Archive | December, 2010

Baubles, Bracelets, and Bling…OH MY!

22 Dec

Urban Vintage: Orange and White Tribal Necklace

 

Many readers have asked out the black and white tribal necklace I was wearing in yesterday’s post and last month’s “A Lil Somethin’ Somethin’” post. I got it during Homecoming from a vendor and Howard University student named Cindy Pierre. Cindy has an online boutique called “Urban Vintage” which I love! Its the perfect place to pick up some vintage baubles that will make awesome stocking stuffers for the fabulous ladies in your life. Check out her stuff at http://urbanvintage.bigcartel.com/.

Cindy is not the only friend of mine who has opened up on online jewelery boutique. My friend Kristin Williams recently launched her jewelry line “Kouture by Kristin”. Check hout her stuff below and at http://www.kouturebykristin.com/

Lastly my friend Marchlena Rodgers, stylist and founder of Heels & Hightops, recently launched her own online store “Chic Spot Boutique”. Currently boasting avant garde jewelry, the new shop looks to provide cutting edge apparel as well. Check out Chic Spot Boutique at http://chicspotboutique.com/

Chic Spot Boutique


Mint Chocolate

21 Dec

 

Mint Chocolate

 

There’s nothing I love around the holidays more than holiday treats. Even though you can get a squirt of peppermint in your white mocha at Starbucks all year round, I wait for the holidays to order up a peppermint white mocha. Something about the festivity of the season that makes it taste much sweeter than it ever would in July. I also wait until December when I can get a bag (or two) of the candy cane flavored Hershey Kisses. This year, as I made my trek to my neighborhood CVS  (which is conveniently located across from my neighborhood Starbucks) to kick off a month of holiday treat bingeing I discovered a new delight; Hershey Kiss Mint Chocolate truffles.

So inspired by my new discovery I created a cute little mint chocolate dress to wear to my friend Patricia’s 25th birthday. I’m not sure if you noticed from my “A Lil’ Somethin’ Somethin’” post, but whenever I am going to be somewhere with someone wearing one of my creations, I also like to be in an original creation.

My mint chocolate concoction is a body con dress with an empire waist and 3/4 sleeves. It features two black side panels and a green center panel on the front, as well as a full black skirt and a low scoop neck on the back.

The dress was the perfect holiday treat!

 

Front

Back

Patricia & I

 

 

TwentyFLY & Fabulous

20 Dec

 

Patricia

My friend Patricia was planning her 25th birthday and I had to practically beg her to make her birthday dress. Yes…I said beg! As a young designer, with custom work being the primary outlet to showcase my work, it is important that I make clothing for women who will represent my brand wonderfully. In finding these women, it takes a lot of work to instill in them a confidence in my abilities. Patricia is a tough cookie and convincing her was no easy feat.

A girl’s 25th birthday is a pretty big deal. A celebration of a quarter of a century on this earth is no small thing, and a woman worth her salt would want nothing less than to look her best. Patricia is definitely worth her salt. In her last year of law school, Patricia is engaged to her college sweetheart, and has a bright future ahead. I wanted to make sure I created a look for her that represented the her fabulous life.

I created this midnight blue body con mini-dress with a grey geometric design on the front and  lower back cut-out. As I worked on the dress I could only think of my 25th birthday, which is less than six months away. As I approach this quarter century of mine I think about my future career prospects, whether they be legal or fashion, and the prospects of romance on the horizon. As I approach 25…I hope mine is just as fly and fabulous!

Front

Back

 

For darkskin girls who have considered suicide when black men didn’t think they were beautiful enuf

1 Dec

For my 15th birthday I desperately wanted this Guess Jeans hot pink denim outfit. Tacky…yes I know. But at the time it was so hot! It was dumb expensive and I saved up for it with my part-time pay from the movie theater. The day before I panned to buy it I took my friends to the mall, to the exact rack where my outfit was waiting for me, and showed it to them. One of my friends, who is about my complexion, told me not to buy it. When I asked her why she said I was way too dark to wear that color. I never bought that outfit.

The feeling I felt nearly 10 years ago in that clothing store came back to me recently when I saw the video for Rick Ross’s “Aston Martin Music”. I love the song and listen to it every morning as I ride the train to school. Chrisette Michele’s melodic voice transports me from this silver Metrorail train to my own Aston Martin and gets me right for the day. The video begins with a nappy headed dark-skin girl swiveling her neck like a pro telling a young Rick Ross he aint never gonna grow up and have an Aston Martin. Her attitude can be described as nothing less than ugly. In contrast, sweet curly-haired lighter-skinned girl tells him different. That girl grows up to be his love interest in the video.

Maybe I am putting too much stock in the casting choices made for this video but this image of black beauty is portrayed over and over and over in our daily lives, whether it be through the media or in the sentiments of those around us. As a darker hued honey maybe I notice it more than others, but either way, it is inaccurate and offensive. Now, as an educated black woman, I do not presume to use hip hop music videos as an accurate depiction of myself nor as a measure of my self-worth, however these videos are an aggregate image of my community and I hate seeing my dark-skinned girls represented this way.

Dark skinned girls are constantly portrayed (if we are portrayed at all) as unattractive and our complexion is constantly made to feel like a limitation. How many of us have heard “you’re cute for a dark-skinned girl“? I’ve even heard “you maintain yourself well for a dark-skinned girl” “you dress well for a dark-skinned girl” and “you have pretty hair for a dark-skinned girl”. FOR A DARK SKINNED GIRL…what does that mess even mean?

Rick Ross surely needs to read the Bluest Eye because it is images like this that are giving black women (specifically darker hued sisters) a Pecola complex. Yea I said it…a Pecola complex. For those who do not know, Pecola Breedlove is the main character in Toni Morrison’s award-winning debut novel “The Bluest Eye”. Pecola, is a poor black girl who believes she is ugly because her ideals of beauty, and the ideals of her community,  are based on “whiteness”. The title of the novel comes from Pecola’s desperate desire for blue eyes. Pecola’s desire for blue eyes stems from her belief that no one would love her without them, this desire eventually drives her insane by the end of the novel. Imagine that? Imagine being driven to insanity because the world around you tells you that you aren’t beautiful enough; this is what I call the Pecola Complex.

In hindsight I realize that not only did I let my friend project her ideals of dark skin and beauty onto me that day in the Guess store…but I realized that someone in her life obviously made her feel that her complexion limited her. Not only limited her in what colors she coud wear but it limited her in life.

Today I make clothes for women who see no limits. No limits in life and no limits in what they can wear. Personally, I am contantly wearing the most vibrant colors I can find and this is also reflected in my fabric choices for the clothes I make. But that is not enough. It is when the rest of the world, especially our own community, can see our darker skin as beautiful can we truly radiate.