Category Archives: NYC Girls Do it Better

Redhead Revolution / Julian Moore

Standard

Julianne Moore, when I think of some of the MOST versatile and  endearing actors,she is one my top 5 list. From her delicate performance in “The Hours”, to her tour de force performance in “Hannibal”.  In my book, she has always been a ‘bankable’ actor, and when I see her name on the marque, I am usually buying a ticket, or getting ready to settle in and enjoy my viewing experience. Emmy’s 2012 was a fashion disappointment for me concerning Mrs. Moore. wearing a vintage canary yellow Dior pulled out of the vaults of the esteemed fashion house. I wrote a blog about this, saying that I would “reinvent” Mrs Moore, and design her a new look. I have to admit, I started out to do just that but then as I was creating and working I began to consider that my intentions may have been misguided. I have a great respect for the design process, and even more respect for the ultimate choice of the  consumer or client. These celebs made their decisions, so let it be. Instead I was steered in a different direction, a direction of fun and irony.

In this presentation I wanted to represent a Julianne that was fun, full of joy , and colorful. I decked her out in a lambskin technicolor red bomber,  lined in vibrant crimson faux long haired fox. The sleeves have self fabric buckles nearly up the sleeve, looking very edgy , but wonderful. This jacket is coupled with a multi-colored silk jersey dress, with vibrant shades to match. The back illustration has Mrs Moore wearing a sexy croc leather /jersey dress with self pleated skirt.

Julianne Moore, in my opinion, could have chosen a ‘better’ dress for the Emmy’s, but the dress she chose is now apart of fashion/television history. Time now to maybe create a little history of my own.

Advertisements

Michelle Obama- Inaugural Evening 2013 / Evening Gown Design

Standard

Michelle Obama, say that name and two words come to my mind as a designer, Ravishing and Inspirational. As a fashion designer, I make my living  predicting trends, colors, moods, looks, and styles when it coms to fashion. Watching Michelle Obama’s speech inspired me to no end. The 48-year-old First Lady of the United States was all smiles as she took the stage at Time Warner Cable Arena and addressed the crowd, and what came from her lips was pure oratorical bliss. I listened, as millions did , as this woman showed us that she is a super power in her own right.

Gordon Stewart: “If Barak Obama is re-elected, he will owe more to his First Lady than any President ever to win a second term.”

This is on the mind of everyone taking notice around the world. So in the spirit of Michelle Obama, celebrating her success, I will create a few pivotal looks for that wonderful inaugural day and evening of 2013. My first offering is a of course evening wear. I wanted a dress that was feminine,timeless,elegant, almost ethereal, fully representing that WONDERFUL speech she gave. I would use black chiffon and silk. The bodice would be fully draped, with a flirty single shoulder style. The mid-section of the dress would be draped, as to tie not a knot, that would then flow effortlessly into a light and wonderful floor length hem. I chose this heavily draped style in homage to ancient rome, as much of washington’s architecture and politics  is based on a roman-greco aesthetic and lifestyle. I would want The First Lady to walk into the ball room, looking as if she has walked out of a page of history,conquering all of ‘modern-day rome’/ washington with just her words. So fabulous. I am so inspired, I will be doing more looks in the coming weeks. It feels wonderful  to share my talent with this great moment in our nation’s history. Who knows, maybe my design will be chosen my The First Lady, only God knows.

To see more of my work, take a look at my design portfolio @ http://fashiondesignernyc.prosite.com/90461/gallery

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Day Trip In Paris / Style 101 Volume 6# Two Smashing Looks to Grab

Standard


My imaginary meeting with the First Lady Michelle Obama is in Washington D.C., Its a balmy 82 degrees outside  and I am meeting one of the most interesting women in the world. The eatery, The Source, located at 575 Pennsylvania Avenue, is wonderful. We are meeting on the patio at our table that is being bathed by the beautiful sunlight. A gentle breeze whisk by my up-kept dreadlocks, in their usual ornate design, adorned with gold and brass beaded jewelry. I love to adorn all of my body, tastefully, and today is not an exception. I am wearing a Canali classic two button wool suit in black that’s easy to wear and basic enough for everyday. Coupled with a Hugo Boss red silk , and John Lobb Riviera suede loafers that are super soft and oh so luscious. I look up from my Blackberry playbook, and there is a smart dressed male, darting up to the table, asking my name. I address him, as a second comes to my side to frisk me. This IS the First Lady, so I am going to let this “slight inconvenience” slide. I sit back down, and the second “man in black”, relays that Mrs Obama will be up in a few minutes. I notice that his voice is almost robotic, I turn away, and continue to sip on my martini to steady my nerves. My nose notices a gentle whiff of  Creed’s “Love is White”, and I began to straighten my posture, as the First Lady is nearby, since that is her favorite fragrance. the First Lady walks up the stairs to the patio, flanked by several Secret Service men.As so much activity is bustling around her every move, she seem s as cool and effortlessly graceful as a lilly in a spring breeze. She reaches to shake my hands, and as I shake her’s, I notice her skin is silky smooth, ( I am a designer and stylist folks, I notice EVERYTHING!). Her handshake is self assured, strong, but feminine. She orders a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, me,….no more alcohol for me I need my “game face”.

Mrs Obama needs 2 looks for a day trip visit to Paris, and here is my presentation, courtesy of Net-A-Porta.

For this small selection, I maintained a light palette with colors that would compliment the First Lady’s delicious,chocolate brown skin. Teals, beiges w/ undertone of pink and orange, and light simmering emerald  greens seemed perfect to me.

A. For the day, I would imagine the First Lady will be attending a few functions during her day in Paris, and since this a day trip, a dress that is stylish and simple is essential. Etro Printed stretch silk-chiffon dress is perfect. The silhouette is perfect with a stylish cowl-neck, in case of last minute accessory choices.

B. Though I would love to see the First Lady in a pair of louboutin, towering over other dowdy first ladies,  she MUST be image conscience and NOT been seen towering over the president. Besides high-heels are too “riske'” for image reason, so I decided on a pair of Lizzy Patent – leather pumps by Jimmy Choo

C. It maybe ‘nippy’ that afternoon in Paris, so a blue teal sweater shrug can be added ( not shown), but I added a “cocktail shrug” to have this look transition well into lunch meetings-mid evening, I have added  Temperley  London Rosine Printed Silk Shrug. This was a controversial choice, and maybe on the “chopping-block”, but I can always replace it with a conservative,but stylish jacket.

D. A Quilted clutch to match the shoes, ( though im told that First Ladies rarely have any type of handbags on outings, I still included on.)Marc Jacobs Baroque Large Eugenie Quilted Leather clutch (item sold out, will be back in stock soon)

E. The First lady needs an accessory that highlights her wonderful complection, and a brush gold, chunky necklace is perfect. I choose LANVIN Swarovski crystal and cord chain necklace

Evening

As with the day looks, the evening look was very simple, an off he shoulder  eye-catching dress, some sassy peep-toes, and a chunky , textural cuff.

F. This is the tie for a little sexyness, so I gave the First Lady a sexy pump, peep toe, with a fabulous python texture and look, Miu-Mui snake-effect leather pumps fit the bill.

G. I wanted a simple accessory, something that said “power, but very regal”, I chose a YVES SAINT LAURENT Arty gold-plated glass cuff

H. Now for the dress. the First Lady has a beautifully toned body, with shoulders that are fit and beautiful, so why not show them off with a dress that has a daring asymmetrical neckline, baring one shoulder! I chose  a RALPH LAUREN COLLECTION Larisa one-shoulder silk gown

There you have it, 2 simple but elegant looks for a day trip to the “city of lights”, I hope the First Lady would approve as she now boards Airforce 1, back to the country that loves her effortless style and grace.

Fashion – WILL THE SUPERMODEL TREND EVER RESURFACE AGAIN?

Standard

Collage : “Women of Perfection, The Billion Dollar Face” 2012 Mixed mediums Seaki Nelson 

Our present time is not completely without famous models. Kate Moss is certainly instantly recognizable enough to be considered a supermodel. Much like Twiggy did before her, it was the discovery of Kate Moss which brought in a renewed trend of ultra-thin waif-like models and was the beginning of the end for the more curvaceous ones. Discovered in 1988 at the age of 14, Kate Moss and her pencil thin form were downright shocking when she became the focal point of a Calvin Klein campaign in 1993. Although Moss is put into the category of the Big Six, her style was really the opposite of the other five supermodels, and her rising fame was the beginning of the end for models who looked like Claudia or Cindy. Despite some hits her career has taken from reported drug use, Moss remains one of the most recognizable models of our time. She is also widely considered to be a true fashion icon. One shot in a magazine of Kate leaving a shop wearing ballet flats or skinny jeans, and stores will sell out of them by the next day. She does not have the same down-to-earth natural beauty of the models who preceded her, but Kate Moss is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in the international fashion scene.

There is one other present day model who meets the criteria to be called a genuine supermodel. According to Claudia Schiffer, only Gisele Bündchen qualifies as a supermodel in today’s fashion scene. Since 2005, Bündchen has been the highest paid model, although without the same support of the fashion magazine industry granted her predecessors, the Brazilian beauty is unlikely to reach their heights of stardom. As magazines like Vogue have turned away from promoting new models and fashion designers have embraced an anorexic aesthetic, there is one source which has taken up the mantle for models with more womanly curves, and that is Victoria’s Secret. The lingerie giant has launched many careers and becoming one of its “Angels” can provide a great career boost for a model, just as it did for Bündchen. Gisele has been the star of campaigns for most of the fashion giants, including Dior, Balenciaga, Versace, and Louis Vuitton, as well as watchmaker Ebel and Apple Computers. Just as Iman and Christie Brinkley did before her, Bündchen married a celebrity from the entertainment world, in her case New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady.

The first trio of ultra-supermodels was the Trinity: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. Each of the models was a mega-star in her own right, and together, they were a force to be reckoned with. They were the go-to girls for fashion designers like Versace, every fashion magazine, and advertisers. The popularity of the Trinity meant that they could virtually name their own price. In 1991, Christy Turlington landed a Maybelline cosmetics contract that paid her $800,000 for only twelve days of work! Perhaps it was sweet deals like that which led Linda Evangelista to utter her notorious comment, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” toVogue in 1990. Whether Evangelista’s remarks were as spoiled and bratty as they were taken to be at the time (her comment caused a huge uproar) or she was merely trying to jokingly make a point, if anything the only inaccuracy was that her base sum was too low. Although it did not come across well, Evangelista made a valid observation: the power had shifted in the fashion realm, and it was all in the well-manicured hands of the models.

In addition to the original Trinity, three more models make the final cut of what is known as the Big Six: the official and universally accepted list of the top supermodels. Besides Campbell, Turlington, and Evangelista, there is Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, and (later) Kate Moss. These were the women who appeared on all the magazine covers, were in the highest demand by fashion designers and advertisers, and were the best known by the public at large. These women had tremendous earning power; in 1995 Claudia Schiffer earned $12 million, a sum to rival the income of most of Hollywood’s biggest stars. As Michael Kors once said of Crawford, “Cindy changed the perception of the ‘sexy American girl’ from classic blue eyed blonde to a more sultry brunette with brains, charm, and professionalism to spare.” Crawford’s 1994 Pepsi commercial captured the mass appeal of the charming beauty.

The immense celebrity of the supermodels allowed them to get away with things which would have been disastrous to lesser careers. When Linda Evangelista cut off her long hair in 1988, it set off shockwaves which resulted in designers and fashion editors dropping her left and right. By the next year, not only was Evangelista back on top, but her short hair sparked a trend among legions of average women. This led to her being crowned “the Chameleon”, one of the few models in the world who was so striking and powerful that she could drastically change her hair length and hair color while still maintaining her status as one of the world’s elite models. On a more serious note, the career of Naomi Campbell has been marred by ugly legal incidents, notably several accusations of assaulting her employees with phones and a Blackberry, but she is STILL in demand as a model with some of the world’s most esteemed fashion brands and houses. In my personal opinion, the Supermodel WHILE re appear one day. Even as cosmetic and apparel brands use celebrities more and more, there is a ‘mystique’ behind a model, a women who sole profession is to grace that camera with her heavenly face. Women want to be her, men want to have her. Celeb woman do not have this “it factor” when it comes to beauty. Sure , some of them are  just as beautiful as models, but their inherent job is acting, and we as the buying public, know this. Many ad companies have opted to have celebs in their campaigns, in order to attract the “everyday woman”, but we see where this is leading, (ASA is placing heavy bans on ‘photo-shopped’ celeb campaigns). There is something delicious about  a woman, or man that is beautiful, not because they were photoshopped to extreme measures, but because they were created that way. Models are not perfect, and I have seen a few in my day that should NEVER leave their home without make-up, ( or a paper bag if they choose  to do so) but they are models. Supermodels, in their glory, can drive up profit margins and sells for ANY TYPE of product, in ways that actors, and musicians will never be able to do. Remember, we are a world-wide audience that thrives on the inspiration that beauty brings, it captures our imagination,and drives our urges, and a supermodel channels this fascination perfectly.

Politics – BLONDE AMBITION OR BRANDING, BLACK WOMEN’S FASCINATION WITH MARILYN MONROE?

Standard

*Opening photo courtesy of alltheparties.com.

Very Interesting article :

” So, it’s the first of the month of February and you know what means don’t you? It’s Black History Month! Say it loud: “I’m black and I’m proud!” “Black is beautiful!”

Right?

People who know me know that I love this month, love giving out daily black history facts and watching documentaries on black people; Everyone has their own way of celebrating the month, whether loud or subtly, and it always makes me smile. So after blogging about the blatant racist article from Elle in France, I was intrigued to learn through the gossip mill a few minutes later, thatRihanna spent $160,000 on a Swarovski crystal-adorned portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Oh..that’s cool…I guess. But I’m saying, my god-baby could have drawn one for her and bedecked it in macaroni for the low low. But anyway…

Then, this morning while looking through my e-mail, I was asked to view a new music video by new FemmeC (female lyricist) Brianna Perry called of all things, “Marilyn Monroe.” In the video, the black female rapper has long a long blonde lace front, and in a few scenes has a fake Marilyn Monroe beauty mark above her lip and by her cheek. In the hook she refers to herself as Marilyn (“I’m Hollyhood, arrogant, don’t I look good? Marilyn…Monroe”). Sure, the tune was cute, but all I could think was—Marilyn, again? Creeeeeeepy.

No disrespect to Marilyn whatsoever. She was a beautiful woman who I’m sure brought a lot of light and joy to people’s lives and maybe even taught folks to be comfortable with their curves. Kudos, kudos. However, I don’t understand why so many black women seem to be enamored with her these days. It’s 2012, right? But psych my mind, because so many celebrities get dressed up like her on the cover of magazines and in music videos to try to emulate her sex appeal and aura (I’ve seen Nicki Minaj, Amber Rose, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez don the same wig that looks exactly like Monroe’s hair in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”), buy portraits of her face and shout her out in their tracks. Aside from being a bombshell though, in all honesty, she didn’t do all that much over-the-top honorable and monumental stuff for black women. In fact, she was said to have done some less than awe-inducing things in her time that I won’t bring out (because we’ve all heard the allegations before), but what exactly did she do that warrants adoration of her more than a Lena Horne, a Dorothy Dandridge, a Josephine Baker, a Dr. Mae Jemison, a Nina Simone, a Joyce Bryant (since folks love to call her the “black Marilyn Monroe”), a Judith Jamison, a Ruby Dee and the likes of such iconic black women gone and still amongst us? Yet and still, folks like Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and more have shouted her out and emulated her like she was Harriet Tubman setting us free or something. Maybe I just missed the memo?

Not to bring anybody down, but I’m sour about the idea that some of our sistas might know more about Monroe than they do a Rosa Parks or Lorraine Hansberry or any of the other black women I mentioned earlier who opened so many doors for us. I went to high school with creative chicks who had purses with Marilyn’s face emblazoned on it, and bought products with her likeness just to keep up with the oh-so popular jones: loving and acting like you personally knew celebrities who have been gone for years–decades sometimes. She’s cool and all, but I think that with all the wonderful and talented women we have in black culture from the past and the present, we need to jump off the Marilyn bandwagon and start giving love to and emulating the people who look like us (and stop trying to look like her) and gave so much so that we could freely sit wherever on buses, have the chance to be famous singers and actresses and walk through integrated halls pretending that Marilyn Monroe is the end-all, be-all. Just saying.

Am I the only one who has noticed this?”

Now after reading this article, I was curious, why the fascination with this long dead starlet?  Why the morbid fascination with a woman, that by today’s standards, would be 15 lbs over weight for her height, who’s hair was a “2-demsional based color”, no tones or color texture ( this was told to me by a best friend that is a celeb hairstylist known for his dyeing techniques), and public persona portrayed her to have the IQ of a jellyfish ?

Why would ANYBODY still want to capture the “essence” of Marylyn Monroe?

I am told by a feminist-leaning associate of mine, that she was a “walking-talking manufactured image of what made men go crazy”. So why the fascination?

Money, thats why.

Though I enjoyed the article above (thanks Madame Noire ), I think the editor is missing the “big picture”. We as humans often latch onto others ideas, personas,behaviors that we deem appropriate. Marilyn still fascinates the world, and many women want to do so as well, black, white, and all in between. To context this ONLY  is a racial issue, is akin to wrapping a rhino with tissue paper, and saying it’s an ipad. We can’t see what the wrapped object is, but we sure as hell know its not an I-pad, (especially not snorting and breathing like that,.lol,.I know very bad cliche’, but you get my point.)

Marilyn Monroe has been relegated to a ‘personal branding stratosphere’ that billions can’t pay for, and many continue to  be inspired from this brand. So when I see a black woman don a Marilyn type lace-front, and the fake mole, I don’t see racial betrayal, I see a young woman wanting to “cash in” on this global branding phenom,…..plain and simple. I guarantee you, if ANYTHING would surface to tarnish this brand, Marilyn would be quickly relegated to ‘old hollywood’,and would vanish from the imaginations of millions, forever, just like any other brand.

Article courtesy of  Madame Noire .com 

Pop Culture – My New “TeleFascination” Love and Hip-Hop

Video

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Love and Hip-hop” is a reality  show that revolves around the lives of   5 women that are dating men in the hip-hop industry. Hip-hop artist such as Jim Jones, Fabulous are only a few of the rap stars that have cameos on the show, as their women let us experience what it is to be a woman, in love with a rap star. At first I did not like the show, and did not take it very seriously. Anything about hip-hop, simply turns my stomach, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This view point comes from personal experience as a gay man, and a fashion designer , working in NYC, and dealing with a few rap artist in person. These personal experiences differed greatly, from wonderful to horrible, when dealing with these people, but ALWAYS  a learning experience. I do not watch television, at all, hence no cable. But after “netflixing”, I surfed the web, and came across an article writing about this new show. I clicked on to VH-1, and was hooked,…..somewhat. These women are REAL, can be HARSH, but seem to be loving to their men. My favorite character, ofcourse, is Chrissy. She seems to be a loud-mouth, crazy,overly-aggressive, but is loyal to her friends (and would be a chick that I would love to call a friend as well). Needless to say, take a look at the show. It can get a “bit much”, but I live in NYC, and see people like this all the time, and they happen to be people that I care about deeply. Big mouths, Harsh attitudes, but all of it is based on Tough Love. I will be writing more on this show, as there is so much to talk about . Tell me who your favorite people are, and why?

watch here