I am so obsessed with the simplicity of single soled shoes. They give your foot such a ladylike silhouette, and your stride such grace. I still maintain that boot cut pants look great with platforms, but when you want to add a touch of femininity to a look, nothing beats a single soled shoe. I especially love them with a pair of boyfriend jeans, or a pencil skirt. Classic perfection.
Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti is celebrating 20 years in the business with 4 capsule collections to be released during the year. Today pictures from the first collection titled “Jewel” were released on Instagram. The first collection is in honor of the jewels that are a staple in the designer’s shoes, and each jewel has significance to his life. For example the “Skorpio” shoe is for his father’s zodiac sign, and the “Fishbone” shoe which is one of his first designs, is in remembrance of his time living on the beach and walking over fish bones in the sand during the winter. The limited edition Jewel collection consists of six bold gold pairs of flat sandals and will be sold beginning in June.
- Take a real evaluation of what your body type is.
- Look for a celebrity or fashion icon whose style you like and that has the same build as you.
- Study their style. Take note of what is flattering and unflattering on them.
- Act accordingly.
I find that this is the easiest way to evaluate whether or not you can pull off a certain look. Although the key is being honest with yourself about your body type. I find it so confusing when I see women with “muffin tops” and “is she pregnant or nah?” bodies shoved into these super tight body con dresses. I wonder to myself how are they comfortable highlighting such an unflattering part of their body? Especially when it can be easily hidden with a good pair of Spanx. I say this as a curvy woman that has struggled and continues to struggle to lose weight. There is no shame in wearing proper undergarments to hide unflattering features. I am a firm believer that every look is not for every body.
This not only works for choosing looks that are appropriate for your body type, but also color pairing, and makeup tricks. I’m brown skinned, so why would I look to a fairer skinned person for ideas on what colors I can pull off? I look to Tika Sumpter for makeup inspiration, because she and I have similar skin tones. If I for some reason am getting my makeup done professionally I save a picture of her on my phone with a beat that I like, which gives my artist a blueprint for what I want. I do the same when I go into Sephora or Elf to shop for makeup. I pull out my picture and I say this is what I’m going for. It makes their job easier for you to come in with a realistic perception of yourself.
On Monday my intern partner and I were propositioned by our boss to run an errand that would earn us an extra undisclosed amount of money. We agreed to it before she even completed the question. Our task: to go to a gala event that the company was participating in after it was over and gather up the materials used since they were actually samples from the spring collection. In addition to our extra cash they also sprung for a car service to take us to and from the location and get us home safely. For a couple of girls that take the subway everyday and suffer through the smells and sights of public transportation, a free cab and car service home is a sweet deal in and of itself.
We show up to the famed Cipriani 42nd Street (you may remember this is the venue whrer LaLa and Carmelo Anthony tied the knot) around 11:15 pm as we were instructed to and use the back entrance of the restaurant (this was my first clue that I am in fact the help). As we passed through the side corridor we could hear the unexpectedly current hip hop music blaring and even caught a few glances of the black tie clad guests. As we waited alongside the other people that were sent there to clean up after the festivities I thought about my grandmother, and how she has spent her whole life doing exactly what I am about to do. My grandmother has cleaned office buildings, and the houses of wealthy white people for decades. At one point she worked at a very prominent country club in South Carolina where she orchestrated banquets and the like, but all in all she’s spent her career cleaning up after people that have substantially more than she does. I thought to myself, how could someone in my family still have to do this kind of work after so many years? My grandparents were blue collar workers so that the subsequent generations of my family wouldn’t have to be, but I’m here following in their footsteps in a way that I’m not so sure would make them proud.
The 11:30 mark hit, and we went in through the front door to find our table and packing supplies. We looked around the room at the extravagant floral arrangements wondering who had attended and what they wore, and what they got to eat. In my mind I wondered how did she do this for all these years without feeling some sense of inferiority? How do you make a career out of servitude and maintain this strong sense of self? I felt a little bit sad and embarrassed as I cleaned food residue off plates that cost more than what some people make in a week. We packed everything up with the help of a very nice Trinidadian man who works at Cirpirani, and took it to its final destination for the night.
On the free cab ride home I remembered my mom telling me how my grandmother and great-great aunt would leave their houses in the morning in dresses, pearls, gloves, stockings, and heels, and they would change into their work clothes at the offices they were there to clean. At the end of their shift, they would freshen up and change back into their nice clothing and head home. They never allowed the outside world to see them as servants. They were very proud women, who knew that because of what they did their families could eat and live well. Because of the work my grandmother did and continues to do, I have had opportunities and things that I may not have otherwise had if she hadn’t.
These past couple of months have been the most humbling of my life. I do my best to keep in mind that regardless of what I have to do right now, this isn’t what I will be doing forever. I try to remain optimistic that life doesn’t end here for me and that all things will lead to a great career where I can take pride in what I do, and be the woman I want to be. Last night though, I wondered am I being humble or am I just the help?
Don’t get me wrong. I love this overpopulated, smelly, concrete jungle, but there are some days where I’m just like ok I’ve made a horrible decision coming here, get me back to Georgia ASAP! Here are some awkward situations one might find themselves in that will make them rethink their entire move.
- You are lucky enough to find a seat on a crowded train, but a man comes and stands in front of you to hold on to the rail above your head, which puts his pelvis right at your eye level. Aside from the discomfort of being shoved into a tin can with dozens of strangers, and a multitude of smells, his crotch is the only thing in eye shot for you to look at, so you put your head down….which makes the scene look even more odd.
- Again, you’re on a crowded train, only this time there’s no seat, so you’re standing there holding on to a germ infested pole in the middle of the cart. Someone’s bag is molesting your butt, and the person standing in front of you yawns directly in your face. You have now been accosted by an unholy combination of coffee, cigarettes, and whatever that person had on their bagel on the way to the train.
- It’s a Friday night. The weather lends itself to a cute ensemble that doesn’t require three additional layers for warmth. A pre game drinking session has taken place at your friend’s apartment, so you head out for a nice night on the town. Hair is laid, eyebrows are snatched, and you are slaying the scene. You get to the party which is swarming with eligible young black professionals, and not a single one will even maintain eye contact with you long enough for you to engage them in a conversation. I mean not a single one.
- You have somehow become a circus act known as the Juggling Bag Lady. You have your giant purse (which is really more of an inconveniently carried book bag) your lunch bag, and the bag of groceries you picked up from Whole Foods. You get home, but have to somehow dig your keys out of the labyrinth that is the bottom of your purse, meanwhile your earbuds have gotten inevitably tangled, and God-forbid you put your bag on New York concrete. You are now contorting your body and your bags so as to not drop anything, and to spectators you look completely insane.
- It’s late, it’s dark, and you live in Brooklyn. You are walking as if there is a serial killer behind you, because you just binge watched The Following. There is a person ahead of you walking just as fast as you are, only because you actually are behind that person they fear that you are in fact the serial killer that you’re afraid of. Your mind is blown I know.
The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) announced that Rihanna is the recipient of the 2014 Fashion Icon of the Year award. Whether you agree with her choice of style or not there is no denying the impact she’s had on the fashion world over the course of her career, especially when she began to embrace and promote her bad girl image. In addition to being a front row fixture this past Paris Fashion Week, she is also the current face of Paris fashion house Balmain and has tried her hand at fashion design when she created two collections for River Island. Did I mention her highly coveted MAC collection this year? Let’s also get into the fact that she is on the cover of Vogue, for the third time.
I can’t help but see the eerie coincidence between the suicide of deigner L’Wren Scott on Monday and the fact that it was also the birthday of designer Alexander McQueen, who also committed suicide in 2010.
Artists have long been revered as tortured souls who suffer for their art. Their emotional distress adds to the mystique of their lives, making them all the more intriguing to onlookers. Many want to understand them, their inspiration, the source of their creativity. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” This proves true in the self inflicted deaths of these two artists.
The illusion created by the fashion world that it’s all glamour, models, fashion shows, parties, and grandeur overshadows the reality of the harsh business side of it all. I witnessed this not too long ago when the fashion accessories designer had to meet with the sales team to decide which pieces of what she created for next season’s collection would actually be sold. It’s not an uncommon practice for pieces from the runway to be “dumbed down” for ready to wear production, but seeing the disappointment on the face of the designer makes it more real. It’s not just turning art into something realistically wearable, it’s altering an artist’s vision, which for them I’m sure is much more heart wrenching.
When fashion transitioned from being an elitist, one of a kind, haute couture entity to a mass market big business, the designers that survived are the ones that found a sweet spot between maintaining their design aesthetic and providing something that the masses will buy and wear. For the designers that were unable to achieve the Goldilocks just right formula, their fashion houses fell. It’s not surprising that in the face of over $6 million of debt, L’Wren felt “discouraged,” as longtime friend Cathy Horyn put it in her heart felt piece in the Times.
A well loved and respected stylist turned designer, L’Wren had a reputation as a hard worker with a level of clothing construction education reminiscent of those that come up in the French couture tradition. Many regarded her as very private, yet charming and warm to those around her, as evident by her relationship with singer Mick Jagger. While he added to her fame, she never wanted to be defined by her relationship, and was a star in her own right via her undeniable talent for creating clothes that women want to wear. Despite her financial woes, it is surprising to those closest to her that she chose suicide as a way out. “She’s not someone I would have ever said was a tortured artist or a tortured designer,” celebrity stylist Cristina Ehrlich told the New York Times.
When a person chooses to take their own life, particularly when there is no note left, the people they leave behind are left with unanswered questions. Hence, we can only speculate about what the true mental state and motivation behind Scott’s decision to take her life was, but I can’t help but wonder if being faced with having to close her business was just too much for her to bear.
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