Saturday, February 26, 2011

Music Video: Timothy Bloom "Til The End of Time"


Two thumbs up for a real Black love song! And a tasteful video to accompany it! Enjoy!





Sidenote: It's refreshing to see someone other than the typical "light skin/long hair" video girl -- someone whose sole purpose in the video is not just being eye candy. I could lecture all day on that topic, but let this be a good conclusion to another wonderful Black History Month!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Controversy Surrounding Beyoncé's L'Officiel Paris Spread







 Beyonce was asked to do an "African Queen" inspired spread that also included a tribute to Fela Kuti [a Nigerian musician and human rights activist], which involved her painting her face darker. Okay, so one minute she's getting criticized for lightening her skin, and the next she's getting criticized for having her face painted darker for a magazine shoot? Initially, I didn't clearly see a problem with the shoot until I did a little research and found this:

"Blackface, a technique that involved applying burnt cork, greasepaint, or shoepolish to darken the skin, has its roots in the 1883 mistrel show where a white performer, Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice, impersonated a black crippled slave he said he knew named Jim Crow. According to Black-face.com “Performers defended slavery by presenting denigrating stereotypes of Blacks who supposedly needed the civilizing influence of slavery to keep them in check. Black slaves were portrayed as happy and content with their lot in life and fearful of life outside of the plantation.” Thus reveals the social crime behind such practices. The orginal minstrel shows saw their end around 1919 but portrayals in blackface carried through unto the 1950′s and even found their way onto London television until the late 1970′s."
-- www.thefreshxpress.com


We've got to do better. Yes Beyoncé may have indeed been ignorant of how offensive this would be, but can we put all of the blame on her? I, myself, am ashamed of my own ignorance of this practice, as I'm sure a lot of us younger people are. But what about the people behind L'Officiel that put together this shoot and actually did understand the deep history of it, and just didn't care or think to consider how the readers would feel about it? 
As of late, there have been other magazine spreads that have included White models with painted brown faces, just like back when Black people weren't allowed to perform on stage so White people took their place with painted faces. The industry keeps trying to depict it as art/expression, but why can't they just find a Black model to do the shoot? Have we progressed at all?
Mrs. Knowles-Carter has yet to speak out about everything and I'm really wondering whether she is going to accept full responsibility for this offense or is she going to claim it to be "just art" and act as if people are "living in the past" and shouldn't feel offended. 




Anyways, the remainder of the shoot was gorgeous as expected. Check out some of the pics below:








Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black [Fashion] History: Vogue Editor Andre Leon Talley




Front-row regular at fashion shows around the world. Here pictured with Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour

Pictured with  long-term friend with Kimora Lee Simmons

Current judge on America's Next Top Model, alongside long-term friend Tyra Banks 

Pictured here with Karl Lagerfeld (Creative Director of Chanel), Venus Williams, and Kimora Lee Simmons

Having fun with an old friend, singer/icon Grace Jones




(1949-Present) A little known fact about Andre Leon Talley is that he was born and raised in Durham, NC (from which I hail), and that he graduated from NC Central University. He received his Master's in French from Brown University, and while doing so, he often took weekend trips to New York City and associated with former Vogue Editor-in-Chief Diana Vreeland. His first job was as an assistant for Andy Warhol, which I am sure was a fantastic experience!
In 2008, Talley advised the future First lady on fashion, and introduced Michelle Obama to Jason Wu. Wu, as we know, went on to design Mrs. Obama's Inauguration Ball gown, pictured here. The power of networking!
His more recent pairings have been with designers Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and Jennifer Hudson. He was ranked 45th in Out Magazine's Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently serving as a judge on America's Next Top Model.
Mr. Talley is one of the few major African-American voices in the fashion industry, and a fabulous representation of Durham! I look forward to meeting him one day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Vogue Italia February 2011: The Black Allure


I may be a tad late with this one, but this spread is amazingly gorgeous:)



















Behind the Scenes of the Shoot


Umm...yesss for this video being shot to the soulful voice of Nina Simone!

Photographer: Emma Summerton
Stylist: Edward Enninful
Models: Ajak Deng, Chanel Iman, Arlenis Sosa Peña, Jourdan Dunn, Melodie Monrose, Lais Ribeiro, Rose Cordero, Mia Aminata Niaria, Sessilee Lopez, Joan Smalls, and Georgie Baddiel

"Edward Enninful delivers as usual with styling that’s a fantastic nod to the Harlem Renaissance movement circa 1920′s, captured through the lens of Emma Summerton." -Omoyemi Akerele, Fashion Blogger


Though this spread did provoke some controversy, ["Why do they need to do a spread dedicated to only Black models?", "Why is it only during Black History Month that we see so many models of color in one magazine?", etc.] I feel like these models should be recognized all together as the diversity in the fashion industry slowly continues to grow. Perhaps more designers will be more inspired to make brown skin more prevalent on their runways, not as some trend or fetish, but something to be embraced and included in the "traditional notions of beauty". Hopefully it has reached out to young brown skinned, full lipped girls that aspire to model one day as well. I'm also not sure that the title of the spread is appropriate, but these things will get better with time, I suppose.
Anyways, the colors, textures, and make up all look fab!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Celeb Snapshots at NYFW

No captions, just pics. Enjoy!


 



NYFW: Tracy Reese Fall 2011








Vibrant maxi pleated skirts, fur accents, beaded frocks, and tassel embellishments all stood out in Tracy Reese's RTW
collection for Fall 2011. The collection, for me, gave off a bohemian-meets-eclectic/chic vibe and overall I felt there were a lot of pieces that would soon be snatched off the runway by a variety of celebs and perhaps even Michelle Obama (who has recently been spotted in Reese's designs here). I loved it!
Here are a few of my favs:

























Tracy Reese always brings the funk! Looking forward to her future collections:)


Monday, February 14, 2011

What I Wore: 02142011



hmm. I didn't even notice the bible verse spray painted behind me:)
 Happy V-day to all of my readers! God is love<3

Ray Ban Aviators
vintage gold earrings - mommy
chain & ribbon necklaces - F21
leather hooded bomber - Ebay
striped body con dress - tjmaxx
distressed patterned tights - don't remember
Doc Marten leather boots - Journey's
Andy Warhol Jesus tote - my sis
mix of Mac Diva & a Sephora red lipstick


2011 Grammy's Red Carpet Fashion



Ciara showed off her evenly-toned skin and fit body in this revealing gown from Emilio Pucci's Spring collection, and claims to have only had three hours of prep time. She looks great...though her toes are a bit disturbing in those shoes.


Eva Longoria looked extra chic in a dress by Ashi Studio and tweeted pictures of her & Kim's hair and makeup routine pre-red carpet. Nice!


One of the most memorable entrances in history, Lady Gaga arrived in an "embryonic ensemble" designed by Hussein Chalayan. She was "incubating" and had an unusual accessory: a portable oxygen tank. What do you think? Too much? 


Heidi Klum stunned in a shimmery gold Julien Macdonald gown with a matching metallic pedicure.


Janelle Monae remixed her signature tux look with a jacket by Ralph Lauren Collection. She looked cute as always!


Jennifer Hudson showed off her fab new body in a flattering asymmetrical Versace gown and Louboutin sandals. She exclaimed, "I can't even sleep at night because I can't wait to see what I'm going to wear the next day!" Weight Watchers has completely transformed her look!


Jennifer Lopez sizzled in a silver Emilio Pucci mini, a Daniel Swarovski crystal clutch, Cartier diamonds, and spiked stilettos. Dangerously short dress, but she looks amazing!


Katy Perry showed up in an Armani ensemble along with the rest of her fam decked out in Armani as well. "I had it bedazzled", she says of her 90-year-old grandmother's crystal encrusted cane. Her look was interesting, and I would love to hear the explanation of her choice.



Kim Kardashian proclaimed to be like "a bronze trophy" on the red carped, donning a beaded Kaufmanfranco gown and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. Not so sure about her statement [side eye], but she made a gorgeous choice per usual.




Nicole Kidman graced the carpet in a floral print and embellished Jean Paul Gaultier gown. Pretty, but I kind of wish the train was more dramatic.


Rihanna showed skin, skin and more skin in her peek-a-boo frilled illusion gown by Jean Paul Gaultier. She says he's one of her favorite designers and she practically "snatched the dress right off the runway". It's a bit too revealing for my taste, but what else would you expect from her?


Willow Smith wore neon-colored shoelaces in her ponytail of braids and some crazy looking outfit. She's "very excited" because she now has everyone "whipping their hair". Haha cute! Jada Pinkett-Smith accompanied her in a beautiful Amanda Wakely dress. 

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