Style & The City

Style & The City

My ultimate guilty pleasure is the 2000’s HBO smash hit Sex and The City! 

Sometimes Carrie makes me roll my eyes a bit or shout at my screen, but at the end of the day I admire these four women and (not all… but MOST of) their views on men, dating, and the importance of enjoying your single life.

Miranda is my favorite overall, but I couldn’t help but wonder… who has the best style out of the group??? 

🛍

F.R.I.E.N.D.S… The One with the Best Style Moments

F.R.I.E.N.D.S… The One with the Best Style Moments

Despite what Gen Z’ers might think, Friends is a great TV show and a huge staple in pop culture history. Sure some of the themes and commentary are a bit dated now in 2020, but the fashion still holds up.

Rachel was always the most fashionable of the bunch. She was my personal favorite, even though deep down inside I know I’m truly more of a Monica, with a sprinkle of Phoebe.

As a lover of all things 90’s, I think I might even already have some of these outfits in my closet LOL. Take a look below at some of my favorite looks from all ten seasons of Friends!

ICONIC VMA OUTFITS

ICONIC VMA OUTFITS

I LOVED MTV back in the 2000’s. It has always meant so much to me and I credit it as the sole reason for my love of all things pop culture. One of the best times of the year since it’s inception in 1984, was the VMA’s. Every year people would rush to their TV’s and expect a wild ride from start to finish. When you have Britney Spears, Eminem, *NSYNC, Lil Kim, Prince, Madonna and SO many more all together in one room… you can’t possibly expect anything but madness. Besides the show itself, celebrities would ALWAYS show up and make an outrageous fashion statement. I’m sure many of the older generations were appalled by what they saw, but I was always LIVING for it.

Take a look below at some of the most memorable and iconic looks from the MTV VMA’s!

LOCKDOWN LOOKS

LOCKDOWN LOOKS

IT IS AUGUST. AUGUST! And we are STILL INSIDE. Truthfully I am a bit of a homebody, but I’ve had enough. I ordered so many cute outfits and shoes that are looking back at me like “Girl, what did you buy us for if you’re not going to ever wear us?!” and I say “I KNOW, it’s not me… it’s the Karens, I promise!”

Until we get this sh*t together, there are still other opportunities to flex some fits. You can get cute for your weekly grocery runs, or even the family zoom chat. Check out the outfits below and get ~inspired~ !!

Zoe Kravitz: The Queen of Cool

Zoe Kravitz: The Queen of Cool

If it wasn’t already clear to those around me… Zoe Kravitz is my IDOL! Not only is she effortlessly cool, she’s also humble. As the daughter of two entertainment legends, she comes across as extremely down to earth! With parents like Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, being cool is already in her DNA, but even her stepdad, Jason Momoa, is cool! I love to see other kids that grew up around the entertainment business NOT act entitled (it’s rare). Honestly I doubt there’s anything bad anyone could say about Zoe. Her chill vibe makes it easy for her to get along with everyone in Hollywood!

One of the things I admire most about Zoe, is her laid back sense of style. In her Hulu show, High Fidelity, she actually used her own wardrobe to make her character come to life. In the series she played Robyn “Rob” Brooks, an uber cool owner of a record store in the heart of Brooklyn, NY. So It’s safe to say her outfits perfectly fit the part.

For a while it was hard for me to find someone ~famous~ who’s style I could emulate. I like to be comfortable, while still looking chic and of course, a little rock ‘n’ roll. Zoe’s style embodies all of that! Even down to the tattoos, ear piercings, and undercut; my style is wholly inspired by my girl Zoe. See below for some of my favorite looks Zoe has rocked so far!

FUN FACT: My fellow Sagittarius sister’s birthday is only a day before mine! We were meant to be gal pals!

The Remix: Hip-Hop x Fashion (Netflix)

THE REMIX: Hip-Hop x Fashion (NETFLIX)

I’m BAFFLED as to why more people are not talking about The Remix: Hip-Hop x Culture on Netflix. I mean I know why, but like c’mon! The world is so obsessed with black culture they never want to appreciate it, but rather appropriate it. Ugh! I can go on and on about that… but let’s talk about the film!

The Remix, focuses on pioneers in fashion culture such as Misa Hylton, Dapper Dan, and April Walker. I was born in the mid nineties and I’ve always been around music and the culture that comes along with it. It was pretty shocking to grow up and realize that people had never heard of them, when I’ve always known how much of an impact they made on hip hop culture. Even brands like FUBU and Karl Kani played a big part in this cultural boom, and inspired designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss pursue a career in fashion as well.

Every fashion statement you see today is because of Misa Hylton, it didn’t come from TikTok or someone’s Pinterest board. Misa styled everyone from Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliot, Diddy, and so many other artists that played a huge part in the merging of Hip-Hop and Fashion. More importantly, she changed the perception of what women in Hip-Hop should look as well. Because Hip-Hop is a male dominated genre, women were expected to meet those requirements as best as they could. They would never wear outfits like the infamous VMA Purple Pasty outfit Lil’ Kim wore in 1999. LEGENDARYYYYYY!!! Before Misa’s influence on Hip-Hop culture, women were expected to dress masculine, otherwise they wouldn’t be taken seriously. A few years ago, Misa posted a restructured MCM leather jacket worn by Big Daddy Kane on her Instagram page to pay homage to Dapper Dan’s legacy. Stylist Zerina Akers reached out and wanted Misa to design something similar for her client’s upcoming video. That client, was the one and only Beyonce. Maybe you’ve heard of her? Misa now serves as a Global Creative Partner for MCM. Ayy!

Now I KNOW you’ve seen this video before – YUP, all Misa Hylton!

Now onto Dapper Dan. For DECADES Dapper Dan has been a staple in not only the history of Hip-Hop, but in the history of New York as well. Rapper’s would flock to his shop to get custom designer clothes. Because of the customers he would attract, he knew in order to accommodate their needs he needed to be open 24/7. Until his shop was raided in 1992, Dap was the go-to person for unique restructured designer pieces in the Hip-Hop community. He was even charged with copyright infringement and shunned from the mainstream. He continued his work underground in different cities, but the threat of getting in trouble again was always looming in the background. Years later at the 2017 Gucci Resort runway show, a jacket appeared on the runway that was CLEARLY inspired by Dapper Dan’s previous work. When social media reacted (yas black twitter!), Gucci acknowledged this and even created a line with him. After this resurgence, Dap even was able to reopen his shop in Harlem twenty-six years later! Yay! It was honestly a pleasant surprise to see a brand like Gucci show their respect and include Dapper Dan in the conversation.

I don’t want to give all of the details of the film away, but it’s important to recognize the people who basically made fashion what it is today. When you see uniquely cut and styled designer clothes emblazoned with flashy logos (which I know you have); you can thank Dapper Dan for that. And when you see girls wearing oversized clothes, or your favorite rapper/singer wearing colored hair and a bikini top; you can thank Misa Hylton for that. I’m so relieved that these two are receiving their flowers while they’re still here, because honestly it’s been long overdue.

BONUS VIDEO! The styling on this video was a Misa Hylton + Dapper Dan collab!

Quarantine Fashion Looks!

QUARANTINE FASHION LOOKS

We are in month 227 of this quarantine because nobody wants to wear a mask in the United States. If you are like me, you’re tired of wearing the same four outfits. (Sweatpants, leggings, sometimes mix a pair of shorts in there, or an old rusty t-shirt from 2005). I’ve purchased so many cute things online, but now they’re just collecting dust in my closet not knowing when they’ll make their stunning debut. I see so many girls on IG wearing cute outfits when they’re running errands, or even just chilling in the house. It inspired me to get a little cute, even if my dog Ozzy is the only one who will see it!

Take a look below at a few of my favorite outfits below!

Outfits in order: @asos, @samiahamps, @nice.to.mitra, @hellobosco, @shandathapanda, @idressmyself, @jessthrowiton_, @lipstickncurls, @compoundcommunity, @tori_deal, @wuzg00d, @killer.killer, @brennzolorenzo, @loviesimone_, @ayeshacurry, @amaka.hamelijnck, @starrscurl, @flex.mami

Dressed to Kill: Villanelle’s Best Fashion Moments

Dressed to Kill: Villanelle’s Best Fashion Moments

During this quarantine I’ve had quite a lot of time on my hands. I have been passing time by catching up on plenty of TV shows, one of them being Killing Eve. And OMG… Villanelle’s outfits had me gasping every time!

I am VERY into bold fashion statements. What can I say? I like to stand out! However, the irony of Villanelle’s style, is that as an assassin she should be trying to blend into the crowd rather than stick out, LOL.

Villanelle loooves to flaunt her luxurious lifestyle. With a job that stressful, I can’t say I blame her. Also she’s the best in the business, so what better way to show that off than with a flamboyant wardrobe. Check out the gallery below for my favorite looks Villanelle has worn so far in Killing Eve. Comment below on your favorite look!

Support Female & Black Owned Businesses!

SUPPORT FEMALE & BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES

Most of us know that black people have been fighting oppression for hundreds of years. But recently the #BLACKLIVESMATTER hashtag began to trend more frequently than it’s initial inception seven years ago. Besides emailing all of the local legislators and donating to numerous go fund me’s, you can also support Black businesses in effort to show your support for the movement. I’ve compiled a list of a few Female & Black owned businesses below, check them out and give them some love!

1. BLACK PIN MAKER LEAGUE | IG: @blackpinmakerleague – This IG page features black and brown companies that create patches and pins. This is a great way to add a little flair to a denim jacket or a cute backpack!

2. DIME NAILS LA | IG: @dimenails_la – This luxury nail salon is loved by many in LA! Located in the trendy and deeply cultured area of Fairfax, their unique designs are truly a standout in the booming nail industry. I’m hoping to get in there soon and get these tortoise shell nails done, such a cool look!

3. SATYA + SAGE | IG: @satyasage – We’re spending a lot of time inside these days, what better way to bring in the good vibes than with these products from Satya + Sage?! Everything is handmade and eco-friendly, take some time to “slow down + create your sacred space” as their page says.

4. VANILLA BLACK COFFEE | @vanillablackla – “Once you go black, you’ll never go back” is the catchy pun printed on all of their coffee cups. Coincidentally, this is something I say on my hinge profile as well. All jokes aside, if you need your daily caffeine fix, Vanilla Black Coffee in Echo Park is the spot! This quaint coffee shop is the perfect place to go if you want to start your day off right.

5. A A K S | IG: @a.a.k.s – I personally like to be able to standout in a crowd of people (pre-covid of course), and these colorful bags are the perfect way to do so! Each bag is hand-crafted in Ghana and available for purchase online with shipping available around the world.

6. POPPY + ROSE | IG: @poppyandrosela – Just looking at these photos made my mouth water. I miss brunch SO much, sigh. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day because of all the different options, luckily Poppy + Rose didn’t miss a single one! I can’t wait to make this my go-to Sunday brunch spot with the girls.

7. LAND OF GOLD | IG: @thelandofgold – Dainty jewelry, is the best type of jewelry. Especially when it’s layered! Land of Gold by Havilah is the perfect mixture of earthly and etherial. Plus, gold jewelry with ALL shades of brown skin looks bomb AF!

Check back in the next few weeks, I will be posting more black owned businesses. Until then… happy shopping!

Ghetto, Until Proven Fashionable

GHETTO, UNTIL PROVEN FASHIONABLE

Black women are the blueprint. Periodt. For decades we have been the originators of the most popular trends, however this is only after white women deem it “fashionable”. In recent years, there’s been an influx of non black women wearing box braids, colorful hair/wigs, door-knocker hoop earrings, long acrylic nails, and many other styles that originated in black culture, without giving the credit where it is due.

Celebrities like Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus, Gwen Stefani and plenty more have profited off of black culture. They like advertise their fashion choices to their fans as if they were something cool and new that they discovered on their own. However, these styles have been sported as far back as the 1980’s by black women from the “hood”, but being “hood” or “ghetto” was something that society equated to being “trashy”. Ironically, the same members of this society watched and figured out how to on how to make it their own.

Kylie Jenner is best known for being a “billionaire” from her lip kits (which is a whole other story… whew), but she also is known for constantly changing her hair with the help of a wig and wearing revealing outfits around town. While wigs and skimpy clothes can be found in any culture, the specific style she is attempting to emulate was popularized by the one and only Lil’ Kim.

In the black culture, Lil’ Kim “The Queen B” is hailed as one of the most notable innovators of style in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. Everywhere she went her outfits always made a statement, and every day she had a brand new hair color. Much to Kylie’s advantage, most of her followers either are unaware of who Lil’ Kim is or weren’t even alive yet, so it’s much easier for her to market her style as something that is unique to her and her “brand”.

Similarly, her sister’s Kim and Khloe have done the same thing when it comes to super long acrylic nails and box braids or cornrows. So much so that “Kardashian Braids” comes up on google as opposed to actual black women with braided hairstyles. Sigh. When I was younger, there were only specific nail stylists in Brooklyn or Queens that were able to do these unique acrylic nail styles. Now that mainstream culture has accepted them as “fashionable”, every nail salon offers this service. Once again, these styles are only acceptable when white people are able to make a profit from it.

Iggy Azalea and Gwen Stefani‘s careers solely exist due to their blatant appropriation of black culture (their success definitely not owed to their musical skills). They were seen as cool, hip white girls, compared to that of someone like Taylor Swift. Unfortunately the same respect is not given to the black women who created the very styles.

For years black women have lost out on job opportunities due to their style of dress or hairstyles. Still today in 2020, forty-three states discriminate people of color due to their hair. The Crown Act has only been passed in seven states, including New York and California. So it’s completely disrespectful to see non black women wearing these styles as if they created them. It’s even more disrespectful to see the fact that they are praised for being unique, rather than being discriminated against. Black women are sent home from work because their employers see their hair as “unkept”, and black students are often denied the educational opportunities they deserve just because they wear their hair in it’s natural state.

This is why the argument that “black women wear straight or blond styles” is embarrassingly weak. Black women are forced to change the state or appearance of their hair in order to increase the amount of opportunities that come their way.

The styles that we prefer to wear are not accepted in society until a white celebrity makes it look “cool”, or brands like Forever 21 and Fashion Nova advertise street clothes using white models. Currently the Oxford Dictionary defines “Ghetto Fabulous” as “denoting or exemplifying an ostentatious or flamboyant lifestyle or style of clothing of a type associated with the hip-hop subculture. While this is technically true, it completely disregards the black culture that it was born from, just like the appropriators or “culture vultures” frequently do. There was a point in time that ghetto was the last thing anyone wanted to be due to the connotation associated with it. But of course, black culture is seen as ghetto until proven fashionable.