique, substantial and meaningful on Ancient Cultural Street.

Thinking back a few months into 2011, I recall a fashion spread that appeared in the September issue of US Vogue that featured our very own (June Style Maven, Karlie Kloss). This 15 page beautiful fashion story, shot by none only than, Mario Testino, depicts Karlie in various aspects of Chinese culture, clad in all sorts of international frocks, from Balenciaga to McCartney, that mesh well with the eclectic style of Chinese culture. I would like my trip to go something like this.

US Vogue, Spetember 2011

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Preserving Style: Yoga

"Yoga, the oldest science of life, can teach you to bring stress under control—not only on a physical level, but on mental and spiritual levels too. The human body can be compared to a car. There are five things that any automobile needs to run properly, whether it is a Rolls Royce or a rusty old car—lubrication, a cooling system, electric current, fuel and a sensible driver behind the wheel. (1) In yoga, the asanas or postures lubricate the body. They keep the muscles and joints running smoothly, tone all the internal organs, and increase circulation, without creating any fatigue. (2)The body is cooled by complete relaxation whilst pranayama or (3)yogic breathing increases prana, the electric current. (4) Fuel is provided by food, water, and the air you breathe. Lastly you have (5)meditation which stills the mind, the driver of the body. By meditating, you learn to control and ultimately transcend the body—your physical vehicle...The object of concentration can be different but the technique remains the same. The first yogis sought answers to two fundamental questions—“How can I get rid of pain?” and “How can I conquer death?” They discovered that through asanas you can control the physical pain, through pranayama the emotional pain, and through meditation you can come to a real understanding of who you are. Free from false identification with name and form, you can transcend the body altogether and find the Self which is immortal. So you see, though Yoga begins with the body it ends by transcending it." [Adapted from The Book of Yoga: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide by Lucy Lidell. Copyright © 1983 by The Sivandanda Yoga Vedanta Cenre]

-H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda - Born in 1887, Swami Sivananda was a great yogi and sage who devoted his life to the service of humanity and the study of Vedanta. His prescription for a spiritual life is summed up in six simple commands: “Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realize.”

Long time advocate of Yoga supermodel, Christi Turlington, has served as a shining beacon of the synergy between beauty and yoga.  

Per the last bolded statement from the passage above, it is this view of yoga that I have come to discover for myself after practicing it for so long. It’s been a little over half a year since I started back to the practice of yoga, and I have advanced to be concentrated enough to perform a controlled handstand and hold it for a good three seconds so far (my goal being to be able to hold it for 20 seconds by the end of the year). I discovered the powerful effects of yoga in high school when I ran track. Now, I have always been a limber person (a real freak of nature, I've been able to do the splits since I was in first grade), but I used yoga as a means to stretch and become more limber, as I was a hurdler and high jumper. After doing yoga for a few weeks, I found how the power and effect of yoga spreads past more than just increased flexibility. I would be dedicated, practicing yoga in the early morning before I went to school following the yoga programs On Demand in the "fitness" section.  I had realized that the sensational energy I would acquire after my yoga sessions was simply addictive, and I used yoga as my fix to gain that high I wanted for the day. A high where I was more aware and attentive to my bodies daily movements, and I had more focus and control over how my body functioned as well! As I mentioned in my Letter From the Editor I have come to a point in my life where I am willing to accept pain and focus only on diverting my mind away from it so I can become stronger physically and mentally, and I've learned how to do that through yoga.

Yoga and Basketball
With yoga I realized, now and in high school, that practicing yoga can be an excellent supplement to other competitive and challenging forms of fitness (I.e. Basketball, football, track), for with increased concentration and awareness of your body functions your mind will become more accustomed to surpassing pain thresholds, allowing for a greater range of motion, and you will reach a higher plateau for yourself in getting to your next level of your potential! Aside from competitive sports, yoga also helps in everyday life, for as I revealed in my recent Style Maven post for Karlie Kloss, being the tall person I am, I can be quite clumsy at times, but yoga gives me that easy concentration I need in my everyday dealings to keep myself in check and make more graceful, calculated, and tactful movements—movements that keep me from looking foolish and uneasy. I can definitely tell the difference in my acuteness to my range of motion from when I stopped doing yoga, to now being that I am back in the swing of my practices.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bit-O-Inspiro 6

Maintaining ones image requires dedication and commitment, persistence in your health care and fitness, and a keen sense of what works specifically for you're unique self. When you look good you feel good! See why here.  

Style Watch: Usher and Chris Brown

Half-way through June now, in my fashion, I can feel the spirit of summer really revving us all up for pending warm weather activity. With July 4th  peaking around the corner, and a plethora of festivals and outdoor events to keep in mind, it is finally getting that time to be a bit more outrageous as we all become a bit more scantily clad with the increasingly sizzling weather. Two well known artists that are always able to satisfy us by sending us a chill and making the hair on our backs rise to the occasion whenever they perform are, Usher, and Chris Brown. Below you can see their new music videos they recently released. I just had to highlight Usher’s “Scream” video, which was released in April as the second single to his seventh album, “Looking 4 Myself” which was released last Tuesday. This song is now a mainstream success having peaked number 13 on the Billboard charts and still building momentum as the album climbs in popularity.  I enjoy that in this video his movements had strong traces of who he was when we first fell in love with him in 1997 in the time of his “My Way” album. His smooth dance moves reek of the suave charisma of the 90’s that he helped to pioneer when he was a rising artist. This video is mature and high impact, which seems to be the direction he is going in based off his first amazingly crafted first single, “Climax”. This new album is surly one to support by far!

Moving on to the next generation, we have Chris Brown’s video, “Don’t Wake Me Up”, which was released in May, and is his forth single off his fifth studio album, “Fortune”. I feel his look in the video is laudable, and is a look many boys can gravitate to this summer considering it goes along with the Aladdin-look I described in my recent Destination: Inspiration post for Istanbul; turbans, draped scarves, etc. His look is very masculine, relevantly cultural, and representative of the eclectic style of the artist. In my fashion, this high velocity video exudes passion and anguish, while still making our toes tap while we listen to it. It’s like his heart exploded, and based on the concept of the song, speaking of a lost loved one who exist only in a dream, we can really relate to the sentiment he is trying to relay to his audience.

Monday, June 18, 2012

READing Your Style: "The Big O Campaign"

VSU professor, Dr. Rodney Gaines
Reading the Richmond Free Press last week, in the “Sports” section I came across an article highlighting a local “Bodybuilding Champion” . Me having always been perpetually skinny all my life, I’ve always admired people who were able to be worthy of participating in competitions such as that.

The “Bodybuilding Champion” in the spotlight happens to be a strength-conditioning coach and associate professor at Virginia State University’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sports Management. His name is Dr. Rodney Gaines, and he is the nephew of the late Othaniel Gaines who had owned a restaurant-nightclub in Tappahannock, Virginia called “The Big O”, where right behind it was a baseball diamond he named the “The Big O” as well. It was here where Mr. Rodney Gaines practiced baseball, which eventually earned him a spot on the baseball team of his alma mater, Virginia Tech. 

With a handsome 47-inch chest, and 27-inch waist, despite having been diagnosed with diabetes in 2007, he has gained awards in this year’s Masters and Open divisions at the Glass Scepter Bodybuilding Championships in Ohio; he won the Masters (40-over) title in the Arizona State National (drug-free) Championships in Arizona; and furthermore, he is the 1995 Mr. Virginia Contest winner. At the end of 2011, he was elected President of the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (VAHPERD) [source].

Gaines (far left) participarting in the
Natural Physique Association Championships
What intrigued me most about this article are his efforts on the front of obesity. Considering I graduated from an HBCU myself, (Norfolk State University), I was very proud to find out that Mr. Gaines has initiated “The Big O Campaign”, a campaign he is involving HBCU’s across the country to fight the growing obesity epidemic. This venture will also try to encourage more minorities to participate in the field of exercise science and strength training. I think this is a marvelous effort for Mr. Gaines to pursue for I feel the more that health is stressed to the public, the more people will want to conform to the consensus of attaining good health and wellness. I feel in our modern era of eating for convenience, we tend to overlook the long term affects of our poor eating decisions and over-indulge in gluttonous behavior, sans a challenging workout regimen to make up for our appetites. Maybe it’s not so much that we eat too much, or we eat the wrong things, but I feel that actually committing ourselves to a workout is the hardest part.  Mr. Gaines is reported to not only lift weights, but he commits to a 12-mile run on top of lifting and he is said to feel depressed and stressed when he doesn’t workout [source]. I often feel that way as well when I go a morning without at least going through some sort of intense routine on a daily basis. In light of Mr. Gaines and his commitment to fitness, I have included a few tips from Weight Loss Specialist, Micheal Glatter on some good reasons to remember to exercise everyday to beat the battle of the bulge. 

Here are the top 3 ways that your body will feel better with exercise:

This past weekend he was to have participated in the National Physique Association event in Norfolk; then he is slated to be heading abroad June 23 for the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation in Barbados, and to the Czech Republic June 30 for the International Natural Bodybuilding Association finals. I will be keeping up with Mr. Gaines’ program more on to see how it develops. In the spirit of looking good to feel good, I say this: DON’T BE LAZY!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Style Maven: Karlie Kloss

In the Supermodel era of Brook Shields, Naomi Campbell, Christi Turlington, Cindy Crawford, and Tyra Banks, audiences and mass consumers were infatuated with the beauty and commercial appeal of these recognizable names in fashion. These women had the looks and the personality to be recognized by even the most illiterate to fashion. While it seems the times when models could be considered “super” has almost faded away, a face that can be seen literally, in one way or another, in most fashion magazines and advertisements is Karlie Kloss. I remember when I first was introduced to this budding model on New York Magazines fashion blog, The Cut, in 2008. It’s funny looking back on when I remember first seeing the video below, and not imagining the mounting number of spreads and shows she would  star in from season to season from then to this present day has making her an inevitable stand out in the fashion industry.

In my fashion, what gets me giddy over this model is her signature runway walk that has deemed her FMO (First Model Out) and/or LMO (Last Model Out) in many a fashion show. The way she photographs and the rush of goose bumps I get from her editorial spreads when I turn the pages of Vogue send me into a out-of-body experience where I can picture her moving like a dream, and I, the photographer, have found that magical moment where I can feel that jolt of excited success as I press down on the shutter release button on that perfect photo that I know is going to inspire the masses. I can feel the electricity that Karlie would bring to set for it seems that because her intuitive sense of self-awareness, the audience, can basically see a story of how she moved in order to get the images we feign for—movements which are calculated but effortless, and ambitious yet graceful, all the while being creative and experimental in the process. It is this intuitive self-awareness and unassuming attitude that I most admire about the young, new age Supermodel.

Destination: Inspiration *Istanbul*

As I mentioned in my first “Destination: Inspiration” post for Rio de Janiero in Brasil, in my fashion, your environment should inspire you just as much as your own desire to forward yourself in life. The best way to learn about life is to experience it, and another interesting country I want to experience is Istanbul in Turkey. According to, if you cannot make it to Istanbul yourself, you will definitely be able experience it Novemebr 9, 2012 in movie theaters when the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall” , is released in the US, and October 26 in the UK. What attracts me most about this city is the architecture, history, and culture of this city. Considering it is practically on the opposite side of the globe, Istanbul would be a great way to escape the modernity of today.

In my fashion, I would travel in Istanbul with the spirit of Aladdin. Lately, my other half, Dwight (@Ken_Dutchess), and I have been playing around with turbans and head attire that is different from your regular fitted baseball cap or fedora. We’ve been finding all sorts of ways to adorn our heads using long, colorful, scarves and strips of fabric that mesh and/or clash with the rest of our outfit in order to create a tension that brings new light to an old outfit. It makes me think of the costume in ancient Mesopotamia and Assyria (the name of the land currently known as Turkey), and how people wore fillets, and chignons, and tarbush hats with tunics, and how they used long rectangular fabrics to drape around themselves as wrapped dresses, skirts and loincloths. Think of being as free as Aladdin on a magic carpet ride flying past the minarets of the Blue Mosque and the landscapes of the different fortresses of ancient times. Imagine strolling down the spice markets wearing languid fabric that follows you and your body in your own variation of a wrapped tunic and turban. Allow yourself to be open to the regional tastes and flavors of their foods. says they have an interesting fried ice cream that I am very interested in seeing and trying (“fried” and “ice cream” not being words I would typically pair to think possible of creating). In my fashion, this is the time to feel the Arabian spirit and channel that through our clothes for the summer!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

à la mode: One Woman Army

Do you remember when Ciara debuted with the song “Goodies” in 2004, and from then on until around 2009 the standard look for girls became skinny pants with high-top tennis shoes or knee-length boots, cropped hoodies, and fitted hats; a trove of girls looking like “Goodies” extras. Now, in 2012, Ciara is slated to be releasing her 5th studio album, entitled “One Woman Army” in October, and as you can see below Ciara has a new look! When I got word that she released her album cover, I was floored when I saw her feathery long and blond hair, and her loosely fitted American flag sweatshirt, a pretty, very American, Farah Faucet look contrasted with the camouflage netting background that translates, “One Woman Army” in a simple yet very Ciara-edgy fashion. I was taken aback even more, when I realized her oversized sloppy looking leg warmers were actually detached and distressed pant legs from the also distressed shorts she is wearing. I felt this was a cute trend that I applaud for thinking outside the box because it brings a very personal and dynamic touch to the look she is going for on this album.

Album to be released in October 2012
I can see girls wanting to add this personal touch to their pants themselves and, in my fashion, I can think of a few creative ways to enhance the look for added effect and personalization—think to add colorful tights or leggings, shorts with mismatched leg warmers combos, and just think of what other pieces would go along with this new take on legwarmers. It wouldn’t surprise me to see more girls being daring enough to wear such a hard look, but considering this Fall we will see an upsurge in pants and a fall in skirts (as we can expect from Miuccia Prada herself who states in this month's US Vogue, "Dresses have become too trendy"), this trend will be a diverse addition to the concept of wearing bottoms, and in my fashion, would be a defining trend of our decade, per said popularity.

I predict success for Ciara and her 5th album; considering her style, she would come back out when pants are going to be all the rage in fashion, considering it’s quite hard to dance the way she does in a skirt or long dress…hmm, long dresses. That would be an interesting and different approach, for her, in my fashion.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Style Watch: Yuna

Yunalis Mat Zara’ai, aka Yuna, from Kedah, Malaysia has been writing songs since the age 14, and has performed in many events in Malaysia since 2006. She gained a good following on MySpace which brought her much support and attention in her hometown, so much so that, the FADER Label from the US flew to Malaysia to sign her on to their label in February 2011. Describing her music as a “cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay,” I could definitely feel that vibe in this video “Live Your Life” which was produced by Pharrell Williams, and released February of this year. In my fashion, this video reminded me of a music video from the 60’s or 70’s, a fluid montage of a story that is simple and soothing. The video definitely enhances the smoothness of her song for her beauty is mesmerizing. While watching the video I feel a tug-of-war going on in my head as I wrestle between focusing on her melodic sound, or on her intoxicating and innocent beauty. Having released her self-titled US debut album this past April, she just started a US tour with Graffiti6 where they will be performing at the popular Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza events this summer. As an aside, she has her bachelor’s in Legal Studies, and co-owns a women’s boutique in Subang Jaya, Selangor, which probably attributes to her festive, unique, international boho look. Beauty, brains, talent, and business savvy—what a combination for a potential future hit artist. [source]

Friday, June 8, 2012

Destination: Inspiration

Now that we all are not hiding under rocks trying to stay warm like we were a few months ago in winter, and the weather permits us more consistent days of variably hot climates, we can all start to get into the swing of summer and get outside more to enjoy what Mother Nature offers us, as well as the splendors man hath created in the form of exotic cities, foreign entertainment, and tantalizing foods. In my fashion, all of us should want to experience all the world has to offer in regards to pleasure and enjoyment. My worst fear of all in this life, truly, is the fear that I will not be able to see everything on this planet that I desire to witness. I literally want to touch and see with my own eyes the beauty of the world from East to West, North to South, and be able to say, "I did that," and, "I went there," regardless of whatever far-flung experience someone can postulate.

In light of this month's inspiration being “Movement” and getting out there and making life into your own adventure, I wanted to highlight the great places on this planet for us to aspire to visit, experience, or live. In my fashion, your environment should inspire you just as much as your own desire to forward yourself in life. We should aspire to find that place on Earth that compliments your style perfectly. Style extends to your environment in that we all can find a place on this Earth that makes us feel more in our own skin in which our environment should compliment you in regards to co-creating a balanced life. Thanks to globalization, many developing countries are growing to be able to participate in the global economy and that opens the door for more diversity and a greater diaspora of cultural influence."Destination: Inspiration" will be a new segment on, where I will open our minds up to more parts of the world that have developed their own style and would be worth a go-see, God permitting. I say know where you want to go in life and have something (or somewhere) to look forward to living for, for yourself, use that drive to make ways for you to get there!

The first location I personally want visit myself while the "buzz" is hot but hasn't become as big a "hotspot” as I predict it will be in coming years, is the city of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil. For my business and economic savvy readers, you may be aware that Brazil is classified as on the worlds BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, in which it is speculated that by 2050 these four economies would be wealthier than most of the current major economic powers. The BRIC thesis posits that China and India will become the world's dominant suppliers of manufactured goods and services, respectively, while Brazil and Russia will become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials [source]. I, personally, have been realizing more of Brazil’s presence in establishing its market share in entertainment and global consumerism when first I went to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) last year where Edward and Bella spent time in the beautiful country in seclusion on their honeymoon, and when I went to see the fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five, where they were speedily carousing around the sexy little city. Macy's has also made Brazil their basis for inspiration this spring with their advertising that aims to capture the feel, and the beauty of what it would be like to dress as if you were walking the cobblestone roads of the exotic rustic city. reports that in 2014, Rio will be the host of the 2014 World Cup, and after this year’s 2012 Olympics being held in London, guess where 2016's Olympics is slated to be held? This is the fever pitch I am talking about when it comes to labeling this city a real "hotspot" in later years with all the pending traffic from visitors all over the world. The amount of attention mounting on this city I am sure has the people of this city hustling and bustling with excitement and life, which is what I would love to partake in myself right now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Reopening of Elsa Schiaparelli's Doors

Silhouette of Elsa Schiaparelli

I’m sure that after hearing news of the 2012 MET Costume Institutes exhibition, “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”, many of us were stumped when we heard the word “Schiaparelli”. Considering she closed her salon doors in 1954 even though we may not have known who she was considering our modern era of popular designers (i.e. Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Calvin Klien); her influence spawned many of the principals and developments of modern fashion.  The real exciting news about the fashion house is that they will be reopening this July, and at the same salon Schiap’s original salon was located in Paris, no less! Farida Khelfa has been named the new brand ambassador, but we will have to wait until October until they announce their Creative Director [source]. Below are some more photos from the exhibition, courtesy of, and once again, going back to my personal “Bible of Fashion”, “In My Fashion”, by Bettina Ballard, I wanted use Ms. Ballard’s words as evidence of Schiaparelli’s greatness and splendor, and what we should be expecting to see from this design house who will be picking up where it left off more than 50 year ago:

“The 1930’s was height of her fame…In later years, when times softened, the very things that had helped make her fame now played her false. She belonged to a definite space of time in which she filled a definite fashion need. She changed the outline of fashion from soft to hard, from vague to definite…If Schiaparelli’s strong fashion dictatorship did not survive the war it was because she belonged to indelibly to the calculated frivolity of prewar Paris.”

 “She branched out into the couture to glorify the hard elegance of the ugly woman.”

   “To be shocking was the snobbism of the moment, and she was the leader in this art…Paris was in a mood for shocks and Elsa Schiaparelli could present hers in well-cut forms and with an elegance that no one could deny.”

  “The only person who really counted in her life was her daughter, Gogo, and everything that either the mother of daughter did or said was news. Schiaparelli’s genius for publicity has been rivaled only by Christian Dior. Her outspokenness during her days of fame was all part of the Schiaparelli shock treatment.”

“She was clever in persuading such artists as Berard, Cocteau, Drian, and Vertes to do prints for her before designer prints had ever been thought of…She worked on mad new fabrics with Colcombet and Staron, prodding them on to daring experiments that frightened their conservative souls….She permitted Vertes to paint sophisticated, faintly suggestive advertisements for her perfume called “Shocking” which created a new, seductive approach to the sale of perfume.”

  “Certainly she used color with the boldness of Picasso, and the drama that she produced with black was even more outspoken than that with colors, particularly her use of gold embroidery with black."

“Schiaparelli’s clothes were always photogenic, and no artist ever did a bad sketch of a model (sample piece of clothing)—they had such sureness of line, such boldness…many of the smartest women wore her clothes to the smartest places where they were invariably targets for every camera…When she introduced the long dinner suit for evening wear, it became a uniform for concerts, theaters, and night clubs, overshadowing all softer, more feminine costumes, particularly when towering hats or feather headdresses were added.”

You can see how society celebrated the opening of this exhibition at the annual MET Gala here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bit-O-Inspiro 5

Dell'Orefice's advice on not buying into marketing in order to stand out. Find out more insights from this legendary post-war era model, as well as from other modeling legends, Pat Cleveland, and Estelle Lefebure at

Style Watch: Carrie Underwood

For this month's first Style Watch, I wanted to highlight a music video that was released recently by Carrie Underwood. The song is entitled, "Good Girl" and has become certified gold in less than a month! In my fashion, this video is a perfect example of moving well in ones clothes as I described in my latest Letter from the Editor. In this video she is wearing some very edgy dresses ( as well as a lace eye cover that is to die for), dresses only fit for the strong, smart, independent woman such as, Carrie Underwood. Carrie, being an edgy-good-girl, sends the message to other good girls to be that good girl who is not one to take advantage of. Carrie Underwood does very well with sticking to who she is as a person and her looks in this video help in glorifying the strength and grace she possess. As I observed in my Letter from the Editor, Olympic gymnasts, Alexandra Raisman's "powerful and strong", yet "graceful, and artistic" approach to gymnastics is the energy I feel from Underwood as all of her natural movements, even down to the swish of her hair follicles, help to compliment what she is wearing, and vice versa. In my fashion, that type of teamwork between our clothes and our natural movements should be our gauge when it comes to choosing the right clothes to wear for ourselves.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Dwight and I try to get out in the local parks and enjoy
nature so we can keep our bodies active and our minds clear. 

I had recently got to thinking that a lot of what I have been suggesting here lately on has been on controlling behavior, but this month in light of the pending summer weather (as well as the Olympics) I wanted to focus on movement—movement in all instances of our lives. Not only is style about how much control and inner strength one has, but it’s also about how you move through this world and how your moves propel you through life. Do you move in a fluid and relaxed manner where you are optimistic about where you are going, or do you stumble and wind up confused and unfulfilled in your path of life.  From fitness, to career moves, to relationship decisions, to just simply walking, I wanted to loosen up a bit, and open dialogue as to the importance of movement in our lives, and its implications on style. My message to you all this month is simple: DON'T BE LAZY! I say go out in the world and MOVE; get what you want, find new solutions if you can't get what you want and if things are not going your way! Me personally, I try to keep my glass of life full, by replenishing my curiosity everyday and making sure I have something new and substantial to understand about life. Have the courage to find something that no one has ever found before whether it is a trend, idea, and new way of thinking, an influential person, a new object of desire, and assimilate it to who you are and where you want to go in life. Whatever it is you have to first make the decision to move, and get out into the world and explore it! Make mistakes, make big mistakes, and learn from them. Pain and failure is not being broken, it’s more like you are being broke open which allows you to obtain that strength inside of you that will help you survive the pain and gear you for an even greater opportunity in the future! Life is about learning, and pain helps us to learn what we really need to learn in life to move to that next level of growth.