Given the state of social unrest in our country, it is only fitting that I wore a Mod look reminiscent of British-bred 60’s counter culture. If you have no idea what I’m talking about think Twiggy and Mary Quant. While some were embracing the refined style of then First Lady Jackie Onassis, across the pond suburban teens were wearing mini skirts, shift dresses and cropped hair. Hence why many refer to Mod and hippie clothing of the 60’s as sub culture or counter culture fashion. I have always loved Mod 60’s fashion, especially when it made a resurgence in the 90’s via Cher Horowitz and the Olsen twins. As an adult; however, I didn’t really think I could pull off a shift dress look. Shift dresses have no defined waist, and given my unrelenting fear of looking pregnant, I try to stay away from them. Even if I choose to indulge in a dress that has no waist, I belt it to create one. I said all of that to say, this was my definition of taking a fashion risk, and it was okay. I’m still not confident I don’t look like I need to stop by Planned Parenthood, but hey I tried. And for under $20 (Zara end of season sale comes through once again) what’s the worst that could happen?
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.
I am obsessed with layering. This is partly out of necessity, because I have a 9 to 5 job in a very conservative corporate environment, in addition to my 5 to 9 job in media. This means I am likely running to cover an event right after work, and I need to be able to go from conservative Jessica to Not Carrie Bradshaw Jessica quickly (although the two are not vastly different). Adding or taking away a layer helps me to avoid carrying a large suitcase around the crowded streets of New York to do a Diana Ross level wardrobe change.
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.
One of my many duties as the resident fashion girl in the life of my friends is to advise my guy friends on gifts for their boo’s. This past Christmas my dear friend picked out an amazing pair of booties for his girlfriend that were pre-season (AKA hella expensive). He wanted to get her a bag as well, but since he spent so much on the shoes, he didn’t think he could find one worth having for under a stack (that’s $1,000 for the aunties out there). That’s where I come in. When you think of good handbags your mind automatically goes to the designers whose brands are synonymous with leather goods (or the ones you’ve heard a hundred times in various rap songs): Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Céline, Prada, Fendi etc. God knows you girls love your Neverfull’s but there’s so much more to handbags than the names you hear most often.
Don’t get me wrong, I think some of those bags are great aspirational pieces, but you don’t have to go out and spend your whole tax refund check to have a nice handbag. Let’s be real. My most sincere hope is that you guys will use those refunds wisely, but also treat yourself to a little something. Let’s review a few designers that have great options for under $1,000.
Fashion Friday 1.6.17
Let’s take a moment for the brown goodness that is Gabrielle Union in Thakoon headed to the premier of the new movie Sleepless.
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