Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Good Stuff!

High fashion can get downright boring to me. Everyone consults the same forecasting companies (I know, I interned at one.), no one wants to take chances and celebrities have become our trendsetters. Collections are dictated by suits who make decisions based on numbers versus creativity. The buyers play the same lame game. Can we say wic, wic WACK? Plus, knock-offs are produced at record-speed and quality these days so it’s almost hard to tell who’s who. Save for my perennial faves like Tracy Reese, Catherine Malandrino, Alice Temperly and a couple others, I’m rarely moved by the big dogs too much. Sure I am still inspired by a cool vintage find. But, rarely am I truly moved by current high-brow fashion.

Sooooooo, how excited was I to ooooh and ahhhh over the threads below care of last week’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) cover? This is downright sinful. Gee wiz. Proof that wearable doesn’t have to mean safe and avante garde need not equate to clownish. I don’t know what I’m feelin’ more. The forties inspired hair. The seventies inspired shades. Or the whimsical short/romper ‘vixen meets schoolgirl’ combo. The look is courtesy of Alexander McQueen. Those darn Brits I tell ya.

I so look forward to the days when I can really go to the European shows. (Gotta put that out into the universe.) I have attended London Fashion Week but I was working backstage and didn’t actually see any of the shows. American designers just aren’t allowed to create the same things on the same scale as our peers across the pond. That’s not just in fashion either - the same goes for music, film, yada, ya…

And speaking of high fashion - how sick is this bag? I gasped when I first saw it in one of my mags but last week I actually passed the real McCoy in the window of NYC’s Dior on 57th Street. I had a moment - it forced me to stop in my tracks. BANANAS. Believe me when I tell you it’s more amazing in person. Random, I know but I had to share.

P.S. - I do realize that Alice Temperly is British and Catherine Malandrino is French but they both show in NY which is why I lumped them with Tracy. I also realize that Tracy is considered bridge by many standards but she’s high-end (@ retail) according to my paycheck.

P.P.S. - I’ve been a very bad blogger and didn’t post for nearly two weeks. Tsk, tsk. Therefore, I haven’t had a chance to comment on the panel discussion I attended regarding the lack of Black models held at the NY Public Library last week. It was moderated by industry vet Bethann Hardison. Unlike the first event on this topic she put together last month, it was open to the public for fifteen bucks. Lots of folks came out including model/beauty maven Iman, designer Vera Wang, journalists Teri Agins and Robin Givhan, photographers Barron Claiborne and Marc Baptiste. As I mentioned before, Black models are virtually non-existent on the runway but adding more of them will not change what power Blacks have in the fashion industry. But, more Black owned model/talent agencies will. So will an increase of Black buyers, high-ranking editors, casting agents, designers and show producers. However, I must applaud Bethann for beginning this conversation. Her crusade has gotten coverage in The New York Times and WWD. Not to mention countless blogs. Every little (and big) thing helps.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Rose is Not Just a Rose

I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I can be a bit of an enigma. Even those very close to me have expressed this. My mother says I’ve always danced to my own beat, even as a small child. So, when someone does something that immediately speaks (loud and clear) to my heart, I don’t take it lightly. Probably because it doesn’t happen too often. Which is why the flower in the picture above is so special to me.

Let me explain.

A few weeks ago at work, I was in a real funk. Just frustrated with some stuff that was/is ultimately out of my hands. A co-worker of mine picked up on this and gave me the beautiful rose in this picture. She and I aren’t close, we don’t even work in the same department and our conversations are non-existent outside of the office. But, she must have noticed my lip poked out while I was making photocopies and decided to cheer me up a bit. My mood instantly changed for the better. Just in that moment, I remembered how flowers can so easily do that. Normally, I would have put the flower in a fancy vase. But on this day, the cup seemed to work better. The simplicity of the paper juxtaposed with the red rose is special -- to me anyway. So I had to take a picture and share with you all. Now, I’m actually a tulip gal but this rose was right on time and it lasted for an entire week in that little cup! Pretty impressive, right?

Life is crazy; so we gotta make time to stop and smell the roses. Literally. Not solely flowers either. Stop and notice the fall foliage. Every year the leaves turn magnificent shades of gold, orange, red and burgundy but who has time to notice anymore? Listen to a toddler laugh. Watch an old couple holding hands. Observe a bird flying. It’s effortless and quite incredible when you stop to think about it. Even those yucky pigeons appear graceful when they fly. (Just as long as it's not over my head…)

I’m making an effort to smell the roses in my life a little more often these days. Life is too short not to.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Hostess with the Mostest

I hosted my very first dinner party recently. And I’m happy to report that it was fabulous! Everyone had fun: many hilarious stories were exchanged (Shay had lots about her recent trip to South Africa), folks reminisced (on everything from Penn Relays in ’96 to Mo’s wedding this past May), candid pics were taken to capture the event (gracias Eddy), good people broke bread together and gave thanks for friendship and life. Everything went perfectly then, right? Wrong. I panicked an hour before the party started that I wouldn’t have enough food. I actually had more than enough. I never did get to pick up the lavender (I keep it in a vase on my kitchen table.) to replace the current bunch that is at least 9 months old. No one noticed or cared. And my apartment was extremely hot. I had no A/C and it was unusually warm for late September. Many of my guests were uncomfortable at first but they got over it.

I learned so much from my little soiree. As I get older I realize how much I enjoy entertaining at home and attending shindigs in the home’s of others. Last weekend I attended a fund-raiser/backyard dinner party at the home of my co-worker and her husband. It was so grown and sexy and most importantly for a truly good cause. The crowded club scene is getting much too fast for this old lady.

Below are a few of the tips I picked up from my ‘Don’t Postpone Joy’ Dinner Party. These are items guaranteed to make any gathering a hit. Or at least they made mine memorable. Oh, good food doesn’t hurt either. (Everyone agreed that the red velvet cupcakes I ordered from Harlem's Make My Cake were de-li-cious!)

Unique Artwork - My father always said a picture is worth a thousand words. Well it certainly proved true at my little fiesta. I actually have a couple of his paintings (mostly oil on canvas) hanging up in my place. Obviously I’m partial to my dad’s work but there are so many dope artists just dying to hang in the home of worthy bachelorettes. One of my fave artists (he’s such good people too) is Jalani. The piece above is called Morning Gathering. You can view more of Jalani's work at:

Plum Wine - I’m not a big alcohol drinker. That includes wine. It’s just not my thing. But, I asked my guests to bring a bottle of wine because so many of them drink it and I was not supplying alcohol. My girl Rah arrived with a bottle of plum wine (3 days early - long story…) and I think it might have changed my life. Seriously. It was so, so good. It’s sweet and felt good going down. Unlike other wines I’ve had before, it was truly tasty. I’m going to keep a bottle in my digs from now on.

Reed Diffusers - My plan was to burn candles in every room where guests were going to be. I had several sweet smelling scented ones set aside for the occasion. But as I mentioned earlier, it was hot. Very hot. The extra heat coming from the fire on the candles had to go. Thank goodness I had a trusty reed diffuser on hand. I’ve been in love with these fragrant suckers for a minute. They’re sold practically everywhere so the options are enormous these days but you can always pick them up from trusty Target. (Mine were a freebie from work.) I also like the fact that they’re safer for people with babies or pets than candles.

A Thought - Provoking Conversation Starter - My 'Colored Only' sign Practically everyone had a comment about this sign which I purchased on For me, it’s a reminder of how things could be. Just to make sure I don’t stay at any pity parties too long.

In a few years, I just might be able to teach B.Smith a thing or two. HA!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What about us?

There are a heap of topics I would like to blog on but they are simply going to have to wait. For one, they’re just not ready. They require a little more research or fleshing out and I’ve had a lot on my plate as of late. But before I went to bed, I had to write about something that has been on my mind for the last week or so. That something is actually a her named Nailah Franklin.

Now, you’re probably thinking: Isn’t this blog supposed to be about style? Yeah, it is. But I need to get this out. And I am unapologetic about it. See, I didn’t know Nailah, the 28 year-old pharmaceutical sales representative who was reported missing on September 18th. But like most of my girlfriends and I, she was quite career driven. She was financially savvy as well, having purchased two condos before she even reached the age of 30. I purchased my first piece of property last year and like all my girls who did so before me, I felt it was a significant accomplishment. Nailah was reported as being a loving auntie, always doting on her niece. Well, I spoil my nieces every chance I get. They are on a very short list of people in this world who love me unconditionally. For that alone I will do whatever is in my power for them. Like Nailah, I, like most women I know - have at least once dated a man who at some point made me feel uncomfortable. Whether it was borderline stalking or just taking the jealously thing a tad bit too far. Oh, and last but not least, Nailah Franklin is Black - just like me and most of my girlfriends.

See a pattern here? Nailah Franklin was missing for over a week until she was found dead last Thursday. Thrown away like a piece of trash. But unlike Lacy Peterson or that chick in Aruba - most of the world has already forgotten about her. Shucks, most folks outside of Chicago didn’t even know she was missing. And dammit, that ish hurts. It’s a painful reminder that if God forbid a similar incident occurred with myself or my friends, we’d go unnoticed too. Yeah, that really, really hurts.

In the words of Sojourner, 'Ain't I a woman?'

R.I.P. Nailah.