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Bidding Adieu: Alexander McQueen

February 11, 2010

I woke up this morning to the tragic news of Alexander McQueen’s passing. At the age of 40, he committed suicide in his London home. This news came on the first day of New York Fashion Week, where his diffusion line McQ slated to debut at Milk Studios. His PR company KCD has since canceled the presentation. Word also has it, that his store in the Meatpacking District is closed, with a white sheet covering its windows.

Official statement on his web site reads:

On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family.

Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.

McQueen’s impact on the fashion community expands the reach of editorial pages or celebrity press. He was an extraordinary visionary, whose art conveyed the inner thoughts of a guy who found beauty in the darkest of places. May he, forever rest in peace.

Thoughts In Prose: Why Kelis Matters

February 1, 2010

Ten years have passed since Kelis came kicking and screaming “Caught Out There”.  A breath of fresh air with a quirkiness that was as endearing as her beauty.  She marched to her own drum, spoke her mind and made her own style of music. Kelis was the talk of the town and the chatter supersedes her.

Seth Godin, the author of Purple Cow, a highly successful marketing book comes to mind when I think about Kelis. In Purple Cow Godin discusses how success lies in the ability of a product to be remarkable, INNOVATIVE and worth talking about.

Kelis then, was the Purple Cow of my adolescence. Read more…

Spotlight: The Best and “Worst” of Red Carpet Fashion

January 20, 2010

Sunday’s airing of the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards marked the beginning of award season. Knowledgeable movie buffs appreciated seeing their favorite thespians recognized while the other million-plus viewers paid close attention to the red carpet arrivals.

Over the years, the emphasis on red carpet fashion has heightened. Stars in turn, bring their A-game – or at least they’re supposed to. Sunday Night, Twitter was abuzz with many questions:

Why does Chloe Sevigny’s dress have so many ruffles? What in the world was Anna Paquin thinking with the metallic number? Let’s not forget Mariah Carey. She brought her own Golden Globes.

Fashion is subjective, and tulle isn’t for everyone. Somehow, “best and worst of” lists are all over the Web bringing a wider perspective on fashion faux pas. But how much pressure should we really put on celebrity dressing – what determines a red carpet hit or miss?

Read more…

Life: A Nation Uprooted

January 13, 2010
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Photo Credit: MSNBC

Words are meaningless when your heart is heavy.

The photos are graphic. The pain, insurmountable. Empathy, action and compassion are needed right now for a nation that was already one of the word’s poorest. Adding to the vivid imagery were reports of a united Haitian community, praising God for sparing their lives through the night. Faced with the toughest adversity, their faith is unwavering.

Everything else seems meaningless.  I’m job-less but blessed, nonetheless to have a stable roof over my head and food in my stomach and suddenly, that $15 I have left in my bank account is of little use for me. Click here to see a list of charitable organizations to donate to.

Bidding Adieu: Eunice W. Johnson (1916-2010)

January 13, 2010

Not too long ago, fashion week was a hush gathering for the industry’s elite. Makeup brands like MAC didn’t dominate the beauty counters nor did magazines for women of color. Thanks to people like Eunice W. Johnson, one won’t have to consider the possibilities in the ever-growing fashion industry.

Eunice W. Johnson was married to publisher John H. Johnson, whose influential titles Ebony and Jet kept the African-American community in the know. Her role, however, far extended the duties of being a doting wife and mother: Johnson named Ebony magazine, launched one of the first cosmetic brands for minorities and created the world’s largest traveling fashion show.

Eunice W. Johnson with Yves Saint Laurent

EBONY Fashion Fair was the first of its kind to bring haute couture to the masses – all you had to do was purchase a ticket. It proved itself a success, but Johnson still had to fight for her place in fashion as a respected visionary. Equipped with a budget allowing across the globe travel, Johnson purchased the finest couture and built relationships with some of the greatest designers, including Yves Saint Laurent.

Sadly, EBONY Fashion Fair ended in 2009. As for Fashion Fair Cosmetics, it is still one of the highest grossing cosmetic lines for women of color.

The impact of Mrs. Johnson’s achievements proves that anything is possible and while it may seem like an obstacle, pigmentation does not determine success. Runways, though lacking in color, aren’t indicative of the number of designers, models, editors and fashion influencers who are slowly building up their own legacy. One day, we too will leave our imprint on the world; one can only hope that it’s as significant as Mrs. Eunice W. Johnson’s.

Beauty’s Beholder: Sizing Up Fashion

January 6, 2010

What exactly is plus size fashion when the average American wears a size 12-14?

V Magazine’s Size Issue features a plus size model wearing the same outfit as a standard model in the spread “One Size Fits All”. After staring at the photo, I realized the subtle difference between models: the model on the right fills out the clothes more but she’s in no way, “plus size”. Read more…

Getting Carried Away: The Problem With Sex and the City

December 30, 2009

When I moved to New York, I envisioned myself in an Upper East Side apartment penning fashion-related articles from my Apple laptop. In short, my life was supposed to mirror Carrie Bradshaw’s.

Among all the positive women in the world, why choose a fictional character to emulate? Read more…