Friday, July 31, 2009

Trend Alert: It's a Scarf! It's a Necklace! It's GLAM!

Working in a creative industry, I happen to be daily surrounded by extremely talented people. From writers, to singers, to fashion designers...everyone has a side hustle. Well, I was recently introduced to a fellow intern by the name of Kori Fields who is extremely creative and gifted. Not only is Kori dressed to the tee everyday, but she also makes these amazing pieces that she calls "Glam Collars". I'm sure most of you haven't seen anything like this, but she makes these pieces that are almost like scarfs, but they're draped with strips of stretch jersey and hang low like necklaces:

Currently, Urban outfitters sells pieces that are similar but NOT NEARLY as flyy as the original pieces that Kori makes.

Deena & Ozzy Jersey Chain Scarf, $48.00

The problem with the one pictured above is that the color is already pre-selected for you, the chain is hidden and, to me, it looks messy. Kori makes each one of her "Glam Collars" customized, based on fabric type, color, and accessories you'd like her to add to them. She recently made a gorgeous one for me which I will be rocking in my travels over the weekend! I asked her to make mine with animal print, army green jersey, and a gold chain with pearls:

3 Reasons the "Glam Collar" is the next big thing:

1) They make a statement. What's great is that they're very customizable. Not only can you pick the color and prints but you can add your own chains to them or even pin on buttons and brooches to match your mood. Everyone wants to have their own unique flavor and its so easy with something like this.

2) Double Duty: These serve 2 purposes - fashion and utility. Although they're super cute and drapey like necklaces, they're also scarves! So they're versatile enough to be worn with a tank and jeans in summer AND with your favorite oversized cardigan in the Fall season.

3) They're GLAM! One of the best things about finding something new is getting to tell people you had it first haha... put your order in now before your friends find out.

To find these lovely "Glam Collars" by Kori Fields and to place Special Orders, check out her Etsy shop: www.fashionstop.etsy.com

Email luvbrownsugar@gmail.com to request any further contact info.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

UPDATE: Sasha Fierce or Foolish? The Saga Continues...

Beyonce in Sasha Fierce for House of Dereon Advertisement

So I'm sure you all remember my first article in early July about the upcoming launch of the Sasha Fierce line by House of Dereon. Well, I recently ran across the above advertisement for the line. And, to my surprise, it doesn't look AS bad as I originally thought it was going to be. The initial pics, which were mostly black ensembles of simple pieces with no real construction or design to them, gave me the feeling that this line was just a BAD idea....hence the recurring theme "Fierce or Foolish" that originated with this article.

Anyway, my vote was that this line was drier than a bag of frozen peas...and wouldn't be catching anyone's attention, anytime soon. However, from the looks of Bey's advertisement up top, it looks like she added a little bit of flavor to these duds. I'm interested to see what the patterned dress in the middle is talking bout...the cutout criss-cross back looks like it might be doing a little something. So, I guess Bey is up for trial again....Fierce or Foolish??
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Sick Site Spotlight: ASOS.com

So I'm sure most of you die-hard fashionistas already know about this Sick Site, but for those of you who don't...be enlightened!! Open your mind to the world that is ASOS. I first heard about this site almost 3 years ago from a close friend who made me swear to secrecy not to tell anyone else about it. Well, now that it has grown so much in popularity, it is my duty to spread the word and enlighten my fellow shopaholics. This online shop based in the UK, and appropriately named As Seen On Screen (ASOS), takes inspiration from celebrity sightings and Red Carpet fashion to create clothing and accessories that mimic designer pieces. Not only do they have some of the cutest evening and day dresses, but they have AMAZING accessories.

It wasn't until fairly recently that they actually started shipping accessories. 3 years ago, they would only ship clothing AND (because it's based in the UK), items could take up to 2 weeks to ship! But now that the site has become more mainstream and really started to pick up, shipping takes only days and just about everything on the site can be shipped direct.

Another amazing and unique feature is that you can actually see each piece modeled on a runway. Now for those online shoppers like myself who are worried about how the fabric moves or how shiny it looks or how tight it clings, this is an amazing feature and unique to this particular site.

Oh, and another thing...the items are actually REASONABLY priced. You can score some amazing pieces in their Sale/Clearance section. That's the first area I check! Anyway, feel free to visit the site and tell me how you like it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Oh, and DON'T forget to change the currency in the top right corner to US$ if you live in the US. Don't be fooled by those pounds haha!

For ASOS, click HERE.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fierce or Foolish: Chains Hanging Low

Rih Rih was spotted yesterday in this neutral V-neck dress and these FAB heels... It seems "flare" at the ankle is all the rage these days...

I'm gonna have to lead the vote with Fierce on this one. Love it!

What do you think? Fierce or foolish?
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Random Street Shots: Briana from Harlem Heights

By the graces of my awesome internship at BET, I had the pleasure of attending a taping of BET & Grey Goose Presents "Rising Icons". It's a new show on BET that just recently premiered its first episode this past Monday, July 27th with the profiling of Chrisette Michelle. I believe it airs on Mondays but check here to find out more info about the artists and the tour. Anyway, I was delighted to sit through 3 tapings and therefore 3 mini concerts - Wale, The Dream and Keri Hilson. It was an amazing time and the artists were great. So, of course as I was given the VIP treatment, I had the pleasure of being an audience member and rubbing elbows with the likes of some of BET's reality TV stars. I happened to run into Briana of Harlem Heights, sassy designer at Victoria Secret and aspiring handbag entrepreneur.

Briana, to the right, on the set of Rising Icons

Anyway, she was dressed to the tee per usual. She had on this really cute pink short-sleeved blazer with gold accessories on the shoulder which I thought was really chic (big shoulders are in yall!). She was also donning a black tutu-esque skirt and these interesting ankle-cuff sandals. I say "interesting" because they almost looked like boots...but not. Anyway, her outfit was fierce. I wonder if that bag she's wearing is from her new B.Marie handbag line. Check out her designs here - she's working it!

Soo...ankle-cuff sandal/booties...Fierce or Foolish?
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Style Icon: Rihanna in Alexander McQueen

Girlfriend has done it again! That's right - 2 posts about RiRi in one day..but I couldn't help it.

Ok so I must shout out one of my besties ShaSha for inspiring this post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Alexander McQueen look...on Rihanna...on myself...in general!

What I love about it:

1. Black: I venture to say a girl's best friend. Anyone just looks utterly chic in a crisp blacks ensemble. It never fails. It looks good on everyone. It's slimming. It's always in style. LOVE it.

2. Pearls: I'm not a HUGE fan of pearls, but I certainly appreciate them when they're done right. And in this case, they're exquisite. Normally, pearls sweeten up the look, give it more class and sophisitication. But in this case, these layered pearls almost give the look even MORE EDGE! Rihanna takes them to another level with the multi-layers.

3. Lace, fingerless, elbow-length gloves: LOVE, LOVE LOVE. As morbid as black lace can be, Rihanna again gives them some spice by rocking them fingerless. Now I need a pair. Tempted to cut up my lace tights and wrap them around at the ELBOWS!! (I won't, I promise.....at least not in public hehe)

4. Red lips: If there is anything I'm usually against, it's a strong red lip. It's just not my style..I'm more of a tinted lipgloss kinda girl. BUT, these statement lips look absolutely stunning on Rihanna. Especially considering the rest of her ensemble is virtually colorless...red lips really make the look POPand bring the Old Hollywood meets New-School Sexy look together.

Verdict: FIERCE...not up for discussion. (j/k)
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"Shear" Fever: Where did all the hair go??

What is it about 2009 that is making everybody cut off all their hair? I've had 2 great friends cut their hair within the past 6 months and countless celebrities have caught the fever as well. Many attribute the shift in trends to pioneers like Halle circa the early 90's. But did the dearly beloved Rihanna re-invent the craze that seems to be amplifying as the year 2009 goes on?? I mean, I feel like I should jump on boat and chop it off too...only I think I'd probably cry.

Anyway, here are some recent celebrity chops:

That's right, our favorite first lady Ms. Michelle Obama got herself a short trim...

Chrisette Michelle, R&B soulstress sportin a short cut...

Tell a friend! Ms. Ciara, the queen of long, bone-straight hair...has a SHORT cut

I really couldn't believe this one...I don't like it! I feel like long, flowy fits her face better. Is it just me?

Former Destiny's Child Member Michelle Williams and her new cut...

Love her! Ms. Toccara Jones, former ANTM contestant, now BET correspondent.

So many cuts...so little time. I might have to ponder my decision to chop my own hair off a little further...more details to come!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fierce or Foolish: Shaved Hair

So I ran across a recent picture of the one and only Ms. Solange Knowles. And it appears she's caught the "shear" fever along with numerous other celebrities this year. But Ms. Knowles didn't just cut her hair a little...she cut it ALL! I dunno about this. If you ask me, sista-girl needs a good shape up. Or maybe more than just a shape up..what yall think? Fierce or Foolish?
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vogue Italia: Black Barbie Issue

We're still making moves y'all! Just last Thursday I was raving about this year's 1st Annual Arise Africa Fashion Week. And NOW, Italian Vogue has released the first ever issue dedicated to Black Barbie. Gotta love those Italians. I've been to Italy, it's an amazing country and consistent with popular belief they LOVE black women.

Anyway, for those of you who were under a bush last year (just kidding), Italian Vogue was the very first mainstream fashion magazine to launch an all-black issue:

All black models throughout the entire publication..I absolutely loved it! And the trail-blazing issue was released on newsstands with 4 different covers: one each of 4 amazing & trailblazing models - Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, Sessilee Lopez & Jordan Dunn. I have 3 of the 4 issues (complete in shrink-wrap!). I was fortunate enough to have a best friend studying abroad in Italy last summer who could snag me a copy when it first came out. And once they hit the US, I got 2 more.

Well, just one year and one black US president after, we have July 2009's issue of Italian Vogue complete with black barbies of all shades, complexions and characteristics. The Barbies are said to be designed with "more authentic-looking black features, including . . . fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheekbones and curlier hair," explains Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue's Editor-in-Chief.

I can't wait to get my hands on this issue!
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Leather Shorts: Fierce or Foolish?

So this little question was sparked upon flipping through one of my monthly fashion mags. I stumbled upon a spread about leather shorts:

Now as an avid supporter of MOST things leather, I started to think about the possiblities of rocking this trend in the summer time. You know, cute chiffon-y flirty top and edgy platform heels. But then I thought about it...it's SUMMER...and shorts are supposed to keep you cool. Leather on a hot sweaty day? Not so much.... but what about winter?? Again, it's a Catch 22. They're leather, yes, sp appropriate for cold weather. HOWEVER, they're still shorts!!

So then I got to thinking about fashion and I started to realize how much the fashion industry has turned items that used to be just "utility" items, into pieces that compliment an outfit, but make absolutely no sense to wear given the circumstances.
What do you think - Fierce or foolish?
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

ESPY Awards Fashion Countdown

Ok people, I know how much you guys love the countdowns! I just got my hands on some Red Carpet Photos from the ESPY Awards in L.A last night. Here are my Top 5 Best & Worst:

5. BEST - Carmello Anthony

SO you guys know I'm not an expert when it comes to Men's Fashion, however Carmello really stepped up his game last night. I'm not mad at him at all for this Turquoise & White linen ensemble. The brown tie is a nice touch!

4. WORST - Lisa Leslie

Now, now Lisa....just because you play for the WNBA does NOT mean you don't have to keep up with the trends! When, pray-tell, was the last time you saw this particular silhouette on the Red Carpet?? Circa 1996? Black - love this color. Floor length- love that too. But slim-fitted, boat-necked, with no particular detailing and little subtle SPARKLES all around. And let's not even talk about the shoes...SHEESH! Word to the wise: If you're a tall glass o' water like Lisa Leslie, play up your strengths by showing off those legs in a 3/4-length dress or skirt ensemble. Stay away from slim-fitted and floor length dresses circa 1996....

3. BEST - Venus Williams

Ms. Venus was TRULY looking like a goddess at the ESPY Awards last night. This AMAZING Mara Hoffman maxi-dress was appropriate for the occasion, for the season, and for her body shape. Gotta love it! The accessories are just perfect - not too much and not too little. Her hair is simple yet graceful and placed to one side, an excellent choice considering how attention-grabbing her dress already is. And the makeup is just perfect. I love everything about it. I WANT this dress...and the hair. FIERCE!

2. WORST - Vanessa Bryant

So this is a perfect example of the phrase "If you got it, flaunt it" gone terribly WRONG. Boobs popping out of the SEAMS, though?? TOO MUCH! And she had the nerve to sport a sparkly ill-fitting one piece jumper?? With cutouts?? Let's PAUSE right there for a little word of wisdom: One-piece jumpers are not for everyone. For that matter, one piece jumpers with CUTOUTS and SPARKLES are not for everyone....just had to throw that out there. Vanessa, I know you have one of the hottest men in the industry on your arm, but PLEASE step your fashion game up.

1. BEST - Serena Williams

Serena, my dear...what can I say? I'm speechless! She looks absolutely STUNNING in this dress. Color that compliments the skin - check! Silhouette that accentuates her amazing body - check! Hair and makeup ON POINT - check!

Ms. Serena looks like she OWNS this Awards show. I mean, we all know she's the flyyest in the Tennis game but please don't sleep on her fashion sense (or that of her stylist). Kudos to her stylist if she had one. I'm sure her stylist probably had something to do with Venus as well. The Williams sisters stole the show last night.

Props and nuff ree-speck!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arise Africa Fashion Week: Well, it's about TIME!

We're making moves!! Last year - we got the first ever all-black issue of Italian Vogue. This January - America voted in it's first-ever African-American President. And NOW, Africa has its own Fashion Week! Although those 3 things are definitely not on the same scale of importance (Obama trumps them all), this new wave of recognition for the black community in all aspects of pop culture gets me excited. Arise Africa Fashion Week took place last month from June 12th - June 19th. The organization responsible for the event is African Fashion International in conjuction with Arise Magazine.

Arise is the first global magazine dedicated to achievements in African fashion, music, culture and politics. I didn't even know it existed until today!

While the Africa Fashion Week culminated in Johannesburg, South Africa, the shows took place in all different African countries that week including: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethipia, Mozambique, and many more. This year's Africa Fashion Week marked the inaugural beginning of an annual event which will feature African designers from around the Continent, showcasing their talent:

Love the vibrant colors on this peice.

Yellow & floor-length: such a cool combination

This looks so well-crafted...like it took months to make

I guarantee you nobody will be walking into the ball with this dress on...so unique. Look at those sleeves!

Needless to say, I'm just ecstatic about Africa Fashion Week. ESPECIALLY considering how so many of today's designers take their inspiration, in terms of shapes and concepts as well as prints and patterns, from the Motherland. I only hope that one day I, too,will have the opportunity to sit front row and center at one of these amazing shows! Click here to find out more about Africa Fashion Week and Arise Magazine
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Fierce or Foolish: Lady Gaga

I'm a fan of her music but CLEARLY not a fan of her style. Where do I begin? I'm speechless...DOIN TOO MUCH! The veil with the BUNNY ears though??
You tell me - Fierce or Foolish?
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Confessions of a Shopaholic: Zara Sale!!

So, for those of you who are actively searching for the next SALE or the latest bargains, please direct your attention to ZARA this week! Their SALE actually started 2 weeks ago, however I never shop Zara Sale within the first week because (although the pickins might be fresh) the inventory doesn't get priced LOWEST until the last few weeks of the sale. The way Zara operates is unlike many other retailers. They hardly ever go on SALE. In fact, their sales are only twice a year: once in Winter (after Christmas) and once in Summer (always late June/early July). They have these very unique retailing operations - they change over their inventory extremely QUICKLY. So for those of you who've visited a Zara, saw something SO cute and thought you would come back in 2 weeks and still see it there - it often doesn't work like that. Once Zara is sold out of a certain item, it doesn't come back. They refresh the store with brand new inventory to keep the customer guessing.

Anyway, if you live near a location, now's the time to stop by. They're in the final weeks of summer SALE and they have amazing dresses for $20-$50, Boyfriend blazers under $40, and much more. Get it while you can because they won't be on SALE again till Christmas!!
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic: The Brooklyn Flea

This past Saturday I took the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Fort Greene. It is literally my new favorite spot to hangout in Brooklyn. Anyway, my main motivation for paying this part of the city across the bridge a visit, was to preview what's known as the Brooklyn Flea. It goes on every weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays it's in Fort Greene and on Sundays they move under the Brooklyn Bridge. Vendors are there between 10am and 5pm on Saturdays, 11-6 on Sundays. For those who've never been, the Brooklyn Flea is an incredible outdoor market of cool vintage: clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture and of course art!

While it was my first time at the Brooklyn Flea, I felt so at-home, like I was a veteran. If you don't know already, shopping for vintage is one of my favorite activities - so you can imagine my excitement when I'm surrounded by it at every corner. I was engulfed, within the 4 gates of this school yard at Lafayette & Cleremont in an enchanting mélange of handmade leather goods, diamond-encrusted brooches from the 50's, vintage Chanel ballet flats, and enough patterned dresses to make a quilt that covers the entire state of NY.

And let's not even mention the wonderfully aromatic scents of Mediterranean food and specialty hot dogs (I had one topped with sweet ketchup, jalapeño mustard and crushed potato chips...sounds nasty but I kid you not, SO good - trust).

Anyway, the Brooklyn Flea was an amazing experience. Not to mention, Fort Greene is just a great neighborhood to get lost in. Here were a few of my favorite stops along the Brooklyn Flea roadmap:

Dulcinée NYC

This booth had a great collection of patterned chiffon dresses and other high-end designer vintage. Although on the pricier side, every item looked to be handpicked for perfection. All of the items were signature statement pieces for the vintage-lover's closet. Check them out at DulcineNYC

Joan Vanhees

The next booth I went to was one my favorites. Ms. Joan Vanhees was full of joy and vibrantly dressed in color as I made my rounds "ooh-ing" and "aah-ing" at every piece on her clothing rack. And let's not forget the AMAZING sequined tops, 40's-style heels and snakeskin bags:

Be sure to stop by Ms. Joan's booth if you happen to visit the Brooklyn Flea sometime soon.

Treasures & Pleasures

What a fitting name! This booth was chock full of treasures and guilty pleasures...please believe. The owners were so friendly and extremely informative about exactly where every piece originated. Although the pieces cost a pretty penny, they're quality was definitely unparalleled. My favorites were their nautical-inspired pieces:

They also have an Egyptian-inspired showcase going on:

Check them out at the Brooklyn Flea or their website here

Imani Miller - Creations By Faith

So I'm a huge fan of handmade, ethnic-inspired jewelry. I'm also a huge supporter of black artists, designers, jewelry-makers, etc. So I had to shout out Ms,. Imani Miller's designs. Her stuff is carefully crafted and demurely appealing. She makes everything by hand. For more of her creations, check out her site.

Amaya Designs

Sitting directly across from Imani Miller was a lady by the name of Stacey. All of her skillfully-made jewelry was bold, bright and had such flavor to it. I especially love the necklace pictured above. The precious stones, the beading...beautiful. Find more of Amaya Designs here.

Martine's Dream

Ms. Debbie Hardy is the owner of this amazing booth at the Brooklyn Flea. Inside her fabric-covered booth was a vast array of ethnic print dresses and dashikis in the MOST amazing colors. It made me happy just paying Ms. Debbie a visit. When I walked over she was giving her styling advice to a potential customer/friend. Don't pass by the Flea without paying her a visit.

Planet Clare Inc.

If you're into well-crafted, fine jewelry - please pay Koray Avci a visit at his booth. The jewelry was impeccable. And for all my PENN friends, he's based in Philly Phillaay! You can find him on South Street selling his creative designs. Contact him at KorayAvci@hotmail.com for more info

Angels & Warriors Vintage

This was my last stop on the Brooklyn Flea treasure hunt. The owner of this booth is Maria Vallos and she sells her creative pickins every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. Her stuff was amazing. I fell in love with her leather goods and retro printed scarves:

To check out the schedule and a few other vendors not featured here, check the site for the Brooklyn Flea: click here
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