The red carpet for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards was so underwhelming that it’s not even worth mentioning besides this sentence. The show itself was an emotional roller coaster, and I’m glad I stuck around for the awe inducing moments. So let’s get started.
Chance the Rapper continues to make us proud as the community Youth Pastor who sometimes curses. I genuinely teared up watching his performance, because you could really feel his passion for this. I’m not a part of Rap Genius twitter, so I’m not sure if anyone else has done this, but I find it so admirable that he earned two Grammy’s as an independent artist having never sold an album. Real talent will sell itself I suppose?
Last night’s SAG Awards were very politically charges, as is everything these days. Performers like Kerry Washington defended the right, nay necessity of actors to be activists saying, “A lot of people are saying right now that actors shouldn’t express their opinions when it comes to politics. But the truth is, actors are activists no matter what, and we embody the worth and humanity of all people. This union helps me to do that. I am Kerry Washington, and I am an actor.” Mahershala Ali made a point to highlight the value of really seeing people regardless of surface differences. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), and David Harbour (Stranger Things) were among other winners who used their acceptance speeches to offer words of criticism, hope, and encouragement in the aftermath of the Muslim Ban, and the changing climate of the country.
Fences and Hidden Figures cleaned up with wins for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for best Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, respectively. Hidden Figures won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. I have been on the edge of my seat waiting to see how well Moonlight would do this season, so Mahershala Ali’s win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role sent me to the moon (see what I did there). In these times of divisiveness and social unrest, it’s also helpful to see a cast of such diverse women in Orange is the New Black take home a win for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. For a full list of winners click here.
Now for the fun part.
I’m not sure why, but I have intense writer’s block. Maybe it’s the mounting anxiety from the social injustices promulgating from the White House, but I just haven’t been feeling like what I’m writing about is really important given what’s going on in the world. But, in the name of consistency, and flexing my writing muscles as often as possible, I am giving you ten random thoughts I’ve had today.
I am so excited to present to you guys the first ever Not Carrie Bradshaw Chats. This new video series will feature monthly interviews with some of our favorite influencers in fashion, media, pop culture, and music. This month I sat down with model, entrepreneur, host, and media personality Malyia. You may recognize her from the viral video from The Today Show, wherein she was a natural hair model, and the stylist just had no idea what she was doing with textured hair. In the inaugural episode of NCB Chats, we discuss post-election anxiety, what it means to have diversity in media, and what our role as black women in media should be to push forward the task of being active citizens.
Details on my look will be in next week’s fashion story.
We kicked off our first red carpet event of the year at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 80th Annual Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner. The event took place at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where guests celebrated the 2017 Fashion Scholarship Fund class, and nearly $1.5 million in scholarships were awarded throughout the evening.
This is one of the many functions held to honor, encourage, and facilitate young talent in the fashion industry. Former NFL player, current Good Morning America host, and fashion entrepreneur Michael Strahan was among three honorees who were recognized for their contributions to the industry. I would’ve loved to have gotten his thoughts on some things, but his team was adamant that he was only allowed to speak with pre-approved media outlets. In spite of the very obvious fame of this site (I say that with heavy sarcasm and a hopeful heart) we were not allowed to speak with Mr. Strahan, but he looked nice (Stevie J. voice).
We were, however, able to speak with Geoffrey Beene’s newly appointed Brand Ambassador, Kellan Lutz. Many of you very kindly commented on how nice I looked, but were clearly very overwhelmed by how fine the Twilight actor is, and understandably so. I cannot emphasize enough how kind and personable he was. As obvious Twilight fans crowded the designated press spot on the red carpet snapping photos and videos, he made sure to give every writer/reporter ample time and attention.
Lutz spoke very highly of his former cast members, and after reporters were instructed to stick to questions about the event, he went on to say how important charity is today, and why he jumped at the opportunity to represent Geoffrey Beene, adding that cancer has so strongly affected his life after losing an uncle and a grandmother to the disease. Working with a company that gives so much to helping those in need was the catalyst.
What is your favorite fashion moment thus far in your career?
KL: I would have to say being friends with Roberto Cavalli and having him design my suit for Breaking Dawn, the second part of Breaking Dawn. Roberto Cavalli, he’s so legendary, and having me as a guest on his boat for like a week, that goes down in my memory book for life.
What role has fashion or style played in your career?
KL: You know I never finished college, and I always had an interest in fashion. I started my clothing line about five years ago, and it’s just been such an epic learning environment to be a part of. Especially with the different fashion weeks. It’s just the best education.
Do you feel like people have taken you under their wing?
KL: I really do. I’ve had very good mentors. Roberto Cavalli, Joseph Abboud, those are like the main ones. Then some people in the press as well, and like PR firms. I’ve definitely had great people in my corner. You know as my life continues and with my clothing line, you know if I want to start another one in a different kind of environment, I would have people to go to. So it’s really been, I’m really lucky. I’m really blessed.
Dude, I am trying to have friends like Roberto Cavalli. I want to hang out on a yacht, and learn more fashion. Where does one sign up?
Can I just tell you how excited I am about today? It’s the Friday before a Holiday weekend, so we leave work early, AND it’s payday (which really just means that a bunch of white people are about to get my money because bills are a thing). So let’s jump right in and discuss this week’s best looks.
Today was such a good day. Emphasis on was. Ever since the election I’ve been caught in a space between being highly motivated to take responsibility for my life and contribute something good to this world, and crippling fear over what our soon to be President is going to do to this country. Today, I was on the good side of that. I was on the side that my forever President Barack Obama encouraged me to be on per his farewell address. After watching Being Mary Jane, I thanked God for opening my eyes to the fact that it is always a good idea to work on yourself before you commit to someone else. I even wrote a little about it:
“If you subscribe to the beliefs and teachings of any higher power, then at some point in your life you have hopefully endured some experience that showed you the principle of perfect timing. We call it God’s perfect timing, or His perfect plan for our life. This guiding principle gives us peace in knowing that everything we need is ours according to His perfect timing. With that being said, is it so illogical to believe that if I am not in a relationship right now that maybe I don’t actually need that right now?”
As I was typing this, I casually asked a co-worker how she was doing. I could tell from her posture that she was really going to tell me the truth.
“You know at the end of 2016 I told myself 2017 is going to be about me. It’s not gonna be about my kids or my husband, it’s gonna be about me, and that just didn’t happen. I’m telling you Jessica, value this time now. Be present in it, because you’ll never get this time back.”
Feeling even more assured that I am on the right path, I typed this out with such vigor, conviction, and pride. Sometimes we need a reminder that time to ourselves is a valuable commodity that every woman doesn’t have. The love and companionship of another person always seems to be at the forefront of our desires, but I decided a while ago to put myself at the forefront of my desires. I have this time to myself for a purpose. The phase after this is a husband and possibly children, and we all know that one must be selfless in the role of wife and mother. I tell myself all the time I can’t be more eager to commit to someone else than I am to commit to myself. With this burst of energy and certainty, I responded to emails about upcoming events, execution of plans for my brand, and I felt so good adding things to my calendar. And then I really looked at the calendar. I mean I really looked. I looked forward, and I realized that Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that I have to be okay being alone on that day too, and my whole day went to shit.
I don’t care what anybody says, it sucks to be alone on Valentine’s Day. You can be as happy and content in your single life as you want to be, but when Valentine’s Day comes, and everyone around you is getting shit and feeling loved and shit, it sucks. I can’t even solidify plans to have a girl’s night out, because my friends aren’t reliable when it comes to that kind of thing. So I started thinking what can I do by myself that won’t also make me feel lonely? I googled and came up with zero good ideas. I mulled this over in my mind a hundred times. What do I really want to do? What would I want to do if I had a guy? And then I realized that it is a whole ass month away. I climbed down off the ledge in my mind, and said relax bitch, it’s a whole ass month away. Let’s worry about it when it comes. I will check in with you in a month to let you know if I dipped into my 401k to pay a matchmaker. Standby.
Last night’s 2017 Golden Globes awards were amazing, because two of my faves were deservedly honored. Atlanta won for Best Television Series Musical or Comedy, and Donald Glover (the show’s creator) won Best Performance By An An Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. Not bad for the show’s first season. Moonlight won Best Motion Picture Drama and I cannot begin to tell you how happy this made me. Neither Atlanta nor Moonlight exploited black pain, or black violence, or black sexuality, yet they still managed to tackle some very tough issues that we as black people prefer to sweep under the rug. This proves that it is possible to create black art without exploiting the black experience. Who knew?
The first highlight of the evening was Donald Glover thanking Migos, who made a cameo on Atlanta. He didn’t thank them for appearing on the show, or for the award, but for making the song “Bad and Boujee,” which, let’s be honest deserved to be acknowledged.
Now to the fun part. The red carpet. Let’s jump right in.
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