All Articles Tagged "Fashion"
This morning, I had an epiphany about my signature style : bangles!
That’s right, I have decided that from this day forward, every single outfit will be adorned with one single arm full of colorful and beautifully designed bangles.
Yes I know: congrats on such a trivial discovery about yourself. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll shallowly share with us your grand decision between Aunt Jemima and Bisquick complete pancake mix [author’s note: it is Bisquick).
But for seriously, my foray into arm jewelry isn’t just a matter of personal taste and preference. Instead, I’m sharing this with you all in hopes of inspiring others to at least begin thinking about setting a style goal for yourselves. In short, everyone should have a personal stamp. You know, something that helps to identify you and makes you stand out from the crowd field of fashion trend bots? Or better yet, a personal accessory or adornment, which folks will always remember you for long after you’ve left this world?
It is true that career, love, health and fitness goals all take precedent over how you look. But let’s be real here: how we look and appear before the world, does matter too. And it can matter as much as your talent or even how physically gorgeous you are.
And it is goes far beyond dressing the part for the sake of employment and well-deserved promotions, which research does show kind of matters as well too. But rather using our outer appearance, by way of our fashion choices, to express individual political and social statements about ourselves.
For instance, Dr. Cornel West’s infamous black suit. For those, who might not have noticed, the philosopher, intellectual and former Harvard professor known for his fiery “critique” of President Obama’s policies wears the same damn suit every single day. No grays, browns or tan suits. No seersuckers neither. Not even bowties or even neckties with patterns. West wears the same exact black suit, shirt and tie combo every single day. Of course, there is a “logical” reason for this fashion conformity. And as he tells the Prepidemic Magazine back in 2010:
“Part of it is that I do have a limited sartorial imagination, so I know I am going to wear the same kind of clothing every single day. Part of it has to do with [he shrugs] it just makes me feel good. Second thing is that it comes out of the sixth chapter of Ephesians: put on the whole armor of God (… that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.). So I got my clothes on and I’m feeling good, but I also got my armor on. Because life is a battlefield.”
So is love. Pat Benetar.
But in all seriousness, what appears to be a cartoonish way to dress actually has a pretty deep philosophical meaning. An intellectual who sees his suit as part of his armor. And I guess his words are his sword? You have to admit: that’s pretty deep stuff there. And the sheer thoughtfulness that Dr. West places into such a simplistic and uniformed fashion choice, has given me a better appreciation for him as a thinker. The same can be said for Janelle Monae, who spoke about her uniformed styling choice while accepting the Young, Gifted and Black award at the 2012 Black Girls Rock! Awards. More specifically, she says:
“When I started my musical career I was a maid, I used to clean houses. My parents—my mother was a proud janitor, my step-father who raised me like his very own worked at the post office and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them”
And let us remember that fashion is above everything else, about self expression. Personally, it has taken me a long road to discover and appreciate that fact on my own. As a child who grew up poor and wanting lots, I had to learn that the real value of an outfit or an article of clothing, is to make me feel good, rather than about labels or what everyone else says it should look and feel like. Therefore, bangles.
What I love most about my newfound signature style is that bangles make noise, which is in contrast to societal (and maybe even the world) views on how women should appear in public. In short, we are to be seen, look pretty but never heard. We are to walk quietly and never appear boastful. Yet with each clack-clank, my bangles basically says to the world, “I am woman. Here me roar.”
Seriously though, your signature style element doesn’t have to be that deep, but it should be personal. And it should be something that you can readily incorporate into all if not most facets of your life – because I don’t want any getting fired from their corporate job for wearing pink hair.
At any rate, what’s your signature style?
On Saturday, September 6th, Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) hosted its 7th annual Fashion Show & Style awards. Founded in 2007 by Brandice Henderson-Daniel, HFR has become a fixture at New York Fashion Week and a launching pad for the industry’s rising stars of color. The 2014 event showcased emerging and established designers of color (Byron Lars, Harlem Haberdashery, K. Milele, and Josh & Nicol), putting Black fashion in the spotlight during what can often be a diversity-lacking New York Fashion Week.
Beverly Johnson, the first Black model on the cover of Vogue in 1974, received the night’s ICON 360 Award. Upon accepting, Beverly noted, “Though we have made great strides, we still need to see more color on the runway.”
Other notable awards presented included Journalist of the Year, won by Huffington Post’s Julee Wilson and Fashion Publicist of the Year won by Umindi Francis, founder and CEO of Uminidi Francis Consulting Group.
HFR’s Henderson-Daniel told MadameNoire, “Designers of color represent less than one percent of designers available in major department stores. My goal is for HFR to be the solution [to that problem]. Somebody has to do something.”
MadameNoire caught up with some the night’s talent, sponsors, and partners to chat about the impact Harlem’s Fashion Row has on spreading awareness and both buying and earning power within the Black business and fashion communities. Check out what they had to say:
ON BLACKS’ INFLUENCE IN THE FASHION WORLD AND THE NEED FOR UNITY
Harlem Haberdashery is like family and have been styling me for ever. People of color, whether Black or Brown, need to unite and show our unity. We’re the hustlers. We’re beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with sharing our culture and our contributions to the fashion world.
I once watched an interview with Tommy Hilfiger where they asked him how he was successful. He said he would drive through Harlem and see what the kids were wearing and tell [his designers] to make what he saw in to Tommy Hilfiger designs. He made a billion-dollar enterprise off of studying the kids from Harlem. If that doesn’t say enough, what does?
– Fat Joe, Rapper
ON BLACK CREATORS “STICKING TOGETHER”
This is my third year doing a pop-up shop at New York Fashion Week for Harlem’s Fashion Row. I just celebrated my 12th anniversary in fashion. Going to Fashion Institute of Technology and being a designer in the industry, you really don’t have a voice as a Black person. A lot of times you are considered “urban” even if you aren’t an urban designer. They always say Black people don’t stick together. Harlem Fashion Row is a good way to unite in an industry that is not very Black-friendly.
– B. Marie, Designer and Founder, B. Marie Designs
ON BEING A “PORTAL FOR UNTAPPED TALENT”
The people doing the shows at Lincoln Center pay a nice price tag to be there. I think there’s so much untapped talent that come through this umbrella of HFR. This is a great portal that allows Brown people to showcase their talent and do an outstanding job at doing so.
-Keith Campbell, Lead Hair Stylist
ON HARLEM’S FASHION ROW IGNITING THE “NEXT HARLEM RENAISSANCE”
HFR is a huge thing. I’m from Harlem and I know that New York Fashion Week doesn’t showcase a lot of Black businesses and Black people. It’s almost like there’s a 1960s revolution going on. Hopefully, this picks up and expands over the years.
– Justin, Model
I think there’s a resurgence like the Harlem Renaissance happening all over again where designers of color are getting opportunities to showcase what they are doing, which is really good for the Black community.
-Marc Kelly, Model
ON BEING PART OF THE AMPLIFICATION OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES
Design Essentials is an African-American-owned company. This partnership makes sense since our brand is based on uplifting others [like us]. To see that HFR is really amplifying and encouraging African- American designers, it’s really an honor to be part of and celebrate that.
-ShaMarla Jones, Marketing Coordinator, Design Essentials (Event Sponsor)
Both her parents, Kim and Kanye, want you to know that they’re fly. They pride themselves on being fashion forward. Don’t even get Kanye started on the leather jogging pant. So it’s no stretch of the imagination that they want their little girl, the adorable North West to follow in their footsteps. And since she’s already appeared in Vogue, she has to keep the momentum going. She must be a model darling.
And North West doesn’t model clothes from the Baby Gap or Children’s Place, she’s stunting in Chanel…and she’s not even two yet. Am I jealous that North’s wardrobe cost as much as my college tuition? No, not at all. Get it how you live little one.
North was seen with Carine Roitfeld, the former editor -in-chief of Vogue Paris a couple months back but no one know what that was about.
But yesterday, Kim revealed this adorably precious ad featuring her daughter.
There’s a barefooted North with a tiny Chanel bag, plush cashmere cardigan- complete with Coco Chanel’s signature flower, pearl earrings and a quote from Karl Lagerfeld that reads:
“It’s never too early to care about fashion.”
The ad will appear in Roitfeld’s CR Fashion book. Roitfeld posted this picture of herself and North a few months ago on her Instagram page, calling her a lovely girl. Awww!
Though known most for their larger than life personalities, crazy drama, and wild antics, reality television stars are more than just primetime entertainment. Many of them have successfully launched their own entrepreneurial ventures, helping them to branch out beyond the television world. One example is Erica Dixon, cast member on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and founder of Klass 6 Hair and Klass 6 Dress Line.
We caught up with Erica to ask her about the inspiration behind the “Klass” lines, what’s she learning about running a business, and advice she has for ladies who want to start their own ventures. Check out the interview below.
MadameNoire (MN): How did your experience on Love and Hip Hop inspire you to start Klass 6?
Erica Dixon (ED): Being on a reality show, seeing others have that motivation to go ahead and pursue whatever their dreams or aspirations were [inspired me]. Klass 6 was something that I always wanted to do. I wanted to put something out there for the ladies. With Love and Hip Hop, I had that platform [and audience] to go ahead and do it. I told myself that I was procrastinating. What was I waiting for? Let me go ahead and do it.
MN: What made you focus on fashion and hair with Klass 6?
ED: I did hair and fashion because that is what I am all about. I’m a female. I love to have my hair done and I love to have on a bada$$ dress. I’m not going to sell a dress or hair to somebody that I wouldn’t wear or buy. When you see me, I always have my hair in. I may not always have on one of my dresses. I do like to help other brands, but the majority of the time, you will see me with my own products.
Of course now that I have lost a couple of inches in the waist – from a size 14/16 to a size 10 (Yes, I am saluting myself for all my hard work and squats I have done) – and can shop in straight size shops with cuter clothing comfortably (And by “comfortably,” I mean not squeezing myself into an Xtra Large and hoping the two-percent Lyrca written on its tag is authentic and field tested.), the fashion industry starts thinking about revolutionizing plus size clothing options.
As reported in the Business Insider, online women’s clothing retailer Modcloth has produced a survey in hopes of unlocking and deciphering the mysterious world of plus-size shoppers – because you know, the industry has ignored a sizable portion of the population for so long, it’s almost like meeting an alien species for the first time: lots of probing, lots of prodding and I imagine, lots of awkward and inappropriate jokes about fat aliens.
At any rate, Modcloth, along with market research company Paradigm Sample, surveyed 1,500 U.S women, between the aged 18 to 44 and found that more women reported wearing a size 16 than sizes 0, 2, and 4 combined. Duh. Even more unsurprisingly, the survey also found that that 65 percent of all women agree, that the retail industry ignores the needs of plus size women. Likewise, 74 percent of plus size women describe feeling frustrated and 65 percent described feeling excluded during their in-store shopping experiences. And only 31 percent agree that plus size models accurately represent the plus size community of women, which seriously. Did they need to spend money on that? I’m sure the office intern could have told them that for a six-inch hoagie from Subway and a bag of Skittles.
Nevertheless, Modcloth persists on with its revelation of obvious facts including the one that tells us that 53 percent of plus size women are likely to describe their clothing as frumpy; 52 percent thought their clothing was shapeless; and 49 percent found it boring. And a yawn-filled 77 percent of all plus size respondents say it is difficult to find well-fitting garments. Honestly, the only real surprises here are that the percentages of disenchanted big girls isn’t higher.
Excuse me if I sound very snarly, but the average woman has been between a size 12 to 14 for a long while now and quite frankly shouldn’t be this hard to figure out what plus size clothing shoppers want: the same thing that smaller sizes want. Style. Comfort. But most definitely something that doesn’t involve peek-a-boo cut sleeves, an elastic waist and flower prints – seriously I hate those shirts that be in every plus size section with the unbridled passion of seven fat bitches.
I will give Modcloth credit however for taking the time to actually research and then tell the rest of the industry the obvious and that is design some plus-size gear that folks want to wear. And try to make it super-inexpensive and accessible. It’s just not fair that women – and I guess menfolk too (so they won’t feel left out of a discussion on a black woman’s website) – have to be segregated from the rest of the general public. I also give the retailer credit for expanding the sizes it offers to shoppers, which according to the article, will put the company on target to double the size of its sales in just this year alone.
From Single Black Male
Summer is three days away. Men and women alike can’t wait to shed layers for a lengthy period. Ladies can’t wait to show a little more skin. And men can’t wait to not mind. This summer promises to be a scorcher. In the midst of summer barbecues and kickbacks, there will be all sorts of attire involved. Today I run down some of the top things we men would love to see you ladies wear.
Learn more about what men think women should wear this summer at SingleBlackMale.org
It’s the most important date in a person’s life. But for celebrities, their wedding day is more than just making a commitment to someone they are — or think — they’re in love with. It’s a chance to break out the finest in bridal fashion and strut their stuff. So as your Facebook becomes cluttered with summer wedding photos and engagement announcements, we decided to add to the pile with our favorite celebrity wedding looks.
Every single time we think Rihanna can’t top her latest fashion escapade, she proves us wrong! Last night as she walked the red carpet for the CFDA Fashion awards wearing nothing but Swarovski crystals we were reminded of all of the singer’s interest wardrobe choices over the years. Let’s take a look back at some of Rihanna’s riskiest red carpet looks.
Lucky Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen is arguably the coolest chick in fashion and publishing right now. With more social media followers than even her magazine has, Chen is an idol to many in the fashion industry already, and those clamoring for a way in. She sat down with Racked to talk job advice and revealed five key things to remember.
Read more about Eva Chen at StyleBlazer.com
College was an interesting bubble that a good number of us had the opportunity to live in. We partied, stayed up all night, and sometimes went to class. One thing that is very specific to the experiences of living on campus or just being a stressed out undergrad was the array of college style.
From the sorority girls and their interesting ways of always wearing the same bag, outfit, and hairstyle to the girls who were in an eternal state of going to the gym. Many of these things worked perfectly fine in college, hell, they were even the trendy thing to sport, but hopefully you noticed that once you graduated this simply just wasn’t the case.
Reminisce on the cringeworthy looks that everyone wore and say RIP to your college style.
Read more about college fashion at StyleBlazer.com