All Articles Tagged "Fashion"
Rihanna’s Hairstylist, Ursula Stephens, Talks Rise To Fame: ‘I’m Not Just The African American Expert; I’m A Great Hairstylist’
Ursula Stephen, the genius behind Rihanna’s hair transformations talked to NYMag about her experience to the top. From growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn to traveling around the globe, in her own words she’s honest about the journey and the stereotypes. “It’s just my job to correct people, so they know that I’m not just the African-American expert; I’m a great hairstylist.”
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
There might be some correlation between the size of my shoe heel and my current trajectory through womanhood.
I was 15 years old and at an age where a girls most important fashion aim to look as womanly as possible. Coming cool off a tomboy phase, which back in the early 90s meant oversized shirts and jackets; baggy jeans and timberland boots, I was learning quick from my more “mature” peers that there was nothing less womanly than a girl parading around in sneakers or flats. My introduction to heels came by way of a lipstick red Mary Janes. I had gotten them because they were just like the pair that my best girlfriend had and she was as girly as they came. Plus the shoes were the most comfortable looking pair of all of her repertoire of pumps. Flexible enough to give the foot some room to bend and with a chunky heel, Mary Janes actually felt a lot like how they looked. Plus they were cute and could be worn and pretty much went with anything. I liked the shoes so much that I got another pair in white patent leather and then another pair in black. By my fifth pair, I started noticing that the heels on the Mary Janes started getting higher and thinner and eventually I abandoned the Mary Jane design all together…
According to science, the feet contains 26 bones, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles and tendons. By the time that I had reached 25, my various heels had managed to irritate the hell out of all of them. I was in the midst of my personal fashion era, where style mattered over comfort. Heels, I felt, gave my legs more contouring. They also made me look sophisticated. Plus they were more fashionable than flats. Most non-flip-flop and sneaker flats looked like the shoes that middle-aged moms wore to work as an administrative assistant at the DMV. No young and virile young woman wants to look like their mom-at-work. This led to many evenings out, where the pain from my heels would either relegate me to a chair, watching everyone else have fun, or holding on for dear life to some random guy I was supposed to be dancing with. While years of practice eventually got me over my balance issues, I could never get to the point of foot nirvana, where I could withstand the discomfort of wearing heels for an extended period of time. Even kitten heels were beginning to feel cumbersome like the time my boyfriend and I ended up on the wrong bus and I had to walk 7 long city blocks in these really horrible heeled cowboy boots to get to our destination. I tried soldiering on but after the third block, it literally hurt my entire foot to take a step. Eventually I kicked them puppies off and opted to walk carefully the rest of the blocks in my socks – much to the embarrassment of my then-boyfriend. But I rolled my eyes at him. The only reason why we were walking was because he didn’t have a car.
After a while heel spurs prevented me from wearing most heels and the kitten ones. At the same time, ballet shoes started making their appearance on runways and on the foot of celebrities at red carpet events. It wouldn’t be long before the style made it ways to malls and discount shoe warehouses, and only to the foot of the average girl about town. For once, it would seem, fashion had done something that I personally needed it to do for years: be stylish yet comfortable. These were not your mom-at-work-flats. The new generation of flatties had bows and ruffles; closed and peep-toed; pastel, neon, glimmered and zebra-print too. The style possibilities were endless. Combined with the right outfit, your flats now could go from casual-chic to playful to sexay. Pretty soon women started showing up at nightclubs and other evening events in flats.
Some economist believe we had the recession to blame for the period in which the catwalks of high fashion went main street. If that is true, than truly thank you George Walker Bush Jr. because finally there were some shoes I could not only walk for extended periods of time but damn near skip down the street in if I wanted too. I began to realize how little I walked prior to the popularity of the ballet shoe. Now, instead of rushing from car to seat-in-venue, I could actual enjoy the moments I had on my feet. In fact, in the most identical situation, one day I found myself having to walk almost ten blocks towards my destination after again getting off at the wrong bus stop. This time, however, I had on a cute little pair of snakeskin pointy-toed flats, which meant that I was free from the time restraints that my heels would give my pumps. Not only was walking those blocks a breeze but I actually stopped a few times to do some window shopping and take in the sights and sounds of my journey along the way. For me, the flats era of shoe fashion were about options.
As I went shoe shopping this weekend, I noticed that the selections of ballet shoes and other flat heels are not as plentiful and diverse in style as they were last Spring. The rise of platform pumps and sneakers has repositioned the heel back to its rightful place at the top of the shoe hierarchy. Just out of curiosity, I tried on a pair of those platform heels. They were a pair of mean black leather with five inches of heel and metal spikes along the back. All this working out I have doing has basically ended all my heel spurs, perhaps it brought some heel-tolerance back to my feet again. Immediately after putting them on, I started casing the department store for all available seating like they were emergency exits. I thought about it and then I wrapped them up, put them back in the box and handed them back to the sale man. Flats had certainly spoiled me. And as sexay and sophisticated as they looked on my foot I didn’t have the same desire to put on airs about what I thought being a woman meant. Now I am a woman. And my shoe styles will only serve are reflection of that: stylish, comfortable and free from unnecessary pain.
By now, you’re probably very aware that StyleBlazer is celebrating its 2nd birthday this week! But don’t think we were going to fete your favorite fashion site without inviting all of the editors to the party. The theme is throwback to 2011.
“I was a huge fan of this Chico’s pearl and turquoise super-statement necklace that was given to me as a gift in 2011, and I still cherish this necklace although I haven’t worn it in a while. I absolutely love statement jewelry, which probably explains why.”
Read more and see more favorite pieces at StyleBlazer.com
After landing a collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, it’s safe to say that Melissa’s Shoes is having a very good year! Now the company’s diffusion line, Mel, will partner with fast-fashion giant Forever 21. The collaboration will include six designs, including sandals and slip-on shoes, starting at $19.80.
Melissa’s U.S. CEO Michele Levy told WWD: “Forever 21 is a great way for us to reach a wider audience with the right fashion credibility. Forever 21 stands for value, fashion and fun, so our values matched theirs.”
Read more at StyleBlazer
She’s got the goodies! Ciara gets electric for the sci-fi inspired cover of Notion.
The magazine, focused on fashion and music, scored a rockin’ cover girl for its latest issue, alongside musicians Sky Ferriera, Little Boots, grime group Rascals, and folk pop singer Lucy Rose.
Ciara shared her cover shot on Instagram, as she counts down to the premiere of her much anticipated video, “Body Party.”
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
He may not be an household name yet, but celebrity make-up artist, AJ Crimson is coming to homes everywhere with his new cosmetic line.
With the help of Adrienne Bailon, Letoya Luckett and British singer, Alexandra Burke the seasoned artist is promoting his new line.
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
This spring season is full of limitless wardrobe finds to define our brand. From neon to floral, there is something for everyone. While most may stock up on threads around town, now is the time to make a statement in the boardroom.
Business attire should never be limited to two-piece suits in funeral-ready hues. It’s a workplace, not a morgue for heaven’s sake. Though it’s probably wise to choose tasteful outfits, you can bet there are plenty of stylish risks to take with a high reward.
Here are 10 fashion wearables for the office that reflect spring.
When Kijafa Vick, wife of Philadelphia Eagles superstar quarterback Mike Vick, and her business partner Blair Sandlain first met, it didn’t take long for the two to recognize that they shared mutual appreciation for affordable fashion. Shortly after, the pair would decide to take risks on each other and turn their passion into a business relationship, more specifically the PNKElephant, a clothing and accessories boutique located on the famed South Street in Philadelphia. Three years later, business is definitely booming as the boutique has become the ultimate destination for party girls looking for something trendy, hot and most importantly, affordable to rock for an fly evening out on the town including sequin dresses, sheer guitar style leggings and the very popular PNKElephant’s signature Girls Hustle Harder t-shirt line.
But despite their personal success and overall fun atmosphere, which can only come from a shop plastered in pink and leopard print, both women will readily admit that running a business has not always been easy. Recently I sat down with Vick and Sandlain, who spoke candidly about the learning curve, which comes from being a first time business owner, and what affect being married to one of the most controversial players in the NFL has had on business.
Hopefully I won’t offend you because I mean this as a compliment but I’m walking around the boutique, going through the racks and accessories such as the Trust No B**ch nameplate necklace and I’m like, Oh Yeah, I seen that on Love and Hip Hop and Basketball Wives: LA. So describe for me who you had in mind as a typical PNKElephant customer?
Blair Sandlain: We like to think of ourselves as the ultimate party destination where women can come and get their club outfits, cocktail/after hour outfits. If you are going to the club or going to the lounge, we like to think that when people come to us they are going to have a good time.
Kijafa Vick: And it is funny because when we started out, we started as just an accessory store, we didn’t really want to go into clothes but it was like every girl that came into the store would ask for clothes too. And we’re like, ‘okay we can’t miss out on all this money [laughter]; let’s try it out.‘ And we did. Last April, we started with just a little bit [of clothing] and the response was amazing. So we were like, ‘let’s do it, let’s sell clothes too.’
Do you do your own personal shopping for the boutique?
That sounds like a lot of fun?
Sandlain: A lot of fun? [laughter] It is a job.
Vick: No lunch breaks [more laughter]
No lunch breaks? Well how many hours do you spend in the shop?
Vick: She lives here [pointing to Sandlain]
Sandlain: Yeah, I do like 12-hour days. You know, she has a whole family, a whole situation; husband, kids, house…so I just have her on the phone with me most times -
Vick: All day long…
Sandlain: And we’ll go over numbers, everyday, every week and you know, we’ll recap. I’m in the store a lot but she is still involved. She knows the day-to-day happenings and what is going on. She knows how much money we make [laughter].
So how did PNKElephant come about?
Sandlain: Actually, I was selling jewelry out of my house. And my friend was staying with me. He is a fashion designer and Kijafa found him on Facebook. She would come up to get her clothes custom-made by him because he is a great designer. And he would always show her my accessories and I would be at work because at the time I had a full time job; I used to work for Footlocker’s Corporation office. And so, she asked him if [I was] looking for a partner because I want to get into the business. And I met her and we just kind of clicked from there.
So from concept to implementation, how long did it take to get PNKElephant up and running?
Vick: A little less than a year. When I met her and we were doing business. I just kept riding by [the location] and was like, it’s a store here. I’m going to call and see how much it is. I called and it wasn’t outrageous. And I was like, come on, let’s do this. She was a little nervous because she was working but she was finally like, alright I’m going to do it. And we opened up. I think that was like March we found a building. And we opened up June 1st .
Remember how we told you last week that English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood wasn’t a fan of our First Lady’s fashion sense? Well it seems that many others DO NOT share in such a sentiment (including her own people), because Michelle Obama was pegged as the Best Dressed Woman by English publication, the Sunday Times. It was their first Best Dressed List, so it’s clear they’ve started on a good note. This wouldn’t be the First Lady’s first time on such a list, as her style moves have put her front and center on Best Dressed lists for Vanity Fair and People. The FLOTUS was placed on the list amongst many other famous political figures, including the Queen Elizabeth II and many others. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Style Magazine said Michelle Obama was probably picked as the Best Dressed Woman around because she inspires the style of many other women with her love of mixing affordable pieces with high-end joints and showing off some of the best looking arms the world has to offer. They say she’s a style maven because she understands that “her primary role as first lady is visual, fashion can be a force for good used to inspire and entertain.” I mean really, she’s made Jason Wu’s designs a must-have, managed to put J.Crew clothing in the spotlight and made kitten heels cool. She’s a baaaaaad bad lady. Congrats dear!
Aside from Michelle Obama and many of the other women from abroad who made the list (including the youngest Best Dressed “woman”–Shiloh Jolie Pitt), Lady Gaga unfortunately got put on the Worst Dressed List. If you’re wondering why, just remember her in that meat dress…
What do you think of Michelle Obama getting picked as Best Dressed?
‘It’s Dreadful What She Wears:’ Designer Vivienne Westwood Doesn’t Approve of Michelle Obama’s Fashion Sense
It seems that almost everyone has an opinion about the eye-catching clothing worn by First Lady Michelle Obama. Whether she selected her garbs from the local Target or had her dress custom designed by Naeem Khan, one thing is for sure: whatever the FLOTUS puts on is sure to be the topic of conversations. Eric Wilson of the New York Times recently caught up with famed fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood. The 71-year-old designer, who just a few weeks ago publicly criticized Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton for not recycling her outfits enough, also had a few negative things to say about Mrs. Obama’s sense of style.
When asked by Wilson during the Q&A session whether or not she loved Michelle Obama for making a conscious effort to recycle her clothing, Westwood surprisingly responded:
“Don’t talk about her. It’s dreadful what she wears.”
Clearly thrown off by Vivienne’s statement, Wilson replied, “What?” attempting to gain clarity.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Really, I can’t. She’s a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her. Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative,” Vivienne explained.
While I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t agree with Westwood’s statement, everyone is entitled to their opinions.
What do you think of Vivienne’s take on Michelle Obama’s clothing choices?