Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our All-Time Favotite Trends Inspired By Sex And The City

So I saw the SATC movie last night and I enjoyed it. In spite of a few underdeveloped storylines and predictable chick-flick scenes I still thought it was worth ten bucks or whatever movies cost in your neck of the woods. I won’t spoil the plot for anyone who might be reading and hasn’t seen the flick yet but I must add this: More than the relationship stuff, more than the fabulous one-liners, more than even the fashion; watching this movie reminded me of how blessed I am to have love in my life. True love. The opportunity to love and to be loved. It made me think back to this post, my very first for PPT. It was written just over a year ago. Since I wrote that post, I’ve learned the real meaning of forgiveness (it is an on-going process), lost more than one family member (RIP Cous’ Cat and Darryl) and even contemplated why I have a blog (not getting any comments can often be discouraging) in the first place. Well, this seems so corny but somehow watching the movie yesterday gave me the gentle nudge that things are evolving for me exactly as they should. I just hope that I continue to pay attention to the lessons I’m being taught along the way.

[Insert an "awwwwww" here.]

Back to the regularly scheduled post. Here are PPT’s top 8 trends inspired by SATC (the small screen version):

Nameplates - I wore mine yesterday in honor of Carrie. (Yeah, I can be a nerd like that sometimes…) Although I’ve owned it for what seems like forever, it was her character that made me put it back in my jewelry rotation a few years ago.

Flower pins - I had a little accessories side hustle, back in ‘03/’04 and flower pins were one of my top sellers. I sold them in houndstooth, leather, suede, sequins and velvet. I almost always mentioned this show to make a sale! Confession: I have a long-time dream to open up an accessory boutique of my very own.

Earrings with names - Does anyone else recall the episode when Carrie refers to her engagement ring from Aiden as "ghetto gold"? That line really pissed me off at first but then I realized that it was something her character would actually say. It is what it is. These name earrings (and the nameplate) are typically the type of thing I would find offensive on a show like SATC. You know, mainstream America once again exploiting Black youth. Hey, I can so be a race woman; remember this? But sometimes a tree is just a tree. Meagan Good and countless others seem to be cool with it too. (Or are they - and me - just in denial? Please leave me a comment and let me know where you stand on this.)

Cosmos - It used to be the foursome’s alcoholic beverage of choice and now every bar and liquor store in America is thanking the show’s writers because of it. There is a cute exchange towards the end of the movie between Samantha and Carrie about this drink.

Manolos - Remember how I pointed out in this post that there was a lot of unnecessary hype about this designer? Well, I still think this way. However I wore my lime green pair to the screening (my only pair honestly) anyway as a homage to Carrie. I simply can’t front, a lot of soccer moms in Raleigh, North Carolina now know who Manolo Blahnik is because of SATC. FYI: If you happen to have an extra five hundred dollars to blow on shoes, peep the overlooked but oh so fly GINA line.

Designer logo fanny packs - A lot of folks didn’t get these and even Entertainment Weekly threw them shade in their tribute issue. Whatever! I so get it and if you know how to rock one (like my amiga Tress who owns a Gucci one) it can be totally chic. Hint: It seems to work best when it is played down in a very casual way.

Cupcakes - I rented a suite and served cupcakes and cocktails at The Dream Hotel to celebrate my 30th born day a couple years ago and I can’t help but to think that SATC is a huge reason why (conscious or not). We presently seem to have them on my job a couple times a week for some celebratory event. As we know, Ms. Bradshaw preferred hers from Magnolia Bakery but my preference are the red velvet creations from Harlem’s Make My Cake.

The Meatpacking District - This area was already hot and popping to many when it was first mentioned that Samantha was moving into town but dang if the show didn’t raise the property values by the end of that season. Even though it is crawling with the bridge & tunnel crowd now, this downtown ‘hood remains to be one of my fave spots in Manhattan. Why? Fashion (Catherine Malandrino, Jeffrey, Tracy Reese), Food (Highline, Buddha Bar, Merkato 55 - I’m supposed to finally eat there next month!) and Fun (Hotel Gansevoort, APT, Tenjune) are all in walking distance. And those cobblestone streets just up the cool factor.

Oh and uh, Pat Field did her THING in this flick! The fashion was ridiculous and I appreciate how the style of each character has evolved as they have evolved, but the accessories are extra divine. Even though Field can now pull from literally anyone she wants - couture and otherwise, she still mixed it up with high and low labels. (At least she appeared to.) That is a sign of a true stylist.

Did I miss something? Let me know. Also tell me if the flick made you feel all warm and fuzzy about your loved ones too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New York State of Mind

I can't wait to see what Patricia Field has done on the big screen!

As usual, I'm almost running late so this is gonna be a quick post. I'm supposed to see a screening of the highly anticipated Sex And The City flick tonight and doggone it, I'm EXCITED. I'm getting to see it two days early because of a perk through the j-o. Even my mother and ex-BF asked me about the movie because they both remember how I used to shut everyone down (including them) on Sunday nights a few years back when I was watching it. Remember that Jay line from Bonnie and Clyde? The only time we don't talk is during Sex And The City...

I have a brillant (lol) idea for a SATC post but it isn't complete yet. It will be up tomorrow for sure. Alrighty, I have to figure out what I'm wearing so I need to skidattle. I do know that I'm gonna rock my nameplate in honor of Carrie. Hey folks can say what they want but Carrie via SJP via Patricia Field brought the popularity of namplates back. In fact as we all know, Ms. Field and the writers of the show were responsible for creating mania about more than a few items during the show's run. Yeah we all wanted to learn about the latest Big antics but the fashion was clearly a huge reason why the show was so popular.

So tell me:

What SATC trends (from the show) inspired you the most and why?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Model Behavior

On Thursday night after work, I decided to check out the USA Launch Party of the "FABULOUS" Collection presented by Rootstein Display Mannequins featuring AGYNESS DEYN. So off I go, solo, to 19th street to view a bunch of mannequins. I honestly had no idea what to expect. At the very least I was hoping to see, hear or experience something I could blog about. (Guess that part worked out, huh?)

Pose for the camera now: click, click.

Well what a treat I received. As folks often say, "The kids were out!" I felt like I was back at F.I.T. There were so many colorful personalities in the room. Shortly after I arrived I bump into Andre J. I guess he's a model??? Really doesn't matter, 'ole boy managed to land himself a French Vogue cover. Work. He knows who he is. Andre was a total sweetheart too even though he made me take his picture twice because he wasn't happy with the first shot. Can we say diva? I love it.

Andre J. is all smiles for my camera phone.

So back to the main event. Basically, this company Rootstein Display Mannequins has been around for years. They use the image of an iconic model as inspiration to create these fabulous mannequins. This time around they chose girl of the moment, "It Brit" Agyness Deynn. She has been labeled the next Kate Moss. I never got the hype about Kate Moss but I do dig Agyness's haircut. So chic. Her mannequins were pretty cool but nothing to blog about. However the hair (and make-up)on these mannequins was FIRE! While Deyn's blonde pixie 'do is adorable, these hair and make-up looks were totally unexpected and avant–garde. It was like 1970s Studio 54 meets a modern-day Detroit Hair Show. I ate it up I tell ya.

Check out more pics below:

Who's got the blues?

Channeling Elvis

Ride the (finger) waves...

How am I suppose to give this a caption???

Now THIS, is a ponytail!

Many of the mannequins were dressed in spandex and brightly hued or patent leather clothes as well. I didn't know if I was on Flatbush or in Chelsea. I really dig when that happens too. I always say a woman is never just one thing and neither is true style. I'm already looking forward to my next Rootstein event...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The World Is Yours

Over the Christmas holidays while in North Kack-ka-lac visiting the fam, my mother and I spent a day out and about window shopping. Nothing really new, just browsing in run of the mill chain retailers the way we’ve been doing since I can remember. As much as I had enjoyed our little day of bonding I was ready to return to her house and my home away from home.

She was not.

C’mon, let’s go into this one last store she says. "You’ll like it." So off I (grudgingly) go because frankly, I don’t have a choice. She was driving and was also my ride. It is the south after all, I couldn’t hop on the subway or jump in a cab. Before we walk into the store my mother tells me about all the fabulous finds she has scored here and I am not moved. I had a moment of jaded-ness (Is that a word?) and thought, I live in NYC, surely this blah looking store in a strip mall is not going to impress me.

Ten minutes later, I’m impressed. When we enter World Market, I am enamored by the offerings. There is furniture, food, books, home accessories, even jewelry. Honestly, I found most of the jewelry to be kind of cheesy but the food and book selection was bananas! I spotted obscure chocolate that I remembered seeing in London and I think they even had plum wine. I picked up a bag of pumpkin and orange scone mix (all I had to do was add water and throw into the oven) and I thoroughly impressed folks later on with my baking skills because of it.

I also scored this book on Cuba that not only adds a little diversity to my library but will hopefully provide some decorating inspiration one day. I had a hard time deciding what book to get actually - that’s how many cool choices there were. I’m not suggesting anyone run out and decorate their entire digs with a bunch of stuff from World Market but for the occasional whimsical mirror, rug or set of glasses? Perfecto!

Of course I could have purchased these things in NYC but (duh?), that’s the beauty of this place. It gives people the opportunity to nag international finds at a brick and mortar store in places like South Dakota and Kentucky. The retailer appears to be expanding as well (presently there aren’t any stores in the Northeast). And while it is cool that at home I can get authentic Indian pillows in Jackson Heights, Queens and the real deal Asian chopsticks at Pearl River Mart in Soho, it’s nice to know that all of this stuff is available at an affordable price under one roof in the 'burbs as well. There is a store locator and e-commerce available on the site too.

After all these years I should know better than to doubt her, right? Thanks Mom, ;-).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spreading the (magazine) Love

Gotta get ready for church! But before I go, I must post on two mags that have me downright excited at the moment.

The May 23rd issue of Entertainment Weekly

Everything about the show and upcoming flick are disected in this issue. EVERYTHING. It is bananas. If you are a SATC fan like I think you are (lol) then just go pick it up like yesterday. It will become a keepsake of mine for sure.

The Travel Summer 2008 T Mag

I get The New York Times delivered on weekends so I received my copy yesterday. Isn't this cover gorgeous? One can't really go wrong with model Yasmin Warsame though. The fashion feature shot in Namibia is simply breathtaking. There is also a fun little Q&A with one of my favorite designers, Paul Smith. And I'm itching to read the article on Indian fashion by Suzy Menkes. She's such a kidder that Suzy.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Get Me Bodied

The other night a few friends and I decided to check out a fairly new uptown spot called BODY (135th St & 12th Ave). We thought we would catch dinner and perhaps stop by the lounge situation as well to hear a few tunes. We figured we would still be home by 11p or so. (We were under the impression that BODY was more of a lounge than a club.) Well, we never did get dinner - the sushi restaurant connected to the club is not scheduled to open for another three weeks. And BODY is definitely a club. In fact it felt like Cheetah (a former NYC hot spot) on a Tuesday night back in like '99 or 2000. It was so not our typical scene and perhaps that is why we had a BALL! Every now and again a girl has to do things out of her element if for nothing else to remind her of what her element is. Brucie B was spinning that night. 'Nuff said. We reminisced about being young and dumb and danced the night away. Good times. Shout out to anyone who has ever owned a Brucie B, Kid Capri or Ron G mixtape by the way. ;-)

The club itself has all the makings of a trendy nightspot for hipsters: unisex bathrooms, exposed pipes and brick throughout, sleek furniture - you get the point. BODY (which is Dominican owned) appears to be part of a growing number of establishments in said area of Harlem. I noticed an Italian restaurant next door and a Thai/Latin fusion spot next door to that. Then of course there's Hudson Cafe down the block and Dinosaur BBQ up the way. Supposedly the city is preparing to open a boardwalk/promenade before the summer's end as well.

Oh and so much for it being an early night. I got in after 2a the next morning. What an interesting summer it will be...

P.S. - Yeah the property values in Harlem are increasing by the minute.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nailing It With Celebrity Manicurist Lisa Logan

You may not think you know celebrity manicurist Lisa Logan but no doubt you've seen her work. The Harlem native has pampered the digits of supercouple Beyonce and Jay-Z (she's on B's rider). She's contributed her beautifying skills to magazines like Vanity Fair, New York, Lucky, Essence, Allure, Glamour and Giant. She's worked on ad campaigns for uber-brands such as Macy's, Target, Rockawear and L'oreal. Provided her expertise on makeover shows courtesy of MTV? Yep. Lisa has done all of those too.

Over a chicken cesear salad in NYC one a recent sunny afternoon, the petite Pisces dished on how she broke into the biz, the latest nail trends for summer (they might surprise you) and the importance of wet wipes.

PPT: Who are some of your clients (past and present)?
Lisa: Eve is one of my longest standing clients, along with DMX. I’ve been working with Jay-Z for about five years. Then there's Beyonce, Kayne West, Eva Mendes, Angela Bassett, Roberto Cavalli, P. Diddy, Lauren London, Lauryn Hill, Anne Hathaway, Vivica A. Fox, Judge Hatchett, Mary J. Blige, Nas, Charlize Theron and Dwyane Wade.

PPT: Do you travel at all for work? Where has this job taken you?
Lisa: A lot of the expected places like LA and Miami. But I've also spent a lot of time in Toronto and last summer I went to St. Tropez.

PPT: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Lisa: I enjoy knowing that people value my work and that a loyalty developed between me and so many of my clients. Beyond the quality of my work, people trust me. I've been in meetings that TMZ would love to attend. I understand that celebrities are not looking for friends, I'm there to work.

Lisa with Vivica A. Fox

PPT: What do you enjoy the least?
Lisa: I have had people question my prices in the past. I'm like 'If you want a ten dollar manicure then go up the block.' My job is to offer convenience - you've never had to leave your home or stop working on the computer to receive my services. I come in and do my job and leave without a trace.

PPT: What are the top nail trends going to be for the summer (for fingers and toes)?
Lisa: Summer is an opportunity to express yourself in a way you typically can't in the winter so shimmers are nice for that. A lot depends on your lifestyle. Do you work in a corporate or creative environment? If you do want to wear the bright nail trend that is hot right now be sure you have a generous nail bed. Otherwise your nails will appear too short and stumpy. Also, stay true to who you are. The black nail polish trend that was hot a little while ago wasn't and isn't for everyone. I'm more interested in proper nail care than trends.

PPT: How can PPT readers avoid getting infections at their local nail shop?
Lisa: Don't salon hop. Stay committed to one manicurist so that if something does go wrong you can pinpoint who might be responsible. Think the same way you do about your hairstylist. And of course, make sure that your tech is properly cleaning his/her tools before they service you.

PPT: What are some of your fave products?
Lisa: I've been a fan of this cult classic from Essie called Ballet Slippers for years. I also like Moon Over Mumbai by OPI. For more racy looks, I love Navy Venom from Sally Hansen. I'm so impressed by it because you only need one coat! I actually just used it for a Teen Vogue shoot. To keep feet smooth, I like to use Carol's Daughter salt scrubs for the body. I actually use them for pedicures.

PPT: What type of moisturizers should one use to keep heels in check and ash free but without attracting dirt especially during the summer months while wearing flat sandals?
Lisa: Walk around with wet wipes! They are perfect in a quick fix.

PPT: Most people outside of the media/fashion industry have no idea that a manicurist can lead the type of life you do. How did you get into the field in this capacity?
Lisa: I literally started off making about forty dollars a week. Now I can earn up to two thousand a day. I slowly built up my client base. I've been doing nails for thirteen years and working in the industry for nine. This didn't happen overnight. Persistence is key; I don't give up. Last but not least, I'm blessed. I've been able to attain this career by the grace of God.

Anne (The Devil Wears Prada) Hathaway and Lisa

Lisa with Mr. D. Wade

Click here to view more of Lisa's work.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Trendsetting Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Like most of the world, I’ve been giving props to Rihanna and her hairstylist Ursula Stephen for bringing short and sexy back to the masses. And I won’t stop, because they both deserve those kudos. However while looking through some old pictures that formerly decorated my cube at work, I came across this picture of Mrs. Jones aka Kelis. Look familiar?

It made me pause especially since I’m still eagerly reading my June issue of Elle that Rihanna rocked.

This gorgeous pic of Kelis ran in the New York Times T mag well over a year ago. So, I’m spreading a little bit of the love around to the Harlem songtress and her longtime hairstylist Dickey since everyone (including me for a moment) jumped on the Rihanna hair bandwagon. Remember this post? I’ve long praised Kelis for her killer style influence but comparing these two images really brought it home again.

I guess timing (and having a hit single with a catchy hook about rain gear) really is everything.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

SICK with it!

Kimora Lee Simmons ROCKED this multi-colored gown last night at the MET gala. It seems as though some folks are already snubbing her choice but I truly dig it.

(By the way, I guess my invite was lost in the mail. I was quite happy in my Tracy Reese and Gap ensemble while dining at California Pizza Kitchen though, lol.)

Don't worry, I'm not about to start getting into who wore what to this and that event; there are enough folks covering that kinda stuff on the web but this dress was simply too sick to ignore. I appreciate the unexpected use of primary color blocking and the silhouette is flattering on her. It is sexy and classy but not predictable. Unlike (yarn, yarn) most of the other red carpet choices of the night. Do y'all like? Why or why not?

UPDATE: Apparently, Kimora's gown was designed by Kevan Hall with a little help from her boy and Vogue vet Andre Leon Talley.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mi Gusto Custo!

I am supposed to be packing right now - EEK!

Yesterday my co-coworker who I think is all of 23 years old informed me of the Manolo Blahnik sample sale in midtown (NYC). I politely thanked her for the info (she is a sweetie) and then told her I wouldn't be going. She then looked at me as though I had three heads. After I chuckled to myself, I informed her that I had been to one before a few years back and that I could count on one hand the number of times I have worn the shoes. She then looked at me as if I had four heads. Feeling really old, I just responded with: 'I don't feel any different when I wear them'.

After I encouraged her to go, it is an experience after all, I began to think about the shopping experiences I have had that I wouldn't mind repeating. I instantly thought about my visit to the Custo Barcelona boutique in '03. My road dog Tress and I went trekking through Spain and when we arrived in Barcelona, I just had to make a stop there. It was a quaint shop with fierce window displays. (As soon as I find those pics, I'll post them too.) Eventually we both purchased one item we adored but we tried on lots. LOTS. I'm sure the salesgirl was sick of us. (Our Spanish is awful as well.) My find was the skirt in the pics above. I don't remember what the damage was but it was certainly worth every penny to me. I'll be rocking that skirt again this summer for sure - 5 years and counting! Everytime I wear the skirt, I am reminded of my fabulous trip.

A couple months back, another co-worker was attending a big awards show in LA and I put her on to Custo as she searched for the perfect frock to wear. She didn't want to do the standard LBD. Custo isn't really a frock kinda designer but I knew that she would appreciate his daring use of color and texture. (My skirt has two layers of fabric!) Now she too is a fan.

What has been your most memorable shopping experience and why?

P.S.- Don't you love that the girl on my skirt has an afro?

P. P. S. - I still love a good sample sale every now and 'gin but mama has more responsibilities than she did at 23.