Friday, July 27, 2012

Style Maven: Russell Brand

Lately in America, for the past few years we have seen a surge in British talent making their way into the American entertainment market (i.e. Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora). Even America’s Next Top Model this past season was dedicated toward promoting this trend where the competition was not just individually competitive, but it was between a team of US models, and a team of UK models. This shift really speaks for the proliferation of globalization. In my fashion, 2008 is when we could see this trend really start to gain headway as MTV introduced us to this curiously androgynous Brit by the name of, Russell Brand, who hosted the Video Music Awards for the first time; I remember the night well. My friend had collected me from my dorm and we headed to a friend’s place for a dinner party where we all together had dropped jaws watching this unfamiliar zealous personality of a man who was seemingly bashing American culture going as far as lauding the, at the time, more than beloved Jonas Brothers, as well as, George Bush, referring to our President as that 'retarded cowboy feller' (his logic to his jokes can be explained in this article from reporter Miranda Sawyer of “The Observer” ). While some of our reactions to his jokes were at first astonished disbelief to the audacity of his comments on American entertainment, albeit on such a global platform, by the time I left my friends house that night I felt a spark of admiration for the ultra skinny pants sporting, grungy hair rocking, wildly sexual bloke, and I knew we weren’t done seeing more of him, hence the below recent interview…

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bit-O-Inspiro 9

"If you stop investigating yourself for fear of how little you might find you
will miss the wonder of your strengths." ~ Gain more insight from my post

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

READing Your Style: The Science of Sexy (Part 1 of 2)

A bible to dressing for your body type
As I have made the focus of this month about Acceptance, as I explained in my July Letter from the Editor, I was going to touch on the topic of accepting our shape and size. Even though all women want the supermodel skinny body type where the average fashion model is about 5’10”, 115 pounds, and a size 4 at most, the average American woman is 5’4”, 164 pounds, and a size 14 as explained in the book that I consider a bible to dressing for your body type, “The Science of Sexy”, by Bradley Bayou, a prominent celebrity stylist to women such as Queen Latifah, Eva Longoria, Oprah, and Halle Barry, just to name a few.  Bayou touches on a science called anthropometry, which is the measure of the human form. As he points out, there is a lot of pressure to be thin, young, and beautiful. He reported that in the Personality and Social Psychology bulletin that “If there are a large number of desirable members of one’s own sex available, one may regard one’s own market value as lower.” One purpose of is to build your mental strength high enough so you don’t feel like that—EVER! So the first step is to understand your body so you are comfortable with finding the right clothes to highlight your strongest assets. Once you are fully aware of your body type then you can work to be as creative as possible in putting together dynamic looks that not only help you to best appeal to others, but more importantly, to feel as though you appeal to others, and that you are sending the exact message you want to show others. If you have that confidence, it won’t even matter what you do put on your back. Part II of this segment outlines the "The 10 Dress Sexy Commandments" which will help you choose your garments easier while shopping.   

Balance is sexy! There are many ways to balance your outfits to fit your shape?

The mission: Help you look your best!
Ø  That involves convincing you that not every style is going to look good on you.
Ø  Just because something is in style doesn’t mean you should wear it.
Ø  Why spend money on something that doesn’t look GREAT on you?
*Dressing well isn’t about spending a lot on your clothes. The trick is learning what kinds of shapes will balance your body, and what parts of your body you should conceal and reveal*

Demure/ Coy Sexy
 One thing all women have in common: All women want to look sexy!
Ø  Deep down, you want to look and feel beautiful, gorgeous, and desired (a.k.a. SEXY). You may never have thought about it, and you may not want to admit it, but I believe it’s true.
Ø  Three different kinds of sexy and your version of sexy should fit your personality

Glamourous/ Mysterious Sexy

o   1) Demure/Coy Sexy
o   2) Glamorous/Mysterious Sexy
o   3) Overtly Plunging Sexy

 What is the Science of Sexy:
Ø  Three factors that determine your body type:
o   1) Silhouette
o   2) Measurements
Overtly Plunging Sexy
o   3) Weight
Ø  Two principals on the foundation of this “science of sexy”:
o   1) Dress to balance your body
o   2) Learn to conceal your flaws and reveal your assets

*Based on scientific research and mathematical ratios of both height and weight, there are 48 shape types a women can fall under, and based your type there is a unique fashion prescription available for you to refine your sexiness*

Balance is Sexy: Science, in fact, has proven there is one timeless evolutionary trait for sexy: SYMMETRY!
Ø  Studies on perception of beauty have proven that human beings demonstrate an innate preference for symmetrical features because people prefer mates with symmetrical traits for it is equated with healthy genes and strong immune system.
Ø  The good news? You can fake symmetry!
Ø  The most basic balanced shape is the hourglass.
o   To look good every day, you need to wear clothes that replicate the proportions of the hourglass silhouette.
o   Your body’s silhouette + the right clothing proportions = sexy balance!

Conceal and Reveal Strategies: Every woman’s body is completely different and quite often, the differences that you consider flaws could actually be assets that set you apart as unique. Those flaws might not even be flaws at all!  
Ø  It is vital that you look at your figure objectively so you can develop an honest understanding of your shape.
Ø  Step 1: Circle the three body parts you consider “Flawed”:
o   Neck ● Shoulders ● Back ● Bust ● Waistline ● Stomach ● Arms ● Butt ● Hips ● Thighs ● Calves ● Feet
Ø  Step 2: Circle the three body parts you LOVE the most:
o   Neck ● Shoulders ● Back ● Bust ● Waistline ● Stomach ● Arms ● Butt ● Hips ● Thighs ● Calves ● Feet
Fall/Winter RTW 2012 looks courtesy of

Friday, July 20, 2012

à la mode: Vision Quest

As I have been chanting all this summer, this 2012 season has been about how bright one can be and how one can transcend in to the future—so one can imagine how disheartened I was when a few days ago a few co-workers of mine said they wouldn’t dare try to emulate the looks in the spread, “Vision Quest”, from the March 2012 issue of US Vogue. I was absolutely dumb-founded when I heard this proclamation! They told me they couldn’t image putting so many patterns and colors together, sans the fact that colors have been amplified tenfold already. In my fashion, this spread sums up fashion this season, in a nutshell. The vibrantly delicious colors, the eclectic mix of modernist patterns, the sharp cuts of fabric and attention to geometric details: what more says, “I am strong and I don’t play,” so easily for women? Imagine: having woken up on the wrong side of the bed, you are walking down the hallways at work, totally engulfed in your own thoughts, then, voila! That woman from the holiday parties you always attend floats from around the next corner in either of the two beautiful rain forest inspired dresses designed by Peter Piloto (LEFT; Fourth Row). The beaded details of the skirt underneath that aquatic unsymmetrical train would be such a vision that you are forced to break from your train of thought and admire the beauty that had unsuspectingly graced your drab morning day. That type of impression would be a great one if your viewer happened to be upper management. Or think: You have a travel meeting. Your boss will be expecting you to impress in front of the rest of the panel. Without even needing to say a word, half of your job will already be done once you step up confident (or nervous) in your monochromatic Gucci look (LEFT; Third Row) having caught their attention from just sitting in front of them as they wait for your turn to present, wondering to themselves, “What will she have to present?” Austere, yet graceful will you stand in front of your audience, rest assured that half the battle is already won with everyone’s undivided attention waiting for smart words from a smartly dressed woman. In my fashion, these looks would make life a breeze, for the impression made by the beauty of these fabrics, and your own smart mix of patterns, will hold anyone’s attention as you affirm your worth in your position self-assured, and working to forward your career.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

READing Your Style: Now, Discover Your Strengths

Remember my story from my July Letter from the Editor, where I was recommended to read the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham? I have taken the liberty, here on, of summarizing the entire book and what jumped out at me from the book about our personalities and how we can make the most of our strengths and talents. In my fashion, I feel everyone needs to read this book for its filled with so much interesting information about our psyche as human beings. For me, it helped me to put life more in perspective for myself, and ever since I finished that last page, I have really been able to pinpoint those specific qualities that make me an extraordinary person in my own right. Throughout the day, I make sure to focus on making sure all of my actions are strongly in line with my style. I am steadfast and confident to correct others who dare describe who I am and where I need to go, for only I know what experiences I have gone through that have molded the way I see the world, and how I fit into it. If there is one thing we do know about on Earth, it’s about ourselves! Be an expert on yourself, and use “Now, Discover Your Strengths” to find out more. Philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, said that “to be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Style Watch: Icona Pop

This summer has been all about vibrant color, and futurist ultra modernism, which, this fall, will parlay into funky silhouettes that will transform us into more grandiose images of us as people. Viewing this video, "I Love It", from the Swedish duo, Icona Pop, reminded me of this impending shock value. First off, the contrast between the two pretty rebels, that of Caroline Hjelt’s orange hair and pale skin, and Aino Jawo’s short, bold upside-down-pudding-bowl due, make them appear ethereal and distinct. I was most inspired by the fringed garments they wore on the street that blew in the wind as they twerled, which in my fashion, made them look whimsical and helps them to transcend ordinary street walkers aestheticly. Their exagerated fringe is a design aspect I would most certainly want to see incorporated in looks this fall. They made me think of all the different ways one could experiment with their look and give me, and hopefully you as well, the encouragement to look as distinct as possible. They are expected to release an album this fall having made small waves across Europe these past few years. They even featured in Chiddy Bang’s song, “Mind Your Manners”, which I featured in my last Style Watch.

In light of the recent Costume Institute's new exhibition featuring the off-the-wall Schiaparelli brand that will be coming back into the mix of designers after 50 years, the fashion world seems to be very eager to push past conventionalism and practicality for more daring, and outrageous looks that express an escapist, almost cartoon-like sentimentality. Take examples from this month’s issue of Vogue: some of the looks that stand out most in my mind were the Prada silk and wool hexagon print jacket and pants with platform heels that remind me of a play on Mexican inspired clogs. Anna dello Russo, editor-at-large for Vogue Japan, was recently an example of how one would look in public as she sported this 70’s inspired look in Milan at the Spring 2013 menswear collections last month. Other looks that caught my adoration was a red and black bonded-leather coat by Givenchy, it’s bold features projecting reductive geometric minimalism, and the “fantasy corporate empire” look outfitted by Balenciaga with the hot pink and lillac sheer skirted dress contrasted against the model’s electric orange hair. I even like the to-big-for-you black and white checkered Comme des Garçons wool jacket with its matching to-big-for-you skirt and large red flower petals printed all over, complete with lace up clogs. As Vogue suggests (and encourages): Go to extremes! Play with your clothes, mix and match really big unique tops with small tight bottoms, and vice versa, then do a combo of both oversized pieces. Go out and find the most interesting and unique hat one can find and add flowers, or another small personal item that can make for an interesting conceptual story atop your head (i.e. perhaps go as far to add a small stuffed bird giving the illusion of a birds nest to a disheveled looking fedora with straw and extra fabric wrapped around it). Make people look, wonder, and show people how creative one can be with a few simple alterations in ones perception of "normal". My question though is: what exactly is normality anyway? Normal is a subjective adjective, so who's to say what's proper? Be bold and fearless in expressing what you feel is "normal" in this world.

Prada, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons
US Vogue, July 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Destination: Inspiration *Barcelona*

Summer is in full blown effect and Barcelona, Spain seems like a perfect party destination for the season. According to a review by Tara Stevens for , Barcelona is a great place not only to suck up the sun on the beach during the day, but the nightlife is what distinguishes the Spaniard culture.  A huge part of Spanish cultural tradition is eating small meals with wine in between main meals, meals known as tapas, which is called the Tapas tradition. "Tapas are more than just finger foods and appetizers – serving a tapa is a way of bringing people together and encouraging conversation rather than simply filling their stomachs" [source]. That type of experience is the type of relaxation I would want to experience with my own friends, forming new memories as we work off what we eat, mingling and carousing about the seaside nightlife. Barcelona seems to me to be the perfect social relaxation destination, for after waking up from a night of enjoying late night fun with friends that generate fun no matter where on Earth we are, it would be off to gather items for a bountiful dinner and enjoy lunch at Cornelia and Co., or another one of their supermarkets known as great social hubs. Stevens reported that to be serviced at the chic supermarket, all one has to do is hand over a grocery list, and all you need will be prepared for you as you enjoy one of their lunchtime dishes. I am a big fan of people watching, and I can imagine that their supermarkets would provide an awesome survey of the sartorially interesting. Considering Spain is the hometown of Cristόbal Balenciaga, the founding designer of the house of Balenciaga who showed his first collection in 1937, I would hope to see the beautiful Spanish women who would appreciate, and emote, his ideals of timeless elegance.

As Bettina Ballard has described him in her book, “In My Fashion”, like Chanel, Balenciaga believed in comfortable clothing for women, “in which they can move their legs, and which they can put on with a minimum of effort…He never has complicated un-get-at-able fastenings...He uses as few seems as possible, [and] adds as little trimming. His suits always fit any number of sizes by some miracle of cut (as was his philosophy on proportion). Balenciaga believes in the unquestionable elegance of black and white, in the color of the Spanish earth and rocks and olive trees, in the red of the bull ring, in the effective accent of turquoise, in the Goya combination of black with beige, gray with black, and in yellow. He believes in lace and ribbon bows—never used in a fussy way but rather with true Spanish dignity. He likes satin that moves with elegance but has no false stiffness underneath it. He likes plain necks, unexaggerated bosoms, a freedom of body under the dress. Hats are his one madness—and yet the little Balenciaga pillbox has been the standard of hat elegance ever since the war. His one word for anything fashion or people he doesn’t like is cursi—a combination in Spanish of vulgar and bad taste which is everything he hates.”

Onward from lunch, Hotel OMM, would be another great place to see the beautiful people of Barcelona seeing that their Resturant MOO is said to be this side of chic and avant-garde for those who want to see and be seen. Mandarin Oriental is another spot which is said to have great cocktails which can be enjoyed in its soothing Mimosa terrace, a place one can retreat from the culturally social environment, but of course, who can stay away from the crowd long being that, in my fashion, I would want to see, be seen, and experience all that I could while vacationing in such a beautiful environment. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Style Watch: Chiddy Bang

“Take a second look and you'll see, there ain’t no one like me!”  If this phrase isn’t morning inspiration, then I just don’t know what inspiration is! This phrase from the track, “Mind Your Manners” comes from the new duo in music from Philly, Chiddy Bang. In my fashion, I can appreciate their style in this video with their colorful, spirited and clever visual interpretation of this message. First let me say, I have been eyeing these two boys and seeing them make appearances (Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, The Swelly Life Tour) more and more, and taking consideration of their backstory makes me feel proud of the ambitious individuals of my generation. In this video, I love the colored “Jabawaki” masks! When we are spun in a 360 vantage point shot of the recording Jabawaki people, I feel they represent those people in the world that conform to the norm; those that will look and judge you, for you are the one they see that isn’t afraid to be different and unique. Those in the video without masks proudly proclaim, "There is no one like me,” why? For it is a simple truth! They don't look like the empty, stoic faces of the Jabawaki men sans any hint of personality. They are aware of themselves and what they are good at, and have no problem expressing their talent no matter how much public scrutiny is wrought upon them. Our abilities to do something that others cannot should be celebrated, refined, and appreciated so we can make the most of ourselves, in my fashion. It’s like Earl Knightingale quoted from Rollo May: "The opposite of courage  in our society is not cowardice, it's conformity." Do what you do, be the best at what you do, and be proud of what you do!

Bit-O-Inspiro 8

Please take a look at my July Letter From the Editor and the post, Destination: Inspiration *2012 New York City Gay Pride* to view my opinions on this national political issue. #LeagalizeGay

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

READing Your Style: The Power of Shyness

The Power of Shyness
As I mentioned in my July Letter from the Editor, this month I was going to be focusing on discovering our strengths and learning how to make them as strong as possible. In my fashion, the first distinction to make for oneself is if you are classified as an introvert, extrovert, or in between (an ambivert). I would like to direct you to an article that ran in the February 6, 2012 issue of Time Magazine where the cover story title read, “The Power of Shyness”. When I came across this issue a while back, I was immediately intrigued for I knew it would touch on the subject of introversion and extroversion.

In America, advantage definitely goes to the extroverted. As kids we were all conditioned to believe that the ideal personality traits are to speak up, be willing to seek out social opportunities, and to make lots of friends.  Others who are incapable of showing these promises are viewed as timid and shy, and contrary to the latter, by definition, they are considered weak, uninteresting, and therefore, incapable of being successful in a society geared toward the outgoing and adventurous. “The Power of Shyness” by Bryan Walsh explores the upside of being an introvert, and why being an extrovert can actually be quite overrated.

Mohandas Gandhi, Joe Dimaggio, Hilary Clinton, Moses, Warren Buffett, Manmohan Singh, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, Barack Obama are all considered intoverted leaders.

As I explained in my Special Valentine’s Day post, I have distinguished that I am an introvert, so you can imagine my excitement when I came across an article that exposed the advantages of being one of the quite ones when it is popularly perceived that to be successful one must become a bombastic social maven. In grade school, I knew I didn’t fit with the wild and rowdy boys of my classes, but I took much more interest perfecting my grades, doing what I had to do, and hanging with people who stimulated my mind creatively and intellectually. Considering the pack of kids who thought like me was quite small, (most everyone working on acting “extrovertly”), I learned to mingle, and be able to get along with everyone in their own respects, but I always wondered why it was so hard for me to find real comfort in social settings.

Now, having moved past childhood insecurities, I wish I would have known some of the information Walsh provides us with in this article for I probably would have been able to save myself some angst in wondering why I found social situations taxing. Instead of trying to compensate for my “shyness”, I would have accepted, as I do now, that my unique set of strengths simply does not include being overly social. I hope that for my fellow introverts, if you felt as I did as a child, hopefully this article will help to put your life more into perspective so you can find what your unique strengths are so you don’t feel that uncompromising pressure to be like everyone else. Accept that you simply think in a different way and have more to offer in other areas of life. The chart I created below highlights major points from the article that explain these differences in thinking.

Because there is not much hype related to the benefits of introversion, for those that still battle with the insecurities being a introvert can bring, I have paraphrased much of the article in the chart below to show what it is about introverts that make them just as important in life as extroverts. In my fashion, if you still feel down on yourself for not being the “outgoing type”, the most helpful piece of advice from this article is not to down yourself for not being so, but understand that introverts make great leaders in social situations too! In my fashion, once one accepts being an introvert you can use that knowledge of yourself to build yourself into a strong leader, in your own right, and stop trying to adhere to the tendencies of extroverted society. 

Finish my summary of  The Power of Shyness by clicking through to read more on the benifits of introversion, and how to best use your stengtrhs as an introvert.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Styel Watch: T.I. and The O.M.G. Girlz

I have been eyeing T.I.’s new video, “Love This Life”, for a while now since it came out April 3, 2012, and I have been trying to figure out what exactly it was about T.I., his swag, and this video that makes me feel some sort of proud of him. Yes, the video is sexy, suave, modern, and neatly visually constructed, but I figure it’s more because I'm proud of who he has become, and how he is really redeeming himself as a man, and father, after his unfortunate stint in jail. I think he has become an awesome representation a man who went made some careless mistakes in his life, which he ended up paying the price for, and now he is regaining his honor and trudging forward in his career and with his growing family. In my fashion, what I like about this video is its resemblance the song we all loved in 2008, “You Can Have Whatever You Like”, all women want a man who can make them happy, cater to their emotions, and still show strength, and leadership. The song is more so about how as a man he wants an understanding relationship between him and his woman, which is something all of us men need to find in order to be successful in any relationship. I feel this is a song men will relate to, for it comes from a man who working on being the best man he knows he can be. I will be excited to hear more of what he has to say from his album, Trouble Man, which is due in September. Through his experiences in the past few years I am sure he has much to report. has reported on a new 19-year study that concludes one of the best ways to become a better man is to become an involved father. We can see his strife to be a more reliable father figure as seen on his family reality show on VH1, “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle”. In my fashion, this show was needed for T.I. because it helped to expose the other half of T.I.’s life that isn’t gun/drug related and how much work he invests into his kids, and making his wife happy. I enjoy the fact that he is a parent who understands the value in teaching your kids hard work to get what you want even though their parents can provide them with a lot, regardless. I particularly remember the episode where his sons expressed interest in an acting career. It was adorable to see how the boys handled the pressure of taking on a real opportunity to work at acting while understanding the work that goes behind reaching one’s goals. In my fashion, true hard work breeds substantial success, and I am proud to see T.I. champion this outlook to his children. The video below, “Where the Boys At?”, is a video which comes from the new girl group, The OMG Girlz, who have been developed by T.I.’s other half, Tiny, where one third of the trio is their blue haired daughter, Star. T.I. even makes a cameo in the video with his boys that go along quite cute with the concept of the song. T.I. definitely wants to show that he does not play when it comes to his kids, and in my fashion, it’s not even cliché (I do have wonder if Star would agree, though).

I have been eyeing The OMG Girlz (Officially Miss Guided" Girlz) for quite some time now, too. Since they came out in 2011 with their first single, “Gucci This (Gucci That)”, I have been delightfully mesmerized by these girls choice in hair color when I see them make an appearance. They have made a hit in the industry so far based off their distinctly colorful style. I feel the group is being ushered into the industry very well, albeit the help from their parents and industry insiders, they have an kinetic energy like that of TLC, in that their group flow and their spicy blend of bold personalities makes for a cohesive group-style that shouts, “We are fun!” but not in a corporate, gimmicky way that tends to seep through the cracks in this sort of endeavor. Their colored hair is exactly the push in hairstyles that I would like to see more generally accepted in public from mainstream consumers because in the end, life is about having fun!  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 BET Awards - The "Stongest" Looks

On, my coverage of Sunday night’s 2012 BET Awards will highlight what were the strongest looks from last night, in my fashion. I wanted to highlight the looks that I felt defined that individual’s style and brought a certain light to certain look that illuminated pure individuality. When I think of strong looks, I like to think about what looks were strong enough to burn an unforgettable image in our brains that we simply would not be able to forget once we have seen that look for the first time, and I like to think about what was the effect of the outfit in which a person wore that stated their relevance in reference to the nights festivities and what they do in the industry, whether they sing, model, dance, or work behind the scenes. I like to think not only about how flattering a certain look is, or how the colors make someone’s skin illuminate, I like to think of why someone would wear a certain look and what were they trying to say about themselves to their audience. Was their reasoning intelligent, or is the look flawed because its purpose for being worn is irrational, superficial, and irrelevant in retrospect to the occasion. As late editor-in-chief of US Vogue, Diana Vreeland, had said, “There is no such thing as unconscious dressing,” and I tend to agree. 

Beyoncé, Selita Ebanks, Melanie Fiona
I was thoroughly pleased to see the variety of ensembles at this year’s award show. Beyoncé was, of course, the cat’s meow as she stood out from a mile in her languid, one-sleeved, neon green sheath complete with that long slit for a bit of sexy leg exposure. This dressed worked well with Beyonce in every sense of R&B diva, but in my fashion, the fact that she was caught smiling and dancing all night (in her green number no less)  was the reason her aura was so irresistible to the cameras all night. Ex-Victoria Secret model, Selita Ebanks is always a sight to see, and I was taken aback when the cameras caught a glimpse of her jamming by herself in the audience. Her dress was so intricate looking in those few seconds I saw her, I had to find out what her entire look consisted of. This dress fits perfectly with my thoughts in my (a la mode post) in May. Longer dresses are a hot trend this summer, and these sheer skirted type dresses look beautiful when a women sweeps past you, and I love this choice for Ebanks because the colors go well with her skin, and her hair helps to balance out the structure of the dress for a feel that is glamorously “Ebank’s”. Melanie Fiona also did a sheer frock for her performance, but her floor length under dress counters Ebanks’ lack of fabric down under. What set off this look for Melanie, was Melanie herself for her voice is what had us all enthralled by her once she finished her performance. For someone to sing the way she did, calls for a dress that measures up to the talent, and this dress was certainly a dress I would have wanted to see her performing her heart out in as she did that night.

Chaka Khan, Monica
The Whitney Houston tribute brought out a plethora of stars who wanted to pay their respects to ‘The Voice’, including a slimmed up Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan blew us away when she first revealed her weight loss at an earlier performance on American Idol this year where she showed up in a flattering body suit, but this metallic number, with its large leg slit gave Beyonce a run for her money as was the biggest difference between the two was basically the color of their dresses. The way this silky dress moved as Chaka blew on stage was absolutely mesmerizing. Monica was another shock of the night that floored me! My first time seeing Monica when she revealed herself in her custom fitted Spring 2010 Alexander McQueen dress extended with a train, I was unprepared for the rush of goose bumps I felt. Her ubiquitous stage presence with that dress grappled my eyes attention, especially with that metallic tangerine color of the inside lining. As Creative Director for McQ, Sarah Burton, has said before, “There’ll always be a McQueen woman. She is a strong woman and she is a powerful woman, and when she puts a McQueen jacket on, she feels different. The way she stands is different. The way she moves is different. It’s almost like the clothes are slightly empowering.” This is the quote I thought of when I saw this dress. Her wearing the dress was almost as much homage to the late Alexander McQueen as it was for Whitney.  Then, when I saw this photo of her red carpet look in all maroon (one of my personal favorite colors), I was sold right there on the notion that Monica was in the top tiers of the best dressed of the night.

Jay-Z, Kanye West, Miguel, Big Sean

In regards to the men, I was so very happy to see the following men who dared to be different. When we saw Jay-Z come on stage during Kanye West’s acceptance speech, one of the most memorable moments of the night, I know everyone was impressed (or not) by Jay-Z’s ensemble with his white shoes being the cherry on top. Either way, if you didn’t like it, I am sure you won’t forget it. Take notes men, for this was definitely a dashing professional look worthy of duplicating for oneself in the office (especially if you played with different color combos). I always enjoy Kanye’s looks for they are always so simple, chic in its own right, yet futuristically trendy. I loved his boxy shirt that had fine details on top of eggshell white that I found interestingly edgy, and I would love to feel how that shirt feels for the fabric looks to be very soft and comfortable. Miguel had a look that I felt went with his continuum of sartorial ingenuity. Everything on him is always to the “T” fitted, and sharply executed. When I think of his looks I can’t help but to be reminded of a razor. I loved that he wore all red, a hard thing for a male to do well, in my fashion, and his touches of gold, with the black and white Sophie’s, were excellent additions to pull the look together in a sort of antique, modern appeal, which matches his stylistic sound. Big Sean is one that is clearly in another pool of fashion, for his looks are always daringly sexy in a “Cool Joe” way that so coyly begs the question, “I know what I am wearing. What of it?” I applaud Big Sean immensely for I feel he is pioneering a new look for the new age of hip-hop we are going through. Check out his interview I found a while back with GQ magazine on his passion for his trademark piece (or pieces, for that matter)—chains.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Style Watch: Willow Smith

Have you, yourself, ever rocked a bald haircut before? I have—twice. Not too long ago in 2010 I shaved off all my tresses because I wanted to experiment with having the confidence to pull off such a bold look considering, when I was around age 9, I remember when I let my uncle cut my hair and he accidentally tripped up on himself, nicking my hair in the process; the end result being, me too embarrassed to take off a baseball cap for about two weeks for I was forced to be bald so my hair would grow even. I was so depressed for those weeks. I feel like if had I seen Willow Smith’s new video, “I Am Me,” back in the day during that time, I probably would have been inspired to be proud of such a bold due. To have the confidence to rock a bald cut shows a lot of pride and acceptance for how one looks, especially speaking for young girls. Willow’s new song is a perfect way to open this month’s theme of Acceptance. The premier of her video at the BET Awards Pre-Show was too adorable, in my fashion, along with her look in the video! This song is a departure from her more wild and youthful side, and delves into deeper emotions for her message is one in which we all are trying to cope with ourselves—accepting ourselves for ourselves. In my fashion, I feel her hair really helps in sending the message home, for I feel even though she is an obliviously gorgeous young lady, she embraces the androgynous look and goes for a look that is hard to pull off with confidence as a women, which is to still look pretty, and have the audacity to fashion yourself like a boy (she looks practically identical to her father, Will Smith, when he was young). I am always fascinated with the looks she is able to create for herself, and I love that she is not afraid to cut her hair off at such a young age. In my fashion, her dynamic and daring looks really speak to children on the front of bringing your imaginations to life, and making your experience in this life a fun and exploratory time. In my fashion, the earlier one understands this in life, the more enjoyable life can be for oneself.

In light of today being Independence Day, celebrate not only the nation’s freedom, but your freedom as an individual, as well.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Mingling with the beautiful people at
New York Gay Pride 2012
If you will, let me invite you on a quick stroll down memory lane: When I was an intern the last summer before my graduation from undergrad, I met a fantastically kind-spirited and inviting Merchandising Buyer for the corporation I was working for. She was a refreshingly energetic woman who always had an interesting statement necklace for me to observe and admire. I first noticed her in my HR orientation classes, always sitting across from me but never in a position to interact, and yet, towards the end of my internship, lo and behold, the women with the interesting statement necklace was the Women’s Clothing Head Buyer as I came to find out on a run-in encounter. We exchanged information and during my last semester we kept in touch, and she even was very helpful on a project I had for my Salesmanship course. When I finally graduated and was looking for work, I contacted my new fashion insider to inquire about possible openings where I could gain buying experience, desperate to hear the slightest chance of gaining some sort of fashion industry experience (or for that matter any job considering the state of our economy in 2010). Even though I was disheartened to hear that there were no current or pending openings, one of the best recommendations I had gotten in a while came from our chilly morning meeting at Starbucks. She advised that I read a copy of the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham. That day, I headed to the library to get me a copy to find out what keys to getting a job this book could offer me. Instead of explaining, specifically, what moves I should make to get myself hired; it offered a thorough study of implications as to what makes each one of us strong and capable of success in our lives based on our past experiences and how we developed as children. It was a book geared towards helping one to identify what innate talents each of us have developed in our lives, talents that will point us in the right direction towards where we need to be using our strengths to become capable of achieving our own levels of success, happiness, and balance in our personal and professional lives. I could see why she would extend this book to me for it really helped me to understand what exactly I am good at, and helped me to understand how I can best use my personal combination of talents to excel in life.

The reason I bring this book up on, is because this month I am focusing on “Acceptance”. This book helped me to realize, most importantly, that I am innately great at certain aspects of life, and that I am innately bad at other aspects—and that is OK, because we all are. My favorite quote from the book is a twist on a popularly conceived notion said by the wit W.C. Fields: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. There is no point in making a fool of yourself.”  Buckingham does a great job of explaining why we people are the way we are and how we can accept the way that we were raised, and what skills we developed as children so we can focus on making our strengths as strong as they can be instead of focusing on masking our weaknesses. This is why I postulate in Sartorial Philosophies that, in my fashion, having strong style isn’t so much about knowing how to hide your flaws, but it’s more about making your strengths shine as bright as they can.

In my fashion, a real understanding of acceptance and tolerance makes for a calm and cool individual and can contribute largely to your style. Once you accept who you have grown to be, it’s that much faster that you can get on to making life an enjoyable adventure.  I say, get real with who you are, and once you learn how to utilize your talents most effectively, you can then use them to help you grow so you will be able to do whatever your heart desires in your trajectory of life. Decide, now, what are the things, actions, and behaviors you are willing to accept, and won’t accept in your life, and be smart about your judgments. Accept the ramifications of your decisions and what the future may hold when you make a certain decision. In my fashion, acceptance is what keeps us grounded, rational, and most intuitive about where one should go in life.