Wednesday, May 30, 2007

These are a few of my favorite (stylish) people...

Trendy is short,
Fashion is long,
Style is forever.

I don’t know who to attribute the above quote to, but dang if it ain’t true. It’s exactly why I named my blog People.Places.Things. Style is bigger than gray being the new black or flats being all the rage in Milan. Style can certainly encompass those things but it’s also the type of stationery you choose to write on, the restaurants you dine in and why you’d rather stay in a bed & breakfast over a Holiday Inn.

So, while my first post had nothing to do with style on the surface, it had everything to do with my personal style. I at least try to write what’s in my heart, and last week it was in my heart to post on friendship.

Anywho, this week, I’ve decided to post on a few of my favorite (stylish) people, places and things. Just the stuff that’s on my style radar. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s my blog, right? I’m starting with ‘people’. I hope somebody feels this.

There are a handful of celebs who I always look forward to seeing out and about, in paparazzi pics and on the red carpet at fancy smancy functions. Although they almost always have a team of stylists, hair/make-up artists, etc. at their beckoning call, their personal sense of style never fails to shine through. This is why they don’t look like everyone else - how boring is that?

Tracee Ellis Ross - Ok, I admit Tracee has a major head start. Her mother is only the style icon Diana Ross which means she has access to some of the flyest one-of-a-kind stuff around. And Tracee is a former fashion editor for heaven’s sake. Still, she continuously mixes vintage and contemporary, high and low garb to perfection. One of the reasons I watch Girlfriends is to see what fierce get-ups Tracee’s character Joan is gonna be rockin’. Bump the costume designer for the show, we know Tracee is really dressing herself most of the time. Plus, she’s so underrated as a comedic actress. Anyone remember her on MTV’s Lyricist Lounge?

Kelis - So ahead of her time. This uptown (that’s Harlem for you non NYC folx) songtress single-handedly brought back the 1980’s asymmetrical cut. And when too many caught on, she switched it up one time and dyed it pink. Very few celebs have the confidence and skill to pull off the looks Kelis does. It’s no wonder Brit fashion guru Matthew Williamson (one of my fave designers by the way) counts her as his muse. He designed her breathtaking mint green wedding gown. I know some of y’all think Kelis goes too far with her gear but that hubby of hers, Nasir Jones seems to think otherwise. Oh yeah, Nas is definitely one of my fave stylish people too. (His style always comes through in his lyrics. Corny but true. The fact that he STAYS with a fresh cut doesn’t hurt.) Sidebar: Mrs. Jones album ‘Kelis Was Here’ has got to be one of 2006’s most slept on R&B releases.

I also always check for Gwen Stefani and Jessica Simpson. And a moment of silence for Lauryn Hill. When she (finally) gets her head together she’s coming for all these broads because Lauryn’s style is totally and utterly A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

The ‘celebs’ above were probably expected. They get recognized regularly for their stylish contributions to society. Not as much as those overrated chicks Sienna Miller and Kate Moss but I digress. I am honestly more impressed by the ‘real people’ in my ‘real life’ who stay fly, I-I-I-I-I-I- you get the point… Like those dignified women in church (y’all know who I’m talking ‘bout) who wear the sickest hats every Sunday. I mean EVERY Sunday. Now that’s tradition and style. Loves it. There’s also my co-worker J.B. who at 60 is sexy, sassy and knows it. She always dresses like a grown-a** woman and not someone trying to relive her youth. But she never, ever looks dowdy. Oh and the tight salt and pepper Cesear she rocks makes them young boys do a double take. HA! Last but certainly not least are the distinguished gentlemen who have really earned to right to be called gentlemen. Not only is he polite, his shoes are always shined, his shirts always starched and his hat is cocked to the side just so. (And he knows to remove it when he enters a room.) His jewelry is minimal, no need to flaunt wealth, or lack of. He can teach a class on swagger cuz he exudes it constantly and it’s effortless, but actually swagger always is. Olu Dara, Nas’ daddy has it all day long. {Insert clichĂ© about apple not falling far from tree here.}

My fave stylish places and things are on the way…
(My next post will have pics, I promise. But I needed to get this up already and most of you know I can be technically challenged.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Where my girls at?

"I don’t really have female friends. All of my friends are dudes ‘cuz girls are jealous of me."

If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words, I could buy myself that little black dress I’ve been eyeing. Actually, I’m gonna buy myself that dress anyway but I’ve heard similar sentiments to the one above from young women since high school. Those same words now make me even more thankful for my girlfriends.

At 31, I realize that the friendships I have with my female friends is quite special and unique. I don’t think I’ve felt more confident about this than I did last weekend at my friend Monique’s wedding. Not only was I extremely happy because one of my close friends has found a man who is on the same level as her mentally, professionally and is fun as heck - but the entire weekend, I was reminded of how dope my girlfriends are. They are doctors, editors, principals, paralegals, army captains, manicurists, stylists, publicists, AIDS prevention trainers, biology researchers and fashion merchandisers. They range in complexions from the deepest mocha to the lightest cafĂ© latte. Wear their hair in locks, low-cut naturals, twists, doobies or weaves. Drive Lexus trucks (Yeah Tamara!) or take public transportation. Own brownstones (Yeah Nik!), co-ops, condos, townhouses and rent small, cramped apartments. Sizes range from 2 to 22. (Ok, not quite but you get my point.) Some of us are struggling, living check to check but trying to get our finances straight while others could give Suze Orman a run for her money with their knowledge of mutual funds. Some of us are totally, head over heels in love like the newly wedded Monique while others have been single for over a year like yours truly. My very best friend is married and has two small children. She rarely even comes into the city because she’s busy in Long Island helping with homework, attending Girl Scout meetings, driving to soccer practice and the like. She couldn’t care any less about most of the ‘industry’ events I often attend for work. Somehow, we have remained friends since childhood and other than my mother and brother, she knows me better than anyone. Despite all these differences, my friends and I love each other and support one other in all that we do. Although I’ve yet to meet my soul mate (or perhaps I have and don’t realize it) I couldn’t be happier for Mo. She and her husband are a blessing to be around because I can feel how much he loves her. It’s the little things he does when he doesn’t even think anyone is looking. I constantly tell Mo that she finding her husband is one for the home team! Last weekend, we were all chipping in when and how we could to ensure that Monique’s big day was all that it could be. And then we partied like rock stars at the reception. Good times indeed.

Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know this might sound like one big love fest. Of course, we have disagreements and downright get on each others nerves at times. But that’s human nature, it happens in relationships with the opposite sex as well. Plus, our lives are all so hectic now that we don’t get to hang out as much as we’d like to. But when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed. That’s what true friendship is about. And it’s very possible to achieve among females.

So, what do I have to say to those who still claim that females just hate on them too much and that they feel more comfortable around their male friends? Shame on you. Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly value my friendships with my male amigos as well. I have a very special place in my heart for them in fact. Honestly, there are times when I just want to be around testosterone - and not necessarily in a sexual way. But I don’t need my male friends to validate me. Sorry, my father did that long ago. And now I do it for myself. Trust, I love my boys for real but not to have any solid girlfriends… I just can’t imagine. Jealously and envy have no place in a ‘true’ friendship anyway. It’s so nice to know that I am surrounded by people who are secure enough in themselves not to trip over things like, ‘Oh she think she cute cuz she got a man now’ or ‘She thinks she’s better than me because she’s light-skinned’ How exhausting that must be! At this point in my life, I certainly don’t need any more friends. My Space can keep that - I’m good. But I’m so glad that I have some really, really good folks of both sexes to help me get through this complicated journey called life. And I hope they feel the same about me.